|A New Kind of Nickname
Author: Pandora.Writing PM
When Police Chief Toph Bei Fong had a brilliant idea on how to get the Republic City Council back for being idiots, she hardly expected it to come to fruition. She especially didn't think it would occur with the help of Councilman Sokka. That was just a bonus. A sexy bonus. Adult Toph/Sokka set during LoK.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Humor - Toph & Sokka - Words: 7,423 - Reviews: 31 - Favs: 76 - Follows: 16 - Published: 06-22-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8243656
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: What has gotten into me? I'm actually writing heterosexual pairings for a change. I blame it on the wonderful Tokka fan art I recently saw. I don't normally ship them, but it just brought out all the dormant heterosexual feelings that I didn't know I had, and then this fic happened.
Oh well. Have fun!
"Y'know what would be a great idea to get back at the council for being total boneheads? Having sex on that fancy desk of theirs."
Multiple voices yelped in protest at the earth bender's brazen suggestion, some of which were covering their children's oblivious ears.
"What? I'm telling you, it's a great idea. You could totally rub it in their faces." Her metal-clad shoulders shrugged nonchalantly at the gathering of old friends who were currently sprawled out everywhere over a couple of picnic blankets on a small hill in the Republic City park for a mid day lunch.
It had been quite a time since they had all just spent time together like this, and it had been a welcome surprise to have the invitation read out to her by her young daughter when the mail came in. Thankfully that same daughter was too busy playing with Tenzin and the others to listen to what her mother was saying, but she was more than used to the coarser language of her only parent.
"How would that even work, Toph? They wouldn't know about it." Katara sighed, brushing some of her hair out of her face as she leaned into Aang's side.
"But we would. Therefore, totally worth the effort."
"Well, that explains Lin and her love for the law then." The bald-headed monk soon joked. "Apparently she wasn't inspired by you being Chief of Police after all. Are you sure she's yours Toph, or did you just find her under the table during one of your...ideas?"
"Shut up, Twinkletoes! I'm serious." Toph barked over the light hearted laughter of the group.
"Have you guys forgotten that I'm actually on the council?" Sokka piped up.
"Nope. That's what makes it funny. You'll have to sit there and think about it during all those boring meetings. Can you keep a straight face, Snoozles?"
"...Can you at least remember not to do it in my spot? I have to sit there every day, you know." He whined after a moment's silence.
"I make no such promises." The chief puffed out her chest with a wicked smirk winding its way across her features the longer she ruminated on the idea.
"Great. Katara, what's the best way to disinfect a desk?"
"What makes you think I'd know?" the water bender frowned.
"You're a girl. Girls like cleaning."
"Ooooh, Snoozles! You're gunna get it later!" Toph cackled, holding her belly and falling back onto the grassy knoll where she happily dug her heels into the earth.
It was a while before any of the Gaang spoke again, having been quite content to just soak up the sunlight and watch their children play together.
"I'm glad we did this. We've all been busy lately. I missed us all being together." Suki eventually mused out loud.
And it was met with a resounding chorus of wistful agreement, as they knew that it would be the last chance they had to be together as a whole unit for the next few months when everyone went back to their own lives.
"Will you be joining us for drinks, Chief?"
Toph turned around to face the metal bender that had spoken with a shake of her head. No doubt the lot of them were glad they were actually managing to get off shift on time for once.
"Nah. Go have fun without me, boys. I have to meet Avatar Aang before I can get out of this place." Waving the group of officers off, Toph leaned back against the pillar with a file tucked under her arm. Thankfully she wasn't stuck waiting around for terribly long as the bald figure in red and gold crossed the cavernous entrance hall.
"Hey Toph. Thanks for getting those for me."
"No problem, Twinkletoes. That should be everything you asked for. Of course, I can't verify that information. It might be filled with Sokka's artwork for all I know. Either way, whatever you're going to find in there should come with a warning for viewer discretion." She sniggered.
"Speaking about me behind my back again? Sometimes I think you do that to me deliberately. I'm hurt. I'm honestly hurt." Councilman Sokka stepped up to the pair with a hand over his heart.
"Oh, grow a backbone already." Toph punched him lightly in the arm.
