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Lee's burned eyes opened as he woke up. He could still see nothing but he felt a gentle hand caressing his face.
"Good morning." Toph said as she ran her hand through his hair.
"You know I don't think I'll ever get used to this." Lee said as he lay in his bed.
"Waking up in a place not filled to the brim with killers?" Toph guessed with a small laugh.
"No." Lee replied, "Waking up and not seeing anything." Lee smiled when he heard Toph give an exasperated sigh, "And also waking up to your voice." It had been a couple of days since Lee had been brought to the camp, and everyday Toph had been waiting at his bedside. Before Toph could respond a loud voice interrupted them.
"Man that was one of the cheesiest lines I've ever heard." Sokka said as he entered the tent followed by Suki. Sokka had come back from his tour in the Si Wong Desert with the Masked Ones about a day after Lee first arrived, and Suki had shown up about a day after with her Kyoshi Warriors. "I mean seriously kid that was pretty bad."
"You're one to talk Sokka." Lee said as Toph helped him sit up.
"What are you talking about?" Sokka asked.
"I saw 'The Boy in the Iceberg'." Lee said with a smug smile. "And I can imagine you saying each of those lines. Especially the 'Rocky relationship' line." Sokka was silent as Suki giggled behind him, well aware that actually was Sokka's line. A moment passed before he lunged at Lee. Before he could reach the blind man however Suki grabbed him and held him back.
"Wait till I get my hands on that smug little bastard." Sokka growled as Suki dragged him from the tent. Sokka's rant continued for another three minutes before he finally stopped. Once Sokka finally stopped swearing, both Toph and Lee burst into laughter. Soon however the laughter stopped.
"Hey Toph, can I ask you a question?" Lee asked almost shyly.
"You mean other than that one?" Toph joked.
"Heh, yeah other than that one." Lee chuckled half heartedly. "Will you to teach me how to see like you? I want you to teach me to see with earthbend..." Lee was cut off as he felt Toph's lips press against his own.
"You talk too much." Toph said as she pulled away.
"I'll take that as a yes then." Lee said with a large grin.
Sight of the Blind
"Me and my bright ideas." Lee groaned as he rose to his feet. Toph had been training Lee for weeks and it had been anything but easy. The first few days Lee was completely at Toph's mercy. He had more bruises on him then than he did when he first started training with Des.
"Come on Lee! Pick up the pace!" Toph yelled from her elevated position. "This next one's going for your head!" With that Toph kicked up a rock about the size of a moon peach and then launched it directly at Lee's face. Acting on instinct rather than seeing the projectile heading towards him, Lee brought up a small barrier just in time to keep the rock from pulverizing his face. After a while, Lee learned that just throwing up a random barrier would actually work and block one of Toph's many attacks.
"How does this help me see with earthbending?" Lee yelled back at Toph who was kicking another rock at him. This one was also blocked by Lee's barrier.
"Well your blocking them aren't you?" Toph countered.
"Yeah, through luck." Lee muttered before a stone pillar shot into his side. But that actually was a lie, eventually Lee was able to tell where the rocks were coming from, he just wasn't fast enough to block sometimes.
"Pay attention down there!" Toph yelled again. Lee once again rose to his feet as Toph bended several more earth pillars out of the ground. Lee actually managed to block a few of them but missed one that struck him in the behind. The blow sent Lee flying in the air for a good 10 feet.
"She has to be getting pay back for earlier." Lee groaned as he lay on the ground. While he lay there he could feel the attacks coming. He could tell they were going to be pillars like earlier, he could tell there would be five, and that they would strike simultaneously.
Lee jumped to his feet and brought his hands above his head, lifting a barrier that surrounded all sides of him, just in time to block the five pillars. When Lee lowered the barrier he felt another attack coming from behind him. Lee spun around and caught the giant slab of rock that was sliding towards him, stopping it in its tracks. After bending the slab back into the ground, Lee almost lazily brought another one up on his right, blocking the rock that had been hurdling towards him.
