Open If You Know How To See; Toph/Aang, PG-13

Date: 2008-07-14 07:55 am (UTC)
Totally not a drabble, since it´s 800+ words, but I needed them to make the thing a satisfying PG-13. Aang and Toph are about 16 here.

“I dare you.” And that put an end to all his protests, for even in the three years since the war their little tribe had never ceased to take dares as the most serious of challenges. The heat from his blush made her toes press harder into the ground, but her voice stayed steady when she continued. “And don´t give me any guff about Sweetness seeing and disapproving, you know she and Sparky are taking their own sweet time about getting back tonight, and you know just why, too.”

“Toph! You can´t think anything is happening between Katara and Zuko, after they´ve told us so many times that they´re just good friends!”

“Don´t be so blind, Twinkle Toes! And don´t try to change the subject, are you taking my dare or not?”

He thought about this an uncomfortably long time, and she tried to forget how thoughtful the war had made them all. This was a moment for her to just do, without thinking, and she wouldn´t let him take it away.

“Only if I get to give one,” was his eventual reply.

“Done deal. Now strip.”

“Toph! At least turn around.”

“It´s not like I´ll be able to see anything, genius.” But she obliged anyway.

And she did see, through her own mode of seeing, how he also turned his back; how gingerly he set down his staff; how quickly he took off the large-wide thing he wore on top; how he hesitated and then danced around pulling off his bottoms. When he turned back to her she knew that he´d left on that last layer that he wore even while waterbending or just plain swimming, but the dare hadn´t necessarily included naked so she didn´t complain. Not that she didn´t want to, but Toph Bei Fong understood as well as anyone about choosing your words carefully and expecting them to be followed to the letter.

“There, are you satisfied?” he asked almost immediately.

“I can´t see them yet, so no.” She walked directly over to him and held out her hand, demanding without a word that he finish what he´d started. He took it, sighed, and placed her palm at the top of his head. She lightly ran it up and down his brow, then used her fingertips to brush the lines that made his first arrow, trailing them down past where it ended to push in his nose.

She said, “Are you ready for me to see the rest?”

He nodded, a movement so slight it only resonated in her toes. But then he pulled her hand back up his forehead and slid the palm across his shaved head. When it reached the neck, she moved herself around until she was standing behind him, and disengaged their hands. Her toes curled involuntarily as she felt his heartbeat speed up. She trailed her fingers down his nape to his back, then lightly feathered them to the left and to the right, following the slightly raised bands across his shoulderblades and back to his spine. She smiled to herself when he shivered, a smile she knew he couldn´t see that revealed motives she was sure he hadn´t guessed. She gripped his arms and let her callused palms slide down them in a spiral, feeling the tattoos and his goosebumps at the same time. When she was holding his hands she pulled first one then the other behind his back, holding them together with her left hand while tracing his second and third arrows with her right thumbnail. And her feet wanted to dance when they felt his heartbeat beginning to pound through the ground to them.
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