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| Zuko, something happened to One of Two Ways in the last hundred years.
This fanon has been discontinued, but is still available to read for your enjoyment.
|"Accept past events as if they were pre-ordained by the order of the universe. Then, in the same way accept one's inability to do so completely and move on into the future of one's life with compassion for those who are not able to do this so as well as oneself. "|
|— An Anonymous Philosopher|
|One of Two Ways|
Not yet decided
"One of Two Ways" is meant to be an Avatar-related AU fanon, written mostly from Toph's PoV, which examines certain characterization and shipping possibilities (namely those that relate to "Tokka") which Bryke will most likely not follow up on. Do not expect this to conform to the normal characterizations of non-shipping vs. shipping fanons. The writing below is the basic plot summary of the planned future fanon.
This AU fanon is in some ways an extension of the author's first fanon "" which will in some ways extend from this present fanon, but while the first is essentially meant to be a character's (Toph's) PoV of the series's recorded events, this fanon extends into uncharted, most likely AU territory. Even so, the author will attempt to tie in the ending of "Footsteps" (when he gets to it) with the beginning of this fanon.
Basic Plot Format (with detail given for some scenes)
Opens up at the Jasmine Dragon, immediately after the end scenes of the series. Katara and Aang come out and reveal their newly-confirmed relationship to the group at large (which readers will get to see from Toph's perspective)
A Hero's Homecoming
The "Gaoling/Kyoshi Island" Story Arc
Toph's age during this sequence is 12 nearing 13 - immediately subsequent to the series
Part 1. Team Avatar Parts Ways
The Jasmine Dragon officially opens to the Earth Kingdom public the next day, and Zuko heads back to the Fire Nation to return to his post as the Fire Lord, Mai following along with him. The groups says their farewells to them, and then to Iroh, having all made future plans outside of Ba Sing Se. Once they reach the outer wall, they land and set up camp to have brunch together as a group and to discuss their future. The war finally being over, Aang decides to fly Katara back to the Southern Water Tribe on Appa, while Sokka follows the suggestion of Suki and heads back to Kyoshi Island to finish his warrior training there. Toph decides to tags along with the two of them on her way back to her parent's estate in Gaoling.
Part 2. The Long Road Home
After several weeks of traveling, with a series of adventures occurring along the way (not yet made up, but including locations Toph has not yet visited which have been previously shown in the series), Sokka and the two girls near the breaking point in Sokka & Suki's vs Toph's paths. Toph feels that she should return home, but is reluctant to face her parents alone. When this is put into the open air, Sokka (seemingly out of the blue) promises to accompany her. Suki learns of this, but before Sokka and Suki are able to come to a joint decision, they enter a town where a villager meets up with Suki and secretly informs them of a plot against the Kyoshi Warriors by a disgruntled squadron of the Fire Nation army calling themselves the Crossfire Squadron. Suki feels she must save her fellow warriors, but does not wish to endanger the other two and so does not tell them. She leaves after informing Sokka that he would have to on without her, giving him a quick good-bye kiss, and leaves her dumstruck boyfriend behind; Sokka ends up keeping his promise and going forward with Toph to Gaoling.
Part 3. An Uncomfortable Return
Yet to be planned out...some sort of interaction between Toph and her parents concerning her activities in the key battles of The War, with Sokka's support of her achieving ambivalent effects on her parents. In the end, Toph stays at the Bei Fong estate, but is treated with at least a bare modicum of respect and freedom, while Sokka sends Hawky (who had been spending his time at the estate being pampered by her parents ever since the Gaang's adventure at Fire Fountain City) to the South Pole to inform Aang that he now needed another form of transportation.
End of Story Arc
Out into the World
The "Unintentional Interference" Story Arc
This story arc happens 3 years after the events of the series - Toph is 15 nearing 16
Part 1. Escaping the Estate
Toph learns that her parents have planned an arranged marriage for her with Cānyù Han (of Yum Soon), in order to keep her safe as they grew more elderly. Unable to overcome their belief that she was still somewhat fragile and in need of such immediate protection, Toph (not particularly comfortable with the situation they were forcing her into) once again leaves her parent's estate to explore the world at large, after leaving a note for her parents expressing her problems by means of a guard who had turned sympathetic to her plight after the events of the War. Having (secretly) kept in contact with the other members of Team Avatar for the past 3 through Hawky, she leaves with the bird and manages to find a way to contact Sokka (figuring that he, at least, wouldn't be distracted by Avatar duties like Aang). Within a week, Sokka and Suki come from their recent stay together on Kyoshi Island and, after some discussion about her present situation, bring her back with them to the island. Toph becomes the center of attention without meaning to as they travel aboard a wooden ship across the oceanic expanse, becoming sea-sick again from the combination of the waves and her forced blindness.
