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Fanon:Denial (Esteemed)

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Republic City streets at night
Chapter information




Written by


Release date

September 17, 2013

Last chapter

Afraid Not

Next chapter

Big To-Do


-119 AG; Winter-
-Toph's age: 31-

I don't want this. I never wanted this.

How did I let this happen?

Is this real? If this is a real thing, what am I going to do?

The brain of Toph Beifong was being flooded from both sides that evening: one side by a stream of dreadful thoughts, the other by a steady trickling of saké. Her mind's meanderings ran ice cold while the saké was piping hot. The rice wine stung at the edges of her throat on the way down, a masochistic delight in her self-loathing state.

Her home was just as quiet that evening as it generally was. Its thick stone walls shielded her ears from the usual torrent of noise emanating from the nearby city streets. But this didn't stop her sensitive feet from feeling the hundreds of thousands of vibrations in any given minute. She had kicked up her feet onto an adjacent kitchen chair to relieve her sore soles from that ever-present static of movement, a heavy fog of motion constantly surrounding her abode. It was this escape from sounds and vibrations, friends and co-workers, which left Toph's mind with nothing else to focus on but the empty, sick feeling in her stomach and the swelling regret.

The gentle crackling of flames from Toph's fireplace was dying down, and Toph fumbled her hand through the air in its direction. Her chi connected lazily with her fire iron. In her intoxicated state, she strained to focus her energies into the minerals contained within the iron - she used it to stoke at the coals she could sense beneath her half-full pot of boiling water. A pewter container rested within the bubbling liquid, staying nice and hot without boiling the drink inside it. Boiled saké wasn't preferred, after all. It had taken Toph a bit of practice to get the handle of heating her saké on her own, but using hot coals - a substance she could actually detect - had made things a lot easier. Toph appreciated the independence of tending to her own affairs, just as she had for so long before settling down in Republic City.

Lapping at the last droplets of the saké in her pewter cup, Toph sighed with some satisfaction, haphazardly levitating her stoking iron back to its approximate resting location. It clattered to the stone floor, her tired and drunken mind unable to effectively bend as she was normally capable of. She snorted out a laugh in spite of her own clumsiness and groaned, stretching her body out to relax itself a bit. She took in a deep breath, scratching at her stomach beneath her sleeveless tunic.

After a few minutes of half-asleep relaxation, Toph sniffed in air, her chest expanding as she woke her body back up. There was still alcohol to be had.

With a grunt, Toph dropped her legs from her marble table, letting calloused heels smack against the rock floor. She pushed her abdomen up from its laid back position and rubbed her sore palms across her pants and over her thighs. Her head was throbbing a bit - she suddenly realized that the tension she was feeling against her head was because her hair was still up in a bun from work. She untied her hairdo and let the greasy mess of hair fall across her back and shoulders. Already hunched over her knees, Toph found herself getting distracted again by her thoughts.

What an idiot you are. What were you thinking?
Oh, that's right. You
weren't thinking.
So what happens when you trust men like that?
Exactly. They strip the meat off your bones and leave your remains to rot.

Having re-irritated herself, Toph rubbed the crust from her eyes and pushed herself up from her chair of upturned earth. On her feet, Toph suddenly felt the full effect of the alcohol she had already consumed. The world was a fuzzy mess beneath her toes, each vibration unclear and deformed. Her legs wobbled, and she smirked at her own tipsiness, her muscles relaxed. Toph flicked her wrist behind her, pulling her pewter saké cup into her grip.

Toph went about the careful act of using her bending powers to levitate her heated saké bottle toward her and pour herself another small cup of the stuff. She didn't place her hands on the bottle directly, but could feel its heat radiating against her skin as she filled her cup back up. She could sense some stray droplets patter against the floor in her sluggish spill. Toph's bending grip on the bottle wavered a bit, but she managed to place the container on her table. Toph sucked down the cup's contents in one shot before plunking back down into her earthen seat with a yawn. She was too sleepy to get her legs back up onto her table, so she opted to lean back and kick one ankle across the opposing knee.

An undetermined period of time passed in which Toph slipped into a relaxed nap - sleep drove away the pain and anger.

The sound of three firm knocks rattled from Toph's door, shattering her peaceful period of solitude.

