The Bonus Chapter
Summary: Eight funny / romantic Toko drabbles that take place after the events of The Badgerfrog Kiss.
Spans months and years.
Caution: Some drabbles may be slightly T-rated.
"I'm sorry, Miss, but you cannot enter the Fire Lord's chambers."
Zuko turned around. "Don't worry. She's with me."
The guard dropped his jaw. "But… but Fire Lord Zuko—"
"Is there something you'd like to say to me?" asked Zuko curiously. His voice was calm and low, but the guard cowered away anyway.
"No, Your Maj—"
"This is the renowned Toph Bei Fong. You should be bowing down to her. She has done me a great service by not only aiding me in the search for my mother, but by being a good friend. She has the strength, skill and bravery of all of you lot combined. Therefore—" he cleared his throat. "—she is my… temporary bodyguard until further noticed."
"What?" exclaimed Toph. "I'm your what?"
"My bodyguard," he repeated quickly, head completely still as he was afraid to look directly at her.
She knew she couldn't pulverize him, not when his guards were standing by, watching closely. Witnesses. Curse them. Restraining herself, she nodded a rigid yes.
"You see," said Zuko, looking a bit more relieved. "Now leave. I think she can handle it from here."
After they left, she grabbed Zuko by the collar. "Oh, I'll handle it alright," she said viciously. "Your bodyguard?"
"I…it was the best I could do. I couldn't tell them you…that you were my—"
"Girlfriend?" She jerked his collar down. Zuko could feel the fabric ripping against his neck. "You won't have much of a body left to guard once I'm through with you," she said threateningly. She let go and walked off.
"Well, that was strangely exciting," Zuko muttered, straightening out his robe.
"Zuko," said Katara, shaking her head. "You told them she was your bodyguard?"
"I know. Spare me the lecture. I've had enough for today."
"But, your bodyguard?"
"I don't think I need to tell you that was poor word choice," said Aang. "But, I'm going to tell you anyway. That was poor word choice."
Now the Avatar was mocking him. "I know."
"Not exactly, Aang," said Sokka, smirking. "From what I hear, she does a pretty good job at guarding his body, if you know what I mean."
Zuko blushed furiously, enough so that he couldn't find the courage to voice a snappy response.
"From what you hear?" asked Aang. "What exactly do you hear? Do you listen at their door or something?"
It was Sokka's turn to blush. "No! It's…I…"
"No problem, Zuko."
"Who's a good girl?" cooed Toph. "You are. You're a good girl. Yes, you are. You're a good little maniacal, blood-hungry, power-obsessive psychopath, aren't you?"
"Toph, just because my sister is in a cage, doesn't mean you can treat her like some furry zoo animal," said Zuko sighing.
"Even if she's wearing a muzzle?"
"Toph, there's some things you should know about my son before you start making any wedding plans."
"He's a bit impulsive in nature."
"Hm. Impulsive, really? I had no idea."
"And he has a bit of a temper."
"A temper. No kidding?"
"And Iroh says he's developed a shell over the years, which doesn't surprise me. He's as hard as a rock."
"Oh yeah," Toph said laughing. "He can get pretty hard." She suddenly turned red. "Er—not what I meant."
"What did you mean?"
"Toph, what's wrong?" asked Zuko. He had just returned from a meeting with his council when he found Toph sitting against a wall with an envelope between her hands. She was crying silently in the shadows, tears slipping off her chin and onto the letter.
"I heard from my parents."
He sat down beside her and placed his hand over hers. Her fingers were damp from the tears. Slowly, he took the envelope from her grasp.
"It's unopened. Would you like me to read it to you?"
"Iroh already did me the pleasure," she said. "They're not coming to the wedding. My father said he wouldn't have his daughter becoming Fire Lady."
"So, what? He disowned you?"
Toph nodded. "That letter you're holding is a 'stick you, I don't care if I ever see you again.' I had your secretary write it after I stormed out on your uncle."
"Don't be," she said wiping her eyes. "I'm gaining more than I'm losing."
Zuko sniggered. "Yeah, a royal title, a kingdom and a massive inheritance."
