It was shortly after the wedding of Varrick and Zhu Li Moon. Most of the people there were quite happy, Jinora and Kai were dancing together, Korra and Mako were kissing by the water, and Opal had forgiven Bolin and they were now sitting down at the table together. Suyin Beifong, however, was not one of them. While she was pleased to see her daughter reconcile with her boyfriend, most of Suyin's thoughts were focused on the daughter who was absent. She was being held at a special prison cell constructed on the outskirts of the city, having destroyed every other prison in the city with her superweapon. The thing that haunted Suyin was the thought that, while she thought of Kuvira as her daughter, she hadn't treated her as such. Worst of all, in a moment of desperation, she had recklessly tried to kidnap or kill Kuvira without even waiting to see if Korra was successful in negotiating. And when Kuvira apologized, Suyin, out of anger, rejected it.
"Mom, are you alright?" asked Opal.
"I am fine," Su told her daughter. "I am just thinking of Kuvira and Baatar. Despite all that they did, I still love both of them." A short pause followed as Opal thought about that.
"In spite of everything, I love them too but we can't blame ourselves what they decided to do," said Opal, clearly still hurt by the behavior of her brother and foster sister.
"I know but I can't keep myself from wondering if I could have prevented it," said Suyin. "I need to know, have I been a good mother?" Opal paused for a second.
"You have never hesitated to comfort or protect any of us," said Opal, thinking back to an incident when she was seven and Kuvira was nine. A Dai Li agent and his entourage came to Zaofu. Iniatially, they were simply there in an attempt to extort Suyin, until the agent saw Kuvira. He then demanded that they hand her over, revealing that she was a Dai Li conscript who had fled before reaching Ba Sing Se. Suyin, hating the recruitment methods of the Dai Li more than anything else about the foul organization, resolved the situation by telling a half truth and saying Kuvira was an orphan that she had taken in and the Dai Li left, never attempting to kidnap her after that. Suyin, knowing that Kuvira had good reason to be hesitant to reveal this, decided to let Kuvira tell her when she was ready.
"Does Kuvira know that?" replied her mother. "I never told her that I knew."
"I did, two years afterward," said Opal. "She was a bit upset when Hiroshi Sato told her she was just a glorified servant, and I figured that, if the Dai Li did not come back for her in two years, Kuvira wouldn't have to worry about it and she could use something to cheer her up."
"So she knows I would protect her," said Su, still somewhat unconvinced. "She seemed rather convinced that I didn't give her the freedom she needed." It was an uncomfortable topic for Suyin to talk about. She knew that, likely as a result of her own reckless behavior in her youth, she had become rather controlling afterward.
"I admit, you were rather insistent I train at Zaofu, a bit more than I thought," Opal admitted. "It took a terrorist attack to convince you to let me leave. It still doesn't justify Kuvira's behavior."
"No but that isn't the only thing plaguing me," said Suyin. "When I was a child, doing whatever it took to get my mother's attention, I committed countless misdemeanors and even a few felonies, culminating in causing an accident that hurt Lin. It took over twenty years for your grandmother to forgive me and another twenty for your aunt. I suppose I now know how they felt back then. I don't want it to take as long to rebuild the relationships I have with my own children." Opal stopped for a second, her mother had never opened up this much about her past before.
"Mom, if it is really bothering you that much, you should talk to Kuvira," Opal finally said. "She is still in that prefab mobile cell, last I checked."
"I was already planning to go there," Suyin told her daughter. "I just needed to talk to someone about this first. It really cleared my head. Do you want to come as well?"
"Yes but I don't think I am ready," said Opal. "I wish you luck." Opal then hugged her mother before Suyin headed for Kuvira.
An hour later, on the outskirts of Republic City…
Normally it would have taken only half an hour to drive to the edge of the city but with all the debris, shattered roads, and burst water mains, it was much harder to navigate and took twice as long. Eventually, she arrived at the prison bus, which had been specially modified with platinum to prevent escape. There were extremely few guards there, however. Much of the UR military had been destroyed during the battle and the rest were on the border, on the lookout for the rest of the Imperial forces. That left the local police and many of them had been killed or injured as well, so the bulk of the city police capable of work were in the city, either clearing away rubble or directing emergency services. Apart from Lin, there were only ten other Metalbending officers. Lin stepped out upon seeing her sister.
