Ty Lee's twins don't come as a surprise, not when Sokka thinks about it. It explains a lot about her, actually.
Aang's eyes well up when he sees them flying in circles around their crib, and Sokka claps him on the back and says, "see, your people aren't all dead after all".
They have a lot of fun with them, because, flying babies, how cool is that? Neither of them tries to eat any of Sokka's weapons, which is a definite point in their favor in his book. Suki paints their faces with the Kyoshi makeup and they zap around like giant hummingsparrows chasing the blobs of water Katara bends at them. Now and again they perch on Appa's horns to rest like they belong there.
Sokka goes back home with a warm feeling in his chest and the idea that spawning isn't such a nightmare after all. He and Suki might even try it some day. In, like, fifteen years.
Two years later Sokka's holding his son and singing to him and sort of jostling him around to make him burp, because apparently kids build up gas if you don't do that, and Sokka doesn't want his kid to explode or anything. Suki is watching from a pile of furs, looking more freaked out by the minute. Which she shouldn't be because it's a very manly hunting song and not at all a lullaby, no matter what Katara says.
Sokka's just come to the part about the fluffy tigerseal pup called Booboo when Pakku blows a happy bubble out of his mouth, sneezes and shoots out of Sokka's hands into the side of the tent. And okay, Sokka isn't exactly an expert on babies, but he's pretty sure they're not supposed to do that. And if they do they definitely shouldn't hover in the air afterwards, laughing toothlessly and trying to do a somersault.
"Suki," Sokka says after he's managed to reel in his jaw from the floor. "Uh, do you have anything to tell me, by any chance?"
Aang is Sokka's friend, and Sokka is a very mature, rational person who trusts his girlfriend implicitly, so he absolutely doesn't try to club Aang over the head while Katara holds him back. Anyone who thinks they saw that must have been confused. All 47 of them. Mass hallucinations are more common than you'd think.
"Honestly, Sokka," Katara says, with an air of disappointed superiority. "We probably have some Air Nomad blood in our ancestry, and so does Suki. You could have tried being sensible about this."
Sokka could think up half a dozen comebacks for this in a second, he absolutely could, but Suki's thrown him out for the night and he doesn't want to turn into a human icicle, so he shuts up.
Three months after that a very bundled up Toph arrives on one of the trading ships. She's holding a string in one hand, towing a roped up toddler after her like a chubby balloon. The yelling starts before she's even set foot on the shore.
"I hope you have an explanation for this, Twinkletoes! Otherwise I'm going to find some rocks in this spiritsforsaken place and you'll regret I was ever born, okay!"
Sokka totally has to hold Katara back from drowning Aang. That definitely does happen. He gets drenched again, but on the plus side he won't have to bother with a bath or laundry this week.
Also now he could gloat over Katara's idea of being sensible about things. Theoretically. If he were suicidal.
"Of course I didn't sleep with him. Yuck. What kind of a desperate loser would bang Twinkletoes?" Toph says afterwards. Katara gives her the stink eye and Aang flushes indignantly. Sokka remembers how much he's missed her. "I just thought he might have something to do with this."
"I don't! I have no idea what's happening. I'm as much in the dark about this as you guys," Aang shouts out exasperatedly.
They're holding the emergency meeting at Sokka's place, mostly because Sokka needs to change ASAP. The Tophlet is floating somewhere in the vicinity of the ceiling, by the looks of it trying to break through the ice with her head. If she's anything like Toph Sokka's not betting on the ice.
"You have to admit it's a remarkable coincidence," Katara says, in a voice that makes Sokka hope she's not about to bust the Waterbending again. He's running out of dry clothes faster than Aang's gaining possibly illegitimate babies.
"Maybe it's the whole bringing balance to the world deal," he tries to distract her. "Maybe Aang shoots out Airbender-making waves or something. And nobody hung out with him as much as us."
Katara and Aang look like they're actually thinking this over. Toph just blinks in his general direction.
"Great. More importantly, can you fix her somehow? I can't take care of her when I can't even see her, and she flies all the time."
Aang looks dubiously up at mini-Toph.
"I could try."
