Tokka: First Kiss
Author Note: My Entry for the LovingKataangNTokka Group's First Kiss contest in DeviantArt
I've had the ending scene of this in my head since Tokka Week 4 over at Tokka-fans-united, but I couldn't figure it into any of the prompts at that time, so I decided to use it here. I liked the idea because, usually, everyone remedies the height difference with a little earthbending. (I'll admit, I've done it too) SO I thought, What if it was Sokka who wanted to surprise her. and the only way to surprize Toph is to make her blind somehow. (Yes, I fully realize the irony of that statement... Blind as in unable to see through her earthbending.)
When I started to write this, I also wanted something that I thought, and hoped, would be original. Usually people play it as Toph being the one to confess first. So I was thinking, "What if Sokka actually does have feelings for her that he tries to hide for one reason or the other." I especially thought of this after the episode when both Toph and Katara are dressed up for a party (I forget what episode, I'm sure someone here will tell me) and both Aang AND Sokka are gawking over how they look. Now I know that Sokka isn't gawking at his own sister like that! So imho he obviously has to harbor SOME feelings for Toph... but then Suki get's in the way...
Okay, enough rambling. I really hope that you enjoyed it.
Disclaimer: The characters of this fic belong to Michael Dante DiMartino, Bryan Konietzko, & Nickelodeon. Only the ideas for this fanfic are my own.
"You look lovely tonight."
Though her eyes were closed, Toph lay awake on a blanket of soft grass. It was a warm night, so she hadn't bothered to raise her stone tent. Sokka slept a few feet away from her, to the left. On the other side of him were Katara and then Aang. She could tell by their heart beats that they were all asleep. So then, who was he talking to?
There was a rustling sound and she felt him rolling towards her. Toph's heart leapt at the thought of sleeping so close to him. She held her breath when his arm flopped over her waist and pulled her closer. She knew that he was asleep and acting out of habit. She had felt him do this with Suki in the past – but Suki was back in Kyoshi, they had dropped her off a few weeks ago.
She didn't care that he was mistaking her for his girlfriend, and eagerly snuggled against his chest - relishing the chance to be so close to him. The rhythmic beat of his heart had nearly lulled her to sleep when he shifted his position. Before she could react to the situation, she was lying on her back and his lips were pressing against hers. Her blind eyes snapped open with alarm and her hands pressed against his chest, ready to push him away, but unwilling to follow through. The slow and steady beat beneath her palms told her that he was still asleep. She knew it wasn't right, by not pushing him away. Was she taking advantage of the situation? His lips were warm and soft against hers; this was her first kiss. When he pulled away she felt his hand gently stroke her cheek. "Good night, Yue."
Yue? Toph's heart stopped for a moment. Yue? Who the spirits was that? Without hesitation she shoved him away and raised the two slabs of earth that created her tent, not caring that she had hit him in the process – served him right. Yet somehow he slept through it.
Toph rolled over on her side and fumed. She might have understood, a little, if he had called her Suki – but Yue? Suki had only been gone for three weeks and he was already thinking about another girl! Just how much of a playboy was he?
Sokka groaned as he stretched. He felt like he had been trampled by a heard of moose-lions. His right side throbbed with pain – he must have slept wrong. Before he could pry his eyelids open there was a sharp jabbing pain in his back and he suddenly found himself air born. When he landed a few seconds later, with a loud thump, the air was knocked out of him. He stared, wide-eyed, at the morning sky and desperately gasped for air. There was now a throbbing in the middle of his back to match the one in his side. "Wh… Wh… What the spirits was that for?" He let out his next breath with a painful moan and rolled over onto his stomach.
"Oh, Gee… I'm so sorry. My foot slipped." Toph's voice was full of sarcasm and laced with sugary sweet innocence.
Sokka pushed himself to his knees and winced with pain. "Who woke up on the wrong side of the grass?"
It was Katara who helped Sokka to his feet. "What happened?" She gasped after lifting his tunic to see the ugly bruise that ran up the length of his side.
"That's what I'm wondering." Sokka flinched when his sister laid a water gloved hand over his side and around to his back.
