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14th December, 2013
Fuck, fuck, fucking shit, godammit. This was a stupid idea. A blind girl at the movies? What the fuck was I even thinking? Toph wasn't exactly mumbling to herself; she didn't want to seem scared—pft, perish the thought—so instead she was just yelling the expletives really loudly in her head. She was standing at a pillar while Sokka joined the queue for tickets and food.
Assaulted by the smells of 'cinema popcorn', as her... date... called it (Toph really felt equal parts mortified at the term, and absolutely giddy), and far too many people for her to be completely comfortable, Toph had actually forgotten what they were going to see; the difference was that she didn't even care enough to try and remember, because it wasn't important anymore. What was important was that she was spending time with Sokka. As much as she hated being one of those girls, Toph couldn't ignore or deny the little bubble of warmth that burst in her stomach every time she thought about him—thought about him liking her.
They had both awoken around the same time, resulting in mad scrambles for the bathroom, breakfast and getting everything they would need. Both had slept in (a result of the ridiculously late night, Toph supposed) and so only had around an hour before Kyoshi came to collect the two and take them to the movies. An hour that really seemed like only ten minutes, because, despite how nauseating the whole situation was, Toph was... excited. As in, literally, 'cute boy I like asked me on a date' excited. It made her feel sick to her stomach—kind of like she had several gigantic butterflies in there (or wasps), but mostly it just felt like she was going to throw up at any minute.
Over the hubbub of the crowd, she heard Sokka return. "All right, I've got your ticket, popcorn, a pepsi, and the glasses. You ready?
"Glasses?" she asked, confused. Sokka hesitated before shrugging.
"The only showing was in 3D, so we get glasses." Toph digested the information as best she could (having no frame of reference for what a 3D film looked liked versus a 'normal' one), before she shrugged.
"Hey, I get a souvenir," she said, smiling as Sokka chuckled. Even without meaning to, he was able to make her feel all warm and safe, and instinctively, she leaned a little closer.
Instead of asking Toph if she wanted a hand navigating through the thickening crowd, Sokka just went ahead and slung his arm over her shoulders, surreptitiously leading the way. She was shorter—and his arms longer—than ether had expected, and Toph did an extremely poor job of covering the shiver as his thumb accidentally grazed her breast.
"Hey, no getting cold," he warned lightly. "It'll make you need to pee, and then you'll miss half the movie." She could tell he was smiling, and resisted the urge to point out that, being blind, she missed half of it anyway. No need for such gloomy thoughts on such a good day, even after her terrible night's sleep.
Despite her own affirmations as Sokka left the spare room, she hadn't been completely successful in chasing away the absolute mortification of what she had done—and what she had told him. Which then of course led to other thoughts she had spent over a decade trying (unsuccessfully) to bury and keep buried. Suffice to say, she had not had a peaceful night's sleep, and the time spent trying to get into the blissful state had been spent either fretting over the movie date, or cooking up wild, impossible scenarios that might actually mean something good for her. She wasn't loony enough to take it serious, but she, like all other teenage girls, liked to dream.
Toph hadn't even noticed they had arrived at the theatre (number three, Sokka had announced quite unnecessarily) until her cane hit the padded steps.
"Oh, it's almost empty, too!" he told her happily, which of course Toph translated as 'more privacy'. Her heart did a double-take, and she almost tripped, only just managing to catch herself in time. Sokka either hadn't seen it, or didn't want to draw attention to it; either way, she was happy.
They settled into the seats, sitting in the back corner. "So we don't annoy other people who are trying to watch the movie," he explained, setting up their food and drinks.
The whole theatre had a strangely muffled quality about it, but Toph didn't care. She didn't have to hear the other patrons, or even the film; all she wanted was to be the centre of Sokka's attention, like he was hers. She was both anxious for the movie to start, and yet dreading it because it meant that it would end. She rolled her eyes at her behaviour, squirming a little in her seat. She managed to cover it by putting her feet on the chair, and heard Sokka snort next to her before he raised the arm rest that was separating their two chairs. The wry smirk that had formed on Toph's face softened, and she bit her lip in a desperate attempt to make it go away.
It was strange, this; strange how natural it felt. Not that she had a massive frame of reference for liking someone, but it wasn't just that. Even with Aang, there had been some strain with their two clashing personalities. Both Aang and Sokka were there for her, she supposed, but it was different with Sokka. Perhaps because he wanted to be, truly—there was no outside influence forcing them together. He wanted to be with her.
The though sent off some deliciously warm fireworks in her stomach that exploded on her chest.
There was a sudden noise from in front of her, shaking her from her thoughts as she jumped. Sokka let out a snigger, but it wasn't at her. Well, she knew it was at her, but it wasn't mean. He was just amused by her reaction.
"Gimme the glasses," she demanded, scowling. He handed them to her meekly, although she heard his zshhhh of relief when her mouth curled up a little in a smile. The plastic felt funny on her face, and she turned to look at Sokka.
