She was tied to the post, looking out over a crowd of people who hated her without even knowing her, and she couldn't breathe. She couldn't breathe.
Firm hands shook her awake. Jinora sat up sharply, struggling for breath.
"It's okay, kid. You're safe now."
Jinora took a deep breath, filling her lungs. Her exhalation knocked over the pile of books by her door.
"Chief Beifong?" she said.
"None other." The chief was sitting on her bed, wearing a robe. "The baby needs feeding, and Meelo wet his bed, so your parents are busy. You okay now?"
"Yeah." Jinora pushed her hair out of her face. "I keep dreaming about Amon," she admitted. "It's stupid, but when I wake up I think my bending's gone."
"It's not stupid at all," said the chief. Rather awkwardly she squeezed Jinora's hand. She adjusted her robe, tightening the belt -- Jinora noticed for the first time it was one of her dad's old ones -- and leaned across Jinora's bed, putting her hand on the wall. "The foundations go deep here," she said. "Through the rock I can feel people moving around, even their heartbeats. Sometimes I wake up and put my hand on the wall, just so I know I'm still connected."
"Oh." Jinora took another deep breath, this time conscious of the push and pull of the air around her. "I see that. Thank you."
"The nightmares are your brain's way of coping with fear. It's completely normal. Not stupid." Beifong stood up, adjusting her robe again. It was too big for her, and kept slipping loose. Her shoulders were bare.
"Do you have nightmares?" Jinora asked. "Is that why you sleep here?"
A half-smile crossed the chief's face. "I missed the last ferry home," she said. "But yeah, I have nightmares sometimes."
"Oh. Good." Jinora curled up under her blankets again. "Thank you."
"Is Jinora okay?" Pema asked as Lin slipped back into the main bedroom. She was sitting up in bed, nursing Rohan.
"She's fine. She's a tough little girl." Lin curled up beside Pema. "I told her I missed the last ferry back to the mainland."
"She didn't ask why Tenzin couldn't take you back on Oogi?"
"Had other things on her mind. Unlike certain Avatars, who are apparently less oblivious than they seem."
"She's been asking what she probably thinks are subtle questions."
"Of me, too." Tenzin closed the door behind him. "It was like being interrogated by a platypus-bear."
"How's Meelo?" Pema asked, leaning forward slightly to kiss him.
"Insisting he should stay in his own bed, regardless of accidents. I can't say I argued very hard. Was Jinora all right, Lin?"
"She will be. Just just needs time." Lin shifted closer to Pema to make room for Tenzin. He was a broad, warm presence at her back, his hands sliding across her body to Pema. "What did you tell Korra?"
"Probably more than I intended. You?"
Pema lifted Rohan to her shoulder, patting his back, and said, "I don't like the secrecy."
"Complications," Lin finished.
"I'm talking about telling our family, not taking out a newspaper ad."
"Lin prefers to avoid domestic entanglements."
"Actually," she mumbled into Pema's shoulder, "I kind of like your domestic entanglements." The ones that were completely toilet trained, anyway. She squeezed Tenzin's hand. "We're probably not going to win this one."
Tenzin grumbled, but mildly. Lin ignored him in favour of concentrating on the beat of his heart and the throb of the pulse in Pema's neck until she fell asleep.