Summer is Sokka’s favourite season, which is normal since all he’s ever known for years is winter. He loves the sun, adores it, and is insanely happy that when he lies down, he’s lying on sweet smelling grass instead of ice cold snow. He’s glad not to be the only one who thinks that way, and the fact that it’s Toph who shares his thoughts makes it even better.
Sokka thinks Toph is magnificent. Most of the time she makes jokes about him, but when she doesn’t she’s really funny. (He ignores the fact that even when the jokes are about him, she’s funny as well.) She’s a real guy in many ways, and that’s why Sokka thinks they’re such good buddies. Toph likes to fight, she doesn’t mind going hunting and on days when Sokka feels lazy, she’s right beside him feeling the same.
Sokka really does love Toph’s manly sides, and boy does she have lots of them. Even more than Aang, but then again that isn’t so hard. Aang is the girl Toph will (hopefully) never be, but no matter how girly Aang is, there is one thing Toph always beats him with. Beauty.
Toph can be as masculine as Sokka himself (though Sokka is sure he’s way more of a man than her), when it comes to dressing up for parties she changes into a real girl. Her feminine side which she unconsciously hides very frequently suddenly appears, and the loveliest thing about it is that Toph doesn’t seem to have any problems with being feminine as well. Sokka always looks forward to parties, and seeing Toph in a dress is one of the reasons why he does. (Another reason is the delicious food, but that doesn’t include Toph so it isn’t important to tell.)
When Zuko holds parties during summer – not that it’s ever something else than summer in the Fire Nation – Sokka will get so excited he thinks he’ll die of happiness. The moment where he seriously thinks he’s about to die is when Toph appears from her bedroom, all dressed up for the big night. Katara always has the proudest look on her face as she follows after Toph, and Sokka has more often than not hugged his sister tight enough to kill her. When Toph wasn’t around of course.
Toph eats a lot (more than Sokka) but for some reason she barely gains weight. She’s small, true, but Katara always manages to make the perfect dress so she doesn’t seem small at all. The dress is red most of the time, and it’s a colour which suits Toph wonderfully. It makes her look older, even more dangerous than she already is and, over the years, Sokka’s noticed she looks more… inviting.
When Toph turns eighteen and Zuko’s organized another party (thanks to Aang’s constant whining), Sokka waits for her in the hallway. He’s grown nervous the past few minutes and for once it isn’t because he’s afraid he’ll trip over his own feet and look ridiculous in front of the crowd, like last time. Aang passes by once in a while and asks if he’s feeling okay because, wow, isn’t he sweating a lot? and Sokka just blames the temperature for it.
“The Fire Nation has its bad sides too, after all,” he jokes, which makes Aang laugh and take off to the party again.
He can hear the door of Toph’s room unlocking a few minutes later (three minutes and twenty-four and a half seconds, but who’s counting?) but before he can look up at the beauty who is about to appear before him, Sokka has to take a few deep breaths in preparation. When he eventually lifts his eyes to the door, he’s met with someone more than a beauty.
Toph has grown over the years (luckily only physically) and once again Katara has managed to create a dress which shows off all the good sides of her body. (Though Sokka can’t really imagine Toph’s body has any bad sides.) There’s a wide snit at each side of Toph’s dress, which reaches to her calves, and gives a clear view of her long, slender legs. The fabric is perfectly tight around her narrow waist, and this time there are no straps hiding a part of her lovely shoulders.
Sokka swallows when for a split second, his eyes fall on her chest. Toph really has grown.
He only manages to move his eyes to Toph’s face when he hears her laugh; she’s always loud when she laughs, sounds insanely childish and Sokka loves it. He also loves it that she’s once again refused to put on any make-up or to do something special with her hair. She’s taken off her headband, but other than that she hasn’t touched it.
“Your reaction gets better each time, Sokka!” Toph says through her laughter.
Sokka frowns a little, especially at Katara who’s giggling behind Toph because, well, isn’t it her fault for making him gape like that? Not that he’ll ever admit he’s gaping. Sokka the Warrior does not gape. Much.
“Yeah, well, uh…” He scratches the back of his necks as his eyes sweep over the girl (or woman?) before him again. “You look prettier each time.”
