Title: A Cold Cliché.
Disclaimer: Oh, how I wish I owned Avatar the Last Airbender, but alas I do not. I just own this silly little idea for a Taang story.
A/N: Toph and Aang are 15 years old! Three years after the defeat of Ozai. Also, if you find any mistakes, don't be afraid to message me a "onoes! Grammatical error here!" and such.
It was cold.
It could have been an understatement, however it wasn't. Just by stating that it was cold shown that the situation was uncomfortable. To say it was freezing would make the situation dramatic. Dramatic wasn't the situation. We were far from dramatic, but at the same time not so near it.
Yes, it was cold.
Lost in the middle of a wasteland of ice, a normal person would panic. Though, people have different ways of showing their panic. Most voice it out - rather loudly. Others would stay silent like winter death, letting the turmoil worsen within their head. Then there are a few that would pace or have to do some sort of physical movement that would coax them. Though, there was a small group of people that would act out all of the above during stressful situations.
Sadly, Aang was not only left with someone that sent off random signals of panic; but he happened to be left with someone that could brash and violent with her signals. Toph Bei Fong happened to be one to voice out her panic in a violent manner. Well, she did voice it out - hours ago. Now, she was fidgeting quietly in the corner of the ice dome Aang managed to make.
Before we continue on what was happening, let's first explain how this situation happened.
You see, Aang and Toph was in the Earth Kingdom, enjoying each others company. Having a little more freedom now and away from her parents clutches, Toph thought it would be fun to raise a bit havoc with her whimpy pal; avatar Aang! Having not seen his old friend in a long time, Aang stood in Gaoling a bit longer than expected. He was not only having fun with Toph, but he was smiling more than normally. The Avatar even got over some recent problems... well, the problems were about a year old. Still nice to get over a problem that weighed him down for that one year.
You see, Aang was still getting over the break up with Katara. Yes, it didn't work out so well as he imagined it. But, as Toph placed it, life was a bitch. Things come and go, but it's the strong bonds that matter most. Oh, how right she was. The bond to be a couple was weak, however the bond to be friends and family was too pure and strong to break.
And because of this strong bond, Aang got a message from Katara. A letter which was actually an invitation to Sokka's and Suki's wedding at the south pole.
Happy to hear the news, Toph and Aang got ready for the long trip. Though, Toph wasn't so enthusiastic about it and voiced her dislike for being in the Icy 'hellhole', but she would endure the few days of blindness. Only cause it was Snoozles wedding.
So, out they went on Appa for a long trip. Three days of non-stopped flying would have the duo at the south pole in no time, but Aang wasn't that evil. He could never have Appa go through such a flight with no sleep. So, it took them about a week to make it to the south pole. They actually made a few extra stops to ensure they had warmer clothing and a few supplies for the icy waters. Aang even had to argue with the small woman in order to get her to wear heavy footwear. Toph, being Toph didn't go down with a fight… so, they ended up arguing. A lot... and tending to wounds after the dispute.
Aang still bought the boots, without Toph knowing (of course).
Thanks to their long trip, the pair wasn't exactly ready for what was coming up when they reach the edge of the south pole. It was a pure slap in the face, which then turned into a shove. A storm ragged on the southern waters. A terrible storm that split the group of three into two. The numbers were somewhat good, but at the same time, it wasn't.
Appa was no longer with them and he held all the luggage.
This left Aang and Toph in the middle of the icy terrain with the clothes on their back. Thankfully, the pair landed on land and not in the sub-zero waters. But, their situation wasn't getting better at all. With the storm worsen by the second, Aang tried his best to protect themselves. Thus a small dome was made… well, more like a deep tunnel in the snow. Still, it worked well as shelter. All they had to do was wait for the storm to end.
At first, everything seemed okay. Toph complained at first and she had the right to do so. She couldn't see. Actually, she hasn't been able to see for the last 35 hours. Now, she was under a nice pack of snow, freezing her ass off, vulnerable and in danger of loosing both her feet to frost bites.
"Wear these." Aang slid his boots toward the small woman.
"No!" Stubborn as always, that Toph. "I don't need your help."
"Toph, just listen." Aang tried to reason with the woman, but he was arguing with a brick wall – metaphorically and litterally. "I know how to firebend. You, on the other hand can't. Now, put them on."
It was silent for a few moments. Then, the small earthbender shifted about and in a rather pathetic fashion. Slipping the footgear on, "That was rather low of you Twinkletoes. Though, I'd never thought you'd have it in you." she couldn't help but be a bit proud of that.