"Can you see my eyes?" she asked, preferring to make it sound like it was a normal question, and not one she had never asked before. He was silent a moment, before answering back in a hushed negative. Toph gave a nod, but they fell silent as the previews flashed by.
The armrest separating the two chairs was pushed up, and Sokka was telling her what was happening. The movie was loud—louder than Toph had expected—and while Sokka was talking directly into her ear, she still couldn't hear him. If she had thought watching films in their living room was intimate, this was almost unbearable. The blood was pouring through her ears, and she was grateful she had put the glasses on because she most certainly didn't want Sokka to see that she had closed her ears to the sound of his voice and the feel of his breath on her neck.
If she had been with anyone else, she would have been bored shitless within the first ten minutes. Not with him. The blood in her ears realised it could also be put to use colouring her cheeks, and she released a shaky breath she hadn't realised she'd been holding. It was covered by a loud explosion, and she wondered how long she had left before she had to face reality once again.
It was that though, surprisingly, that had her come to a decision. She would let him know. He already liked spending time with her, and it was obvious he liked her from the way he acted. Acted like she actually mattered to him. A small smile appeared on her face, although too soon it disappeared as the ending credits rolled in. Sokka stretched, his joints creaking and popping uncomfortably to her ears. It was only when he moved away that she realised how cool it was, and how much she needed to go to the bathroom.
"I have to pee," she announced. Sokka could only look at her a moment, her brashness causing an almost rueful smile to appear on his face.
"So do I," he agreed. They made their slow way out into the foyer, Sokka once again leading Toph without making her feel like he was doing it.
"The girl's is right in front of you. It's really busy," he said, "so I'll wait until you're done so we don't lose each other."
Toph nodded dumbly, pushing her way forward. She hadn't wanted to bring her cane, but was glad she did. There were some glances, she could tell (dropped conversation and an almost forced hush emanating from several other girls gave it away), but her head was somewhere else completely. It stayed at that happy place as she finished and met up again with Sokka, who dragged her somewhere else to 'get her out of the way'. She wouldn't begrudge him, though, because it did sound really busy. And she got cranky when she had to pee, too. He was barely gone two seconds when she heard her name being called. The voice sounded familiar, but it was a girly one, so there were only a few people it could be. The sound came closer, and though it took her a few brain-wracks, she managed to place a name before the girl arrived.
"Oh, sup, Suki?" she greeted, giving the taller girl a two-finger salute. There was a light push on her shoulder, and a smile in Suki's tone.
"Oh, not much. Ty Lee was allowed out of the hospital for the afternoon, but she has to go back later. They want to keep her overnight, but I think everyone—everyone—was getting a little tired of her shameless flirting." Toph gave a long nod in understanding. Of course it would be Ty Lee who hurt herself. Not that she had anything against the lithe girl, but she was a little too ditzy for Toph to get on really well with her. She liked Suki better; the girl had a good head on her shoulders, and a good heart.
"So, are you here with someone...?" Suki asked, and Toph, teenage girl as she was, couldn't help the blush that coloured her pale cheeks a gorgeous rose. "Ooh, is this a date?" the older girl teased lightly, and Toph gave a half-hearted grumble. She couldn't quite suppress the small smile though.
"Maybe," she admitted quietly, and Suki laughed again.
"I'm sure he's lovely."
"Oh, he is," Toph agreed fervently. "He's so nice and he doesn't- doesn't care about some parts of me. Not the bad stuff. You'd love him," she added as an afterthought, before realising exactly what she had said and resisting the urge to pummel herself.
Suki looked at her young friend with an observant eye. Toph's trademark sarcastic air and cynical expression had been replaced with something- well, something more open. The girl's face was still a little red, and her light green eyes were brighter than they ever had been before.
"I'm sure I would. He sounds wonderful," she agreed, and Toph gave a small smile. She didn't notice Sokka coming back, and Suki was too intent on watching Toph to notice anyone enter their circle of two until he spoke up.
"Suki? Fancy seeing you here!" he cried. The exclamation shook both girls from their thoughts. Suki sucked in a breath as Toph looked up towards him, but the blind girl didn't notice.
"You two know each other?" she asked, surprised.
"I should hope so," he said. The cryptic response was explained as he added, "She is my girlfriend."
A/N: Ever since I decided against one of my other ideas, this one has been on the backburner. I had another 500 words written, but decided I wanted to end it here. Sorry guys :P More angsty Toph next time. Also, I love the movie this is named after, even if it isn't as good as Love Actually. Also, I know Toph is kinda all over the shop at the moment, but there's a reason. And contrary to how I normally am, I know what happened to her, so I have at least some direction. As of now, though, I have no giant plans (not like this). I have little scenes planned, but since like, chapter 3, this has literally been 'hmm, I'll write another chapter tonight. No idea what the hell it's gonna be about, and who needs editing? Pft, whatever. It's like, 2am anyway, too late for that'. So, um, yeah. Thou hath been warned.
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