Disclaimer: I don't own atla

This story sets place about a day or two after the episode 'Sokka's master'.

Please review. More chapters to follow.

Chapter one: The best gift

"Happy birthday!"

Toph sat up, in a split second she could feel that Sokka, Aang and Katara had entered her stone tent.

"What the hell? Don't you guys knock?" She crossed her arms. They had no right to enter her space, she was still in her nightgown.

"Not if we try to surprise someone." Sokka replied bluntly

"Oh you like surprises huh? Well surprise!"

She shot up the earth beneath the uninvited guests and set them flying into the air. Aang helped him and Katara land softly by airbending, but Sokka smacked down hard.

"Aah" Sokka started to rubb his head. "That smarts."

Toph closed the doors of her stone tent and when they reopend she came out fully dressed.

"I gues you don't like surprises." Aang carefully brang up at breakfast.

"Not if they happen to me." She smiled pointing at the lump on Sokka's head.

"Hey, I haven't heard you apolagize about that yet." Sokka spat at her.

"It's my birthday, I don't have to."

Aang and Katara could feel the tension between these two stubborn warriors rise. Nobody said anything for a long time. Then Toph broke the long pause, her voice was as casual as can be.

"How did you remember my birthday anyway, I mean even I forgot. I just can't keap track of what day it is."

Sokka handed her a paper and turned himself away from her.

"You know I can't read."

"Damn it!" Sokka hitted his own head with his hand, and unfortunatly for him it was on his lump. It resulted in him screaming in pain.

Katara answered for him "You know Sokka, he keeps everything on a schedule."

Aang continued "When he made his schedule he made it so that there was an entire day planned for your birthday."

"Oh, that's verry sweet of you Sokka." Toph did mean that, and she felt bad about what she had done. But Sokka saw it as sarcasm.

"Yeah wathever." After that sentence he didn't speak during the rest of breakfast.

Later that day Sokka had planned that Aang, Katara and he would go into the city and buy a present for Toph, meanwhile she could make her own presents for them. It was Earthkingdom tradition that the birthdaygirl would get and give presents to the onces she loved. It represents the receiving and giving of love, of the relationships that started with you on your birthday. Yet Katara insisted that she'd check on Sokka's head, it was a nasty fall.

But Katara I'm fine." Sokka pleaded.

Sokka was lying, Katara could tell by her healing abilitys that Sokka had a concussion.

"No you're not, you will have to stay here and rest." Katara spoke in that motherly voice she has.

"You might need me Sis."

"I think Aang and I will be able to find a gift for Toph on our own."

"But..."

"Rest! Thats final Sokka!"

"Aaaah, Damn it!"

And thus he and Toph were left at the kamp while Aang and Katara were out in a nearby village. The watertribe warrior was sleeping in his tent, he awoke when he heard a scream in frustration, normally he wouldn't have awoken but the concussion made him notice sound a lot more. It was Toph's voice, and as he got out of the tent he saw her lying down on the floor, slowly but surly letting herself sink into the earth. He was amazed at her powers, she could float on rock, she could swim in stone. He started to approach her, doing his best not to walk into the liquid earth. He realised that he couldn't get any closer then about then feet away of her. He stared at her, and knew she knew he was there. A silence fell.

"Toph day?" He said to break the ice.

"Haha, very funny snoozels."

"Jeezus, Toph crowd."

"Stop it."

"You don't have to act all Toph arround me."

"I'm not in the mood for your lame name jokes! Can't you do better."

Sokka could hear the venom in her voice, it reminded him of a Pythontarantula. Yet he knew that this was the only way he could get close enough to her to talk to her. He putted on his most serious face and his most fake-serious voice (the one like when he's mister Fire) and said

"No, no I can't, cause you dropped me on my head."

Toph's mood changed with his last remark. Her relaxed mind was returning. She turned the liquid earth turn solid again, and sat up straight.

"Yeah, good times." She responded.

"So whats the problem?" Sokka said as he sat himself next to her.

"What are you my shrink now."

"Perhaps."

"It's just that I can't seem to think of a gift for all of you."

"I can."

"You can't come up with your own gift."

"Well not mine, but perhaps Aangs and Katara's?"

"I've been thinking of gifts that are personal and reflect our relationships perfectly, for hours and you say you can just think of those in one minute? Yeah right!"

She letted herself ly down on the ground again. She felt the sun on her skin and enjoyed it, she had just putten that wiseguy in his place. The sun was blocked for a few seconds because she felt it getting colder, and when the sun returned Sokka had his answer, he didn't look at her he just kept staring in front of himself the entire time.

"Who are you? I'll tell you, you're a smart tough girl who's not afraid to say what she thinks. You're a funny, talented, creative joung woman who can see more then any one else. You're independend and behind that wall of stone that you put up around yourself, you're a sweet caring lady, who's heart is full of justice, gentlenes and love."

Toph was quiet, he had described her more thoroughly then anyone had before. She was impressed with Sokka, he had seen her for whom she was. He understanded her, and that while knowing her for only a couple of months. It was true that she could see the thruth about evryone, that was her gift and her curse, but he, he had seen her, defined her, found her, touched her very essence of being, he had touched her soul. After a while he continued.

"Make balerina shoes out of rock for Aang, it will show your funny side and its the thing you guys have. As for Katara, you both are the human example of your element, exactly like stone and water, give her a jar of what combines those elements."

"Give her mud?" The disbelief in her voice was not able to be ignored.

"Tell her what I told you, and she'll be happy, trust me."

A long pause fell between them. And this time it was Toph who ended it.

"I ought to drop you more on your head."

They laughed.

"Speaking of which." Sokka started "I think my headache is returning, to much daylight. I'm going to bed."

"Thanks"

Toph watched him leave and enter his tent. She sat there for about a minute, and realised something. She walked towards the tent. Determined to speak to him about it. She entered the tent. Sokka was lying down beneath his blankets, not asleep yet but well on his way.

"Don't you knock?" Sokka grunted.

"Sound familiar?"

"What is it?"

"If I give them those gifts, then they came from you, not from me."

"Theyre from you, if I gave them those, they wouldn't jack. Theyre from you."

"But..."

"I know you Toph, they're from you, they are you."

"And what about my gift to you?"

"Aaah, well I can't think of that, that would be cheating."

"Its impossible to think of a gift from me for you."

"That would mean that you don't care about me."

"Now that's not true, I do care about you"

She got kind of mad, how could he think she didn't care for him, come to think of it, she cared about him a lot, very much really. He had been so kind to her, remembered her birthday, planned an entire day for it, helped her calm down, he understood her. Lately she cared more and more for him, why was that?

"Then I'm sure you'll think of a gift."

"But I can't think of anything."

"Do you want to know what I do if I worry?"

"Sure"

"I sleep on it."

"Sokka! I'm serious."

"So am I."

She could hear in his voice that he was. Toph layed herself next to him and realised how tired she was. The earthbender closed her eyes and rested her head on his shoulder. Through that she could feel that he wasn't wearing a shirt. This made her heartbeat go faster, and she felt his heartbeat slow down, he was falling asleep. When he had fallen asleep she kissed his forehead and said:

"I'm sorry about the lump on your head."

She crept closer to him and allowed herself to fall asleep with her head on his shoulder. Right before she fell a sleep she knew what she would give him, the perfect gift, the symbol of how she felt for him. This was to be her best birthday ever.

So I hope you all liked it, and review please. I allow flames, but at least have the dignity to login, no anonimous messages. Wie dat dat wel doet kan den boom in.)