DISCLAIMER: I do not own Avatar: The Last Airbender.
CHAPTER 12: Pride
"There's a Pride March next weekend and Toph and I are going!" Ty Lee trills, sauntering into the rooftop of Suki and Sokka's apartment.
"That's great, Ty Lee!" Suki exclaims. "Maybe Sokka and I can join you guys, show our support. If Captain Piandao doesn't assign us more cases."
"I've never been to a Pride March," Katara muses, taking a sip of her lemonade.
"Why? It's so fun!" Ty Lee plops down on a rickety chair beside them and props up her legs on the low wall. Katara frowns slightly. Seems like Toph's habits are rubbing off on her girlfriend.
"People dress up in whatever they want, and last time I went," Ty Lee continues, "This really hot gay couple proposed to each other at the same time! I cried like a baby."
"Aw, that's so cute," Katara agrees. "I'm gonna go, too. Is there anything I need to do? Make banners or dress up, too, or something?"
Suki giggles beside her. "You just need to be yourself, Katara."
She rolls her eyes. "Well, that means I'm gonna make a banner, Suki. Goodness knows I make enough arts and crafts everyday."
"Oh, please make one with macaroni!" Her future sister-in-law suggests, and Katara flicks some lemonade in her direction, laughing.
"How's it going with you and Toph, by the way?" Suki asks Ty Lee.
The girl beams. "It's been great! I can't believe we've been dating for nearly six months now!"
"I'm really happy for you guys," says Katara sincerely. It still fascinates her that the two are working it out, considering Toph's history of running away when things get too serious. Maybe the credit goes to Ty Lee's bubbly personality.
She makes getting milk from the fridge seem like an adventure.
"Who does?" Suki asks.
Katara doesn't even blink anymore when she speaks her mind accidentally. She just smiles at Toph's girlfriend.
"Ty Lee does. I think that's why it's going great with you and Toph," she explains. "She likes adventure, and you make everything fun. Even our impromptu tea date with Haru was fun."
Ty Lee blushes. "I do what I can. How are you and Haru doing?"
Suki nods. "You guys haven't gone out since the concert. How're you feeling about that?"
"We've both been busy with work," Katara admits with a sigh. "I don't know, guys. It's okay with Haru, but I'm starting to feel… bummed, I guess."
"Bummed how?" Suki prompts, setting down her empty glass on the rusty table.
"I don't know," she clutches her lemonade closer and everything she's been thinking about spills out in a rush. "I know you said I should have fun, Suki, but it's not fun anymore. I don't want to abandon him when he's talking about his dad going away for work or how his mom's store is failing, but I'm not really attached to him and it makes me feel like a really, really bad person but I honestly don't want this to get more serious because I just feel like I'm leading him on because I just don't see a future with him."
A very pregnant pause follows her speech as Suki and Ty Lee share a look behind Katara's hunched back.
Suki breaks the silence. "Sounds like you know what you need to do, Katara." Ty Lee nods solemnly and places a comforting hand on Katara's back.
"I don't want to break someone's heart again," Katara mutters. Aang's broken gray eyes fill her mind.
"What, and risk breaking your own?" Suki counters. "You just gotta rip off the band-aid, sweetie. Otherwise it's gonna fester."
Easier said than done.
"Lookin' great, Sparky!"
Zuko growled at his roommate's sarcasm and tugged at his red jeans.
Toph's girlfriend insisted that he wear "colorful clothes" for the Pride March instead of his usual black shirt and black slacks. She even came with a bunch of outfits that made Zuko cringe and wish he was six feet underground.
The only thing Ty Lee could coax him into is a black tank top with a print that read "I like my whiskey straight but my friends can go either way" in bold neon colors.
He only wore it because it is the truth.
Especially the whiskey part.
"I agree with Toph, Zuko! You look great!" The girl clasps her hands excitedly. "If you weren't straight, you'd clean up at the March!"
Zuko pinches the bridge of his nose and counts to ten in his head. He thought Toph was particularly stubborn when she wants something, but her girlfriend is an entirely new breed of persuasive.
She even convinced Toph to go in a rainbow-colored romper. Not that the blind girl knows or cares how she looks like, but it is still startling to see Toph relinquish control like that.
"Let's get this over with," mutters Zuko.
"Oh!" exclaims Ty Lee. "We gotta go pick up the others at Katara's apartment. It's closer to the parade route."
"What?" Zuko sputters.
Toph grins wickedly at him. "She said, Sugar Queen's place is closer to the parade route. Want me to clean your ears for ya?"
"Oh, no thanks, Toph, but I may need to get my eyes checked. I can't believe you're all dressed up for a girl," Zuko teases, knowing it is the best way to shut Toph up.
She blushes furiously and punches him right at the hipbone.
Katara fiddles with the neckline of her tie-dye crop top. She trades her mother's necklace for a simple black choker. She can't risk losing the necklace at the march— she can't count how many times it fell off the past week. The clasps need to be replaced again.
"Katara! You ready yet?" Sokka hollers at her bedroom door. "Ty Lee just texted, they're heading up here already!"
"Coming!" she calls back. She grabs the banners she made— and is seriously proud of, thank you very much— and heads to the kitchen.
