Title: TW03: Weather

Rated K+

Summary: "You don't know how much it hurts me when I can't protect the people I love." Tokka one-shot

Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar: The Last Airbender

A/N: So this isn't really fluffy Tokka, it's more like mild Tokka. Sort of. I was just writing this scene as it played out in my mind so it's pretty much improvised through out the whole thing. Hope it's not too bad. This is for day 3 of Tokka Week.

"It's so cold."

Sokka sighed at this complaint for it was the fifth time he had heard it in the past minute. At his left, Toph leaned up against him. He could feel her shivering and instinctively wrapped a warm arm around her shoulders.
"Toph, it's the North Pole; what did you expect the temperature to be when we finally got here? Lukewarm?"

The young Earthbender's only response was the chattering of her teeth.

Sokka tried to hold back a chuckle as he lifted the girl with ease into his arms so her feet wouldn't be touching the soft blanket of snow beneath them. It had been snowing on and off since they arrived and a new, fresh coat of snow covered the icy grounds every morning.

"Don't worry." He assured her as she snuggled closer against his chest. "We'll be able to go back home to the Fire Nation soon. I don't want to be here any longer then I have too."
"Then why are we here?" Toph pouted.

"You know Katara wanted to see Gran Gran again and since there are other elders in our village to look after the young children and all the fathers have returned home and since the Northern Watertribe warriors including Pakku made the Southern Watertribe a safer place now that the war was over, she decided to move up here to be with Pakku."

"Lucky Zuko," Toph muttered. "He got to stay home."

Sokka smiled down at her as he carried her back to the room where they were staying. The Northern Watertribe was very active this morning; since the defeat of Ozai celebrations and feasts occurred well into the night. Upon the Avatar's expected arrival another feast had been made in honor of him and the gaang. Sokka had almost considered staying back in the Firenation with Zuko, Mai and the Kyoshi Warriors. In truth, he had been afraid: he had no idea what to say to Yue's father when the reunited. "Oh sir, by the way, I'm still in love with your dead daughter but I have a new girlfriend right now and I'm falling in love with her also."
His heart sank when Katara and Aang ganged up on him, thus convincing him to go. He told Suki to stay behind and continue training the Kyoshi Warriors. His excuse? It was a long trip to the North Pole and he wanted her safe and sound in the Firenation palace in case something happened. Sokka knew Suki didn't buy this, but agreed anyway because she heard the urgency in his voice. Sokka knew more than anything that if he brought her up here things would be more than awkward.

Toph, on the other hand, had been dragged to come along by Katara, claiming if Suki, Mai and Ty Lee weren't coming along she at least wanted some female company.

"Hey Snoozles, why are you so sad?" Toph asked softly. Sokka looked down at her, startled. "What? I'm not sad."

"Liar. I'm listening to your heart beat right now and it's sort of telling me how you're feeling at the moment. So, what's up?"

He sighed as they past the very bridge he and Yue shared their first kiss. "It's nothing….nothing to worry about Toph." He smiled down at her. "We should hurry, it looks like it's going to snow again soon."
"Great." Toph muttered, sarcastically. "More snow."

"At least you're sort of warm now, right?"
"Yeah, I guess."

Later on that evening after the feast, Sokka snuck away to the Spirit Oasis. What he didn't notice was that Toph had followed him. She had been curious when Sokka didn't head back to their rooms. Since she couldn't see on the ice, she used her sharp hearing in order to follow him. The Watertribe warrior sighed as he entered. As expected, the temperature had become increasingly warmer and the soft ripples in the small pond made the place even more tranquil. Toph slipped through the opened door with ease, careful not to make a sound. The young girl almost sighed with relief as she felt the vibrations of the earth once again. She was about to surprise him, wanting to scare him into telling her what his purpose of coming here was. Her voice froze in her throat as she heard him speak:

"Hey, Yue. I'm back again." Sokka's voice seemed weak, as if he had been forcing himself not to cry. Toph bit her lip, unsure if this was a proper time to speak or not.