"You really need to be more careful, Toph," Katara chided. Toph merely shrugged and walked past the siblings, who looked at each other, confused by her unusually grumpy mood – even for the morning.
"What's with her?"
Katara finished the healing session and went about preparing breakfast. Aang was with Appa and Sokka was about to take care of his morning business. As he strode off for some privacy, Toph was returning.
"Ouch!" Sokka tripped over a raised stone as they passed one another.
"Oops," Toph said sourly. Sokka excused it as an accident and went on his way. He barely managed to skip over a sudden sinkhole that appeared out of nowhere in front of him. He glanced back to find Toph walking back towards camp as if nothing had happened and passed it off as a coincidence.
Upon his return, Sokka decided to approach her. Something was obviously wrong and he had somehow become the designated councilor of the group – his only regret was that he had long since lost his costume beard. He was within five feet of her, which had to be a good sign. "Hey there, Toph, need to tal…" Before he could finish his sentence, a pillar of earth shot up between his legs. He sucked in a sharp breath and shrieked in pain. As he fell to his knees, cupping his hands over his groin, Toph leapt to her feet.
"No, I do not want to talk; especially not to you!"
Sokka was seeing duo rainbows of colors, cross-eyed, as excruciating pain shot through his body. "What's your problem?" he managed to grunt out from between clinched teeth.
"What's my problem?" Toph shouted. "What's my problem?" She stomped her foot into the ground, but its effects were countered by Aang as he and Katara came running in their direction. "You're my problem, Meathead; who the spirits is Yue, and who gave you the right to kiss me?"
"Toph… calm down." Katara came to a stop behind her and laid a hand on her shoulder. Toph shoved it off and stormed away, leaving the trio to stare after her in shock.
Needless to say, the rest of the trip back to Ba Sing Se was awkward. Toph stayed as far away from Sokka as Appa's saddle would allow. It wasn't that she was angry at him for kissing her. She was mad that he had kissed her, mistaking her for someone else. Sure, calling her by his girlfriend's name was one thing – even understandable – but he called her by another girl's name besides that.
Katara tried to smooth things over by explaining who Yue was and that she was now the moon spirit. Toph recalled hearing Sokka talking to the moon in the past, but had never bothered to ask why. Besides, that wasn't an excuse for kissing her and calling her by that name. What would have happened if he had called Suki by another name? Her mind ached, just thinking about it. She supposed that she was overreacting. It was an accident - he was asleep and didn't know what he was doing – but, if people weren't held accountable for their actions just because they weren't in their right mind, then Azula would still be walking around, freely. That thought restored her anger.
From the opposite end of the saddle, Sokka watched the ever changing expressions display across her face. He cringed and shrunk back against the saddle, absentmindedly covering his hands over his groin, when her aura flared in anger again.
"You really did it this time." Katara was sitting at the side of the saddle, and observed the tension between them. Sokka shot a nervous look at her. "What would Suki say in a situation like this?"
Sokka's face drained of color and he looked away, turning his back to her so that he was staring out over the back of the saddle.
When they finally arrived back in Ba Sing Se, Toph was the first to jump down to the ground. Her thoughts had become uncomfortable as she began to consider the possibility that this was all her fault. If she hadn't slept so close to him, then none of this would have happened in the first place.
Sokka followed her lead, determined to make things right. "T… Toph," he called to her anxiously, aware that she was back on her natural element. To his surprise, she stopped walking. He approached her with caution.
Toph waited for him to come closer. His heart was racing and he moved towards her as if he feared for his life. He stopped in his tracks when she turned around to face him.
"I'm sorry," they both said simultaneously.
Sokka stared at her in disbelief. It wasn't like Toph to apologize so easily.
"I may have over-reacted. It's not like the kiss meant anything, and it was probably my fault for sleeping so close to you." Toph was speaking in a rush, barely taking time to breathe.
"It's not like that."
"Not like what?
"That it didn't mean anything…" Toph raised an eyebrow in confusion. "I… I've been… having feelings for you for awhile now, Toph."
"You don't have to try to make me feel better. It's fine, you mistook me for someone else… whatever…" Toph shrugged it off. "I guess it's a good thing that I wasn't Suki, huh?"
"Yeeaah…" Sokka scratched the back of his neck nervously. "That's kind of already happened."
