A/N: Okay, let's get something straight right off the bat: I don't really have a specific 'ship' of choice for my pal Sokka. I mean, he has all these girls after him, right? And as much as he seems to like Suki, he tends to forget about her when other girls make advances on him. So here I am, taking an attempt at writing some Tokka. If you can't handle the relationship, don't read the story. There's no need to tell me that Sokka belongs with Suki. I've seen "The Serpent's Pass", you know.
Anyway, now that my tirade is over... onward!
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Sokka winced as an oil lamp soared over his head and crashed into the wall behind him, where it shattered. Taunting Toph had been a bad idea, perhaps, especially since she was already at the end of her rope from being cooped up in Ba Sing Se for so long. Katara pulled him out of the way of a chunk of the floor just in time.
"Maybe you and Toph should go on a walk," she whispered in his ear. "She seems a little… tense."
"I'm blind, not deaf!" Toph yelled. She stomped on the ground and another chunk of the floor rose menacingly in front of her. "And I don't want to – hey! Twinkletoes, let me down!"
During her rampage Aang had crept his way over to her and picked her up to keep her from causing any more destruction.
"Come on, Toph, you already blew away the entire side of the apartment once," Aang said gently, though he looked as if he were bracing herself for some sort of blow. "I think a walk would be a great idea. Sokka?" He gave Sokka a questioning look.
What could Sokka say? He was outnumbered and outmatched. With a heavy sigh, he nodded and walked over to where Aang stood, holding a writhing Toph in the air.
"Come on, Toph, let's go," he grumbled. "I don't want to go any more than you do."
After a few moments, Toph stopped wriggling and Aang set her down on the ground. She ignored Sokka and headed towards the door. "Come on, Ponytail. I haven't got all day."
Sokka followed her out the door, rolling his eyes as he went.
"This is stupid."
For some reason, Sokka was almost hurt by this comment. He didn't know why, though. Instead, he agreed with her. "Yeah, it is. I don't know why Katara sent me along instead of going herself. You could have at least talked about girly stuff with her."
Toph laughed a mixture of coldness and genuine amusement. "She sent you with me to get us out of the house," she stated matter-of-factly.
He scratched his head in confusion. "Why would she do that?"
"So she can be alone with Twinkletoes, of course," replied Toph. Sokka winced. "From what I hear, he's quite the k –"
"Alright, alright!" Sokka exclaimed. He sighed and put a hand over his eyes to block the mental imagery. "Sorry I asked."
A few minutes passed in complete silence, and the pair walked down the road towards the city's giant walls.
"So, where are we going?" Toph asked in an attempt at friendliness – or, at least, a lack of open hostility.
Sokka shrugged, then added, "I don't know. You have anywhere in mind?"
"Anywhere but this stupid city," she grumbled.
"Okay, let's go."
Toph straightened up at his words and turned her head in his general direction. "Really?"
"Sure," said Sokka. "We can't really go far past the city's wall, but we can at least get away from the city life."
Her voice became gentler than he'd ever heard it. "I'd like that."
They had just made it outside the wall (thanks to a little Earthbending from Toph) when Sokka yawned and stretched his arms up over his head. "Such a nice day," he yawned. "Great day for a nap. Everything's nice and bright."
Toph said nothing, then, "I wish I could see the different colors," she said. Her voice was plain and emotionless. "I can feel the world and what's going on in it, and through that I can 'see' things, but I can't see colors. I don't know the difference between green and orange or anything."
A thought crossed Sokka's mind at that moment, but he didn't say it right away. After all, it was sort of a far-fetched idea. And yet, it could possibly work…
"I can teach you colors," he said, tentatively.
"How?" Toph turned her head towards him.
"Like this. Come on." He grabbed her wrist and pulled her over to the wall. They sat down on a small patch of grass and he crossed his legs beneath himself to get comfortable. "Okay," he said. "First, tell me what you can see."
"Nothing. I'm blind, remember?"
"Yeah, well, that 'nothing' is dark, which means that you're actually seeing the color black – just all the time."
Toph crossed her arms and replied, "Yeah, well, I already knew that. I wanted to know about the other colors."
"I'm getting there." Toph's coldness didn't bother him in the slightest now; he was the one with the power at the moment. "Okay, so the opposite of black is white. White is like… like Appa's hair, or like a cloud."
"But clouds are made from water," Toph countered, interested enough to drop her begrudging attitude a little. "So is water white, too?"
"Uh, well, no." Sokka scratched the back of his neck and looked up at the clear sky. "Water is clear and transparent, but sometimes it looks blue. Blue is like – like the sky on a day like this. Or the cold – blue is the color that represents cold. So this –" he touched her hand with the tips of his cold fingers and she jumped a slight bit "– is like blue."
"Mhmm…" she made a thoughtful noise. "What other things are blue?"