"Anyway, are you ready to leave, Toph? I've got Appa waiting outside. I'd be happy to give you a ride home. But we'll have to wait for-"
"Nevermind, Aang. I'm not waiting out there in the cold. I'll freeze my feet off, and I kind of need those. It's been so cold lately I've almost considered wearing socks. I hate all this tar and fake earth in the city. It doesn't behave like it should. Maybe I'm just getting soft. Oh well, that's what having kids will do to you. Stupid social conventions." The chief scoffed, but shifted back and forth uncomfortably on the marble floor.
The two males couldn't really deny it though. It had been a fairly cold winter, and they'd often wondered how the blind bender tolerated it when they'd much rather be curled up in front of a fireplace.
"To be honest, I wouldn't mind a ride back home, Aang." Sokka spoke up. "I just have to go and get some paperwork of my own first, if that's alright with you."
"In that case, Snoozles, I'm coming with you. For once I'd like to spend as little time outside in that weather as possible and it's better than waiting around here. I might actually have to talk to people. Old people. With wrinkles. Eugh." She faked a shudder before giving Sokka a mighty shove in the opposite direction in which Aang was heading. "We'll meet you out there, Twinkletoes."
And so Toph ended up following the councilman through the dimly lit building. At this hour of the night the normally bustling building was far quieter with only those working overtime and the occasional metal bender to be found in the emptied offices and hallways. Sounds echoed far further without the steady hum of conversation to drown it out, and it was an almost ethereal sensation for the blind chief who was far more used to relying on her ears and sense of smell to help observe the world around her than most people were. Without conversation between the two, their footsteps were the only noise bouncing back at them until Sokka's finally faltered.
The brief twitch of Toph's head told him that she'd caught his hesitation, and he winced a little.
"What's the matter?"
"...Um." eloquent as always, Sokka shifted back and forth before leaning around her and grabbing the door handle.
"Oh." Awkwardly stepping back out of the way and then into the other room when he managed to get one of the large double doors open, Toph followed him until she heard him stop and rummage around under the desk.
"Ah, here we go." Coming up with the paperwork he needed, Sokka seemed to deflate a little as he shuffled the pieces unnecessarily. "Hey...Toph?"
He didn't reply, instead choosing to lean against one of the high backed chairs of the empty council room, the papers rustling in his hands. It was only after a long sigh that he put them down again and chose his words with caution.
"...Do you ever-...I don't know. Do you ever just wish that things could go back to the way they were? You know, back when we were kids?"
It didn't take particularly long for a sly grin to creep across the police chief's face when she bumped him playfully with her hip.
"Is this just a really bad segue to ask me if I want to fuck on the council table?" Toph joked.
The aged eyes of the bearded male widened a little bit when she called him on it.
"NO! I mean-...I...well...I was going to go with the whole...emotions thing. Girls like that...I think." He stuttered, his face going beet red at her barking laughter.
"Oh, come on Sokka. That's pathetic. When have I ever been a girly gi-...MMPH!"
Cloudy green eyes widened at feeling a pair of rough, warm lips against her own.
The earth bender immediately froze up, her pink cheeks soon covered by Sokka's hands as he cupped her face. It had been quite a while since she had been so intimately close to another person. Years even. Hell, it was probably before Lin was born that she'd last had anyone doing that to her. And given the entirely mind-bending crush she had on him as a kid? She was beginning to think that maybe that segue hadn't been so bad after all.
Snoozles, you sly dog! Never knew you had it in you.
So she kissed him back.
But only for a few seconds longer, for when she realized her hands were beginning to fist themselves in his clothing she used the opportunity to push him away.
"Wait...what about Suki? We're her friends, Sokka. We can't do this."
He sighed. She was right of course. The councilman let his hands drop from her cheeks. "Things aren't going great with Suki and me. They haven't been alright in a while now. I think we're going to end up getting a divorce. We still care about each other, but...I don't know. It's just confusing." He tried to reason with himself.
But the chief only took a step back away from him with a little sigh of her own.
"Come back and see me when you figure out what you want, Snoozles."
It was those words that had the councilman straightening up and laying a hand upon her armoured waist.
"I know what I want, Toph."
