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Author Topic: "The Ties that Bind" (Aang/Toph), Rated T  (Read 5424 times)
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

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« on: Dec 08, 2008 08:56 pm »

Title: The Ties that Bind
Pairing: Aang and Toph
Genre: Romance/Fluff/Some Aangst (all that good stuff! lol)
Rating: T
Summary: Toph and Aang find themselves temporarily bound to one another and as they spend more time together, will their temporary bond lead to something more permanent?

**Originally posted at http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4201371/1/The_Ties_that_Bind
**Read the sequel to this story, more details in the last post! ^_^

Chapter One: Firewood

“Toph!” called out Katara from the running water fountain. It was another early morning at the Western Air Temple and Katara was gathering water to start the day’s cooking. As she walked back to the small camp she called out for Toph again.

“You bellowed Madame Fussy Britches,” responded Toph from her little corner amongst the temple’s ruins.

Katara jokingly rolled her eyes at one of Toph’s several nicknames she had for her. She even invented nicknames for the new members of the group. She called Haru “Whiskers,” because of his mustache. Teo was “Wheels” because of his movable chair. The Duke was “Squirt,” but only she can call him that; everyone else had to call him The Duke. And finally, Zuko was “Hotness,” which was Sokka found most hilarious.

“Toph it’s your turn to get firewood, it’s dying out,” said Katara as she pushed some of the embers aside.

“But why?!” she whined out loud while stretching on the floor.

“Can you two keep it down?” called out Zuko as he turned away from them and placed an arm over his eyes.

“Sorry Hotness!” Toph called back as she sat up.

“Stop calling me that!” he responded by shooting his arm up into the air for emphasis.

“Hotness…so funny…” mumbled Sokka nearby and Zuko just let his arm fall back onto his face with a frustrated grunt.

“Come on Toph, everyone’s pitched in with the firewood gathering,” begged Katara as she folded her sleeping bag.

“Okay, okay, whatever, I’m going,” she said and earthbended herself up from the floor.

“I can help you Toph,” chimed in Aang from his corner. Toph jumped a bit as she didn’t feel Aang approach her from the side. He tended to have that effect with his lightness of foot. She was about to say that she wouldn’t need any help when Zuko interrupted again.

“Good! Can you two go now?!” he called out and this time shot both of his arms into the air in continued frustration.

This time Aang jumped a bit at his outburst and then Toph whispered, “Let’s go Twinkle Toes before Hotness throws another fit.”
Aang quietly laughed at her comment and the both slowly walked away. Before completely leaving out of sight, however, Toph turned to Aang and brought her forefinger up to her lips for him not to say anything. She turned back to the camp and yelled out, “See you later Hotness!”

She then grabbed Aang’s arm and the both sprinted away with fits of laughter just in time to hear, “Stop calling me that!” echo in the distance.

Chapter Two: Nicknames

The two young benders enjoyed their nice brisk walk to the adjacent side of the cliff where a heavily wooded area was located. On their way there they talked about Toph’s knack for creating nicknames for people…a conversation that began out of Aang’s curiosity and which ended in a sour note…

“So Toph…” started Aang as he picked up dry pieces of wood for the cooking fire.

 “Yeah Twinkle Toes?” acknowledged Toph as she earthbended the sticks up to her arms instead of bending down to pick them up.

“Why do you use nicknames instead of our real names?” he asked curiously as he scratched his back with a wooden stick.

Toph didn’t answer right away and instead earthbended a stick up to herself, which she eventually threw away because it was too damp.

“Toph?” Aang persisted by poking a stick at her side.

She lightly slapped the stick away and shrugged in response, “I don’t know Twinkle Toes. It’s always been a habit of mine. When I was younger I used to give random things nicknames. Why’d you ask?”

“Just curious,” he simply responded, but Toph knew there was more involved other than his obvious curiosity.

“Is it such a bad thing for me to use nicknames?” she turned in his direction and placed one hand on her hip in a defensive manner.

“No, no, not all…It’s just…” he answered as he scratched the back of his head, “It’s just, it’d be nice to hear you call our real names from time to time,” he ended his comment with a big smile, which he forgot she couldn’t see.

“Okay Aang! See there I used your name! Happy?” she said quite harshly and sighed in frustration. Why is he harping on this? She thought to herself.

“I’m sorry Toph if I offended you,” he kindly responded back, “I just think you use nicknames because…never mind,” he also let out a frustrated sigh. Why won’t she open up to me? He thought. All I want is to get to know her better.

“No, no, keep going. What’s your theory on my use of nicknames?” Now her curiosity got the best of her. She had always known that Aang was curious about most things, but she never though he’d be curious about how her mind functioned. She took a step towards him, but he slowly took a step back to avoid any sudden movements on her part.

“Okay, well,” he took a deep breath and tightened his grip around the bundle of wood he was carrying, “I think you use nicknames instead of our real names because you’re afraid to get too close to anyone. Before you joined us, you never truly had friends; and now that you have them, you’re afraid you might lose them,” he admitted with a sincere yet scared look on his face. He gulped loudly and waited for her response.

Toph just stood there; a million and one things racing through her mind as she thought of a way to snap back at him for his absurd observation. But the retaliation never came because as much as she hated to admit it, the young Avatar was right. She believed that if she stayed at a distance and didn’t form a profound attachment to anyone, she wouldn’t feel as shattered on the day they had to part ways. It makes sense right? At least to Toph it did.

But as she stood there in front of “Twinkle Toes,” she knew she was fooling herself. Even though she called Katara “Sweetness,” deep down inside she was like the sister she never had. Even though she called Sokka “Snoozles,” somewhere inside she admired his stamina and courage and enjoyed his friendship. And even though she called Aang “Twinkle Toes,” her feelings for him were the strongest; feelings that she kept hidden under her sarcastic façade; feelings that she knew he would never return completely; feelings she thought she could ignore through her defensive mechanism of creating nicknames and acting sarcastic all the time.

“Toph?” Aang broke the reverie that Toph was lost in, and brought her back to the forest they were standing in, “Toph? Are you okay?” he stepped toward her with his arm outstretched to reach her.

She reacted to his approaching movements and this time she was the one who moved back. Aang felt a strong surge of regret flow through him for staring this conversation. The fact that she did nothing to defend her position started to worry him.

“Toph, I—”

“Just take these back to the Temple,” she handed over her bundle of firewood to him very clumsily and he awkwardly grabbed them. And with a hurt expression on her face, she sunk into the ground beneath her as if standing on quicksand and left a confused Aang behind.

Chapter Three: Sap

In the distance, Toph resurfaced from the earth only to kick up a piece of dirt and throw it against a nearby tree in utter frustration.

“What does he care!?” she said with a thundering stomp onto the ground, “He’s always drooling over Sweetness…Why would he care if I call him Aang, or Twinkle Toes, or the Avatar! No one else complains, except for Hotness, but he owes me for burning my feet!” and again she kicked up a chunk of dirt and threw it against the same tree.

She heard the bark splinter into tiny pieces and cursed herself for hurting something that was apart of the earth.

She approached the partially splintered tree and whispered an apology, “You’re just like me. You stand tall, proud, and alone.” With her left hand she caressed the part of the tree she hit and encountered a sticky substance flowing from its wound.

“You’re not alone,” she heard a voice state behind her. For the second time that morning, Aang’s light footsteps did not register and as a result Toph was startled and fell onto the bush beside the tree.

“Thanks Twinkle Toes…” she muffled out from the branches that covered her face.

“Sorry Toph!” The airbender stretched his right hand out to assist her. With her right arm she pushed away the branches in her way and grabbed Aang’s arm with her left hand.

As they grasped hands, he pulled her up with his airbending and pulled her away from the tree.

“Thanks,” she said as she dusted off leaves from her clothes. Aang smiled and realized that they were still holding hands. His cheeks turned red and shook it off. He tried to tug his hand away, but her grip was too strong.

“Umm…Toph. You can let go now,” he said pointing to their hands, once again forgetting her inability to see what he was pointing to.

“Actually, you can let go now,” as she too attempted to budge from his grip by pushing against his shoulder.

“I think we’re stuck,” said Aang as she continued to pull her left hand from his right.

“Ya think?!” she snapped and eventually gave up the tug-of-war between their hands. She sighed deeply and then it dawned on her.
“The sap!” she called out and pointed to the tree she had touched earlier.

“What sap?” asked Aang as he scratched the back of his head with his free hand.

“The sap from the tree! I threw a couple of rocks at it and the sap started oozing out of the tree. I touched it before I fell into the bush. Then you gave me your hand and well…” she shook their combined hands in the air.

“Why’d you throw rocks at it?” Aang asked and at that moment Toph wanted to pound him into the earth for being so oblivious.

“Gee, Aang. Maybe I was throwing rocks because someone was annoying me earlier about my inability to have close relationships,” she stated and started to walk away; the fact that they were still attached came back to her as he pulled her back.