Toph's unseeing eyes went wide. "You called Suki, Yue?"
"No, I called her… you…"
"What!" Toph exclaimed, drawing attention from Katara and Aang, who had been giving them space to work things out. They were all in front of Appa's stable, which had been constructed for him behind the gang's house.
Sokka waved his sister and the Avatar away and guided Toph towards the street. "Let's take a walk."
Toph waited until they were away from the house before she stopped and glared in his direction. She was confused, and obviously so was he. Her confusion was turning into anger. Who did he think he was – the spirits gift to women? There was a time when she wanted for nothing more than for him to like her, but now was not that time. Was he playing with her because he missed Suki? Would he kiss any girl just to have one by his side at all times? Her fists clinched and she felt him back away from her. "Don't play around with me, Meathead!"
"Alright, alright… Calm down, I'll explain." Toph crossed her arms over her chest and waited for him to continue. "I… I've liked you for a while now. It's just that… I ignored it, b… because I thought of you as being off limits."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"Well, you know... We're comrades… You're three years younger than me…"
"So?" Toph wasn't buying it.
"So… You know… Work before pleasure."
Toph smirked, "Oh, Sure… You really thought that when Suki appeared."
Sokka was now sweating. "Can we continue our walk?" Toph shrugged and took the first step. They walked for a minute in silence while Sokka gathered his thoughts. He didn't know how to word what he needed to say. "I thought that I would stop thinking about you in that way if I was with Suki."
"So you're saying that you used her?"
"What? No! I… Did have feelings for her, too, but as time passed I started to realize that I wanted to be with you more."
Toph still wasn't convinced. This was all too good to be true. "Why?"
"Well… I…" Sokka hadn't thought of the reasons before. He just knew that it was how he felt. "You're more fun to be with."
"Uhh – huh…"
"You understand me better and you get my jokes."
"We make a great team…" Sokka was starting to struggle with the reasons why he liked her. Why did he have to explain this?
"Sounds like a great friendship," Toph observed and continued to walk a step ahead of him.
"I just started to find myself wanting to be with you rather than with Suki."
"Well, you know, always hugging and kissing starts to get old sometimes. She was always glued to me."
"Well duh, she's your girlfriend."
"Was my girlfriend."
Toph stopped walking. "Was?"
"Yeah, I called her by your name the last time we kissed."
"Oh, yeah… You mentioned that before." Toph recalled how strange their relationship seemed since a couple of weeks before they took Suki back to Kyoshi.
"It wasn't the first time, either."
Toph turned to face him, "How many times?
"Four." Toph raised an eyebrow. "The first three times, either she didn't hear or I managed to cover it up somehow."
Toph couldn't believe what she was hearing. "Why would you pick me over Suki? Isn't she like, beautiful or something?
"You're beautiful too, Toph. Besides, that's not the only thing that counts."
"So what else is there?" Toph raised an eyebrow again and crossed her arms. She was convinced that he was pulling her leg.
Sokka would have slapped his forehead except that it would alert her to his frustration. Here they went with the reasons again. Couldn't she tell that he wasn't lying? "Your strength, your courage, your humor…"
"Suki has those too... Well, minus the humor." Toph thought that she might be starting to see his point.
"Sooo… I know it's too soon and all, but I'd like to see where this might go."
Toph's heart started to race. "This? This what?"
"You and me: Maybe, in the future."
She couldn't believe her ears, yet she could tell that he meant what he said. "Is it the future yet?"
"It can be, if you'd like."
"But, for the record, let's not consider that our first kiss."
"Then how about this?" Toph startled when his hands came to her waist and he lifted her off of the ground. In a panic over the world suddenly disappearing, she pushed against his chest, but he still crushed her against his body. Her heart pounded wildly when his lips met with hers. They were warm and soft – urgent and yet tender. It made her head spin and she was glad that he was holding her.
She inhaled deeply when he broke the kiss, trying to regain her strength. Sokka lowered her back to the ground and she stumbled forward, catching herself on one of his outstretched arms. Sokka watched her with mixed amusement and adoration.
"You know…" she said after regaining some of her composure. "You never explained why you called me Yue…"