Toph, a blind foster kid, befriends Sokka over 'movie night'. With such a complex past, can it really only take one crush to help her see a future? Modern Tokka AU.
How can one simple offer turn into so much more? Toph never expected to watch a movie. She never expected a boy to explain it to her. And she never expected to fall in love with him. After all, love had never served her well in the past.
I understand that this is an incredibly unlikely story, in regards to the actions the characters (namely, Toph) take. I am hoping that all the other characters are, well, in character, however the main reason that Toph wouldn't be is simply my headcanon and creative license.
There is no way that a blind, twelve-year-old girl, who has never had any real friends, is that well-adjusted. In real life, it just wouldn't happen. So, that, plus the fact that I've changed one major aspect of her life (namely, the removal of her from her parents' care) has lead to several character moments which, when compared to the series, you think 'well, that would never happen'. I know it. I know that anyone reading this probably knows it. So, I have to ask of anyone who does read it to not focus on the series.
I want you to look at the characters in the light I've set them up in. Particularly in the first few chapters, I've tried to tie it closely with how the characters act in the show, before really delving into them and changing it to how the story needs them to act. So, yes, if you look at the later chapters and compare Toph in this story to Toph in the series, you're going to think 'no, that wouldn't happen'. I want you to compare Toph in the later chapters to Toph in the earlier ones, and think whether the development is accurate.
Just a minor note, to anyone thinking 'aww, what a cute idea' (believe me, it's come up–see reception below). While the first three or so chapters are rather mild in content, the story took on a life of its own and the later chapters are darker than I first expected and anticipated. So, trigger warnings apply, however I've marked those on the chapters below. If you think ones that aren't marked need to be, lemme know.
There is swearing. You get that from the beginning. There are several references to depression, smoking, drug use, and sex between characters that, depending on where you live, is illegal. I know that some laws are different in other countries. Particularly with the sex-aspect, where I live it isn't illegal if both parties consent and are over the age of 16. While not technically true in this story, this story is based in a world very similar to our own, and from what I've gleaned, people don't always wait for it to be legal.
The characters are aged up, so it's not like a 13 and a 15-year-old are sleeping together (Toph and Sokka don't do that together, regardless), however Toph is under the legal age of consent in my country. She is 15, going on 16, and Sokka is closer to 18 or 19. Jet is the same age, a more relevant detail considering that they sleep together–not Sokka and Toph.
Basically, this story isn't for children. It's a character study into Toph in a real-world scenario. Actions have consequences far more vast than those explored in the show, and I felt the need to do that here.
I am currently rewriting the entire story. My aim is for Part One to reach 60K words—an increase of 13,000. I feel like the extra detail is needed in some cases.
For the story in a complete format (the entire work on one page), go here.
Despite the lack of attention this story has here, it has had nothing but favourable reviews on fanfiction.net. All the reviews can be seen here.
"This story just keeps getting better! I love how Toph seems to be growing and wants to better herself. I also love her conversation with Kyoshi... I so can't wait for the next chapter! I hope there will be more interaction between Toph and Sokka. Keep up the good work."
"Great job! I LOVED the idea of this fanfic. Sokka whispering what's going on in the movie into Toph's ear was a great thing to picture. The whole thing makes me want to curl up into a ball and die. Super sweet. It almost hurts my teeth. Ow."
―One guest reviewer, before the whole story turned into a depressing angst-fest.
"I should sue you for tugging on my heart strings so violently. Great job with this story."
―Man in a Mirror (Guest) after reading the entire thing (chaps 1-14) in one go.
"I just noticed that your chapters are named after movies. How stupid am I? ANYWAYS, in a sense Sokka's reaction is understandable. Some unsavory news could be a mood killer for anyone. After hearing her confession, reality set in for Sokka. It's sad how lowly he thinks of Toph's though; thinking she's just easy... I DID NOT expect the chapter to end this way..."
I use a lot of music to inspire me when I'm writing, but also random pieces of art, or lines in other stories. For this one, it is an artist who creates some really insightful comics into depression. I don't agree with all of them, but that's me ^^" Regardless, it does help me sometimes to get into Toph's head if, for some reason, I'm lost.
As for the music, there are some definite songs and artists who helped me when writing this story:
Okay, first inspiration is Once More With Feeling: Singles 1996-2004 by Placebo. Just... the entire album, really, can be used at any given point in the story. My favourite songs are Every You Every Me and The Bitter End.
Disco Biscuit Love, by The Jezabels
This song initially inspired Toph and Jet's relationship. It's to do with the volatile, fleeting nature of it, and I think it captures perfectly the kind of relationship they have. Mei and Leo, by Shigeru Umebayashi
This is a strange one, and the scene in the film has definitely affected how I think of this song. The beginning starts very soft and melodious, however, as this song is set in minor (don't ask me to name it), there's also something inherently sad and chilling about it; especially when you reach 1:30-45. I'll leave you to make your own conclusions.