"Well," he paused for a moment. "Let's see… my eyes are blue, the arrow on Aang's head is blue. Katara and I both wear blue, maybe because we're from the Water Tribe, I don't know. Actually, now that I think about it," he slowed his speaking to almost a halt, "The Firebenders wears red probably because fire is red. Earthbenders tend to wear green a lot of the time, or other earthy colors."
"I sort of know green," Toph said, nodding. "My eyes are green, aren't they?"
"Yeah, a pale green."
"And my clothes are green, too, aren't they?"
"Yup. Like grass – grass is a really dark green." He and Toph both ran their hands over the grass upon which they sat. "And fire, like I said before, is red."
"Red like fire. So that's where 'red hot' comes from?" she asked.
"Uh huh. Heat and things that are hot are symbolized by the color red. So when you think of things that are hot – or warm, even – think of red. So when I do this, you think red." He picked up her hand, which was lying useless by her side, and breathed on it. Though she must have tried to hide it, he felt a slight tremor course through her and he dropped her hand, blushing.
"Gotcha," she said to clarify her comprehension. "What about things like rocks and dirt?"
Sokka pondered for a moment the many colors of sand, dirt, and rock. "That's a little different," he started slowly, "because rocks can be different colors – orange, like the fruit or like Aang's clothes; yellowish like the sun or like a lemon; or brown, like a tree trunk or like dirt." He reached off of their carpet of grass and grabbed a handful of dirt. Then he took her hand again, having forgotten the reaction he'd gotten last time, and deposited the dirt in her hand. "Dirt is brown. Sand is a kind of brown, too, only lighter."
"I like brown," Toph said, "because it reminds me of earth, and earth makes me feel safe." She waited for a response.
"Lots of people don't like brown," Sokka said, "Because it's not bright like yellow or orange or some shades of blue and green, and because brown is supposed to be dirty." He laughed. "Like dirt. People who don't like dirt typically don't like brown."
"Well I like dirt," Toph laughed genuinely for the first time that day, "so I like brown. There's nothing wrong with a healthy coating of earth, I always say."
Sokka smiled and realized suddenly that he was still holding her hand. His brain told him to let go, but for some reason he couldn't. The feeling he got was sort of like the feeling he got when he was near Suki, but he didn't feel like he needed to protect Toph. It wasn't that Suki couldn't take herself – quite the contrary – but he seemed to just know that Toph didn't need him. And yet –
"What's wrong?" Toph suddenly asked.
He snapped back to reality. "Huh?" Oh, she must feel my heartbeat and breathing. "Nothing," he lied, and dropped his hand.
But, of course, she knew that he was lying. She made a face and insisted, "No, tell me. I didn't recognize that pattern – it was like fear, only… something else, too." Toph tilted her head to the side as she thought. "Excitement? Nervousness? Don't just sit there, spit it out!"
He sighed and sat back away from her an inch or so. "No," he replied. "I can't."
"It's – it's complicated."
"Complicated, huh? Why's it so complicated, Ponytail? What's the big deal?"
Sokka closed his eyes and took a deep breath. How to explain this without, well, explaining it? What a task. Finally he slowly spoke, "I can't tell you because – because I don't know," he finished lamely. "It's like you said: it's fear, excitement, nervousness, and some twisted sort of happiness, all combined."
Toph considered this for a moment. "Well, can you relate it to a color?"
"No, I can't, but –" he broke off, having just been struck with a brilliant idea. Brilliant, but risky all the same. Was it worth the risk? He didn't know, but he thought that it might just be.
"But what, Sokka?" Toph snapped, impatient again. But there was something else in her voice. It was a something that made up his mind.
He changed his position so that he was on his knees. "But I can show you," he said.
After taking a deep breath, Sokka took both of her hands in his and held onto them. Her hands were warm and nice, like the earth itself, though this wasn't surprising to him. His previous suspicions were correct: her hands really were shaking, just enough for him to notice if he held still.
"It's sort of a blue chill, like my hands," he said in a voice low enough to hide his nervousness. He brought his face close to hers (Toph remained determinedly still through this, as if the slightest movement might result in her death) and stopped when his mouth was less than an inch from hers. "And it's a warm red at the same time, like my breath," he continued in the same tone. "And I don't know how it's both, like I don't know how it's all those feelings, but I do know how to express it." With this, he brushed his lips against hers as lightly as he could, just enough for her to know that he had kissed her.
A blush crept to her face – just a light pink on her pale skin – and she remained otherwise motionless. Sokka brought his face away from hers, frowning. Perhaps he'd read the signs wrong – he had been so sure that she felt the same feelings toward him – and perhaps Toph never thought of him as more than a friend.
And then, before he knew had happened, the girl in question leaned forward and kissed him back. Sure, she was off by a little – a little to the left, in fact – but the point was that she had kissed him back.
"You know what I mean?" he asked, trying to sound like his usual cool, collected self.
Toph smirked. "Sort of. I think I might need another demonstration."
A/N: So there it is: my first shot at a fluffy Tokka oneshot. I tried to keep them on-character, but writing an affectionate Toph is like writing Dark!Aang. In other words, it was really hard. xD