Toph was blind, but that didn't mean she was incapable of feeling. She felt stronger than the rest of the group did and had a sense of appreciation for things she could feel with her sense of touch. There was one person she was a bit curious towards over because of the lack of being able to really get a sense of this person due to the person being sort of "untouchable". He was around the group so much now, but Toph felt like she rarely knew who he really was. She was a bit piqued that Zuko made himself unreachable. Especially since everybody had such great adventures with him. Not only did he make himself unreachable, but his bending was also untouchable. Toph had felt earth, water, obviously air, but never could she touch fire. It intrigued her, but just as much scared her. She did have a short experience with fire coming from Zuko, and she used that to squirm her way into knowing him.
"So, Hothead. When am I going to get my pay back for you burning me?" Toph asked while teasingly hitting her fist against her palm.
"Oh, Toph. Look, I said I was sorry already."
"Sorry isn't gonna cut it, Princess."
"Could you quit it with the nicknames?" Zuko asked, obviously not yet accustomed to Toph's ways.
"Geez, what's got you so worked up?" She plopped down beside him and sniffed the air. "Is that tea?"
"Yeah, would you like some?" Zuko remembered he had to be nice to the girl since he was still assaulted by Katara to be kinder.
"Sure." As Toph took a sip of the tea Zuko gave her, she spat it out and quickly remarked, "Bleh! You sure didn't get your tea skills from Iroh." Zuko glared at her but gave up once he realized she could not see and sighed. Toph relaxed and stretched out her legs. "You're not getting off that easy, Zuko. My feet still hurt!" She shoved her foot into his face, disgusting and shocking Zuko. He placed his finger on her ankle and slowly lowered her leg down again.
"Toph, there's nothing there except for your dirt."
"I'm sorry, too low class for your Highness?" She had a wide smirk at successfully annoying Zuko. "I'm just kidding, Zuko, loosen up. You're more uptight than Katara was."
"It's okay. I know you have to leave soon to the Fire Nation again and you're nervous about it."
"You don't know. Ever since I've become Fire Lord the pressure is too much."
"You've always got us to help you out," she said as she punched him in the shoulder.
"Thanks, Toph." Zuko rubbed his shoulder. "Why do you do that?"
"Hit me." Toph laughed and hit him once again.
"You said to hit you, Zuko."
"I was asking a question," Zuko began raising his voice a little, growing impatient.
"Didn't I already tell you? It's how I show affection."
"Why don't you do something less violent, maybe people would warm up to you more-." Zuko barely had a moment to react as Toph bended a small platform underneath Zuko to make him jump in the air a bit. First irritated, Zuko lightened up as he heard her chuckle at his reactions.
"I don't need people to warm up to me. I've got everything I need, and if someone doesn't want to talk to me because I'm a little tough, that's their fault. I think you're a good guy, and I'm sorry if I come off as a little violent, but that's the way I am."
"I understand. I can be somewhat like that too."
"Oh, I know, Hothead... Zuko, what does fire feel like?" She asked timidly.
"Huh?" He impulsively lit a small flame. Toph, detecting its warmth, turned her eyes to the source. "Well, it's warm." Toph gave him a while to collect his thoughts and come up with other speculations. "It's sort of like water, it flows, but it has it's own rhythm. Like it's dancing to the crackling." She was so used to everyone describing fire as an aggressive, wild thing. "I used to be able to firebend through my anger, and when I came to help Aang, I no longer had that anger to drive me. So, I had to find a different source to fuel me."
"And then I suggested you use the original source!" Toph chirped.
"Yeah, I did use the original source. Fire is life," Zuko said while staring into the small flame in his hands. "A sun inside of you."
"Wow. I've never heard anybody describe firebending like that." Extinguishing the flame, Zuko continued his story.
"My ancestors have caused a lot of harm to innocent people using fire. I have to set things right."
"Don't tell anyone, Zuko, but I admire you."
"Me?" Zuko asked, bewildered. "I chased the Avatar down! How could you admire me?"
"You did that because of your father. If you'd had a choice, I don't think you would have chased us down. Besides, you're trying to make up for that now. And that takes guts, so, you're alright in my book, Zuko." Toph smiled.
"What happened to the nicknames?"
"Oh, you prefer the nicknames? Alright, Princess, whatever you say!" She laughed at the tense Zuko.
"You're lucky you're small," he said through gritted teeth. This made Toph rise from her seat, arms on her hips, and lean over the now intimidated Zuko.
"What? I'm small? So what if I'm small! That doesn't stop me from kicking your butt! I can do everything you can do, Zuko, being small doesn't disable me from anything! So doesn't being blind, if that's why you feel like you have to be such a saint to me. I'm just as capable, if not more. I'm tired of having to prove myself to people like you that think I'm so helpless, because I'm not. If you wanna say something to me, or do something to me, but you don't because you think I'm disabled for being too small or being blind, then think again! Do whatever it is you want to do, I won't keep it against you because I'm a 'helpless, defenseless, little blind girl'." Zuko was speechless at the moment as he did not expect her burst.
"I'm sorry, Toph, but no." This boiled her anger even more.
"One day, Zuko, I'm going to grow, and I'm not going to be so little anymore. Then I won't feel so bad for letting people think you got your butt kicked by a little girl." And with that, she stormed off. Zuko had never seen her so angry before. And, admittedly, he always thought of her as a little disadvantaged despite her earthbending skills. But now, he began to see her a new light. She wasn't so small and defenseless, she could speak for herself and had the power to back up those words. He wanted to apologize, but never seemed to get the opportunity to do so.