Part 2. The Second Battle of Kyoshi Island
Suki having only recently cut ties with the Kyoshi Warriors after volunteering to stay on to begin the training of the newest generation of members, Sokka and his girl friend attempt to relax and enjoy the island's scenery together before they travel back to the South Pole. The Kyoshi Warriors find a capable sparring partner in Toph, whose increased abilities more often than not left them incapable of fighting for a few weeks. Still looking up to Suki as their leader, Sokka and Suki's romantic vacation is continually interrupted by complaints about their bouts with the Earthbending girl (which they for some reason seemed to not be able to resist the urge to return to, despite the usual results). The three's (relatively) peaceful stay on the island is cut short after a month, when the Crossfire Squadron comes to the island to achieve their revenge against Suki for besting them in their former battle and conquer the island in the name of the Fire Nation. Armed with her increased Sandbending skills, Toph Bei Fong almost single-handedly prevents the group from establishing a beach-head, while Suki, Sokka, and most of the Kyoshi Warriors attempt to prevent the group's assassins from killing the Warrior's former leader. In the end, Fire Lord Zuko's troops arrive in time to save the island from the Squadron's attacks, and it is revealed that the women who had helped Toph send her message to Sokka & Suki was Zuko's long-lost mother. The "hearing range" of her parents apparently dwarfing her own, Toph's heroism on the beach forces her into to go into hiding. While Suki stays back out of a sense of duty for her recently-attacked homeland and out of compassion for her injured warriors, Sokka (reluctantly) returns to the Southern Water Tribe with Toph, and helps her to silently assume the life of a (now completely blind) Water Tribe peasant along with him and Katara.
Part 3. Joining the Southern Water Tribe
At the Southern Water Tribe, Toph is greeted by Katara and is presented with traditional Water Tribe over-clothes and boots to guard against the cold. Aang shows up shortly, on leave from his Avatar duties and by now plainly in a strong, committed relationship with Katara. They work together to help her learn the ropes of learning her way around the main town basically blind and to grow accustomed to Southern Water Tribe living. Suki arrives after a couple of weeks, bringing with her word that Zuko and Mai had recently gotten engaged, and also that Zuko's search party gave off the impression that they were really close to finding the former Fire Princess Ursa. Due to Toph still being clearly out of her element wandering around the Pole, Sokka spends more time helping her around (though he is not the only one) and less romantic alone-time with Suki than his girlfriend would like. A week or so passes, until Suki feels that she is forced to confront the issue. They get into an argument out of Toph's "hearing distance" (though they forget her blindness and are actually nearby enough for to the open fireplace where she is sitting for her sensitive ears to hear their words anyways). Things come to a head as Sokka's thick-skulled stubbornness prevents him from seeing what Suki's problem is, and Suki storms off, her last words being that she had made a mistake and would return to Kyoshi Island. Toph realizes the impact Suki meant the end of the conversation to have, and puts her hand on Sokka's shoulder when he sits down by the fire in order to reassure him (Sokka, however, was either ignorant of what Suki's blast meant or was in denial). Suki leaves a letter addressed to Sokka right before she leaves with the Avatar on his bison to return to Kyoshi, which removes all doubt that she was breaking up with him, leaving Toph to struggle to comfort a dejected Sokka (who had apparently on proposing to Suki soon). Katara and Aang eventually find the letter lying around, and are able to deduce from it (unlike Sokka himself) that part of the problem lied in Toph's crush on Sokka (combined with the series of recent events which seems to conspire to prevent the two from having a normal relationship); Toph threatens them in order to make sure that they would keep quiet about it (forgetting she could really do nothing on ice). They respect their friend's wishes and keep silent about it, while the blind Earthbender slowly adapted to her role as a blind adopted member of the Southern Water Tribe.
The "Meeting of Souls" Story Arc
This story arc happens 6 years after the events of the series - Toph is 18 nearing 19
Part 1. An Attempt to Apologize
After three years at the Southern Water Tribe, Toph gets "itchy feet" again and wishes to return to the Earth Kingdom where she can "see", hoping that the fame of her heroism at the Second Battle of Kyoshi Island would have died down enough for her not to have any problems with her parents finding out where she was too easily. Sokka and Suki had continued a rather strained correspondence for the past three years by means of Hawky, so Sokka and Toph fly to Kyoshi Island on Appa with Aang, Sokka in a last-ditch effort to woo his former girlfriend back to him before his growing duties as the lead chief's son prevented him from leaving the Pole with any reasonable frequency, Toph for her own private reasons. After they had stayed there for a day, Toph meets with Suki at night in private and attempts to apologize for anything she may have done to cause her to break up with Sokka, revealing the "engagement" necklace Sokka had made three years earlier (which she had privately kept for reasons unknown to even herself until that moment). Suki reveals that she has moved on and had recently become engaged to a fellow Kyoshi Islander. When Toph asks why Suki had not revealed this in any of her more recent letters, Suki makes a pointed remark about keeping "affairs of the heart" secret until the opportune time, causing Toph to leave the room in embarrassed anger, dropping Suki's former necklace on the floor as she does so.
