First Glimpse of Love
"Sokka…" I stared into the setting sun with sightless eyes. "Sokka, what do you look like?"
I felt the earth under him shift as he turned to face me. "Very handsome. At least, Suki said so." His voice was full of pride, pain and love when he spoke her name. Nothing personal, but I really hated Suki at that moment.
I snorted, rolling my milky white eyes. "No, Snoozles, be serious." In all the years we'd spent together, a total of 5 since we defeated Ozai, I still had no idea what any of my friends looked like. I knew Katara was now about my height, everyone else taller than me. But when jokes were made about old hair disasters or Zuko's scar…I had no idea. I just had to laugh along with them and act like it didn't annoy me when they all seemed to forget I was blind.
"I am serious, Toph!"
"Are not." Before he could argue further, I reached out a hand to where I thought his face was.
I was right. "Ow! That's my eye! Watch where you're poking, Toph!"
"Sorry, it's not as if I could tell," I muttered, fingers splayed against his cheek. I traced his face, memorizing the curve of his nose, the distance from eye to eye…everything about him. The shaved sides of his head, the bundle of his wolf tail, the exact shape of his ear…
"Toph?" his cheeks were warm as I passed over them again.
"Yeah?" I mumbled, still on my mission to memorize his features.
"Why did you stay with us? Why not go back and be Toph Bei Fong, the girl who could have everything?" We had all elected to travel together, mostly staying in different towns for a few weeks or so before packing up and leaving again, after Ozai was defeated.
I smiled slightly, hand on his chest. "Because everything I left when I was 12 is something I would never take back. Sure, I'll go visit my parents like we did last month, but I could never fully immerse myself into that world again. It would be too painful. I'd miss everyone too much, and I would always feel like a caged bird."
His lips quirked into a grin. "I'm that irresistible, huh?"
Now it was my turn to blush. "What makes you think that, Sokka?"
His face tilted in my palm. "Because you tell me all this stuff that no one knows about you. You are completely honest and open, but when anyone else is near you shut up and start being annoying-Toph."
"Annoying-Toph, eh?" I smiled. "Guess that's about as fair as Snoozles."
"And you aren't any bit annoying when it's just us. You become yourself, your alone-self, when it's just us. Why is that, Toph?"
"Because, around you, I feel like I'm able to see," I paused for a minute or so before steadying my voice enough to continue. "I feel like I'm really alive, for once."
He was silent as he turned back to face the sunset, and I wasn't sure if he was trying to process what I said or if he was trying to act like he didn't hear me. "Toph?" He whispered, voice rough with something I couldn't quite place.
He stared at my hand, never leaving his cheek through the entire exchange. "Never mind. It was nothing. Forget about it, okay?"
I heard the false note ring throughout what he said. "Okay." I flopped against his chest from where I sat, hugging him close. "Forgetting about it….now." And I thought, in the back of my mind, that the tone I couldn't place earlier was love.
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AN: So, part one of my two-shotter! (And yes, the titles are meant to be ironic because of Toph's blindness.) Heh…if you can, review to this part BEFORE you read part two and tell me what you think is going to happen! I'm off to write the next part right now, and I'M not even sure what's going to happen!