Disclaimer: Oh, if I owned Avatar, well… I don't think the world is ready for that yet.
AN: Oh boy, my first Toph fic! I love Toph, she's an awesome character, and I had a lot of fun writing in her perspective. As for her sight through her Earth bending, I think that as long as the body is moving, vibrations travel through it and into the ground, so any movement helps Toph see. As soon as the person or thing has stopped moving, they fade from her awareness. For seeing stationary objects, when things move through the earth, they cause small vibrations, and when they hit still objects, Toph knows what they are and where they are. Right, that's my little ramble. On with the story, and when you've finished, I would love to know what all you awesome guys think.
I've always been able to see, well, I suppose most people don't call it seeing. Maybe they'd call it hypersensitive touch. Whatever it is, I call it seeing, because that's what I do. I see movement, I see vibration, I see the way the air moves. Isn't that just as good as the real thing? My parents didn't think so. They thought I needed to be cared for, to be sheltered, to be put away, a thing that can only be looked at and never be touched. But I'm not, and no one ever really understood that.
Not even my earth bending master knew, even after I mastered the first level in a few weeks, he kept giving me the same exercises and forms over and over again until I couldn't take it anymore. That's when I became the Blind Bandit; I needed to break away from quiet, obedient, little Toph, who was just a shadow of who I was. I loved being the Blind Bandit; she was strong, confidant and an amazing Earth bender. When I was her, I could be who I always wanted to be, and each time I returned home, it became harder and harder to let her go to become Daddy's little Toph again. No one ever understood me.
No one understood… that is until he came. It was different with him from the start. He looked at me like he knew me, like he understood something no else had and that scared me. I was scared, me! I have never been afraid in my life until I met him, and he was just a kid. He was my age, just a guy who wanted to know how to Earth bend. What's so scary about that? Nothing. But I was afraid, because he was different and I didn't understand why. He beat me, and no one's ever done that before. Maybe that scared me off, but I don't think so. I was angry then, who was he to beat me, the Blind Bandit? No, the fear came later, when he came challenged me to leave with him, to break away from everything I've ever known and resented to be happy. Weird, huh? He wanted me to be happy and that made me afraid, because no one had taken the time to check before. No one cared if I was happy just so long as I was safe and sheltered.
But of course he's the Avatar, and it was his job to make people happy. Yet, back then, it didn't seem like a job, it seemed like he really wanted it for me and so I followed him. I took a chance.
The grass sways around me as the cool wind pushes through it, and a butterfly flutters lands on a flower to my right. I can see it all, the way the butterfly drinks the nectar, the way it's wings fan slowly up and down, and the way it tenses as the breeze whispers against it, and I don't even have to look at it. I think the only thing that I truly am missing out on in seeing is color. What is color? Is blue like red? Or is it more like black? Is purple like yellow, or does green resemble maroon? Are Katara's eyes like Zuko's? Does the color of a flower reflect on what scent it has? Does the sky take on the same color when it's cloudy as cheese does when it molds? Will I ever know? Probably not, and though I really wish I did, I don't need it to live. I don't need color to be strong. All I need is earth bending and I'm fine.
I know when my friends are near me. I know Katara's light footsteps as well as I know my own. And I know when she's not alone. I turn my sightless eyes across the field. Yes, he's there too. I think they sometimes forget I can see them; that I know what the others don't. He reaches out carefully, twisting her braid between his fingers as his face lowers so their lips can meet. She shifts slightly and the vibrations strengthen, making my image stronger. She pulls back now, cocking her head to the side, and her lips forming words. I don't know what they are, the two are too far away for me to hear, but just close enough for me to feel. Zuko and Katara, I never thought that those two would actually end up together, or maybe I did and just didn't realize. When the prince first joined our small group, all the two of them could ever do was fight. Katara would make an offer of kindness, and Zuko would bite her head off. Zuko would try to make a bit of conversation, and Katara would snap at him to back off. At first Aang made the effort to get between them and break up the small spats that arose, but eventually he gave up. It might have been what Sokka said to him during one of their little fights.
"Don't worry so much Aang," he said, I remember he was throwing a log into the fire as he said this. "They really wouldn't put so much effort into hating each other if it wasn't to cover something. Deep down, I bet they care for each other and just don't want to admit to it."
So he laid off, and the spats grew less frequent and finally stopped all together. None of us really noticed much of it, but I know we enjoyed the peace and quiet that came with their truce. It was about a month ago that I really began to notice what was going on. How Katara would shift just so slightly that she was just lightly leaning on Zuko when we sat around the fire at night, or how he would casually take the time to help her with her chores around the camp. And the two were always found sparring in the early morning, and sometimes even at night. They were practically inseparable. But I kept quiet. I don't need to ruin their fun yet.
Katara's hands are busy, weaving flowers into chains while Zuko sits next to her, poorly trying to imitate what she's doing. It makes me smile, who knew the prince would ever try something so silly as flower chains. He taps his foot in annoyance as the flowers refuse to attach to one another and one of the flowers falls to the ground. Katara reaches down to pick it back up, hands then covering Zuko's as she helps him with his chain.
They aren't too bad together, the whole opposites attract thing really comes into play here I suppose. They're so lucky to have someone, someone who is always going to be there for them. Someone who they can say everything to and then sometimes not say anything but no matter what the other will always understand.
Someone's coming. Short, fast steps, it must be Aang. I can't help but smile a bit; he's always so full of energy. Oh, and did I forget to mention, he's always smiling. "Toph, hey!" He hails happily as he skids to a stop. "Have you seen Katara or Zuko anywhere? Sokka says it's time to go."
I pass a hand in front of my eyes. "Nope, haven't seen them, twinkle toes." Feeling them is another matter, but he didn't ask about that.
"Oh." He pauses and then sits down beside me. "Well, maybe they'll wander back to camp soon." He frowns. "And Sokka says I shouldn't let you call me that."
I smirk. "Hasn't stopped me before."
"Touché." He laughs and plucks a flower from the ground, twirling it between his forefinger and thumb. "It's almost summer," He remarks softly, a small frown over taking his features.
I almost reach out to put a hand on his shoulder, but I stop myself. "You'll be ready."
He sighs a drops the flower. "I hope so." His toes are digging into the ground, sending pulses through my feet. I reach down and pick the flower back up.
"Of course you will, you just need a bit of practice and have a little bit of belief in yourself." I press the flower into his palm, and then without thinking, I intertwine our fingers. He doesn't pull his hand away. We stay like that for sometime, both still and if it wasn't for his hand against mine, I probably wouldn't be able to see him. His toes have stopped digging and his breathing has slowed down. It's just the small movement of his thumb against my hand that makes him show up at all.
Finally, he pulls away, taking the flower with him and he stands. I remain on the ground, not quite finding the motivation for movement. Aang looks down at me, and then he reaches down, offering his hand. My sightless eyes look at it for a moment before I turn my head away. "I don't need help up. I'm not that weak you know."
His foot shifts, and I see him smile, it's not one of his normal smiles. It's genuine, and gentle and… caring? "I know." He says, and his smile stays in place as he brings his hand closer to my own. I turn my face toward him and then, slowly I take it. His smile widens. Even after he's pulled me up he doesn't let go, and his eyes are soft.
We head back to camp together, hand in hand and I realize something. As long as I have earth bending, I don't need to know whether green is like maroon, or if clouds are like mold. As long as I can 'see' Aang, I don't need color.
(Please review you guys, Love you all!