AN: Hey everyone! This is my first Avatar fic, but it's not my first fanfiction ever, so hopefully it's not too bad. I wrote this for an assignment for my creative writing class and we never get feedback for anything we write (seems a little weird, right?). I wanted to get some sort of response to it, so I figured I'd post it. So please read and review!

Summary: Ten years after the war, the Gaang is all set in their new lives. All except Aang and Katara. Aang comes up with an elaborate plan to propose to her, but what happens when Hakoda ruins the entire thing? Can Sokka and Suki come up with a new plan on the spot?

Disclaimer: I own nothing. That honor goes to Mike and Bryan.

Warrior's Instinct

I felt myself collide with the floor as I, once again, lost a sparring session with my wife. One would think that she would take a rest from training once in a while, but no. And I highly doubted that I would get away with letter her win again.

"Sokka," she said sternly, "You can actually try once in a while."

I stood up and said, "You shouldn't even be sparring as it is, Suki." That would get me a tongue lashing, but it was better than her straining herself.

"Just because I'm pregnant doesn't mean that I can't fight," she growled.

"Well, Katara did say that you shouldn't so anything too strenuous-"

"And you're just the greatest example of always listening to your sister, aren't you?" Suki retorted, almost hissing through clenched teeth. I took a deep breath, reminding myself that pregnancy came with hormones, and wrapped my arms around her. Sometime that was all it took for her to calm down. Thankfully, this was one of those times. "I'm sorry," she muttered into my chest. "I know you must be sick of my mood swings."

I just laughed and kissed the top of her head. "Who else would keep me on my toes? Besides, you're prettier than any other girl I could ever have," I said, teasing her.

"You remember that when I'm as big as a whale," she said, looking up at me with a smile playing at her lips. Then she looked around the room and sighed. "I guess we can be done for today."

I let out a dramatic breath of relief. "Oh, thank the spirits! I'm done with my dressing like a girl for the day," I said, hoping to get a reaction out of her. She playfully shoved me away from her and smiled.

"It's a warrior's uniform and don't you forget it," she said, pulling off her headpiece. "And if you keep insulting traditional Kyoshi lifestyles, you can be sure that you will not be sleeping in the same room as me for a very long time." Despite the smile on her face, Sokka heard the underlying threat in his wife's voice and shuddered. He still hadn't learned where to draw the line.

It had been ten years since the war with the Fire Nation had ceased. Firelord Zuko was now securely in hold of the throne. He was doing a much better job than his father ever did. There was no way that he could have done anything in the way of corrupting the government even if he'd wanted to, though. Not with Mai, now his wife, being in near constant contact with every person in the world who could easily take him down. He and I had been getting together a few times a month to keep our sword arms in shape and he found a surprisingly receptive ear in me. How I ever turned into the listening guy, I have no idea. I would like to put the blame on my wife though.

Aang was still traveling around the world, fulfilling his Avatar duties. He was planning on proposing to Katara by the summer solstice. They had been together officially for just over five years now, but we all saw it coming. They were both too chicken to do anything before Aang was old enough to deal with everything. He still wasn't completely sure how to balance personal time with Avatar time, but at least he realized that he needed Katara. They had both grown up as well. Katara looked more like our mother every day and Aang finally put on some muscle on his bones after training for ten straight years.

Toph was currently living in the lap of luxury in Ba Sing Se. She had accepted the position of a general in the new Earth king's army, but hadn't had much of a chance to show her skills. She had recently started teaching earthbending at Ba Sing Se University. Everyone also suspected that there was something going on between her and Teo, but they both vehemently denied it. Just had to wait for now. They'd admit it soon enough.

Suki and I headed back to our hut at the edge of the village. I held our uniforms in one hand and my other arm was wrapped securely around her waist. He could feel the slight bump in her stomach from the baby and a smile involuntarily lit his face. But the happiness was short-lived.

Katara was waiting at the door of his home, shifting her weight between her feet. She looked relieved when she spotted them and rushed over.

"Finally! You both need to come quickly," she said rushing. "I can't believe I'm saying this, but we need your help."

"Whoa, slow down," Suki said. "We can't help if we don't know what's going on."

Katara took a deep breath before launching into her story. "Dad and Aang left a month ago to do a tour of the Water Tribes and make sure everything was running smoothly. I stayed with Toph since I hadn't seen her for a while. I figured everything would be fine. Then Dad showed up, covered in blood and incoherent. I have no idea what to do!" She threw up her hands in frustration.

"So, you're saying that you have no idea where Aang is?" I guessed.

"No! He hasn't contacted me at all!" she said, a tear falling down her cheek. Suki, in a rare case of showing affection in public, ran over and hugged my sister in an effort to calm her.

"Where's Hawkie?" I asked, concerned. I'd let Aang take my prized messenger hawk to make it easier to stay in contact with Katara.

Suddenly I had two women glaring at me. "The Avatar may be in peril right now and you're worried about a bird?" Suki yelled. "You are sleeping in the cold tonight."

"You haven't changed a bit, Sokka," Katara said. "Only you would be more worried about your precious Hawkie than about Aang."

"Oh, come on. Aang always sends word," I explained. "Logically, it would make sense that he would send Hawkie to warn us if he was in trouble."

"Sokka, this is no time for your logic," my wife said. She turned to Katara. "Come on, let's get you a warm blanket and some rest. I'll see if I can knock some sense into my husband." The women headed into the hut and gave me a few minutes to myself.

