Merry Christmas Guys.
Have a present.
She shut the cave entrance with a stomp of her feet, bringing up dirt and rocks to seal the hole. It'd take those goblins some time to dig their way though solid rock. Toph made sure she dragged up the hardest rock she could find, even if she did cause a miniature tremor. The last thing they needed was a horde of those creatures coming after them.
It was only after the mountain was sealed did the group stop to rest and breathe. Their faces were a mix of sadness and guilt, even if they knew they would be no match for that creature of fire and ash it still didn't soothe their minds.
Aang watched Frodo recognizing the emotion on his face. He wanted to say something, anything, that could lift the heavy thoughts from Frodo's mind. Only Toph's strong and swift grip on his wrist stopped him.
She was worried about him? "Uh..yeah." He answered puzzled.
"Riiight." She didn't need her eyes to pass along the message of how much she believed him.
"I'm alright Toph. We're alive, no one is hurt. " Except for Gandalf who was most likely plummeting to his death amid fire and ash.
He could have done something, dove after him, tried to summon water from rocks. He was the Avatar, if anyone could have done something it was him. As the soon to be master of the four elements it was his duty to save people. His duty.
"You're probably thinking about Avatar blah duty blah savior blah fault, right?" Toph's voice cut through Aang's train of thought. "Sure you're pretty powerful but guess what so am I. You know I could be sitting here thinking to myself all the things I could have done. I could have made a floating rock platform for the old guy to land on. I could have made a rock arm to grab him. I could-"
"THEN WHY DIDN'T YOU!" The birds scattered as Aang's rather loud voice rose in volume. The others of the group turned to stare at Aang's outburst.
"I was too slow." She jerked his arm hard. "You shouldn't be moping Aaang. Then we'd get nothing done and get picked off by some wolves in the dark. Thinking about what could have's don't lead anywhere pleasant. You know what I was thinking about before I learned how to earth bend?"
"What?" He sounded ruder than he meant to be.
"If my parents would have loved me more if I could see."
Quietly Aang regarded his earth bending teacher. He softly took her hand and gave it a little squeeze. This was the softest he was ever going to see of her, wasn't he? He never thought Toph could ever be vulnerable but standing there and talking to her, listening to her, he realized that even if he was the Avatar as a friend he wanted to make sure that his friends would never have to be vulnerable ever again.
"So lighten up will ya?" A sock to the arm. "Stop moping."
Aang smiled even if she couldn't see it. "I'm not. See?"
Another sock to the arm. "Dumbass."
As she walked away he could hear her mutter, "Stupid Princess, why isn't she here? Dammit I'm going soft."
"So what's with the elves?" Toph asked Gimili as they walked where ever they were supposed to go. Which she had no clue as she didn't know this land, nor was she able to orient herself to the sun or stars, which is usually used when navigating.
So here she was, walking behind Gimili, staring with sightless eyes at the back of Gimili's head.
"They are crafty creatures, and their leader is a witch." Gimili scanned the horizons gripping his axe very protectively. "It is said she can enchant any man into her bidding."
"But they won't be able to get a rise on me, oh no. I am too crafty for that." Toph made sure not to mention all the light movements she felt on the ground and trees.
Four. No. Five.
In a manner of seconds she felt their footfalls surround them and for a good dozen yards around them.
They were perfectly surrounded and have been for the last five minutes.