"But, Momma, I don't wanna eat my vegetables!"
Toph dropped her head into her hands in exasperation. Leave it to Lin to be a perfect little angel the whole evening... and then have the health food ruin it.
Zuko laughed. "Sounds like you've got your hands full with that one, Chief."
"Don't remind me, Mister High-and-Mighty-Fire-Lord," Toph retorted. "She's won every single debate we've had this week—down to her asking if she could paint a rainbow on the back of my uniform. I couldn't get the guys at work to shut up about it."
"Wait," Aang interrupted over Zuko's and Sokka's roaring laughter, "so let me review. We've come all this way, defeated Ozai, and saved the world from destruction and doom and all that stuff—"
"Sunshine and rainbows."
"Sokka, shut up."
"Yes, most high Avatar."
"—and you're ready to admit defeat because of your three-year-old daughter and some soup. Really?"
"Aang," Katara said patiently to her husband, "let's just let Toph handle this by herself. She's more than capable of it."
"Exactly, because she's Toph Beifong, for spirits' sakes," added Mai.
Toph grumbled agreement and made her way to the door. "Be right back... I hope."
Lin was sitting at the table in the next room, not saying a word. Toph kept equally silent as she crossed over to her daughter and sniffed at the bowl in front of her.
"Come on, Lin, it's cabbage soup. Remember? Your favorite? Aunt Katara made it just for you today."
"Icky." Toph felt Lin's face bump her elbow. "I don't wanna."
Why can't parenting just be simple? This is crazy!
And then it hit her. That's it. Crazy.
She cursed herself for not being able to see, but yelling out to someone would ruin her plan. Then she remembered something being...
Her fingers closed around something large and round. Holding it up high above her head, she tried for her best theatrical voice (although she didn't think she was going to be able to produce a sonic wave from her mouth).
"THE MELON LORD COMMANDS YOU TO EAT YOUR CABBAGE SOUP!" Toph yelled.
The conversation in the other room ceased abruptly.
"Mother? You're holding a big coconut," said Lin tentatively.
"THE MELON LORD SAYS YOU ARE GROUNDED FOR SASSING ME UNLESS YOU EAT YOUR SOUP!"
Footsteps sounded from the doorway, and Aang's voice asked, "Toph, are you okay in here?"
"I AM NOT TOPH! I AM MELON LORD!"
"MWAHAHAHA!" cackled Sokka from the other room.
Feeling rather satisfied with her joke, Toph turned and called through the door, "Sokka, shut up."
"I'm having a deja vu moment here," Aang laughed.
"Um... Momma," said Lin, "I'll just eat my soup and pretend none of that ever happened."
Toph grinned. Score one for the Melon Lord.
A/N: Anyone catch the Ember Island Players reference in there? :D
I've been annoying wombat-of-awesomeness at school all day today by shouting, "I AM NOT EMMA! I AM MELON LORD! MWAHAHAHA!" at every possible moment. (Sorry, Boog. I wrote kind-of-cracked-out-Toph for you. Hope that makes up for it. xo)
(p.s.: That was not an intentional hope pun, I swear.)