"What?!" she bellowed, not at all keen on her tranquility being disturbed. Three more knocks rang out from the wooden door, practically piercing Toph's inebriated eardrums. "I'm comin'," she huffed, clambering over to her front door. She nearly tripped over her tea table while crossing the space between her resting spot and her door.

Who was it, coming to pester her? Her mind and body numbed, Toph couldn't quite detect the identity of the person standing just beyond her door. If it was one of her officers come to advise her of some emergency, she would not be at all pleased.

Toph twisted her hand through the air, unlocking the mechanism within her door. Another quick gesture against the metalwork of its handle eased the door open, and Toph pulled it wide by tugging at its sanded, smooth surface.

"Yea?" Toph greeted, hand clamped over the edge of her door. Her eyes were closed, head bobbed beneath a ratty mess of shaggy black hair.

"Toph?" An all-too-familiar sigh of disapproval. It was Katara.

"Ooooo-kay," Toph puffed out in impatience, stepping back from her door as she pressed her knuckles into her hips. She already knew where this was going. "Whatcha want?"

"I figured I'd check in with you before I headed back...-" Katara trailed off as she entered. She was put off after studying Toph's mannerisms and the scent lingering the bleary-faced police chief. Katara's lips fell open slightly and she closed the front door behind her. Glaring at her friend with furrowed brows, Katara demanded in a hushed voice, "Toph, are you...drinking?"

Katara was now examining Toph's exhausted face with all due suspicion.

"What?" Toph grunted, playing dumb. "No," the word slowly spilled out as Toph tried to push her eyebrows down low. That would make her look confused, right?

Katara cast a glance over Toph's shoulder, noting the distinctly shaped bottle and cup on the table. It wasn't tea, she was sure of that.

"For someone who can tell when folks are lying...-" Katara marched right past Toph, whose body tightened up. " are horrible at doing it, yourself."

Before Toph could make much of a retaliation to her friend's snooping, Katara surveyed the steaming bottle resting against the marble table. It was still warm from earlier, she realized. With a gentle caress of her hand, she summoned up a tendril of the stuff Toph had been consuming. A quick sniff confirmed Katara's suspicions, and she let the barely warm saké splash right back into its nearly empty bottle.

"Argh," Toph growled in defeat, having realized she'd been found out. She reached out her arm and willed the pewter bottle Katara had just been examining from the healer's grip into her own hand. Katara rolled up her eyes and approached her intoxicated ally.

"What's it matter to you what I do in my own home?" Toph demanded, taking another sip from the container.

Katara placed a consoling hand on Toph's shoulder. Oh, great. The patronizing was about to commence.

"Toph..." Yep. That was the patronizing tone, all right. "I can understand if this is all difficult for you to take in, but...-"
"But nothin'," Toph interrupted, crossing one arm and latching it onto the other. She wriggled the bottle in her hand at Katara, shaking the woman's motherly touch off of her skin.

Toph slumped a few steps away from her concerned friend before letting her body drop onto its behind in her living room space. She leaned her elbow over her low-set tea table and puffed out a deep, irritable breath before slamming her stone bottle against the ornately carved table.

"If yer just here to lecture me-" Toph began, pointing out an angry finger at Katara with a bobbed head. "-you can cram it."

She could sense Katara's looming presence, probably glaring at her with that uptight, appalled manner.

"I can't believe you, Toph," Katara scolded. Yup, there it was, that tone Toph hated. "How much have you had? When did you start...-?"

"Juss a few," Toph defended in a mumble. Her stomach gurgled with discomfort as heartburn reared its ugly head. Toph instinctively grabbed at her gut. "Urgh, maybe...more n' a few," she added begrudgingly.

Katara gawked at Toph for a moment, watching the woman groan. Toph looked ready to hurl. Oh, boy. Some things never changed, especially with Toph, it seemed. Katara had her work cut out for her, but she refused to give up. First things first, she decided: they needed to purge that alcohol from Toph's system. As Katara explored the nearby kitchen area, an open room nearby, she noted a tipped over pewter bottle sitting on the floor - yes, indeed, some other form of booze, from the smell. Katara's disbelief flared, boiling together with rage.

"What are you thinking?" Katara groaned across the house as she set the discarded bottle upright on a stone counter. She then surveyed Toph's kitchen. One wall was entirely occupied by hanging pots and pans - easily accessible to the blind woman with her rare skill of metal manipulation. Katara grabbed the biggest pot she spotted, yanked it off the wall hook, and whisked herself to Toph, who was resting her face in her palm, elbow propped on the tea table.

