Toph sat in her room, thinking. She had just woken up a few minutes ago and could not stop thinking about her dream. Well, more of a nightmare.
I wish Mother was here to comfort me, Toph thought.
Toph got up and walked into the living room. There stood Suki and Sokka. Toph could feel with her feet that they were kissing gently.
Aang walked in…well, rather skipped in. Obviously he was in a happy mood.
Toph turned red and quickly looked away. Her heart was beating fast. She bit her lip. Why was she feeling like this? A few days ago, Sozin’s Comet had arrived and Aang had defeated the Fire Lord. Now Toph got nervous around him and couldn’t think of things to say. The only thing she had managed to get out was, “Hi, Twinkle Toes.”
Katara and Mai were sitting at the table, eating breakfast. Katara walked over and touched Toph’s shoulder.
“Would you like something to eat, Toph?” Katara asked.
“Or maybe some tea! Just made some, it’s fresh from the kettle!” Iroh interjected.
Toph shook her head.
“I’m not hungry.” Toph said. Katara raised her eyebrows, although Toph couldn’t see it.
“Are you sure? I’m worried, Toph. You didn’t have dinner or lunch yesterday. All you do is sit there. I haven’t seen you do any earth bending since…well, since a few days ago!” Katara’s voice was motherly and kind.
“Stop acting like a mother, Katara! I can do things by myself. I’m just not hungry, alright?” Toph yelled. The room suddenly got quiet. “I know what I am doing. I don’t need any help!” Toph stormed into her room. Katara looked at her feet. She sulked over to the table.
“What’s with her lately?” She asked.
“I-I don’t know…!” Katara replied.
“Personally, I think she might be having guy troubles. It was how – Zuko, would you get me some rice, please? – It was how Azula was acting when no boys would notice her and they swarmed around Ty Lee.” Ty Lee smiled from across the room.
“I need to talk to her.” Katara decided. She knocked on Toph’s door and walked in, shutting the door behind her. She sat on the bed next to Toph.
“I’m sorry I was so motherly to you, Toph. I know you don’t like it.”
“No, I’m sorry I yelled. You were just being caring. I was just rubbing off my frustration on you.” Toph sighed.
“Talk to me, Toph.” Katara pleaded.
Toph started slowly.
“Well…there is this guy. And I don’t think he really notices me. He is sweet and charming and…heroic. But I can’t tell you what he looks like.” Toph smiled. As did Katara.
“Toph, you are beautiful. Tell me who it is. I’m sure he’ll end up liking you with a few simple tips from me.”
“Erm…well…it’s…Aang. I like Aang. “
Katara’s face grew red and her eyes glared.
“Aang will never, ever like you Toph, so don’t even try! I can’t believe you would even think... Arggh!” Katara yelled. Toph shut her eyes, threw open her door, and, holding back tears and not succeeding, she ran into the hall closet and locked herself in. When she was securely inside, she started openly crying.
Katara herself choked back tears, realizing what she had done. She stepped into the living room.
Sokka, Suki, Mai, Ty Lee, Aang, Iroh and Zuko were staring at her. Ty Lee, who was now a great friend of Toph’s, said, “Explain to me why Toph just came running out of her room crying?” Katara turned red. She filled herself a glass of water and walked over to the closet. She knocked on the door.
“Toph, let me in, I’m sorry! Toph, please, open up!” Katara begged, but Toph wouldn’t budge.
Katara bent the water and sliced open the door. She stepped inside and refilled the cracks of the door with sturdy ice.
“Toph, I’m so, so, so sorry. I guess I didn’t know that you hadn’t known that…well, that me and Aang are sort of…an item. It happened just a few days ago. I’m really, really sorry. “
Top was silent for a moment. Then, “Thanks for telling me Katara. I didn’t know. I understand now. I forgive you.” Toph smiled. They hugged, and Katara spoke.
“I am going to make it up to you, okay? Be awake at 3 tomorrow. Nobody’s is awake by then, and we can sneak out without anybody telling us we can’t. I am going to do something with you.” Toph sighed but agreed.
