Toki stood outside, waiting for Astrid. Astrid had noticed that something was up with Toki's mood and asked if she wanted to go for a walk. Toki was a bit confused, but agreed. Toki pulled her phone out of her pocket and checked the time. "Where are you, I've been waiting for 15 minutes..." She said to herself. She gasped as a piece of cloth suddenly moved in front of her eyes, depriving her of her sight. She nearly engulfed herself in flames to burn the person tying the blindfold, then stopped herself when she caught a whiff of vanilla, mint, and smoke.
"Astrid?" Toki quietly inquired. "Glad you asked first instead of immediately trying to decapitate me like last time." Astrid said with a slight chuckle. "Not my fault you scared me..." Toki said, pouting and moving her hands up to try and remove the blindfold. "Ah, ah, ah. Not yet." Astrid said, gently grabbing Toki's wrists, lowering them back to their original positions at her hips. "Why not?" Toki asked. Astrid smiled a bit, then leaned in closer to the younger girl. "Do you trust me?" She whispered. Toki nodded. "Of course." She then yelped in surprise as she felt Astrid pick her up and move her so that she was hanging on Astrid's back.
She wrapped her arms around Astrid's neck as Astrid hooked her arms under Toki's legs to prevent her from falling. Toki was rather glad she had chosen to wear jeans instead of a skirt that day. She felt Astrid move and could tell that Astrid was running, due to the force of the wind hitting her face. Toki laid her head on Astrid's back and waited patiently for them to reach their destination. Astrid slowed to a stop about 20 minutes later. Toki heard the sound of falling water and assumed they were at Miracle Falls, a waterfall near her house that she frequently visited. Astrid set Toki down and removed the blindfold.
Toki gasped in surprise as she saw they weren't at Miracle Falls, but a new waterfall entirely. There was a shallow pool that was fed by a series of small waterfalls, then emptied into a larger pool via another waterfall. "Amazing..." Toki breathed. "Like it?" Astrid asked. "It's beautiful. How did you find it?" Toki asked, turning to face Astrid. "Random luck, believe it or not." The 19 year old answered. Toki look perplexed. "But you have the worlds worst luck." She pointed out. "I know. That's why I said 'random'." Astrid laughed. "True." Toki giggled. "So, why are we here?" She asked. "I know you didn't take me here just to show it to me, since I probably would have found it on my own sooner or later." Astrid looked impressed. "You know me better than my own parents." She said.
"Anyway, your mood's been off the past few days and those of us that have noticed are worried." Astrid explained. "You haven't been here for a week." Toki said. "Turns out the only time Kaya doesn't want to rip my throat out is when she's worried about you." Astrid said. "If she was worried, then why didn't she come talk to me herself?" Toki inquired. "Because she knows if she had, you would have probably punched her and said everything was fine." Astrid answered. "So, what's the matter?" She asked. "Nothing." Toki responded. "I didn't bring you here so you could lie to me, Angel." Astrid said, sternly. Toki frowned slightly, then sighed and sat down next to a tree. "Things have just been stressful lately..." She said.
"How so?" Astrid queried, sitting next to Toki. "Think about it. I have school, then I have to take care of Sabine, keep you and Kaya from murdering each other, keep the house from blowing up whenever Kaya goes in the kitchen, plus I'm paranoid about Temperance, even though she's helped us and I'm a bit paranoid about Aveira as well.And now that Ohen is in charge of the DCM..." Toki trailed off. "Yeah, it sounds like you need a break..." Astrid remarked. "Doesn't help that the black lightning and black fire are messing with my mind..." Toki added, pulling her knees up to her chest.
Astrid frowned a bit. Toki had learned black lighting and black fire in order to get Sabine back from her ancestor, Cassandra. Toki knew that one of the risks was possibly ending up like Cassandra, but she was determined to get her daughter back. Despite the fact that Toki hadn't used them since she and Kaya killed Cassandra, they still had an influence over her mind.
"I'm scared that one day I'm going to snap and end up hurting one of you..." Toki said quietly, trying to keep her impending tears at bay. She felt Astrid's arm wrap around her shoulder and pull her close. "There's nothing wrong with stopping one of us and venting, you know." Astrid said. "I don't want to bother anyone..." Toki said quietly, laying her head on Astrid's chest. "Tell you what. Next time you feel like this, you come find me or call me and we'll go for a walk or spar or do whatever it takes to make you feel better, alright?" Astrid offered.
Toki looked up at Astrid in surprise. She was expecting a 'You wouldn't be bothering anyone' type of response. "You ok?" Astrid inquired. Toki looked away, then laid her head back on Astrid's chest. "Why is it that you're nice with me, then standoffish to most everyone else?" She asked. "Because you've given me no reason to be standoffish. You saved my life despite not knowing me, you let me stay with you when you found out my house had burned down due to arson, and you don't get annoyed merely by me being around, unlike a few other people I know." Astrid answered. Toki was once again surprised. She was expecting a 'Because I like you' answer.
"It's because you like me and you know it. No more, no less." Toki countered as she felt some tears fall down her cheeks. "It's more than because I like you. It's because you deserve better cards than the ones you were dealt when you were born. I love you for who you are, not what you look like. You are easily the sweetest and kindest person I have ever met and those related to you are proud of you. Kaya's proud you're her baby sister, Kora and Sabrina are proud you're their daughter and Sabine's proud you're her mother." Astrid explained.
Toki felt more tears fall and hugged Astrid as she cried. Astrid just hugged back and hummed a lullaby to try and calm the sobbing girl down. Toki slowly began to calm down a few minutes later and stopped crying altogether a while after that. "Feel better now?" Astrid asked. "Yes... Thank you, Astrid..." Toki said, hugging Astrid a bit tighter. "You're welcome, Toki." Astrid responded, kissing the top of Toki's head. The two stayed and talked, never moving from their embrace, until after it had turned dark.
"We'd better head back." Astrid suggested. Toki pouted a bit, but knew she was right. "Alright." She responded. Astrid smiled, then stood up and helped Toki up. "Do you want to walk or do you want me to carry you?" She asked, expecting Toki to say she wanted to walk. "Carry, if you don't mind." Toki answered, surprising the older girl. Astrid smiled once again. "Alright." She said.
She picked Toki up, bridal style, then moved her onto her back, hooking her arms under Toki's legs. "Can you walk this time, though?" Toki asked. "It'll take about an hour to get back, but sure." Astrid answered. "That's fine with me." Toki said, laying her head on Astrid's shoulder. Astrid smiled once more, then started the hour long walk back to Toki's house. By the time they got back, Toki had fallen asleep, but she was smiling contently.