"Yeah… well, it's the truth."
There was silence for a few minutes. The silence was tense at first but then, it melted down to boredom.
Pipping up, "Soo…. Is it true?"
"What is?" Aang frowned deeply at the blind woman.
"Men and big feet." you could hear the smugness in that comment. "Since your boots are kinda small. Maybe one size big for me, but then again, I have small feet."
Turning a bright red, Aang spluttered and tried to defend himself, but in the end he kept silent.
And thus, the wait began... again.
They'd talk here and there. Sometimes Toph would throw some snow at Aang, mainly out of frustrations. Sadly, she usually missed, but once she figured out that the man wasn't going to move from his spot, she just kept on throwing the snow. At least it gave her something to do.
She stopped moving about an hour ago. Or was it ten minutes ago? Either way, Aang didn't like it. He didn't have to worry about his friend passing out. Their chattering teeth could be heard well in the small hole. However, Aang had a greater advantage compared to his earthbending friend, being that he was the Avatar.
Toph happened to be dozing off when she felt something around her petite form and did what any other blind person would do. Panic.
Her arms shot out, ready to wack whoever it was on the head. With her fist colliding against someone's head, she heard a hiss of pain.
"Whoa, calm down!" Toph almost forgot that it was only Aang and herself down here.
"What the hell are you doing Twinkles?" She didn't mean to snarl it out in a nasty way, but she couldn't help it. The poor woman was reduced to a nothing but a frail, weak doll, and she didn't like it one bit.
"I can hear your brain freeze from the other side." He teased. "Wear this. You'll have more uses for this."
"NO! Aang! What about - "
His finger pressed her against her lips, "As I said, I can bend fire." yes, his hands were warm. Too warm actually. "Shit, you're cold."
Tugging his shirt over her head, he began to get her arms into the sleeves. He knew she wasn't happy with the idea, but Aang wasn't going to sit back and let his dearest friend freeze to death.
"Never knew that was in your vocabulary Twinkle-Toes." Toph mumbled.
"I learn from the best." Next came his coat. Thankfully it was long enough to wrap her legs.
Scoffing at this, " 'Course you learned from the best! I am the BEST."
"Yes, oh mighty Toph."
Pulling the hood up, Aang stared at the woman's face. With a gentle touch that only a air bender could possess, Aang tuck a strand of hair behind Toph's ear. "….. you shouldn't hide your face…."
Narrowing her sightless eyes, Toph "stared" at Aang's face… ermm, make that his ear. "Why the hell would that matter? Its not like I could see!"
He was silent for a few moments. Sighing heavily, he then let a small smile lift his lips. "No. Of course you can't see. However, it doesn't change the fact that you're beautiful." and with that, his warm hand left her face in exchange for her hands.
Toph was dumbstruck. Never in her life has a boy - no, cross that. A man. Never in her life has a man told her that she was beautiful. Sure, Twinkle-Toes was a wimp, but…. He was also a man. That couldn't be ignored.
From dumbstruck to fluster, Toph was stuck on forming the right insult. Anything could work!
"Very funny…you…you…." she struggled to get the words out, however, she couldn't. So, she opt with the best thing she could do. Punch the man in the shoulder - or try to. She ended up punching his chest.
"Oof! Hey!" Aang whined.
Toph on the other hand... well, her hand resting above his heart. Pausing for a moment, the earthbender let her fingers roam over the rather smooth material. It took Toph a few long moments to realize that his shirt wasn't there. She got a nice feel up on his well defined chest…and icy skin.
"AANG!" shouting this, Toph quickly collected the man into her arms. "What the hell is your problem! I know you got more hair than brains, but you being naked won't solve any problems!"
Taken by surprise, Aang couldn't help it. He really couldn't. At first he just stared at the woman as she freaked out and then, let out a deep airy chuckle. Burying his nose into the black mess of Toph's hair, the airbender let a soft smile grace his lips. Sweet plums and earth. It was an interesting combination, but it summed up to be one thing. Toph. Smiling, his strong arms snaked around the woman's waist and held her tight and close.
Squeaking, "H-hey! What the hell you think you're doing?" Toph couldn't really complain about the position. She often found herself fantasying this when she was alone. Always wondered how it was to be in Aang's arms. One thing was certain. She felt safe and at peace - not to mention, really warm!
