A Kiss in Ba Sing Se

[A/N: This is an A/U story. The Toph character does feel inferior to Katara and so in order to compete for Aang's affections pulls out all the stops. Aang is a boy with near infinite power and is being offered love and comfort from the two girls most dear to him.

Disclaimer: I do not own any rights or titles to the characters of Avatar: The Last Airbender.]

Chapter 1

(TAANG Story)

My love was asleep.
The slumber of ages
Until you came and awoken it!

It spoke of what was... and what was to be
As it soared with joy above the clouds!

Yet another had your eye.
Was she more to you than I?

No, I must not despair,
For ours is the Love of Destiny!

And from your slumber a Kiss will awaken All.

Thoughts

The GAang had all gathered at Uncle Iroh's re-opened teashop, the Jasmine Dragon, to relax after the fierce battles they had endured to defeat Fire Lord Ozai and the evil Azula.

Toph's thoughts seemed to drift along with the melody of the tsuki horn that Iroh softly played.

The recent near-death experience crept once again into her mind as she laid on the table just above the avatar. Even though she was grateful for the strong hand of Sokka that held up even though he had suffered a broken leg in the fall across the top of the airship, she wondered if anyone would really have missed her if she had fallen.

"Perhaps a few tears," she sighed to herself, "but life would go on... and I'd be a distance, dirty, memory." She shook her head. "Sheesh, I'm depressing myself again!"

Still the thought of her again being suspended between heaven and earth shook her to the core. The most powerful earthbender, about to plummet to her doom, or worse: getting burnt to a crisp by a bunch of murderous, comet enhanced firebenders!

"Stupid me, about to become Toph flambé, and all I can think about is that skinny, pussy foot, bald headed monk!"

The thought still so infuriated her, she had to steady her breathing.

Something had blossomed in her when Aang went on that spirit journey on Roku's island. She felt it in her heart as if somehow she was linked to him. No visions, no words, only these strange, strong... feelings.

When the journey ended, the feelings did not. Strangely, it seemed as though she had known him her whole life long. When he took hold her hand, he had actually captured her heart in one fell swoop.

But just like the other idiot she had liked, this one didn't realize her feelings either.

The corner of Toph's mouth lifted, "If the others hadn't been there, I'd a planted a big wet one right on his lips for sure! Yep, I'd a been on him like a canyon crawler on a cured hippo ham!" she imagined.

She had to restrain a giggle that threatened to betray her thoughts. Again she let out a long sigh.

He was totally dominating her thoughts and dreams. Not your normal, average dreams either. Rather these were passionate and very vivid dreams… especially for a blind girl. She could only imagine this is what color looked like when she was having them.

Sometimes the touches felt so real, she'd wake up in a panic, only to find that she was still alone in her rock shelter or room. The way her body felt, the extreme dampness in all those intimate places, made taking baths a necessity now.

"Hey Toph, ya doing okay up there," Aang unexpectedly whispered, "thought you didn't like it when your feet weren't on the floor."

"I'll have ya know, this is like a little vacation away from all of you," she lied. "The only way I can get some me time."

His light chuckle was like music to her delicate ears as it pierced her heart to the point she want to throw caution to the dirt and just roll over onto him!

"I have to tell that numbskull how I feel soon, or I'll just go crazy!" she admitted to herself, "I hesitated with Snoozles and look what happened! Miss Fans just blew in and swept him away! Now they're playing Lock and Key every chance they get! It's a wonder she doesn't have a belly full of doofuses by now."

Toph chewed her bottom lip as she recalled how Sokka had kissed Suki that day with no consideration of her at all. Yeah it hurt, but at least it showed her where they stood. He would never feel for her like he did for the fan wielding Avatar groupie. She could accept that… had accepted that.

But now, what she was going through over him, this was completely something else. What she felt for the airbender, was actually more than a just a 'crush' as it coursed through her veins and took over her mind. She knew it had developed a life all its own and she actually ached to be with him. She even worried about him when he wasn't with her.

"Why can't I get you out of my mind!" she groaned inwardly.

That final battle, when he went missing, she worried herself sick. But she was determined to be there when he did need her, no matter the circumstances or the cost.

That fateful leap as that last ship rose into the air, she was so desperate, all she could think of was being there for him... and with him. She couldn't let him down, not after all they've been through.

