Hello, all!

Listen, I'm conducting a grand experiment. I'm trying to slim down my writing style, make it less cluttered and more streamlined, hopefully without sacrificing quality. These drabbles are part of that experiment. I realize I'm not very good at them, but I hope to improve, and in order to do that, I need your help! Just tell me what you think; how does this compare to my other works? What can I do to improve?

This was inspired by the fact that Toph is now holding onto Sokka's arm just about every time we see her, including several times in 'The Painted Lady' (did anyone else notice that time on the boat?). Toph isn't getting enough airtime (or fic-time) nowadays, something I intend to fix in the near future.

Until then, read, and review!

Toph, an Earthbender, was a creature of constants.

She was only at ease with the earth beneath her feet, unmoving and eternal; when she was forced to fly, or visit villages in rivers, she had to make do with the next steadiest thing around.

Usually, that was Sokka.

Aang was too fidgety; he was always moving, always fluttering away on a breeze. Katara was too sentimental; she would pounce like a mooselion at the first sign of weakness, offering obnoxious comfort and suffocating support.

But Sokka sat quietly and thought, when he wasn't busy making silly jokes. He was dependable; he was predictable; he was ordinary. His low voice kept her anchored when all was terrible darkness, and his hand was almost as good as a mountain peak when she hadn't seen stone for days.

(They were both warriors; they knew how to keep secrets, cover for each others' weaknesses. She knocked his boomerang out of trees, and he was her guide where she couldn't see.)

And sometimes he handed her off to Aang so he could have his arms free to make his grand gestures, but she didn't mind, because after the speech ended always came back, reassuring in his presence, his silence.

Sometimes she feared for Aang and Katara, but never for Sokka. He was too solid to disappear or die; he was her rock, when the earth was far below them (he was more reliable than the earth itself; the earth disappeared when they were in the air, but Sokka was never far away). She told herself he was too cleverly stupid and too pessimistic to get himself killed.

(And she would never admit it, but she needed him.)

He was her constant.

Review, please!