Title: Inn Between the Honeymoon Suite and the Hooker
Author: Lex 'Spork' Tenou
Series: Avatar: The Last Airbender
Pairing: Toph/Katara
Rating: PG-13
Warnings/Disclaimer: "Avatar: The Last Airbender" and all derivative characters are property of Nickelodeon. All original ideas are distributed under the CreativeCommons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License. For more information on the Creative Commons License, visit Archiving: Ask first.Author's Note: Written for fortheloveofpizza. See the illustration at .
Summary: Sometimes, even the greatest will is stuck in between an Earthbender and a hard place.


Growling, the dark form of the young woman known as Toph Bei Fong rolled over, beating her head against the floor with a series of solid thunks. Her roughly trimmed dark hair fluttered around her face, obscuring her features as she growled into the darkness of the room she shared with her traveling companion Katara. "Will they never stop!"

"They're newlyweds, what do you expect?" Laying a warm hand on the Earthbender's bare shoulder near the edge of her sleeveless shirt, Katara frowned, concern flooding her at the younger woman's obvious frustration. She had never known Toph to become so perturbed from such a simple thing as the next room over being occupied by an enthusiastic couple. Then again, it wasn't often that they stayed at inns - especially not ones that featured real marble inlay in the floor. The rough stone was laid out in a diamond pattern across the wooden floor, the polished dark wood gleaming alongside the light colored decorative rock that shone in the pale moonlight. Each piece of the stone touched another piece in a continuous pattern that Katara was certain ran the entire length and breadth of the inn - including directly beneath the bed of the newlyweds. Coincidentally, it also ran directly beneath their own pallets. "Is it really that bad?"

Turning her head, Toph's pale eyes glinted in the dim moonlight from behind the shielding veil of dark strands, her steady breathing sounding harsh in the dark room. Katara had heard many a time when Toph's emotions ran high, her breath ragged in her throat as she shouted, a brash manifestation of her volatile temper. This time, the steadily calm intake and slow exhalation of air sent shivers through the experienced Waterbender as she lay in the still silence of the room, mere inches from her travelling companion. Quiet and low, the smooth voice that she'd often heard raised in laughter and ire whispered across her nerves in a delicate caress. Words formed and fell from the Earthbender's lips in a steady rain of constrained heat, stark counterpoint to the tense frown that drew dark brows together.

"It's like having someone moan directly into your skin, their pleasure echoing through you. Every breath brings with it greater heights of blessed carnality, ravishing your strength of will. Softly spoken promises of unimagined pleasure dance through you, until all you can think of is grabbing whoever is next to you and making love to every inch of their body, until you collapse, sated for the moment, knowing that as soon as breath is caught, you'll turn back to one another and start it all over again. So, yes...it is that bad."

Katara stared.

Insistent warmth had flooded her when Toph's impromptu speech had begun, the powerful woman's voice threading itself through her, each word provoking another tide of heated pressure from the mere sound of it. Sultry in its calm quietness, Toph's steady voice dripped sensation born of experience. Katara stifled a shiver at the persistent caress of Toph's words, still hanging in the air between them. The mere sound of them emerging from well formed lips was enough to daze Katara with errant mental forays into decadent touch during a sweetly held morning after. The content of the dark woman's speech, however...how was it that she could describe her agony in sheer liquid poetry?

Clearing her throat with a laugh to distract herself from the tingling flutter in her stomach, Katara leaned back, away from the woman she roomed with, her hand continuing to rest on the heated expanse of Toph's bare shoulder. She could feel the thrumming of Toph's blood through her veins, throbbing just beneath the surface of the skin that her fingers lightly grazed. The power and energy that her companion wielded so easily was lurking, hidden from casually prying eyes until the moment that the earth beneath their feet rebelled. The barest shift in Toph's body could be felt by Katara's roaming fingers, fingers that she forcibly contained to dancing over the curve of Toph's bare shoulder with a light touch that betrayed nothing. Restrained strength lurked in the length of that arm, coming to the fore when Toph pressed it into service during training...while eating...while scratching her head...at most anytime, really. Katara couldn't count the number of times she'd lost her train of thought due to a subtle shift of muscle as Toph negligently displayed her out sized strength. She was always so restrained in her emotions, rarely showing any of depth - which was why it struck Katara as so odd that such a simplistic thing as overhearing a newly wedded couple's first marital pleasures would be enough to drive Toph's control to the breaking point. "It can't be all that bad, really?"

