Title: Birds Without Wings
Author: Ugly.Beautiful
Genre: Romance
Rating: K+
Pairing: Aang x Toph
Spoilers: None
Summary: Do you trust me?
Word Count: 1,254

Disclaimer: The summary is my favorite line from Aladdin, which belongs to Disney and the title is the title of a book by the same name written by Louis De Bernieres. Neither of these things are owned by me.

It was hard to show sincerity to someone who couldn't see the emotions on your face. Yeah, when you were nervous your heart beat faster, but it did that when you were angry, too. Or when you were lying. Or out of breath. So really, was that anything to go by at all?

He couldn't convey what he was feeling to her, because she had never been in love before. Well, to be candid, this was the first time he had ever been in love, too, if one didn't count the lengthy crush he'd had on Katara. But since she acted more like a mother than a girlfriend, it was easy for his crush to fade away.

But Toph treated him differently than anyone else. Katara acted like his mother, and tried to take care of him. Sokka acted like he was one of his troops and tried to make sure he was ready for battle and knew the plan. Toph… just treated him life Aang. A normal kid… who happened to be the Avatar, but a normal kid just the same.

She'd skive off training tof go have some fun, she'd get dirty. She was fun. And that was why he loved her.

In a lifetime the only thing he had ever been sure of was that he had to defeat the Fire Lord. There was no moment's rest. Learning to master the elements was time consuming, and though amusing for a while, it was tiring and he needed a break sometimes, too.

And Toph was the first one to come up with something fun to do, the first one to encourage him when he wanted to try something new, the first one to stick up for him when Katara started yelling about how he was being immature and wasting time.

And he loved her for it.

Now how could he show her what that felt like.

He wanted to show her what it felt like to be in love. The weightlessness, the exhilaration, the fear of the unknown, and the all-consuming joy that filled you with so much emotion you didn't know whether you wanted to giggle uncontrollably or scream. It felt like… it felt like…

"Do you trust me?"

Toph started in surprise when abruptly asked his question. "Huh?" A minute ago he was babbling about love and heartbeats and feelings and a lot of other mumbo-jumbo that didn't really make any sense to her. This was a really random topic change.

"Do you trust me?"

"Sure I do, twinkle toes, but what- Hey!" She yelled when Aang suddenly yanked her to him and she felt his sling her up off the ground, one arm around her shoulders and one under the back of her knees. "What are you doing? I can't see anything! Put me down!"

"I wanna show you something," he said softly. So softly, that she stopped her arguing to hear him. "What I was talking about before, about being in… in love… I wanna show you what it feels like."

"How the heck are you gonna-" She never finished her sentence, because she felt the wind suddenly start to blow around them. She didn't realize that Aang had formed a ball of air under him and was now sitting on top of it has he carried her, since she couldn't see. She just knew that suddenly, the ground felt a lot farther away and they were shooting up into the air. She screamed.

Without any options, she clung to Aang. She could probably get him to let her go, but the fall would probably kill her. At the very least horrifically injure. So it looked like she had to trust Aang. Fantastic.

"Calm down." She twitched when he spoke suddenly against her ear. "Just enjoy it."

Enjoy it? Enjoy it?! How was she supposed to-

The air felt good, she realized. It was like riding Appa, only without Appa. Like she flying, just like a bird.

All of a sudden a silly little smile plastered itself across her face. She felt like a bird. She pried her face out of where she had tucked it into Aang's shirt and let her face be caressed by the breeze.

"Enjoying it?"

The smile transformed into a full-blown grin as she exclaimed. "This is awesome!" It was terrifying, yes. She couldn't see anything. She had no idea how high up they were, if they were over land or water, if she could survive if they fell. It was terrifying, and yet, at the same time… it was… electrifying. She felt weightless. Even though she could feel gravity demanding she come back down, she felt as light as a feather. She normally tossed around boulders the size of houses, the feeling of lightness was something new and different… exciting.

She yelped when they suddenly started to head towards the ground. She turned her face into the breeze, even as her grip tightened on Aang's shirt. When he set her gently back on her feet, she took a moment to orient herself. "Well that was different, twinkle toes," she said. "Are you trying to tell me love feels like flying?"

There was a pause before he answered. "Yeah… yeah, it feels like flying."

"As great as it is to know that, why did you-"

She was cut off. Again. But this time it was by the pair of lips that had suddenly pressed themselves to hers. Her eyes widened in shock, but before she could make up her mind about whether she wanted to lean in or pull back, they were gone.

She could hear Aang rapid breathing in front of her, knew he was standing too close, knew his heart was beating too fast. "Because that's how I feel whenever I'm near you." When she opened her mouth to say something, he kept right on talking. "It doesn't matter where we are or what we're doing, whenever you're near me… I always feel like I'm flying. Like I can fall and crash at any minute, but… at the same time… I feel happy and, and… I just… I…" She heard him sigh. "I think I love you."

Toph didn't say anything for a minute. She didn't know what to say. Did she love him, too? No… yes… maybe… She didn't know. Did she want to feel more of that? Heck yes! She reached out automatically when she felt Aang start to turn away, stopping him with the hand she had grabbed onto his wrist with.

"Toph…? What…?"

"Come on, twinkle toes," she said, a smile tugging at the corners of her mouth. "You're gonna teach me how to fly."

A/N: Yeah, take it anyway you want. Lol. I just watched The Boiling Rock Parts 1 & 2 and felt the A:TLA plot bunny reach into my brain and squeeze. And out popped this. Aang and Toph. A match made in height. Lol.

Even though I think she's crushing on Sokka. Like every female cast member who isn't his sister is. Lol. He's a player. Cause he's cute. But, Aang and Toph are cute together, too.

Peace out!