A/N: Hi everyone!
So, let's begin:
I'll post the last chapter of the main story just afterwards. For now, here is the first bonus/side story. There will be 4 of them in here. Everything you need to know is in the last chapter of The Girl in the Street anyway.
I'll tell for each little story the genre and the summary with when it is in the chronology. So:
Summary: You can read again chapter 22 ("alone"). This is Isolina's POV on the few days Asami "got rid of her". Well, actually it's more what happened with her than her POV, but it is here.
Isolina was sitting on a chair, static. She was clutching the arm of her little purple teddy bear. She was looking at her feet as if they were going to fall into a bottomless hole and she was going to be swallowed while struggling as much as a statue made of stone.
She had already cried today, a few tears that had been ripped from her, because adults were mean and they would always make her suffer as soon as she started to trust them. No one. She had to trust no one. Lochan had warned her, she had to listen to her and she would never be fooled again.
From now on, she would be strong. She would be strong as soon as she regained her strength... For now, she was just empty. Her whole inner self had been stolen, scorned, covered with heavy black velvet sheets that were too heavy for her.
So, she was waiting. She was waiting, motionless, persecuted without being, apathetic in a masterly impulse towards pain; suffering—this purple cloud which she inspired with each puff and that she couldn't spit, which swelled her frail chest with all the mournful tears she didn't cry, which scratched at the rusty door which squeaked like a mangy dog—was widening and getting deeper.
Footsteps reasoned against the floor, approaching. She did not move.
"Do you want a table for drawing instead of just standing there?" a rough voice asked.
She didn't answer: no will, no strength, no necessity either...
The adult opposite her stood at her level.
"Isolina... I know this is hard for you but are you seriously going to stay in this chair until you change your family? I... You've been with Korra and Asami for a long time, I know you were attached to them but... "
No, I hate them now. A mistake, it was a mistake.
She didn't want to speak with this gray-haired woman who knew them. She wanted to forget as she had forgotten before. It was easier like that. And she didn't want to forget, that way she would remember that adults were mean and that they shouldn't be trusted.
Lin changed her tone, losing that almost gentleness that was so strange in her mouth:
"You can't change it anyway, so you may as well do something else, right?"
Isolina still didn't move. Lin didn't insist even though she was still worried about the kid. She was going to find her a family, that was her job. No personal feelings on this matter. Personal feelings had led them up to that point.
She went back to work, watching the disillusioned and dejected child out of the corner of her eye. Yes, and yet...
She finished her work and returned to Isolina.
"Are you coming? Let's go."
The little girl dropped from the chair, as always, and obediently followed her, never looking up. Lin was more used to the top of her head than anything else, really...
Ah right, because she was carrying the kid around with her everywhere while waiting for making investigations and finding her a house and a safe family. A six-year-old girl who needed police protection... She would have seen everything!
Anyway, so they got back to Lin's home. She was almost glad that Isolina was so withdrawn because nothing in her apartment had changed place. It was like there was no one there, and she couldn't bear to have her den disturbed for even one moment! Still, poor kid...
A few days later, Lin decided that she was fed up with taking the kid with her. She was tired of seeing her hangdog look, tired of seeing that she barely ate, tired of feeling nothing from her, tired of feeling like a dead child ghost followed her wherever she went! So much so that she really feared that things would remain that way and that Isolina would be miserable all her life, so she had only one solution.
"Lieutenant Chrystal, in my office, as soon as you can."
About two minutes later, the two women were protected from all eavesdroppers in the police chief's office.
"Are you and your husband still trying to have children?" Lin asked.
"You heard very well."
"And this is private, it has nothing to do with my job."
"I've never said otherwise."
The two women remained silent, then Chrystal couldn't keep it any longer:
"Why this question?"
"I need you for a somewhat special mission."
"You want me to carry a child for nine months to make them a cop whose DNA will allow them to arrest everyone?" she asked, disillusioned. "If that's it, the answer is most certainly no. But I somewhat doubt it."
Lin rolled her eyes even if she liked Chrystal's intensity deep inside. She had a folder slid to her.
"Read this file, I want to give you a key witness."
"What does this have to do with the former conversation?"