Toph's low laugh was dark as pitch, caressing so lightly across Katara's nerves that she shivered from the sheer tangible sensation. It was almost exactly like how she'd felt that one time, almost a full month before, that Toph had saved her from a random attack by pressing her flush between an unyielding wall and the slimly muscled frame of the companion that lurked with her in the darkness of the inn bedroom. Captured suddenly, unable to move beneath the strong and callused hands that gripped her upper arms in bracing posture, Katara's breath had fled and she'd sought to spy the danger that Toph had detected whilst steadfastly ignoring the press of Toph's knee between her own, in addition to the warm curve of Toph's embrace. A dark head had lowered near to her own, warm breath drifting across the curved point of her chin. At the mouth of the alley, their attackers had glanced down the dirty, cramped passage and seen only two lovers in a quiet embrace. Toph had smirked insufferably when those who had sought to assault them had moved on, making a jest about publicly displayed affections. The warm length of Toph's thigh had brushed against Katara's leg, forcing to the forefront of her mind just how close their bodies pressed against one another in the exposed alleyway. Though the inn bedroom was enclosed, protected from spying eyes, the sensation of exposure, the soft press of Toph's body against her own...the fluttering of her heart...they were all similar. Alarmingly similar, considering that Toph wasn't pinning her at the moment, instead remaining on her own bedroll a few inches away.

"Have you ever been touched by one who adored you? One who's every breath was drawn in hope of continuing to worship your breathtaking wonder? The contours of your body presenting the one who would adore you with a rich temptation that made their palms itch to map the gentle curves of your beautiful form?" Toph laughed again, her rich humor washing over Katara, sending a frisson of chillingly intense heat through her, wrapping around her spine. Her fingers on Toph's warm skin trembled slightly from the quietly verbal assault, and she forced a desperate swallow in her already dry throat. There was something about the calm pitch of Toph's voice that affected her so deeply and abruptly, Katara was unable to identify it, much less formulate a defense against it. "There is much that one who loves you might wish to do to you...for you...with you. A kiss, maybe. Gentle pressure of two mouths meeting in darkness as arms wrapped around each other. Maybe you'd lean in. Maybe your lover would. Regardless, the moment would be perfection because it was you and the one whose every waking thought dwells on you."

Katara couldn't help the light laughter that bubbled up from her throat. Tinged with nerves, it bounced off of the shadowed walls of their room, reinforcing that they were alone, together, in an anonymous inn. The mere thought was enough to set her mind awhirl with salacious possibility and half-remembered dreams. Was it feasible that such a thing was in the realm of reality?

"I don't know about all that. Do you really think it's possible for such things to happen? It sounds like something out of a storyteller's imagination. A kiss, being perfection? It's almost too fantastic. Like a fairy tale."

Toph shifted beneath the light touch of Katara's fingers on her shoulder, toned muscle bunching and relaxing as the powerful bender turned from her stomach onto her side, facing her companion. One arm bent to prop her head on her palm as an almost delicate smile curved the dark woman's lips. Katara was mildly glad that Toph's eyes didn't work. That meant the younger woman couldn't see how Katara's eyes lingered over the highlights and shadows created by the flexed arm that supported the Earthbender's head.

"I suppose it depends on if you believe that tales can come true. I've always thought that, with the right person, anything is possible." Katara almost jumped from her skin as a rough hand curved around the line of her waist, pushing across the homespun fabric of her simple and functional clothing. The weight of Toph's sturdy hand against her covered waist sent a shiver of tension through her, curling around her nerves with a persistent heat that demanded more. It was an innocent touch, a caress born of long friendship. It was nothing like the lurid pictures that blossomed within the depths of Katara's mind. "I suppose you think that's silly of me, to think that fairy tales can come true."