A deep rumbling rolled off of Aang's chest. It was a warm and caring sound. As well as it was contagious. Toph couldn't help but smile and relax into the chuckling man's arms. Snuggling deeper into his warmth. "You're a real jerk today, Twinkle-Toes...and if you tell anyone, I'll make sure the water tribes get their Avatar early."
The chuckling didn't cease! Nope! It erupted into a full blown laughter! "No need to worry about that." Toph could just imagine the goofy smile on Aang's face... or what she'd always imagined what he looked like. "I doubt anyone would believe me anyway." Aang whispered softly, before chuckling again.
Toph's shoulders shook with silent laughter as she held onto Aang. With a goofy smile, the earthbender closed her sightless eyes. "I swear, you're such a dork at times Twinkle-toes.
"I can't help it Toph." he mumbled into her hair. "Just… please, lets not fight." He sounded tired and Toph couldn't help but sigh. Nodding her head, the teens curled up and kept as warm as possible
It didn't take long for the small woman pass out. With her steady breathing brushing against his chest, Aang felt the blood rush up to his cheeks. Shaking his head for a moment, the Avatar curled up closer to the earthbender. With a bit of hot air and increased body heat, Aang kept them as warm as possible. After all, he wasn't going to let his friend die in the middle of this ice cube.
It seemed like hours passed by when Aang woke out of his dazed state. The cold was getting worse and he couldn't feel his foot. Hoping that the limb just fell asleep due to a lack of circulation, Moving the sleeping woman in his arms, Aang gazed down at the dark outlines that made Toph's form. Her skin felt cold against his and the man couldn't help but worry some.
Checking Toph's pulse, Aang frowned slightly. If he recalled correctly, Katara mentioned to always keep your pulse at a steady, on going beat if anyone was lost in these freezing terrains. Toph's current pulse was a low bea -
"Toph! Wake up!" Aang shook her slender shoulders. When she didn't respond at first, the monk groan and shook her harder. He knew she was a heavy sleeper, even when there was no earth to lay on. So, he took a drastic step and pinch the woman's cheek. Hard.
With a startling gasp, pale green eyes shot open. With her eyes focusing up Aang's face, "Wha…What the hell Twinkles!"
Breathing out airy sigh of relief, "Thank the spirits…."
"Don't thank the spirits! I should ground you down to the earth if it weren't for the fact we're stuck in this damn ice cube!"
"You wouldn't have if you kept sleeping!" Aang grumbled out. Shifting his position, a grey orb glanced down to his foot. Quickly ignoring it, Aang turned his attention back toward Toph. "… If I haven't woke you, you might as well be dead….."
"…" sighing, Toph rubbed her face. "Thanks…. Still going to beat you up later for waking me up like that." she let a small smile lift her lips.
Shifting her legs, Toph hissed in pain. She wasn't expecting that, then again it was just so cold. "Crap... I can't feel my le-" Aang's movements cut her off as she listened and felt around herself to understand what was happening.
Quickly, Aang was at her side, removing the boots. With one hand holding a flame, his other examined her feet. She fidgeted at first, trying to get away from his grasp. Surprisingly, she didn't voice out her discomfort...yet. Taking note of how cold her feet were, Aang let out a frustrated sigh. Still, they weren't blue... or black like...
The flame died in his hand and in an instant, the monk was rubbing away at the frigid skin. He'd blow hot steam at her feet, hoping that it would heat up the stiff bones. Aang knew how important these small limbs were to Toph and he was sure as hell wouldn't let her lose her one and only ability to see. After all, it would destroy her from the inside out if she lost her special sight. If she lost them cause of this cold, Aang will never forgive himself for this. No, he would ensure that Toph would get out of this without a single scratch.
A soft mewl filled the empty air. Pausing from his ministration, Aang glanced up.
Laid out on her back, Toph's eyes were squeezed tightly shut. Her breathing became labored and often, she would arch her back just a tiny bit. If there was some light, the airbender would have seen her flushed face. Mewling once more as Aang's knuckles kneaded into the arch of her foot, Aang would watch with curiosity. It wasn't everyday that he seen his friend like this.
"Toph… are you okay?"
She nodded, biting down onto her lip. Taking in a shaky breath, "Sensitive." she whispered.
He blinked and glanced down at her foot. Grazing a single finger against her heel, her mewls grew into a soft moan. That wasn't the sound of a ticklish person. "Sensitive…. How?" Aang began slowly. Ignoring her sounds, he went back to warming up her feet.
"H-h-how you think?" she mumbled. "I know you're an airhead….but, come on."
