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Fire Lady and her missing lord

Chapter Text

I am sitting in the garden feeding the turtle ducks-little chunks of bread as they swim across the pond. The wind is blowing softly through the trees and the shade offers a pleasant relief from the never ending heat of summer in the fire nation. I reach up to wipe sweat from my brow and look up at the blazing sun. I have lived here for over a year now and I am still not accustomed to the heavy heat. I move my hand and watch as the water bends to my command. I move my hand in circles making the water move gently into spiraling swirls on the surface.

"I wonder if Zuko is done with his meeting." I murmur quietly to myself. Zuko and I were married a little over a year ago and it was the happiest day of my life. I finally had my happily ever after, the world was at peace and our friends were all happy. Truly I have nothing to complain about. I just wish my husband would make more time for me. I miss him dearly. We haven't even been intimate in weeks. Zuko has been so busy with rebuilding villages ravaged by war and helping people rebuild their lives that he hasn't had a scant of time available for me. He has been so tired that at end of each day he collapses into bed, gives me a sleepy kiss and succumbs to sleep. I am so proud of his hard work and dedication that I feel guilty for being lonely and if I am being honest with myself-a little angry that he hasn't had time for me. Not that I would ever say such things to Zuko. He is already far to stretched that he would feel appalled at neglecting me. I never wish to cause him unrest. I wish to support him in all things. I close my eyes and remember the last time we were intimate. The way his hands roamed over my body, teasing and caressing my skin until I withered beneath him and cried out his name. His heavy delicious weight upon me. How Zuko leaned low to whisper his love and craving for me into my ear. His warm breath fanning over my moist flesh. I shudder and jump a little when I hear a voice clearing.

"Pardon the intrusion Milady but Miss Suki and Miss Toph are here to see you." The maid bows and I give her my thanks before tossing the rest of the bread into the water. The turtle ducks race to devour it. I follow the maid into the palace and into the sitting room where Suki sits her hands folded in front of her, while Toph lounges back in her chair with her feet propped up in front of her. I order some tea and hot cakes to be brought in and smile and thank the maid as she sets them on the table before departing.

"Katara it's been so long. I feel like we haven't seen you in forever!" Suki gathers me into a hug. I hug her back and then move to sit down.

"It's only been a few months." Toph says with a hint of amusement in her voice. Suki waves her hand as if to clear away Toph's remark.

Suki chatters about their trip as I pour tea and divvy up some hot cakes for them. We eat in comfortable silence for a moment before Toph breaks the quiet.

"So what's going on sugar queen?" Toph asks as she munches away on her cake. I jump a little and my heart does a little patter in my chest.

"Oh nothing really. Just everyday business." I calmly sip my tea. Sitting in fire lady meetings has made me a pro at my poker face. Toph frowns slightly and I quickly move to look at Suki.

"How are you and my brother doing?" Suki's face takes on a dreamy stare. I smile softly and sip more of my tea.

"Great actually." Suki sighs happily and after a moment breaks into a huge smile.

"So good in fact we have started talking about having children." Suki lets out a delighted little squeal and I grasp her hands tightly in mine and smile brightly at her.

"Suki that's wonderful. I can't wait to be an aunt." Suki grins at me.

"Yeah way to go Suki. You and snoozles will make great parents." Suki looks at Toph with shinning eyes. She stands up and quickly hugs Toph before the other woman can wave her away.

"Thanks Toph." Suki smiles shakily at her and moves to sit down once again. Suki looks over at me.

"What about you and Zuko?" Suki sips her tea. "Any little fire babies soon?" I feel my heart squeeze painfully in my chest but plaster a smile on my face nonetheless.

"Hmm sometime soon I'm sure." That is if Zuko can ever make time for me. As it is we don't even touch anymore. Toph frowns once more.

"What about you and Aang, Toph?" I nibble halfheartedly on a hot cake. Suki and I both look over at Toph and notice for the first time ever that the other woman actually seems to be blushing. Her usually pale complexion is flushed red.

"Well actually I was going to tell you girls something." Toph pauses to take a big swig of her tea. Suki and I both wait patiently, our curiosity piqued.