"No..." Katara smiled, her arm bent to allow her fingers to remain in contact with Toph's bare skin, the back of her knuckles brushing against the smooth skin at the front of the dark woman's shoulder, just at the edge of her sleeveless shirt. Perhaps it was selfish, nay, foolish, to indulge herself so in touching her companion. Maybe it was the anonymity of the inn's darkened room, so different from the gentle almost-darkness they usually experienced while travelling. The only light she could utilize was a single swath of moonlight drifting in through a high window. It washed over the floor in a square of bare illumination, near the upper edge of Toph's bedroll. "It's terribly romantic, actually. It's always funny to see how much of a softie you really are."

Toph growled low and Katara found herself no longer delicately tracing mindless patterns on Toph's bare skin.

She instead found her wrists encased in a firmly gentle grip, a warm and heavy body covering her own and pinning her forcibly to her bedroll. Narrow hips pressed into her own, trapping her between firm muscle and soft padded cloth as hot puffs of breath wafted against her neck just below her chin. The abrupt shift took a moment to be recognized by her mind - but her body immediately spotted the change and responded with a triphammer pulsing. She could feel the flow of lifeblood through her veins, thundering in her head and regions far lower. It was most assuredly a good thing that she was trapped, lest she expose herself to this one whom must never know the midnight wanderings of her imagination.

"I am Toph Bei Fong, the greatest Earthbender this world has ever seen. I can lift boulders with the barest effort and rend entire mountains in two. I am not a softie!" The snarled words were growled into Katara's neck, the insistent refusal making Toph's breath come hard. Her chest heaved with anger beneath her soft night shirt, sending warms puffs of air across the delicate expanse of Katara's neck. The tickle of air, combined with the blatant falsehood of Toph's words, elicited a lilting laugh from the trapped woman, nervous titters that escaped before she could think.

"You are so a softie. You bought that entire group of kids sweet buns last week."

Above her, Toph frowned and muttered sullenly, the entire episode having left a sour taste in her mouth. "Well, I'm not about to hold a bunch of kids responsible for the stupidity of their relatives. Maybe next time those lunkheads will think twice before dismissing someone on sight." Toph muttered softly, her voice dropping to a sullen burr that almost made Katara shiver from the mere sound. "Stupid dorks. Didn't even recognize that you could wipe the floor with them all any day of the week."

Katara smiled and raised her head, her forehead touching Toph's in a light connection of warm skin. "Softie."

Toph used the touch of their foreheads to push Katara back down, growling low in her chest all the while. "I am not a softie!" Her snarl was emphasized by a light push of her forehead against Katara's. The darkness obscured the details of Toph's face, leaving the pinned woman with only the impression of a snarl as the grip on her wrists tightened slightly.

"Oh, you are so a softie."

Toph pulled her head back and frowned down at the woman below, her hair falling in a curtain around her face. "I am not. If I'm a softie, then you're...you're...I don't know, but you're something." The slight pout in Toph's almost sullen voice was almost too much for Katara. She had to distract herself.

"I am perfect, that's what I am."

Toph laughed shortly. "Yes, you are." Still pinning the older woman to her bedroll with one hand, the other slid down the length of Katara's bent arm, callused fingertips scraping across delicate skin until almost reaching the curve of Katara's elbow. Toph's shoulders turned away as she tilted her head to the side, listening for a short moment. With a sigh, she shook her head, her body returning to face Katara. "They're still at it. Would you mind staying up with me and distracting me? They're really, um, energetic." Toph winced, the muscles in her free arm jumping as she moved. "That felt like it had to hurt."