Frowning, Aang wracked his brains for a few moments. Thanks to another moan, he finally got it. Blushing madly, Aang was about to let her feet drop into the snow. But, he held onto them. "Oh….."
Taking in a deep breath, he went back to massaging her feet. Ignoring her squirms and mewling moans, Aang continued working onto those tiny feet.
"Aang… please…" she whispered. "You're driving me crazy…."
"Sorry, but I can't…" Aang whispered. "Your feet are still cold." Though, her loud moans caused the man's eyes to widen with a bit of fear... and excitement.
Rolling his thumbs along the arch, he tried to ignore the loud moan. Oh spirits, even that sound was driving him crazy. He couldn't ignore the fact that his bodily functions would react to the sounds. Who wouldn't? After all, Toph was a very, very beautiful woman and making those sounds...
Gathering her feet together, he went back to blowing hot air. It was a long, tormenting five minutes, but it was worth it. Toph's sight wouldn't be endangered and she'll be wide awake.
It took some time, but Toph managed to get a control of her breathing. Nodding her head, the earthbender tried to control the euphoria coursing through her veins. But, it was hard since she was flustered and... frustrated.
Once she felt the boots slipped on, Toph's toes wiggled in the extra space. Yup, she could move. Thus, she didn't hesitate to shove the heel into the Avatar's face.
"Once we're out of here, you are so dead Twinkletoes!" the woman shrilled out.
Groaning, Aang rubbed at his abused nose. Frowning slightly, the monk glared at Toph, but he knew better. Taking a deep breath, he sooth out his anger in one moment. There was no need to start a fight - even though the movement would warm them up even more. But, it would be a waste of energy. Not only that, but he understood her discomfort. To have someone tease you in such a way, it could be highly uncomfortable.
"Sorry." he mumbled out rather pathetically.
Hmphing, Toph crawled toward a corner and curled up there. "Just… stay there!" she wanted to shout it out, but it came out in a small whimpering tone. No matter how much she wanted to yell at the man for doing that, Toph couldn't help but feel grateful that he went so far to ensure that she was safe and sound. Even though she didn't need his help... it was still a nice feeling. Sighing, "….Actually… get back here. I'm cold."
Shaking his head, Aang let out another chuckle. "Okay… but can I do something first?"
"….." Frowning, toph glared at the space that occupied Aang. "…what….?"
"The entrance. I want to make sure we're not caved in. Maybe check out if its safe to travel to the village."
Sighing, Toph rubbed her hands together. "Okay… but." she pushed the outer jacket off…
Or would if a certain air bender didn't stop her. "No. You wear it." he whispered. Pressing his warm chest against her cheek, "I'll be fine. Remember, I'm the all mighty avatar."
She couldn't help but feel the anger bubble up inside of her. Growling a bit, she tried to voice her opinion on that, but couldn't. Just like the air itself, Aang ran off to the entrance.
Letting out a frustrated cry, "Just you wait! I'm going to kick your ass for this Twinkle-Toes!"
Wincing, Aang knew he wouldn't live out that day. But, he couldn't just leave her there without some sort of warmth. Sure, she was wearing about 4 layers of clothing… maybe more, but she needed it more than him. He can warm himself up just fine with a bit of fire bending.
Actually, with a simple burst of flame, the entrance opened up easily. Poking his head out, Aang's shoulders shivered at the blistering cold. But, that was less important at the moment. So he concentrating on the flame within as his eyes scanned the area.
The storm had passed. That was certain.
The problem now was that he didn't know exactly where he was and whatever happened to Appa. Hopefully his life long companion managed to get to the village safe. Taking in a deep breath, Aang moved out of the tiny shelter. Dragging his left foot, he ignored it completely and concentrated on the task at hand. With a gust of air, the bender vaulted upwards to get a look over the vast area.
With his element wrap around him, Aang kept his body steady in the air. Determined to find anything that would lead them closer to the village, Avatar Aang ignoring the icy chills and set his eyes on the vast white lands for anything… something!
Frowning, he then urged himself to go higher. That was when he seen it. It was a few good miles away, but it was reachable. On top of that, the old thing held equipment and hopefully clothing. There was a way to start a fire there – if he remembered correctly.
Something charging into the small shelter caused Toph's hackles to raise. She hate being blind. At least when there was earth, she could feel the vibrations. But with all this ice, there wasn't anything she could do! Let alone try to run away. The only thing she could feel here was the snow and all it did was crunch loudly when someone approached. Good thing she had good hearing then.
