Dinner With The Chief
...And If we increase patrols in the south districts. We could decrease the possibility of crimes committed by around ten percent. Furthermore..." The words just kept coming. More and more information. Good information. She would give him that but...
"Mr. Wong." The man in question visibly flinched at even his own name being said. His uniform no doubt clean and pressed by his wife with tender loving care every morning. "You do realize that what you are proposing is far out of our capabilities. Though the south district is a problem area. One of many as you may know. It is however not top on my list. At this time we don't have the man power to do these extra patrols. With the triple threats in the northern shopping district more shop owners are being pressured into handing over protection money. And..." She went on counting off more reason's how his plan didn't have traction due to insufficient man power, budget funds, and for good measure she mentioned man power again.
By the end of it Mr. Wong's thin whiskery mustache sunk low enough on his face to become a goatee. His report crumpled in his hands.
Lin sighed. Rubbing the tension between her brows. "Maybe...Maybe if you refine it some. Present a better argument why we should do this. And get some better data on when we could do the patrols at certain times during the day rather than round the clock. I could present this to the president and he could give us some extra funding to make it happen." More than likely it would be shot down. Even the president of republic city couldn't give her men the raise they so sorely need for all the work they do. There was no way this desk pusher would get the funds for his proposal. Lin didn't know why she even told Wong this. She was getting soft. Someone was making her soft. Lin knew who too.
But who was she to mess with that exuberant look on his pitiable mustachioed face. Why did most of the men in this place have one anyway, thought Lin. Running a hand through her head.
"yes..Yes! Chief Beifong. I'll have it done as soon as possible."
"Have it on my desk by tomorrow or forget this meeting ever happened Wong." Lin said with an edge to her voice; something more attuned to what the people in her command were used to hearing. God she was getting soft.
Lin waved him out the office door. Finally, she could get back to the mountain of paper work in the box on her desk. She sat in a beautifully wood carved chair. With a finely aged wooded back. None too comfortable after pulling a long shift. But the green upholstered bottom did keep her bottom comfy. A happy median between heaven and hell on different parts of the body. In some part of her mind Lin wished the chair layout was reversed so when she got those oh so enjoyable massages from Korra. It wouldn't be on her back. Well, it would be on her back just in a lower area.
Lin's mind drifted to her little penguin. Gone on some trip to help some poor little village with an dark spirit problem. A week had gone by with no word. Not that Lin would worry. She was the avatar after all. Master of the four elements. Protector of the people. Though Lin only tried to think of her as her Korra. Her little penguin. Not by the title she held, but by the person that she was. Kind and loving. Brass and crass; not all the time of course. Maybe thick headed when it came down to what she wanted.
Snatching another paper from the pile Lin set to work. First reading the report whatever it may be about. Many cases were related to the triple threat triads. Either extortion; abuse of the innocent, or some form or the other which was just a more sophisticated way of saying public nuisance. There reports were usually the size of a small book. The few and far between papers that were a page or two long usually pertained to budget things. Or in the case of the page Lin was currently skimming; the retirement of one of her long time officers, Adam Yun. Good man, if she remembered him right. Helped with a bust on one of the triple threats main suppliers a while back. Crippled there resources for a few months. Bought the streets some well deserved peace. She'd have to remember to give him a going away gift. One of her mother's old bottle's should do it. God knows her mother stocked up on enough spirits to last for several Beifong heir's lifetimes.
The chair creaked as Lin leaned back. The paper went limp in her hand as a wisp of a shadow of things past clouded her eye. For but a moment; then it vanished as she blinked the daydream away.
"Mother." Lin mumbled with a smile. Yes, pass on the cheer she would of said. A bottle of that would do very nicely to accompany her officer during his slow days.
Lin swiveled around in her chair and placed the page in an empty spot on the small bureau behind her. Mostly awards and accommodation she'd received from the city. Hoping that leaving it in such a place would be a good reminder for later. Considering how out of place the paper would be among all her neatly organized stacks in her office.
Then she caught the other out of place item on the bureau. A translucent statue carved of the finest ice. Lin picked it up. Tracing her fingers up and down the flat sides and over the protruding snout of the creature. "My own polar bear dog." Lin mussed. Something Korra had given her too be her companion and watch her back while she worked. If Lin hadn't known any better, Lin laughed at the memory, by the way the girl fidgeted when she gave it to her it was almost like she were giving her a...Lin shook the thought from her head. No, certainly not. Korra was too young to be considering such things. Setting the statue on the corner of the sheet of paper Lin turned back around and took the next thing off the pile.