The next morning, Toph awoke at exactly 3:02. She quickly got ready and met Katara in her room, where Katara expertly put make-up on herself and Toph.
Katara and Toph ran into Suki, who was sitting on a chair with a glass of water looking out the window. Toph stepped on Katara’s feet.
“I thought you said nobody would be up!” Toph said in a ferocious whisper.
“Usually!” Katara replied. Suki’s eyes shot up.
“Katara? Toph? What are you doing up?” Suki asked.
“I should ask you the same question! I’m taking Toph shopping.”
“Oh. I-I couldn’t sleep. But anyways, I’ll see you later.” Suki replied in a bored tone.
Toph and Katara took their time walking to the market. There they purchased some jewelry and dressed Toph nicely.
“Where to next, Katara?” Toph asked.
“To an Earth Bender restaurant. I want you to meet someone new. Maybe, I don’t know…start a romance.” Katara replied. Toph rolled her eyes but nodded.
At the restaurant, Katara gathered up adorable boys after boys, but none of them seemed to be of interest to Toph. After quite a few hours of disappointment, Toph politely asked Katara to stop fetching guys. Toph ordered a cup of tea and sat there, depressed, until the waiter came out with some tea. He was a shaggy looking boy, around Toph’s age, with short black hair and joyful eyes. Although Toph could not see, she could tell this boy was an Earth Bender.
“You’re tea, ma’am.” The boy said.
“Sit down. Oh, and call me Toph.” Toph ordered. He did.
“Nice to meet you.” Toph said, smiling.
“I’m Iwao. A pleasure to meet you too.” It was silent for a moment. Iwao bit his lip.
“I’m blind, dude.” She said, smirking.
“Oh, well, I’m sorry, ma’am – I mean, Toph.” It was awkwardly silent.
“Do you want to—erm, go to a play or something tomorrow?” Toph asked.
“But, you’re blind…” Iwao said.
“Yes, but that doesn’t me from listening.” Toph answered. Iwao smiled, even if Toph couldn’t see.
“That would be really, really fun. Then I could take you out for dinner.” Iwao said. Toph blushed.
“Sweetness. I’ll see you later, then?”
“Yeah.” Iwao smirked as Toph left the restaurant.
Katara met her outside.
“Did you quit on me?” Katara asked.
“Wait, yes or no?”
“Yeah. Um. I quit.” Toph smiled. Katara blew a strand of hair out of her face.
“It’s late, anyways. Let’s head home.” Katara and Toph walked home.
Once inside the house, Toph could feel with her feet that Aang, Ty Lee and Suki were watching Sokka paint something, and that Mai and Zuko were sitting next to each other on the couch, Mai reading and Zuko just sitting there, probably thinking. Iroh was in his room.
“Hey guys,” Zuko said. Mai looked up and smiled. After a few moments, Sokka looked up.
“Hey! Let’s see a play tomorrow! Just like…erm…old times!”
Toph blushed and sat down straight where she had been standing. "I can't you guys. I'm busy tomorrow."
"Um, doing what, Toph? Cleaning your room? You can do that another time. Guess what this play is called?" Sokka grinned almost tauntingly.
"Ozai's Angels! It's about Mai Ty Lee and Azula. I heard its pretty accurate." Sokka laughed. "Except I think the Mai character may be a little chubbier than in real life..." Mai frowned.
"It sounds great, Sokka. Really it does! But I told you. I'm busy. I can't go!" Toph sighed. "At least not with you. With Iwao." She murmured quietly to herself.
"What's that at the end? And Toph, what are you busy doing?"
"None of you business!" Toph replied.
"Are you up to one of those scams again?" Katara asked. Toph glared.
They all kept asking, wondering things like "Is it illegal?" or "Were you sworn to secrecy?" and "If you don't wanna come, no need to lie." Finally, Toph stamped her foot down. Aang scratched his bald head and looked at his feet. Suki and Sokka looked at each other, and all of the others proceeded in doing something similar.