With a loud 'clang,' Katara dropped the pot at Toph's feet, startling her friend from her stupor.

"I'm going to go get you some water," Katara sighed. She stood for a moment in baffled fury, one hand on her hip, the other against her forehead.

Katara approached the boiling pot at Toph's fireplace and lulled some of its liquid out. Chilling it down with her breath-infused ability, Katara placed the liquid in the pouch she commonly carried on her belt. Katara considered putting the flames out, but opted against it, given the wintry weather outside.

Toph, meanwhile, was left on her living room floor to wallow in shame, embarrassment, and the woozy mixture of intoxication. Her head was swimming, her muscles relaxed after a hard day at work, and yet the pain was still not gone. Katara's presence had served to slap Toph in the face with the possibilities of her situation.

Katara's footsteps could be felt approaching Toph again. This sensation caused Toph to realize that in her stupor she had begun sliding the metal pot around with her bending. Back and forth, gently, a hiabitual movement - like rubbing two feet together. Toph let the pot sit still, allowing her head to droop and sway with drunken satisfaction. Her stomach burned at her from the inside again, but she didn't let on this time.

Katara stormed back up to Toph, who could hear the sloshing of water in the woman's ever-handy pouch.

"Open your mouth," Katara advised, no-nonsense about her intentions.

Toph huffed air at her floppy bangs before cocking her head to the side and letting her jaw fall open. Katara skillfully pulled out a thin stream of the water she'd just prepared and slid some into Toph's mouth. Toph instinctively closed her lips and swallowed. They repeated this process for a minute or so, until Toph's stomach began writing again. Before Toph knew it, she could feel her stomach and chest tighten, her throat inciting a gag reflex. She grabbed the pot from her side and held it up to her face. She heaved out the contents of her stomach in a watery, smelly, acidic mess. The sensation was most unpleasant, especially since it was comprised partially in alcohol - it had burned going down, and it was burning coming back up. Toph could feel her messy, unkempt hair getting laced in her own vomit as she huddled over her pot.

Seconds later, as Toph choked and sputtered from her physical reaction, she sensed her bangs being tickled in a most peculiar fashion - Katara seemed to be bending the traces of liquid from her drunken friend's hair, dropping them into the pot with the rotten batch of juices. Toph could sense Katara's complete disapproval of this sight, and felt a pang of regret stirring in the extra space she had just made in her gut. Katara was suddenly sitting at Toph's side, cautiously pulling back the blind woman's hair and holding it up just in time for Toph to puke again.

Her barfing session complete, Toph did feel somewhat better, though not really any less dizzy or exhausted.

Without a word, Katara scooped up the stench-ridden pot and took it outside, leaving the door open behind her to invite a cold winter breeze into the house. Toph's body shuddered at the feeling at first, but the fresh air was pleasant against her hot face. Toph found the energy to scoot herself into a more proper seating position in front of her tea table. With her head cleared a little from the purging and cold air, Toph was hit with sudden concern: old Sugar Queen was going to come back, and despite their ages, Toph was expecting a heavy-handed lecture. With any luck, though, perhaps Toph's surrogate sister could also convince the police chief that this was not, in fact, the end of the world. It certainly felt like it when she considered Katara's warning from earlier that day.

Toph was so drenched in her own dreary thoughts that she didn't notice Katara re-enter until the bitter chill of the incoming breeze disappeared. Katara placed the rinsed out pot back on the table and sat down across from her friend.

"You should drink more water," Katara advised sternly, readying to repeat the process from before.

"That didn't go so well last time," Toph grumbled, leaning back on her palms.

"Toph," Katara snapped primly, her patience wearing thin. "You need to wash out your system." A brief moment of tension followed as Katara leveled a glob of water before Toph's chin, the woman's head cocked back in disagreement. Katara snipped, "I'm not doing this for my own good, you know...Or for yours, even."

"And what's that supposed to mean?" Toph grunted, lazily propping her head upright. She left her mouth open to allow the liquid to enter, and sloshed it around between her teeth, rinsing them of the traces of what she'd just thrown up. Much to Katara's chagrin, the woman swallowed after this act.