"Well it would seem that I am pregnant. Tinkle toes and I are going to be parents." Toph shrugs as if its not big deal. Joy consumes me and I stare wide eyed at Suki and see her with the same stunned look on her face.

We both suddenly envelope Toph into a bear hug. Toph squirms but finally relents to let us hug her. She sighs and pats us both on the back.

"Congratulations Toph!" I exclaim as Suki also offers her congratulations.

"What kind of bender do you think it will be?" Suki asks curiously. Toph shrugs and eats another hot cake.

"Honestly I don't really care if its a bender or not. Just as long as its healthy." I smile warmly at Toph and Suki nods and squeezes her hand.

We eat is relative silence once more, until Toph breaks the silence.

"Katara." I look at Toph startled to hear her say my real name.

"Yes Toph?" I sip my tea.

"Something is going on between you and sparky isn't it?" I freeze unsure how to answer her question.

"Don't even try to deny it either. I can feel if you are lying, remember?" I frown and sit my cup down on the table. Suki frowns and does the same. Concern shining in her dark eyes.

"Katara what's going on?" Suki gazes at me, her brows furrowed. I sigh and interlace my fingers in my lap.

"Well Zuko has been very busy lately. There is so much to do to rebuild the world after the end of the war." I pause and think about how to phrase my next words.

"So busy that Zuko is wearing himself thin trying to help everyone." I pick up my cup and take a deep drink of the slightly spicy tea.

"So basically he is to busy to spend time with you." Toph guesses correctly. I sign once more and nod.

"I know its selfish to be feeling this way, but I can't help it." I close my eyes to try and fight off the tears. "I feel so lonely. Zuko has been so tired he barely has the energy to give me a kiss before falling asleep."

"Not to mention lovemaking?" Toph cocks her head as if she can actually hear my thoughts. I flush and look down at my hands.

"Yes. I miss spending time alone with Zuko. I miss him holding me." I feel my eyes moisten. "It's not his fault of course but still I can't help but feel hurt."

"When was the last time you guys made love?" Suki questions. I flush again and look away.

"That long huh?" Suki frowns and grasps my hand. "Have you talked to him about it?" I shake my head.

"Of course not. It's not his fault he is so busy and if I were to say something It would just distress him." My eyes fill with tears. "I never want to do anything to cause him more stress. Things will get better I just have to be patient and continue to support him."

"Oh Katara." Suki gathers me into a hug and I lay my head on her shoulder.

"I love him. I just need to push my selfishness away and focus on being the support and love he needs." Suki pats my back and even Toph moves to my side to hold my hand.

"It will be ok sugar queen. Sparky loves you." I smile through my watery vision at Toph.

Suki release's me and we go back to talking as if nothing happened.

.....
Unknown to the women inside, Zuko stands quietly outside the door listening to his wife's deep sadness. Zuko clenches his hands into fists at his sides. His eyes narrowed and his teeth clenched. The fire lord stalks down the hall, silently vowing to make sure his wife never again sounds so downtrodden.

Chapter Text

The following day I meet with Toph and Suki in the training grounds. Suki and I are going to spar and practice our hand to hand combat. Since Suki is a non bender I will not be using my water bending. It will also help me to improve not using my bending just in case an event arises where I cannot use it. I take the fire crown out of my hair and pull my thick brown locks into a messy ponytail. I slide on a pair of trousers and a loose fitting half shirt without sleeves. It's a hot one today and I do not want to become overheated. I exit my chambers and head for the training grounds. I enter to find Suki sitting beside Toph on the lounge chairs I had the maids bring out with attachable umbrellas for shade.

"Good morning." I smile and greet my friends. Suki smiles back and stands up. She begins to do some stretches. I follow suit, stretching my legs and arms out.

"Did you talk to sparky last night?" Toph lounges back in her chair. I close my eyes and continue my stretches.

"I didn't. Zuko seems to be even busier than before." My heart yearns for my husband but I try to smile anyways.

"Alright, lets get to it." I move to the middle of the plateau. Suki follows and takes a fighting stance. I do the same.

"Make the first move Suki." She narrows her eyes and smirks at me. A moment later she shifts her leg and darts towards me. I quickly step backward but Suki has had more practice lately than me and manages to twist and drop a kick to my side. I grunt in pain and dart away. I place my hand to my side and flinch. Suki's kick was definitely not gentle.

