Asami had to admit, as "rustic" as she thought the South Pole was they sure knew how to throw a party. She glanced around the room, smiling at the blue streamers and sparkling lights that had been hung up on Katara's wall.
She bopped her head along to the beat of the small radio playing Republic City favorites, taking in the aroma of the Water Tribe food that Senna and Katara had hastily prepared. It smelled delicious. She could smell the different spices and it left her salivating from hunger. She hadn't eaten anything acceptable since she'd gone into hiding with Korra and the others so she was anxiously surveying the food from her seat, deciding what she'd try first.
Korra's parents and Katara had put together a little celebration for Korra. The celebration was for Korra getting her bending back as well the defeat of Amon. Asami was pretty sure there would be quite a few parties celebrating the latter when they returned to Republic City.
She grimaced, thinking that once upon a time, her father would've been hosting one of those parties.
She shook her head. Now wasn't the time for thinking about her dad. It was the time to relax and be merry.
With that thought in mind, she focused on the trio dancing and singing in front of her. Bolin, Meelo, and Ikki were clapping and singing loudly, off key, to a favorite Republic City love song. They were singing On Yue Bay.
Hearing them sing it, Asami laughed loudly with Pema and Chief Bei Fong, who knew they were singing the song badly. She laughed as Jinora covered her ears and shoved her head into her father's cloak.
Hearing the song made her made Asami smile. Her parents used to dance to this song all the time. They would twirl and laugh and kiss like youngsters in love. She still remembered her mother's soft, sweet laugh as well as she remembered her father's hearty one. She'd always watch them and laugh until they invited her to join them. Her mother always twirled her around too, because her mother always said "You'll find a love like ours one day, sweetheart."
With that thought, Asami's good mood plummeted. Thinking of love made her think of Mako, her boyfriend, no, her ex-boyfriend. She'd thought Mako could be that great love her Mom had always talked about, but in the end he'd fallen in love with another girl. The Avatar, no less. She couldn't even begin to compete with Korra. She wasn't even a bender. She hadn't even tried to fight for Mako. What was the point? She'd seen the love he felt for Korra so clearly, she knew she didn't stand a chance.
But that didn't make it hurt any less. He'd been her boyfriend, and right in front of her, he'd fallen in love with someone else. He loved Korra so much; he'd given up trying to pretend otherwise. When he'd volunteered to go with Korra with her standing right there, that's when she'd known it was over. And though she liked Korra, she couldn't help feeling a little angry at her. It was only natural, right?
She glared down, fingers clenching her thighs, frowning. She glanced around, noticing that Korra and Mako weren't a part of the festivities. They were gone.
'Probably somewhere sucking each other's faces.' Asami thought bitterly.
She continued thinking to herself, occasionally mumbling something, but no one was paying her any mind. She thought.
"If you keep frowning like that, you'll get permanent frown lines, young lady."
Asami blinked and looked at the woman sitting next to her on her left who spoke. Lin Bei Fong was watching her with steady, emerald green eyes, her mouth unsmiling.
Asami smiled. She liked the chief and she respected her. She thought she was very pretty with her grey hair pinned in a stylish chignon and a curvy, athletic figure for a woman of her age. She still looked relatively young too. Asami liked her commanding, tough presence.
Pushing her dark hair behind her ear, Asami commented "I'll try to remember that."
Lin nodded and pushed a cup into Asami's hands.
"Drink that. It's lychee juice. It'll make you feel good. And no, there's no alcohol in it." She said.
Asami nodded and sipped the juice. It was a sweet, light concoction. No wonder Ikki was always asking for it.
Lin glanced at Asami and asked casually "So. You and the firebender. Are you still together? Or is he with Korra now?"
Asami took another sip of her juice and replied as apathetically as she could "We broke up. He's with Korra now." Her trembling lips were the only indication of feelings behind the softly spoken words.
Lin stared at her, feeling sympathy for the girl. She told her "I'm sorry. I know you cared about him very much."