Katara grinned. "They're newlyweds. What did you expect?" It was strange that even though Toph had her pinned, she felt safe and cared for. Perhaps it was the way Toph's leg slipped between her thighs to prop the younger woman's weight somewhat off of her captive. Perhaps it was the lowering of Toph's elbow to the bedroll to support her upper body so that they just barely touched. Maybe it was the way Toph's shackling hand loosened to gently encircle Katara's wrist as the bare length of their arms pressed solidly together above Katara's head, even as the other hand was left free to lightly dance over the sensitive skin at the inside of Katara's arm.

"I didn't expect a marathon. They've been at it for half the night!"

Katara laughed. She would have shrugged, but Toph's frame hovering above her precluded her movements. She didn't dare move beneath the dark woman, for fear that she'd take it as reason to move away from where she rested against Katara's side. If that happened, Katara had no idea when she'd manage to get the younger woman to do this again, if ever. "You don't think that you'd have that stamina, is that what you're saying?" The burn on the Waterbender's cheeks could probably be felt by her captor as she hovered scant inches away.

She could see the meaning of her words sinking in, the light smile on Toph's lips curving into a slight frown as Toph growled and leaned in toward Katara once again. Tense expectation arced through Katara as Toph's decadently teasing mouth drew closer, mere breath separating them. Katara's chin lifted of it's own accord, rising to meet the approaching mouth, her heartbeat picking up in her chest as she ached to learn the difference between waking and dreaming. Another breath and she would know the sweet taste of her companion on her anxiously waiting lips...

Toph's lips continued past, her smooth cheek descending to hover next to Katara's as she spoke hotly into the delicate shell of Katara's ear. The warm bulk of Toph's frame pressed into Katara's, the muscle of Toph's tensed thigh pressing between the Waterbender's legs, firmly butted against a forcibly ignored wet heat, separated from her captor by a few all too thin cloth layers. The firm plane of Toph's stomach lowered, resting warmly against the woman below, their breasts pressing together firmly. Katara froze, paralyzed with tense fear and expectation as the growled warmth drifted into her consciousness, Toph's callused hands gripping her in convulsive firmness.

"If I was of the mind, I would make you scream to the heavens of your pleasure, aching for my barest touch as I drew every bit of desire from the depths of your soul. I can make it so you can't even look at anyone else without thinking of my touch." A frisson of heated fear laced through with unrelenting desire wrapped itself around the pinned woman's senses. Her breath came heavily as she stared upward into the dark expanse of the ceiling, forcing her breasts to slide deliciously beneath those of her desired captor. "I can make you beg without breaking a sweat. I would love you so intensely that you would pass out from the force of the pleasure I inspire in you." The dark chuckle made her gasp in shuddering need. "Oh, yes, I have the stamina. The question is, do you?"

Her panted breath sounded loudly in the still room as the measured inhalation and exhalation of Toph's breathing washed warmly over the sensitive skin behind Katara's ear. The firm press of Toph's thigh against her did not help. In fact, it was rather distracting. Lifting her hips against it as she squirmed in a futile effort to escape did nothing to help - rather, it did help, but not toward the end of lessening the pressure that was barely contained with her. Her breasts, confined within her shirt, slid beneath her captor in a decadent temptation as Toph's strength remained resolutely still above her, holding her firmly in exactly the position Toph desired. The dark head rose from it's nuzzle just far enough for the longest wisps of Toph's hair to barely brush against Katara's face.

In the darkness behind the veil of Toph's dark hair, Katara was barely able to make out the small curve of the younger woman's lips. She stilled as she realized that the little indulgences she'd allowed herself tonight had finally broken through her defenses. She had never thought that the darkness and isolation of an anonymous inn bedroom would penetrate her restraint and allow her to act on these feelings strange that had grown within her.

She had never even entertained the thought of Toph knowing. It was a secret, her secret, one that she held close to her heart so that it would never know the harsh reality of life. The slight curve of Toph's mouth - a mouth that she had dreamed of so often forming words of affection and desire - that tiny smile dashed the shining hope that Katara held for her secret to remain just that.

Toph knew.

