Chapter 4:

Apparently, the Ground Loves Me

The moment the words came out of my mouth, Sokka turned to me, horrified. "Toph!" he scolded severely. "Vampires don't rape."

I smirked, and glanced back at the stricken New Yorkers. "Oh, I don't know," I said innocently, "some of those sexual predators can get pretty nasty. And, you know," I added after a moment, "be blood drinking magical creatures."

"You have to control your sexual urges," Sokka was still lecturing. Suddenly, he frowned. "Wait," Sokka said slowly, eyes narrowing, "Are you saying you're not a virgin, because I—"

"Shut up, Snoozles," I growled, cutting him off before he could finish the sentence. I could only hope he wouldn't grill me about it later. I'd decided on a nickname when he started carrying me while I was asleep…go figure. "Clothes," I said curtly, holding out my hand as if to accept an offering. "Now."

With a whimper, the girl began shedding her uniform quick as lightening. "Errugh," I cringed, turning away as she stripped to her bra and undies. "No matter how sexually repressed I get," I muttered to Sokka as she handed over the uniform, trembling, "please remind me to always stay straight."

"Sure thing," Sokka agreed, squeezing his eyes shut as the boy, too, began to sullenly lose his shirt, "If you'll remind me of the same think. Which," he admitted, brow furrowing, "will probably be soon, since now that I think of it I'm actually pretty sexually repressed."

I didn't even wanna think on that. Neither did our female victim.

Glaring, she backed into the alley wall with her hands guarding her lacy underwear. "Don't even think about it," she hissed.

I shrugged. "Well, I'm always available."

Sokka gave me a sidelong glance. "I'll remember that," he said at last, sounding the tiniest bit faint.

I began slipping off my shirt, and Sokka slapped his hand across his eyes with an embarrassed squeal. "Not right now!"

I smirked, and shoved the now discarded article of clothing right into his other hand. "What is it, Snoozles? I'm just changing clothes. Have you never seen a girl without a shirt on before?"

With some internal struggle, Sokka removed his hand and stared directly over me at the alley wall, blushing. "I have to."

I raised a skeptical eyebrow. "Sure." Stepping out of my pants, I yanked on the skirt with some disgust. "Ugh." I half turned to the girl, to ask her how the hell she survived the day in these things, but to my surprise they both had vanished.

"Huh…" I frowned, and shrugged. "Ah, well. I wouldn't have stuck around to chat, either."

"Not the smartest choice," Sokka agreed, in a struggle with his own, too-small Hannah Montana sweatshirt. At last, he ripped through the fabric with his teeth, letting out a low growl as he did so.

I blinked at the ripped sweatshirt on the ground. "Y'know," I said slowly, "you owe me twenty ninety nine for that."

Sokka thought on this. "You want it back in cash, or favors?"

The corner of my mouth twitched. "What kind of favors?"

He eyed me somewhat suspiciously. "Normal ones. Like getting you into a concert or saving you from the evil, pink-loving vampire behind you."

I blinked. "Right." For some reason, I'd been thinking he meant sexual favors. Heh, heh. Silly me. "Weird example, though."

"No, seriously, Toph," Sokka repeated, latching hold of my hand to whirl my around, "I mean I'm saving you from the evil vampire behind you.

"…Oh." I ran my eyes over the slightly put out, obviously pink loving—from her outfit—vampire in front of me. "Yeah," I smirked. "Real fierce enemy ya got there."

She frowned slightly, but soon bounced back into a wide smile. "I can hear you."

I snorted. "And, the point."

The vampire frowned again. "Hm." Sliding her fingers through her brown hair, she introduced, "I'm Ty Lee. I'm also here to kill you."

"Toph," I answered back. "This is Sokka."

Ty Lee smiled and gave him a flirtatious wink. "Hey, cutie."

I started to tell her, "Hey, bitch, don't even think about making a move on my man—err, friend" but stopped myself. "Then, since we all know each other," I said slowing, wondering why I was suddenly feeling so murderous towards Ty Lee, "we better get down to business."

"The killing?" Sokka inquired.

I nodded. "Yes. The killing. And then, of course…" I smirked. "The failing."

"You're underestimating me," Ty Lee said cheerfully.

"No," Sokka disagreed. "We're really not."

Ty Lee didn't reply, but jumped into the air with a twirling summersault. She rebounded off my hand as I tried to grab her foot. A moment later, Sokka hurled his boomerang straight at her, and I was sure we'd gotten her. But no dice. Using the boomerang as momentum, Ty Lee hurled herself higher, higher, until she was tumbling down at us with breakneck speed.

Her grey eyes flickered from Sokka to me, as if trying to decide who to take on. Apparently, I was more worthy of her attention.

Huh.

Although, actually, that made me feel pretty freaking badass.

Grinning, I danced backward and shifted into a fighting position. "Bring it on, Pinkie."

