This is a Toph-centric fanfiction because frankly, I watched the episode and thought she kicked butt like nobody's business. I know I'm not the only one. …Hopefully.
The pairing is pretty random, but first of all, Toph was just introduced, so pretty much any pairing with her in it would be at least a little random; and second of all, I've seen odder ones out there. I will not name them, for fear of the rabid fangirls.
Um…read and enjoy?
Disclaimer: Owning Avatar would imply that I actually have some ability to draw. Do I? I think not.
Prisoner of the Fire Nation
Toph practiced earth-bending alone. It wasn't that she didn't trust Aang and his friends—the habit was born of years of concealing the gift from her father; her dear, over protective, over bearing father, who, no doubt, was throwing around his mountains of gold every which way just to get his darling daughter back. His child. His treasure. His pet. Now that she was out in the world, Toph couldn't help but wonder what had taken her so long to leave.
Since the early days of her training, the blind girl had taken to sneaking quietly away in the dead of night to hone her techniques. It was a glorious feeling, to be alone in the silence and simply listen and feel. Sometimes, it had almost felt like true freedom.
Never in the days of her double-life as the "blind helpless daughter" and the Blind Bandit had she dreamed that the hobby would lead to her downfall. Despite her resentment of it, Toph had taken her father's security system for granted.
That, and she'd simply forgotten how many enemies the Avatar could make.
She counted twenty soldiers before they tried to attack her. It was futile, of course, and she'd even gotten in the time to laugh at them as she bent the very ground beneath them to her will and cast them from her with a careless wave of the hand. They came back for seconds only moments later, and she began the dangerous dance that never failed to make her blood sing, her sightless eyes light up in an ecstatic glow.
Fighting made her feel so alive.
They did not rush her at once this time, and three soldiers preceded the others. She shifted positions, ready to protect herself should the enemy have any weapons. Toph slammed her foot into the ground, causing earth to erupt forth from the surface and toss the trio to the side like a careless child would a doll.
The battle went on for what seemed like hours, and soon her arms began to ache from the strain. There were simply too many of them—ironically, facing fellow earth-benders was an easier task, for she could better sense their attacks. Finally, she allowed one opponent to get close enough to get a good glimpse of her.
A gasp of surprise. "The kid's blind," a low bass voice rumbled in amazement. A pause from some of the other soldiers and several mutters of incredulity. Toph bared her teeth in a grimace. So she was blind. It didn't make her any weaker than those idiots. She gestured, and a mad dust storm blew away the speaker with an angry screech.
Her disability made her more capable than any of them.
And yet, she lost. She lost. The Earth Rumble champion!
It wasn't that she couldn't have won. She could have. She should have.
Five minutes after their discovery, one of the Fire Nation soldiers finally got wise and attacked her in a way she couldn't sense.
He threw a metal ball. It hit her in the head and knocked her out.
Yes. She, Toph, the Mighty Earth-Bender, had been defeated by a metal ball.
A METAL BALL! A dastardly, spherical device of doom that should not be allowed in the hands of even the smallest of children—
Okay, she was calm. Barely conscious, too, but that was beside the point. As her senses returned to her she concentrated, trying to feel her way around her surroundings—
She couldn't. With no small amount of horror, Toph realized that the walls and ceiling and floor surrounding her were not made, in any way, of stone.
They were made of metal. Cold, unfeeling, dead metal, and ohmygod she couldn't see. She scrambled around her prison, extending her hands helplessly in front of her and stumbling like the invalid her parents thought she was. Her fingers brushed against something lightly. Bars. No, no, nononono—it wasn't just her cell that was made of metal, the entire room was. Hysteria built up in the girl's chest until she couldn't take it anymore. She screamed.
The scream vibrated against the metal walls, echoing and throwing the sound of her own voice back at her mockingly; reminding her of her earlier years, before she'd discovered her bending, when her father had to hold her hand just so she could get out of bed and go to the bathroom in the morning. Right. She was a perfectly capable person. All she had to do is be patient, and the answer would come.
…Toph had never been very patient in those sorts of situations.
Fortunately, she didn't have to wait long before the door opened. The heavy footfall of a Fire Nation soldier reached her ears, and she didn't let a moment pass by before launching into a verbal assault.
"Hey, tin head! Let me out of here!"
There was a low, mocking laugh. "Not a chance, Blindy. Ya may look like a twig, but we've seen what you can do."
"Blindy?" Toph repeated scathingly. "Is that really the best you can do? You're so lame, you know that?"
A growl came from the back of the man's throat. "As much as I'd love to punish you myself right now, you're getting off easy this time, brat."
"Lucky me," the girl sneered.
There was a sound of shrieking metal hinges, and a dull thud as the soldier threw what was presumably a second body into the cell next to hers. "Oh, don't worry, kid, you two aren't in for a very long wait." The footfall headed in the direction of what Toph assumed was the door. She bit her lip.
"H-hey, wait! Aren't you even going to let a poor blind girl know who you've stuck her in here with?"
The man laughed again, this one even more mocking than the last. "Oh, it's just someone who's long, long overdue for a family reunion."
The door slammed shut, and as the last vibrations faded into nothing, Toph was left in the darkness once more.
Well. That was a short chapter. I'm not used to short chapters, but…for this story I think it fits. Bleh, I have bad luck with multi-chapter fics, though…
Kudos to whoever can guess Toph's cellmate, although I don't think I made it terribly difficult to figure out. Please read and review, and I will try my very hardest to update soon. Hopefully, the short chapters will assure that I do.
…Oh, and I accept constructive criticism, but flames will be sent to—no, not Zuko—Katara, who will promptly douse them and then flog you within an inch of your life. So there.