The report landed with a thud on her desk and Lin balked at its massive size. What could of happened that would warrant a report of this magnitude. A pale finger pressed firmly into the page highlighting the heinous crime. Petty theft. The women let out a growl that would of scared a badgermole. Even as she hefted her way to the back of the report she already knew who had wrote it; an agitated breath confirmed it.
The human body was not meant to go this long without food. Another loud growl cut into his thoughts. The man in question placed a hand over his stomach. Soon. He just needed to finish typing up his reports for the day then he could go get something to eat. Cursing his abdomen to stay quite. Instead focusing on the type writer in front of him. Watching his clumsy fingers tap the keys; a low curse squeaked out when they landed on the wrong key. The man ripped the page out. Crumbled it up and watched as the ball disappeared in a puff of smoke and flame.
"Heh heh. Having a tough time there eh, Super cop?" A snippy voice said from across the way at another desk. Stroking a large length of hair growing like a vine off of his upper lip.
"Can it Gang." The man grunted trying to properly thread the page into the type writer. It went in crooked. Several times before the man had to toss it out cause it was to crumbled to use.
"Hey now Mako. That's no way to talk to one of your superiors is it." A taller man came behind the one at the desk. This man had a robust beard to accompany his thinner and more conservative stache.
"Yeah, Listen to lu, Ma-ko." The shorter one said with an equally tender stroke to the other side of the horrid lump of facial hair. "Stop wasting your time making everything so perfect super cop. Just type up the report and be done with it. Not like your getting anything worthwhile to warrant..." He took his hand away from its ministrations to gesture at the plentiful stack of paper's beside his typewriter. All belonging to the same report. "...that much. especially when you're working the beat."
The two shared a laugh; an annoyingly mustache filled laugh.
Until a loud slam of a door startled the three of them. They all turned to look at the open door. At the women with short grey hair. Chest heaving as she looked at her target. "Mako." She yelled.
The man in question quickly snapped to his feet. Chair sliding out and into the wall behind him with a thud. "Yes chief."
"My office, now!" The women bellowed. While holding the door open she pointed a finger into the room.
As the man crossed the desk of his fellow 'officers' he heard a low you're in trouble whistle from the mustachioed pair. Biting his tongue he walked up to the women. Her gaze wilted any kind of courage in him like a plant in the desert. Her gray eyes fallowed his slow crawl to an eventual doom.
With the same quick motion the door swallowed the pair.
Lu and Gang looked at each other. Not a word was said except a little more fire was put into the caressing of their mustache's.
Mako was heading for the spirit world sooner than planned.
The thunder of paper's hitting the desk echoed in the cramped room. "What is this?" Lin questioned. Placing the full weight of her slender hand on the stack.
Mako fiddled with his hands as he stayed as still as a boulder in the uncomfortable wooden chair. "It looks like a stack of report's." He said.
"Report." She said in a low growl.
"Excuse me?" Mako questioned.
"Report." She said again. Making the other wince at the high pitch. More like a yell. "A report, Mako." She squinted her eyes. "One report. That's all this is." Slapping a hand on top of the stack for emphasis. "Your report." She said.
"My report." He asked. This could be it. A job well done from the chief herself...
"Can it." She seethed.
...Or not. He groaned shrinking into his seat.
"What is this." She said opening it up to a random page. If Mako had any chance at a rebuttal it was squashed with one look. He couldn't understand for the life of him how Korra could even like this person. She was as cold and heartless as the metal she bent. The avatar could find the good in everyone but this must be a stretch even for her powers.
"Well." She asked expectantly. Raising a slender brow.
Making a noise of a child frightened by what lurks underneath the bed. He stuttered a word in retort to just have it shoved back down his throat when the report was slammed shut.
"A damn history report on the hundred year war. That's what it looks like to me. For what...Petty theft. How can you fill up so many pages for a simple crime." She plead with him. Any reason to justify this. Yet, she already knew there was none. And it only seemed to make the fire in her stomach burn hotter. With a heave of her arms Lin hoisted herself out of the chair and spun on metal heels to look out the window. To watch the citizens go about their business un aware of the turmoil unfolding behind closed doors of the police station they strode in front of.
Mako watched the armor atop the chief's shoulders expand and contract with her very breathing. It looked alive to him. Like a metal beast latched onto her skin.
