A/N: Up really early because I just wanted to finish this and get it all over with, haha! I already had this written out, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to add it to this or to make it into it's own one-shot. Since you guys asked for an epilogue, the decision was pretty easy. :) It's over for real this time, haha! Thanks again for reading and for the encouragement! I didn't expect so many people to like this story since I just wrote it for fun and to just let loose. Thanks to everyone who took the time out to review and to tell me what you thought. Even if you didn't review, thanks for reading and adding to my hit meter. Haha! :)
Once Upon a Time: Epilogue
Growing up, Aang always imagined having a family of his own, with a beautiful wife and lots of children. Four, to be exact. Amongst these four children, he imagined having a son who followed him everywhere, striving to be just like his father. Toph thought that he was being stupid. She set aside the fact that he would choose one son out of his four children to become his favorite. Instead, she focused on the main point that he wanted four children and would ruin her body. Nevertheless, he still joked about those four children and his chosen child.
But, if everything worked out the way people wanted, life would be boring.
Their first and only son, so far, was a mama's boy and there was no denying that. Everywhere she went, he was sure to be there. It was like he was her shadow, clutching onto the fabric of her clothing with his small and chubby fists as he followed her with a happy grin. Whenever she did happen to go anywhere without him, which rarely happened because of how attached he was to her, he was stuck with his father. Literally, stuck.
All the boy did was cry and scream for his mother until she came home. Aang would try all of his tricks, funny faces, and even riddles, but they wouldn't work. Once she finally returned, both males would be free from the torture of the other's company, the small boy's face would light up and he would run to his mother with his arms wide open.
As Toph picked her son up and kissed his cheek, she would always say, "This is the universe making fun of daddy for trying to pick favorites."
"You're silly, mommy," their three-year old son would always giggle out before he hugged her.
It was safe to say that Aang was jealous. Especially, when she admitted that she didn't even want to have children in the first place.
Toph had been acting strange, lately. Stranger than usual. She slept in more often and seemed to be hungry all of the time. Everyone who knew Toph, the real Toph Beifong, knew that she loved to sleep and eat, both equally. But, now she grew exhausted much more quickly than she normally would have and wanted to eat anything she managed to get her hands on. She would constantly take little naps throughout the day, but not before she ate another one of her strange concoctions.
"Are you alright," he would ask.
"I'm fine," she would answer with a shrug. "Just tired. And hungry."
Lately, she was always tired. And hungry. Aang couldn't figure out what was going on with her for the life of him. So, he let her sleep and even helped her make the strange meals, no matter how disgusting they smelled. He thought that, maybe, she was just going through a phase. If something was wrong, she would eventually tell him. And, Spirits, did she tell him.
Those two words alone had the power to render any man weak. Honestly, it was bound to happen sometime soon since they couldn't keep their hands off of each other, but he didn't expect her to bust into his study and blurt it out how she did. At that moment, all of her strange behavior, new eating habits, and sleeping patterns began to make sense. He no longer felt affronted at not being able detect the symptoms because he had no experience with pregnant women.
Toph was pregnant. With his child. Their child. His little girl or his, preferably, little mini-me would be here. He smiled.
He finally looked at her, his smile growing. "That's great!"
She swallowed. Hard.
His smile faltered. "Right?"
She swallowed again.
That was when he finally noticed her uneven breaths and flushed face. This was definitely a strange sight. After they got married, they moved into one of the ancient Airbender's temples and Aang had to admit that the temple was pretty huge, but she never grew out of breath when trekking through it. In fact, she never even used the stairs - she preferred to bend her exits and entrances. They held more 'pizzazz', according to her. Seeing her so out of breath was unnerving.
He stood to approach her and took her face into his hands. "Right?"
"We just got married."
"We got married last year, Toph."
She gripped his wrists, but kept her face toward the ground. "I'm scared."
Toph was never scared. She was Toph Beifong - the definition of control. It was rare to ever see her like this. So, he pulled her in for a hug, but she stopped him to point her face at him. "I'm not ready."
He heard the fear in her voice and saw it in her blind eyes. He never knew what to do when she got this way and thankfully, this only happened rarely. When she sniffled her pinkish nose and her grip on his wrists grew tighter, he got the distinct feeling that she would be like this more often now that she was pregnant. He attempted to pull her in for a hug, but she stopped him again. He didn't know what to do. So, he settled for kissing her forehead and caressing her cheek. "Why are you scared?"
"I was raised by nannies, guards, and badgermoles," she began frantically with a shake of her head. "I don't know how to be a mom."
Only the Spirits knew how he was going to handle an emotional Toph for the next nine months. "Toph," he hesitated with his next words because what she said was true.
"The kid's going to end up messed up, Aang."
Her breathing grew shallow. He began to worry. He attempted to pull her in for a hug before she stopped him. Why wouldn't she let him hold her? He inwardly panicked a bit. Toph was never like this. "No, they won't."
"They will," she said adamantly. "And it'll be all my fault because you'll be traveling and doing Avatar business. I'll be stuck with the kid, so I'll be held accountable for the mess. I'm going to be the woman responsible for ruining the rebirthing of a whole nation."
"You speak, as if, I'm going to let you do this alone."
"You have to. You're the Avatar."
His heart stopped at her words. He hadn't thought about life after the baby. As the Avatar, it was his job to travel and visit the nations and make sure that there was peace, but he wouldn't be able to do that with a baby on board because he definitely wasn't going to let her do this alone.
Her breathing didn't let up. He felt completely powerless looking into her blind, fear filled eyes. Toph was always the strong one. It was his turn to step up, but he didn't know what to do. He didn't know what to say to calm her down. She whimpered a bit and at that moment, everything in him began reminding him that the trembling woman in front of him was his best friend, teacher, wife, and soon-to-be mother of his child.
He kissed her and she responded to it, almost, immediately. She liked kisses. Maybe this would help calm her down. She whimpered again as she kissed him. His heart clenched. This was why it was so hard for the Avatar, an Avatar monk at that, to have attachments. In this case, a family. They held the Avatar back from their duty to the world. But, his family could never hold him back. They might make things more difficult and harder to handle, but they could never hold him back.
He kissed her forehead three times. "I won't let you do this alone."
She sighed and shut her eyes.
He took that as a good sign. "It's you and me, Toph." He pulled her in for a hug. This time, she didn't stop him and immediately returned the embrace and buried her face into his neck. This, he knew how to do. He hugged her closer.
"We're in this together," she murmured into his neck.
He nodded. When he felt her smile against his neck, he sighed and relaxed a bit. Maybe he could deal with an emotional Toph, after all. He kissed the top of her head. "We're a team."
"A team," she repeated as she nodded and hugged him closer. "How many did you want, again?"
He chuckled and held her closer. Her breathing still hadn't settled, but she finally relaxed into his hold. He wouldn't let her do it alone. "Three to go."
She nodded into his neck. "I love you."
If she was spouting out declarations of love, then she really was pregnant because she would never say them even when he begged. "I love you, too."
Her breathing settled. He sighed in relief and hugged her closer.
"You and me?"
"You and me."
A/N: And then, they lived happily ever after. ;)