"I am not weak. I am strong." Lin was shaking uncontrollably, sobbing into her hands. She took shuddering breaths but it did little to settle her. Unfair. Life was unfair.
"I am not weak. I am strong." She could repeat it a million times but would it ever really change the truth? What was the point of carrying on when she couldn’t even find the strength to see her mother in such a state? When she couldn’t even say a proper goodbye?
"What’s the point?" her voice was a soft murmur. Through bleary eyes she looked for an exit. Her room was barren, occupied only for the visit home. Visit home. To say farewell forever. "How dare you leave me when I’m not ready? How dare you leave me like this?"
Her mother was never blind. Toph could see everything, every tear that fell from Lin’s face, every forced smile, every strained emotion. She could see in Lin what others couldn’t. She was Lin’s rock, her constant, her only real support. So what now?
"Lin?" Tenzin. Cheating bastard. One more reason she was alone. She couldn’t trust, not after Tenzin. Not after all that hurt. Never. What was the point?
"Are you alright, Lin?"
"Do I look fucking alright?"
"Let me help you."
"You’ve done enough."
"Lin…" Tenzin knelt down next to her, sagely keeping his hands to himself. "I know you’re hurting. When my father passed, I felt so alone. The last of my kind. There were times when that bared down on me like a most horrible weight. I felt it crushing me every day of my life."
"It’s not the same. You didn’t know her like I did. My mother…she was all I had to keep me going." Lin bit her lip to stop the tears, drawing blood.
Tenzin frowned, placing a hand on her shoulder. When she didn’t shove him off, he collected her for a hug.
"I really don’t see the point, Tenzin. Of going on. No one needs me like they needed her."
"I need you, Lin. You’re my rock, my constant. You give me support when no one else will. But don’t go on for me, go on for yourself. For your mother. She still loves you, Lin, and she always will." He wiped the tears gently from her cheeks. "You are not weak. You are strong."