Asami swatted a hand at Lin, trying to brush off the sympathetic words. "Don't be. I did care about him, but he loves Korra, and I refuse to play second string to anyone. I still care, but I'll get over it." She crossed one leg over the other.
"Will you?" Lin asked softly. Her tone was odd, full of curiosity and hope. Asami glanced toward her and saw that she was watching Tenzin and Pema across the room. Pema was leaning on Tenzin's shoulder and they appeared to be having an intimate conversation, in a world of their own.
Asami saw Lin watching them and asked "Were you…and Tenzin in-involved?"
Lin nodded, slightly subdued. "We were. We were together for twelve years. Yet he ended up married to someone else."
Confused, Asami asked "How? Did he fall in love with her while he was with you?"
Lin nodded. Immediately, Asami tensed, feeling a dislike for the man who'd been nothing but kind to her.
Lin chuckled, feeling her anger. "Don't do that. It's not completely his fault."
Sharply, Asami replied "He fell in love with someone else while dating you. How is that not completely his fault?"
"Because I wouldn't budge on the one thing he wanted from me. I refused even knowing what it meant. It was completely selfish of me to be honest."
"What did you refuse him? And why did you refuse him if you loved him so much?" Asami asked, curious and confused.
Lin sighed. "Tenzin wanted children. I didn't. Not at all. I never wanted children, still don't. They're just not my thing. But Tenzin was…well… in a sense, obligated to have them. As the last airbender, he needed to have children, so there would be more airbenders. He told me this and I still refused him. I refused him because I knew that no matter how much I loved him, I didn't want children. Having children would've made me unhappy. So we argued about it for years. He begged me, and I still said no. That combined with my dangerous career caused a deep strain in our relationship. He eventually fell in love with Pema who was content to be pregnant and barefoot and a stay at home mother, while I was not. So he left me and married her. And I've been feeling the loss ever since."
She grimaced lightly.
Asami said "I'm sorry. And you still love him, don't you?"
Lin replied quickly "Always." Her gaze was still locked on Tenzin who obliviously talked to his wife, not knowing that his former love still loved him with everything she had.
Stunned, Asami swallowed lightly, staring at the older woman with the sad green eyes.
'How painful that must be. To watch the man you love be happy with another woman. She sacrificed everything for him, even her own bending. An essential part of her soul and she put it at risk for him. Because she loved him.' Asami thought to herself.
"You must be wondering why I told you this. I don't usually share that with anyone, you know." Lin said casually.
"I'm curious, yes." Asami replied truthfully.
"I'm telling you because I want you to learn from my mistakes. Here's a little advice for you, Ms. Sato. Despite how you feel about Mako, take all the chances on with love that you can. Don't be like me. Don't block every man out of your life because you love someone else. Take the chance to fall in love with another. Don't look at your life thirty years later and wonder what could've been because you didn't take a chance. Love as often as you can. And don't blame every man for Mako's behavior."
Lin stood up and stretched.
"I just wanted to share that with you. I don't want you to end up old and alone like me. It's a depressing thing, to realize you've lived for fifty years and have only your career to show for it." She turned away and began to walk towards Katara.
She stopped suddenly.
"One more thing, Ms. Sato. There's a give and take when it comes to love. The sacrifices we make for the ones we love lead to the greatest rewards. Remember, compromise is key."
Asami nodded, still shocked that the former police chief had shared so much of herself with her.
She was thankful though. Though they didn't help her forget about Mako, those words helped soothe her soul and made her believe that maybe she'd find love again. And she'd never forget those words for as long as she lived. She would live and die by them if it were up to her.
"Compromise is key."
Yeah. So I can't help but feel that Lin is still in love with Tenzin. I also feel like she's the only person who could possibly identify with the pain that Asami might be feeling over Mako. Thus, this fic was born.
Note: Can we just freak out together about the end Makorra scene. I cried. Seriously, I cried! It was so beautiful! I wish we could've seen them kiss for a longer amount of time, but as long as they're together, I don't even care!
Anyway, thanks for reading you guys! Much love!