“I didn’t say you couldn’t have relationships Toph! I said you’re afraid to get too close to anyone,” her sightless eyes looked away and he tugged on her arm to get her attention, “You’ve been my sifu for the past few months. I know you had a tough life back home. I know that,” he said sincerely, “But, you haven’t once opened up to me Toph. All we do is save the world this and earthbend that. I just want to know you, and so does everyone else,” he finished and hoped she wouldn’t throw a fit.

“Why?” she simply asked as she turned to him, “I’m nothing special Aang. I know you’ll defeat Firelord Ozai and I know you’ll restore balance to the world. But I also know when that day comes, Katara and Sokka will go back to the Southern Water Tribe, Zuko will go back to the Fire Nation, and you’ll go off on Avatar business…Where does that leave me? I can’t go back home Aang. I don’t want to be in that cage again,” she admitted as her head dropped somewhere in between her response.

Aang’s heart went out to her. Even though Toph had this tough exterior, she was somehow still fragile in the inside. He was about to lift her head up with his free hand, but she moved away, “Katara is nearby. You wouldn’t want to give her the wrong impression since you’re madly in love with her,” she said in a sarcastic tone.

“Toph—,” he started but was interrupted by Katara’s entrance.

“What is taking you guys forever?! And why are you holding hands? Is there something you guys want to tell me?” she asked in an astonished manner with her arms folded about her chest.

“Don’t worry, Sweetness, if I was trying to steal Twinkle Toes away from you…you’d know it,” she said with a smirk, “But this,” she shook both hands in the air, “is not what it looks like.”

“Maybe we should head back to the Temple. We’ll give you details then,” Aang said his ears and cheeks red after Toph’s comment. He started to walk away and Toph dragged along behind him with Katara not so far behind.
« Last Edit: Dec 08, 2008 10:41 pm by fufucuddlypoops » Logged
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

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« Reply #1 on: Dec 08, 2008 09:06 pm »

Chapter Four: Never

As Aang, Toph, and Katara reached the water fountain near the center of the Temple, Sokka was the first one to catch the strange oddity that was ahead of him.

“Oh…my gentle moose lion!” he called out. Everyone looked up at his comment and then followed his gaze. Aang and Toph thought they could go unnoticed, but failed.

Sokka got up and approached the hand-held couple, “Aang you dog!” he said as he patted his back, placed his arm about Aang’s shoulder, and pulled him in for a head noogie, “‘I’ll go get firewood with you Toph,’” he mocked Aang, “Firewood! What do you call it when you use one of those sweet innocent words but what you mean is something else?” he asked as he let go of Aang.

“A lie?” asked Katara who appeared next to him.

“No,” he said as he tried to rack his brain for the right word.

“A euphemism,” said Zuko with a sly smirk on his face.

“A euphemism!” Sokka again patted Aang’s back.

Aang at this point was completely red in the face, “No! No euphemism! Toph and I are stuck!” and waved their hand up in the air.

“Riiight! ‘Stuck,’” Sokka stated and put his fingers up in the air to imitate quotation marks.

“He’s serious Sokka,” Katara said and grabbed Aang’s and Toph’s hands and tried to pull them apart, “They really are stuck.”

“Oh you still have a lot to learn, my young grasshopper,” and snickered off to the side before Aang could blow him away.

“Have you tried spitting on it?” asked The Duke as he came closer to examine their hands.

“Squirt, that’s disgusting, even for me,” said Toph as she tried to cross her arms about her chest, but failed.

“What’s holding it together?” asked Haru from the fountain.

“Sap,” Aang and Toph said together and both slightly blushed, “Some tree sap I touched by mistake,” continued Toph.

“That’s really strong sap,” Zuko said.

“Really? What gave you that idea?” Toph retorted with a sightless glare directed at Zuko and Zuko returned it.

“It kind of sounds like the tree sap my dad used for his inventions,” added Teo as he too came closer to observe their joined hands, “He stopped using it because it wasn’t permanent, only lasted a couple of days.”

“Great! So it’ll only last a few days,” said Katara, to which Toph sarcastically responded, “Joy!” Toph started to walk away and forcefully pulled Aang, but she stopped when Zuko got in the way.

“What about your fire bending lessons?” he asked, “You can’t take a break; you have to practice.”

“Well can’t I practice the basics with my left hand?” Aang responded with a big smile as he wiggled his left fingers. Aang saw the unsatisfied look on Zuko’s face and then added in a serious tone, “We’re just going to have to work around this; I’ll study your movements. But until this problem goes away, that’s the best we can do,” he then turned to Toph and pulled her hand for attention, “Is it okay if I can practice some fire bending later this afternoon Toph?”

Toph took in his question and appreciated the fact that he asked her. She turned to him and said, “Of course I don’t mind Aang, you need to learn fire bending. But thanks for asking.” Aang smiled at the fact that she had not called him Twinkle Toes and covered their joined hands with his free one in returned thanks.

After it was settled that Aang would practice fire bending later, everyone went back to their previous conversations. Sokka, Zuko, and the others talked about possible holding cells in the Fire Nation and methods to save Suki and the rest of the invasion army.

Aang and Toph, on the other hand, stepped out of sight. He had pulled her into one of the Temple rooms inside to finish the conversation they had earlier (A/N: Kind of like Zuko’s room).

“What’s up Aang?” asked Toph as she sat down and pulled him down with her.

“Toph about earlier—,” he started but she interrupted him.

“Do we have to start this again?” Toph asked in an aggravated tone. They never did finish their conversation since Katara had showed up. Just give him a chance, the small voice inside her whispered.

“Come on Toph, you said some things back there that can’t be left in the dark,” admitted Aang as he looked at their joined hands and again covered them with his free hand.

“Like what?” she said as she played hard to get. She felt his free hand on top of hers and her heart started to race faster. Calm yourself, she thought.

“Like when you said you weren’t special, which isn’t true because you are,” he said and he saw her smile and blush at his comment. He liked seeing this side of her and that also made him blush. Calm yourself Aang, he told himself.

“And when you said that when we go our separate ways, you would have to go back home to your cage,” she shivered at the thought, but he tightened his grip for comfort as he continued, “Toph, deep down inside I always thought you’d stay with the group even after all of the chaos ends. And even if everyone did leave, I always imagined you would stay…by my side,” Aang’s heart beat at this point also started to pick up.

Before Toph brought up the topic, he had never thought about the situation before; everything on his mind was focused on defeating the Fire Lord. But he looked past his goal and looked to the future possibilities. The first image about the future that came to his mind was Katara. He loved her, but ever since they shared that kiss on the submarine, she became a bit…distant. The last thing he wanted was to force something on her and ruin their friendship. So he too became distant and attempted to distract himself through fire bending or joking around with Sokka or lately, hanging around with Toph.

As his mind wandered, Toph absorbed his calm words and felt her chest tighten as she realized that he did think of her. That’s how she used to feel when she had her crush on Sokka…the doof, she inwardly laughed; but she knew that Sokka had true feelings for Suki, and Suki is awesome! She thought to herself. It wasn’t until the day that Aang got severely hurt in Ba Sing Se that she realized how much she cared for him. After each healing session with Katara, Aang was left to rest with no interruptions; but she always found a way to get into his room and quietly hold his hand for several hours.

The silence between them kept growing and then finally Toph made the first move. She turned to sit cross-legged in front of him, their knees touching and their joined hands rested in between. Aang was about to say something when she beat him to it, “I’m sorry Aang. I’m sorry that I come off as a whiny sarcastic brat all the time. It’s just who I am and how I act around others. And you were right about how I try to put a wall between me and the others. I should appreciate the fact that I have friends and not try to turn away from them. And I’m sorry for getting us into this mess,” as she brought their hands in to the air and back down, “It’s just really hard for me to talk about how I feel, y’know? So when you tried to dig a hole into my mind to see how it worked, I freaked and did what I always do…I ran away.” Her sightless gaze fell down to her lap, and this time with no interruptions, Aang picked her head back up by her chin and lightly ran his thumb across her cheek.

“You know you don’t have to run away from me Toph,” he said. She nodded her head in agreement and found her cheeks growing warm against his hand.

“What do you say we start over!” he said as he slowly removed his hand from her face, “No sifu-student-Avatar stuff, just you and me.”

She gave him a confused expression and continued, “Hi, I’m Aang and I’m an Air Nomad. My favorite color is orange and I have a flying bison,” and he held up his free hand to shake with hers.

She awkwardly grabbed his hand and shook it, “Hi there Aang. I’m Toph and I’m a blind earth bender,” she said and pulled her right eyelid up for emphasis, “My favorite color is green and I love picking my toes,” Aang laughed at her introduction and Toph joined in with his laughter.

“Aang!! Fire bending!! NOW!” they heard Zuko calling from outside.

“Coming!” Aang called back. He then looked to Toph, “Ready to go?”

“Anytime Twinkle Toes,” she said and Aang lifted them up with his air bending, “I can still call you Twinkle Toes, right?” she asked.

