Disclaimer: I own all three seasons on DVD (I'm watching an episode right now) but I don't own Avatar.
Its as Aang and Katara as saying their possibly final goodbye, Toph realizes she does not want her last words to Sokka to be insulting the submarine he invented, which she'll admit, could not have been invented by a total idiot.
"Sokka?" He is heading towards the front of the ship while as she is heading towards the tanks, but he stops and turns around at her call.
"Don't be a meathead and get yourself killed." Toph states, trying to be cool even though she's secretly worried. After all, it's just now that she's realizing how serious the situation is. There was always a threat of death hanging around them, it came with traveling with the Avatar, but this time is different. It's real. They could die in seconds out there. Everything up until now had been practice, and this, this was it; a real battle. What if they lost? What if Sokka, Katara, or Aang died?
"What's this? Toph are you getting pre-battle jitters?" Sokka jokingly asks and she punches him in the arm. He smiles anyway. "There, back to normal."
She laughs. "But seriously. Don't die."
"I won't. I'm invincible. I know you've never seen me in an actual battle, but let me tell you. I am a beast."
"Sure." She drags out the word, and he scoffs in fake horror.
"You don't believe me? Waapow" His arms flail in the air as he tries to perform some elaborate move but she conks him on his head and he falls to the ground.
"Even though it's soooo unlikely that you'd get hurt or something… I want you to know that I'm so glad that you're my friend."
Suddenly, he pulls her into him, his arms wrap around her back, and she returns the hug. For a few moments they stand together like that, until he whispers, "I'm so glad you're part of my family."
Their embrace is nothing like the one happening above. Its is not romantic or months in the making, but it just a special to Toph as anything. Because, right now being just friends, being just family… is plenty enough.
AN: Because, even if they don't get together, they will always be best friends. I went to rewatch a few scenes of DOBS pt1 to make sure Toph's last words to Sokka are about the submarine (it is) and that they'd have enough time for this for exchange to happen (they do) and also to watch one of my favorite scenes which is a shot of Toph looking a bit scared with her earthbenders and then Sokka sighing with the other warriors. That's actually what inspired me to write this one.