"A little out of practice are we?" Suki mocks me playfully.

"Nobody wants to spar with the fire lady for fear of hurting her." I smile bitterly and repeat what the trainers said to me. Suki scoffs and plants her feet once more.

"They must not realize that you helped take down the old fire lord." Suki moves her foot again but this time I catch the subtle movement and when she lunges I manage to sidestep her and bring a karate chop down on her shoulder. Suki grunts but quickly ducks and rolls away.

"Nice hit." Suki smiles at me and then darts towards me once again. I race to meet her.
......

A few hours and to many hits later I hold a glowing hand to Suki's shoulder. Suki is a mess. Her clothes are dirty and torn in a few places. Her hair is in disarray. I'm sure I look the same. I tried to dodge Suki's fist and ended up getting a busted lip. Suki flinches when I rotate her shoulder.

"I'm sorry Suki." Suki merely smiles and closes her eyes.

"It's alright Katara. You'll have me fixed up in no time anyways." All is quiet as I heal Suki. A few moments later I am done and Suki breathes out a sigh of relief. She smiles gratefully at me and moves to sit in the shade with Toph.

"You should really heal yourself as well Katara." Suki takes the cup handed to her by one of the maids and take a hearty sip. I move to sit beside them and take a cup of spicy tea. I nod my thanks and wince as my back bushes against the chair. Suki landed a sharp jab and I think it has bruised.

"I will. After I get cleaned up." I wince again and the maids share a worried glance. I smile reassuringly at them. No need to make them worry. I take a small sip and close my eyes.

"Well hello there sparky." My eyes snap open and I look over to see Zuko has almost reached us. My heart patters excitedly in my chest. I quickly sit my cup down and turn to smooth out my hair. Zuko actually has a moment to see me and I look like a total mess.

"Toph. Suki." Zuko's deep voice rumbles out and I feel the hair on the back on my neck stand up. My skin prickles and my heart races. I turn towards him and beam a smile at my husband. Zuko's face quickly changes from smiling to horrified. He is at my side in an instant, gingerly cradling my face in his big palms. His golden eyes scanning my face looking at my scraps and busted lip. I turn my face into his palm and nuzzle against his warmth. I accidently brush my lip against it and pull back with a hiss. Zuko stares at me, his eyes shinning with concern. I smile at him and place a small kiss to his hand.

"It looks far worse then it actually is." Suki frowns at me and Toph is silent. I shrug my shoulders and pull away from Zuko. His hands fall from my face, as he takes one of my hands in his and squeezes softly.

"I just wanted to stop in and apologize for my absence. I also would like to offer my congratulations to you and Aang on your pregnancy Toph." Toph blushes and murmurs her thanks. I'm still not used to seeing this shy Toph. I look over at Suki and we share a secret smile. Zuko stands and leans down to brush a kiss on my sweaty forehead. I silently wish he would kiss my lips but smile at him nonetheless.

"I'm afraid I must be going. It was a pleasure to see you both. Tell Sokka and Aang they need to stop by soon." Suki and Toph say their goodbyes and with one last kiss Zuko leaves us. I sigh wistfully as I watch him walk away. Even in its exhausted state my body craves Zuko, and my heart yeans for him.

....

A few hours later I am seeing Toph and Suki off at the gates. Suki is all patched up and I finally was able to heal my scrapes and cuts. They climb on top of Appa and I reach out to stroke the sky bison's snout.

"Be safe going home. Take care of them ok buddy?" I stroke Appa again and he grunts his consent. A moment later they are in the sky flying away. I stand there watching until they fly out of sight. I sigh and go back inside the gates. I am walking down the hall when I see Iroh walking towards me. I rush to his side and smile widely at him.

"Uncle! What are you doing here?" I lean down to kiss his check. Iroh smiles at me and reaches out to give me a bear hug. I laugh and wiggle until he releases me.

"Hello dear niece." Iroh laughes. "I am here on Zuko's request." I squint and try to think of why Zuko would call his uncle all the way to the fire nation. I shrug and walk with Iroh to the throne room where Zuko sits with scrolls laid out in front of him.

