May the light of God shine upon everyone and keep them safe, as well as the power of water be with everyone always.
A/N: I know that Suki was the one who saved Toph when she fell in the river, but I just wanted to see what would happen if it had been Sokka. I hope everyone likes it.
"Follow My Voice"
I stood there, unsure of myself. I had never felt that way before, except for one other time. And that was back in the desert. But now, I was feeling that feeling again and it wasn't good. I was almost shaking as my bare feet made contact with the cold ground. I was well aware that the bridge that Katara had made could collapse at any moment. That thought only adding to my already quavering legs and pounding heart.
"Toph!" Katara shouted, turning around to face me. The others were already across and they were waiting for me. "Toph, come on, kiddo. It's okay. I promise."
"Hurry up!" Suki shouted, her anxious tone putting butterflies the size of golf balls in my stomach. "We need to get out of here!"
If I wasn't in such a vulnerable spot, I would have given her a tongue lashing, but I was in no position to make a smart comeback at the moment. I was fully aware of the serpent's hisses and tail swipes. I knew it was looking for a snack and if I didn't move, that snack would most definitely be me.
Luckily, Katara glared at Suki and told her off for me.
"Suki, give Toph a break. She's scared. This is all new for her."
Normally, I would have glared at Katara for calling me scared, but that was the truth and I had to accept it.
Before Suki could retort, Sokka spoke up.
"Toph, it's okay. Just hang on. I'm coming." He assured me.
"Sokka, wait!" Katara called, touching Sokka's arm. "What are you doing? We barely made it across the first time."
"She needs help." Sokka told Katara. "She's too afraid to make it on her own and I'm going to help her." With that, he stood just a few feet in front of me, I could hear his footsteps moving closer and closer, and then stop.
I breathed a sigh of relief and held my hand out to him. But to my surprise, he didn't' take it.
"Toph, it's okay. I'm here. I'm right here and I'm going to help you, but you need to trust me."
I nodded and gave Sokka a small smile. I felt a blush creep up my cheeks and prayed to Yue that Sokka didn't notice.
"All right, I want you to follow my voice," Sokka instructed me. "Do you think you can do that? I'll be right here the whole time."
"Okay," I said, a little unsure of myself.
"Toph, honey, it's okay," Katara called across the bridge of ice. "Sokka knows what he's doing. I'm right here, so if anything goes wrong, I can help you. Just listen to Sokka and you'll be fine."
I could tell Katara was trying to comfort and reassure me through her words and I was grateful to her. I could always count on Katara to make a scary situation not seem so bad.
I then heard Katara mumble something underneath of her breath. I caught it and laughed to myself. It sounded like, "Did I just say that about Sokka?"
I didn't have time to giggle though. The sound of the serpent's hissing, made me jump and I almost tumbled backward.
Sokka reached out his hand and steadied me.
"All right, it's okay. I'm going to let go of you now. Now, I want you to follow my voice. I'm going to be right here, but I'm going to be moving further away from you as you come closer, okay?"
"Uh-huh," I said, showing him that I understood what my part in this was. "Let's just get away from that snake."
Sokka chuckled softly and began to assist me.
"Come on, it's okay. Just follow my voice. It's all right. That's it. You're doing great. That's it. Just a little further. It's all right. Good job. You're almost there."
I began to feel the confidence returning as I came closer and closer to the end. I trusted Sokka with all my heart and I knew he would get us across safely.
"You're doing great, kiddo!" Katara called to me. "You're almost there." She then turned to Sokka and said, "When you guys get across, I'll take her. The terrain's going to get rough and you're not exactly skilled at sided guide."
Sokka glared at his sister, but agreed. He knew she spoke the truth.
Sokka turned back to me and smiled. We had almost made it the whole way across.
"You're doing great!" He told me. "Just a little further."
I hesitated, feeling a part of the bridge start to chip away.
Sokka saw my fear and rushed to assure me.
"Toph, it's okay. It's all right. Just a little further. You're okay. I'm right here. Just follow my voice. You're fine."
