The Escapades of the Blind Bandit and Meathead:
Chapter the First: Public Disturbance
Author: Artemis Rae
Rating: K. About as light weight as you can get.
A/N: Man I loved Secrets of the Fire Nation. Loved, loved, loved. And you know what I loved best? The Sokka/Toph interaction. As the show goes on and they interact more and more, I love them together more and more. So, in the vein of many other authors before me (including my very own awesomest beta ever, JoJoDancer, who has The Princess and the Pebble about Zuko and Toph) I've decided to start a series of stories revolving just around these two.
These will basically be a series of one shots. They're written out of order, though I suspect that the majority of them will take place Post War. Most will be humorously inclined. I haven't decided how shippy I'm going to let things get – my versions of Sokka and Toph seem to be more along the lines of "drinking buddies who can read each other's minds" than "star crossed lovers."
In this chapter: Sokka and Toph dance, raise eyebrows, and shake heads. Implied AxK and ZxM
Disclaimer: No, I don't own Avatar. I just borrow it for fun and then return it all beat up and stuff.
He hadn't wanted to come. In fact, he had taken great measures to try to get out of having to attend this grand event. Said measures included infiltrating the Northern Water Tribe (that bastard Hahn, still a sucker for a pretty pair of eyes, had ratted him out the second Katara had batted her eyelashes at him), hiding back at the Southern Water Tribe (he didn't care if she was his grandmother, he would never forgive Gran Gran) and diving into the seedy underworld that belonged to the Earth Kingdom sailors (who knew that Jun and her giant mutant anteater thing could be hired so cheaply these days?)
He'd been found every time. Now he was trying to hide in a dark corner without being discovered. Sokka was slumped as low as possible in his chair, chin down and eyes glaring at all the dancers that swished happily by him. Then he heard the chair next to him creak, and he turned his head to find the blind earthbender reclined, sipping lightly on a drink.
"You know Meathead, moping in the corner isn't going to help anything."
He turned his head and gave her a long-suffering look. "Who said I'm moping?"
Toph raised an eyebrow at him – she always amazed him with her ability to express emotion with her sightless eyes – and said, "Please. Are you honestly trying to tell me that you're not jealous that Zuko is getting married before you?"
Sokka looked over at the happy couple, dancing closely in the middle of the floor. "I'll get the last laugh when she knifes him in some kinky honeymoon game tonight."
Toph let out a laugh. "You think they're going to be playing games tonight? No wonder you're not married yet."
"Oh haha," he snapped, turning away from her. She snickered quietly to herself before reaching out and grabbing his shoulder.
"Come on, let's dance."
Sokka pushed her hand away. "I already danced with you once tonight." Sokka had opened dancing with Toph that night, as he always did when he was forced out on the floor during the giant waste of money that was known as a reception.
"Oh right, and now you're too busy catching up on all this nothing to do so again?" she asked sarcastically.
He slid her a look. "Can I lead this time?"
He sighed and relented anyway, taking her hand. "Alright."
Together they rejoined the crowd, staying on the outskirts of the dance floor.
"You know," Toph said, an edge of annoyance in her tone, "Most guys would at least pretend to be grateful to be dancing with the daughter of the richest merchants in the Earth Kingdom."
"You think I'm not grateful?" Sokka asked, surprised.
"If your lower lip was sticking out any further it would be resting on top of my head. Seriously, it's not that bad."
Aang and Katara chose that moment to come sweeping past them, giggling madly at something Aang had said. Her arms were wrapped around his neck and their faces were close as they basked in the warmth of simply being close to each other.
Sokka actually felt his shoulders droop, and Toph let out an irritated sigh. "Look, if you just buck up for tonight, I promise first thing in the morning we'll go down to the market and pick you out a nice Fire Nation girl, okay?"
Sokka pushed her away abruptly. "Alright, I've had enough."
"No wait!" she tightened her grip on him. "Don't leave. I won't say anything else."
He sighed, and they continued dancing. "I just want to find a nice girl," he said finally. "Someone who thinks I'm funny, and won't make fun of my boomerang, and... " he trailed off in thought. "Doesn't get cold easily. Someone who hates dancing too."
Toph just glared at him in response.
This time she pushed away and turned her back to him.
"What?" Sokka asked again.
Her foot barely twitched, but the ground underneath him shifted and he stumbled. Toph rounded on him again. "I am so sick of your whining!"
"Toph, people are staring," Sokka said, looking around nervously. She took no notice of these people but returned to him and grabbed his arms again, pulling him back into the dance.
"Did it ever occur to you that I hate dancing too?" she hissed.
Sokka just blinked at her. "Then why do we always dance?"
Toph threw up her hands in frustration and ended the dance in a rather spectacular manner by encasing Sokka in rock and nearly throwing him up to the ceiling. He landed, covered in rubble, on the hard stone floor.
"Hey!" he yelled, pulling out his boomerang (the machete had been confiscated at the door, but Sokka had concealed the boomerang,) and cocking an arm. A guard stepped between the two and placed an arm on Sokka's chest. "You would attack a lady?"
"She's no lady!" he screeched.
Toph's eyes widened, and then narrowed. Letting out an indignant roar, she launched herself at Sokka, ducking under the guard's arm and full out tackling him in the middle of the dance floor.
Much of the next few minutes were a blur of flying black hair and the flash of his boomerang and grey stone being rubbed in his face, but Sokka and Toph ended up thrown outside, landing square in the large fountain that was the centerpiece of the courtyard. Toph gagged and spluttered as she came up, and Sokka instinctively reached out to help her. She responded by pushing him back down under the water. When he sat up again, Toph was sitting calmly on the edge of the fountain, her elegant hair mussed beyond repair and dripping everywhere, soaking her clothes further as the rivulets ran down her shoulders.
She sensed his eyes on her. "I was just trying to cheer you up, you know," she said quietly.
He yanked on his wolf tail, wringing the water from it. "Yeah I know."
"I'm pretty sure if we get kicked out of a public gathering one more time, Aang's going to pretend he never knew us."
"Katara regularly denies that we're related."
Toph sighed, then said, "The Cranky Dragon's last call isn't for two more hours."
Sokka stood up, shaking water from his tunic. "I'm there. Let's not get arrested this time. Zuko wasn't happy about having to sign that pardon."
Both still soaking wet, they took off through the palace grounds and headed towards the tavern. Sokka whistled a happy little tune, and as she brushed against him he reached out, placing an arm around her shoulders.
Back inside, Katara and Aang watched from a window as the duo headed for the main gate.
"Real or staged?" Katara whispered.
Aang bit his lip for a moment. "Real. I don't even think Toph would pull that at Zuko's wedding unless she was really mad."
"Sokka would," Katara reminded him.
"Toph started it," he countered.
Katara shook her head. "I don't get them."
"I don't think they get themselves." He wrapped an arm around her waist and she leaned into him, resting her head on his shoulder.
Behind them, they heard the bride saying to one of the guests, "Yes, the ceremony was really nice. I only wish we could have hired some real entertainment for the reception and made it a little interesting."
The first of hopefully many. Hope you guys liked it! If you did, you should let me know! And if you didn't, well, feel free to tell me anyway.
If any of you guys are following my other fic, Shadows in the Mind, have no fear, for Chapter Four is on its way! We're in the beta reading process now – there've been a couple kinks (more than a couple) and I just wanted to make sure everything was perfect before I posted. Expect that sometime this week, I believe.