"I wasn't expecting you to come so soon," said Lin. "There a reason why you are here before the arraignment?"
"A year ago, you said Kuvira and Baatar rampaging across the continent was a taste of my own medicine," Su replied. Lin became rather uncomfortable at that statement.
"I was drunk," said Lin. "I didn't know you heard that."
"Don't be sorry," said Su. "You were right, and I don't want history to repeat itself even more. If Kuvira has taken responsibility, I have to as well." Lin was rather surprised at what her sister said.
"You can handle yourself and there isn't any bendable stuff in there anyway," Lin said. "My officers and I will go ten feet away. I have a feeling you will want privacy for this."
"Thank you," replied Suyin as she took off the non-platinum metallic objects and gave them to Lin. She walked into the prison transport, opened the door to the back, and closed it behind her. Kuvira, who was asleep on the floor in a sleeping bag, awoke to the sound of the door opening and closing.
"Su?" asked the young woman, surprised to see her. She was still wearing her uniform, minus the bendable accessories, and her hair was a disheveled mess.
"Hello, Kuvira," said Su.
Kuvira was shocked, she thought that Suyin hated her for what had happened.
"Su, I don't know what to say to this," she started.
"Let me start then," said Suyin. "I am sorry. I am sorry for not showing you the affection you needed growing up, I am sorry for snapping at you yesterday, and I am sorry that I tried to take you hostage at Zaofu."
"Suyin, I should be the one who is sorry," Kuvira said. "I turned on you after everything, I hurt so many people, and I almost killed Baatar, the man I want to spend my life with. I have ruined everything."
"I have to take responsibility as well," said Suyin. "I did nothing to compromise with you when you asked why I didn't help the rest of the Earth Kingdom. I didn't try to negotiate with you, even when Korra offered to mediate. I hurt you, and I am sorry for not treating you like my daughter."
"You protected me like your daughter," said Kuvira.
"I am sorry I didn't tell you about that," said Suyin. "I knew that being a fugitive Dai Li conscript was not something you would want to advertise. I concluded you would tell me when you were ready."
"I wasn't talking about lying for me," replied Kuvira. "After I bent a piece of iron, my parents decided they could make some money off the girl they never wanted by giving the Dai Li a natural Metalbender even younger than the legendary Toph Beifong. Before proceeding on the drive to Ba Sing Se, I decided to stop by their old house to hurt them as they had hurt me. But the house was gone. According to a neighbor, the kerosene can had exploded. My mother died instantly, while it took two days for my father to succumb from having most of his skin burnt off. What surprised me the most, however, was that a piece of metal had been stuck in his foot, wedging him to the floorboards. The foot was in a position that suggested it had happened before the explosion." Suyin was shocked that Kuvira had learned that.
"I…did what I thought made sense at the time," replied Suyin. "I am sorry that it came to that."
"I stopped thinking of them as my parents years ago," Kuvira said. "By the time I found out, I thought of you and your husband as-"Suyin interrupted her by hugging her tightly.
"I know, and I think of you as my daughter," Suyin whispered. "I love you, and I will do whatever it takes to protect you and rebuild what we once had." Kuvira was just overwhelmed. After everything that had happened, Suyin still thought of her as family.
"I love you too," she said to her adoptive mother, tears forming at her eyes. "I will do the same as well." Kuvira and Suyin hugged each other tightly, taking comfort in how they were taking the first step to reconciliation.
This is my first LOK fanfic. Originally I wanted to post this on Mother's day but things got in the way. Before you say anything, I am a Makorra shipper. If you have a problem with that, don't comment on it. I decided to write what I think would happen in a meeting between Kuvira and Suyin post-finale. I also decided to change "Assassinate" to "Capture and hold prisoner" because I didn't like Suyin's bipolar behavior in that episode, considering it looked like she was going to beg Korra not to hurt Kuvira during their first fight. I added Lin's drunken rant because I totally see that happening at some point. I added a mention of Hiroshi Sato being a jerk because he was the first name that came to mind. Opal thinks of Kuvira as her older sister but is still mad at how she almost ruined her relationship with Bolin, so that is why she didn't come. I came up with the story of Kuvira being a Dai Li conscript (and according to Bryan and Mike, they really do recruit that way) because I thought it would be interesting. I also came up with the idea of Suyin killing Kuvira's parents to stop them from confirming the Dai Li's suspicions because her options for stopping them were rather limited.