“As long as you don’t try to push me away,” he responded and placed a strand of hair behind her ear. He realized what he did and quickly pulled his hand back, waving it across the air as if he was trying to get rid of a fly.

Toph was surprised by his action as much as he was; she blushed and then lightly punched him on the shoulder, “Never.”

“Fire bending!!” they heard Zuko call out again.

“We heard you the first time, Hotness!” called out Toph and they heard him grunt loudly.

“I love your sarcasm Toph, don’t be sorry for that,” he said as he remembered her confession earlier. They walked out of the room hand-in-hand and Aang couldn’t get over the fact that Toph was now carrying the biggest smile he had ever seen.
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

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« Reply #2 on: Dec 08, 2008 09:08 pm »

Chapter Five: Training

As Toph and Aang walked out of the temple room, they eventually met up with a frustrated Zuko at the water fountain. He had his arms crossed about his chest with a stern expression on his face.

“He looks mad,” Aang whispered as he slowed his pace.

“It’s Zuko…he’s always mad,” Toph answered back with a smirk on her face.

“True,” Aang agreed and they both chuckled before they finally reached the fountain.

Zuko lifted his finger to say something, but Toph beat him to it, “Sorry Zuko,” she emphasized his real name which completely caught him off guard, “I kind of distracted him, plus I thought you said fire bending practice was later this afternoon.”

“Yeah, what’s up?” Aang chimed in.

“I figured because of your ‘condition’ we should get a head start,” Zuko responded in a calm tone that went against his previous demeanor.

“Makes sense,” both Aang and Toph said simultaneously and blushed at their uncanny ability to think the same thing.

Zuko rolled his eyes at the scene before him, “You two seriously have to stop doing that.” The fact that he acknowledged it made them blush even more, “Anyway….Aang, I want you to do 35 fire punches and 35 fire kicks. I’ll be right back,” he finished.

He left them behind and Aang mumbled something under his breath in frustration. Toph smiled at his attitude toward training. He got into his stance and placed their joined hands on his hip. He was about to start his 35 fire punches with his left hand when Toph interrupted him, “Did you ever mumble like that under your breath when you trained with me?” she asked nudging him to the side lightly.

Aang’s eyes grew wider, he knew that if he lied she’d know, Dang her abilities! He thought to himself. He stood up from his stance and scratched the back of his head.

“Umm, well…you see…I—,” he stuttered as he tried to think of a proper response.

“I will take that as a yes, Twinkle Toes,” and lightly punched his shoulder, “I was tough on you, come to think of it.”

“Yeah you kind of were,” he said laughing a bit and in turn she punched him a bit harder, “Ouch,” he said flexing his arm to shake off the pain. Toph stretched her arm out to sit on the fountain edge and dragged Aang with her.

“But when I trained with you it was fun,” Aang admitted as he walked over, “When I train with Zuko, it’s kind of boring.” He got into his stance again and this time managed to get one fire punch out before Toph asked another question.

“What about when you train with Katara?” she asked as her free hand played in the water, swishing back and forth.

She loves Katara, she really does. But sometimes, she got moodier and jealous when he and Katara went to train in a pond or in a river somewhere. Sokka always tried to cheer her up in those situations. She inwardly laughed at the fact that Sokka figured out her crush on Aang, but never had a clue about her past crush on him.

As Aang continued his fire punches his mind sauntered off and thought about Toph’s question. He enjoyed his training time with Katara, but he found training time with Toph more exhilarating. His heart rate sped up not because of his fire bending but because he thought of Toph in training mode…lately she picked up the habit of letting her hair loose, and sometimes he found himself short of breath when she showed up to train with him.

But, what about Katara? A voice echoed inside his mind. I don’t know…I’m so confused! He answered back but continued, Katara is kind-hearted, caring, and understanding. She’s been with me since the beginning…Toph is rash, hard-headed, sarcastic, and…and…beautiful. Lately when I’m with Katara I get the feeling that she just likes me as a friend, but when I’m with Toph…there’s something there between us, he answered himself. He stopped his fire bending and turned to Toph, who wiped her hand on her pants.

He was about to tell her that he enjoyed training with Katara, but had the most fun when he trained with her when Zuko interrupted.

“Why aren’t you doing your exercises?” he asked as he came back.

Aang jumped slightly at his reappearance and opened and close his mouth repeatedly before he finally responded in a defeated tone, “Sorry Zuko, I’ll do 50 of each to make up for it.”

“That’s what I like to hear,” he said and then they heard Katara call out in the distance, “Zuko, please help Sokka wash Appa.”

Zuko rolled his eyes and slapped his forehead, “Alright, I’ll be right there,” he called out. He looked back to the joined duo, “Okay Aang, 50/50 now,” and with that he left them alone again.

Aang waited for him to be out of sight and then he turned back to Toph, “Toph about your question earlier…”

“Don’t worry about it Aang, just go back to doing your exercises,” she said in a motivating tone, “Come on, go, before he comes back and makes it 100 each,” she said and pushed him a bit with her free hand.

He sighed in dissatisfaction and took stance, but before he continued on with his fire punches he said, “Katara’s training is calming and soothing so they help with meditation, but yours are challenging and unexpected and that’s where the fun comes in…and I like that the most,” he admitted, his cheeks turning red.

His heart was racing a mile a minute. What if it’s not Katara that I love...what if I’m wrong...why am I having feelings for Toph...why is this so hard?! All of these questions and more raced through his head.

“Calm down Aang…I can feel your heart beat like crazy,” she said as she pulled his arm to get his attention. Aang actually calmed down at her words, “How about we have another talking session later…finish up your warm up exercises before Hotness comes back to find me distracting you again,” she finished and waited for him to go back to his exercises.

“Okay that sounds like a plan,” he said and yet again took his stance, but as he started his fire punches he heard her whisper something that he managed to catch in the air, “I like training with you too,” she said and for the first time he smiled as he did Zuko’s boring training.
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

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« Reply #3 on: Dec 08, 2008 09:09 pm »

Chapter Six: Heart

Hours passed before Aang finally finished training with Zuko. He mentally thanked Toph several times for being remarkably patient; for the most part she stood at his side, her arm moving back and forth along with his. He also mentally thanked her for helping him near the end when Zuko asked him to stand on one foot for ten minutes to achieve balance; she had earth bended a piece of rock under the hovering foot while Zuko wasn’t looking, relieving Aang of any stress. When Zuko turned around to see Aang’s progress, Toph lowered the rock as surreptitiously as possible, her secret hidden behind her trademark smirk.

When Zuko called off training, Aang bowed respectfully and dragged Toph away back to the Temple fountain. Zuko shook his head at the two while Toph merely waved her fingers in a ‘see you later’ motion and with that Zuko left.

“Thanks for that Toph,” said Aang as he dipped his free hand into the fountain and splashed his face with some water.

“Don’t worry about it…You’re right, Hotness is boring when it comes to training; thought I’d save you the trouble there,” she replied by nudging him jokingly on the side with her arm. Aang returned the gesture and a slight blush arose in her cheeks as she continued to feel his arm against hers. Both relished in their close proximity to one another and soon ‘personal space’ lost meaning. Toph felt his heart beat gradually pick up and bit her bottom lip. Am I doing this to him? She thought to herself. Do I really have this effect on him or am I reading too much in to it? Her mind rationalized the moment and concluded that it must be the heat, but her heart countered her thought and soon her heart beat increased as well.

Aang too felt her heart pulsate at a faster rate; and just like Toph, he too began to have a battle between his thoughts and feelings. In order to test out whether Toph’s reaction was a result of his close proximity to her, Aang raised their joined hands and gently placed her palm against his chest. There! He mentally yelled out loud in satisfaction. He closed his eyes and let the voice of her beating heart talk for her.

In the few seconds that Aang held her hand against his chest, he felt as if she had subtly laid claim to everything he was and everything he stood for…and he didn’t mind one bit. In the months since he “fell” for Katara, he never felt like this with her. He imagined it was there; he imagined his future with Katara’s face in it, but in those few seconds he realized that he had imagined it all with the wrong face.

As these new yet oh-so-right feelings coursed through him, Toph was still shocked by his unexpected action. I can’t believe this is happening; hold yourself together Toph, maybe he has gas pains in his chest…yeah, that’s it, gas pains. Why am I reading in to this…he clearly is head-over-heels for Sweetness…dang my pre-teen hormones! She conversed with herself.

As reality settled in Toph, she gently pulled her joined hand away from his chest. Aang’s eyes opened immediately at the loss of warmth and swiftly turned to look at Toph.

He was about to open his mouth and somehow announce his new found feelings, but Toph interrupted him, “Sorry about that, kind of spaced out a bit,” she said as she moved a step away from him. Just then, Katara rounded the corner with Zuko beside her.

Katara spotted Aang and Toph by the fountain and her gaze connected with that of Aang’s. She awkwardly smiled and waved them over. Aang nodded and started to walk towards Katara and Zuko, who were now at the center of the small camp where the fire was still burning.

