In life, there were a lot of things Sokka knew, and even more things he didn't know.
He knew he had been dancing with Toph at Zuko's party.
He didn't know what piece of furniture had caused them to trip. He didn't know how they had come to be on the floor with Toph leaning against the wall. He certainly didn't know how his face had ended up mere inches from hers.
And looking back, he didn't know why he'd said it.
He knew it wasn't a lie, but it was unlike anything he'd ever said to her before. Maybe it was the plum wine, maybe it was the music humming in the background, maybe it was the imminent marriage of the Fire Lord.
He did know for sure that it needed to be said.
"Y'know Toph," Sokka said, "you're really pretty."
He knew he was going to be earthbended across town or find himself suddenly buried up to his chest. So he was more than a little surprised when she did the most un-Toph-like thing he'd ever seen her do.
He watched in wonder as her pale cheeks flushed a deep pink. It made the milky-jade of her eyes that much more brilliant. At that moment, he knew that what he'd said was wrong. Toph wasn't pretty.
She was beautiful.
He continued to stare into her blind eyes and found himself getting lost in them. The party behind them faded away and they were only two people in the whole world.
Toph bit her bottom lip and Sokka lost what was left of his self-control. For no other reason than he knew it was absolutely the right thing to do, he leaned forward and placed a feather-light kiss on her perfect, soft lips.
He backed away from her and continued his gazing into her eyes. He didn't know if she was going to either hit him or kiss him back, so he braced for both.
Instead, she broke out of his embrace, scrambled to her feet, and, without a word, ran out the door as fast as she could.
Sokka blinked a few times, not quite knowing what had just happened.
Toph knew that if she got to the ceremony early enough, she'd avoid running into him for a few more precious moments.
She knew it would only be a matter of time before Sokka filled one of the empty seats next to her. She touched her fingers to her lips for what must have been the thousandth time since he'd kissed her. Had he really meant it? She hadn't sensed him lying, but she knew he had been drinking. It could have been the plum wine doing the talking, not him.
She was so wrapped up in her thoughts that she didn't notice Katara and Sokka until they were both already sitting next to her. It figured that Sokka chose the seat next to her own.
"Hey you two," she said in greeting. "This thing going to start soon?"
"Yes," Katara answered. "Just a couple minutes." She settled back in her chair.
Toph followed suit and placed both feet flat on the ground. It wasn't long before Sokka was annoying her again. His foot was bouncing up and down next to her, threatening to give her a headache.
After several moments, the tapping drove her to distraction. She reached over and planted her hand on Sokka's knee and pushed down, forcing him to stop moving. "Would you please knock that off? I can't see a thing with you bouncing your legs up and down."
The moment she'd touched him, she felt his heartbeat speed up. "I'm sorry Toph," he said, and covered her hand with his. He turned to face her, his breath brushing her ear. "Really, for everything."
She knew he was apologising for the night before, and he was sincere. Toph cleared her throat. "It's okay, Snoozles. Just don't let it happen again." He still hadn't let go of her hand, and she hadn't tried to pull it away. Instead, she turned her wrist to clamp his hand in hers. She smiled as she felt his heartbeat race again. Her breath caught in her chest when he interlaced his fingers with hers.
They sat like that the entire ceremony. Sokka traced circles on the back of her hand with his thumb, and Toph squeezed his hand a little harder. They didn't realise the ceremony was finished until everyone started leaving.
They stood at the same time and started heading for the exit. Toph tried to pull her hand away from Sokka's. In response, he squeezed her hand and pulled her to him. He wrapped his free arm around her waist. Toph's free hand landed on his chest, right above his heart, which was beating hard enough to break out of his chest. He leaned down to whisper to her. "Save a dance for me?"
Toph smiled up at him. "You know that they're all for you."