Written for Tokka Week on KataangForever(dot)com

Prompt #1: Spar


Just Between Us

Sokka couldn't stop gawking.

He hadn't, really, for the past few days or so; after all, the change was drastic, the figure sitting complacently to his right now nubile where it had once been stocky, childish features evolving into the bestowed fullness of her gender.

She was busy gnawing on the remnants of her dinner, her mouth starkly red and streaked with soot. The fire cast useless light onto the vacant eyes set deep within her face, rays unable to penetrate the opaque. Shadows molded to the curves of her waist, offering allure as it crept between her crossed legs; they had become lean from months of growing up and toned from hours of practice. She had finally tamed her hair, now ebony curtains framing her face, held back by her customary headband. Her bangs were parted in the centre, ends tucked behind unwashed ears to place the newfound angularity of her refined face in prominence.

It had been barely a year since he had last set his eyes on her, but, man, did puberty cause some not entirely undesirable effects on the young heiress.

'Liking what you see, Snoozles?'

Sokka started at Toph's suggestive drawl, retracting his gaze from what he mentally insisted was simply the exquisite embroidery upon the ends of her collar instead of the sudden plunge it took. Still, he couldn't help but blush furiously as he took in the playful grin plastered across Toph's face, realizing he had been involuntarily ogling. She stretched as she waited for his reply; glancing down, away from her knowing expression, Sokka admired the panel of porcelain skin revealed as her tunic hiked up accidentally, its contours hourglass and- He blinked, catching himself.

Well, maybe not involuntarily. But still.

'I wasn't- I don't-' he sputtered, forgetting to swallow his sausage and choking as a result. After several coughs, the offending piece of meat was projected into the intended passageway, upon which a gasping Sokka turned a shrewder mind to the question.

'Hang on.' He narrowed his eyes, jabbing an accusatory finger at Toph as the pieces fell into place. 'You couldn't have known that I was staring at you!'

Her Cheshire grin stretched across her cheekbones again. 'Well, I do now!' Toph crowed, the hair tucked behind her left ear becoming dislodged to swing across an eye, giving her a somewhat rakish look as her body shook with laughter.

Sokka could feel his eyes bulging, as they were wont to do during moments of great distress. 'You- I can't believe- Why-'

'You know, you really need to work on your comebacks,' she interrupted lazily, ignoring the increase in blood flow to his head as he stumbled over verbal blocks.

She scooted closer, leaning over to brush against the Water Tribesman's torso, her hair scented faintly with petrichor as its only form of hygiene. Instead of the expected affectionate punch, though, her hand remained firmly on the ground, propping herself up to sway closer to his face. Sokka felt the drumming in his chest morph into a deafening pounding, gulping as he tried to slow it down in vain. Though they had been in closer proximity than this, it felt wildly different with a Toph on the cusp of womanhood directly in front of him. He saw Toph's eyebrows raise slightly, lips curving upwards in a lopsided smile; she was no doubt amused at his body's reaction to her. Petite points lifting cheeks were attractive and demure as Sokka gazed into orbs peeking out beneath disheveled locks, Toph's expression coy.

Instinctively, he felt the drooping of his own eyelids, the distance closing between them as his body tilted forwards. Sokka knew his brain was screaming at him for defying all possible logic; unfortunately, the thudding of his heart was beating along rhythmically to Toph's shallow breaths, their combined amplitude unbelievably loud in the dark of their campsite, drowning out all possible reasoning.

Sokka inhaled a last, deep breath, velocity speeding up to capture her lips- and promptly fell flat on his face.

'You should also,' a smug voice came from behind him, 'Never let your guard down.'

His forehead throbbing, Sokka flipped over onto his back. As his eyes swiveled from the satisfied expression on Toph's face to the plate of food in her other hand (so that's where it had been!), Sokka tensed, eyes widening in outrage at such thievery, ignoring the disappointed sinking of his heart.

His gaze narrowed as the earthbender plucked a piece of meat from the platter, sniffed it, and gave a contented sigh. Toph extended arm downwards towards him, tantalizing and taunting mingling in her action and voice. 'Wow, Sokka, this lizard chicken smells great!' She brought it to her nose once more, a smirk blossoming across her smeared lips. 'I bet it'd taste amazing, too, don't you?'

He sucked in a breath, the beginnings of eye bulging setting in once again. 'Don't. You. Dare.'

This only served to widen Toph's grin. Lifting her arm, she angled her head sideways to allow Sokka the perfect view of her biting into the meat deliberately, her jaw pumping as she chewed exaggeratedly. 'Mmm,' she mumbled, her mouth full, 'This is fantastic stuff, Snoozles, it was so sweet of you to- argh!'

Sokka had lunged. Bits of food, ejected from Toph's mouth as she yelled, descended on the two. Aiming for her legs, Sokka crashed into the log instead, realizing too late that Toph could anticipate others' movements.

As stars circled haphazardly around his wolftail, a peal of laughter erupted from his right. 'Way to go, Meathead, but you should know better than that.'

Groaning, he fumbled with the package strapped to his back, tossing his new boomerang in the direction of her voice. A gratifying thwack echoed through their camp, followed by a small yelp and the clang of a dropped dish.

