AN: So, this is it. T.T
A million, cazillion thanks for sticking with me when I changed directions towards the end there, for all the encouraging reviews (and the not so encouraging ones because they gave me stuff to think about too), and for the follows and favs and reccing those awesome fics that I will read one day because they're Taang and I love me some Taang! I really, really do! XD Which is why I think that if you like canon, great. But if you don't, change it! ;)
"I knew this would happen."
"I'm pretty sure we all expected Aang and Toph would take off as soon as humanly possible," Sokka replied, devouring another bite of the delicious wedding cake. "Now that I think about it, I'm surprised they stayed here for as long as they did."
"Honestly," Mai added, "I didn't think they'd make it to the ceremony."
"I know, right?" Sokka chuckled.
The disappointment on Katara's face was quite evident. "I had hoped they would stay for the entirety of their own wedding reception," she sighed. "But, I knew they'd sneak off the minute one of us wasn't looking."
Smiling, Suki shook her head. "No, I meant that I knew Toph and Aang would end up together."
"What!?" Sokka screeched with a laugh. "No, you didn't! No one saw this coming!"
Suki sat up, indignation coloring her expression as she turned to her husband. "I did! Didn't I tell all of you I thought they made a cute couple? And that we should set them up? Okay, so they didn't need us to, but I saw it coming."
Neither Katara, Mai, or Ty Lee disagreed and the leader of the Kyoshi Warriors turned her self-satisfied smile towards her husband, who only rolled his blue eyes. Knowing her brother as well as she did, the waterbender expected a sarcastic retort any second, so she spoke before he could.
"The ceremony was lovely though, wasn't it?"
"Everything was beautiful!" Ty Lee agreed with a dreamy sigh. "Nothing could ruin it. Not even Bosco."
"Ugh, that bear."
Ty Lee patted Mai's hand reassuringly.
Suki shuddered remembering the bear's antics and returned the conversation to the newly married couple.
"Both Toph and Aang looked so happy, didn't they?"
Katara agreed with her sister-in-law. Aang had always worn his heart on his sleeve and his behavior during his wedding would be no different, but Toph was another matter entirely. As much as the earthbender tried to downplay the whole thing, Katara had never seen her younger friend's smile look brighter or more genuine. There was no mischief behind it, which was usually the case. Frankly, she looked as happy as Aang did to be up on that altar.
"I can't get over it though!" Sokka cried. "They're actually married! It's so strange."
"Why?" his sister asked him, "You knew this was gonna happen since the proposal."
"Yeah, I know. But, he's...Aang!"
Suki and Katara shared an exasperated look.
"And she's Toph!" the Kyoshi Warrior added jokingly.
"Yeah!" Sokka nodded, oblivious to his wife's teasing. "There's just something, I don't know, kinda innocent about them."
"You only think that because they were twelve when we met them."
"And trust me, they're not that innocent," Mai muttered.
Sokka raised a questioning eyebrow. "What do you mean?"
Though she had all kinds of dirt on them - discovered accidentally, of course - Mai figured what she was about to share was harmless enough.
"I caught them once. Making out."
All eyes turned to the Fire Lady. Suki's nearly bugged out of her head.
"Oh my Spirits! Really?"
"When?" Ty Lee asked, giggling and nearly falling out of her chair. She might have been a little tipsy. Weddings were her favorite thing ever so she had indulged a bit...perhaps too much.
"The day before the masquerade ball during the fifth End of the War Anniversary."
"Ah, the Eotwa," Sokka nodded knowingly. "Gotcha."
Katara rubbed her temples.
"So?" the perky girl in a pink dress prodded. "What happened?"
"Nothing much. I saw them. The Avatar blushed and apologized, while she cursed," Mai explained. "She was blushing, too, though."
"Awwww!" Ty Lee sighed, but soon lost the dreamy countenance. "Wait, didn't we see then leaving the masquerade, too?" After Mai replied with a curt nod, she continued, "Wow, they've been together since then, huh? I wonder who made the first move?"