"You know exactly what that means," Katara seethed. Toph smirked at this, sliding her feet back and forth a little. Things were still fuzzy, but with Katara so close to her, Toph could sense the woman's heartbeat escalating with fury. It still brought Toph Beifong a bit of delight after all of these years to press her friends' buttons. At the very least, it gave her brain something else to do for a few fleeting seconds, instead of confront the actual matter at hand.

"Just because you think I might be pregnant doesn't mean I instantly am," Toph declared, opting to pursue denial.

"And just because you choose to ignore me and binge drink, doesn't mean you couldn't be doing something you'll regret."

"Rargh," Toph growled in frustrated despair. "This just...isn't right, I mean, I didn't ask for this."

"Toph, Hun, you might remember that I just gave birth to a third kid not so long ago - I didn't ask for that, either."

"But you n' Twinkle-Toes wanted to have a family," Toph pointed out.

"Well...Yes, I suppose that's the difference, then," conceded Katara, feeding Toph another gulp of water.

"Right, and...good for you guys," Toph huffed. "I don't want that. I've got enough to deal with these days." She flicked up her wrist for Katara's benefit, trying to make clear her dissatisfaction. "I don't need monkey feathers on top of monkey feathers here, understand?"

Katara took a moment to formulate her reply, and Toph continued to accept the drink provided.

"Is this because he left you?" Katara surmised solemnly. She remained unconvinced that Toph's brief entanglement with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named hadn't left a dent in the woman's ego, much less her abandonment issues. There were reasons Toph Beifong always wanted to 'carry her own weight' and Katara knew full well that situations such as that one had not helped to assuage this mentality.

Katara watched her friend's face contort with displeasure, wrinkles forming at the edges of the woman's mouth. Toph could feel the frown happening, that sensation her face took when she dwelt on painful ideas. She suppressed it, laying herself down on her back to disconnect her face from what perceived to be Katara's line of sight.

"You should sit upright," Katara winced. "Unless you want to start feeling sick again..."

Without a word, Toph thrust out her fists in a steady motion. The earthen floor beneath her lifted her body back up, and she left the chunk of stone upended to serve as back support.

"I'm trying to help you, Toph," Katara eased.

"Yea, I don't see how rubbing my failed love life in my face counts as helping."

"I meant with this kid you're going to have."

"There is no 'kid!' okay?" Toph's tone had spiked with more aggression she'd intended. The mixed thoughts of this potential pregnancy blended with the aching sensation she was still keeping sealed within. The metal bracelet around Toph's right wrist began to shiver against her skin, reacting to the intense emotions emanating from the earthbender. In a bit of a fitful gesture, Toph detached the old meteor bracelet from her arm, slapping it against her table and leaving it solidified as a mishapen blob of rock. Toph tried to steady herself, still woozy from her drinking. "Let's stop talking about this thing like it' it's actually real until"

Katara raised a brow at Toph's halfway mark of logic.

"It's not a thing," Katara disputed. "It's a...a living being, growing inside of you! A"

"Ha! Yea, that's-...No, that's rich. A little me, she says..." Toph sighed deeply after her muttering, and pressed her head into the vertical rock pillow against her body. "I think the world's probably fine with just one of 'me' in it, don't you?"

Katara glared at her friend's nonchalant dismissal, all the more irate that her stare went unseen.

"I know that...your work can be really demanding," Katara tried to sympathize. "And so I could understand your hesitation, especially without a father to help care for the child."

"I don't need help caring for a kid - especially since there isn't one."

"Yet," Katara testily reminded.

"There won't be one," Toph further pressed. In the irritation of the moment, Toph wasn't even thinking through why she was so insistent on this point.

Katara, her lips pursed and eyes wide with rage, tossed up her hands, shaking her head.

"You're right, Toph," she spat out. "There won't be one, because you're going to kill it before it can live long enough to get out of your body and find someone who actually respects the value of life."

A heavy quiet weighed down on the two, Toph's face flushed pink. The police chief's fuzzy head, floating in a pot of rice beer, was boiling with self-directed rage and shame. Katara's self-righteous words stung much more than they normally would, because Toph found herself agreeing with them.

"It baffles me," Katara ranted on, "how you can maintain such an important job, but as soon as you get home it's like you turn back into a teenager."

"Psh..." Toph clawed her fingers at her scalp, savoring the gritty bits of dirt that wedged themselves within her nails. "I've had a lot of practice putting on an act for people," Toph noted with some bitterness, recalling her upbringing.

