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|More from Fruipit||Romance/Friendship||PG||None||No update page|
19th September, 2013
Opening the door quietly, Katara crept into her apartment with as little noise as she could manage. A quick glance at the clock above the kitchen bench told her that it was nearing the middle of the night, and to be perfectly honest, the brunette expected her blind roommate to be asleep. Toph had been studying incessantly for the past three weeks, and now that her final test had finished that afternoon, she was probably catching up on some well-deserved rest; after her own exams had finished, Katara had absolutely refused to do anything until she had drowned herself in sleep for a while. Considering the younger girl did that almost every other day, it was incredibly likely that Toph would need a significantly longer recovery period.
Padding silently past Toph's bedroom, Katara was jolted from her thoughts at the sound coming from behind the closed door. She paused outside the painted wood, holding her breath.
"Ugh, oh spirits..."
Katara's hand flew to her mouth to cover the soundless gasp, and her eyes widened in shock. It wasn't as though they had housemate rules against this kind of thing, but that was mostly only due to the fact that Aang, Katara's boyfriend, was really traditional and wanted to wait, and that Toph had never brought up the topic about it because she simply didn't need to. As far as Katara was aware, the blind girl didn't have many friends—available friends that she would ever date—and definitely didn't have a boyfriend.
Oh, but she did mention something a while ago...
The thing with Toph was that she was secretive, particularly around 'girly matters'. Perhaps secretive was the wrong word. She didn't appreciate talking about it or making a huge fuss (which, unfortunately for her, was exactly what everyone did for that precise reason; it was so unprecedented whenever the occasion arose).
"Toph!" The name, moaned sultry and low, was enough for Katara, who wrenched herself away from the door. Dumping her bag on the couch (because as much as she loved Aang, she didn't want to move in with him just yet), she went to the kitchen to make some tea. It seemed the safest option, as anything else would mean that she had to walk past Toph's room again, and the blue-eyed girl wasn't sure whether she was ready for that just yet. She wouldn't be able to sleep, knowing (and quite possibly hearing) exactly what Toph had going on in the neighbouring room, and she couldn't turn on the television because of Toph's ridiculously good hearing (unless of course she were definitely too distracted to notice. Katara quickly pushed the thought from her mind). Desperate to distract herself, Katara set about making her tea. She put the jasmine leaves in the pot, letting them sit in some cold water as the kettle finished boiling, before she poured the hot water over the concoction. A decision was made in those few seconds that the best course of action would be to sit out in the lounge-room (away from the hallway) and pretend she hadn't heard a thing. No awkward conversations—she could just pretend whomever Toph brought around was a study buddy or something. Katara rolled her eyes to herself, choosing to ignore the fact that the excuse almost definitely wouldn't work.
As stupid as it sounded, she had always imagined (in as little detail as possible) that Toph was a virgin; she had never shown any interest in boys or dating. When Katara had suggested to Toph that she take some time to herself to relax after finals, this wasn't what the brunette had in mind.
Lowering herself on the couch, a cup of warm jasmine tea resting between her hands, Katara pulled out her phone just to give her mind something silent to do. She had just finished texting her brother, Sokka, the instructions on how to use a washing machine. He had just sent back his laughably hopeless reply when a red-faced woman, naked from the waist up (and almost completely from the waist down, too) slipped from the room.
"Ahh!" Katara cried, shielding her eyes. The text was forgotten as she tried to scrub her mind from the unfortunate mental image, and when the woman spoke, Katara had a feeling that she was being laughed at.
"Oh, grow up. We all have the same parts." Katara glanced up to find a tall, auburn-haired woman who most definitely wasn't Toph. "Toph! Roommate's home!" the woman called into the bedroom, returning with a shirt that she slung over her shoulders, thankfully covering herself up.
Several seconds passed, before a loud, "Fuck!" was heard from the room. Toph herself appeared only a few moments later, wearing a loose-fitting t-shirt and slacks.
"Oh, hi there, Katara," she waved half-heartedly out into the living-room, unable to tell where Katara was without her speaking. She had foregone her cane, and instead stumbled down the hallway with one hand on the wall to guide her. If Katara didn't know better, she'd swear that Toph was deliberately avoiding looking towards the centre of the room. She seemed to be making sure her embarrassed expression never stayed still for long.
"Uh, this is, ahem, Kyoshi. My... friend..." she finished, rather lamely. Kyoshi snorted loudly.
"Oh, that's what we're calling it?"