"Zuko? Uncle is here." Zuko stands up and rubs the area between his eyes. Concern fills me. Zuko looks so tired lately. Deep shadows underline his eyes. Iroh goes over and envelopes Zuko into a bear hug. Zuko pats his uncle on the back and smiles warmly at him.

"Thank you for coming so quickly uncle. We plan to leave at daybreak." My heart sinks. Zuko is leaving? I clench my hands behind my back and smile softly at Iroh and Zuko.

"Are you leaving somewhere dear?" I try to sound nonchalant. Zuko shares a conspiratorial glance with Iroh and moves to take my hands.

"Yes my love we are going on an impromptu trip tomorrow. You could even call it a vacation." My eyes must be wide as saucers because Zuko lets out a small laugh. He leans down to brush a kiss to my brow.

"We are really going on vacation?" Zuko smiles brightly and nods his head. I fling myself into his arms and squeal my happiness. I pepper kisses along his face.

"You had better go get packing my love. We leave at daybreak." I quickly kiss him and then rush from the room. Iroh and Zuko's laughter following my every step.

Chapter Text

The rocking of the boat wakes me up from my nap. I sit up in the bed and I look around the chamber. Zuko and I set out at day break to reach our vacation spot destination, and I ended up needing a small nap to rejuvenate me. I stretch and pull a comb out to brush out my hair. I place the fire lady crown back in my hair and walk up to the deck to where Zuko stands over looking the water. I silently wrap my arms around him from behind and lay my cheek on his broad back.

"How was your nap?" Zuko lays his hand on top of mine. I nuzzle his back and breathe in his spicy scent.

"Good. Though it would have been better if you were laying down with me." My face is on fire with my admission. Zuko stills as if unsure how to respond. A moment later he turns around in my grasp.

"I would have loved nothing more than to have joined you my lady." Zuko's voice drops an octave and I shudder softly in his warm embrace. He leans his mouth low as if to kiss me and I eagerly respond arching my neck to meet him. Unfortunately he stops a breath away from my lips.

"Then why didn't you?" We are so close that our lips brush softly together as I whisper these words. Zuko groans and grips my face in his large hands. He slants his mouth against mine and I sink into his heated kiss. I open my mouth underneath his eagerly as his tongue slicks against mine. I step closer to Zuko and grip his robes tightly in my hands. Tightening his grip on my face, he presses his mouth harder against mine. Our mouths move together in unison. Our kisses become feverish as Zuko moves his hands from my face to my hair. He grabs a handful of hair and pulls his mouth from mine. I stare up into my husband's eyes. Their golden hue light up with a heavy desire. Zuko leans down to trail openmouthed kisses down my neck, pausing occasionally to nibble on sensitive skin. I shudder as he flicks out his tongue to taste my slick skin.

"Zuko." My voice sounds heady with unchecked desire. Zuko hums against my fevered flesh before he once again takes my lips in a bruising kiss. Our teeth clash together with the force of his kiss. This time I am the instigator and brush my tongue into his moist mouth. Our tongues glide together in ecstasy. Zuko trails a hand down my neck to my cloth-covered breast. He finally cups it when a voice clears loudly behind us. Zuko pulls his mouth reluctantly from mine. I open my eyes and look up at him. His usually pale skin is flushed a scarlet hue. His golden eyes narrowed and burning with a deep intensity. His lips are a light shade of purple as if bruised from our fervent kissing. He stares down into my eyes and my head spins.

"We are almost to the port Milord." Zuko continues to gaze down at me.

"Good. Prepare to dock." The guard bows and hurries off.

"We will continue this later." Zuko leans down to kiss my lips softly. I move to deepen the kiss but Zuko pulls away softly and runs his knuckles down my cheek bone.

"You tempt me so Katara." Zuko kisses my forehead before releasing me from his embrace. I blush and look down at my hands.

"Hey." Zuko tilts my face up to look at him. "I love you." I smile brightly at Zuko and kiss him softly.

"I love you to Zuko." My heart is heavy with love for him. Zuko smiles lovingly at me.

"Come. We must get ready to dock." I follow Zuko below deck.
.....