Katara grunted out a sigh, understanding what Toph was referring to.

"And in case you haven't noticed," Toph added, "I didn't get my job I carry myself - how I act. I got it because of my skill. I get things done, I make things happen, and it shouldn't matter how I act when I come home. I didn't even take this job because I wanted to, it just...-" Toph trailed off, blowing at her bangs wistfully as she slumped her head to one side.

"I understand that maybe life here in the city isn't everything you were hoping for," said Katara with some sympathy. "Spirits know I'm glad that we live a bit outside of all of the craziness."

"I bet things are real cushy on your little island getaway home," was Toph's spiteful remark.

"I wouldn't quite call it that," said Katara, doing her best to withhold her irritation. "What I was going to say is that Aang and I take care of each other. I'm not sure if either of us could deal with every one of our responsibilities all on our own."

"That's nice," Toph muttered, pushing out indifference with her tone as she staved off niggling envy. "I'm just fine taking care of myself, though."

"That's...true," Katara agreed - Toph could tell from the way this had been said that there was a 'catch.' "You seem to have adjusted to living in your own place, and Sokka tells me that a lot of folks seem to respect the work you've been doing for the city. But Toph...I mean, look at yourself, you're-"

"Would if I could," Toph snarkily interrupted.

"Sorry," Katara sighed. "I mean, figuratively," she quickly amended her statement. "I'm worried about your private life."

"Gee, that's swell, Sweetness, but it's my private life, soooo...that means not-everyone's-business."

"Toph..." the waterbender sighed out with exasperation.

"Katara..." the earthbender grumbled back impatiently.

Katara dropped yet another sigh, at a loss of how to get through to her friend. Every attempt would be met with protruding thorns - Toph's approach to this subject was the way of the boar-q-pine, and Katara was tired of getting stabbed today.

"Fine." Katara flicked up a dismissing wrist of frustration, getting up from Toph's floor. "All I'm getting at is that you seem to be making some decisions lately that lead to things you say you don't want, so it might be a wise move to let us - your friends - help you out in times like this."

"Puh," Toph puffed out, a bit slack-jawed. "Bleeding hog-monkeys," she cursed under her breath, once again scratching at her scalp. "Listen here. It's easy for you and the High-N'-Mighty Avatar to get people to help you out, but the last time I did that, it didn't play out so well for me."

"Toph, if Sokka knew about this, I'm certain he'd put aside what happened with you two and do whatever he could to-"
"I don't need him. He made it perfectly clear what he thinks of me when he walked out, so I don't even care about that at this point."

"I think you do."

"Yea? I think you're no psychiatrist, and you should stop trying to figure me out. It's simple: why trust any of you bumbling idiots when I can handle things way better on my own?"

Katara bit down on her bottom lip with silent rage. Despite her heavily-intoxicated system, Toph could clearly make out the sensation of Katara's heart beating in the quiet seconds that followed. Katara was angry, just as Toph had desired. Suddenly, Toph felt remorse in desiring it.

At last, Katara broke the tension.

"So...Bumbling idiots. That's what we are now? For trying to help you out?"

"Yup." But Toph's ego was too damn stubborn to give in.

Katara puffed out an indignant laugh through her nose, bewildered at her friend's stark statement.

Toph elaborated.

"I didn't ask for this job. I didn't ask to be tied down to this charity project of a town. This place was the brainchild of Twinkle-Toes and Sparky, I didn't give a-"
"Avatar Aang and Fire Lord Zuko."

Toph stopped, rubbing her nose with the edge of her wrist. She grunted, shifting her position from her earthen seat. She slid her bare feet against the smooth stone floor of her living quarters, tracking down a rather familiar object.

Katara bitterly pointed out, "We're not children anymore, Toph."

"Ah, so...-" Through her wobbly senses, Toph located her target and extended her arm toward it. "-...we're tossin' around titles, are we?" She flicked her hand in a gesture that willed the object toward her.

Katara muttered out, "What? No, I-" but was cut off by the impact of a gold-coated police badge slapping itself into Toph's palm. The badge was lazily wiggled in the air in Katara's direction.

"Chief of Police Toph Beifong," the disgruntled woman cockily proclaimed. She folded her fingers around the badge, running her thumb along its surface. "Even your dunder-headed brother is a Councilman. And you? I don't-...What are you, even? A babysitter?"