Katara squirmed with renewed vigor, her heart pounding in her chest as the harsh rush of panic suffused her slender frame, rendering her mind to a whirling confusion of one need - to get away. Her wrists twisted beneath the firm grasp of Toph's gentle hands, her back arching up from the soft padding to press firmly into the strong form that held her. Her legs sought to thrash beneath the heavy weight of Toph's legs atop them, her hips pushing indecently upwards into Toph. Her head thrashed from side to side as she fought to break free of her captor, strands of her hair flying about her head in flinging fury.


She could feel Toph drawing her closer, the strong arms flexing in order to restrain Katara tightly against the chest that held the heart Katara could not hope to win. Guiding her arms between them and pulling her close enough to forcibly entrap the formerly struggling limbs between their bodies, Toph wrapped her arms around Katara and cradled the panicked woman against her chest. Toph's warm embrace surrounded the anguished woman, torn suddenly between the overwhelming desire to get away and the craving to surrender to the comfort of Toph's encircling arms. It was so close to that which she ached for, but she knew if she drew back to look into the face of the woman she loved to the depths of her heart, that she'd not see that love reflected.

Panic won out.

"Let me go!"

"No." Toph's calm voice wasn't mocking. Katara could hear that much. Something other lurked in that voice, something to which she could put no identity. "I want to tell you a story."

"A bedtime story? I outgrew those years ago." Katara could not stem the hot swath of tears that flowed from her eyes, thickening her voice in her throat. Why wouldn't Toph let her go, to be miserable in peace? She'd get over this eventually, but for now she needed to wallow and she couldn't very well do that while restrained in Toph's embrace.

Toph's smile tinged her voice with a sorrowful humor, a grating irony of amusement that scraped across Katara's nerves. "A fairy tale about a princess and her devoted follower. It starts many years ago, in a land far away."

Katara laughed, low and bitter. "Do you also have a prince in this fairy tale of yours?"

Toph hesitated for a long moment, her arms solid and warm around the Waterbender. "Sometimes. He's not important." Katara remained silent. Something about the pain in Toph's voice told her that there was something more to that response, something that lurked in darkness and keened its agony to the unfeeling moon. Toph inhaled with a shudder and continued in a forcibly soft voice. "The princess was from a land far distant from that of her worshiper. They met while very young, having been chosen by the spirits to follow a path strewn with danger. They weren't very close, not at first. They fought, sometimes magnificently."

Katara chuckled mirthlessly against Toph's shoulder. "Kinda like how we used to do."

Toph's chuckle echoed Katara's, her nose nuzzling in the depths of Katara's freely flowing hair. "Let me finish."


"The princess and her follower fought with one another, growing to know each other as they traveled the world on their quest. Their fights continued until one day, it wasn't a fight at all. The princess and her friend, that's what they had become somehow, friends, talked instead of fighting, trading wit for barb and affection for spitefulness. They grew close, those two, until one day, the friend looked over and saw the most beautiful woman in the world."

"I don't think the princess is going to like that." Toph's quiet words had quickly woven a spell around the Waterbender, easing her pressing need to escape. Her fingers curled slightly around the high collar of Toph's night shirt, bare wisps of dark hair teasing her fingertips. It really did feel good, right even, to be held like this. If only she knew Toph's heart...

Toph's low chuckled resounded in the darkness, rumbling her chest beneath Katara's fingers. "Do you always interrupt storytellers? No wonder you never get bedtime stories."

"Toph!" Katara reached up, her fingers caressing over the smooth side of Toph's neck to tug sharply on one earlobe.

"Ack! Fine, fine. Where was I? Oh, yes. The most beautiful woman in the world. See, what had happened was that the princess had managed to get around the guards that her friend had set up around a bruised heart. Though they had been young when they met, her friend had seen much pain in a brief lifetime, enough to warrant a deep fear towards love. The princess' friend had lived an entire lifetime without knowing an honest love between two equals. That was what the princess' friend felt, that night around the campfire. The princess looked up and watched her friend with quiet curiosity, wondering what was going on that would make a smile like that show up. But her friend didn't say anything then, choosing instead to keep quiet until the princess knew her own heart." Toph fell silent, breathing steadily beneath Katara's light touch. The Waterbender frowned, confusion marring her smooth brow.