With the strength of the conviction in his words, she was hardly equipped to protest when he pulled her back into his arms and kissed her again. Sokka knew he'd won the argument when he felt her melt a little against him when her breath left her. He didn't need to stand there with open eyes to feel the heat radiating from her cheeks; it did absolutely nothing for his ego to know that she'd never really let go of her crush on him and the prickle of cocky pride stabbing him in the chest was testament to that fact. Of course, it was not without its downfalls as the little noise of pleasure that Toph had unwittingly made into his mouth had him melting as well.
Please don't kill me. Please don't kill me. Please don't kill me.
Sokka's palms itched as he repeated his little prayer over and over again. Was it worth it? He wondered, sliding his hands from her waist to the back of her armour. The longer he kissed her the less resolve he seemed to have. But when his hand came into contact with the dark grey material covering Toph's backside, he knew that playing grab-ass with his childhood friend was totally worth dying for. Or getting slapped. Or even having a couple of rocks slammed upside his head. Hell, she could do all three of those things if she wanted, because that little squeak she made when he dared to squeeze her rump was absolutely adorable and definitely worth it. There was no way in hell he was going to actually tell her that though.
Spirits, don't kill me now.
Sokka couldn't help himself, and dropped his other hand from her face to join its opposite in exploring places that it really shouldn't. He could feel her smirk against his lips. But she wasn't murdering him. That was a good sign.
"You...are most definitely an ass. Your rock is made of earth bender!" Sokka babbled incoherently before he even realized he'd said it. His cheeks rapidly flushed once more. "Err...I mean-..."
"I get it Snoozles. Less talky, more kissy."
Although Toph waved him off she secretly glowed at his bungled attempt at complimenting her rear. Damn right her ass was made of rock! It was an ass any earth bender would be proud of, in her opinion. Bards could write songs to it for all she cared, but right now the only thing that mattered was making sure that it was firmly situated on top of the council's overly long desk. Never one to let someone else take the lead, she simply yanked the councilman by the front of his shirt as she backed herself against the wooden table and hopped up onto it.
He couldn't even look her in her unseeing eyes when he realized he was going to actually be standing between her legs. This was Toph they were talking about. His friend. It somehow seemed wrong to be touching her in that way. Like it was wrong to press his hardness between her thighs and expect that they'd both be satisfied by the moment. It felt dirty.
Of course, he'd completely forgotten to take into account that it was Toph he was dealing with. The girl wandered around covered in dirt and only liked to shower now because they'd made it part of the requirements of her taking the role of chief of police. One had to keep up public appearances, after all. Somehow, he felt like she deserved more than that.
When Sokka didn't immediately return to touching her, a little part of Toph panicked and she slid her leg down until her toes touched the floor. It soon disappeared at picking up the waves of guilt rolling off the male in front of her.
"If this is about Suki..." she started, but was quickly cut off.
"No, it's not that, Toph. I just...don't want this to get weird, that's all."
"We're a boomerang-wielding councilman and a blind police chief who invented a new form of bending about to fuck in public on the council's desk. How is this NOT weird already?" she drawled, a small snort escaping as she leaned back on her hands.
And so Sokka leapt eagerly back into the action once more, his hands tugging at her legs until he could feel himself tightly wedged against her. If he hadn't been leaning against her his legs might have buckled. Toph's laugh alerted him to the fact she'd picked up on his little shudder of teenager-like enjoyment.
"Sure you're not an earth bender?" she teased. "Because I remember this feeling, and it says my ass isn't the only thing here that's hard as a rock." Sokka could only gape like a fish when Toph slipped her hand down the front of his trousers.
"OW! Toph! Not so rough!" he soon yelped.
"Calm down, Snoozles. You know you like it."
He could hardly deny that now, could he? Even if she'd removed her hands from his trousers he knew he'd be feeling the phantom touch of her calloused, dirty hands upon him for a long time to come.
"How does this even work? This should be illegal. Toph, make it illegal!" Sokka whined pitifully as he ran his hands over her armour, trying to figure out where all the latches were to remove it.