"I'm a caretaker," Katara defended, her ego being run in the mud by her own friend. "Oh, and a teacher."

"Been there, done that."

"And I happen to be considered a master of a specialized bending art."

"Ha. I invented a specialized bending art."

"I'm also a wife. Basically a doctor. And a mother - something you're going to be, soon enough."

"Katara, just drop it," Toph darkly commanded. "I'm not going to be a mom. No way."

"Do you want me to go over the symptoms again?" Katara posed testily.

Toph groaned through her nose. She was still feeling light-headed from her drinking as she grasped at her forehead with one hand, flinging her badge onto the tea table with the other.

"No," Toph sighed, "I don't want-"
"Because you're the one who came to me with all of this," said Katara with an indignant shrug.

"Yea, n' that was a mistake-" Toph decided, "-'cuz how sore my tits are is my own problem, so let's just-"
"I'm trying to be here for you, but you're making it really difficult to-"
"All I asked for was some...medical consultation, nnnnnot...a...bleeding house call, and...-"

"I mean, Spirits, Toph, do you even know who the father would be?"

Toph let her head sag, her already queasy stomach all the more uneasy at this question she did not even want to consider.

"That's...-" Toph trailed off, scratching at her nose fretfully.

"Because," Katara went on, "from what you've told could be one of a couple of people...At least."

"Right," Toph grunted in frustrated admission, her scratching hand sliding up over her forehead.

The fact that Toph had been letting herself vent out some personal details to her old friend Katara was starting to come back to bite her in the ass here. What if Katara broke their pact of privacy? Nah, she would never do that. She could be pushy and stubborn, sure, but so could Toph. Old Sugar Queen was trustworthy, though – the same couldn't be said for her Meat-Head of a brother, grah...

Katara finished her thought: "Shouldn't we at least consider telling Sokka about this situation? I mean, what if he's-"
"No," Toph concretely decided, crossing her arms around her chest.

"Ohhh...kay," Katara slowly breathed out. "What about...the other, umm...partner?"

"Tsh. I told you: he skipped town. I don't see a point, anyway, he was just a...-" Toph rubbed at her face grumpily, not desiring to dwell on this topic.

"Sooo...-" Katara's head was shaking slightly with disbelief. She shrugged her hands up and let them slap against her lap. "What, then? You're going to just...try raising this child on your own?"

"If there's a child at all," Toph grumbled.

"You're in total denial over this, aren't you?"

"Katara." Toph pounded the side of her fist into her lap, hunching forward. Her head was hung low, messy hair veiling her grumpy expression. " not...want...a kid. okay? Not all of us are overflowing with motherly love like you are...Frankly, I don't think I'm cut out for that crud."

"Listen, I know this is all a difficult situation to take in, and we don't really know what will happen here. But please, Toph - I seriously think you're pregnant. Take it as a medical consultation, or take it as my advice as your friend, it doesn't matter, just...please take this into consideration until we know otherwise."

Toph blew out a deep huff, plopping her elbow on her short-legged tea table. She let her face fall into the upended palm.

"I don't want to deal with this," Toph confessed, her voice straddling the line between anguish and dismissal. "I don't."

"I know," Katara acknowledged, closing the distance to her frustrated companion. "But you're not in this alone."

Toph sniffed up loose mucus, her head starting to throb with pain.

"Come," Katara eased, placing a hand on Toph's shoulder. Toph's abdomen twitched with alarm at the contact, as she hadn't been paying attention to the vibrations around her. "You need a hug," Katara concluded.

Toph disagreed with this notion, but let her friend embrace her briefly, anyway.

Katara assured the would-be mother, "Things will turn out all right. Don't worry."

In begrudging silence, Toph endured the warm, soothing touch of Katara's hug. The Water Tribe woman's hands shared a certain kind of calloused texture to them that reminded one of a certain dolt-brained Councilman. But where his hands would be more frisky and hungry, here Katara's were healing and supportive.

"I'm not worried," Toph stated, though she herself wasn't certain if this true or not. Deep down, she wanted to earnestly believe Katara's words - Katara, more or less like an older sister to her at this point. Toph supposed that if the ever-motherly Katara had her back, she shouldn't have anything to fear.

This didn't stop Toph from fearing her prospective future, all the same.

Artwork for this chapter

Denial by SqueakyE

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