"Is that it? That's not much of an ending." Shaking her head, she moved to reach for a spot to pinch the teasing Earthbender, her fingers shifting over the soft surface of Toph's night shirt.

"We're writing the ending...princess."

Katara froze, her fingers resting against the smooth column of Toph's throat. The steady pulse beneath her fingertips jumped at her touch, a subtle twitch underscoring the truth of the softly spoken words. Harsh expectation thrummed through her, her stomach dropping even as her heart leapt into her throat. All she could think, all she could say was the name that haunted her dreams. "Toph?"

With a shuddering sigh, Toph's embrace tightened slightly, melding their bodies as she spoke one name. "Katara."

Whispered. Reverent. The way Toph said her name...Katara's heart thundered in her chest, her mind swirling beneath the onslaught of realization. Toph was...her Toph? Her Toph? She was Toph's princess? Such thoughts could not be made to make sense in her mind, instead becoming a muddled confusion of dream memory and new reality. Toph's arms around her felt right, an embrace of honestly expressed emotion to keep her close. Katara closed her eyes, burying her head in the sliver of exposed skin above the high neckline of Toph's shirt. Tugging the collar down with her fingertips, Katara pressed her nose and mouth against the warm skin, inhaling the clean sharp scent that was purely Toph.

She didn't want to think anymore. Thinking led to trouble. Always, traveling with Toph, gut feeling and emotion led her down the right path - this should be no different.

She inhaled deeply of the rich scent of Toph - her lover - and pressed a soft kiss just below the edge of Toph's sharply defined jaw. Warm and pliant beneath her kiss, Toph quietly allowed her what liberty she sought as her soft kiss burned into the soft, clean skin of Toph's jawline. Deep within herself, Katara could feel the pieces sliding home as she allowed herself to fully imagine the possibility of Toph...as hers. Heat burned low within her, pushing her to seek greater allowances, demanding that she learn every curve and dip of Toph's muscled frame with her kisses.

"Toph..." Soft, murmured against the edge of her lover's jaw, Katara pleaded for something she had never dared name.
She had to know. She had to hear it. "Do..." Why was it so hard to say the words even as their bodies intertwined in a teasing dance of closeness? "Do you..."

"I love you."

Toph's quiet words were murmured into the soft skin next to Katara's ear, Toph's nose nudging against the warmth. It sent a shiver along the length of Katara's spine to hear the plainly stated declaration. "I've loved you for so long." She chuckled, low in her throat. "I sound like a bad play." Shaking her head, Toph raised herself from their embrace, allowing Katara to watch the subtle shifts of her face in the thin light. "I've been in love with you for a while. A long while. I've known that you would come to love me because you already did - you just had to come to the realization that you did. I was planning on confronting you with it at the midsummer festival. I was going to get you a bouquet of flowers and tell you how much you mean to me." Toph pulled a hand free, her fingertips dusting over the features of Katara's stunned face. "I've never been good with words, Katara. You know that. I'd much rather..."

The naughty grin was Katara's only warning before Toph gently tilted her chin upwards, lowering her head to greet the Waterbender's lips with a soft kiss. The world around Katara stilled for a long, breathless moment before sensation exploded across her reality, rewriting what she knew to be truth. How was it possible for one so rough to have such a tender kiss? The press of their bodies together demanded attention, her body reminding her that this was Toph, and she was being touched. In that way.

The gentle press of Toph's kiss into her dominated her existence, narrowed to the bare softness of their mutual embrace. An exquisite ache lurked within her, a creeping need to learn the contours of Toph's mouth even as her hands mapped the hidden expanse of smooth skin that taunted her by remaining covered. So many times she had wondered what it would be to know the press of Toph's lips to her own. Now she knew.

