If Only You Knew
A/N: Digging through some of my middle school writing today and found this, my first fan-fic ever. How fitting that it is dedicated to my all-time OTP, Tokka, which I loved when there were maybe 15 deviations and 20 fics dedicated to it on dA and Fanfiction.net. (I sound like a hipster, but I don’t care—it’s true. This intrepid little ship has held my heart captive since the moment Toph started punching Sokka in the arm.) Since this was written January 19, 2007 (8:18 am), there are some major LOK canonical flaws. Back then, I imagined all my Gaang babies would get married and have kids and live happy ever after, not have to fight freaky blood-benders (or dramatically break-up all the time wth Promise Part II?). Korra wasn’t even a rumor back then, as far as I know. So strange to think about. Anyway… long-winded A/N is long-winded.
The laughter and shouts rang through the frosty air, falling on the keen ears of a freezing earthbender. Frozen, Toph corrected herself, wincing as her chilled toes complained fiercely. A curse rose to her lips, but she checked herself as the light footsteps of children reminded her of the innocent audience she had.
The boy, Bumi, shrieked with hysterical giggles as Sokka swung him up in the air, tickling him. Yue pelted them with snowballs as father and son crashed to the ground in a heap of fur coats. Meanwhile, Kana wrung her gloved hands, and Toph could sense the conflicting emotions pulsing through her small frame: try and stop them, or jump in, headfirst.
Toph knew the answer already, though: Kana leapt on the pile, squealing with hilarity; fearless as ever. Exactly like her mother, Toph thought dryly, a half-smile twisting her face.
Soon the dogpile turned into an all-out wrestling match. Sokka yelped as Yue, also her mother’s daughter in almost every sense, leapt on his back and began twisting her papa’s arm in an expert hold. Toph felt sorely tempted to cheer or join in, but instead she sat still on her snow bank, being a good example. She hated being a good example, but what would the kids think if she and Sokka both acted that way? No, someone needed to show the proper amount of reserve, and so she just watched them.
It was pleasant, despite the snow and the bitter cold that was normal weather for the South Pole. Toph wanted only to observe them, observe him, at play, in a way that no other person on earth could: she felt the fast, excited heartbeats of the children, the rush of giddy exuberance that washed over the entire group, and the love that bound them all together. Toph felt the earth beneath them, became the snow they flung at each other and the wind that brushed against the hot faces. For a moment, it was enough, to share in the pure joy and childish hopes and the fatherly pride was all that she needed to feel hope and joy and pride again.
But then, Kana looked up, crying out happily, “Mama!” and Toph’s heart froze. The whole troupe stopped as Sokka came to his feet, uttering another word, a name that shattered everything, that sent Toph’s world reeling, just as it always had. That name, intoned with such joy and pleasure and love by the one she adored, and her world went black again.
“Suki!” he shouted, the only man she could ever love, and Toph’s darkness overwhelmed.