"I'll ask you again. Where is the resistance hiding?" The interrogator was met with silence. She stepped closer to the figure, curled up on the wooden floor in pain, the only sound being her labored and ragged breathing. They were in a small, cramped cell with almost no light in it. The only light came from a small, barred window up next to the ceiling shining a stagnant light onto the person on the ground. Without warning the interrogator sent a quick and sharp kick to the person's abdomen. The person moaned in pain right after an audible crack was heard. There went another rib. A cruel smile appeared on her cream colored face.
"I must admit, you've lasted longer than I thought you would. It's too bad that you're nothing more than a broken shell of your former self." She saw the prisoner's jaw clench. "To think that I've practically crushed the spirit of the greatest Earthbender, who self taught herself to bend metal," she paused as she kneeled down next to the girl, "is worth its own weight in gold. The great Toph Bei Fong has been defeated." Toph pushed herself up on her knees, her battered and beaten body protesting with each motion. She lifted her head so her sightless eyes were 'staring' in the direction of her tormentor and spit in her face with the last bit of saliva she had left.
Toph fell back to the ground with the force of the slap she'd received. Her captor wiped her face in disgust, her patience running thin. "Let's try this again, shall we? Where is the resistance?"
"Go…to…Hell," Toph replied in between each sharp intake of breath that hurt worse than the last. Though Toph knew soon enough she'd lose all feeling of pain once her body got used to it. She couldn't even feel the bruises on her body anymore. Or the gashes on her temple. Not to mention her split lip. "I…will never…betray…my friends."
"As touching as that is, I'm afraid your valor is misplaced." If Toph had been herself she would have punched her captor long ago. Just then the door to the room opened and in stepped one of the guards.
"Princess Azula, we've captured the Avatar. We're bringing him in now as we speak." Toph's heart almost completely stopped. She tried to push herself up into the sitting position.
"Aang…" she breathed. The prodigal princess turned her attention back to he young Earthbender and smiled sadistically.
"Well it looks like my luck just keeps getting better." Azula turned on her heel and left.
******** It didn't take long before heard screams echoing through the air. Screams she recognized. Twinkle Toes… Toph's heart stopped as her head processed the sound. She tried to stand, using the wall as leverage but she ended up sinking back down on her scratched knees. She crawled, painfully, over to the bars of her cell. Wood. She pushed with every last bit of strength she had, trying to ignore the pain it caused; the screams continuing to echo throughout the building.
"Aang…!" she called her voice dry and cracked. "Aang!" She covered her ears to try and block the sound but thanks to her above average hearing, it could still be heard. Toph felt tears prick her eyes.
"It's a shame really," came her captor's calculating tone. "He has your stubbornness." Toph kept her ears covered as Azula noticed the tears running down her grime covered face from her tightly shut eyes. "You know you can end his pain. All you have to do is answer one simple question. I mean what's more important to you? Your friends' trust or the person you love?" Toph's teeth clenched as she forced herself to stay silent.
She knew better. Azula wouldn't kill Aang. Otherwise the search for the Avatar would start all over again. "Azula always lies," Zuko had said. But the Earthbender also knew that the fire prodigy knew what would cause people to crack, to go insane and have no chance of coming back. She didn't want that for Aang.
"Where is the resistance hiding?" Toph didn't answer. Azula sighed at this. "Fine. I guess I'll have to tell the guards that the Avatar is of no use to us." She turned to leave.
"Wait!" Azula stopped, a victorious smirk spread across her lips. She turned to see the Earthbender had given up on holding her ears and was 'staring' down at the ground in defeat. "You win. I'll tell you where they are." Azula walked back over to the girl and kneeled down once again.
"See? Now was that so hard?" The princess gave a light laugh and Toph clenched her fist at the girl's cruel joke. "Now, where is the resistance?"
******* Aang hung off the ground by two chains. He had numerous cuts and bruises, his leg was fractured, at least two of his ribs were cracked, and his shoulder was dislocated. The door to his room opened and he looked up to see the princess walk in. A smirk on her face, like she'd just told a joke. Aang managed a glare.
"Hello Avatar. Comfy?"
"Who?" she asked innocently.
"My friend! Where is she?" he growled.
"Oh! You mean the little Earthbender. She's probably crawling into a hole right about now, seeing as she just told me the location of the resistance. Right now, as we speak, my soldiers are heading for the Serpent's Pass." Aang's eyes widened. "By this time tomorrow, all your little friends will be rotting away in one of these cells." Azula turned to leave but stopped before she reached the door.
"It's funny what some people will do for freedom isn't it?" she asked in a serious tone, but Aang could hear a small amount of humor in it. "You fight for it, while the Earthbender sold her friends out for it."
"You're lying! Toph would rather die than sell us out!" Her smirk grew as if she was about to deliver the punch line of the joke.
"Think about this Avatar. What else has she done for freedom? She's run away from home, from her parents. All she's ever craved is freedom. So when I offered it to her after being locked up and beaten for so long, she jumped at the chance."
"Toph's stronger than that! She would never trade our lives for her own!" Azula shrugged.
"Everyone has a price, Avatar. The trick is finding out what it is." And with that she left. She didn't see the Avatars expression change. She didn't see the smirk that rose on his bruised face.
Is she in for a surprise when she arrives at the Serpents Pass, he thought. Well done Toph.
****** And there you have it folks...Hope you guys enjoyed it!
Anyway guys, I'm out! Peace!