Suki snorted inelegantly. "Come on. It had to be Toph. Just this morning Katara and I caught her sneaking out of Aang's room-"
"Ewww!" Sokka groaned. "I don't wanna hear about that!"
"You asked," Mai droned, amused by his reaction.
"You don't think they've already-?"
"La, la, la, la! Not listening!" the Water Tribe warrior cried, his hands over his ears.
They ignored him and continued their speculation. When they were through, Katara smacked her brother's hands away. "Can you stop?"
"No, you stop!"
"Sokka, they're married," Katara deadpanned. Her brother was so silly sometimes. "You do know that there's usually some sort of intimacy involved between a husband and wife, right?" she teased. "Hand holding, dancing and even," she lowered her voice to a stage whisper, "Kissing."
"Ha ha," he muttered, looking more than a little irritated.
Ty Lee ignored the Water Tribe sibling's bickering. "Didn't you see them up on the altar sharing their first kiss as a married couple?" she asked no one in particular. "I love that it was Toph who grabbed Aang and dipped him for that kiss. It was so romantic!"
"Sokka missed it," Suki replied with a taunting smile. "He looked away muttering something about oogies."
"Why are you all ganging up on me?" the Water Tribe warrior cried indignantly. "Where's Zuko?" The Fire Lord had been gone a while.
"Last I saw him," Ty Lee replied. "He was talking with the Earth King along with Katara's boyfriend," she finished in a sing-song voice.
The waterbender's cheeks turned bright red at the juvenile term for her...for her... Huh. She's not sure what she would call him actually.
Still, Katara didn't like being put on the spot and planned to get even with the chi blocker. That's when she caught sight of her target and blue eyes smiled vindictively. "Oh look, Ty Lee, it's your-"
"My date!" she squealed and nearly fell from her chair again. Ty Lee managed to regain her balance quickly though and was soon off to flirt with the only person she had eyes for. As far as she was concerned, that person also happened to be the most attractive in the entire city of Omashu. In the whole Earth Kingdom, in fact.
"They look good together, don't they?" Katara smiled. The earlier annoyance already forgotten.
"They do," Suki agreed, delighted that another of her Kyoshi Warriors had found happiness. "Well, this wedding is pretty much over. When's the next one?" she asked, purposely goading her sister-in-law.
"Why are you looking at me?!" Katara cried.
"Yeah, why are you looking at her!?" Sokka yelled. "Katara's never getting married!"
"That's right! Wait, what? No. Sokka, be quiet!"
The Fire Lady rolled her eyes wondering how much longer she would have to remain at the reception seeing as the newlyweds had disappeared hours ago. They must be halfway back to the Southern Air Temple already.
Having finished their bending battle with their clothes still in one piece, Aang flew up to Appa's head while Toph made her way into the saddle.
"You sure you don't want to change first?"
"Why? You wanna be the only one wearing a dress?"
The big, toothy smile waiting for Aang when he looked over his shoulder at Toph won him over instantly. She was right, he was such a sucker. Not in general, though possibly. But for her? Absolutely.
"This isn't a dress. They're-"
"Official Avatar robes like the Air Nomads used to wear for blah, blah, blah. Yes, I know," she sighed. But even her annoyed expression couldn't change the fact she looked beautiful in her wedding dress. He told her as much. All she did was try to hide the color that rose to her cheeks and throw that painful jab at his shoulder. "You planning on getting us up in the air anytime soon?" she asked, while settling into her favorite spot on Appa's saddle. Momo was quick to fly onto her lap. When she stroked his soft fur, the lemur purred utterly content. Aang smiled at the scene then grabbed the reins.
"Appa, yip, yip."
"What do you think you're doing?" Toph demanded once they were airborne.
"I'm flying Appa?"
