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The Nature of Us

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The earth is hard and solid beneath her bare feet, yielding to her will as she wiggles her toes into the ground. Breathing in deeply through her nose she can smell the pine of the forest behind her and the familiar and comforting scent of the earth. Above her she can hear Momo chattering as he flies about, most likely looking for his next snack. Aang is busy unloading Appa’s saddle and it all just feels so natural, so comfortable, so domestic. 

“Are we getting too comfortable?” she asks Aang as he walks up to where she is squishing her toes in the dirt. 

“Huh, what do you mean?” he asks as he places a kiss to her cheek before finding a spot to set up their camp fire. 

“I mean do you think we’re getting too couple-y?” she can sense the way he tilts his head in confusion, “too routine? Too predictable?”

He scratches his head in thought, pausing in positioning the rocks in a circle as he gives serious thought to her words.

“Is that a bad thing?” he finally asks, not entirely sure of what his girlfriend is trying to get at.

She shrugs, walking away from the patch of dirt she’d been squishing her toes in.

“I was just thinking,” she says before earthbending a tent big enough for the two of them to fit. 

Aang watches her for a few moments as she moves about their camp, setting things up for the night. She may be right, he thinks to himself as they both continue with preparing dinner and setting up camp, they do seem to have a bit of a routine going. Not that routines are a bad thing, quite the opposite in his opinions since it shows that they've been together long enough to establish a system of living together that works for the both of them. They’re comfortable together, he thinks as he admires Toph brushing her hair out for the night, a habit she picked up after making amends with her parents, or more specifically her mother. She has such nice hair, the long dark strands of silk tempting him to reach over and run his fingers through it. 

“I can feel you staring,” Toph says without pausing her movement of the brush.

Even after being together a year, he still blushes at being caught staring, admiring his beautiful girlfriend. 

The next morning he is rudely awakened by his girlfriend shouting in his ear.

“Up and at ‘em twinkletoes!” she bellows as she earthbends him a few feet into the air before letting him fall back down with a hard thump.

He grunts in pain before sitting up and rubbing at his hip bone that took the brunt of the impact of his brief fall. 

“Get dressed and meet me outside!” Toph commands before exiting the tent with a swish of her long dark hair. 

Throwing on his robes, Aang lets out a yawn as he exits the tent and makes his way to where Toph is standing in a clearing not too far from their camp.

“My love, what are we-” 

He is abruptly cut off as Toph bends a massive rock into the air and sends it hurtling towards him.

“Think fast twinkle toes!” she yells.

His body reacts on instinct as he plants his feet firmly and moves his arms in the familiar motions, diverting the rock’s path to his left where it crashes harmlessly into the ground. Suddenly he is much more awake and alert, but no less surprised by the seemingly spontaneous sparring session. There is little time for him to contemplate it however as more rocks are sent flying towards him and a chasm begins to form in the earth right between his feet. Disintegrating the rocks into a cloud of dust, he picks a side of the ever growing chasm to stand on and sends several rocks back at Toph. A pillar of earth shoots up from beneath him, and it is only because of his seismic sense that he is able to side step it just in time, narrowly missing him. Slamming his hand to the ground, he sends a massive wave of earth towards Toph, feeling the rumble of the earth in his fingertips. 

Toph laughs, high on the adrenaline of sparring as well as the joy that she gets from simply bending earth. The way it moulds and listens to her will, reshaping itself and moving with just the slightest command from her. It’s a powerful feeling that she could get drunk on and, she doesn’t know what she’d do if she wasn’t able to bend.

“Is that the best you’ve got!” she teases as she slams her hand upon the ground, reversing Aang’s wave of earth and sending it back towards him.

He kicks several rocks towards her which she easily dodges, and one which she catches and sends flying back his way.  They continue like this for a while, trading blows, attacks and counter attacks, dodging and deflecting. 

Toph takes acute notice of the fact that Aang has used only his earthbending whilst they spar. Deciding that maybe it’s time to up the ante, she uses a move that she knows will test his abilities. Disappearing into the earth beneath her feet, a smirk pulls at her lips as she senses Aang tensing and stilling, searching for her. Once she thinks she’s made him wait long enough, she propels herself up and out from the earth, practically exploding from under where Aang is standing. He flies several feet into the air before softly touching down on the ground in front of her.

“You airbended,” she says poking a finger into his hard chest.

He smiles, creating a gust of strong wind that makes her stumble against him.

“What are you gonna do about that… Sifu?” he adds the last word as a whisper in her ear, his arms locking around her waist. 

Several emotions flit across her face, surprise, confusion, arousal, excitement. Her hands clutch at the front of his robes and she can feel the rapid beating of his heart.

“I think maybe we’ll use a blindfold next time,” she whispers, rising up onto her tip toes so her lips brush his throat.

She can feel the way he swallows heavily and his arms tighten around her pressing her harder against his chest.
“Is that a challenge?” he asks her, letting his lips trace over the soft skin of her cheek, “or a promise?”

He can feel the way her breath hitches, the slightest tremble running through her and he loves the fact that no matter how hard and unyielding she can be, much like the nature of the element she bends, Toph Beifong can still turn into a hot, molten mess. 

“That’s a promise,” she swears as she tugs him down by his robes and seals it with a searing kiss. 

Even if she is an earthbender, there is a hell of a lot of fire in her he thinks.