"Me!" Aang announced loudly, sounding rather cheerful. "We're not that far from the village! Thank the spirits. I can carry you to the ship and we can warm up there. The smoke could alert the village near by. Oh, thank the spirits. We can finally get to a warmer place."
"Then we can look for Appa. He's sure to be at the village if we crashed this close! Oh how lucky we are! If I knew we were this close -"
"- ould have ran there a long time ago! Knowing Katara she would stuff us up with sea prunes."
"AANG!" Toph shouted.
"…." at least that got his attention.
Obedient as always, Aang crawled closer without hesitation.
Punching him square in the shoulder, Toph swung another time. "That. Was for leaving me here!" she growled out. Grasping onto his arms, she pulled him close to her body. Holding him tightly, "Now… you're going to wear your shirt and coat." she whispered. With a huff, her bangs flopped up. "Then we can move out toward this'ship you were talking about."
Chuckling softly, Aang's arms snaked around Toph's tiny waist - even though his shoulder protested with a cry of agony. Holding her tightly, "Okay…. Just, don't hit me again. I think I went through enough abuse for this week."
Snorting, "Shut up, Twinkletoes." Bumping heads with Aang, "Lets just get out of here…. I'm hungry enough to eat a whole sky bison."
With a shocked gasp, "You wouldn't! Not Appa!"
Laughing, "If you don't get me to the village any time soon, then yes. I will eat Appa."
"… you're evil." but Aang knew that Toph was joking. Cause, come on…. She wouldn't really eat Appa…. Right?
Toph was still laughing, even as they trek through the snow toward the abandoned Navy ship. However, her laughter stopped when Aang rudely tried carried the woman. Okay, maybe he wasn't rude. He asked at first, but Toph denied it. She didn't want any help. However, Aang didn't want to deal with Toph's stubbornness and demanded that she climb onto her back.
Blaming the cold weather, Toph shivered at the demanding tone of his voice. Though, she knew, in the back of her mind that she was thrilled to hear that from Aang. It was a side of him that she hardly seen and when she did… it just reminded her of how frustrated she was feeling at the moment.
However, this didn't mean that she would back down without a fight. Even when she was lifted bridal style, she tried to keep up the fight. Her body on the other hand wouldn't comply. She just sagged and without much resentment, let the airbender carrying her.
"Don't get any ideas…" she mumbled as she leaned against his warm body.
Damn him and his firebending. As much as she'd hate to admit it, she kind of wished that she was a fire bender, just for situations like these. Then again, if she was a fire bender, she'd never get a chance to be this close to the air bender. So, she ended up surrendering to her will and snuggled closer to the man.
Anyway, she would always prefer earthbending above every other bending in the end. It was awesome, just like Toph.
And, she wondered why Aang was walking so sluggish. Then again, the snow was thick.
Toph must have passed out some time ago, since she woke up to a whole new warmth…and she could feel vibrations!
Shooting up, Toph tried to get a "look" where she was. It didn't take her long to register the fact that she was on an old fire nation ship. Sending out the vibrations, the metal returned the answers through vibrations. So, she listened and felt what was being said to her. She was in the boiler room and the boiler was burning brightly across the room. She could feel the heat radiating off the metal. Though, somewhere on this floor, Aang's light fo -
Wait, something was off.
Frowning, she listened to his foot steps. They were heavy and one leg was being dragged against the floor. He injured his leg.
"Damnit! That stupid airhead." throwing off the blankets, Toph was up on her feet and stomping her way toward the door. The hatch slammed open, echoing through the tunnels of steel and iron. "Aang? Where the hell are you?"
The man in question jumped out of his skin. He didn't realize that she would get up so soon. He just managed to get the fire roaring and Toph under a dry blanket. Thankfully water bending helped to remove the excess liquid out of her clothing. Cringing a bit, the poor man tried to figure out what he did wrong that could have gotten her so angry.
With a feiry look in her face, Toph's bare feet stamp on the metal as she made her way toward the young man. "You fucken idiot!" she roared. "How dare you! How fucken dare you!"
Aang stared at the approaching figure in pure confusion and fear. Taking a step back, he stumbled and fell heavily. Hissing in pain, "Toph! Calm down!"
"No! No I will not!" she yelled. The metal around them cracked and deformed with every word that left her lips. "I should murder you where you stand! Hopefully your incarnation wouldn't be as stupid as you are!"
Wincing at the words, Aang couldn't help but glared at the woman. Struggling, he tried to get back onto his feet. "What, the hell is your problem now!"