"I think I'm getting the hang of it." Lee commented before a good sized rock caught him in the back of his head. "Or not."
Lee laid face down in the dirt for a moment as Toph walked up to him. When she reached him she stomped on the ground in an effort to push Lee to his feet, but nothing happened. She tried again, still nothing. She smiled once she realized that Lee was trying to counter her bending with his own.
Time to put him in his place. Toph smirked as she stomped on the ground as hard as she could. The result was much more to her liking this time, as a giant pillar of earth shot up practically launching Lee through the air. She laughed as he quickly fell to the earth, landing with a loud thud.
"You could've just asked me to get up you know!" Lee yelled as he was on his feet moments later.
"Yeah but that was a lot more fun." Toph laughed as Lee shook the dust off of himself. "Anyway you were doing pretty well there until that last rock. I think you're ready."
"Ready for what?" Lee asked before he felt a stone pillar shoot out of the ground. Lee turned a blocked the pillar with his forearm as a guy approached.
"Ready to fight." Toph clarified as the new comer bent the pillar back into the earth.
"My name is Riku." The man introduced himself with a bow, "I shall be your opponent today."
"I have to fight the Dai Li guy?" Lee asked as Riku took a starting stance.
"Would you rather fight me?" Toph asked inclining her head.
Lee stood there a moment before asking, "Is that a trick question?"
Before Lee could get an answer however Riku stepped forward. Lee spun and grabbed the man's fist as it reached for his gut.
"I wasn't ready." Lee grunted with a grin.
"That's how a real fight works." Riku replied with the same grin.
Without another word, Riku pulled his fist back moved to roundhouse kick Lee in the gut. Lee ducked under the kick and brought a stone pillar up under Riku's grounded foot. Riku smirked as he used the pillar as a launch pad, and flew over Lee. When Riku landed he spun around and kicked up a boulder before launching it at Lee. Lee smirked before he took a wide stance and destroyed the boulder with a punch. Lee then felt Riku step forward. Before Riku could finish his step Lee swung his arms sideways, bringing up three pillars that struck Riku's leg. The blow knocked the Riku off balance and allowed Lee to make his next move. While Riku stumbled, Lee raised a stone slab behind the Dai Li leader and brought it down on top of him. Lee smiled as he felt Riku burrowing his way towards Lee. The blind former assassin turned just as Riku emerged from the ground behind him. Riku grabbed Lee's fist as the latter moved to punch in the face.
"Nice reflexes." Lee commented as Riku tightened his grip.
"You're not so bad yourself kid." Riku commented, "But you still need to work on your footing." At that moment Lee felt himself sinking into the earth. Before Lee could react he found himself buried up to his neck, with Riku about stomp on his head. Before he could bring his foot down however, Lee buried himself in the earth. Riku looked around, trying to decipher where Lee would emerge.
While Riku searched, several fists punched out of the ground. Riku turned just as four of Lee's earth soldiers clawed their way out of the ground. Riku smirked as he continued looking for Lee. Then the first soldier attacked. Riku turned and punched through its torso with ease. As the soldier crumbled Riku launched the fingers of his rock gloves into another, causing it to crumble as well. Riku turned to face the other two soldiers as they crumbled to the ground. Confused Riku turned to Lee smiling a few yards away with his hands held up.
Instinctively Riku shot the remains of his rock gloves at Lee. The blind man did nothing as the rocks stopped centimeters from his face.
"I win." Riku called over to Lee, who was still smiling.
"You might want to look up." Lee called back. Riku's smile faded when he looked above his head and saw a giant boulder precariously floating above his head. "That'll hurt if I drop it on you." Riku smirked as he let his rock gloves drop to the ground.
"Now you." Riku called before Lee made the boulder crumble, it's rubble falling all over Riku. "You're a jerk." Riku called before he turned to leave.
"It's been fun dude." Lee called as Toph walked up next to him. "So how'd I do?"
"Not bad Lee." Toph responded as she gave him a light punch on the arm. As Lee rubbed his arm Toph then gave him a small kiss on the cheek. "Not bad at all."
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