"If I tell you, will you all stop bothering me about it?" Toph asked. Everyone nodded. Toph sighed.
"I'mgoingonadate," Toph said quickly and in a way no one could understand.
"Come again?" Suki asked.
"Yeah. Can you talk slower this time?" Ty Lee asked. Toph blew at her hair.
"I am going on a date," Toph said, blushing uncontrollabley.
Everyone looked completely shocked, except for Aang and Katara. Aang looked shocked as well as happy; Katara looked shocked, relieved, and happy.
"Oh. That's why." Sokka said.
Toph shrugged, and suddenly she was the center of attention.
"Ooooooh! You lied! Who's the lucky guy? Is he cute? What's his name?"
"Katara! Relax! I'll explain later. But his name is Iwao. He's sweet."
Next came Aang, who shook her hand and congratulated her.
"You didn't do to bad yourself, Twinkle Toes," Toph said, smirking and pointing her head in Katara's direction.
"Thanks, Toph." Aang smiled. Toph grinned in return and with a nod, left to use the bathroom. To her disappointment, Suki was there, just walking out.
"Wow! You must be so happy! How'd you meet him?" Suki's eyes were huge with anticipation.
"Erm...his name is Iwao. And I met him at a Earth Bending club. Could you please pass word on that I don't honestly want to talk about at the moment? Thanks Suki." Toph went into the bathroom. After she finished, she went into the living room. Sokka was whistling...horribly. What was with them? Why was is so interesting that she was going on a date? She turned around and went into her room, where she shut the door and went to sleep.
Early the next morning, Toph left and went into town. She met Iwao at the restuarant and, smiling, was escorted by him to the play theater.
"So, which play Iwao?" Toph asked.
"Well there's only like 2. Ozai's Angels, or The Bright Pumpkin Patch. Personally, I'd like to see Ozai's Angels, mostly because The Bright Pumpkin Patch is narrated by a man in a pumpkin costume." Iwao said. Toph laughed.
"Sure. Ozai's Angels it is!"
Once they arrived at the theater, they took their place in the seats. Toph got nervous as she remembered Sokka saying he was coming to see this play.
"Is everything okay?" Iwao asked.
"Oh yes, of course," she said, smiling.
As soon as the show began, Toph felt Sokka and Suki and the rest of the crew bustling into seats.
Of course. Just let them be late. Why not? Just ignore them and focus on the play and Iwao.
The play went on. It was blabbering about how Mai loved Zuko from the beginning, how Ty Lee's past was...all this crazy. It was actually pretty boring considering Toph knew them in real life, but Iwao really seemed to enjoy it.
When the show finally ended, Iwao was smiling broadly.
"So...did you like the show?" Iwao asked.
"Oh, yeah. Although I knew most of it."
"Really? How?" Iwao seemed curious.
"I sorta...know them in real life. Ty Lee is my best friend. Mai is awesome. And Azula...is in jail."
"Awesome! Can I meet them?"
"Yeah. In fact, they were at that play! They're walking toward us and will be here in...3...2...1!"
"Hi Toph!" said Aang right after Toph had finished her countdown.
"Oh my gosh! The Avatar!" Iwao said and grinned.
"Nice to meet you," said Aang happily shaking Iwao's hand. Iwao was smiling hugely.
"I'm Mai. Did you enjoy the show?" Mai asked politely. Iwao's jaw dropped.
"Whoa! You were just in the play! But you were a lot...erm...chubbier." Iwao tried to say politely. Mai sighed.
"I've been getting that a lot lately," she said. Iwao laughed.
"And you must be Ty Lee?" Iwao guessed at Ty Lee, who blushed.
Toph sighed. She had obviously chosen the wrong guy. All he cared about was her famed friends! Oh gosh. This was going to be a long, long date.
"Look, as curious as I am to might all you, I'm here because of Toph. We're going to my step-uncle's restaurant, Butterflies Wingbeat. So I'll see you guys later. C'mon, Toph!" Iwao said as he grabbed Toph's hand. Toph's opinion changed of Iwao in less than 5 seconds. Toph smiled as she distinctly heard Suki cry, "Aww, Iwao is so sweet!"