"My problem! Wha the hell is my problem! YOU! That's what!" she yelled and grabbed onto the man's shirt. Dragging him down, "How dare you do that? I swear! I should throw you into some lake!"
Pushing her off, "Do what? Save your life? I fucken swear, you are the most ungrateful woman I have ever met!"
That was the second time Aang cussed. He never cusses unless he was frustrated or just pushed over the edge. But, that didn't matter at the moment. What Toph heard was his words. His words. Those hurtful words. The word that hurt the most. Ungrateful.
How could he say that! Yes, she had no right to yell at him, but didn't he understand! He got hurt, because of her own weakness. How did she feel that her own weakness lead him to be hurt!
Holding onto his shirt with a tight grip, she couldn't hold them back. No matter how hard she tried, she just couldn't. Choking back a sob, Toph tried her best not to cry… especially in front of him.
Blinking, Aang studied the woman in front of him. Sighing, he moved closer and wrapped his arms around Toph. Hugging her close, "I'm… sorry." he forgot all about being angry with Toph. He should have kept quiet and let her take out her frustrations on him. She would have calmed down once she finished her rant. Now look what he did. He made her cry.
She pounded a small fist onto his chest. The blow was weak compared to her usual ones.
"You… got hurt…..how could I live knowing that! How can I be grateful knowing that you could possibly loose your leg cause of my selfishness! I was taking you for granted!" her tears never stopped. They kept falling, like a stream running through a forest.
"Toph….. Shhhh. It's okay. I just sprain my ankle."
She listened to the vibrations. He was telling the truth, however… not the full truth. He was leaving out something important. But, before she could question him, they were disrupted.
They both knew that voice. It was Katara. Sokka and Zuko weren't far behind and if Toph concentrated enough, she could feel Suki in the distance as well. They yell along with Katara, running through the iron labyrinth.
"Aang? Toiph! Where are you?" Katara called down.
"What if this is a trap?"
"Trap? This has been here before you were born, right?"
"Suki! You shouldn't be here!"
"Katara, why is your brother here with us again?"
"If only I knew the answer for that."
"Only you would think this is a trap Sokka."
"But... Suki... honeeyyyyy."
Toph and Aang chuckled. Oh, how they missed their friends.
Giving Toph one last hug before the others came down, Aang felt the small woman sniffle and rub away at her sightless orbs. "You're still a jerk… by the way." she whispered just loud enough for him to hear.
Smiling, he couldn't help but kiss her forehead. "I think Sokka will approve the new nickname."
Laughing softly, the pair made their way to regroup with their friends.
It was a wonderful reunion and everyone was happy to know their friends were safe. Aang was more than delighted to learn that Appa was safe and sound. He was so enthusiastic about it that Aang immediately cling onto his old friend's face. Sadly, Aang couldn't enjoy his time with the fuzzy friend. since Katara began to order Toph and him in shelter, declaring that they would get sick. Severely sick!
And, just as the water tribe woman predicted, these two would develop a cold. As stubborn as they were, the two benders couldn't deny the fact that they were indeed... sick. Their fevers were easily ignored due to the excitement of being found at first. However, it wasn't ignored by Katara. Being protective and motherly as she was, she would fuss away at the pair and force them into bed.
However, a small issue came up that night...
"Katara, I know. Don't worry, it'll be fine…."
"…Aang, have you see your foot?" she whispered as she examined the limb. There wasn't much damage, however it did tamper with his walking. Carefully, she lifted the foot up and examined the bloated, purple skin.
Pressing a finger against the skin, Aang let out a painful hiss. "...I think its infected...as well. Aang..." Katara started, but then paused. Instead, she sighed and set the foot down.
Toph, on the other hand, was suppose to be asleep. However she didn't feel like it. No. She wanted to hear how his condition was. So for the past half an hour, she feign her sleeping and listened to the pair. Her worry for Aang increased with every passing minute. The conversation itself didn't put an ease to her anxiety as well.
"Yes I have seen it…" there was a pause. "Can you heal it?"
"I could try. Can't really… promise much." there was another sign.
"….Toph is going to kill me." he whispered with a heavy sigh.
Hissing in pain, Aang tried to get a control of his breathing. "I was paying attention to her… making sure that she wouldn't get cold or loose her feet to this cold."
Shuffling could be heard as the other being in the small tent got up. Aang and Katara paused and watched as the small figure got up. They knew what was coming. They knew how much the earthbender hated to be treated like some frail thing. Oh, yes they knew that hell was coming in for them. What they didn't know...
