Chapter information

'Tis the Season



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Release date

3rd December, 2013

Word count


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Day 4: Candy Canes





"What the hell is this stuff?"

Sokka opened one eye blearily, shutting it again almost straight away at the sight of Toph. Being woken up by the stout girl was scary under normal circumstances, but judging by the water in her hair and the snow in her hand, 'terrifying' would be a more adequate word for how she was making him feel.

"Uh... snow?"

Toph leaned in dangerously close, their noses almost touching. "Are you asking me, or telling me?"

"Um, telling?" Toph could only sigh.

"That was another question," she told him, and he slapped a hand over his eyes.

"What do you want?" he whined, upset at being woken up by stupid questions (although, he was probably biased as to he actual 'stupidity' of them, considering that he had grown up around the vile stuff. Excellent for making houses. Not so useful in a highly populous earthen city).

"Well, I'm going to dry off, and then you're going to take me to the town market place and we're going to buy some stuff for Katara for dinner."

Sokka couldn't help but raise an eyebrow at her. Toph had never once shown any inclination to help someone when they asked, let alone take it upon herself to just do things. If she was planning a trick, it was almost guaranteed that Katara wouldn't fall for it with the change of attitude.

"Um, Toph?" She cocked her head in acknowledgment, and Sokka continued. "Why are we going to the markets to get Katara something?" She rolled her sightless eyes.

"Well, because I wanted to. It also means I can get away from them 'accidentally' meeting underneath the mistletoe every few minutes—still a stupid idea, by the way—and perhaps get something to drink."

It was Sokka's turn to roll his eyes. Despite Toph being under the legal age to drink, being a War Hero (with capitals) gave her some perks that other girls her age could only dream about. Like attention from boys, being able to drink, and a lot of other stuff not really worth mentioning, mostly because she didn't take advantage of it—like, she was allowed to have an animal on her at any time, no matter what, and the police weren't allowed to arrest her. After the first time (not with Long Feng. After the first time after the end of the war) it had simply cost too much to repair the police station and try and round up all those drunkards arrested for public nudity or inebriation who had escaped. She had howled with laughter when she finally sobered up enough to realise what she had done.

"Okay, fine. I'll be up in a minute."

Sokka rolled out of the massive pile of blankets he had wrapped himself in (well, knotted, really) and he stood up. He heard a giggle, and a flash of orange and blue told him that Katara and Aang were indeed meeting under the little twig. He would have to remember to move it—preferably get rid of it, actually, but Katara would definitely complain. Maybe put it in the middle of the room. Less likely to 'accidentally' meet there. He was shaken from his thoughts when a clump of snow landed several feet in front of him.

"Hah! Got you!" Toph crowed triumphantly. Sokka could only laugh.

"No, you didn't," he chuckled. "I'll have to show you how a real snowball fight works. The aim is to hit the other person." Toph's grin fell, and Sokka gave a small laugh.

"Just, hurry up," she said, irritated. Sokka grinned at her, rolling to his feet. His head positioned the right way up, he could take in Toph and all her terrifying glory. She had a few water tracks rolling down her face, a testament to the snow in her hair, and her cheeks were a lovely pink colour. She was layered up, one of Katara's knitted scarves around her neck. As he watched her, she removed it and used it to dry her hair off a little. He didn't offer to help her, and she didn't ask, although she did look at him.

"Well? Aren't you going to get ready?" she asked. Sokka did a double-take, and she laughed. "Hurry up," she said before walking out. He could only shake his head.

It only took a few minutes for him to get ready and collect Toph. She had managed to rile Aang up again, and he was extremely close to throwing a snowball of his own at her. He got his revenge (Toph's humiliating defeat, rather) when he waved the duo goodbye. He and Katara managed to somehow find themselves underneath the mistletoe—again—and so he didn't see it happen. He did hear a rather wet whump sound, and as soon as he looked towards the origin he began laughing. Toph was face-first in the snow, having tripped over something or other. He and Katara giggled a moment, and she scowled at them.

"Come on, Snoozles," she grunted, marched past him on unstable legs. 'Snoozles' waved goodbye at Katara and took off after Toph. It didn't take long to catch up, likely because she was walking at a snail-sloth speed and was still stumbling about quite a bit.

"You okay?" he asked, quailing somewhat at the ferocity of her glare.

"I'm fine," she grumbled, although in the next ten minutes of slow walking, Sokka realised she actually wasn't fine. Probably to do with the fact that the small house wasn't even out of sight yet. He sighed and rolled his eyes. Trust Toph to be difficult. The only way he could help her would be to make her think that he wasn't helping her at all. But how to do that?

He was shaken from his thoughts when Toph tripped over again. She didn't bother wiping the snow from her hair as she remained sitting on the cold, the water seeping through her clothes.

"You know what? I'm tired. You go on ahead; I'll wait here."

"Ohh, no. You're the one who dragged me out of bed at this godforsaken hour of the morning-"

"-It's the afternoon...-"

"-And so we're gonna finish this." With that, Sokka quickly picked her up by the armpits (standing her on the ground as fast as he could) before swiftly looping his arm through hers.

"I don't need any help!" she cried, although her subtlety needed work when she gravitated towards him further.

"Yes, you do, Toph," Sokka said simply. She stopped in her tracks, face contorted with rage, but Sokka didn't give her a chance to talk. "Look. I'm not a bender. I can't do the amazing stuff you can do, or Katara, or Aang. I have to ask you guys to help me. It doesn't make me weak, Toph. It just... makes me human. We can't do everything, so we rely on other people..."

She looked towards his face for a moment before looking away, frowning. "I'm still fine," she said, although Sokka didn't comment on it. Not when she hadn't removed their hands or resumed walking.

"I know. You're the Blind Bandit!" Toph turned her head a little, just so he could she her face. A small grin was tugging at the corner of her mouth. "So, what time does Katara need this stuff?" he continued. Toph shrugged; it wasn't like she had asked for details.

"No idea. Why?"

"Because," Sokka began, a playful glint in his eye. Toph didn't have to see it to know it was there, though. She could hear it in his voice, feel it in the way be buzzed a little with excitement. "Because I think we should have some fun first, don't you?"

Hundreds of ideas ran through Toph's mind at the word 'fun', and the feral smile on her face convinced Sokka that perhaps he should come up with the entertainment of the day.

"Oh?" she asked, teeth gleaming. "What did you have in mind?"

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