"She's a six-year-old child, she's totally unpredictable, psychologically unstable, and the target of a secret organization. So, do you want to see what it's like to take care of a child before the real one?"
"Given the conditions, I'm not sure it can count…"
"Is that a yes?"
"I'll clear your planning: you have to be with her all the time, understood?"
"Why not put her in a foster family? Apparently, she has already had one," she read in the file. "There could have been a better choice by the way... Who's the idiot who thought it would be wise to make her live with the Avatar and the CEO of Futures Industries to hide her?"
"We didn't know she was researched yet, we thought she was a normal child."
"I see… "
There was a new silence.
"Okay, I'll take her. When do I start and when does it end?"
"From now on."
"Until when?" she asked again.
"It's not up to me."
Chrystal raised an eyebrow. Lin sighed.
"You're a backup solution. Isolina will never get used to you. Right now, it's impossible. If the situation changes, we will consider placing her in a foster family."
"Otherwise, we'll have to arrest these criminals as soon as possible and make a stubborn CEO change her mind."
Chrystal smirked slyly.
"The kid is on a chair next to interrogation room number 5."
"I'll take care of it right away, chief."
Chrystal left Chief Beifong's office and headed to interrogation room number 5, which was even further away than the others and only Lin could see it from her office. There she found the child. She knelt down to speak to her.
"Hi, Isolina. My name is Chrystal. I'm responsible for you for now. We're not going to stay here, it's not super cool. You're going to come live with me for a while and I'll take care of you, ok?"
The little girl squeezed her purple bear's arm harder with her frail hand. Finally she looked up. Chrystal was almost taken aback by the look she received. She didn't expect to be so pierced by frozen spikes of fury and violence. It was as if she was facing one of the worst criminals she had arrested rather than a child. She remained motionless, unable to find anything to say in front of so much hostility.
She heard metal move, then her boss's authoritative voice:
"Isolina, you're going with her. Now. She's your new family. I told you you can't change the past. She'll help you and watch over you. "
The little girl with a colder look than the South Pole raised her stormy eyes to metalbender, her gaze could effectively rival the chief of police's most terrible and coldest glares.
Chrystal was genuinely afraid. She was frightened to see this blizzard furiously and painfully escape from such a young soul. She was afraid that she would attack them. But Isolina didn't do anything. She just groaned and dropped from her chair, lowering her head. Then, determined, she walked toward the exit, as if she preferred to believe that this order was her own choice and that she should therefore leave proudly, her head high.
Chrystal blinked, confused.
"You should follow her."
"She's not easy going. Especially right now."
"I think I got that."
"Try to determine if you can soften her and open her heart a little, if not... it's going to be complicated..."
Lin sighed. Chrystal nodded, then set off after Isolina. The girl was waiting for her at the exit. She obediently followed her to her vehicle. She didn't open her mouth once. Chrystal showed her around, her things were brought to her place before her husband even came home, and what was his surprise when he discovered this young child, sitting on their sofa, torturing the ear of a poor purple teddy-bear.
His wife took him aside and explained the situation to him, signaling that he should play the game and consider that they had adopted her. He really didn't like the idea, he was even very hesitant and wary because of his softness and his kindness. He tried to introduce himself to Isolina in the sweetest way possible but only encountered a wounded wall.
He had the same fears as his wife; his own were perhaps even greater because he wasn't used to so much harshness, so much violence in his daily life. He wanted to talk to his wife about it but he knew it was a police matter and that he didn't really have a say in it. But she still tried to reassure him a little, feeling that he was very feverish concerning this issue.
During the evening, they tried to integrate Isolina, to make her interact with them, but she remained like a resolutely-closed oyster. Several times, the man saw in his wife's gaze this kind of fierce determination which wasn't afraid to lead an assault. Still, that didn't stop them from sharing many looks of disappointment and sadness.
The child refused to speak.
Chrystal almost got angry, or rather she was irritated by a redundant questioning that she couldn't help expressing:
"Do you really intend not to speak? At all? What's the problem? You live here, we'll protect you and help you."
"No one..." a small, barely audible voice that hadn't been used for several days whispered.
"What did you say?"
"No one really wants to help me. Adults are mean."
"Adults aren't mean, not all of them. We're nice, we want what's good for you."
"And love me too?"
"Love you... Yes, love you if you let us do it."