"Oh," Ty Lee said sweetly, flipping towards me as she landed gracefully on the ground, "I will."

It was kind of weird that we weren't attracting any attention, actually. Obviously, a fight was going on here, and you'd think someone would've noticed it by now. I'd have to ask Sokka if vampires had some sort of badass awesome defensive thingy for that kinda stuff, too.

"Be careful, Toph," Sokka yelled, awkwardly pressed against one side of the alley. "She can completely paralyze you!"

"I can handle it," I shot back. I leapt back as Ty Lee attempted to jab at various points in my body—pressure points, I guess—hissing out swear words through my teeth as I went.

Dammit. I'm telling you, I had not signed up for this.

My foot caught on a fallen brick, and I tripped backwards, falling right onto my ass. As Ty Lee darted towards me, but I few yards away, I threw my hands up to guard my face—more as a reflex then anything else—and was surprised by how hard it was, almost as if I was tugging something else along with it.

Then, I waited for impact.

It never came.

Slowly, I lowered my hands from my mouth, and stared at the newly formed, solid rock wall now between us and Ty Lee.

Apparently, from the lack of noise, groaning, whatever, from the other side—and the lack of pink-clad vampires spidering over the top of the wall—she'd been knocked out.

Whoa.

I was badass.

I was beyond badass.

I was super-ultra-incredible-wicked badass. I mean, seriously. We're talkin' Spiderman, maybe Batman level here.

But I was still confused. I mean badass or not, it wasn't really normal for the alleys of New York to rise up and protect you and it was even weirder to sense that you'd done it yourself.

Even for a vampire.

"What just happened? I'm thinking it's not exactly typical for vampires to move the earth like that," I guessed, straightening out my uniform as I stood up. And that's what I'd done: moved the earth to become a shield.

My vampire friend didn't seem to have the capacity to answer, from the way he was staring at me, mouth agape. "Well." He seemed to be struggling, once again, with the concept of my totally wicked awesome powers. "That's…cool." For some reason, I felt…happy.

But not 'cause he'd just indirectly called me cool. Or anything.

All good feelings towards Sokka, the world, and the vampire race as a whole disappeared with his next words.

"But…y'know. Boomerangs are so much more awesome. And effective. Because extra powers are…I mean…they're not…Katara and Aang have them, too!" Sokka burst out at last, as it trying to convince himself my powers meant nothing

I shot him an indignant look. "And no one thought to tell me that? Well, gee, thanks, Sokka," I said sarcastically, "that totally makes me feel like 'one of the gang.'"

And I wasn't too happy with him right then, either.

Hmph.

Lousy Indian giver. To pretty much take back a compliment just like that…and besides, he was just annoyed 'cause I could move the earth and he couldn't.

I wasn't gonna tell him what it had made me feel, either. "So…I guess you're jealous of us super power vampires?" I smirked.

"No!" Sokka denied hotly. "My boomerang always comes back!"

I could think of plenty of ways that comment could be considered not-so-subtle innuendo. Leaning towards him, I raised a long, skeptical eyebrow, and said—sounding much more suggestive than I'd intended, "Really."

"Yes," Sokka replied stubbornly. "Really." So much for innuendo. Or was I just imagining the flush in his cheeks? Ah, well. He was probably just confused.

I hadn't really understood what it meant, either.

"Let's get going," I ordered impatiently, striding towards the bright, sunny streets.

Sun.

I shuddered. Ugh. It was all bright and nasty and bright and nasty and bright.

…Oh, crap. I was already becoming a vampire.

And were those wings I felt smushed inside my stolen clothes? Which actually were going to come to use pretty soon, once we found a nice, dark subway to use, some sunglasses for me and Sokka, and somewhere to hide.

Y'know. A mall or a movie theatre or something like that.

Places where all the normal kids hang out.

Suddenly, it didn't like such a good idea to step out onto the sidewalk, where an entire city—a human city—could see me. Humans. I shuddered. Nosy little creatures.

And just yesterday, I'd been one of 'em. Wow. Talk about a change of perspective.

"Toph? Why are you stopping?" With Sokka's voice, I felt a shiver run down my spine. What the hell? A guy had never made me feel like this before.

I groaned inwardly. Dammit. Hormone imbalance. 'Cause…it couldn't be anything else.

Right?

But one thing was for sure: I hated pretty much everything about my freaking transformation (so far).

I was beginning to wonder if I should worry that Sokka wasn't exactly on that list.


A/N: Um, weird update time, I know. But I'm leaving two o'clock today for vacation, so...Forgive me? Hopefully I'll get my Tokka Week oneshots done next, then I'd Lie. But don't hold your breath on the last one; I haven't even started...

And also, if you wanna dictate what fandom I write in after I (eventually) leave this one...just hope right on over to my profile page! :)