I realized that Sokka needs more love in my one-shots, and this idea came to mind. Short, rather pointless, but I hope you enjoy it anyway. Reviews are much loved, and I don't own this stuff. I begged and begged, but the creators are just mean that way.

Parental Guidance

Sokka could never understand, as a young boy, why a girl got so mad when he pointed out the obvious. Come on, it was obvious that they were weaker by nature, and there were…. just certain ways that all things should be.

Men did the fighting and the hard work, and women took care of, well, everything else.

Simple as that.

If it was one thing that Sokka hated more than anything, it was having his mind changed. More precisely, he hated having it changed as proof that he had been wrong to begin with: and nobody likes to be wrong, but Sokka, with his pride, had an especial distaste for it.

So the time in his life after he had met Aang had been a bit difficult.

He had needed to change his view on firebenders, for one thing. His view of war had been altered, once he had seen real battle. He needed to fix his opinion of all royalty as pampered, worthless, spoiled little snobs. And above all, it had changed his view of women.

Yeah, it had been easy as a boy growing up in the South Pole to keep his own prejudices (although he never called them that; it was such an ugly word.)

But then he met a girl who could roast him alive without blinking.

His best friend married a girl who could cleave a mountain in two by the time she reached twenty-one.

His baby sister could sink ships with a flick of her wrist and a little willpower, and bring someone back from the edge of death as long as she had access to a puddle.

But more important in changing his views than anything else, had been Suki. Suki, who fought beside him and saved him more times than he would care to count, who offered him words of advice and always made sure his wounds were taken care of before she tended to her own.

And, of course, it helped that she could thoroughly kick his butt with a few swift motions of those deadly golden fans. (Actually, Sokka had grown into a fantastic warrior, but the Kyoshi girl could always manage to get the upper hand somehow…)

Yes, it was most certainly Suki who had changed him, who had become his friend, who had become his lover, who had become his wife, and last, but not least, the mother of his daughter. And it scared him sometimes, to look at the two of them reading together or playing or sleeping, and realize how much of his life hung on them, how dependent he really was.

So Sokka overcame his thoughts about girls, because although he disliked having to change his mind, he was smart enough to know when to do it.

But it was even more of a learning experience when he got it from the other side.

Sokka sat outside, one late afternoon, quickly and efficiently scaling a fish for dinner, occasionally waving as one of the Kyoshi islanders greeted him as them passed. As he was near to finishing with the messy thing, there was a voice suddenly beside him, a tearful one at that.

"Dadeeeeeeee….." it wailed.

Sokka turned to see his daughter standing there, five years old and terribly short for her age. Akira had inherited her father's coloring and scruffy hair, to be sure, but it was Suki's eyes that looked out at him now, welled up with tears, and Suki's nose that was runny and being rubbed.

Sokka got to his feet, perhaps a bit faster than necessary, and scooped his daughter up with him, absentmindedly wiping her small face off with his clean shirt.

"Akira? What happened?"

It took a few tries, since she kept breaking into hiccups and sobs, and by the time she managed to calm down, Sokka was about ready to brutally maim (or something to that effect) whoever had made her so upset.

Akira took a shuddering breath and a sip of her hot tea. Akira was the only person who really enjoyed Sokka's tea, so it was nice that father and daughter could partake in it together.

"W-well," she said, "Dai and the other boys s-said I can't play with them! They just ran off an' left me behind!"

Sokka frowned. Dai seemed like a nice boy, too. Polite, at least.

"Now, why would they do that?" he asked.

How dare they do that? He thought.

Akira's face scrunched up again.

"Because I'm a girl…a weak, silly, dumb girl, and they said that boys are just better at playing adventure games…I'm not dumb, am I, Dad?"

But Dad looked dumbstruck.

Sokka felt as though he had just been slapped in the face with a dose of karma. Had a girl ever gotten this upset when he and his young friends refused to let her join? Had Katara ever cried like this? Did it make girls feel this bad and angry?

The Water Tribe warrior, for a few speechless minutes, felt like the most rotten human being on earth. His girl did not deserve that treatment. She was sharp-witted, kind, strong, and sweet, so how could the boys exclude her?

She was just as good as they were.

And he understood, fully, why girls had always gotten so upset. Perhaps not cried about it, but still….oh, boy.

But thankfully, he knew how to fix the problem, and pulled his little girl into a hug.

"Naw, you're not dumb. Or silly, or weak. And there's a way you can fix this now."

Akira looked up. "Really?"


"What do I have to do?"

Sokka had a second to marvel at the words before they left his mouth. "You have to kick their butts."

Oh dear, was he really saying this?

Akira's gray-blue eyes widened. "What?"

Her father nodded. "Yep. You have to wipe the floor with them, but don't hurt them. Do it in a sort of playing manner, like part of a game."

"Why would I do that, Dad?"

But Akira was the daughter of two great warriors, and she was excited already at the idea of being able to fight, bouncing slightly.

"Because boys can have thick skulls sometimes, and that's the only way to be sure of fixing 'em."

"Why is it the only way?"

"Beating them is a bit of a jab to their pride, and I think that's the problem here. If you beat them, they certainly won't want to admit that they were defeated by someone weaker, so if those boys have any sense in them at all, they'll realize that you're their equal."

"Ha! I'm better than they are, huh Dad?"

Her father shook her head. "No, because that's unfair too. I've seen men and women fight and die beside each other in battle. Trust me, we're all the same."

Akira nodded, and broke into a smile.

"So, should I use my bending? Aunt Katara taught me this really cool move last time she visited."

Sokka had been shocked when he discovered that Akira was a bender, and that had been another prejudice he had to overcome, that bending was "silly magic." Of course, he shouldn't have been so surprised, since he was from the Water Tribe, but he had never imagined raising a child who could waterbend.

Life enjoyed throwing curves at him, it would seem.

He nodded. "Yeah, use your bending. Freeze them: that ought to work."

And again, he realized that he was a parent encouraging his child to fight.

This was just too weird.

He then set aside half an hour and lectured her that fighting was not always the answer, but sometimes you had to stand up for yourself. She shouldn't start fights willy-nilly, got it?

But then he realized that his wife would give the exact same advice. In fact, so would his sister. And probably his brother-in-law as well (whom Akira absolutely adored, to Sokka's irritation, especially when he did the trick with the 'fireworks'…it had taken the girl a while to realize that the colorful flames came out of her uncle's hands.)

Akira was practically skipping now, rushing out the door and grabbing her water skin, which had been Aunt Katara's birthday present.

"You sure this will work, right?"

He sighed, rubbing his temples. His wife was either going to laugh her head off when she found out, or clobber him senseless. (Luckily for Sokka, it was the former.)

"Yeah, trust me on this one."


A/N: Sokka makes quite an unusual father.

I would like some feedback, if you mind. And let me warn you that the song "Fergelicious" will give you the worst case of earworm you have ever had. Make it stop...