Title: The Sound of Rain
Fandom: Avatar: The Last Airbender
Word Count: 763
Summary: Katara tries to coax Toph into sleeping with the rest of them on a stormy night.
Pairings/Warnings: Mild Katara/Toph. Come on, people, where is the love for this pairing?
Rating: G. It is entirely inoffensive.
The rain stuck the sides of Toph's stone tent and slid off onto the ground. It was one of the heavier storms of the year, and the drops made a constant pattering sound as Toph tossed and turned, trying to get to sleep. Her tent kept her dry enough, but the rainfall was setting off almost constant small vibrations in the ground around her, which made trying to get to sleep sort of like trying to sleep in a lit room for anybody else: possible, but difficult. That's what she was told, anyway. Toph, obviously, had no first-hand knowledge.
She actually heard the footsteps before she felt them, which was unusual; The wet ground made more noise when stepped in than it did when dry, and the raindrops hid the vibrations. Someone was walking towards her. She focused on feeling the approaching the approaching person's vibrations, and groaned as she identified her.
"What do you want?" she bit out testily. She was in a foul mood, and had little interest in conversation.
"I just wanted to let you know, you don't have to sleep out here alone if you don't want to," Katara said, crouched by the wall of Toph's makeshift shelter. "It's much warmer back in the tents, and Sokka remembered to put up the tarp this time so it's pretty dry, too."
Toph snorted. "Thanks, but no thanks, Mother Dearest. I'm perfectly fine by myself."
"All right, if that's what you want," Katara said, standing up. "If you change your mind, though, the offer's still open."
"Great," Toph said. "Good. Fantastic. Go away."
Katara stood up, and began walking back to where her (apparently) warm, dry tent was waiting. Toph rolled over, trying to find a comfortable position that would let her sleep.
Stupid Katara. Toph didn't need her help. She would manage on her own, just like she always did. Besides, the rain would be just as much of an annoyance in a regular tent, if not worse, so it wasn't as if she'd have more luck getting to sleep over there.
Toph jumped in surprise as a loud booming noise rolled over the campsite. Thunder. That's all it was. It was a pretty big storm, of course there was going to be thunder. She lay back down, taking deep breaths to calm herself down.
Thunder had always frightened her as a child. The big booms had always made it sound like there were giants walking around outside, and nobody had ever been able to explain where the sound came from. Her parents said it was because of lightning, but what was lightning? They could never describe it in a way that she could understand.
But that was when she was a stupid little kid. She wasn't going to be afraid of some dumb noise now, and she definitely didn't need Katara's help. She'd be fine on her own.
She jumped again as another burst of thunder filled the air.
Katara's eyes fluttered open as Toph stepped through the tent flap. She smiled tiredly up at the small, wet girl. "Change your mind?" she asked quietly.
"Shut up," Toph said weakly, dropping down to the ground beside her. "I just thought you guys might get worried without me, that's all."
"All right," Katara said, not contesting her claim. "Good night, then."
When the thunder rolled through again, Toph tried not to react. Like heck she'd let herself look that stupid in front of everyone. But she must have tensed up or something, because Katara leaned over, placed a hand on her shoulder, and asked if something was wrong.
"No, nothing's wrong," she insisted, but the next thunderclap betrayed her. Her whole body tensed as she tried to resist reacting to it, and Katara immediately picked up on it.
"You know," she said, "there's nothing wrong with being-"
"Whatever," Toph said, deliberately interrupting her.
Toph closed her eyes and did her best to block out the surrounding vibrations, so she was actually taken by surprise when she found Katara pressed up against her back. She opened her mouth to protest, but another roll of thunder swallowed the words, and when it was over she wasn't sure she wanted to argue it anymore. She would never admit it, but it was sort of comforting to have someone close like that. It didn't stop the sound of thunder from being frightening, but it helped a little.
Telling herself that it was just less hassle to sleep like this than to get Katara to move, and that that was all, Toph closed her eyes again and drifted off to sleep. She didn't even mind when Katara put an arm around her to hold her closer.
Crossposted to avatar_fans, avatarfic, avatar_femslash, and toph_katara. Wow, that's a lot of places! I apologize for the flist spam.