"Ohh Zuko!" I exclaim happily. He brought us to ember island for our vacation. I swing open the balcony doors and take in the gorgeous sunset.

"I take it you are happy?" Zuko asks me, amused. I spin around the open air to face him. I smile brightly before rushing to hug him tightly. Zuko chuckles before kissing the top of my head.

"How about we get changed and then we can take a stroll through town?" Zuko runs his hands down my back. I lean up to kiss him and then pull away.

"Thank you for bringing me here Zuko." Zuko smiles and kisses my head once more. I turn away from him and then feel him pat my bottom gently. I smile over my shoulder at him mischievously before moving to get changed.

Chapter Text

"Ah!" I sit upright in bed, gasping for air. My heart is pounding and my skin is slick with sweat. I clench my hands to try to stop them from trembling. I look over at Zuko and breathe a sigh of relief. He is sleeping soundly beside me. His black hair mussed and his handsome face relaxed in slumber. I bring my hands up and rub at my eyes. The vision of my dream flashing behind my eyelids. I was dreaming of when Azula shot Zuko with lightning. I gently untangle my legs from the blanket and stand up. My satin shift is soaked through with sweat and clinging to my damp skin. I walk out to the balcony and breathe deep. The slightly salty air fills my lungs but offers little comfort. I look out at the ocean and watch as the blue depths move and crash against the sandy beach. The moon is high in the sky and I close my eye's and try to calm my racing heart.

"Why am I dreaming about this again?" I question the silent night. I haven't dreamed about Azula shooting Zuko since that faithful night 3 years ago when Zuko and I confessed our feelings to each other. Funnily enough it is what finally broke the dam so to speak. Zuko finally opened up about his feelings for me and I happily reciprocated. I take a look back at my sleeping husband before deciding to move down to the beach. Maybe the water will help to soothe my troubled mind. I walk across the sandy beach as the wind blows through the open space, ruffling my hair. I reach the water and watch as it pushes against the sand before retracting back. I place my bare feet into the cold water. It runs over my feet as I tilt my head back and close my eyes. I keep replaying over the moment Azula went to strike me down with lightning and Zuko stepped in the way to save me. I remember the cold fear that turned my blood to ice in my veins. When Zuko fell to the ground twitching in pain as the lightening coursed through his body. I felt as if the air had been stolen from my lungs. Except in my dream, Zuko didn't get back up. The mere thought is enough to make me tremble.

"Katara?" I jump and turn to see Zuko standing behind me. His black hair is down and hanging in messy waves by his shoulders. His scar is a bright red from him sleeping on his hand. His good eye is crinkled slightly with sleep. I smile and turn back towards the water. Zuko walks to my side and brushes a stray lock of hair off my shoulder.

"What's wrong?" Zuko caresses my bare shoulder. I open my eyes and look over at him. His golden eyes shinning with concern. I take a deep breath and look up at the moon.

"I had the dream again." Zuko sighs before wrapping his arms around me. I lay my head on his chest and gaze out at the shimmering water. I can hear his heart beat. I can feel the inner fire emanating from him, warming me.

"I'm right here Katara. I survived." Zuko lays his cheek on top of my head and nuzzles my hair. My heart aches. I close my eyes against the tears that threaten to spill. I reach up and wrap my arms around his back.

"I know. I just can't help it." I clench my hands in the fabric of his robe. The fear I felt that day still grips me with its icy fingers. They wrap around my throat and squeeze. I clutch Zuko tighter to me.

"When you fell to the ground I thought the worst and I realized that I couldn't survive without you." The tears escape my eyes. "That was the first time I truly allowed myself to feel what was in my heart." Zuko tightens his hold around me and I sigh softly as my eyes weep.

"I'm always going to be right here. How can I get you to realize that?" My hearts pounds in my chest. I tilt my head and look into Zuko's golden eyes.