Part 2. Revelation of A Long-Kept Secret
Sokka's attempts to woo Suki back to him thus failing, Sokka avoids returning to the Southern Water Tribe for a while (much more time has been allowed for his earlier purposes than had passed before his failure was recognizable) and decides to go adventuring with Toph and Aang to work out his angst. Aang journeys with the two of them to Ba Sing Se to assist the Earth King on deciding the proper punishment for Long Feng, the full extent of which's treachery had only recently been discovered (thanks to the mis-guidance of the Dai Li). After traveling north for a bit, Aang, whose engagement to Katara had not yet been confirmed in a marriage ceremony due to his somewhat conflicting Avatar duties, prattles away about the marriage plans the two made so far (which were to be realized after he returned from his mission in Ba Sing Se). Toph disparagingly comments on the romantic nature of the proceedings, but at Aang's prodding ponders the question more deeply and says that she actually would like the wedding if she were Katara. Sokka seems surprised at first (due to the barrier her normal boy-like persona created in his eyes), then asks why that were so. There is an uncomfortable moment where the thought of Suki being implied in that question dominates the conversation, until Aang changes the subject.
They travel onwards the next day. When they settle for the night at an inn the next day, Aang asks Toph whether Sokka had ever learned about her little secret, wanting to avoid another uncomfortable exchange between the two of them. Toph loudly warns him not to talk about such things just as Sokka enters the room. Toph, angry and embarrassed at her present circumstances, refuses to answer Sokka's questions about what she was talking about and leaves the room. She attempts to leave the bar, but inadvertently starts a brawl when a buff man stands in the way of the exit and refuse to let her through (seemingly out of sheer rudeness and condescension). Sokka and Aang are forced to break up the fight by pulling her, still fighting tooth and nail, out of the main room and into one of their bedrooms (where they end up leaving her alone in her anger, sharing the other bedroom with each other). Before leaving, Aang informs her in a low voice to tell him soon, or he wouldn't be able to deal with the situation anymore. They fly on and land in the next town at midday. Becoming bored with Aang's search for food supplies, Toph wanders back over to the entrance to the town, where Sokka is entertaining a rather under-dressed women by the name of Xíngtǐ Měi with wild stories about how he had gotten the wounds from his partial participation in Toph's recent brawl. Sokka obviously trying to replacing Suki with the girl (who turns out to the host of the local "Badger Mole Inn"), angering Toph enough for her to feel forced to fight the under-clad Xíngtǐ Měi off. The ruckus caused by this fight making Aang feel uncomfortable at staying at the town, and they walk off to set up camp elsewhere. On their way to their potential camp, Toph defends her actions to Sokka, saying that even though he hadn't been able to win Suki back he still deserved better than that girl and that someone was bound to like him. With a rough shove in the back from Aang, she revealed in a low voice that this included herself just as they approached an appropriate campsite; Sokka, predictably, was completely shocked by this new info, and falls to the ground in a faint.
2. Xingti Mei Isn't The Only Answer
Part 3. Against All Odds
They travel onward to Ba Sing Se, helping the towns in need along the way. Aang convinces the Earth King to override the courts and not pronounce capital punishment upon him quicker than he expected (apparently Kuei had been having some qualms about executing his former advisor). Therefore, having a little bit of down-time before he was expected at the South Pole, Aang asks his friends where they want to head. Having thought the matter out previously, Toph answers that she intended to return to her parents to check up on how they were doing (figuring the Cānyù Yum Soon Han issue had long sense blown over); surprisingly, Sokka immediately agrees with her choice (getting a quizzical look out of Aang). When they stop at a nearby town as their next rest stop, the two of them stay back after Appa is placed in a large stall for the night. Toph asks about his earlier quick agreement with her choice of traveling destinations, and Sokka explains himself to her, telling her how she had grown up and how recent revelations had changed how he viewed her. Toph Bei Fong was then surprised by her first-ever kiss under the full moon's light, broken up after a few minutes' duration by a grumble from Appa which reminds them to return to the inn before Aang noticed their strange absence.
They then began their slow travel back to Gaoling, taking much more time (several weeks instead of several days) than they really needed to because Sokka insisted on searching for scraps of metal at each town's market for a purpose unknown to Toph (who thought it was probably so he could re-create his sword). When they finally entered the living room of the Bei Fong's mansion, Toph is caught completely off-guard when he placed an object which was clearly a Water Tribe necklace around her neck and then turning to her parents to ask for her hand in marriage (causing her to collapse into one of the room's nearby chair out of sheer shock).
End of Third Story Arc.
For the collective works of the author, go here.