A stray beam of light winked at Lin's face. She looked down.
Mako saw the chief pick something up. Turning it, and her thoughts, over in her hand. He heard a uncharacteristic sigh; the tired sigh of someone admitting their faults. He was dead. this was the calm before the storm that swallowed ships. He heard here whisper something but couldn't make it out. Well, he didn't want to make it out because it sounded like she said...
"Mako..." The one in question stiffened up. As Lin turned around to face him. He was definitely going to die now. A light smile on her face. "...shorten your reports. Try to keep it down to a page or two. Unless needed otherwise." He saw the chief rotating a small glass object in her hand.
It was then that a third party decided to make their presence know.
The chief laughed. Not one of her snarky chuckles reserved for the stupidity of one who had messed up so much. Not the deep dark almost crazy homicidal laugh she gave when interrogating some would be goon. No, A genuine happy laugh. Almost like one of Korra's, he thought.
"Hungry?" She snickered. Retrieving her coat from a wooden rack near the door. She opened the door and turned to look at him. "Well?" She asked. "You coming?"
The looks on Lu and Gang would of been so bitter sweet if Mako didn't have the same slack jawed appearance as he grabbed his coat and followed the Chief of the metalbedning police out of the station.
The man in the earth kingdom garb took Mako's order.
And with a wave of her hand and a mutter of the usual from Lin he turned his back on them. The sounds of metal scrapping on metal and the quick sounds of a blade on wood. Their noses were soon filled with the smells of spices, and the heat coming off the fire not too far away. With the simple stretch of his hand the cook could reach one end or the other of the small shack for whatever tools he might need.
Mako busied himself with his drink. While Lin was satisfied to watch the back of the cook as he worked. Even when their meals were ready the pair ate in silence. The air between them so thick not even avatar Anng could bend it.
As he ate Mako took a couple of glances at the chief. More than shocked at the chief's rather sloppy eating style. Funneling the noodles into her mouth without a break. The broth dripping from her lips. This was quite the change from how she behaved at political gala's. Though he actually could never remember a time when he saw the chief actually eat anything at one of those either. In fact he seemed to recall her turning away any food offered.
Lin noticed the looks from her company; she continued to slurp her food but shot the other an eye to let him know she was on to him. It also threatened him harm if any of her eating habits were to be leaked.
Mako saw the look and turned away. Continuing to eat his food. One thought kept crossing his head. And this was the only opportune chance he was going to get to ask it.
"Chief..." He began.
"Lin." The other cut in. "Mako, call me Lin. Were off duty. And considering our... history. I think you have earned the right to address me by my first name."
Mako stumbled. "Uh...ch...lin. Lin! Ah, I wanted to ask you something. It's about..."
"The detective position." Lin finished the sentence for him; taking a sip of her tea. She left the cup in front of her nose. The steamy fragrance calming some of her brimming agitation. "Yes Mako. What do you want to know about it?"
The man pulled on the red scarf around his neck with hope that it would ease the tension within. "Well...it's just that you said...a while ago. That I could be up for it. And I really haven't heard anything about it. I mean it's been almost a year. I think...I know i'm ready for it. Please just give me a chance." He said.
Lin set her cup down. And turned herself so she could face him. She held no anger. No animosity towards this person. It didn't show in her body either. But..."You know why I can't consider you for the position Mako."
"Is it because of Korra?" He said dejected and turned his head away.
Lin bristled. "Don't you bring her into this." She seethed. "Don't you dare think this has anything to do with her. In fact..."
"What?" The other challenged. He turned back to face her. Meeting her cold stare with one of his own. Lin would of given the officer praise for that but this was not the time. "What else could it be. It's obvious she has something to do with this." The thunderous sound of hands meeting the wooden counter made Mako flinch. The cook did not react at all as if this were common place considering who his regular was.
"Enough. This has nothing to do with her and you should known damn well it doesn't. For wanting to be a detective you are being god damn clueless to the obvious." Lin's face was turning red.
"Then what." Mako asked deflating into his seat.
The action took Lin off guard. For him to break so easily this issue must of been weighing on the young man for some time now.
She tried to calm herself. Remembering the meditation techniques her uncle twinkle toes taught her. She laughed to herself. Her mom thought they were useless. However, it was the only way for Lin to not be seen as being the same hot headed person her mother was. "You know this has to do with the incident with Verrick." She said more calmly now.