"Hey, you're the council guy. That's your job. I just enforce the law." It really didn't take her long at all to just bend the metal casing off and drop it onto the desk next to them with a dull thunk. "So consider the law enforced." Leaning back on her hands once more, she used the opportunity to just run her feet up the backs of the water tribesman's calves while he stared.
"I think I like your laws."
"You would. They're made of meat." Toph only laughed harder when she heard him mutter something under his breath about seeing why she called herself the Melon Lord.
How either one of them had managed not to ruin the mood was beyond their comprehension, but Sokka had to admit that it was rather hard to ruin when he felt a hot tongue running up the side of his neck and brushing against the light stubble on his jaw. It left him desperate to clear his throat when his breath hitched and he choked on his own saliva.
Think about Appa. Think about Appa naked. Think about Appa making out with-...Actually, just don't think at all.
Sokka could have nearly bitten her when she chose that moment to pull him in and wrap her legs around him further. It really wasn't helping his longevity to know just who he was grinding up against like some kind of animal. He quickly shut his eyes. Maybe this blind thing had something going for it after all! Then again maybe not, Sokka thought when he realized all he had to focus on with his eyes shut was the sensation of having the esteemed Chief of Police – Toph Bei Fong – running her hands up under his shirt and exploring his chest. And he squirmed as her fingers poked and prodded and tickled at his ribs in her version of seeing him.
"You gotta stop doing that or I'm not gonna last long." He admitted in little more than a groan.
"Hm. Can't say I'm not used to it. Lin's father wasn't exactly a marathon runner either."
Shrugging off his concerns, Toph grabbed the hem of her drab tan tank top that, like all her clothing, looked like it was covered in dust no matter how many times she washed it, before she pulled it off over her head. Thankfully he seemed to have enough wits about him to remember how to unhook a bra, so she let him do that part himself. He did seem to be enjoying it by the way he paused in silence, but she couldn't help but dip her toe to the floor again just to check.
"Relax, Toph. You don't need to...I want this."
Sokka lifted her leg back up so that it no longer touched the floor. He knew it would leave her completely blind save for whatever sensations she could feel with her other senses, and he suspected that was just one of the reasons she was more obviously displaying her nerves; something she didn't normally do.
It was actually kind of cute.
It still didn't stop him from fantasizing about all the ways she would kill him for reaching out and grabbing her by the chest. He had to stop thinking like that. This may have been Toph, but would the Toph he knew as a teenager have sat herself down in his office, removed her shirt and invited him to touch? Definitely not. That probably meant there was at least a 5% chance of him being allowed to do this.
Sweet moon spirit, yes!
The water tribesman's fingers were light and ticklish as they danced up her sides; flittering along her ribs as her own hands had done to him and spreading out across a smooth stomach before running up between the valley of her breasts. It soon became Sokka's turn to grin when he saw the goosebumps rise along her skin and a pink flush start to bloom across her chest. It was then he made the distinct decision not to touch her as much as he could. Sure, it would have been easy to just pull her close and paw at her, but there was certainly something to be said for just placing his hands either side of her and wrapping warm lips around one of her nipples. It got a reaction out of her at least.
She'd jerked enough to remove his mouth from her with a wet pop, and if he'd been standing back any further he might have gotten an accidental kick in some important bits.
"Snoozles..." Toph warned with a growl, before grabbing at him again and hurriedly tugging at the front of his trousers to try and unbutton them.
"By the time I'm through with you, the last thing you'll be calling me is Snoozles." Sokka growled back in a moment of bravado before kissing her to make sure there'd be no more smart-aleck comments from the earth bending master.
"Big words, little man! Prove it!" Toph couldn't resist biting on the lip and using the distraction long enough to get the taunt out from around them.
"I'm not little either."
She soon found herself lifted briefly off the desk just long enough for the councilman to tug her trousers down far enough down her thighs that he could get to where he needed and hook her legs up around his waist. It would give her at least a small modicum of decency, he figured. Plus, he wasn't exactly ready to look down there just yet. It would do him no good to embarrass himself by fainting. She'd never let him hear the end of it if he passed out from all his blood trying to rush in two directions at once, to colour his cheeks and other areas.