As Aang and Toph slowly walked to Katara and Zuko, he knew that he couldn’t lie to himself anymore. Yes, Katara was beautiful, sweet, and kind. But there was something about Toph that enticed him…something that Katara didn’t possess. And it is that same exact something that should have smacked him the day he met Toph, but he was too ‘blind’ to see. And it is the same something that has finally opened his eyes throughout the course of this one day thanks to the super-glue tree sap. As he walked, he quickly glanced over at Toph’s blank expression, as if she too was pondering similar thoughts.

He looked back at Katara and knew what he had to do. The awkwardness he now shared with Katara would have to stop and move on as he would have to tell her his true feelings.

But most important of all, he had to confess his feelings for Toph. After all, who knows what would happen when he would have to face the Fire Lord. Even if Toph didn’t return his feelings, even if she pummeled him to the floor for admitting what he felt, even if she cut off his arm to get away from him, he was determined to confront both Toph and Katara.
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

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« Reply #4 on: Dec 08, 2008 09:11 pm »

I accidentally posted the same chapter twice! My bad! ^_^ Keep reading and enjoy!
« Last Edit: Dec 08, 2008 10:39 pm by fufucuddlypoops » Logged
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

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« Reply #5 on: Dec 08, 2008 09:12 pm »

Chapter Seven: Confession

The night sky descended early upon the Western Air Temple and its inhabitants. The small gaang sat around the camp fire in a circle as they enjoyed one another’s company. Eventually the chatter that flowed through the air became mere whispers and yawns as sleep started to settle in. Everyone found a comfortable spot on the ground and soon the whispers transitioned into to a calm silence.

Toph and Aang followed suit and they too found a comfortable spot near the fire. Even though they had shared an intimate and profound experience earlier that day, which would have left any other two individuals in an awkward state, they spent the majority of the evening in laughter…Toph noticed how Aang had given her his undivided attention for a large portion of the night, often placing their joined hands on his lap when they talked.

As Toph lay down on the floor, Aang quickly looked around and spotted Katara not far from their position. He too lay down, his speech for Katara already formed in his head. He closed his eyes, but felt Toph tug on his arm, “Aang?” she whispered.

Aang opened his eyes and met with her sightless gaze, “What’s up Toph?” he asked in a concern manner as he slowly sat up.

He noticed her troubled expression and then slowly touched her shoulder with his free hand. Toph enjoyed the warm feeling of his hand and gently grabbed his elbow in return. She felt a couple of people shift in their spots and didn’t want to risk any embarrassing comments from the others. As a result, she moved closer to Aang and he gulped in response. She then whispered into his ear, “Aang, I really…really have to use the bathroom.” She pulled back and waited for him to respond.

Aang couldn’t help but smile at her situation, “Yeah of course Toph.” He got up and pulled Toph up with him. She bit her lip and cringed.

“When was the last time you went?” Aang whispered closely. He looked at her as she crossed her legs and slowly breathed in and out.

“Before we went firewood picking; I got up really early, went back to sleep for like half-an-hour and then Katara asked me to go get firewood,” she said in a strained whisper, “I felt embarrassed to ask earlier, but I really have to go now.”

She looked like she really needed to go and it was a five- to ten-minute walk to the nearest bush, “Can you walk?” he asked as he grabbed her other hand and gently squeezed it.

She shook her head, “I don’t think I can hold it in,” she whispered with a slight hint of laughter in her voice, “This is so embarrassing!” and let her head fall away from him.

Aang looked at her sincerely for a moment and in a rapid motion his left arm wrapped around her waist. Her head shot up only to find that she was absurdly close to the crook of his neck. She felt his breath on her right ear as he whispered, “Hold on.” She did as he commanded and wrapped her right arm around his neck.

Suddenly her feet left the ground, leaving her completely blind. In sheer panic she held on tighter and further buried her head into the crook of his neck. Aang chuckled a bit in response. He had air bended them into the air, low enough to not hit the high ceiling; and after each descent came a sharp ascent into the air, as if they were on a giant trampoline. Toph enjoyed the cool air that guided them and in one descent her bun came undone. Finally, Aang came to a stop in the small patch of forest adjacent to the Temple; the same one they were in earlier that day.

He landed near the tree Toph had pummeled that morning, “Toph you can let go now,” he said as he stroked the small of her back where his arm rested. Her head poked out from the crook of his neck and slowly brought her right arm to her side. She wore a face of pure joy yet unspeakable horror. Her hair gracefully rested upon her shoulders and her tiara kept it from falling all over her face. She then remembered why they were here in the first place. She heard a bush rustle near her and quickly ran for it, pulling Aang behind her.

She made Aang stand on one side of the bush and then ran to the other side, their joined hands cushioned upon the bush’s leaves. Aang awkwardly stood there with his left arm on his waist and his eyes wandered the night sky. He heard Toph sigh in relief as she expelled the unnecessary contents and chuckled at her outburst, “Man, that….was amazing,” she said as she rounded the corner.

Aang just stared at her under the moonlight, hair down, no care in the world. She patted away any dirt she may have picked up on her side of the bush and suddenly a shiver ran down her spine as she realized that Aang continued to gaze at her.

“Aang are you okay? I know that me peeing only a few feet away from you is kind of weird, but it’s over now,” she said as she shook their joined hands and blew away a strand of hair away from her face.

Aang snapped out of his trance and responded, “Oh yeah,” he laughed and scratched the back of his head.

“Thanks for what you did back there, flying and all. I think I would have totally peed on myself if you hadn’t,” she said and just as earlier that day nudged him on his side.

“Anytime,” Aang responded as he felt his cheeks grow warm and shuffled his feet, “I thought you would have freaked out the moment I lifted you off the ground,” he confessed. He moved towards the super-glue tree, but the sap was no longer flowing. He sat down with his back to the tree trunk and Toph sat down to his right.

“I was freaked out, but I didn’t want to wake the others. Plus, I’m not the type to scream like a wimp,” she laughed as her free hand played with the blades of grass. Aang smiled and shook his head at her prideful comment. He then closed his eyes and rested his head against the tree. He heard the tree leaves rustle against the night breeze and found the setting most comfortable.

Suddenly he heard Toph shift beside him only to feel her head rest against his shoulder. He gently caressed the top of her head with his cheek and eventually rested his head against hers. This is perfect, he thought, I should tell her how I feel…but what if she doesn’t like me that way…I remember she had a crush on Sokka…why am I second-guessing myself? Just do it Aang!

After mentally arguing with himself, he analyzed the situation one more time: I was wrong about my feelings for Katara, she’s my closest friend, I have strong feelings for Toph, and this is the perfect place and time to tell her…He took a deep breath and opened his eyes. He shifted his head a bit and looked down at Toph. Her eyes were closed and he was afraid that she had fallen asleep, Great! This is what I get for arguing with myself.

Toph, however, was not asleep. She took pleasure in in the fact that for the second time today, she found herself awfully close to Aang. As she rested her head on Aang’s shoulder, her heart became heavier as if her chest could barely contain it. This is love, she thought. Her mind momentarily traveled back to the days she lived with her parents. She remembered a conversation she had with her mother about love and how she was too young to know such things. But Toph didn’t care, she was 12 and she knew that if her hands grew sweaty, if her stomach turned over, and if her heart raced 100 miles per hour that love was worth having at any age.

Stuck in her trance, she didn’t realize that she was stroking Aang’s arm, which was nestled gently on her lap. Aang felt a shiver run down his spine and soon his skin grew goose bumps as she continued to caress his arm. He took this as a sign that she wasn’t asleep. It’s now or never, Aang thought.

“Toph?” Aang muttered as he rubbed his cheek against the top of her head. Toph awoke from her reverie and stopped her touches against Aang’s arm.

She rested her hand on their joined hands and gently rubbed her cheek against his shoulder, “Yeah Aang?” she hummed and resumed her traces against his arm.

“I have to tell you something important,” he said in a serious tone. She again stopped her light touches and slowly lifted her head off of his shoulder.

The comfortable expression she had on before gradually changed to one of worry, “What is it?” she whispered even though no one was around to hear them.

“It’s the about the way I feel towards Katara…” At the sound of those words, her chest dropped and her mouth became dry. She closed her eyes and bit her bottom lip in disappointment.

“I don’t want to hear it Aang,” she said before he could rightfully explain himself, “I don’t want to hear about how perfect she is, or how beautiful she is. I don’t want to hear about the fact that you’re in love with her. Just don’t, okay?” she said as her eyes began to glaze over with tears.

He shook his head in an attempt to explain, but she continued, “Ugh! What was I thinking?! Why would you show feelings towards any other girl, when you’re already dead-set on Katara? Who am I to come between star-crossed love? At least when I thought I liked Sokka, I knew I didn’t have a chance. But somewhere deep down inside some slimmer of hope made me think that you’d give me a chance Aang.” Somewhere in the middle of her confession she stood up and Aang quickly followed.

