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Esteemed - Denial
A/N: DA user SqueakyE did a sketch commission for this chapter. You can find it in the description.
-119 ASC; Winter-
-Toph's age: 31-
I don't want this. I never wanted this.
How did I let this happen?
Is this real? If this is a real thing, what am I going to do?
The brain of Toph Beifong was being flooded from both sides that evening: one side by a stream of dreadful thoughts, the other by a steady trickling of saké. Her mind's meanderings ran ice cold while the saké was piping hot. The rice wine stung at the edges of her throat on the way down, a masochistic delight in her self-loathing state.
Her home was just as quiet that evening as it generally was. Its thick stone walls shielded her ears from the usual torrent of noise emanating from the nearby city streets. But this didn't stop her sensitive feet from feeling the hundreds of thousands of vibrations in any given minute. She had kicked
Esteemed - Recovery
A/N: This chapter (the fifth written for Esteemed) takes place the day after chapter 1, 'Afraid Not.' The narrative points this out, but I figured I'd mention it here, just in case.
-128 ASC; Summer-
-Toph's age: 40-
-Lin's age: 8-
"-...om? ...ke p...Mom...C'm...up!"
"Nngh...?" Toph was slowly waking up to the sound of a familiar voice, her muscles sore and achy. There was a repeated pressure against her abdomen. Ouch. Ouch. Owwwww, what-?
"It's late, Mom! You shouldn't sleep all day."
As Toph pulled herself up from her mattress, her head was thrown into a state of dizziness as it pounded with pain. Damnit, she was hung over, for sure.
"Lin...?" Toph mumbled, pushing messy hair strands from her lips with a 'Puh!'
"Come on, get up."
Toph was still gaining her senses to the world around her. She nudged her sheet off, exposing her bare shins and arms to the air arou
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