At the restaurant, Iwao and Toph were guided to a small table for two in a special private room. Toph was happy about this: she could talk to Iwao privately.
"Do you like the sushi?" Iwao asked.
"Oh yes!" Toph replied as she took a sushi. It was a delicious flavor, nothing she had tasted before.
"My sister created it. She called it Butterflies Wingbeat. Step-Uncle Ahn calls the shop that because it is our main dish, also our most popular."
"Fascinating! How did your sister create the sushi?" Toph asked.
"She created a new blend of ingredients and added a special sauce. Nobody knows it besides my step-uncle." Iwao smiled, and then frowned. "I miss my sister. Ahn makes great sushi, but it was nothing compared to her original."
"Did your sister leave?" Toph asked.
"She died." Iwao said. Toph frowned.
"I'm so sorry," she said.
"Don't be," Iwao said. "But my life has changed so much since. My father had to get a new job. He was fired for missing so many days after her death. He became a train engineer. I was with him for so long, sitting on a train. The only thing that cheered me up was earth bending, and I was away from earth on a meatal machine for months at a time." Iwao sighed.
"I'm...sorry." Toph said, not able to think of anything else.
"I've worked at that earth bender restaurant for 2 years. I'm trying to earn enough to purchase my own apartment."
"Have you made almost enough?" Toph asked.
"I'm a little over half-way. But my father is growing old. Next year he has asked me to learn his engineer ways. He needs help. But I will be so far away from...earth!" Iwao wrinkled his nose and took a sushi. Toph thought.
"Iwao...you know who I am, right?" Toph asked.
"Well, yes...you're Toph."
"But do you know why I travel with the Avatar?"
"Actually...No. No I don't."
"I am Aang's Earthbending Master." Toph smirked. Iwao's jaw dropped.
"B-b-but your blind! No offense, or anything." Toph laughed.
"Yes. But you know what else?" Toph asked. Iwao shook his head.
"I'm the first person in the world to metal-bend. And you know...I was thinking...maybe I could teach you? I've had bit of experience," Toph said, winking. Iwao beamed.
"That would be amazing, Toph!" Iwao could not stop smiling.
10 years later…
Toph was sitting on the balcony, staring at the moon. Iwao came over and sat next to her.
It was the Golden Dragon Dance Ball, an event that had taken place for 10 years on the day Aang had defeated the Fire Lord. Iwao had politely asked Toph months ago, and of course she had accepted.
Toph was wearing a silver dress, complete with maroon stiches and a lovely flower design. Iwao looked absolutely gorgeous, with his long hair in a pony-tail and wearing a very nice suit.
“Hi,” Toph said, breathless. He was so handsome!
“Hi, Toph.” Iwao said, grinning. So much had changed from the little 12-year old scraggly and unpopular boy who had met Toph, and instantly yet humbly fell in love with her. True, there had been those 4 years where there had been fighting and rage, but in the end, Iwao always loved Toph. Now he was 22, much older, and much more mature. Toph was so beautiful tonight. Now was his moment.
“Toph, I love you. I love you more than I have ever loved anybody in my entire life, and I could never live without you. Toph, will you marry me?” Iwao asked, slowly and while kneeling. In his hand he held a beautiful ring, one that suit Toph very nicely. Tears rolled down Toph’s eyes.
“Yes, yes, oh yes!” She whispered. Iwao beamed and swept her off her feet.
Holding her gently, he brushed his lips against hers. He let her kiss him back gladly, and he wanted to stay there for a million years.
Toph smiled as she broke free from Iwao, although she did not want to. She looked back at the moon. This was the best moment ever, in her entire life.
She grabbed Iwao and set her lips on his.
Author Says: I really, really, really hope you enjoyed this story. I had quite a bit of fun writing it. I am a forever Taang fan, but Taang is never to be, sadly, so I wrote this. (But I still support Taang & Zutara, FOREVER & EVER & EVER & INFINITY AFTER THAT.)