When Toph swore and fell back onto the desk with a thump, he knew he'd proven at least one point. It was rather hard to ignore her grunts about it being polite to warn a girl before doing that kind of thing, but with the way her head tipped back like that to expose a slender neck there was no chance that she wasn't enjoying it. Sokka slipped his hand under her neck anyway, chapped lips scraping across the flesh of her throat in a much more intimate gesture that managed to garner a pleased murmur of approval. The sound alone was enough to send a delightful tingle shooting throughout his body before it settled where their hips were connected and warmed him considerably.
This time, Sokka's hands were not afraid to explore Toph's ample breasts, and it didn't take him long to start questioning out loud about how he'd managed to not notice them.
"Well, you remained tactfully unavailable while I-...OH!" she was involuntarily cut off by another sharp thrust from the male leaning over her. When settled, the earth bender sighed.
"...I grew up, Sokka."
"Yeah...you did." He softly agreed, his lips meeting hers in another gentle kiss. "And I'm sorry I missed it. You're beautiful, Toph. You really are."
"Eugh." She stuck her tongue out and crinkled her nose up. "Stop with the sappy stuff already, meat head. Besides, things turned out the way they were supposed to. You have Suki, I have Lin."
"Don't...Just don't, Sokka." Toph squirmed, her toes curling in the air where her legs remained hooked around his waist.
With a sigh he conceded defeat. The earth bender had never been one for displays of affection, and he knew it made her uncomfortable. It always had. He couldn't really blame her; after all, her parents had locked her away and pretended she didn't exist. It was only natural that she developed an aversion to forming attachments to things that could hurt her. That which was supposed to give her love and affection had failed miserably and ruined her.
As much of a meat head as he was, Sokka knew that for all her rough and tumble attitude there was still a part of her that enjoyed the compliments, the hugs, and the friendship that she had gotten over the years of the Gaang being together. It wasn't like she was completely devoid of emotion. So, scientifically speaking, there was absolutely no reason as to why he couldn't just make her feel beautiful; even if she wouldn't admit to it. The councilman smiled to himself at his little epiphany.
It was too bad that fucking one of his best friends on the council desk didn't exactly lend to a romantic moment. He would have much rather have taken her somewhere nice. Somewhere that had a bed at the very least, even if it was a hotel room. They hadn't really thought this little tryst through very well. But even as he silently cursed at himself, he knew that if he pulled away now with good intentions he wasn't going to get another chance with her.
For now, he'd have to do this Toph's way.
And then maybe if he could convince her to do this again sometime, he could suggest a better alternative. Possibly even going out for dinner, even if it was just a picnic out in the woods so she didn't have to be worried about all that fancy stuff.
She really did deserve better than this.
But he'd need her trust first.
A cheeky grin crossed Aang's face as he stood there in the shadows behind one of the pillars, watching the two going at it like a couple of earth kingdom rabbits. Oh, this was just too good! Also, slightly arousing in an I-shouldn't-be-watching-this kind of way, but still good! He did feel a brief pang for Suki, who would no doubt be hurt by the proceedings, but who knew how long this had been going on for anyway?
The air bender kept quiet, not wanting to reveal himself just yet. He'd been waiting for them with Katara out in the cold for almost an hour, and had decided to come and fetch the two. There was no way that collecting some papers would have taken that long, and he'd figured they'd just gotten caught up chatting to someone. But this was something else. Aang thought back to the day of the picnic where Toph had expressed a desire for revenge on the council. Well, at least she was getting her wish.
And now it was time for some revenge of his own.
Patience was key in winning this. And as a monk, he had it in spades.
So just as Toph arched up off desk with Sokka's name on her lips, the bald-headed Avatar finally stepped into the light and spoke up.
"Looks like you two are doing some fancy dancing of your own."
"Mmm...Sokk-AANG!" Toph shrieked.
"I'm pretty sure you're supposed to be yelling Sokka's name."
"AANG!" Sokka joined in, caught between mortal embarrassment and a heaping dose of anger.
"Okay, now it's just getting weird."
The monk joked, holding up his hands as the two scrabbled to yank their trousers up. Toph had a slightly harder time wriggling off the desk and finding a way to cover her chest as well.
"Where the hell is my bra? SNOOZLES!" she barked in a much higher pitch than she was used to, half hiding behind the red-faced councilman who was struggling to himself back up behind the desk.
