"Appa, hold still!" Sokka shouted desperately. He, Aang and Zuko were currently washing the giant sky bison. Katara waited at the river bank, and Toph stood nearby, grinning.
"You're tickling him, Sokka!" Aang laughed, "He's ticklish on his feet." The bald Airbender continued to scrub Appa's head with soap, and Zuko was currently working on soaping up his tail.
Sokka held up the brush he was using to scrub in between Appa's toes. "Well how was I supposed to know that?" Katara smirked, "Well, Sokka, you've only done it around fifty times in the past year."
Her brother scowled, "Well it was never a problem until now!" Aang wiped sweat off his forehead, "Whew! Hey, Zuko!" he called down, "You finished down there?"
The Fire Prince held up soapy arms, covered in white bundles of shed fur. "Yeah, I'm good here." Aang grinned, and jumped down airly next to Katara. "Sweet! Okay, now it's time to rinse. You ready, buddy?" Appa groaned in response, although it may have also been because of Sokka, who was still scrubbing the bison's feet and heard nothing. Katara and Aang began moving the water up into a large wave as Zuko climbed onto the bank next to Toph.
"Why is it I always have to wash his feet?" Sokka grumbled to himself. "It's never the body, or the head, not even the tail! Always the..." he trailed off as a huge shadow loomed over him. Looking over his shoulder, his jaw dropped as a massive wall of water came closer. Sokka tried to jump out of the way, but it was too late: within seconds, Appa was completely drenched—and so was Sokka.
"Aw, Katara!" Sokka groaned, climbing up the bank. He took the band out of his hair and wrung his hair out, following suit with his shirt.
Toph was cackling, and even Zuko was chuckling. Katara giggled as Aang pat Appa on his side. "Well, you should have paid attention, Snoozles," Toph called. Sokka scowled in return, though not angry. "Well, now we're all done, yay," the warrior said, putting his 'wolf's tail' back up.
"Not yet," Katara said. She pulled out several pairs of scissors and laid them out. Sokka glanced at the objects, then at his sister. "What are those for?" he asked in confusion. "They're for cutting, silly!" Aang said, grabbing a pair, as did Katara.
"Well duh!" Sokka rolled his eyes, "I know what they're used for. I mean, why do we need them?" Zuko grabbed a pair and handed a pair to Sokka, "We're giving Appa a trim." Sokka cut the air a couple times, "So...why?"
"It's about time Appa got a hair cut," Aang called over his shoulder. He turned around to find Toph already holding a piece of Appa's fur in her hand, grinning proudly. "Hey, this isn't so hard!" she exclaimed, snipping her scissors. Everyone went pale—a blind girl with scissors is never a good thing. While they were of course worried for Toph, they were all just a bit more worried for themselves, and especially Appa.
"Uh...Toph?" Katara started uneasily, unsure of how to say it. "Um...the scissors...I don't think that's a good idea..."
"What, you don't want me to help?" Toph brought the scissors to her side, slightly offended, as Aang practically flew over to see if his bison was okay. "I know I'm blind, but I know how to cut!"
Sokka put a hand on her shoulder, "We know you can, it's not that we think you can't. Just..."
"Just, you think I could hurt somebody," the Earthbender huffed. "Well...honestly, yeah," Sokka said. "What if you cut way too close to Appa's skin, and accidentally cut him or something? You wouldn't be able to tell something like that, would you?" Toph was silent, then "I guess not. I don't want to hurt him."
"Of course you don't," Zuko said, taking the scissors from her. "We know you want to help here, but it's best for Appa if you let us trim him, okay?" Toph nodded and sat down, pulling out her bit of 'space rock', courtesy of Sokka.
"Nice one," Sokka said in a low voice as they walked away. "Thanks," Zuko replied, slipping the pair into the little pouch they were stored in.
"Oh, no!" Aang cried. "What is it?" Katara asked quickly, worried. "Look!" Aang pointed to a spot on Appa. To Sokka and Zuko, it looked perfectly fine, but Katara gasped. The boys exchanged glances, then looked closer. What they saw filled them both with horror and laughter.
When Toph was 'helping', she had accidentally cut poor Appa's fur so short, he was just short of reaching a buzz cut. Aang rounded on the blind girl, ready to reprimand her, when Katara placed a hand on his arm. "It isn't her fault," she said evenly, trying to soothe the young monk. "She was only trying to help, it's not like she did it on purpose."
Aang closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and waited ten seconds. "You're right, Katara. But what are we going to do?" he asked, looking at his bison, who was personally enjoying all the attention.
Toph looked at all of them, hearing the conversation. "I'm sorry, Aang," she said. "I'm sorry, Fuzzy," she directed at Appa, coming into the water to pet his cheek. "It's okay, Toph," Aang said wearily.
"We could comb some fur over it, to hide it?" Zuko asked. "Oh, sure Zuko. And just let us know where we can get a giant bison comb, and we'll do just that," Katara said sarcastically. Zuko frowned, "It was just an idea..."
"Well, I guess there's only one other option," Sokka said, inspecting Appa's side, Momo sitting on his shoulder. When everyone's attention was drawn to him, he continued, "We'll just have to completely cut his fur like we planned to, only just a bit shorter. It's not noticeable from far away, right?" he asked Zuko. The Firebender shook his head in agreement, and Sokka went on, "So we'll just go on like normal. Once it grows out again, we'll cut it again, to make it even."
Aang pet Appa's head thoughtfully. "What do you think, buddy?" Appa groaned loudly. "Alright, if you're sure." Turning to his friend, he nodded, "Let's do it."
(Two hours later)
"Well, how does he look?" Toph asked impatiently. Aang inspected his and everyone else's work. "Actually...he doesn't look bad at all," he said brightly. Zuko collected everyone's scissors and put them away.
"He looks like a brand new bison," Sokka added, throwing an arm around Toph, grinning. "So you're saying an idea of yours actually worked?" she retorted. Everyone laughed while poor Sokka frowned. "Hey! I've had plenty of ideas that worked!"
"Really? Like what?"
"Well," he shot at his sister, "there was the drill outside Ba Sing Se! It was my idea to take it down from the inside. And the airships during the Comet, and..."
"Alright, Sokka. You know we were just kidding," Katara giggled. "Yeah, you come up with some good ideas," Zuko added, "Like at the Boiling Rock."
"Yeah...I am pretty smart, aren't I?" Sokka asked proudly. "Don't get ahead of yourself," Toph smirked, giving him a punch in the arm. "Ow," the warrior rubbed his arm.
Appa roared happily, Momo landing atop his head. Aang laughed, "Yeah, buddy. You look pretty great. Zuko, come help me put his saddle on," he called. Once the two managed to put the saddle on, Toph launched herself into the saddle, taking up her position of gripping the side. Aang took up the reigns, and called down to the siblings, "Let's go get some tea at Iroh's shop!"
"But...shouldn't we clean up?" Katara asked as Sokka scrambled up the bison. Everyone looked at the massive clumps of fur in the river, then at each other. "Uh...right, we should. Hang on," Aang jumped down, and with Katara they managed to Waterbend the fur onto the bank. Aang then blew a giant gust of wind and scattered the fur in the trees.
"There we go. All clean! Now let's go!" Aang helped Katara up and took the reigns again. "Yip yip!" As they flew away, Sokka sneezed. "Aww, I got Appa in my boots! And my shirt!" Everyone laughed, "You crack me up, Snoozles!" Toph said as she made to punch his arm again. "Ow!" Zuko grunted, rubbing the spot.
Well, bit of a weak ending, but it sounds alright to me. Please, review! I might do more if you do!