"You didn't tell me you got involved with anyone, Toph," Katara says brightly, obviously trying to steer the conversation away from tinkering with people's bending.
Toph looks, if possible, even more unimpressed than usual.
"Only if by getting involved you mean letting the guy buy me a drink."
Unsurprisingly, because Sokka is not only the ideas guy but also the insight guy, his theory about Aang's unintentional repopulating of the Air Nomads turns out to be right. Even Katara agrees with him about the time the polar wolfbears start giving birth to air bison. Which is weird, no doubt about it, but by now there's very little Sokka wouldn't take in stride. He's all for making almost extinct species un-extinct, especially if he gets a convenient mode of transportation into the deal.
The wolfbears sink into the meat creature equivalent of an existential crisis, but whatever, they should just get over it. Sokka did.
When the huge Fire Nation warship shows up in the distance Sokka is cleaning fish in the snow, but he has enough of a hunch what's about to happen to abandon that and go wait by the water. The ship comes to a stop, the crew lowers the ramp, and Zuko emerges in full armor, looking not so much like somebody kicked his puppy, but more like the puppy's been run over by a herd of stampeding armadilloelephants and then scraped off the dirt to be used as bathroom carpeting.
"You too, eh?" Sokka says amiably instead of a greeting. Zuko stops abruptly a few feet from him and his eyes narrow suspiciously. "Let me guess. You and the missus got around to stocking the royal nursery, only now the baby's buzzing around instead of hiccupping fire blasts or whatever little Fire Lords are supposed to do, right? Yeah, that's Aang."
If Sokka were a better man, he'd add the rest of the explanation. These days Zuko is an all-right guy, and he's probably spend several weeks worth of a journey agonizing over Mai two-timing him with the Avatar, and that must be doing wonders for his sense of self-worth. He deserves the truth. Trouble is, the whole armor getup is giving Sokka a not so happy reminder of the time Zuko kicked him face first in a snow-drift, so he tries to look sincere and trustworthy and keeps his mouth shut.
"What do you mean, that's Aang?"
"Well, you know. Do I have to paint you a picture? I mean, you've been married for how long, you should have figured out where babies come from by now."
Not a muscle moves on Zuko's face, and he goes very, very still. It's kind of scary. Sokka's on a roll though, and there's no going back now.
"It's not like it hasn't happened before. Yours is the fifth one. That we know about, that is."
Which is the truth, strictly speaking. He doesn't even need to lie. Zuko still isn't entirely convinced.
"Isn't he still with your sister? You expect me to believe you didn't do anything to him?"
"Like what? He's the Avatar; we need him. What if your people decide conquering the world is the best idea ever all over again? No offense."
Zuko watches him for a few moments, considering, and then turns around and strides toward the village without another word.
Sokka goes back to the fish with the warm satisfaction of a job well done. In a couple of minutes the distant sounds of yelling and the hissing of water evaporating reach his ears, and he grins. Katara is going to hit him hard enough that his brain will probably flip over, but it will so be worth it. Never let it be said that Sokka from the Water Tribe didn't get his revenge sooner or later.
Zuko is having a lie down, holding a wet compress over his eyes and moaning. Katara is fussing over a still unconscious Aang and shooting Sokka poisonous glares full of promise, which is bad. Sokka's head is still ringing from the last lecture. There should definitely be a limit on the number of scoldings a guy could receive in a single day from his baby sister. Sokka's masculinity might not recover if he has to suffer being dragged by the ear in front of the entire village again.
"What am I going to do?" Zuko groans next to him, mercifully reminding him that there are problems bigger than Sokka's out there. "I can't have the next Fire Lord be an Airbender."
"Maybe it wears off. Pop out a dozen more sprogs and the last one could be a Firebender," Sokka suggests, ever helpful. "Or you could change the title to Steam Lord or something. Or, ooh, give the kid a torch and some maotai, and he'll be all set for a career in fire breathing."
The wet cloth hits him square in the face.
Katara's first kid is a Waterbender. Figures. Sokka's on his third flying one and they're all vegetarian to boot.
He wonders if he could lodge a complaint with the spirits or something.