Neither Blue or Kazoo are owners of Avatar. Boo-freaking-hoo
Kazoo Productions ™presents...
Toph could only stare in sightless horror at Aang. She could not have possibly heard that right. There was just no way. Just. No. Way. She dug around her ear with her pinky and pulled out a sizable amount of wax and flicked it off before demanding,
"Run that by me again, Twinkle Toes, now."
Bright and bubbly as ever, even more so after the war, Aang was all to willing to oblige his friend.
"Sure, Toph! It turns out that Katara and Zuko have been in love with each other the whole time he was trying to capture me but they were always conflicted with their duties and stuff but now that everything's settled, they can be together!"
Toph's jaw went slack a moment before she recovered, although spluttering a bit.
"But you," she said, jabbing a finger in his face, dangerously close to going up his nose, "are in love with Katara! Like, way before Zuko, supposedly, was! You're just gonna stand by and let him take your girl? I taught you better than that! Be a man!"
Aang just smiled and lowered the irate earthbender's finger away gently.
"It's okay, Toph. I do love Katara, but I'm not going to hold her back from Zuko. He loves her so much more than I do and she loves him back. Plus, they just look good together."
Toph deflated a bit, her posture slumping from her rigid pose to a more relaxed, dazed position with her head bowed. There was just so much wrong with this situation. It wasn't right. Someone had messed with everything and three of her friends had lost their minds. Aang was a little worried by her behavior and hesitantly asked,
With her hair covering her face, he was unable to see the twitch that was developing in her right eye.
Aang sucked in a breath in surprise at Toph's voice. Or…not Toph's voice. It sounded eerie with a rough, hardened quality to it.
"A-at her house?"
"Is that a question," she abruptly straightened, head still toward the floor, "Or an answer?"
"Answer. Are you going to see her?"
She jerked her head up and her blind, jade eyes seemed to glow with a supernatural light.
"Do not question me," she ordered with a voice that seemed to echo and boom around the palace of the Fire Nation.
Aang's eyes widened and he quickly nodded his head.
She began to walk past him. When he made to follow, without turning to face him, she commanded,
"You will stay in this spot until I return and will not move."
The Avatar cut himself off when he saw Toph's head seemingly turn completely around without her body moving and lift her eyes to his.
"What did I say?" she hissed.
"I will stay here and not move!" he replied.
For a long movement, she remained where she was and Aang didn't breath. Then her head swiveled back around, she took a step, and earth swallowed her. For all the time that she was gone, the servants could only stare and wonder why the Avatar was pretending to be a statue.
Mai showed no surprise when the little earthbender girl literally popped up from the ground in her backyard. In fact, she didn't even acknowledge her presence. She maintained her blank mask where she sat on a metal bench among the blooming garden. The earth child did not let that bother her and merely began to speak. Her voice still maintained that gravelly rasp quality it had pick up, but it bother Mai not at all.
"Who dumped who?"
Mai looked at the blind girl for the first time directly in her shining eyes. Her expression relaxed into something…unguarded.
"I dumped him," she responded automatically, unblinking.
"He and Katara…they belong with each other. Their love burns brightly, and they look cute together," if possible, her voice had an even more monotone lilt to it.
She was blind, not dumb. She was aware what was happening to her friends. They'd been…infected. Well, she'd have to snap them out of it. She cracked her knuckles, brought up her hand, and
Slapped Mai right in the face hard enough to whip her head to the side. The pale lady's eyes widened and she brought a hand up to her throbbing cheek, turning back to Toph.
"Thanks. I needed that."
"Anytime. Now come on, we have to save the others, and I could use a sidekick."
Mai arched a brow, a move that went unseen.
"I am not a –"
More than likely, she was going to say 'sidekick', but Toph raised the earth and swallowed the both of them into it, including the bench, headed back to the Fire Nation palace to save the rest of their friends. First stop, the throne room.
Subsequently, Aang was still in the hall Toph had left him in. But really, the boy needed a break. He was always saving the world and what not. This time, Melon Lord and Co. would handle it just fine.
Just a weird idea Kazoo insisted upon. Why he won't give me any help with the chapter fics, the smug jerk won't say.
Next chapter should be the conclusion.