Disclaimer: I own nothing. I can't even rent. Beware-it gets sappier each chapter.
I'm No Cynic (You Know, I'm Just Getting Bored)
Note: The following scenes merely set up the story arc used for the rest of the drabbles. In a sense, it is only a backdrop and not meant to be a full-blown story. I only wanted to capture all the Zuko-Toph moments. Enjoy! And the title of the story will appear in the very last chapter =)
Synposis: After nearly four years, Zuko finally pays an old friend a visit.
Zuko pulled the hood over his forehead as he waited for the door to open. He knew it wasn't his place to be there. A letter or even a private messenger would have been more appropriate. He expected brows would lift and rumors would spread if anyone happened to spot the Firelord at a 16-year-old girl's front porch. However, he felt a favor this big required a personal visit.
The door pulled opened. It took him a moment to realize the girl in front of him really was that great little earth-and-metalbender from four years ago. She now stood eye-level with his shoulder and her hair had grown to her waist. Thankfully, her feet remained bare beneath her long, green skirt.
"Well," said Toph. "To what do I owe this pleasure, My Fire Princess?"
"Toph, I'm in disguise," he said quickly.
"What?" She reached for the top of his head, but he backed away before she could touch him. "Are you wearing a dress?"
"No! It's a cloak—"
"A cloak? Katara told me you've finally picked a hairdo worthy of a Firelord and now you've decided to wear cloaks? How insecure can you be?"
"I am not insecure!" he said defensively. "Besides, it would have looked really suspicious if I came here dressed in my robes."
"Yes, because this look is very inconspicuous."
Zuko growled. "I've worn this plenty of times in the past!"
"And it's never helped you in the least."
Zuko rubbed his eyes. "Toph…"
"It's not clever, Princess. It's not even creative."
"Now, the Blue Spirit, he had something."
"Toph!" Zuko pulled his hood back. "I came here to ask for a favor."
She crossed her arms. "Why don't you ask Aang?" she asked.
"I don't think the Avatar would approve of the kind of physical interrogation I want to use on my father."
A grin spread on Toph's lips. "You can't handle this on your own, Princess?"
"I'm afraid I might kill him."
"Yes, that would be problematic if we ever want to find your mother."
"So, will you do it?"
"Of course! One question though."
"No reward, Toph."
"You're a cheap bastard."
Zuko leaned across and whispered in Toph's ear, "You couldn't have spared the details?"
"I didn't know Twinkle Toes was going to act like Madame Fussy Britches," she replied with a shrug. Really, she figured the worst thing a person could do was take away their bending. She merely roughed up the guy who was going to take over the world. The Avatar was the one who took away his ability to bend. To Toph, that was worse than death.
"I'm actually surprisingly fine with this," said Katara in between sips of tea.
"Violence is never the answer," said Aang.
"Oh, brother," said Toph.
"Aw, come on, Aang, have a little blind faith," said Sokka, who just then received a punch in the arm from Toph. "What? That wasn't insulting at all!"
"Really?" asked Toph. "Oh, sorry, Sokka, it's sort of automatic. I heard 'blind' and your voice, and bam! It's an involuntary muscle spasm."
"Yeah, sure it is," he said, rubbing where the bruise was sure to emerge.
"Did he tell you anything?" Aang asked Zuko.
He nodded. "We finally have a lead. Toph was the only one who could get anything out of him."
"Yep." said Toph, stretching her legs out in front of her. "You really should have called me sooner, Princess."
"Yeah. I really should have. Thanks, Toph. This really means a lot."
"Oh man, don't get all overemotional, Princess. It's embarrassing."