I ran my fingers through my hair and leaned against a tree. I had expected to see Katara soon, but not under those circumstances. She was supposed to come running in with a new betrothal necklace and a giddy airbender being dragged behind her. We would throw an engagement party and the girls would drag her off to start planning the ceremony….

Aang screwed up. Somehow, he had this whole plan and screwed it up. I knew my dad was fine; it was just something to throw Katara off, but still. Now I had to pick up the pieces since I knew what he was doing. The summer solstice was two weeks away; what else could this be?

"What are you thinking about?" Suki said from a few feet away. I jumped and looked at her, only to find her smirking at his reaction. I couldn't resist telling her because I knew I would regret it later. One night of sleeping in the cold, I could deal with, but any more than that would be bad.

"You have to swear by the Kyoshi Warrior's Code that-"

"We don't have a code, Sokka," she said impatiently. She crossed her arms over her chest, distracting me slightly. I took a breath and continued.

"Okay, then you need to swear on the life of… no, that won't work either… Got it! On your love for me that you won't tell Katara about this for a very, very long time," I said, adding a hint of desperation to my voice. I had to use something to my advantage.

"Fine," she said, exasperated. "If it means that much to you, I won't tell her."

"Thank you," I said. I spent the next few minutes explaining to her what Aang had told me of his plan. Of course, now that was all completely gone. Stupid kid had to go and mess up a perfectly good plan.

"Well, I guess that leaves it up to us to fix it," Suki responded thoughtfully. I smiled at the signs of a plan forming in her mind.

"As long as it's 'us,' I'm up for anything," I said, wrapping my arms around her waist and kissing her forehead.

"You just want a warm bed tonight, don't you?" she laughed.

"Anything to be closer to you," I continued with a smirk.

She shook her head and chuckled. "It's a good thing I love you," she muttered.

The next day, the three companions were loaded onto a ship and headed north toward the nearest Earth Kingdom port. Suki and I knew that we weren't going there, but Katara believed that's where we were going.

She was leaning over the side of the ship, searching the skies as if she suspected that her airbender would suddenly appear before her. I walked over and stood next to her.

"You know everything is going to be okay, right?" I asked, cautiously.

"That's easy for you to say," she said with a snort. "You have your wife and unborn child on the same ship as you. I'm stuck here with my overbearing brother, worried sick about Aang."

I put a hand on her shoulder. "Just trust me, everything will be fine. Have faith."

She took a breath and nodded. "I guess you're right. For once."

We reached the island a few hours later. Suki had convinced Katara that they needed more food; eating for two was getting hard and the ship's supply was limited. I offered to go find as much food as I could and ran off before I got an answer.

I followed the path through the thick forest for almost fifteen minutes before I finally found Aang, pacing in the center of a clearing. He had his face buried in his hands as he walked.

"So, when did you mess up your plan?" I asked, making him jump ten feet in the air. He gently glided back to the ground when he recognized me.

"When Hakoda decided to freak her out and leave without telling me," Aang said. "Now everything is wrong and it won't work… it's all my fault. Maybe this isn't meant to be."

"And if I told you she was here?" I tried. His head snapped up to look at me. He was silently asking if I was lying. "Why would I lie about that?"

"Where is she?" he demanded. I chuckled and gestured for him to follow me.

We reached the shore in record time. Aang insisted that I wasn't going fast enough. Suki saw me first and smiled. She raised her eyebrow when she noticed that I had no food in my arms since she was actually hungry. I shrugged and gestured to Aang. She rolled her eyes and went over to Katara, gently tapping her shoulder while I held Aang back until my sister noticed him.

"Aang!" she yelled. She jumped up and ran over to us, flinging her arms around him. I stepped out of the way, unnoticed, and went to stand behind my wife, my arms snaking around her waist. "I was so worried! Why didn't you send anything? Dad couldn't even tell me anything and-"

Aang cut off the rest of her rant by pressing his lips to hers. "I didn't send anything because I wanted this to be a surprise," he explained once he pulled back. "Hakoda kind of ruined it by scaring you."

"Surprise? What surprise?" Katara asked, looking around.

Aang stepped away from her and got down on one knee in front of her. Her hands flew up to cover her mouth; she knew what was coming. It was cliché, but I had to give him points for his original plan. Plus, he asked Dad and me before going through with any of it.

"Katara, I know it doesn't seem fair, asking you to do everything for me and not being able to do anything in return, but I want to try," he started. He pulled out a decently carved betrothal necklace and held it in front of her. "I want to be with you forever. I never want to be away from you. I love you, Katara of the Southern Water Tribe. Will you be my wife?"

Katara nodded fiercely, pulling Aang up and kissing him once again. I smiled and started gently tugging my wife away from the scene.

"Let's give these two some privacy," I said. "They deserve it."

"Remember when we were like that?" Suki asked as we stood on the deck of the ship.

"Like what? Attached at the lips on some random beach? When have we ever done that?" I asked sarcastically.

"No, you oaf," she said, shaking her head. "So in love like that."

I looked down at the gentle swell in her stomach and smiled. I gently rested one of my hands on it as I looked back into her eyes. "If this little guy is any indication, I'd say we're still exactly like that."

"How is it that you always manage to say exactly the right thing?" she asked, resting her hand on top of mine.

"Warrior's instinct," I answered, quoting her from when I had asked her to marry me. She said she had seen it coming and that was why.

"Well, Sokka, it seems like yours is right some of the time," Suki said with a chuckle.