Kyoshi didn't seem upset at all, instead grinning rather amusedly. Toph bit the inside of her cheek, and her lover—Katara coughed weakly at the word—continued.
"You weren't this shy when your tongue was running up my-"
Dual splutters cut Kyoshi off, and Toph, red-faced and absolutely mortified, turned on her heel and ran as fast as she could to her room, slamming the door shut. They heard a hopeless moan, before Kyoshi turned to Katara.
"So, hi. Katara was it?"
The young woman in question spent several seconds picking her jaw up from the floor before, still bright red, she nodded. "Are- Aren't you going to talk to Toph?" she asked quietly, rather intimidated by the large woman- not only in her chest, but everywhere.
She was tall, having a good few inches on Katara, and almost twice as tall as Toph. Her hands and feet were massive, but that only added to the mystery, and Katara looked away quickly, unsure of how long she had been staring. The calm ease with which Kyoshi made herself comfortable, grabbing an apple-pear from the fruit bowl and munching sanguinely for a moment before answer, gave Katara the heebie-jeebies. Of course Toph would pick the most terrifying woman to sleep with.
"Oh, no. Not at all. That's gotta be sorted out between the two of you; this is your fault."
A cry of indignation left the brown-haired girl, and she bristled at the accusation. Kyoshi interrupted before she could say anything.
"This isn't my first tumble with your friend. Actually, we've been seeing each other a while—no pun intended—and so there's a reason Toph didn't tell you," she explained, more reasonably than Katara would have given her credit for. "So, I'm not dealing with this." With that declaration, she went into the kitchen, and Katara heard the kettle heat up.
Once again padding silently down the hall, Katara gave a gentle knock on Toph's door before just pushing it open. It was a lot harder to ignore the musky smell or the absolute disarray of the room than she expected, and she gingerly sat on the edge of the bed. Toph was lying against a pillow, a braille book in her hand.
"Hey, Toph..." Katara began, unsure how to continue. She couldn't say she had ever expected this. She had hoped more to be able to actually talk to Toph about boys and stuff like that, when the twenty-two year old actually began to show an interest them. She supposed that this was why Toph's interest in the boys she had introduced her to was essentially non-existent.
Katara rolled her eyes, sighing internally. She knew that tone; it was the same tone Toph had when Katara learnt the younger girl once harboured a rather strong crush on Sokka. It was a tone that said 'I'm going to sit here silently while you try and make me feel better, even though it won't work at all'. It was the tone that kept her protected when she was feeling most vulnerable.
"So..." Katara didn't say anything else, but she didn't have to. Toph didn't put the book down, or turn her head to address Katara.
"You think it's weird," she said, her fingers running quickly over the raised dots. Katara frowned thoughtfully. "Look, I don't really care, but if you're gonna get all homophobic on me now, I'm not going to be very happy."
Katara cringed slightly, regretting bringing up the issue of homosexuality to the blind girl in the first place.
The two had travelled to Ember Island, a theme park only about an hour away. It was the most friendly to disabled people, and people with special needs, and so Katara made a point to make Toph go every few months so she could actually get out and do something fun. It was easy, because she knew Toph enjoyed it; it was a theme park, and theme parks are fun, but more so the fact that she was treated like everyone else. At that park, they had run into Ty Lee, who began gushing to the two about how much fun theme parks were for dating. They weren't really surprised that Ty Lee was there on a date. No, it was the fact that said date turned out to be Suki, which lead to the most uncomfortable two minutes of silence any of them had ever been witness to. Suki was blushing, mortified, Ty Lee was her usual bubbly self and latched onto Suki's arm as soon as she could (increasing the other girl's humiliation). Katara had caught Toph's expression; thoughtful, laced with something else. She seemed happy for the two, although with Katara knowing about her mild crush on Sokka, the brown-haired girl just brushed it off. It was only when they went their separate ways that Katara let spew what she had been thinking. Namely, fury at Suki, and disbelief (and anger) at Ty Lee's shamelessness.
"They shouldn't be together," she concluded finally. Toph looked at her a moment before shrugging.
"I don't really care. Now, next ride?"
If Katara had been paying more attention, she would have realised exactly how Toph took her words (and took them to heart), but she wasn't. And now she was paying for her thoughtlessness.
"It's not weird, exactly... I just... didn't expect this?"
Toph rolled her eyes, although she made a point to stare only at the opposite wall. "Well, if that's the case, you can just go away."