"Verrick? Are you still hung up on that? Chief...Lin that was a year ago. I've made up for it since then right?" He pleaded. The look in his eyes. Oh how it reminded her of some of the one's she'd gotten from her Korra. Pleading for something entirely different. And at that moment Lin felt lonely, very lonely without her little penguin around.
Lin sighed. "It's not that easy Mako. What you did was against the rules of everything that uniform..." She gestured to the part sticking out of the top of his jacket. "...stands for. You shouldn't just think that it could be swept under the rug just because you were right. There are consequences for your actions. You have to understand that if I had just made you detective after all that it would of been seen as favoritism. Do you know what kind of can of worms that would open up for you? For me?"
Mako watched her take another long sip of tea.
"The law isn't perfect for them...or us. Do you remember Amon?" She received only the slightest of nods. "The only way I thought I could bring him down was outside the badge. And I was right. Regardless of what happened. I knew that was the only way to get past all the red tape. But you were still under the badge. That means you have to take responsibility for all that you did. You're lucky you didn't get canned." Lin gave a dry chuckle. "I guess that was some favoritism there."
"Was it because of Korra?" She studied his soppy face for a second.
"Yeah. Little bit."
"After all I did to her." He mumbled head in his seat.
Lin snorted. "Don't act like you're the king of ba sing se. She's over it. Both her and that Sato-girl are." She growled out the nickname harshly. "Besides from what my little penguin..." Maybe there was a little something extra in that drink, thought Mako. When Lin gave an overly large, for her at least, chipper smile at the mention Korra. "...has been saying about the two of them being all friendly and such. They seem as happy as two badgermole's in a hole."
"It's different with Asami. Korra can forgive her because she did the same thing. But with me...I don't even get how Asami could still want to go out with me still. Let alone why Korra would want to stick up for me."
"Your very observant. But stop being an Idiot." Lin said pinching the brim of her nose in agitation. "Korra still cares a lot about you. She's the one who keeps egging me on to make you a detective. Persistent thing that she is." Now the predatory smirk was really out of place on the chief's face. Especially, when it wasn't aimed at a perp. "I don't get why she is so forgiving..."
"She's the Avatar after all." The comment said under his breath; but Lin heard it. Oh how she didn't want to of heard it.
"Now look here boy!" Mako stiffened at being dressed down like some child. "The kind, caring, and forgiving person that my little penguin is...isn't...isn't because of her title; it's all herself. Or have your forgotten about Kyoshi. She wasn't the nicest person to ever have the title of Avatar. I would think you, her friend, would consider her to be her own person. And not...just 'The Avatar.'" Lin huffed.
Who'd of thought the chief would have such thoughts about something like this. About Korra. And then it hit Mako. This person here was the one, not that one in the big chair that 'they' all knew, that Korra had fallen for. She was more than a badge and rule book. Or that cold exterior she'd presented all the time.
"She's your friend." Lin repeated. "And you should treat her as such. She doesn't have many. You know her...position doesn't give her that much of luxury to have many. Talk to her...please."
The chief...his chief was asking, nicely, for him to do something.
"I can only do so much for her. And I know I can't do everything because of this." She pointed over her heart and under her coat were the emblem of the metalbending police e was hidden. "But I know she can weather anything with her friends by her side. So please...just talk to her." She asked him again.
As he looked at her cool gray eyes he...he thought he could see what Korra saw. The reason why she had fallen in love with Lin. Someone just like her as Lin had put it. A kind, caring, and forgiving person. "Are you alright with this; with me." Mako asked.
Lin broke the moment with a comic snort. "Of course not. I hate you for what you put her through." Mako huffed annoyingly; however, Lin wasn't finished. "...but for her. I can make an exception."
"You know your very good at this relationship thing. Got any tips for me an Asami?" He tried to joke only to have his laugh ripped out of him by a fierce growl.
"Can it. If you breathe a word of this to anyone, especially Asami."
The other held up his hands when Lin rose from her seat swiftly and reached into her coat. "I don't think she'd even believe me." He said truthfully.
Lin's mouth split wide. "Yes; but Korra would." Laying a couple extra yuan's on the table. For the meal and more. Lin turned and exited through the veil concealing the front entrance. Leaving Mako alone with a decision that had already been made for him.
All was right with the world, Lin surmised. With a fresh half cup of Tea at hands reach on the end table near her faded green couch. A book cradled a few feet from hungry eyes. And of course her little penguin snuggled into the spot between her legs. Actually reading along with her for once.
