─—─

When Sokka regained consciousness, his first concern was her.

The rest of the United Republic counsel stirred around him, cupping their faces — mumbling and groaning loud at the severe injustice of bloodbending effects, shaking out the phantom cramps in their limbs.

He went onto his feet, steady after another moment, and quickly skimmed his eyes over the crowd and his associates — visibly breathing, collecting their bearings, but above all alive — before leaping down the small, marble set of stairs. "Toph," he murmured over his dear friend, aiding her to sit up from the floor, clamping his hands over the thick, metal shielding on her shoulders. "Talk to me. Are you alright?"

"M'fine," she murmured back, a decibel lower than his, checking over her equipment on her person. "Where is he?"

"Not here." Sokka confirmed this with Aang's disappearance.

Her eyebrows puckered together in the beginnings of fury. She swore, voice gaining strength in volume, and several members of her police force turned their heads in their direction, "Yakone, that snakerat basta-"

"Hey…hey," Sokka's hands grasped onto her shoulders once more, gripping hard enough to bring the sensation of pressure and warmth; he insisted, whispering, "Let's just… keep our heads. We've got a courtroom full of innocent people who were just bloodbended by a notorious and now missing criminal. They're going to panic unless the situation is handled right now. We wait for Aang, okay?"

Toph huffed through her nose, shrugging his hands off.

"Don't tell me how to do my job, Councilman," she snapped, but mildly enough in irritation for Sokka to smile amused at the retort when Toph climbed back on her feet and dusted her gear and uniform off. He somehow doubted that anyone got the opportunity to witness the emotional cracks in Chief Beifong's hawkish professionalism, besides their closest friends. "Twinkle Toes better not have let that greasy slimeball slip away, or his dainty little rear is getting my special holding cell underneath police headquarters."

"I believe that's illegal," he quipped, smiling wider when Toph walked off, shooting out a metal wire to trip up the fearful, agitated defense attorney when he took one glimpse at her and tried to make a break for it in the confusion.

The wire suspended him up into the air by onw ankle, glasses flying off, as he babbled and wriggled around for freedom.

Toph's mouth jerked into a thin smirk. "Not until you find it."

─—─


LoK is not mine, or it would have been canon that Toph created Lin out of clay and babybending. It's your decision to take this shippy or not.