Thankfully he shot out a hand and grabbed the earth bender's shirt on the desk and handed it to her so she could continue to attempt to dress as quickly as she could. Both of their faces were such a wicked shade of red that one might have assumed that they'd spent far too long in the sun. Unsurprisingly, Toph was the worst off as she'd been the one who was least dressed.
She hung her head low to try and hide her embarrassment, strands of dark hair falling past her eyes in a gesture she had been so used to in her youth. Her lips, however, made no attempt to hide the string of curses and insults that were spewing forth like a volcano – only getting worse the more she struggled with getting her clothing back on and not getting tangled in it. To make matters worse, Aang only laughed harder.
After slapping Sokka's hands away from his attempts at helping, Toph finally got her armour back on and stood at the councilman's side, breathing heavily.
"I suppose you're going to use this as leverage against me, Twinkletoes?"
"From what I saw, it seemed like Sokka was doing a pretty good job at getting leverage against you. I think I'll leave that to him...Twinkletits."
Toph's cheeks only darkened further at that, her hands clenching into fists at her sides. She was almost certain that Sokka could hear her jaw creaking with how hard she was clenching her teeth together, but she couldn't bring herself to let go. Not when her eyes were starting to prickle with shameful tears. She couldn't let them see her like that. And she didn't trust herself to speak, so Toph whirled on her heel and stormed out of the room as fast as she could with the large door banging on its hinges and echoing down the corridor.
It didn't even cross her mind to fling a couple of rocks at Aang in retaliation.
"Great. Just great. Good going, Aang! Did you have to do that right at that moment?" Sokka flung his hands up in the air. "What are you, a ball-bender? I was this close!" the councilman showed him the tiny space between his thumb and index finger.
"Oh come on...It was just a joke. What about all the times you totally got in the way of me and Katara?"
"That's not the same!" Sokka seethed. "And you need to apologise to Toph! You hurt her!"
"Sokka..." Aang sighed.
"Don't you Sokka me! Now I'm never going to get another chance!"
"You shouldn't have had the first one." The air bender was quick to remind him of his husbandly duties. And for a while, Sokka was quiet. Aang was right, but that didn't automatically grant him the right to start pointing fingers and be all high and mighty.
"I know that. Thanks for pointing it out, Avatar. I'm going home and breaking it off with Suki. You'd better make things right with Toph before she gets it in her head to kill you."
With that, the councilman hastily grabbed the papers that he'd abandoned and stormed out as well, leaving the air bender to wonder just how things had gone so wrong with a seemingly harmless joke.
Aang hadn't been expecting a particularly kind reception from the chief of police when he found her storming along the icy pavement outside. He'd had to wave back a confused Katara, who had attempted to greet the bender only to be shoved out of the way.
"I thought she was coming with us. Toph looked upset. What happened?"
"Long story. I'll explain later."
Jogging after her, it didn't take him long to catch up with the earth bender, who spun on a single foot and swung out a wild punch at him. She very nearly slipped on the pavement too, which was just enough for Aang to avoid a good whack in the nose.
"Leave me alone!"
"Toph, just wait. I'm sorry if what I said hurt you, alright? I was just messing around, you know? Ha ha funny? You call me Twinkletoes, I call you Twinkletits."
"Don't call me that!" she growled, swinging another few punches in his direction that he ducked and weaved until one or two hit him in the chest and he was forced to grab her by the wrists to avoid being floored.
"Alright, alright! I'm sorry. Just stop punching. You're a lot Toph-er than you look."
"...That's not funny."
"Oh come on! You can make jokes and I can't? That's not fair."
Wrenching her arms from the Avatar's grasp, she whirled on her heel and stomped off angrily. But Aang couldn't miss the little sniff she tried to hide.
"Toph...I'm sorry." And without warning he leaped around her and pulled her into a hug, ignoring the muffled protests being voiced into his shoulder. When he pulled back, it was to hold her cheeks and tilt her head up so that he could see her watery green eyes. "You're really upset about this, huh?"
"You would be too if you were in my situation!" Toph jabbed him in the chest. "It's bad enough that my parents once considered passing me off as a boy and having random people on the street think I was one. I don't need you pointing it out too, you-...you jerk bender!"