She laid her head back on the table she was atop of with a long sigh, "Now I'm just above him, but it feels like we're so far apart," she thought listening to him beside her. "He's probably thinking about her... who am I kidding, he's always thing about her," she groaned once more.

The her was of course was her chief rival in all things. She knew she was older, and imagined her to be much prettier as well. She was definitely bossier she knew for sure! "KATARA!" the name made Toph's teeth grind.

She thought of how the waterbender dominated everything in Aang's world. How she smothered him from morning till night, just like a mother robin-wren.

Katara had a habit of making her life miserable on a daily basis! In fact, she appeared to be looking for ways just to annoy her, every second of every day.

"Just because ya save someone's life, doesn't mean ya own them Suga Queen!" she growled under her breath. "Stupid waterbender... stupid healer! Ya think you're so sneaky, always first sitting next to him and giving him hugs... what a floozy you really are! Letting him feel those water jugs of yours," she thought angrily, biting her lip. Toph started to feel her usual frustration but with no boulders to break nearby, this was dangerous. "Just control yourself Toph girl, wouldn't want to ruin Uncle's place on its first day… now would you?" she thought as she took in a deep calming breath.

She heard the other girls talking about some nonsense and Katara seemed to be leading the pack, as usual.

"So what Miss Fussy Britches, if you're as pretty as a sunset over the southern seas? Big whooping deal! Or that you have all the right bulges in all the right places... in a few years, I'll make her look as flat as the walls of this city," she griped silently, trying to shut out the waterbender's voice. "Let's practice our waterbending Aang," she mocked, "Yeah, any excuse to strip down to those rags that pass for underwear and get them wet. You just love teasing him, don't ya? You may be lying to him Suga, but I see right through your gimmicks."

She shook her head recalling before the city fell, "Gosh, why didn't the almighty avatar go to save the King of Ba Sing Se with the whole world on the line. Seriously, Twinkle Toes, didn't it make more sense for you to do that? Uncle and I could've saved the love birds! This city may have never fallen then! Well, who knows!" she scowled. Toph sighed deeply. "Well, no sense in dwelling on the past or on hormonal decisions."

She shook her head in frustration, "Shit, he's driving me crazy just knowing that he is in the same room, right beside my table! Why do you have to smell so good Twinkle Toes? Sitting there playing with Momo, I want him to pay me attention instead! Oh, now that's really sad Toph! Jealous of the monkey!" she chided herself feeling her mouth go dry.

"Hey, your royal tea boy... is it ready yet?" she yelled Zuko's way, waving a hand.

He smiled and shook his head at her request. Even being Fire Lord gave him no respect with her, but he wouldn't have it any other way. Also, she still called the Avatar Twinkle Toes.

"A sec Toph," he exclaimed, putting another dollop of honey in her ginger milk tea, "…extra sweet right?"

"Yep, ya know how I like it!" she agreed with a toothy smile.

The King, turned waiter, started to pass out everyone's order, starting with the rambunctious earthbender.

"Hold it steady now Toph," he warned. "This stuff is really hot and that honey can leave a nasty burn."

"Yeah, yeah, just like a certain hotman I know," she snorted back, steadying the cup, unable to see his cheeks flare red.

"I hope you enjoy," he replied with a bow and smile, recalling their encounter.

She returned the smile, "When did 'Flames for Brains' and I get so friendly," she thought. "It must be the tea."

She picked up on a light conversation between Aang and Zuko close by.

"Let me have a little of what Toph's drinking Zuko?" Aang asked. "It smells really good."

His words caused her to shake inside with just the mention of her name.

"Oh boy, ya got it really bad," she told herself. "It's just like in one of those stupid romance tomes, no getting out of this one!"

But she knew, she had come to realize that when she was flapping in the wind from that airship, with only the tribesman holding onto her.

Tears, it's not like she hadn't cried, but these were different. These tears that fell were not from the fear of dying, but because she had never told him how she truly felt. Sadness on this scale she had never known.

Her thoughts were broken up as she heard the others talking about a picture Sokka was evidently drawing and decided to join in the fun.

Toph hung back until Aang started to move towards the table. Unexpectedly he veered towards the porch. Her shyness kicked in and she felt too self-conscious to pursue him.

As she approached the table, she felt everybody around it. The air was light, but she felt tense inside. "I think you all look perfect!" she exclaimed just as Katara was heading towards the balcony and her nightmare was beginning.