"'Equality in the streets and in the sheets,'" Suki reads one of her signs. "That's cute, Katara! What's on the other one?"
"Oh, it's the one you two requested," she holds up the poster board that reads, "Gays will NOT ruin OUR marriage!" in huge block letters.
"I came up with that one," Sokka declares proudly.
"Real subtle, Sokka," Suki rolls her eyes at her fiancé.
"Your talent for witticism stuns me," adds Katara dryly.
Sokka frowns at the two. "It was short notice! Let's see you come up with—"
Loud banging on the door cuts him off. Toph's muffled voice yells, "Open up, Sugar Queen! Let's get this show started!"
Katara laughs at her friend's enthusiasm and opens the door. Toph strides in and punches Katara's arm before she could comment on the blind girl's uncharacteristic outfit.
Sokka is quicker to the draw, though. "Wow, Toph! You can stop traffic with that jumpsuit!" He whistles, earning him a punch in the gut from both Suki and Toph.
"It's not a jumpsuit, it's a romper!" Ty Lee explains from the doorway. Katara steps aside to let her pass, dazed at the flurry of colors in the girl's rainbow tutu. She almost closes the door when she sees Zuko lurking in the hallway.
"Hey!" She flinches at the squeaky quality her voice took on. "Come in!"
He nods, hands stuffed in his pockets, not quite looking at her. Katara shrugs it off to general discomfort— he seems to have plenty of that.
"Nice place," he rasps, the tips of his ears reddening.
"Oh c'mon," she dismisses. "Your place is way nicer and in a better neighborhood."
He shrugs, gaze wandering around the living area until he finally looks at her.
"You look… you look—" he clears his throat. "Uh, your flower crown's nice. Did you make it?"
"Oh, thanks." Katara reaches up to touch the hairband. She's almost forgotten she was wearing it. "Actually, some of my kids made it."
"Your kids?" His confused look clears up after a moment. "Oh. That's nice of them. Although, it kinda explains why it looks, uh, like it's falling apart."
Katara huffs. "Oh, give them some credit. It was really sweet."
Zuko snorts. "Now I know why Toph calls you 'Sweetness' and 'Sugar Queen'. I thought it was just because it's the opposite of who you are."
"Hey!" Katara crosses her arms across her chest. "Wanna go, Scarface?"
Zuko scowls. "You and your brother are the only ones who call me that."
"Katara!" Ty Lee calls from the adjoining kitchen. "The signs you made are fabulous!"
Katara grins when she sees the one Ty Lee is holding. "That's for you and Toph."
"What's it say?" Toph asks, hands flitting over the painted words.
"'Can't see rainbows but I know love,'" Katara replies.
Toph scrunches up her face. "That's so cheesy even for you, Sweetness!"
"Hey!" She plants her hands on her hips. "Ty Lee told me you said that!"
"Babe!" Toph flushes a deep red amid the group's awws.
"It was the sweetest thing I've ever heard!" Ty Lee exclaims, wrapping her arms around the grumbling, blushing girl.
"Oh, this is absolute gold," Sokka laughs, wiping an imaginary tear from his eyes. "Wittle baby Tophie's all grown up and spewing poetry!"
"I will end you, Sokka with an okka," Toph growls, her threat muffled as her head is still buried in Ty Lee's shoulder.
"I didn't know we were supposed to make signs," Katara hears Zuko mutter behind her.
"You're already making a statement, though," she points out. "It suits you."
"What?" He blurts out, confused.
Katara blushes. "I meant your shirt! 'I like my whiskey straight but my friends can go either way'?"
"Oh, yeah," Zuko looks down at his tank top and shoots Ty Lee a glare.
"It's the only one you wanted to wear!" she pouts. "You didn't even want to accessorize with that cute, vintage rainbow visor!"
"Everyone would've loved that," comments Toph mischievously.
"Hey, at least Ty Lee didn't make you wear a dress like she did with Sokka," Suki chimes in.
Katara guffaws. "Oh my gosh, I nearly forgot about that!"
"You wore a dress?" Zuko coughs, trying to hide his laughter.
"It was a bet!" Sokka puffs his chest up, despite blushing up to his undercut. "And Suki liked it!"
"I liked it, too, Sokka!" Ty Lee says earnestly. "You have really nice legs."
"You should've worn that today, Sokka," Katara teases. "I'm sure the crossdressing community would appreciate it."
"Wearing a dress doesn't make me gay!" Sokka sputters.
"I never said crossdressing made you gay," his sister giggles.
Toph slams her feet on the ground before Sokka could answer. "Speaking of the gays! Let's haul ass!"
A/N: First off, this has two parts! Second, I got inspired by a prompt on otpprompts on Tumblr under post/174933560598/imagine-your-otp-going-to-their-first-ever-lgbt. More prompts from this blog coming in the next chapter! Also, if you can't imagine what their outfits look like, I based them off on a simple Google image search of "outfits for Pride March" and Huffpost's "23 Fierce Pride Outfits To Wear This Year" lol. (I'm not the most fashionable person in the block tbh). Please leave a review if you're still enjoying this ahehe