Dangling Doom

This was it. Through sightless eyes I saw my doom. And not just mine; no, Fate couldn't stop being cruel to me, even in my last moments on this wonderful earth. No, Fate was dragging Sokka, my Sokka, down with me. Unless I, being the Metalbending and Earthbending genius I knew I was, could get him to let go of me. Then I could protect what I loved, even if just for a little while longer.

I felt the change in the air, figuring he was looking into milky eyes filled with tears. "Sokka, let go," I begged, still trying to stay strong and not let the tears fall.

His voice was rough with his own tears that hadn't fallen. "I won't. Toph…I won't let go of you."

I rolled my eyes, vaguely noting that this may not be the time for arguments, what with my impending death mere moments away. "Snoozles, do it. Or I'll Metalbend whatever's behind you and make you let go."

Pain filled his voice with his next whispered statement: "I still won't let go, Toph…I…never mind," the words getting quieter and quieter.

"Snoozles…?" I clung to his hand tighter as shots rocked the airship again. "What is it?"

I felt something behind us. It shook the world around me, forcing my hand out of his. "Sokka!" I screamed, falling to my doom…

…only to be caught by arms I recognized as Suki's. Dang it all! I thought, checking myself for injuries sustained in the fall. A soft thud landing next to me, accompanied by a muted yowl of pain. "Sokka?" I asked gently, quietly, afraid of the answer I expected.

"Toph?" Concern and amazement masked another feeling in his tone, one I couldn't quiet place at the moment. "Oh, Toph!" He took me into his waiting arms, holding me as if I were his last ties to the Earth. "Oh, I was so sure you'd died…I didn't know whether to jump after you or wait for the arrows I knew were coming…"

I pulled back suddenly at the words, horrified. "Sokka!" I punched him in the arm I thought wasn't hurt. "Don't ever say or think things like that ever again, you hear me? Don't ever want to die because of me!" There was a soft cough in the background, Suki of course, but I couldn't care at the moment. "You will live! Do you understand?"

I felt him nod in my embrace as I fell against him again. "So, about earlier…"

I was confused. "What earlier? Before we almost fell to our dooms, or when we were still with Zuko and everyone?"

"What I said before you fell…Toph…" I felt a flutter from his hand, and felt Suki walking away from us to try and give us the limited privacy that Sokka seemed to want. "Toph…" Here, a deep breath. "I…love you."

I punched him again. "Very romantic, Snoozles. Proclaiming your love when I'm about to die. Great timing."

His face fell. I could hear it in his voice; see it in the part of myself that knew everything about him. "You don't, do you?" It was more of a self-certain statement than a question. "You don't…feel the same."

I softened my words, knowing if I gave him the truth in the wrong words that he would disappear, cease to be my Sokka. "Of course I love you, Snoozles. Who couldn't?"

The smile I loved was back, I could tell. "Suki, apparently."

Her careless laughter fluttered over from wherever she stood. "Got that right, Sokka. Darn right."

His lips caressed my forehead, and I felt whole.

--

AN: I know, I know, it's been done hundreds of times: Toph and Sokka before they get saved by Suki in Sozin's Comet. But I love them both too much to not do one, and I can't think of any other plot bunnies at the moment. Go Tokka! And Zukatara (is that the name of the ship? Well, Zuko x Katara) Personally, I think those couples should have been canon.