Everything sucked.

Toph's head was heavy and groggy, her feet far away from the floor and her vision blank. It was a terrible combination, not at all helped by the dizzying pain emanating from her right arm. She groaned loudly, attempting to push herself up, but a shock of sharp agony shot up to her shoulder to encase her torso is a spiderweb of aching pain. Her entire awareness throbbed with the unwelcome sensation, and she swore, falling back against her pillow with a loud thump.


She turned her head towards the voice, which came from her left. "Wha...what's it?" she asked, her voice pitching with panic. "Who's there?"

"Easy, Toph," they said again, and she heard their footsteps growing closer. "It's just me."

Relief flooded her like a cool splash of water. "Sokka?"

"The one and only!"

She felt her mattress give where he sat down, and one of his heavy hands rested lightly on top of the blanket near her leg. She offered him a small smile before asking the natural question that waking up in a strange bed with an excruciatingly painful injury would provoke: "What the hell happened?"

His hesitation felt tense. "You...don't remember?"

She mustered enough energy to nudge him hard with the leg nearest him, coming close to knocking him off of the bed. "Of course I don't, stupid. Or else I wouldn't have asked."

He repositioned himself on the bed, angling his body towards her. "There was a fight," he said brusquely. "We were ambushed by a group of colonial rebels."

Vague memories of sensing hostile people advancing on her and her friends flitted through her memory, but they were hazy and hard to grasp onto.

"Is everyone okay?"

"Yeah," he said. "Well, your arm obviously isn't. You got hit pretty hard."

She huffed. "Figures. Is it broken?"

"Nah. Katara said it'll be fine in a few days."

Silence stretched. Toph scowled softly, her arm still stinging uncomfortably. "So what?" she asked glumly. "Am I gonna be stuck in this bed until then?"

"Probably just for the rest of the day," he said. She must have given him an extremely fearsome look, because he amended hastily, "I mean, if you feel better you can get up, of course! Uh..."

He trailed off awkwardly, and she heaved a sigh, gripping her wounded arm. "It's okay," she muttered sulkily.

"I'll hang around while you're resting," he offered hopefully.

She kept the smile that tugged at her lips under control. "Thanks, Snoozles."

She felt him stand, and one eyebrow shot up. "You've got a funny way of sticking around," she said.

"I brought tea," he explained hastily from a few feet away, and she heard his footsteps approach her bed again. There was a light clatter of a tray being set down on a hard wooden surface, and the sound of the tea being poured. Mindful of the disadvantage being in bed put her to, he guided her hand towards the teacup, letting go when her fingers had wrapped around the warm porcelain.

"Thanks," she said, taking a sip. She had to stop herself from grimacing. Hanging around Iroh had turned her into a bit of a snob when it came to tea, and she didn't have the heart to tell Sokka that he was awful at brewing the stuff. The green tea he made her was too strong and tasted rather bitter.

"Something wrong?" he asked, pouring another cup for himself. "Katara said this kind of tea might help ease the pain. It's...got herbs in it, I don't know."

She ran her fingers idly across the rim, silent and thoughtful. "Sokka."


She dipped her index finger into the cup to get a feel for how full it was.

"How do you think tea would taste with some cactus juice?"