I nodded and concentrated on following Sokka's voice. The only thing I was worried about at the moment was getting across the bridge without becoming snake chow.
I was so engrossed in getting across, that I wasn't aware of what was going on behind me.
"Toph! Toph, look out!" Sokka shouted suddenly.
I jerked my head around to listen for the sound, but it was too late. Almost at that exact second, I felt the bridge collapse and felt myself tumble into the fridget waters below.
"Toph!" Katara shouted, making to jump in after me. As she went to do so, Aang pulled her back.
"Katara, it's okay. Let Sokka do it."
Katara nodded and against her better judgment, stood there and watched the drama unfold before her bleu eyes.
I surfaced and immediately started to panic. I was cold and I wasn't used to being in the water, especially water this cold.
"Aaahhh! Help me please!" I cried, my face stained with tears of fear and ice water. I was out of my element and completely blind at this point. I was also cold and very afraid of what was going to happen. I then called out for the one person I wanted. The one person who had promised to help me through this. "Sokka! Sokka, help me!"
"Toph, I'm coming!" Sokka called back. "Hang on!" With that, Sokka jumped into the river and swam to me. He pulled me up by the waist and swam back to the others.
"Toph! OH my gosh, are you all right?" Katara asked, immediately making a fuss over me as only a big sister could do.
I nodded as I started to shiver.
"Yeah. I'm fine now." I then threw a grateful look towards Sokka.
Katara nodded and gave me a hug.
"We need to get you warmed up." Katara told me. She then turned to Sokka, an expression of both impression and annoyance on her face. "Sokka! How could you..you…" Her voice trailed off, due to the fact that she wasn't sure whether to be mad at Sokka for letting me fall or impressed with him for his quick thinking.
After a moment, Katara chose to just shake her head and not say another word towards Sokka. Instead, she turned her attention to me.
"Toph, are you sure you're okay?" She asked, putting an arm around me.
I nodded as I started to shiver again.
"Yeah. I'll be okay after some hot chocolate."
"All right. Come on. We need to keep going." With that, Katara put a hand on my shoulder and I in turn grasped her elbow. I gave Sokka a smile over my shoulder, indicating to him that I was grateful for what he had done for me. I didn't blame him for anything.
As we made our way towards the city of Bah Sing Sei, I grinned, despite the fact that I was still cold. I was beginning to develop feelings for Sokka and his little heroic stunt in the river just made those feelings all the more real.
Later that night, I stepped out into the clear night air. I Knew who I wanted to talk to and I knew he was awake. Sure enough, I found Sokka sitting by the fire. He hadn't put it out yet and I was happy about that. I was still a little cold from my ordeal earlier.
When we had returned to the inn that we were staying at that night, Katara had gotten me into a warm bath and insisted I wear one of her nightgowns, so that I wouldn't catch a cold. I could already feel one coming on, but I wasn't going to say anything to my sister just yet. I knew she would just worry and I didn't' want to make her do that. Besides, I could take care of myself just fine.
As I sat down beside Sokka, I gave him a small smile.
"Hey," I said, shyly. "What's up?"
"Nothing much. Just thinking."
I nodded. I took a deep breath before I took the plunge.
"Sokka, I just want to thank you for what you did for me today. I don't just mean leading me across the bridge. I mean for everything. I don't know what I would have done if you weren't there."
Sokka shrugged it off.
"It's okay. It's not a big deal."
I gave him a Look.
"Yes it is. You were really there for me and I want you to know how much I appreciate it." With that, I leaned over and kissed him on the lips, totally taken him by surprise.
The kiss lasted for merely five minutes before we both pulled away.
Sokka gave me a smile, but then he asked, a confused note to his tone, "What was that for?"
I gave him a smile before patting his arm gently.
"That was for letting me follow your voice."
Before Sokka could say anything else, I got up and went back inside. As I got to the door, I turned back around and gave Sokka another smile.
"Good night, Sokka." I said, before going inside for bed. As I closed the door, I left Sokka sitting there, totally shocked by what I had just done. I knew my actions said it all. They told Sokka everything I was feeling and they showed my gratitude in a way that no words ever could.