"I don't mean those," she said, intertwining their fingers. "I mean you."
He smiled and placed a kiss on her lips, telling her there was nothing more he wanted than to be with her. A small cough interrupted them and they rose to their feet, bowing in excuse.
"Uncle Iroh," breathed Zuko.
"Don't apologize, nephew," Iroh said smiling. "It is me who should be excusing myself for disrupting the Fire Lord and his bride-to-be." He turned to Toph and took her hand gently. "I wish you hadn't run off like that. I know how hard this must be for you. Your father is being quite selfish, if you ask me."
"I'm sorry for running off," she said quietly.
"I wanted to ask you something."
Toph sniffed. "Yes, Iroh?"
"I was wondering if you would mind having the Dragon of the West walk you down the aisle."
He moved closer until he felt her back pressed against his chest, the scent of her hair beside him. She pulled the covers over them, pretending to sleep, even though she turned her head to whisper good night about a dozen times already. The warmth of her skin bled through their clothes, soft and tender. He wrapped his arms around her waist, his hands sometimes exploring the contour of her shape, her hips, her legs. Parts of her skin were especially sensitive to his touch, making her shiver and shift in the sheets, more often closer to him.
"This isn't going to work."
"This bed. I don't like this bed."
"I'd feel much better if we were closer to the ground."
Zuko let out a low groan and rolled out of bed. He slipped into a night robe, walked across the bedroom and pulled the door open, leaving it ajar. He whistled a guard over.
"Will you please ask one of the servants to get me and my wife a futon? She's having trouble sleeping."
"A futon, Your Majesty?"
"Just do it."
It took six men to escort the Fire Lady out of the room without using any firebending. Of course, she found it perfectly fair to use earth-metal-and-sandbending on the guards. Where she was able to find sand in the palace was still a mystery to Zuko. Either way, every conference room in the palace (and maybe the offices, dining room and libraries, as well) needed to undergo some major refurbishment if he wanted to keep her from attacking every politician that walked through the door: Stone marble out, polished wood in.
"Was that your wife, Fire Lord?" The ambassador of Ba Sing Se asked.
"Wife? No, of course not. That's my mistress. My wife is a lot shorter, prettier and…saner."
"Zuko…" Iroh said.
"Yes, that is my beautiful wife and if anyone has anything to say about it, I will gladly let her back in."
"Is she healthy? Can she see?"
"Toph, I doubt she can see anything past blurs; she's only two minutes old," said Katara handing her the newborn. "And, yes, she's quite healthy."
The tiny baby was wrapped in soft wool. Its little hand gripped her index finger and Toph could feel her baby's pulse, the steady thump-thump in her body, the strength in her grasp. The newborn buried her face in her arms, yearning for her momma's embrace. Toph held her tight. It was like falling in love all over again.
Footsteps of people entering the room were heard. Her husband's cologne drew nearer and she felt his lips on her neck, sending a tingle down her spine.
"You're sweaty," he said.
"I just gave birth, you meathead."
"What are you going to name her?" asked Aang.
"I like how Katara rolls off the tongue," suggested Madame Fussy Britches herself.
"And leaves my mouth with a bad aftertaste," said Toph.
"Iroh is a lovely name."
"Uncle, we are not naming our little girl Iroh."
"Toph, what are you doing?"
"I'm holding a baby, Sokka."
"No, I mean with your bracelet. Look at your meteorite bracelet." Everyone turned to the bedside table where the piece of space earth was dangling on the edge. Toph could sense it trembling as if it were struggling to climb back up. Everyone then turned to Aang.
"Not me," he said shrugging.
"It looks like we have another earthbender in the world," said Iroh, gesturing to the baby.
"Wow," said Katara. "She's already so powerful."
"Great," said Zuko. "Now I've got two to worry about."
Toph jabbed him with her elbow. "You better be nice to us now or you'll regret it later."
He looked at her as if he was in deep thought then kissed her on the cheek. "I love you."
Toph smiled. "That's better."
End Note: You guys are amazing. Thank you for an incredible ride. That was my first ever Avatar fic. Thank you, thank you.