"It was scary.I couldn't see the serpent but I knew it was enormous. It destroyed my little island. I couldn't swim. So I –for the first time in my life- squeaked crying for help!"

"What happened?"

"I distantly heard your uncle Sokka yell 'I'm coming Toph' just before I drowned deeper in to the sea. Two hands grabbed me under the arm pits and pulled me to the surface. I kissed the person in the cheek thanking Sokka for saving me. Alas! It turned out to be your aunt Suki!"

"Eww! Embarrassing!"

"Tell me about it kiddo! I suggested Suki to go ahead and let me drown right there and then."

"I'm glad she didn't mom. How could I live without you?"

"Aww! Cut the mushy lines sweetstuff! I'm here and ain't going nowhere!"

"Liar! No one stays. Not even you, mom!" Lin mumbled as she stared at the huge archway with the carvings 'Abandon Hope' on it. "Good advice!" Lin said to the archway as she slowly walked ahead.

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Tenzin didn't waste any time heading towards the Serpent's pass as soon as he found the sand sail which was supposedly Lin's and few bloody bandages, also supposedly Lin's, in an abandon campsite near the waterfall. The fire pit had few half burnt bandages that held fair amount of blood on them. It was fresh. Lin cannot be too far. If luck favours him, he'd catch up before with her before she reaches her next destination.

-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-

"Come on; come on, where are you?" Lin yelled standing at the edge of the destroyed path that led to the other side. "You can't be dead! You serpents live for hundreds of years, unlike people!"

She got in to her horse stance and bended huge rocks from the hill to the sea. The collapsing created a giant wave and a growl was heard, a growl unmistakably belonged to a something gigantic, a giant horrible creature.

"There you are! Now let's see how you stop me from getting to the other side!" Lin said aloud putting down the large crate she was carrying on her back. She clicked it open and took out her metal-bending armour top. Ignoring the pain rose from her wasp-bee stung arm, Lin put it on and shot few cables that entwined with the hill side of the other side. But before her feet left the ground the angry serpent appeared roaring before her.

"Give me you best shot!" Lin yelled as she leapt forward.

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Tenzin lowered Oogie towards the serpent's pass only to see havoc in the sea. A metal bender was fighting a giant serpent and that metal bender was-

"LIN!" He let out a horrified shout. Lin's focus shifted for the briefest moment and she paid the price. The serpent wagged his ugly tail and gave Lin two large gashes across her right cheek. Lin gritted her teeth as the pain made her brains go numb. She ignored both the pain and Tenzin's terrified yells and shot two metal cables right through the serpent's eye. It howled with pain and twisted its body violently throwing Lin, who was dangling from the cables on its back, shooting towards the shore. She used her metal bending precisely and landed gracefully on the shore and watched as the serpent disappeared under the sea. Oogie landed with a thud and Tenzin jumped hurriedly down from the saddle. Lin ignored him as she fished her bag for more bandages while blood kept oozing down her face.

"Lin! Spirits! You are hurt." Tenzin shrieked, dropping besides her and taking her by chin to life her face up. Lin politely cast away his hand while taking out a bundle of cotton gorse which she jabbed carelessly to her wound, not saying a word to Tenzin.

Tenzin, in his panic, ignored Lin's protest and tried to examine her wound once again. Lin abruptly stood up making him topple to a side. Still jabbing the gorse to the wound she used her metal cables to pull her crate from the other side of the shore towards her. Tenzin watched her as an angry glint rose to his eyes. He watched as Lin bended off the armour and enclosed it in the crate. He watched blood dripped down her face, not stopping for once.

He stood up as well. "I'm going to take you to a healer." He said trying to get the crate from her hands.

"No thanks!" Lin said coldly. "Go home Tenzin."

Tenzin glared at her in frustration. With a speed that only an air-bender could manage he grabbed Lin by waist and bended them both on to Oogie's saddle.

"Play it your way Lin, but before you go anywhere, you are seeing a healer. I may not be a friend to you anymore but you are to me, always!" He said as he let her go and yip-yiped Oogie with out delay. Lin stumbled a little as she felt dizzy due to blood loss. But she drew a deep breath and stood still. "It's not that I don't appreciate your concern, but I need to do this on my own." She said in an even voice, fighting her anger and tears successfully back.

Tenzin stared at her with a mixture of sorrow, grief, affection and anger in his gray eyes before he took a brave step forward and hugged her. Lin almost gave in and relaxed her exhausted self in his comfortable arms. But not quiet. Het right hand rose feebly up and she tried to push Tenzin back. But his lanky arms were wrapped tightly around her in a trapping manner. He was trying to put all his unspoken worries and apologies in to that one hug. Lin was breaking down in his familiar arms. All the tears she fought back for the last eight months were threatening to pour out her jade eyes. She felt her head ache like it was about to split in to two. She felt an unpleasant lump in her throat, She felt all the air been pumped out her lungs. Her eyes rolled in their sockets and she fell, fell in to nothingness.