"How does that-...oh."
"I said I was sorry, didn't I? Several times, in fact. I didn't mean it like that, Toph. You're my friend, and from what I've seen, you look-"
The chief sighed at length. "Don't even go there, Twinkletoes."
It was a voice he'd heard several times before, and he knew that the earth bender had tiredly forgiven him as her initial anger ebbed away into a smarting wound instead of the gaping sore it had been before.
"Still want a ride home?"
"Nah, I think I'll walk. See you around, Aang. Or not."
With a dismissive wave of her hand, she hurled herself away from him on the rock skates she was so fond of. Despite the fact it tore up the city streets like nobody's business, the ground neatly knitted itself back together in the wake of her destruction.
Aang simply headed back to where Sokka, Katara and Appa were waiting for him.
It was late when the knock at the door sounded at Toph's apartment, but she already knew who was standing behind it. Lin had been put to bed an hour or two ago so she wasn't as hesitant about letting her late night guest inside as she might have been otherwise.
"I just wanted you to know that I told Suki what happened." Sokka spoke quietly, so as not to disturb the young occupant in the other room.
"Was that all?" she shuffled back and forth.
"No. I-...well. She's not happy, but...I think she understands. It was bound to come to an end eventually. Toph, I-"
She stepped back away from the hands that reached for her waist, but was taken in by them anyway. With only the light tan shirt that she had on earlier covering her chest, he was far too warm against her and she struggled to gain the necessary wherewithal to place her hands upon his chest and turn her head away from his kiss.
"Sokka, we can't do this."
"We already have. We just didn't finish what we started. And I want to."
"But Lin is-"
"Lin is asleep." He reassured her, his thumb rubbing across her cheek. He still couldn't quite get over how much smaller she seemed without all that armour and bravado backing her up like a twenty ton badgermole with a grudge against the world.
Well, she couldn't argue with that.
Toph let the water tribesman kiss her this time, only just remembering to close her open mouth and stop catching flies. It did absolutely nothing to stop the hum of enjoyment that bubbled up in her larynx and tickled Sokka's ears without either of their consent.
"Suki kicked you out, didn't she?"
"I wouldn't say that. It was more like she-"
"She kicked you out."
"Yeah." The councilman mumbled. "Can I sleep with you? In a strictly platonic, let's-be-friends kind of way, of course." He quickly added.
While the earth bender didn't seem to be particularly impressed, she did end up relenting. Sokka's gaze on her back when she led him to her bedroom only seemed to increase tingling shiver up her spine and the warmth in her belly, making her wonder whether that was anything like how fire benders felt. When the door closed and a pair of burning hands came to rest upon her shoulders from behind, Toph briefly entertained the notion of being entitled to feel his lips roaming up the side of her neck.
"You still smell like me..."
All that escaped her lips after that was a serene sigh.
"Mommy! Mom! Momma! Hi Uncle Sokka!" Lin yelled as she barrelled into the bedroom, not even stopping to take a second glance at the male lying next to her mother with his face buried in the pillow.
She simply launched herself through the air and onto the bed, landing square on the back of her supposed 'uncle' who let out a groan as the air was knocked out of him.
"The joys of children. No time for sleeping, Snoozles." Toph muttered into her own pillow with a yawn, drawing the sheets up tighter around her as Lin snuggled up under her arm.
"I had the best dream! I was the best earth bender ever! I was beating all the bad guys and there were rocks everywhere and it was like FWOOM! FWOOSH! SSHRKSTK! BAM! POW!" the girl punched at the air, barely taking the time to breathe during her verbal rendition of her supposedly wonderful dream life.
"That's great, honey. I'm sure the badgermoles would have been proud."
"How come Uncle Sokka is sleeping over?"
"Yeah, Uncle Sokka. Why are you sleeping over?" Toph mimicked childishly, not even bothering to open her eyes as she buried her nose in her daughter's hair. It's not like it would have made any difference.
"Why are you sleeping over, Uncle Sokka?" Lin turned her incessant quest for knowledge upon the unsuspecting male, who soon had the child laying on top of his back and smooshing her face into his turned cheek in an affectionate hug that trapped him between her and the pillow.
