A Taang Story Part 2
As soon as the sun crept up the volcanic mountainside everyone bustled inside the cave. Sokka arose from his tent first, frowning sleepily as he treaded over to his bag of dried meat. Soon after, almost simultaneously, both Aang and Toph emerged from their tents. Morning at last.
Toph rose scratching her underarms as she walked towards Sokka. The boomerang kid stared cautiously while Arctic Seal jerky hung from his mouth.
"Mornin' Snoozels," Toph said grouchily.
"Grmmfflllurmm," Sokka replied, the jerky still hanging from his teeth.
Aang being a vegetarian, glided swiftly over to his satchel full of various nuts and berries.
"Hey, Twinkle Toes."
"Flameo Toph!" the monk said exuberantly.
"I know we are hiding in the Fire Nation, but do you really have to talk like that?"
"Do you want me to stop, Sifu Toph?"
"Oh, whatever. If you want to talk like a hundred year old Fire Nation man, you just go right ahead. Hey, where's Sugar Queen?"
"Still asleep; should I wake her up?"
"NO!" Toph shouted.
Sokka and Aang stared with confused and speechless expressions.
"Can we spar today, Toph?" Aang said, breaking the silence.
"Sure. Whatever flies your glider."
Both Aang and Toph were secretly eager to start their Earthbending lesson. Aang loved watching Toph when she was so driven. He loved the way her black hair fell gently into the middle of her porcelain face. Although the Airbender would never admit it, he loved Toph's bossy nature, along with, her strong and powerful attitude. Toph felt similarly. She loved his vulnerability, but also how, with the power of the Avatar, he could show extreme power and might. Inside, she was proud to be his Earthbending teacher, but also hoped to be more.
"Okay Aang, use more force this time." Said Toph as she shifted a stone wall in front of the monk.
"I'm trying!" yelled Aang stubbing his toe against the center of the rock.
"Do I have to teach you everything?"
"You are my Earthbending 'teacher.'"
"Okay Twinkle Toes, just take this hand," Toph said pausing for a moment; subtly feeling his hand in hers, "and point your arrow towards the bottom of the wall."
"I think I get it now. Thanks, Toph," the Airbender spoke.
"Wow," Aang thought to himself, "she looks beautiful. Wait, did she hold my hand or teach me an Earthbending move?"
"Uh, on second thought, Toph, I think you should show me again," Aang blurted.
"Okay. You take your hand----"
Aang pulled his hand up to her cheek and kissed her softly so that his lips met hers. Toph stood there shocked at first, but then slowly shut her eyes and drifted into his kiss. She could sense the Avatar's power, little did Toph know, Aang's tattoos were faintly glowing. Soon after; the kiss was broken to the sound of a large basket falling to the floor.
All the pair could do was stand idle at Katara whose basket of fruit and berries was scattered at their feet. The Water Tribe girl's jaw had hit the floor while her emotions were rushing behind tearless eyes. A question mark hung above her head as the silence continued. Toph stomped toward camp ramming roughly into Katara's shoulder as she passed. Water and Air looked intently at each other until the deadly silence was finally broken.