Korra giggled when Lin kissed the back of her head. "I'm glad your back."
"Me too." Korra said. Snuggling more into the body beneath her. "Oh...um." She fidgeted. The movement over there two bodies rubbing against each other was welcomed to Lin even if the other was being a finicky at the moment. "Mako called me."
"And?" Lin asked her head. Lips brushing strands of hair. She set the book on the edge of the couch so to be able to fold both arms around the women.
"He wants to hang out. Catch up and stuff." She said as if the past year hadn't ever happened and it was a simple meeting between friends. Lin smiled.
"Will Sato-girl be there?" Lin asked.
"No 'Asami' won't. He just wanted it to be the two of us, you know...considering. Yeah." She left out the unnecessary details.
"To bad. She's good for him. Might keep him from making an idiot out of himself around you." Lin felt the weight shift on top of her. And a warm hand press against her forehead.
"You feeling ok Lin?"
"Of course I am." She shooed the hand away. But copied the action and did the same to Korra. "Are you?"
"Yeah, It's just...I've never heard you say anything remotely nice about Mako. You know. Because of the break up thing and all."
"It's not that I dislike him." She said. To which Korra gave her a skeptical look. "Ok maybe a little. He did hurt you. But if he never broke it off with you then..." She pulled Korra up till she straddled Lin. Then childishly hide her face into the other's stomach. "...you never would of found me." She whispered her secret to the clothing her face pressed against.
Warm arms cradled Lin's head. Lin felt it being forced to pull back from the spot she most wanted to be at the moment and to look up into the face of the one she held most dear. Korra leaned down an captured her in a fiery kiss.
"So then. What about giving him that detective job then?"
Lin laughed. "Buttering me up then."
Korra grinned wickedly at the person underneath her. And it made a fire kindle in Lin. "Maybe." She leaned down again. "But really." Stopping in her ministrations Korra simply let her body fall atop Lin's and snuggled close. Fisting her hand into the space between there chest's and letting her hand settle over Lin's heart. "You know he's ready."
"Little penguin you know why." Running a hand through her hair. Lin rubbed circles in the back of her head. The hand trying to sooth away the growing ire.
"Come on Lin." Korra whined. Giving her best impression of Naga begging for extra scraps from the table. "Are you really gonna let it get in the way. It's been enough time now. No one will care."
The chest underneath her fell. Lin's face unreadable. "Two more months. Then I'll do it."
She was met with a blink. Then another. Korra tilted her head to digest the words a second longer. "Do you mean it?" She asked incredulously.
"Of course I do. Why wouldn't I. You know me better than that little penguin." Jabbing a fine finger into the water tribe girls nose. Squishing the bubbly appendage. "Don't go telling him."
"Hey, you can trust me."
"I sorely doubt that. Please though. I could get in trouble for talking to you about this if you go blabbing."
With a rather pleased smile Korra said. "I love you when you ask nicely."
"You are the only person who gets to see it. Got that." She said with a firm press to Korra's nose. Then replaced it with a light kiss.
Firm hands. A sharp cry of surprise. Following the hands on her behind to the source; Korra matched Lin's feral grin. The contact deepened when lips met. Giving the rump a couple of playful taps. Lin coaxed Korra off the couch to the bedroom. "Let's get to bed. I got to get up early for work."
"Oh, and here I thought it was gonna be a late night." Korra hummed. Tracing a finger up Lin's arm.
Lin held the hand and pulled her through the door. Were the water tribe girl exposed deep cocoa brown skin before slipping into her overlarge sleeping shirt; a suggestion from the Sato-girl Lin was very much starting to enjoy. Korra laid down first. Pulling back the covers she patted the spot.
"Seriously Korra. Nothing's going to happen." Lin struggled to lay down the law of the bed for the night.
"I know." Came a purr. "No tricks. Honest." This sentence gave Lin a more sincere answer.
The comforter sunk as a warm body slid in. The covers wrapped over Lin; and two arms circled her back bringing them closer. Warm bodies. Warm hearts, such a calm in the darkened bed room. Just the sound of even breathing.
Korra felt the touches on her thigh. They continued up till they met the hem of her shirt. "I thought you said nothing was happening tonight?"
The faint pearl white teeth caught the light coming through the window. "Just call it favoritism." Lin said as her hand snaked its way up.