Wails and an argument erupted accordingly.

'My dinner!'

'Your dinner? You stole it from me!'

'We've been walking for ages; I need more sustenance than that!'

'It was a full meal!'

'You call that a full meal?'

'Well, why don't you go and do the hunting from now on, if you're so hungry?'

'I would, except for the one fact that you always seem to conveniently forget- I'm blind!'

'Just crush some animals with your rocks or something!'

'Argh!'

A scuffle broke out, involving several flying stones, the retrieval of Boomerang and many hard knocks deftly aimed; in the end, Toph was triumphant, straddling a defeated and completely winded Sokka in the dirt. Facing upwards with his arms pinned to his sides by two strong limbs, Sokka took in Toph's menacing scowl and trembled, the leaves that had become caught in his wolftail shaking.

'Uh,' he gulped nervously. 'You're not going to hurt me, are you?'

'That depends,' she shrugged, her tone mockingly thoughtful. 'Are you going to keep pissing me off by being an insensitive jerk?' Toph tossed her head scornfully, scooping up a handful of soil and melding it into a firm ball threateningly.

Again, he gulped, but in response to how she had shifted her weight further south, settling herself comfortably away from the concave of his torso. Sokka winced at his heart- it was hammering away, with perspiration clinging to his hairline. He knew he was hot and bothered, but did Toph? Toph- his thoughts drifted dreamily to their combined heat pooling around his hips. Snapped back into reality by Toph's expectant throat rumble, Sokka shook himself mentally.

Down, boy, he told himself.

It took all the restraint he had to divert his attention from the welcome warmth seeping from Toph's body into his to the brick of mud poised opportunely over his head.

'No,' Sokka managed to squeak through the tightness of his chest, meekly looking away from the girl on top. 'Sorry.'

Toph's eyes narrowed; Sokka flinched, his eyes screwed shut in anticipation of an attack. Instead, she got up, grunting as she did so. 'Good enough for me,' she decided, hurling the ball over her shoulder and dusting her filthy hands, which she then offered to the Water Tribesman.

He muttered a sheepish word of thanks, accepting the hand gratefully and internally praising the Spirits that Toph's powers of perception were incapable of detecting his thoughts.

Rubbing a tender spot on the side of his head, Sokka glanced sideways at the blind girl, who was occupied with examining the contents of her nose.

'You sure can pack a punch, Toph,' he grumbled, cautiously poking a developing bruise on his forearm.

She smirked, her fingers righting her askew headband. 'It's too bad I can't say the same for you, though.'

Sokka rolled his eyes. 'Well, it's been fun, but I'm going to bed,' he muttered, turning to unroll his sleeping bag.

'Sleepy already?' She sounded amused. 'From the way your heart was beating just now, I'd say you were a long way from it. And don't even get me started on where all that blood was-'

'Toph!' His voice was a half-strangled whisper, his body halfway into his sleeping bag.

'What? It's a natural bodily function! I mean, come on, I'm sure you and Suki-'

Sokka dove beneath the covers, clamping his hands over his ears ineffectively. 'I'm not listening!'

He heard her familiar huff. 'Fine.'

Silence reigned for a while. The only sound Sokka heard was the movement of the earth; Toph was presumably constructing her usual tent. Just as he was dozing off, a voice piped up.

'Snoozles?'

'Yeah?'

'You know, if you got more sparring practice, I bet you'd be on top more often.'

Sokka turned over in his cocoon, his head processing her statement. His eyes widened as they absorbed the massive structure, two slabs of stones angled to meet each other. Toph was leaning back on her elbows where their tips met, her head cocked to the side, the brown soles of her feet perpendicular to the ground.

'Uh-'

'In fact,' Toph continued, as if she hadn't heard him, 'This tent I just built is perfect for that. Big. Roomy. Solid.' She stretched a hand out, rapping her knuckles against the hard surface.

Sokka swallowed. 'Toph, I-'

'I'll be inside.'

She turned, crawling away from the tent's mouth till the darkness swallowed her- how big was that thing, anyway?- leaving a stunned Sokka to stare after her.

After a few minutes, he remembered to close his mouth, then picked up his sleeping bag, bundling it under his arm. Sokka stopped to put out the remaining embers that had once been their fire and cast a last glance around the empty space.

Then, taking a deep breath, he followed the trail of petrichor into the night.


A/N: This is the first oneshot I've written in ages. I admit, it's not my best work and I'm not entirely satisfied with it, but I hope you all enjoyed the romantic, sexy goodness! Er, yes, it's meant to be fluffy and insinuative- if you're looking for angst, try my other Tokka fic, Nothing is Illuminated.

I felt the prompt was really tricky- I decided to go on a less conventional route, and turn the Tokka relationship into a spar itself, with Toph delivering the blows and sneak attacks while Sokka is the unfortunate sparring dummy that takes all the hits. This fic aims to show the spontaneity and unexpectedness of the Tokka dynamics, with two wonderful characters bouncing off each other with witty repartee and some obvious wordplay.

Look out for another oneshot tomorrow! :)

As always, please read and review, and all comments, critiques and ideas are very welcome! :)