“Toph, I—”

“I never told you this, but I had dreams about you before we first met. It was a couple of days before you came to Gaoling,” when she said this Aang immediately thought about the day he was in the Swamp and Hue’s words rang through his mind, “In the swamp we see visions of people we’ve lost, people we loved.”

I guess when I saw that vision of Toph, I must have connected with her somehow, he thought. Toph continued, “We were in some kind of a swamp and you kept running away from me. I guess I should have taken a hint then, huh?” she said sadly, “That was the only time I truly saw you and the first time I dreamt with colors. Pale bald head, blue arrows, orange clothing…and then when you actually turned out to be real, I couldn’t believe it,” she bit her bottom lip and took a deep breath, “Then you saved me and the girly part of me really thought you were some knight in shining armor. I knew right away that you liked Katara a lot, even with my blindness. I tried distracting myself with Sokka, but I couldn’t keep lying to myself. And now here we are, hands glued together for who knows how long…and here I am, spilling my heart out.”

She sat back down in the middle of the small clearing, leaving a hunched Aang standing beside her. A million things were running through his mind, but one thing stood out the most: she had feelings for him too. He gently pulled her back up, her head hung low and her eyes were shut…small tears silently falling.

With his free hand he caressed her cheek and lifted her head. He carefully wiped her tears away with his thumb. She bit her bottom lip in response and refused to open her eyes, not that she’d see anything anyway. Aang noticed that one of her bad habits was biting down on her bottom lip in times of anxiety. He mentally made note that she looked positively beautiful and vulnerable when she did that. He too closed his eyes and inched his face towards hers, and rested his forehead against hers.

“Toph,” he started and brought their joined hands up to his chest, near his heart, “I love you…and only you. That’s what I wanted to tell you, but I guess I shouldn’t have started with the words ‘I feel’ and ‘Katara,’” he said finished in a joking manner. He looked at her but her expression seemed unchanged.

“I don’t believe you,” she whispered and gently pushed off of his forehead, “You’ve always loved Katara, why would you stop now?”

He grabbed her free hand and brought it up to his chest where their joined hands were located, “Tell me I’m not lying…because Toph I swear to you, I’m not,” he urged as his eyes glazed over with tears as well, “You have to believe me when I say that I love you. I thought wrong about Katara, and I know I ignored you for a long time because of it; but not anymore. You’re just as beautiful as Katara, just as kind, just as gentle…don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. But you have this flare that I admire and love about you. I know we’re young to be saying things like this, but I feel like I’ve known you for centuries. Please believe me…” he strained his voice near the end.

She felt kind of dizzy by the end of his speech with all of their emotions flying back and forth. She pulled her hand away from his chest and rested it against his cheek, “You’re not lying?” and to this he shook his head, “You really do love me?” she felt him vigorously nod.

She nodded with him and repeated the action that he had done earlier. She rested her forehead against his and softly caressed her nose against his, “I love you too.”

He broke out into his cheesy smile at her words and laughed out in relief. He kissed her forehead and pulled her into a strong hug. He buried his face into her shoulder and breathed in her earth-imbedded scent. She too nuzzled his shoulder and gently kissed him. He ran his hand through her flowing dark hair and then rested his hand on her lower back.

He lifted his head slightly and returned the kiss below her ear lobe, “Ready to go back before the others send out a search party?” he jokingly whispered into her ear that sent chills down her spine.

She nodded against cheek, “What a night, huh?” she said as she soothingly massaged the back of his neck with her hand.

“What a day!” he corrected and placed a strand of hair behind her ear.

“Oh yeah!” she giggled and he mentally noted how much he loved her giggles too.

He rested his forehead against hers again, “Wanna fly?” he asked and even though she hadn’t answered, he knew her response. He tightened his grip around her waist and she wrapped her arm around his shoulder, “Always,” she replied and rested her head against his shoulder as they shot up into the air.

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« Reply #6 on: Dec 08, 2008 09:14 pm »

Chapter Eight: Apart

As the cool night got darker and the rest of the camp fell into a deeper sleep, Aang and Toph’s air leaping came to an end when they landed softly on the same spot they had left previously. Aang kissed Toph’s forehead as a way to let her know that they were on solid ground and that the coast was clear. She removed her arm from around his neck and felt his face move closer. He whispered into her ear, “The fire is dying.”

She too whispered in his ear, “Then use your fire bending, flamio,” she joked as she moved back from him. He swiftly pulled her forward and whispered back, “You read my mind.” He enjoyed the fact that their closeness was becoming second nature to the both of them. She took a step back with a hopeless romantic smirk on her face and he did as instructed. The fire roared as Aang fed it more fuel. When he stopped, he turned to look at Toph and caught her mouth wide open in a sleepy yawn.

“Time to sleep,” he whispered and she stuck her tongue out, “I don’t want to go to sleep,” she said, but gave herself away as she yawned again. He shook his head with an all-knowing smirk on his face and as he looked down he realized Toph didn’t have a bed roll.

“Toph, where’s your bed roll?” Aang asked as he looked around to see if it had been moved.

“I gave it to Sokka…he said he got cold at night and I didn’t mind, so I gave it to him,” Aang looked to Sokka who was enveloped from head to toe with Toph’s bed roll. There was no way they were going to extract that from him.

“Always putting others before you, another reason why I love you,” he admitted and she blushed at how freely he used those words. He saw her blush and took pleasure in the fact that he had that effect on her. He looked behind him and saw his bed roll on the floor. An idea struck him, but he wasn’t sure how Toph would react to it.

He turned back to her and gently tugged her arm, “Do you want to sleep with me tonight? I mean I don’t want you to sleep on the bare floor and it does get chilly at night, so—,” but Toph interrupted his innocent rambling with a chaste kiss on his lips.

“You’re really cute when you get nervous,” she said and chuckled silently as she pulled him to his bed roll.

It was now his turn to blush at her comment, “The Avatar…cute! I don’t think so,” he replied as he followed her. She shook her head at his ‘manly’ response and turned back to him.

“Well Mr. Avatar, how do you propose we do this?” she asked as she attempted to visually figure out a way to lie down that would be convenient for the two.

“How about this,” he stated and twirled her around in such a way that her back rested against him and their joined hands rested against her stomach. He planted his chin on her shoulder, amazed at how well she fit against him.

“Perfect,” she replied cheerfully, but forgot to whisper it out. Sokka shifted in his spot and sleepily mumbled something about an island full of meat. Aang and Toph sighed in relief, glad that she hadn’t woken anyone with her slight outburst.

Aang gave her a peck on the cheek and together they lay down on the bed roll. With her back to him, he nuzzled his head against her hair and mumbled a good night; but before he had a chance to close his eyes, she turned to lay down flat on the floor and shifted her head towards his, their hands still neatly placed on her stomach.

“Aang I don’t want to go to sleep,” she repeated and Aang lifted his head up and rested it against his left hand to get a better view of her.

“We have to get some sleep Toph, what’s wrong?” he asked concerned that she may be uncomfortable with their present situation, “Do you want to sleep another way because that’s fine by me?”

She shook her head in response, “No this is amazing,” she admitted, “This whole night has been amazing.” She lifted her right hand and softly caressed his jaw line.

He happily closed his eyes at her touch, “So then what’s up?” he asked and gently kissed her inner wrist as she rested her hand against his cheek.

Toph hesitated in her response, but he urged her on, “Come on Toph, no secrets,” he said and kissed her forehead.

She nodded and took a deep breath, “What if I wake up in the morning and find out that this was all a dream? Because believe me, I’ve had similar vivid dreams and every time I thought I was going to wake up in your arms, it never happened,” she confessed and looked away as her sightless gaze fell upon the mural with the three flying bison.

Aang didn’t know what to say. This isn’t a dream, he thought, but how am I supposed to convince her that this is all real.

“Toph please look at me,” and he used the word ‘look’ lightly; what he wanted was for her to acknowledge him and not have her attention elsewhere. She slowly turned her head back to where his voice came from and bit her bottom lip in anticipation.

He moved closer to her and softly placed a kiss on her nose, “Is that real?” he asked and she nodded in response. He placed another kiss on her forehead and again asked, “Is that real?” to which she nodded again. He repeated the action several times across her face and after each kiss he asked her the same question. Finally he decided to make it even more real for her; Aang quickly licked his lips and Toph did the same as if she had read his mind again. He smiled and his lips hovered over hers, his breath teased her as he spoke, “Is this real?” And with that he connected his lips with hers, a chaste kiss for a couple their age.

The kiss remained innocent as his hands found their way into her hair and she slowly wrapped her arms around his waist. Their lips softly moved together as if they had both done this before. His hands came to rest on either side of her face and then that’s when he noticed.

Aang’s mind snapped back to reality and he pulled apart from her, “Aang what’s wrong?” she asked breathlessly and then it too dawned on her. Their hands weren’t joined anymore. He looked at his right hand, no longer entwined with hers. Toph stretched her left hand and cracked her knuckles.