"Aang…. Why…." she sounded so... so vulnerable, sad and... so small.
"Toph, please, don't be angry."
"Don't be angry? You told me it was a sprained ankle! Not, not… not whatever Katara is talking about!" she yelled at the man. Small, sad and vulnerable was now replaced with royally pissed off. Just how stupid can he be! her mind fueled on the anger.
"Toph…. I know how important your feet are to you. What's a foot compared to your sight!"
Dumbstruck. Simply dumbstruck, the small being just stared at Aang. Yes, she couldn't see, but she couldn't help but just stare at his direction. Ironically though, she was staring directly into his eye. Then, she bit her lower lip and just shook her head.
Tackling the man into the ground, Katara's startling gasp was ignored by the pair. Instead, Toph cling onto the man as though her life depended on it. Heck, she didn't bother to hide her tears. She just couldn't take it anymore. Not only did he ensure that she was safe, but he sacrificed himself so she was able to see. He sacrificed his health for her just so she can see.
"I love you." she whispered into his ear.
Oh, how she regretted that. Now this was going to make their friendship awkward. That is if they have a friendship after this.
"Wh-what?" Aang seemed... shocked?
Just the thought of not being with him as a friend flooded the small earth bender with such sadness. In an instant in stupidity, Toph blurted out a secret she kept close to her heart for so long. Now Aang wouldn't travel with her. They won't laugh like they use to around a fire, or even stay in the same room cause it would be right down uncomfortable. And she was the blame for this. It shattered her heart to think she couldn't have the friendship that she held onto for so long.
"It wasn't nothing! I heard you say -"
"No I didn't!" Toph yelled, slapping her hand – rather forcefully – onto his mouth.
Letting out a string of angry muffled words, "HrmmmMmmphhrmmmiphurmph!"
"Aang... please. Don't." Toph whimpered softly. Dropping her head in shame, long raven locks hid the fact that she was close to tears – yet again. Damn her for being so emotional!
Taking her hand off of his lips, "Toph..." he whispered. When she didn't respond at first, "Toph... Look at me. Please." But there was still no response. Sighing heavily, Aang gently tilted her chin upwards
"Toph... Listen to me." he began, slowly and softly. With a sniffle, her clouded green eyes stared up over Aang's messy brown locks. "I will admit it, I'm shocked. I wasn't expecting something like that... However." Toph flinched and tried to get away. "Toph. Listen. I don't know if I can claim – right at this very moment – that I do love you. But, I know, for a fact that you do mean something important to me. I care for you a lot Toph and I will do anything for you." smiling some, he bumpped foreheads with the female. "And after this wedding, I was really hoping that you'd have dinner with me – once we get back to the earth kingdom. I know a good place that sells some sludge cakes the way you like them."
At first, Toph was scared. Yes. Scared. She was so scared, she was ready to run away into the cold and just let the darkness physically swallow her whole. She knew he was going to tell her that he didn't love her that way...and she was really expecting the whole, "you're my friend" talk. However... that wasn't the case.
Aang didn't know if he loved her or not, but he cared for her strongly to start a relationship. Not just any relationship. But a relationship with her and would do anything to make her happy. His actions alone these past few hours (maybe day) proved the fact that he cared for her deeply. He didn't love – well, not yet that is – but he did want her in his life still.
And that was all that mattered now.
Still, it didn't stop the blind female from staring at the male in wide-eyed shock. Pushing herself up just enough to 'stare' at his face, no witty comment could be heard or even produced. Yet again, ironically. What is up with this man... and his surprises! Everything he does, it just seemed to catch her off guard.
It has to be ice. Yes... The ice was blamed. Stupid Sokka and his stupid wedding in his stupid ice tribe of stupidness.
Though, this didn't stop her from punching Aang'sshoulder – lightly. Well... maybe not that light.
Wincing a bit, "I thought you were going to stop abusing me."
"Ha. When that happens, we'd know its the end of the world. Now get over here." pulling him close, her lips connected his in a sloppy manner. Well, maybe it wasn't his lips... maybe it was. Damn her blindness and the ice! But either way, she was happy. No! She was beyond happy! She was high up in the skies with euphoria that she would suddenly have the energy and grace to start flying about!
Or maybe not.
Still! She was a god damn happy woman!
Now, with the tables turned, Aang sat there in pure shock. He was expecting something like this, but at the same time, he didn't. Bumping noses, Toph felt Twinkle-Toe's smile grew. And soon enough, he was correcting and deepening the kiss with this tiny but strong woman in his arms.
