Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Toph Bei Fong had problems. It wasn't that she was blind; she had dealt with that her entire life and she had never let it get in her way. It wasn't that she and her friends were temporarily living in Ba Sing Se, a city that was still far too rigid and structured for her taste, despite its recent changes. No, Toph had boy problems. Specifically her problems were with a brave, slightly goofy, more-than-slightly clueless Water Tribe boy.
Toph had begun developing feelings for Sokka shortly after they started traveling together to help the Avatar on his quest to save the world. She had ignored these feelings for a long time, hoping they were part of a simple crush that would fade away, but almost two years later and that hadn't happened yet. Even more discouraging was the fact that Sokka had never openly shown any interest in her as a girl. He clearly liked her, and respected her greatly. He never treated her like a child to be cared for, which she appreciated; but she couldn't help but to hope for something more.
Sokka, and her feelings toward him, confused and frustrated Toph so much that she wished she could confide everything she was feeling to a friend who might help, or at least lend a sympathetic ear. Unfortunately, that wasn't an option. Toph's three closest friends were Sokka, Aang, and Katara. She couldn't talk to Sokka about this for obvious reasons. Aang seemed sensitive enough to listen and possibly even try to help, but he couldn't keep his mouth shut if his life depended on it. As for Katara…Toph cringed at the very thought of how Katara might react. Incredulous cries of "Sokka! Why him?" or even worse, girlish squeals of "That's so cute!" echoed through her mind when she considered confiding in Katara.
That isn't to say Katara didn't have ideas worth listening to. Toph had noticed that whenever Katara wore makeup or got dressed up, Aang's heart beat even faster than it normally did when looking at her and his voice sounded higher and more nervous than usual. Toph decided that if it got half as much of a reaction out of Sokka, it just might be worth the embarrassment. That was why Toph had returned to this place for the first time since her visit with Katara more than a year ago. The Pretty Lady Day Spa.
Toph paced back and forth in front of the large stone building, debating whether or not she would actually go inside. She knew it was foolish to try and change for another person, but on the other hand she realized that simply spending a few hours at a day spa was not going to change her identity. At the end of the day she would still love to tease her friends, she would still feel a fierce joy at fighting, and she would still be the greatest Earthbender in the world. With a renewed confidence in herself Toph entered the building. She just hoped that before the day was out,she would hear Sokka say her name in that breathless, slightly awed tone Aang used for Katara.
Later that day, Toph returned to the home they all shared. Sokka greeted her cheerfully as she walked inside. Her stomach began to churn nervously as she used her earthsense to observe him reclining on a cushion, casually tossing his boomerang into the air and catching it. He asked about how she spent her day, and she told him a partial truth about simply wanting to take a day to relax. The longer they talked, the more obvious it became that the quickened heartbeat and breathless voice she had barely dared to hope for weren't coming, and her heart began to sink. Soon, just being so close to Sokka after her obvious failure to attract his attention was too much for Toph, and she announced that she was going to her room to rest. As Toph began walking away, Sokka called out to her.
"Before you go, there's something I need to do" he said.
Toph turned back toward him in confusion. He came closer, so close that she could feel his breath against her face. Her heart began to pound wildly in her chest. Sokka placed his large, slightly calloused palm against her cheek, and all she could hear was the blood roaring in her ears. Toph closed her sightless eyes and tilted her head the tiniest bit upward. That was when she felt it…his thumb, rubbing gently but insistently across her lips. She realized he was wiping away the artificial color the woman at the spa had applied, swearing it would be enough to draw the attention of any man Toph wanted.
Toph had to choke down the lump in her throat and fight the prickling of tears as Sokka silently pulled his hand away from her face. Wondering what had been the point to his actions, she kept her gaze locked in his direction.
"You're much prettier without it" Sokka called back over his shoulder as he walked toward his room.
As she lay in bed, Toph was unable fight the grin that spread across her face. Her lips still tingled from his touch and a feeling of warmth spread from her chest all the way out to her fingers and toes. It hadn't been a confession of undying love, or even a first kiss, but it was a start.
A/n: This is the first bit of creative writing I've done in years, and it's the first I've ever done of my own free will. The only reason I actually wrote it is because a picture popped into my brain and tortured me until I got off my butt and started writing.
Clearly, I can use a ton of constructive criticism. In particular, I'm not very happy with the part where Sokka is wiping the makeup off of Toph. It's an awfully intimate gesture for someone who hasn't openly shown interest in her. Unfortunately, that is the picture that popped into my head and eventually became this whole fic, and as such I had to write it or go mad. At least it's over now. Please review! I'm looking forward to plenty of advice and con-crit to help make the next one better. KDC2