“I thought Teo said this would last a couple of days?” she whispered incredulously as she felt her face with her now free hand.

“I guess it must have a different effect on humans…he did say that his dad used it on inanimate objects,” Aang replied and with his right hand shot a small fireball into the hearth near them.

“Does this mean I have to sleep somewhere else now?” asked Toph as she lay back down on her back. Aang looked back at her and saw the disappointment in her face.

He looked around and saw that everyone was still sound asleep, “No you don’t have your bed roll remember?” he said with a sly smirk on his face.

“Hmm…and you are being a gentleman by letting me sleep in your bed roll,” agreed Toph as she snuggled closer to him.

“Exactly,” he said and wrapped his arm around her waist, “And I’m keeping you warm,” he went on.

“I like the way you think Twinkle Toes,” she said and swiftly gave him a peck on the lips.

“I learned from the best,” he replied jokingly as he continued to make himself comfortable with Toph’s back against him.

“Goodnight Aang,” she said with a yawn.

“Goodnight Toph,” he mumbled as he again nuzzled himself against her hair, “And I will be here when you wake up in the morning,” he whispered into her ear that physically made her shiver and he held her tighter in response.

“Yeah you better, or else I’ll rock slam you straight to Fire Lord Ozai,” she whispered fiercely, but with a hint of humor in her voice.

He laughed silently against her hair and within minutes the two fell asleep with blissful smiles upon their faces.

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« Reply #7 on: Dec 08, 2008 09:15 pm »

Chapter Nine: Normal

Toph knew that morning had arrived the moment crickets stopped chirping and birds started singing. She rubbed her eyes, but found it hard to rub away the sleep. She gave up when she felt a rhythmic breathing behind her and it all started to flow right back into thought: she had confessed her heartfelt love for the young air bender and he actually felt the same way…not only that but they were no longer stuck to each other.

Life is good, she thought to herself. She felt Aang’s arm still wrapped around her in a protective manner and smiled at the fact that he was actually there; not a dream as she had feared. She shifted a bit closer to him and continued to relish in his warmth. Suddenly, his arm tightened around her and froze at the possibility that she may have woke him up. She was right and heard him chuckle as he whispered in a raspy voice, “Sleep…I’m not going anywhere.”

She took pleasure in the fact that over the past few months he had picked the habit of reading her mind. She obligingly closed her eyes and gradually lost consciousness as sleep took her once more. 

“Oh Aang….Aaaaaannnng…wake up lover boy,” said an annoying voice as Aang felt something sharp prod at his head. Aang lifted his arm from Toph’s waist and swatted away the annoyance and swiftly wrapped his arm back around her. He was really knocked out.

The annoyance snickered and slowly moved his way over to the other side of the clingy couple, where he stooped over Toph’s ear, “Toooph and Aaaaannng, sitting in a tree…K-I-S-S-I-N-umph!” grunted Sokka as Toph grabbed his lips and shoved his head away, pushing him back away from her.

“Hey watch it…these puppies have brought me great luck,” said Sokka as he patted and massaged his bruised lips.

Toph blinked her eyes open several times and like earlier, attempted to rub the sleep away. She sat up and Aang’s arm fell limp on her lap. Aang was reluctant to wake up and buried his head by Toph’s thigh with a grunt.

“Well isn’t this just the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?” sang Sokka as he made sure to stand a distance away from Toph, “Zuko, isn’t this adorable?”

Zuko looked up from his morning soup and observed Toph as she yawned and Aang was huddled against her on the floor, “I hate adorable….But look, they’re not stuck anymore,” he added and went back to his soup.

“Well look at that, they aren’t…But that doesn’t explain why you two are, well you know,” Sokka said pointing at their close proximity to one another.

“Together?” Zuko chimed in and Sokka nodded at his addition.

“Yeah, together,” he agreed, “I thought you liked Katara, Aang?” At those words, Aang woke up; fully awake as if cold water was dropped on him. He sat up and looked at Toph who quickly picked up her loose hair.

“Sokka go away before I earth bend you back to the South Pole,” Toph swatted her hand in the air.

He didn’t take her words lightly, but before he left he looked at Aang, “You should go talk to Katara…she saw you guys together this morning and left without saying a word. But just to let you two know…I’m happy for you.” Toph regretted her biting words and smiled at his gentle remark. He smiled back even though she couldn’t see it.

“Thanks Sokka,” Aang replied and rubbed his face in frustration. Sokka went back to join the others who were eating breakfast under the sun a bit off in the distance.

An awkward silence fell between the young couple, which was first broken by Toph, “So…I’m gonna go,” she said as she stood up, “and…I’m just gonna go.” She started walking towards the gushing water fountain, still disoriented from just waking a couple of minutes ago. It didn’t help that Sokka had mentioned that Katara had stormed off at the sight of them together. Her mind was completely clouded.

Before she took another step, she felt the wind rush up from around her and then Aang appeared in front of her, “Toph, please tell me you don’t regret what we said last night,” he said very quickly that she had to take several moments to interpret.

He held her arms and to her, he almost sounded…desperate? Afraid? Hurt? Maybe all three and more, “No, Aang, never. I will never regret what happened, it’s just—,” but she heard the others lower their voices as if to hear their conversation.

“Let’s go inside one of the Temple rooms,” she whispered and nodded towards the group. Aang understood what she meant and grabbed her hand to pull her inside. She smiled at the fact that he didn’t mind showing these types of expressions in front of the others and in response she slid her fingers in between his and held his hand tighter. 

They slipped into an empty carpeted room and then faced each other as before, “Now where were we?” she asked and held a hand to her head to remember. Her voice echoed against the empty walls, not aware that a certain water bender was in the room adjacent to the one they stood in.

Katara had woken up early again that morning and as the first sun rays started to stream down from the east, she gradually became aware of Toph and Aang. She blinked several times, not sure if her mind was playing with her. But what she saw was real…Aang had his arm around Toph’s waist with her back against him; pleasant smiles plastered over their slumbering faces.

Part of her found the scene, as Sokka had stated earlier…adorable. Aang looked happy and that’s what she wanted most in the whole world…for Aang to be happy. Not only that, but Toph was also happy, and Toph had become the younger sister she had always wanted.

But the other part of her exhibited an indescribable jealousy. She was torn in half. Overcome by a flood of emotions, Katara stood up and walked off waking up Sokka in the process. Sokka called after her, but she kept walking off.

She spent the last hour in one of the Temple rooms and attempted to sort out her thoughts. The truth was…she felt distant around Aang lately. Their relationship seemed more platonic in her eyes, but for some reason she couldn’t explain why she felt so jealous. After a long meditation session, her mind began to clear. It dawned on her that it wasn’t the fact that Aang had moved on to Toph, but it was the fact that she too wanted a relationship like that.

She felt so stupid for walking off the way she did. She quietly laughed to herself and decided to go back to the small camp and congratulate the new couple. Aang and Toph do look cute together…it’s so nice to see them happy, she thought to herself.

As she stood up she heard footsteps echo from the hallway and then heard the same footsteps enter the room adjacent to the one she was in. She heard Toph say something and suddenly figured out that she was eavesdropping on a private conversation. She started to back away, but the urge to hear what they were talking about took the best of her. She approached the wall and continued with her “innocent” eavesdropping.

“Regret,” Aang reminded Toph with a smile; her attempt to remember amused him as he leaned against the same wall Katara was eavesdropping on.

“That’s right!” she said as if a light bulb went off over her head, he continued to smile, but her face grew more serious, “Okay, what I was saying was that I will never regret what we said to each other last night. Besides the time that I ran away from home, that was one of the most liberating moments I’ve ever had.” She held her hand out for him to grab and he pushed off the wall to do so.

Katara caught every word and her hopelessly romantic heart fluttered at her words. That’s so cute! Katara thought, Oh shut up Katara and focus! She said and rested her ear against the wall.
Toph brought his hand up to the side of her face and held it there, “I wanted to tell you so badly how much I felt about you that I was willing to hurt Katara in the process. But you, Sokka, and Katara are all that I have and I ruined that,” Aang shook his head in disagreement and wiped away a single tear that escaped the corner of her eye. Katara too shook her head, but continued to listen in.

“Toph you did nothing wrong,” he said as she started shaking her head, but he held it still with both of his hands against the sides of her face, “You haven’t ruined anything,” he insisted.

“Then why do I feel like I’ve just betrayed my best friend,” she confessed as she continued to hold up her traditional Toph exterior. She refused to give in to any more tears.

Aang’s heart went out to her and rested his forehead against hers. He was about to open his mouth and say something when someone entered the room.

“You haven’t betrayed me Toph,” said Katara as she approached them. Aang and Toph separated slowly and Toph turned to Katara’s voice. She didn’t hear her come in with the carpet muffling most noises.

“Katara, I’m so sorry. I know how much you liked Aang and I should have approached you and—,” but Katara stopped her rambling with a simple sisterly hug.