"Appa can fly himself. Can't you?" she asked the giant bison, who bellowed in the affirmative. "See? So get your twinkly butt over here, Aang. We're starting this marriage off right!"
The Avatar blinked a few times. He was a grown man and still she found ways to make him blush like a schoolboy.
"But...we're not alone," he said in a whisper. They'd been living together for over a year, so there was nothing much they hadn't done, but Aang was still a monk and she couldn't help laugh at him. And then tease him some more.
"Get your mind outta the gutter, Twinkletoes. I meant you're giving me that foot massage you promised."
"Oh, right," he smiled at her. "You did dance with me. Twice."
"Yeah, yeah, don't remind me."
After instructing Appa, Aang bended himself into the saddle.
"Well?" she barked, startling Momo into the air. "What're you waiting for? They're not gonna massage themselves," she muttered, wiggling her toes at him.
Smile growing, he took her right foot. "You're shameless, you know?" he accused affectionately, but she was hardly paying attention once his talented hands got to work.
"Ah, that's the stuff..."
They were quiet for a while. The flying lemur had returned, curling himself at Toph's side, while Appa flew steadily towards the Air Temple. The breeze swirling all around them was warm and gentle, perfect for flying.
When Aang finished with both feet, he laid down next to her, watching her serene expression under the fading sunlight. Her hair was pulled back away from her pretty face and he swept a few loose strands behind her ear.
"I'm glad we did this," he said, his voice low and full of sincerity. Their wedding day had gone better than expected. Even with Bosco there.
All their friends were present and celebrating with them. The food was good, the music even better. And the woman who made him happier than anyone else was now his wife.
"Me, too," she replied, eyes still closed. "My feet were hurting."
Aang sat upright and glowered down at her.
"I didn't mean the foot massage, Toph, I meant getting married!"
Ah, it was so easy to get him worked up and she laughed without any remorse.
"I know what you meant," she admitted, still chuckling softly. Opening her eyes, she rolled onto her knees, directly across from Aang. Wanting to reach for him, she crossed her arms over her chest instead.
This being in love stuff was kinda annoying. She had the sudden urge to tell him some sort of mushy crap that suddenly occurred to her, but she choose a different approach.
"Momo?" The lemur's ears perked up. "Go help Appa fly us home, will you?"
Glancing between Aang and Toph once, Momo did as he was asked, scurrying off to settle himself atop the bison's head. The flying lemur sat up straight, his back to his human companions, as he scoured the horizon.
"Toph, what are you-?"
In the blink of an eye, she pounced on his lap and pinned him to the floor of the saddle, smirking all the while. There was no hesitance in her tone when she spoke. "You know I want this. I wouldn't be here otherwise. And, if you don't know that by now, then you're an idiot."
His face split into a huge smile and laughter bubbled within him. Wrapping his arms tightly around her waist, Aang tugged her towards him. "I just like to hear you say it," he admitted, his body already reacting to her closeness.
"Hear what? That you're an idiot?" she grinned.
"No," he laughed with her as she reached down to trace the curve of his jaw lightly with her fingertips. The stubble of the beard he shaved earlier in the day, she could barely feel it. Not that Toph minded, she rather liked the texture. When she leaned forward, her lips brushed across his and it sent both their heartbeats racing. Any and all words, teasing or not, were forgotten.
With eyes half-lidded with desire, Aang caught her lips to kiss her long and deep. Nimbly, he flipped their positions so that he was on top and she had her back against the cushion of the saddle. When he lifted his head he was breathless, but lingered against her mouth to whisper those three little words.
Half in a daze, Toph smirked up at him. "Is that right? Show me," she challenged, hands getting lost in his robes.
It was a dizzying kiss unlike any he had given her before. She could only come up with one explanation for it and the corners of her mouth curled up. "All that practice sure paid off," she whispered with an impish grin.
An amused spurt of laughter erupted from him, but Aang couldn't deny the truth of her words. "It really did," he agreed, smiling adoringly at his wife before claiming her lips once more.