"Show me." I whisper. Zuko ghosts his fingers over my cheek before tangling his hand in my hair. He leans down to brush his lips against mine. I flick my tongue out and taste the slightly salty flavor of his skin. Zuko groans and tightens his hand in my hair. He pulls my head back before capturing my lips in a heated kiss. He slicks his tongue on my lower lip and I open eagerly underneath him. I moan as his tongue flicks against mine. I run my hands up his broad back before resting on his shoulders. I push his robe off, leaving him only in his sleeping pants. Zuko pulls away from me and pants heavily in the cool night. His eyes are alight with a hungry glow. I run my eyes over his naked chest down to his chiseled abs. My eyes stop on his scar decorating his abdomen and my heart constricts painfully in my chest.

I gasp as Zuko moves and quickly pulls my shift from my body. I stand naked in the moonlight. I shiver slightly as Zuko gazes at my bared flesh with a predatory look. Zuko pulls me close and leans down to kiss me. His warm hands begin to move across my skin and I suck in a deep breath as he moves a calloused finger over my stiff peak. I arch into his touch and Zuko chuckles softly into my mouth.

"Please Zuko. Touch me." I murmur into his lips. Zuko cups my breast in his large palm and squeezes gently. He places his other hand on the side of my neck and softly wraps his fingers around my slender neck. He begins to circle my nipple and then squeezes the column of my neck gently. He kisses me deeper and deeper as if trying to steal the breath from my body. Zuko pulls away and I whine softly. He chuckles before pulling me down into the sand. The warm grainy sand feels like heaven against my heated skin. A moment later Zuko lays down beside me. He runs his hands over my skin and I wither in the sand. I open my eyes and see he still has his pants on. Zuko looks down and seems to take a hint. A moment later he is gloriously naked. All of his pale sculpted skin is on display for my hungry eyes to devour. I run my hand over his skin and marvel at the silkiness of it. I move my fingers lower and watch as his eyes grow hooded with desire. He gasps as I skim my fingers closer to his erection.

"Katara." Zuko's deep voice is hoarse as he tries to speak. "It's been to long." Zuko stares at my glistening skin and groans low in his throat. I give him a sultry smile. I lay back down on my back and beckon him closer.

"Come claim me my lord." Zuko gasps and a moment later settles into the cradle of my legs. I open wide to accommodate his bulky frame. He leans down to kiss me softly. I pull him closer and wrap my legs around his back. Zuko grunts and before I can blink he has sheathed himself fully inside me in one mighty thrust. Zuko leans his head down on my shoulder and lets our a loud moan.

"Spirits Katara. You feel amazing." I wiggle impatiently and Zuko takes the hint. He surges forward and then pulls back almost instantly. He thrusts slowly in and out. I groan and tighten my legs around him.

"Zuko faster." I pant and grunt as he picks up the pace. "Harder." Zuko moves his hands to my hips and pulls us even closer. He pulls me up to where my hips are cradled in his lap. I shriek in pleasure as he moves deeper inside me. Zuko grunts and leans down to capture a stiff peak in his mouth. He pulls and tugs on it with his teeth and then licks the sting away.

"Yes Zuko." I moan out my praise to him. "It feels so good." It has been so long since we were intimate that only after a few tugs of Zuko inside me, I am coming. I clench around him and scream out my pleasure for the world to hear.

"Zuko!" Zuko doesn't relent though and keeps thrusting harder and faster into me. He becomes jerky and uneven with his movements. I tighten my hold on him and lean up to whisper in his ear.

"Give your lady what she craves milord." I lower my voice and lick his ear. "Give her your baby." Zuko groans low and long before thrusting deep. His movements push us up into the sand as he thrusts one last time before grunting loudly into the dark night. Zuko collapses onto me and I wrap my arms around his sweaty body. How I have missed his heavy weight upon me, his presence inside me. Zuko leans down to brush a sloppy kiss against my moist lips.

"I love you Katara." Zuko rolls over to his back and pulls me close. I snuggle into his warm embrace. I place a small kiss over his heart and breathe in his spicy aroma.

"I love you to Zuko. Forever." Zuko cuddles me closer and I close my eyes. A moment later I remember the question that has weighed on my mind ever since we got here.

"How come you decided to take us on a sudden vacation?" I ask. "Not that I'm complaining." I quickly amend. Zuko chuckles and runs his hand through my tangled curls.

"I overheard your conversation with Suki and Toph." I freeze unsure how to respond. Zuko continues to play with my hair and I relax once more.