Toph looks down at the floor in embarrassment when she’s figured out he’s not lying, and mumbles a shy but meant, “thanks”. Sokka can feel his heartbeat quicken because she looks insanely cute all of a sudden, and he thinks it must be because of the dress’s colour.
“So why’d you choose blue this time?”
Toph lifts her head and shrugs in response, pointing behind her as she gives Sokka a meaningful look.
“Hey, don’t point at me,” Katara says defensively, “You’re the one who said she wanted something different!”
“And you didn’t pick green?”
Sokka’s a little surprised. He remembers that when she turned sixteen she wore a green dress as well, and when he asked for the reason she told him she’d reached an important age. Turning eighteen sounds way more important though, even if it’s just because that means she’s only two years away from turning twenty.
Toph shrugs again, and before Katara can give her brother any further explanation, she lifts her hand to silence her.
“Doesn’t look like green, does it?” she asks Sokka, who has to do his best not to laugh at the question. Having a blind girl ask about a colour is pretty funny, but considering this is Toph he cleverly tries to prevent himself from laughing. He’s never had so much troubling doing so when Toph suddenly turns insecure and asks him, “Does it?”
“It’s blue, Toph,” Katara assures her, gently placing her hands on her shoulders, “Baby blue, just like I told you.”
Toph frowns a little at the last piece of information. “I’m turning eighteen, I don’t need baby blue.”
Sokka has to bite his tongue so he won’t say she’ll always be their little baby. Because she won’t be, and for some reason that makes him sad. Fine, he’s never had to look after Toph (it was more the other way around), but he still feels protective over her. And sometimes – though very rarely – he did have to keep her from harm.
When he notices he’s zoned out for a few moments he shakes his head and clears his throat, hoping it’ll silence the bickering pair. He’s surprised that it does, and needs a few seconds to realize he actually succeeded in shutting them up. Once he does, he shakes his head again and tried to sound like the responsible adult he’s supposed to be when he speaks.
“Let’s not fight about a colour, okay? It’s Toph’s special night!” He smiles brightly at Toph, momentarily forgetting she can’t see it. “Happy birthday, Toph!”
He embraces her without a second thought, might hold her a little too tight and long for it to be a normal hug, but ignores that fact as he parts from Toph with an even brighter smile on his face. He mentally notes that she smells nice. And that she’s giving him a very strange look.
“You already told her that this morning, remember?” his sister, that know-it-all, informs him, looking just as confused and surprised as Toph. “Then you two celebrated it by eating cake for breakfast.”
“Oh.” Sokka awkwardly turns to look at Toph, who just stares at him with widened eyes. “Well, it doesn’t hurt to say it twice, right?”
With that he considers the subject closed, and before Katara say anything he grabs Toph’s hand and pulls him along with her. He’s proud of himself as he ignores his sister while he leads the birthday girl to the main room where the party is held. He’s grown up too, he tells himself, and not only physically.
Toph pulls him to a stop when they near the entrance, and Sokka is especially surprised that she hasn’t stopped him sooner. Toph Bei Fong doesn’t get pulled along, and Sokka would declare her sick if she hadn’t stopped him at all. He nearly smiles.
“Hold on, Sokka!” Toph complains, though she’s not really angry with him.
Sokka lets go of her hand – mostly because he’s forced to – and watches as the earthbender pulls on the dress a couple of times, probably to make it fit better or something. She takes a moment to breathe in deeply and prepare herself for a heap of compliments – because yes, she’s that kind of person – and when she’s done she grins broadly at him. Sokka grins back right away and can’t help but think that this is one of the expressions that suit her the most.
“Ready?” he asks as he offers her his arm.
The feeling of Toph’s hand on his upper arm and the slight squeeze she gives it is probably one of the best feelings ever. Sokka’s grin widens automatically and doesn’t falter even when Katara’s suddenly adjusting some things to the back of Toph’s dress – he thought she’d entered the room already. As he and the blind girl walked in the large space, having Aang announcing their (but especially Toph’s) arrival, Sokka thinks he can die happy. He knows the applause isn’t for him, nor are the cheers, but unlike everyone else in the room, he gets to walk with Toph by his side.
Maybe it’s time to confess.