"... Oh my god, they're so cute." Suki gushed.
"Cute?" Zuko questioned.
"Shh! You're ruining the moment." Katara hissed.
"What moment?" Zuko asked, once more.
"I think it was the 'cute' moment." Sooka mentioned off hand. "I gotta say though. I sure do spread out the love."
"... not unless you wish to be disturbed for the rest of your life." Zuko grumbled.
"You two are soo not helping." Mumbled Katara as she glared at the two boys.
Pulling away from each other's lips, Toph and Aang blushed deeply. But, it didn't stop them from smiling or moving as a matter of fact. If anything, they had ideas of their own. Toph in particular had an idea to embarrass two certain people.
"I know I'm blind, but I am sure that I'm not deaf." Toph said slowly. Glaring at the space where she heard the voices.
Hugging her close, Aang kept on smiling, "Well, we did put up a show."
"A show? Well then, where's the payment? I don't put up shows for free ya know."
Zuko let out a chuckle of his own, "How about Katara sees to Aang's foot and then we can leave you two love brids alone?" Toph heard the smugness in his voice.
Scoffing, "Shut it sparky. Last I checked, you and Sugar-Queen were getting rather frisky under the covers a few months back."
If only Toph could see the brilliant red flashing over their face. Though Aang's laughter confirmed the fact that it Toph hit a rather sensitive spot. "Now that wasn't nice of you." Aang teased.
"Shut up Twinkle-toes. Don't forget you're in for a major ass beating after this."
For the rest of the night, the small tent was filled up with warmth, laughter and... some pain. After all, with the frost bite Aang gotten, it would indeed hurt for the next – if not – several days.
Leaning against his staff, Aang let out a tired grunt. It has been a tiring day and his leg has foot has been causing him pain for the past few hours. It was a bearable pain, but now.. He couldn't hide the fact he was in pain. On top of that, he knew that his girlfriend would scold him for not taking a break.
Just thinking about it had the man wincing for the upcoming pain his shoulder would have to endure.
"You okay there Twinkle-Toes?"
Glancing over his shoulder, he stared at the lovely figure. He still couldn't stop but be amazed at her beautiful figure. Even after a year of being an item, it still just... amazed him.
"... No. I was thinking of taking a break for a while now, but I was hoping to find a stream near by or something." he sighed heavily and scratched at his scruffy hair.
Narrowing those sightless eyes, Toph's foot tapped at the earth in an annoyed fashion. But, Aang knew that wasn't the case. She was seeing... searching the land for a source of water. Any water source to be precise. Clicking her tongue, "We're out of luck on that one. Next river is a good few miles away from here..."
"Ahh..." Aang slowly acknowledged as his gaze went upwards. "Well... best we find some shade and have some lunch... Hopefully Appa will come down from his flight."
"Yes... Emergency food supply is sure bounded to come on down some time soon."
"Oh hush you...you... evil melon lord!"
Laughing, the pair moved off to a more comfortable spot to relax at. With a heavy thud, the airbender was happy to actually relax and just take a breather. Toph on the other hand... she was happy, but slightly annoyed that Aang would still force himself to keep on walking when he was in pain.
Sighing heavily, the woman dropped down onto the floor and pulled his left foot up close. "I swear, you're an idiot at times. Don't know how I fell for someone as airheaded like you." As her fingers moved against the muscles, Toph's teasing tone could be well heard.
"Well, this airhead happens to be your boyfriend, a very good boyfriend, mind you."
"Mmmm... yup. That you are. Now, wiggle your toes, just like Katara instructed."
"Yes Melon Lord." and did as he was instructed to do.
"That's a good little airhead."
"Hey... Melon Lord."
"...I love you...ACK!"
A/N: Yes. This is my very, very first finished story. I have two others that I long forgotten about.
Anyway, as I was reading through the taang fanfictions, I couldn't help but notice a little cliché idea that wasn't written. So, I made this. I started this actually... a few weeks ago – possibly a month ago. All I know, I was extreamly bored, I just finished watched Avatar like a week back and I was falling in love with Toph. Cause, come on... She is pure EPIC WIN! Aang, being well... Aang. I just thought the two would be cute together and wham, made this.
Tell me what you think aka Read and Review! Everyone loves that! I know I sure do! Also, give me a nudge for any grammatical errors or ideas for a squeal. Yes. I might make one. Who knows, maybe I'll draw something for this fanfic as well!
Thanks for reading!