Katara frowned unhappily. She had never seen anything upset Toph like this (because, despite how calm and disinterested she appeared, Katara still caught the way her mouth curled down in a small frown, and how she was blinking far too much to be normal), and the guilt that perhaps it was her fault gnawed at her stomach.
"Toph, why didn't you tell me?" she asked, imploring. "Are you.... embarrassed?" she dared to ask, and like a rocket Toph was sitting up and glaring.
"As if. Just because I don't feel the need to talk about my partner 24/7 doesn't mean I'm embarrassed to have one."
Katara bit her lip, pulling back a little. She didn't really want to put Toph on the defensive this early on in the conversation; she needed her to be willing to talk. "Was it something I did?"
Toph stayed silent, and Katara sighed.
"Toph, I don't care. You're happy. I mean... I can't say I wasn't a little surprised..." she trailed off.
"Look, I never said you did anything—why does everything always revolve around you?" she glared, and Katara rolled her eyes. She was quite used to Toph's seemingly random mood changes, and while she hadn't quite figured out how to combat them, she felt she was doing a pretty good job.
"Then why did you hide it?" she asked softly, and Toph exhaled sharply through her teeth.
"Take your pick. You complain about everything I do—I'm pushing myself too hard, maybe I should get some extra tutoring because I can't always do the coursework. Or, the fact that I spend all my time here and you think I'm going to wither away if I don't get enough sun. Why should me sleeping with another girl—another older girl—why would it be any different?" Toph took a breath, letting her own words sink in. There was silence for a few moments as Katara raised her eyebrow. "Okay, fine, maybe I did think it was you. But, I wasn't, like, afraid or anything," she added quickly, and Katara smiled.
"Look, Toph, the only reason I would be upset or angry is because you didn't tell me," she reasoned, and Toph let out a small smile, bordering on sad.
"Yeah, well, can you blame me? I remember how upset you got when Suki and Ty Lee got together? ... Oh, God, can you imagine Sokka's reaction?" she asked, looking almost terrified at the thought.
"It wasn't that," Katara explained thoughtfully. "I think I just felt bad for Sokka; the first girl he dates, and she turns out to be a lesbian. And I wouldn't worry about him. He's an idiot, but he loves you too. I think he would be happy for you..." Toph let out a small smile at the idea, and Katara cleared her throat. "So... you're into chicks?" Katara asked. Toph's eyes widened at the unusually straightforward question.
"No!" she cried, before her face fell. "...Yes. I mean... I don't know. Can't I just say I like Kyoshi and leave it at that?" Katara nodded, accepting the light punch Toph threw her way. "Thanks, Dude."
Katara pulled Toph into a tight hug. She felt her stiffen slightly at the contact, before relaxing and patting Katara somewhat awkwardly on the head.
"Oh," the brown-haired girl said, releasing Toph, "you know how I would tell you about the things Aang did, and you'd get disgusted and then laugh?" Toph nodded, and she could hear the pained expression in Katara's voice as her friend pleaded with her. "Please don't tell me what you do. This is still a lot to take in."
Toph nodded thoughtfully. "So, does that mean I can't tell you how good her fingers are? They're really long," she said innocently, although all pretence was lost as she grinned evilly at Katara's outcry.
Katara slammed the palms of her hands over her ears, but it didn't quite drown out Toph's parting remark as she practically sprinted from the room, "What about her tongue?! You should get Aang to try it on you—with spicy food!"
Katara could hear her laughing from the lounge-room. Kyoshi was sitting on the couch, thankfully wearing a pair of track-pants and sipping on a cup of chamomile.
"Happy now?" Katara asked. "Now I'm scarred."
Kyoshi shrugged flippantly. "Yeah, yeah. Hey, do you know where we can find a pair of handcuffs? Toph's a little feisty."
Oh, yeah, a match made in heaven, she groaned internally, trying desperately to keep the mental image from springing to her mind, before giving up and running to her room. She could hear Toph and Kyoshi cackling, and even with the eventful evening, Katara couldn't maintain her minor horror or surprise. Despite her own misgivings, she let a smile form on her face. The next few months were going to be... interesting. She wasn't sure how she felt about that.
A/N: That's actually how you make tea, by the way. You put some cold water down the bottom of the pot so you don't burn the leaves when you pour the boiling water in. Also, never use paper tea-bags. If you have to, just rip them open and strain the tea (anyone have a coffee strainer? That'll do). Jasmine tea is my favourite :3
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