"Gee, I don't know. Oh look at the time. Time for sleeping. Goodnight!" he made a snoring noise.
"It's morning! It's time to wake up!"
"Too early." He groaned, but managed to wiggle his way around under her until she was lying on his chest instead, with his arms loosely draped around her. "How about this? Your mom was having nightmares and me, being the gentleman that I am, decided to come and give her a special cuddle and protect her with my manly ways and trusty boomerang."
Toph gave an indignant snort, but Lin seemed to love that Sokka was so generously donating his time to help her mother out. After all, she did work all day and night fighting bad guys. That was enough to give anyone nightmares. It was a completely plausible story in her mind.
For Sokka, the best part of the story was the part where it had gotten an indulgent little smile out of the blind bender before she turned her head away from him and rolled over to try and hide it.
"You're making breakfast, Snoozles. Try not to burn down my kitchen while you're at it."
Toph had fallen back asleep by the time Sokka had managed breakfast. Having shared his attempts with Lin out at the table, he left the girl out there and brought a plate back for her mother. Sidelining his initial compulsion to joke about her being the sleepy one for once when he saw how peaceful she looked, the councilman left Toph's breakfast on the bedside table and slipped back in under the sheets with her.
Truth be told, he hadn't expected her to open her door to him, let alone her bed after all that had happened. It had certainly felt strange waking up to see the earth bender by his side instead of Suki. He'd very narrowly missed rolling over and calling her by the wrong name when he'd slipped an arm around her. That could have been a disaster.
Sokka was taken from his thoughts when Toph groggily lifted her head from the pillow.
"I smell food...Are we dead?"
"Hey, I resent that. It's not like I sat there rubbing two sticks together to make fire. I do have a small knowledge of modern appliances. Lin seems to like my cooking well enough."
"She's a kid. She'll chew power cords if you leave her alone for long enough." Toph pointed out. But still, she ate what she had been given while sitting cross-legged on the bed. "You know, this is actually pretty good. Didn't know you had it in you. Snoozles the Housewife. That's kinda catchy."
"Oh good! Because I worked really hard on it and-...why do you feel the need to do that?" Sokka grumbled, but was placated with a hand that rested upon his chest; distracting him long enough that she could press a kiss to his stubbled cheek.
"Because I can."
Do not argue with Toph. Just nod and agree.
Sokka felt as if it should very quickly become his new mantra. Perhaps it would avoid long-winded and slightly one sided arguments in the future. Actually, speaking of the future...
"Toph? What exactly happens now? With us, I mean."
"Well I don't know about you, but I'm planning on staying in bed because it's my day off. If that little badgermole knows what's good for her she's not going to interrupt that." The chief jammed both hands behind her head and closed her eyes as she lay back down.
"That's not what I meant, but as long as she's not going to interrupt..." Sokka grinned, sliding a little closer and leaning over her.
"I don't care, Snoozles. You know me. I don't like to make things more difficult than they need to be. I can just lie back and take it as it comes."
"Goooooood. That's exactly what I had-"
"I'm not having sex with you again..." Toph cut in.
Sokka's face fell.
"...this morning. At least not until I've had my-"
"LIN! GO AND MAKE YOUR MOTHER A HOT BEVERAGE!"
Months had passed since the Gaang had last gotten together, but Toph had seriously considered chickening out on this one when she realized that Sokka's ex would be there. The girl had once saved her life, and what had she done in return? Stolen her man. If was hardly a fair trade between friends. At the very least she deserved an apology, and so she forced herself to go.
But when the blind bender stepped up next to Suki, she didn't even have a chance to let her carefully rehearsed speech leave her lips when a hand was held up to stop her.
"It's okay, Toph. You don't need to say anything."
"Look, don't worry about it. I can't say I'm not hurt by it, but...you deserve to be happy as well." The Kyoshi warrior picked her words.
"You look good together, Toph. And he loves that little girl of yours like his own. He'll make a great father one day." She offered a small smile that Toph would never see. "Besides...it's not like you and I haven't kissed before."
"That was-...No...that-...I hate you so much right now."
"Love you too...Twinkletits." Suki grinned.