“Toph, you’re my best friend…and guess what? You’re also human, we all make mistakes. But you don’t have to be sorry for anything; you have a right to feel what you feel. And so does Aang,” she looked towards Aang and he bowed his head in thanks.

“So I have to admit, I did run away because I was jealous…but I wasn’t jealous because you’re with Aang, but I was jealous of what you have with Aang. It’s something that all of us girls want,” she said and gently patted her shoulder.

“But even if I still liked Aang that way, I wouldn’t stop talking to you or think you were evil because you ‘stole’ him from me…I would just have to accept it and take it for what it is,” she said as she shrugged her shoulders.

“Thanks Katara,” and Toph gave her another big hug, “You rock!” she said and lightly punched her shoulder.

“Anytime…and yeah I do,” and they both laughed. Katara looked up to see Aang leaning against the wall with his arms crossed about his chest.

“Come here lover boy,” she said and Aang pushed off to give Katara a hug.

“Thanks Katara,” Aang whispered and gave her a tight hug, “And you will find love one day…didn’t Aunt Wu say that you’d find true love in a powerful bender?” asked Aang as their hug ended.

“Oh that fortuneteller lady you told me about a while back?” Toph asked Aang, to which he responded with a yes and a peck on her cheek.

“Ooh, I definitely see Zuko in your future Katara,” Toph said and Katara’s face fell, “Oh come on…I hear his scar is really hot,” she said as she waggled her eye brows.

Katara was speechless and Aang’s mouth dried up at the sound of Toph’s comment about Zuko’s scar, “You know, some of my fans on Kyoshi Island think my tattoos are hot,” he said as he attempted to sound macho.

“Oh I know Twinkle Toes, but no need to get green with envy. You’re mine and Zuko is Katara’s,” she said and gave him a quick peck on the lips.

“Zuko is not mine,” said Katara with a blush on her cheeks, “I mean, he’s arrogant, evil, selfish, evil!”

Toph and Aang started to walk away as Katara mentioned Zuko’s past terrible traits, “She so has the hots for him,” Toph whispered to Aang.

He laughed at what she said and pulled her in for a half hug. He pressed his lips to her ear and quickly whispered an I love you to which she responded with an “I know.”

Yup…things were definitely back to normal.

Never Gonna Give Yue Up

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« Reply #8 on: Dec 08, 2008 09:16 pm »

Chapter Ten: Always

Two days had passed by since the misunderstanding between Katara, Aang, and Toph was finally settled. Not only that, but the rest of the gaang finally gave up at making kissing noises around the “adorableness,” as Sokka called it, when Toph and Aang held hands.

In those two days, Sokka and Zuko managed to bring back Hakoda and Suki from the Boiling Rock Prison. As everyone became more acquainted with one another, the fact that the Fire Nation was still an imminent threat was on their minds. The second night following the arrival of the newcomers, the gaang sat huddled together planning their next move…Hakoda and Sokka leading the discussion as the others threw occasional ideas and suggestions.

Aang sat there in a numb state, mindlessly nodding and agreeing to any idea that passed by him…the words hit him, but the feeling that the world may come to an end soon sat at the pit of his stomach.

Toph felt how tense he was throughout the conversation and decided to speak up for him, “Hey guys, we’ve been going at it for hours. How about we wake up bright and early tomorrow and continue the jamming session then?” she put forth and those who were half asleep silently thanked her as everyone retreated to their accustomed spots on the Temple grounds near the fire.

As Aang got up to go to his corner, she found it odd that he didn’t acknowledge her. She too got up and quickly grabbed his hand before he walked farther away.

“Aang what’s wrong?” she whispered. She sightlessly gazed at him and waited for a response that didn’t come.

She tugged on his hand, “Let’s fly,” she simply said.

“What?” he whispered back and her heart warmed at the sound of his voice.

“You heard me,” she insisted as she held on to his shirt for emphasis.

“Toph, it’s late and—”

“Aang just take us to the tree,” she suggested. That was their sanctuary; the place where they accidentally glued their hands to one another. He started to pull back, but held on to him, “Please?” she urged on and he couldn’t ignore her plea. He melted in her hands when she sounded like that…and so he gave in.

He stepped forward and grabbed her by the waist. Before he shot up into the air, she quickly wrapped her arms around his shoulders and rested her head against his chest.

A few moments later they landed by the still-shattered tree, where he let go of her and walked to sit against it. He slumped down and slammed his head against the trunk and shut his eyes in exasperation.

Toph just stood there, and for the first time she really felt scared. Scared at the thought that he chose wrong and that he regrets being with her. She slowly turned to him and in a raspy voice started the conversation, “Are you mad at me?” she asked as she threw her arms out to the side and then let them fall back down.

He opened his eyes at the sound of her voice, “No, why would I be?”

“Oh I don’t know…maybe because you’ve been ignoring me all evening long? When you give a girl the cold shoulder like that, she starts to wonder,” she admitted and suddenly felt a rush a wind as Aang had airbended himself up to her.

“I’m sorry,” he replied and slowly met his forehead with hers, “It’s just…” he started to say, but stopped at a loss for words. He lightly nudged her forehead forward in frustration and she lifted both her hands to hold his face.

“Aang,” she pleaded again in that voice and he broke away to slam his fists against the tree. A shower of leaves fell on the two and Toph waited for his anger to subside.

Finally he spoke, his back to her, in a barely audible voice, “What if I fail again?”

And then it dawned on her…His distancing from her started when the group came together to talk about beating the Fire Nation. She inwardly sighed in relief, but continued to feel worried. She moved forward towards him and placed a hand on his shoulder. His muscles relaxed under her touch and as his fists fell down to his sides, she turned him around so that he’d face her.

“Aang, you won’t fail. We’ll help you defeat Fire Lord Ozai…you have to have some faith in yourself. I know I do,” she spoke as she caressed his cheek with her hand.

“But I failed so many times before and lost so much in the process,” he confessed and held onto her wrist to stop the warm sensations she sent through his body.

He brought her hand down and held it in between his rough ones, “I lost my people, my mentor, my honor, the Avatar State…and I don’t want to lose anything else…especially something that I love.”

His confession sent a sharp sting across her chest that rose up to her throat, “Please, stop talking as if this is the end,” she said as she pulled her hand away and brought it back up to his face.

“Toph, I don’t want to lose you,” he spoke out from his heart and mimicked her actions by placing his hands on her face.

“You’re not going to lose me Aang! I’m right here,” she placed her hands on his and hastily kissed his inner wrist, “And I’ll always be here,” she pointed to his chest, “Always.”

In an instant, he brought her closer as he wrapped his arms around her shoulders and she held him around his waist, “I’m scared,” he whispered against the crook of her neck.

The warmth of his breath sent shivers down her spine, “Me too,” she confessed as she gently massaged his lower back. He wasn’t the only one who was afraid to lose something he loved. Toph knew exactly how he felt…him being the Avatar and having to fight the Fire Lord…alone.

The thought of her not feeling his light footsteps and not hearing his joyous voice everyday was something she kept shoving away in the back of her mind.

They held each other for what seemed like forever. The leaves rustled against the light night breeze and the moon light showered down on them as it moved across the dark sky.

Toph was the first to pull back slightly and rest her head against his cheek, “You know, my earthbending master might have been a dunderhead, but he once told me that ‘In order to win a good fight, we’d have to let go of any attachment that held us back’….And he’s right. Aang, you know I’m with you all the way, but I don’t want you to stop because I get hurt, or because I’ve been captured, or even because I….die. You have to let go of me…and the others when it comes to saving the rest of the world. Do you understand?” She said in a straight and demanding voice, the sifu part of her taking over.

She felt Aang close her eyes and nod in agreement, “Let go of attachment,” he whispered. Those words sounded so familiar to him. As he breathed in and out, the four words became a slow mantra. Toph gradually removed herself from his grasp and his arms fell limply to his sides.

His slow mantra began to ignite energy that had been blocked within the depths of his body. Toph felt the ground crunch down around him and as she stepped back, she wished she had the ability to see what was happening rather than relying on her other senses.

A rush of wind swept around her and then enveloped Aang. She no longer felt him on the ground, but she could still hear his slow mantra…he seemed to be floating in the air.

This went on for a few minutes and then suddenly the wind stopped, Aang stopped muttering those four words, and the forest grew silent. It was as if time itself stopped and Toph stood still as to not disturb whatever otherworldly powers were taking effect.

Although desired to have sight at that moment, Toph was fortunate as to not have that ability the moment Aang’s tattoos brightly glowed, potentially blinding anyone in the vicinity and successfully filling the vast dark areas of the small forest with light. Before Toph could gather what had just happened, his eyes flew open and they too glowed with a fierce white light.

His tattoos glowed through his garments and although not visible to Toph, the wound on his back also glowed in a pulsated pattern, which began to shrink and within moments the scar disappeared.