It was like sunshine and a fresh breeze dancing across her skin as she lay in long green grass. It was like the cool embrace of a fresh water lake on a hot summer day when nothing else offers any respite from the suffocating heat.

It was perfection.

Toph's deceptively slim arms held her tenderly, gently holding the smaller woman flush against the lanky frame that had haunted her dreams for so long. The slow burn that had been lurking within her all night flared to life beneath Toph's sure hands, stoked into an inferno of need underscored by a rampantly demanding ache. Her mind spun beneath the loving assault, her world consisting only of the press of their bodies and Toph's confident kiss. The dream she'd held, of this sensation had no match when held up against the reality of Toph's firm lips moving against her own in a salaciously, decadently enriching devotion. She craved the press of her lover against her, their kiss continuing into eternity, their self appointed quest forgotten beneath the onslaught of pure sensation.

Light headed and giddy, Katara giggled against Toph's kissing mouth, her fingers digging into the Earthbender's unguarded sides. Breaking from the kiss with a snort of half suppressed laughter, Toph reached for Katara's hands. Capturing them straightaway, she once again pinned the Waterbender to the bedrolls, this time with a grin.

"Like I was sayin'...I love you. Even though you're a brat."

Katara pouted, pulling at her wrists encircled by one of Toph's long fingered hands. "I am not a brat!"

Toph laughed shortly. "Oh, yeah? Who's the one who hasn't said how she feels, huh?"

"I was getting to that!" The pinned woman huffed and tugged at her hands again. "Let me loose, you brute." Shaking her head with a grin, Toph complied, resting her elbows on the bedrolls to either side of Katara's shoulders. The smaller woman stretched beneath the hovering figure above her, her arms reaching out above her head and swinging through the air until they landed around the smooth column of Toph's throat. With a sigh of resignation, Katara grinned and spoke the words Toph needed to hear. "I do love you, though the spirits themselves know I should hold out for someone better."

Toph's honest laughter echoed in the dark bedroom, her head dropping to nuzzle against Katara's neck. "You could do a lot worse than the richest woman in the world."

The sigh was heavy with melodrama as Katara ran her hands over the broad expanse of Toph's back. "That's true. I suppose I could marry you for your money. I'll need a matching belt and bag."

"Why you little...I'll show you matching belt and bag!" Toph's questing fingers quickly found the hidden sensitive spot to make Katara squeal in laughter. Batting at the evil hands that tormented her, Katara squirmed beneath her new lover, pulling at Toph's hands until they brushed against the sides of her covered breasts. Gasping, she stared wide eyed up at her lover, uncertainty flooding her at the rush of heat.

Smiling softly down at her lover, Toph spoke quietly. "I'd like to hold you tonight as we fall asleep." Toph's long fingers drifted across the soft curve of Katara's cheek. "May I?" Not daring to trust her choked voice, Katara nodded against Toph's hand, being richly rewarded with a deepening grin that twinkled with mischief.

"Ah! You said sleep!"

Toph chuckled, once again pulling Katara into the warmth of her embrace. "Yes, I did, and I meant it. When I make love to you for the first time...I'm not sure if perfect is the right word, but I can't think of any other. I can do nothing less than to make it a memory that will stay with you happily for the rest of your life, because you deserve it." The warm curve of a rough palm cupped Katara's cheek as her lover spoke sweet words. "There is only one first time, and I will do everything possible to make ours something that we will look back on and smile happily. I crave your pleasure, I'll make no lie about that, but above that, I need your happiness. I want...I want to woo you. To sweep you off your feet and make you fall in love with me all over again. Only after that will I take you in my arms and make you fully mine."

Katara tried to speak.

Her grand effort produced only a small squeak.

Clearing her throat, she tried again. "That, that sounds fine." Wavering and weak, her voice sounded thinly in the darkness. Shaking her head, she laughed slightly. "And you say you have no way with words."

Toph shrugged, grinning. "Just wait...it gets better."

- end -