Chapter information




Written by


Release date

4th April, 2014

Word count


Last chapter





Everyone is walking on eggshells. Toph thinks she might just throw up from it all (but that could be the hangover). Even Sokka is wary of upsetting her, although she isn't really surprised. In all honesty, she's fairly repulsed by her own behaviour, even if she know's there is nothing she can do to change it now. Only Katara is acting normal; while Toph usually hates the waterbender's general chirpiness and irritatingly good mood, she can't help but appreciate the attitude this morning. When the mood becomes too tense, Katara is there forcing the boys to clean something, or run an errand—anything to leave Toph alone while still getting work done. Toph is desperate to prove that she hasn't changed; that may be true (after all, the feminine side of her had always been there, lurking), however it seems that despite her best efforts, the boys' perception of her has changed.

So, she is loud and brash and rude and begins picking her toenails again and making fun of Sokka's slow reaction times in regards to blind jokes. It works on him and Zuko; Toph can put it down to several reasons: Zuko has the hots for Katara and Sokka knows better than to annoy her. Aang, however, seems impervious to Katara's hassling. He doesn't actually do anything—unless hovering and being generally awkward counts. He is being Aang, essentially, however Toph has always had a superb ability of making him act like Not-Aang. Why does it have to be different now? She can't stand it. She wants things to go back to the way they were before... well, before everything changed.

So, she retreats outside, the brightness of the sun mimicked on her face, but shadowed in her heart.

She doesn't want to talk to anyone, and they all take heed. Even Aang is cautious to approach her. She thinks it's absolutely pathetic how much she wants him to. She wants to spar and trade insults the way they used to. She wants to rile up Katara and annoy Sokka, but she wants more than that. In that little secret part of her heart that Aang has somehow infiltrated, she wants to be able to giggle and smile and be a girl.

She groans aloud as she realises just how screwed up she is.

Because she is screwed up.

She's the strongest, greatest, most badass earthbender in the world.

She's the Avatar's teacher.

She's the Earth Rumble champion.

But.... she's a noblewoman.

She's high-society born and bred.

She's a girl.

How is she supposed to fit into all those different categories? Why can't she be all of them? Where is the line drawn? Well, perhaps not the 'high-society' part, but that's beside the point. Why can't she just be... her?

She's sitting on the grass at this point, angrily pulling out little tufts of the stuff. The sun goes behind a cloud for a moment, and she looks to the sky as though searching for its return. She wonders for a moment what the sun looks like. Is it as beautiful as she imagines? No one ever talks about the sun. They don't talk much about the normal things. Katara gushes about flowers sometimes, and Sokka is always blabbing on about some kind of fashion. Aang...

Aang never talks about that with her. He never uses sight.

He always talks with touch and sound and smell.

He always speaks her language.

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