"They said that too. They lied. They abandoned me! No one can!"
"Who? Who said that?"
Isolina fell silent again. That said, Chrystal didn't need the answer. She knew who she was referring to.
So then, the two most powerful women in the world had broken a child's heart? Then again, her professionalism couldn't blame them, they had surely saved her life and facilitated the task of protection assigned to her. However, she couldn't help but see the potential of destruction they had raised and released.
And now? Now, they had some leeway to investigate, but the child... She had seen victims, traumatized people, destroyed people, whose lives were reduced to ashes, she had seen the results, the heaviest consequences at work, death at the end of the road.
She had only one fear: that this error was the sentence to which this innocent child would be condemned forever. She had already lost everything. Twice. What if she never got back to her feet? It was too early to know, and yet, seeing so much darkness, pain and bitterness that were so unusual at this age, she doubted it would ever really go away. Perhaps her past was too deep of a scar now, maybe even an indelible scar...
She fell asleep while thinking about this, but only for a short time because she was awakened by screams. She walked over to Isolina's room and found her crying and aggressively scratching the purple teddy-bear as if she wanted to take all of its fur off.
She tried to approach her, thinking that she could help her, but she didn't manage to reach her. The little waterbender made a sudden movement with her arm which threw a wave of hot vapor to her.
She threw water again, this time just as hot droplets. Chrystal left. She knew there was nothing she could do, not under these circumstances. However, she stopped at the door, she listened for a long time to Isolina crying without her noticing.
The blue-eyed girl moaned for long minutes. She took a cushion which she hit over and over again against the bed, then tired that it continued to struggle in this way, she pierced it with a spike of ice composed of her own tears.
"I hate you. I hate you!"
She kept crying in her sadness shell, a little calmed down. She still wanted to cry. She wanted to cry in Asami's arms, and that's why she hated her so much. She was alone because she had abandoned her! And yet she wanted her to be here so badly! She wanted to cry, to keep crying all her nightmare in this black-haired woman's arms, with her soft green eyes, her graceful smell of violet; she wanted this woman who had deceived and betrayed her in the worst possible way to support her.
"You abandoned me..." she sobbed again, hugging the cushion she had murdered. "You left me alone..."
And that's how she fell back to sleep. Chrystal had heard everything, if she had it in her she would surely have cried but not knowing how to go about it she preferred to keep her distance and put on her professional mask. She returned to her room.
"Is she okay?" her husband asked, overcome with anxiety.
"Yes. Go back to sleep."
It was useless for her to explain to him. Her husband was infinitely more sensitive than her, especially regarding children. She didn't want to worry him, especially when there was obviously nothing they could do. But maybe she should tell Lin...
The next day, she decided to focus on her case instead. She found the mention of the nightmares, she didn't find how to calm them. She learned everything she needed to know. She couldn't speak to Isolina who was—if it was possible—even darker than when she had met her.
She stayed in her room, sometimes glued to this tortured cushion, sometimes threatening it with a glare and vowing a hatred hardly imaginable to it. Chrystal sighed when she saw her. She really hadn't anticipated this when she accepted this job! In fact, Lin had totally wanted to get rid of this kid! That is, it was normal: it was unbearable to see her in such a state!
During the night she had another nightmare. It was the same scene as the previous time, maybe Isolina would have even been more aggressive if Chrystal hadn't given up immediately. She knew she had to go see Lin and she did the next day.
"Lieutenant Chrystal? Aren't you supposed to protect a key witness?"
"I am, but seriously, what were you thinking when you gave her to me?"
"That is to say?"
"This kid is completely destroyed! What am I supposed do with this? She is closed-minded, completely closed-minded, she's even violent!"
"Violent?" Lin repeated, frowning.
"Yes! What did you do during the nightmares?"
"I would go to her and stay with her until she went back to sleep. She didn't want to speak."
"She doesn't even want me to stay with her and instead she tortures my furniture."
"She had a very strong bond with Miss Sato, so she has a little trouble getting over it..."
"She's not going to get over it."
"We can't know."
"Have you ever seen such a young child that was so hurt by life?"
"Yes. And they get back on their feet."
"Or they don't survive."
"It's not for us to judge. She needs someone to protect her, that someone is you, so do your job."