"I know it's been a long time since I've . . .talked to you, but a lot has happened." He continued. "Aang defeated the Fire Lord and we're currently living in the Firenation with Prince, er, Fire Lord Zuko now. He was the one who ended up teaching Aang fire bending. I know, it was shocking for the rest of us too."

He paused. "Katara and Aang actually got together. I'm sure you've probably been keeping an eye on us…up there…but I just wanted to tell you myself. Personally, I've never seen Katara so happy. They were made for each other, though I could have sworn she was going to pick Zuko after that whole ninja mission the two went on!"
Toph nearly laughed. She had the same theory; Zuko and Katara created a close bond as soon as the Fire Lord was defeated and she knew if Mai and Aang weren't in the picture the two would have probably hooked up in a heart beat. Though, Mai did make Zuko happy and Aang and Katara were pretty close also….

The relationships had thrown her off, but if her friends were happy she was happy.

"I think I've found someone too…." Sokka continued, awkwardly. Toph's heart broke slightly as he said these words. "She's a really great person, she has a great sense of humor and…she's really pretty." Sokka winced. "Of course, not as pretty as you, Yue."

A tranquil breeze entered the air pushed against Toph as if it was giggling.

"Well, she's pretty. I don't think I would be able to choose between you too." Sokka sighed. "I feel as if she's my second chance; if I can protect her I can forgive myself for what happened to you."

She felt a tear fall from her eye. He was talking about Suki. Toph didn't know much about Yue; the only bit her friends would ever tell her was that she was an old friend.

"I know she can protect herself. She's strong, very brave. She's helped us out through out her journey and we've become pretty close. I know she looks up to me, even if she claims that she doesn't need anyone and she can make it on her own…"
Wait a minute; Toph was confused even more at this. Suki didn't have this attitude at all: she was brave, yes, but she depended on the Kyoshi Warriors and her friends to help her when it was needed. It was Toph who was independent and though she never admitted it to him she often did look up to Sokka. He was the only one she really trusted; of course she trusted Aang and Zuko but she felt most comfortable with him. She took a deep breath. "You really think I'm pretty, Sokka?" She asked, hesitantly. Toph expected him to be startled but instead he chuckled softly and turned to look at her. "Of course I do, Toph."

"How'd you know I was behind you this whole time?"
"I knew you were following me." Sokka smirked. "You need to work on your ninja skills."

An awkward silence seemed to wrap around them. It was Toph who spoke next.

"Yue, your old friend….she died, didn't she?"

"Yes." Sokka admitted, regret in his voice. "She died because I couldn't protect her."
"Sokka-" Toph paused, uneasily. "You probably did everything you could to protect her-"

"Yes, but it wasn't enough!" Sokka declared angrily. Toph didn't know what to say; she had never seen the warrior this upset. Instead of the expected awkward silence, Sokka approached Toph and pulled her into a warm embrace.

"Toph, you don't know how much it hurts me when I can't protect the people I love." He told her; she could feel a single tear fall on her shoulder as she wrapped her arms around him in comfort. "Aw, Snoozles don't worry, I'm not going anywhere any time soon." She said softly, trying to make him chuckle again. It worked and then Sokka stood up with a new smile on his face. "Come on, it's getting late." He proceeded to pick her up and cradled her in his arms again. "It's late and we both probably need to get some rest."

"Okay." Toph agreed. A light snowfall had started as they stepped out of the Oasis but Toph didn't care about the cold weather any more; she was always warm when she was safe and sound in Sokka's arms and that was good enough for her.


A/N: Okay, so I really don't like this one. I'm not mortified by it but it's not my favorite. I wrote this improvising everything. It's bad enough this was a day late and I haven't even started on my entry for day 4 so…

Anyway, thanks so much for reading everyone. Until next time! Happy Tokka Week!

"Never let go of the one you truly love"