The rush of wind swept around her again and then spun around Aang as it did before, but this time the wind cushioned him as he was slowly brought back down to the ground. He landed on his feet and Toph was able to ‘see’ him again. As the wind dissipated and the glow from his tattoos and eyes died down, Aang’s legs gave way and Toph caught him in time before he completely fell.

She sat down on the floor and let his head rest on her lap as she gently caressed his cheek and attempted to wake him up, “Aang?” she whispered, but he didn’t wake.

She tried again and again no response. In frustration she called out, “Twinkletoes!”and he suddenly awoke. She sighed in relief and refused to let the tears that had welled up fall from the corners of her eyes.

“Toph?” he whispered in a hoarse voice and she laughed at hearing his voice.

“Yeah I’m here…I’m here,” she replied as she grabbed his hand and brought it to her face. She held it there and again kissed his inner wrist.

“You helped me open it,” he said and she was confused at his words.

“Opened what? What did I help you open?” she asked curiously as she stroked the arrow on his head.

“My seventh chakra,” he said as he closed his eyes under her gentle gesture. He loved it when she rubbed his head that way.

“You’re what now?” she blurted out and they both lightly laughed at her response.

“The reason I don’t have the Avatar State is because I closed my seventh chakra. I couldn’t let go of my attachments…but you helped me open it,” he smiled and sighed in relief.

“But how’s that possible? I mean, you’re still attached to me and I’m still attached to you…there’s still a bond there,” she reasoned, but her head started to hurt and so she stopped thinking for herself and let Aang do all the talking.

“Guru Pathik told me that I had to learn to let go of my attachments, but I guess it was up to me to learn that he didn’t mean that I should just stop loving the people I know…only to learn to let go the parts of attachment that would hold me back….like your earthbending master had taught you: ‘In order to win a good fight, we’d have to let go of any attachment that held us back,’” he explained, but Toph couldn’t help but giggle in confusion.

He sat up and turned to face Toph. Her giggle subsided as he pulled part of her face closer to him, hand under chin, and whispered amusedly into her ear, “I know you’re still confused, so all you need to know is that I can access the Avatar State and...that I still love you, Toph Bei Fong.”

With his hand under her chin, he guided her lips towards his and full-heartedly kissed her. Every elated emotion they shared flowed into the kiss and the fervor between them grew. A slight moan escaped from her throat and Aang reacted by pulling her onto his lap, to which she moaned again in satisfaction.

They eventually pulled back for air and as they heavily breathed in each other, a thought slipped out into the open, “So with the Avatar State, does that mean you’ll kick major butt again…on command?”

“Kicking major butt on command is a definite yes…Thanks to you,” he finished saying by planting small kisses across her face.

“Sweet! I rule!” they both laughed and continued their kissing session for a while longer when Aang pulled back excitedly.

“What’s wrong?” she whined when he moved away.

“When I got my Avatar State back, I was able to glimpse into the lives of my predecessors…sort of like a re-introduction to who I am. One of my past lives was interesting, but sad,” he said in a hurtful tone.

She laced her hands with his when she heard his voice, “What happened?” she asked, curious as to where he was going with this.

“His name was Avatar Kuruk and he was the waterbender that came in the line before me,” Toph nodded along and wondered why the name Kuruk sounded so familiar to her, but she let Aang continue, “He fell in love with a woman called Ummi—”

“Wait, Ummi?” Toph reiterated and he nodded slowly, wondering why that name had struck a cord in her, “The Bei Fong family goes back centuries and we weren’t always earthbenders. My mom used to tell me stories of an ancestor of mine called Ummi who fell in love with a powerful bender called Kuruk. But he lost her to some creature…Her sister, Yamme, continued the family line, which eventually became the Bei Fong family.”

Aang sat astounded with Toph still on his lap, “Sorry for interrupting, but I had completely forgotten that story until you mentioned his name…” she said as she fiddled idly with his hands.

“No I’m glad you said something because…that confirms my theory even more,” he said joyously.

She was about to ask what theory, when he provided the answer, “When I was in the Avatar State, I just had flashes of past lives. But this one past life, the one with Kuruk, appeared with flashes of my life now…as if it was showing me parallels. I first saw Kuruk airbending and then I saw myself airbending…then I saw Ummi smiling at me, well, me as Kuruk...and then it flashed to you smiling at me,” Aang finished and hoped that she wasn’t confused by his fast talking and quick description of what he saw.

“So are you saying that just like you’re a…reincarnation of Kuruk…I’m a reincarnation of Ummi?” she asked and Aang’s smile grew wider since she hit the nail on the head.

“That’s exactly what I think…I mean it can’t be a coincidence. Me being the Avatar, and you being a far-off descendant of Ummi. It’s possible,” he said and shrugged his shoulders in the process.

“And that would also explain why we have this strong connection between us, right?” she wondered aloud as she caressed his arm with her finger in a back and forth motion.

Aang nodded in agreement and the words, transcended love, appeared in his thoughts, “Like transcended love,” he said aloud.

Toph agreed with a convinced “mhmm” and connected her lips with his in a soft kiss.

The sweet moment between them was ruined when she felt a cold chill run down her spine. She pulled and before Aang could ask what was wrong, she uttered one word, “Koh.”

Aang didn’t hesitate to tighten his grip around her at the sound of that name, “The Face Stealer,” he whispered, cold chills spilling down his back as well.

“That was the creature…he took Ummi away from Kuruk. But what if that happens—,” but she didn’t finish her question as his thumb came to rest on her lips shut.

“I won’t let him get near you…ever,” she nodded vigorously in agreement and hugged him tightly in return. He gently stroked her back until her tense muscles gave way and she loosened her hold on him.

As a way to continue to move away from the creepy mood they had both just experienced, Toph quickly kissed his lips and started a to-do list, “Okay, so number one on our Team Avatar list is…” she left the sentence open for Aang to fill in.

“Stop Fire Lord Ozai and rest of Fire Nation,” Aang followed her technique. His back started to ache a bit from having no support, so he earthbended himself and Toph against a tree to relieve his pain.

“Kill bad guys, check!” she punched the air and continued with her list, “Number two on our list is…”

“Rebuild the world!” Aang continued to fill in.

“Ah yes, rebuild the world! Check! Number three on our list is…”

“Celebrate after world is rebuilt!”

“Partay! Yes! Check! Number four on our list is…”

“Asking you to marry me!” he filled in just as joyously as he filled in the rest of the to-do list. Toph lifted her sightless gaze at him as her mouth grew dry as what he said dawned on her.

“Really?” she whispered as her hands grew sweaty and her grip tightened on his hands.

He rested his head against hers, “Of course…well actually I’d want that to be number one, but we’re not of age yet. No wait, technically I am of age because I’m 112 years old, but—,” and with that Toph kissed him hard on the lips.

“Yes…yes…yes…yes…yes,” she said in between kisses and he laughed lightly in between kisses.

“And no,” she said as she finished her kisses and his world suddenly came to a stop, “No, in terms of priority,” she amended and kissed his forehead, “I think it should stay number four, what with the world depending on us and all...But if I could have it any other way…Number one, definitely,” she smiled brightly and he returned the smile.

Several moments passed by in silence as they relished in each other’s warmth and comforting arms.

“So we should be getting back to the Temple,” Aang said a bit disappointed as he broke the reverie they were in.

“I guess,” Toph too did not enjoy his suggestion, but they did need to get some sleep.

They both stood up and dusted off any dirt from their clothing. Aang grabbed her hand and pulled her in to his embrace. She tightened his hold around him and before they lifted up into the air, Toph turned up to Aang, not knowing when they would be alone again, “I love you…”

He looked down at her thoughtfully and kissed her forehead, “And I love you…always have and always will.”

: )

Never Gonna Give Yue Up

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« Reply #9 on: Dec 08, 2008 09:19 pm »

Here is the preview for the sequel to “The Ties that Bind”:

"Within the Face Stealer’s Grasp"

Summary: Toph and Aang are about to discover whether history truly repeats itself. Will past events lay claim to their lives or will they find a way to escape from the inescapable?

Chapter One: Omen

Toph ran down the dark cavern, her earthbending useless, but her sudden ability to see helped her escape the clutches of the creature that ran after her. She turned the corner and hid within a small crevice. She regretted it the moment the walls started to close around her and suddenly the scenery dramatically changed.

She now stood in front of two mirrors, being able to see herself for the first time. In the left-hand mirror she saw her flowing dark hair held back by an elaborately decorated green and gold diadem; her tresses draped over a beautiful pastel green gown…but her eyes traveled back to her neck, where an elegant betrothal necklace hung against her porcelain skin.

Her eyes were torn from the mirror when her head was involuntarily pushed to view the right-hand mirror. She screamed when she looked upon the faceless figure in front of her. The mirror cracked and so did the earth from under her. She looked down and suddenly plunged into water; darkness consumed her from all around as she thrashed against the water.

Here is the link to read the story:


Never Gonna Give Yue Up

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« Reply #10 on: Feb 17, 2018 11:30 pm »

hello, i was wandering if u were gonna post the sequel of this story?
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