"She needs her."
"I won't call Asami. This is out of the question. They've already suffered a lot, everyone has suffered in that story, it would only make things worse."
"Or fix them!"
"We can't protect her…"
"She'll destroy herself from the inside!"
"It's not our job to worry about that. What's wrong with you, Chrystal? I didn't know you were so sentimental."
"I'm not. But I know how to recognize a critical situation when I see one and I'm unable to manage this one."
"Then we'll find someone else."
"So that she thinks she's right and no one will ever love her again and no one can help her?"
"I gave you a mission, do you continue it or not?"
"So, get out of my office and go take care of this kid."
Chrystal huffed, turned on her heels and suddenly left the police station. Or rather, she tried. She noticed that the phone was ringing and that there was no one to answer. So she answered the call.
"RCPD, what can I do for you?"
"Oh, thank Raava, darling, it's you!"
"Lang? What is it?"
"It's the girl! She ran away!"
"I told you to watch her!"
"I know, but she was alone in her room and I just left to look for a book..."
"I'm coming very soon."
She hung up, took a piece of paper, scribbled something on it and, meeting the receptionist, put the piece of paper in his hand saying:
"Call the line on this piece of paper, ask for Miss Sato, say it's urgent and that Isolina has run away. Everything you need to know is on it, I count on you. Above all, you don't do anything else until you get in touch with Asami Sato! Is that clear?"
He nodded, looking somewhat timid, and she ran to Chief Beifong's office in which she stormed interrupting a meeting. The chief of police was starting to get seriously upset by all the fuss and was going to make her be in for a rough time but the lieutenant exclaimed:
"Isolina ran away!"
"Tell me you're kidding…" Lin muttered.
She took her jacket and, without consideration for her interlocutor, left in the direction of her car. Chrystal followed her and they set off for her house.
Isolina stopped running, out of breath. To be alone in there had ended up being unbearable. She preferred to be outside, to wander perhaps, alone perhaps, but outside.
She was suffocating, it was as if everything collapsed on her in a monstrous tidal wave. She could no longer find the light. She fell asleep in that darkness between two puffs of drying air. Asami was everywhere, yet she was nowhere. She had abandoned her. Her need for distance and her impenetrable desire to have her close to her drove her mad, so she left on an impulse. She didn't know whether she needed to escape from this prison, or she hoped to find her on the streets, or if she just wanted to flee from her, she who was in her heart and whom she hated so much, whom she demanded so much .
And now what was she doing? She had nothing, she was nothing, she was alone. She was alone like that day when she fled with her hands covered with blood, she was alone like the day she had picked her up. But she didn't want to think about it. So she ran again, she ran like a mad girl in pursuit of her delirium which persecuted her.
She fell. She did not cry. She had no more tears for the pain of her scratched hands, all her tears were for her bruised heart.
She looked up. She saw a tree. A huge tree. A forbidden tree. But she was going to win. She would flee to the top of it and she would win. Maybe she would see Asami like that, or Asami would see her, and Korra would fly to pick her up, or Naga would call her with her benevolent barking, or maybe she would just be alone on top of a very big tree.
But she didn't care. Up there there was nobody, up there it was for people like her, people that weren't wanted. Up there she could keep crying, far from everything, even if the pain was too intense to be far away.
She got to the tree, she climbed without hesitation. It hurt. It hurt everywhere but she didn't care. She stopped several times. She had no strength, she wanted to sleep, but she went up still higher and higher, then disoriented, confused, maybe even frightened, now that she was so high; she stopped. Here. What was she doing there already?
Nothing changed. She was alone. But she began to hope, the time of a tear running down her cheek.
She wanted her mum. But she didn't have one any more.
Asami was her mum, she had chosen her.
Please, Asami... Come get me.
Then she arrived. And she was no longer afraid, she was just hurting, and she wanted to see her as much as hurt her, because she was mean... And she didn't like mean people, yet she loved this green-eyed woman who was her mother with all her little heart.
A/N: Since we already know each other, you know what I'm gonna ask, right? Leave a review/comment! Well, even if you don't I can at least hope that this stuff is interesting and that you like it!
I don't know when next chapter will be posted. I'm kinda struggling with the end, but the other ones should be faster to be published.