"I didn't want you to hear any of that." I feel guilty that he heard me complaining. "I'm sorry." I place another small kiss on his chest. Zuko is silent and I look up to find him gazing at me with reproachful eyes.

"Never apologize for being honest with your feelings." Zuko's handsome face seems to almost glow in the moonlight. "I am the one who should apologize. I took you for granted."

"You did not!" I exclaim. "I am always happy to support you no matter what." I run my hands over his bare chest. Zuko gasps as I run my fingers over his exposed nipple.

"I thought you wouldn't mind my late nights and busy days." Zuko frowns and tucks a stray hair behind my ear. "I pushed you and your needs to the back burner and I will never forgive myself for that." Zuko looks so sad that my heart squeezes painfully in my chest.

"All I can hope to do is earn your forgiveness and promise to never take you for granted again." Zuko leans down to kiss me.

"You are already forgiven." I kiss him again. Zuko pulls away and gives me a curious look.

"What you said earlier." Zuko states and then pauses. "Do you want to have a baby?" I flush and look away. I shrug.

"I don't loathe the idea." I peek up at Zuko through my eyes. "That is if you want to give me one?" I pose my last statement as a question. Zuko's eyes darken and he leans down to capture my lips in a heated kiss.

"I can think of nothing more pleasing than seeing you round with my child." Zuko gazes at me possessively and I giggle. I kiss him and press closer to his naked body.

"Than take me back to the house." Zuko growls low in his chest and kisses me hard.

"As my lady commands." Zuko sweeps me up in his arms and I squeal. He carries me to the house. I look back to see our discarded clothing laying in a sandy pile. I giggle once more and cuddle closer to Zuko.

Chapter Text

Zuko and I stroll through the little village nestled perfectly in the middle of Ember Island. He looks more rested in just a few days here than he has in weeks. His dark hair is free around his striking face and he wears his light weight pants and sleeveless vest to try to battle the heat. My hair is tied back away from my face and I wear a sleeveless red shift. I wave the fan in front of my face as we survey the goods that the merchants are showing off. Zuko reaches out to interlace his fingers with mine and I smile to myself. He has been more affectionate and attentive to my needs. I squeeze his hand and feel my heart thump unevenly in my chest when he squeezes back. We continue on our way when a noble stops us and bows.

"Fire lord and lady. It is a pleasure to see you." The man begins to go on about needing to have a moment of the fire lord's time. Zuko begins to shoo the man away but I pat his shoulder and smile at him to let him know its ok. After all Zuko needs all the support of our nation.

"I'm going to go browse that stall we saw earlier." I kiss Zuko's cheek and nod my head at the man before leaving them to discuss matters. Politics have never really interested me. Zuko's eyes follow me and I look over my shoulder to blow him a kiss before rounding the corner. I find the merchant I am looking for and browse the fine silks and garments. I was thinking about buying something so I could make Toph and Aang's baby a blanket. As I continue to look at the fabrics I finally find what I am looking for and hand the man the money. Before I can take my package I see people running towards the village square. I take my package and nod to the man before moving towards the commotion. Once I arrive I notice there is a big crowd forming a circle with some rough-looking men and a dirty boy inside. He doesn't look to be more than twelve years old. I push my way through the circle to the front of the crowd.

"Your outta places to run you little brat." The leader smiles and I notice he has a few teeth missing. He holds his hand out. "Now give us the money." The boys lip trembles and he backs away from the man.

"No. This is my moms." He clutches a tattered pouch to his chest. The leader steps closer to the boy. He sneers at him and the boy tries to move away.

"If you won't give it to me then we will just take it." The ugly man snaps his fingers and his two goons rush to grab the boy. The boy kicks one in his genitals and head butts the other in the face. They both stagger away and groan, falling to the ground. The leader glares at the boy before grabbing him by the hair and pushing him to the ground.

"You little brat." He pulls back his arm as if to the hit the boy and I rush forward.

"Stop!" The leader pauses and looks over at me. He racks his eyes up and down my body and smiles evilly.

"Mind your own business little girl or you'll be sorry." He turns his attention back to the boy and goes to hit him. I quickly draw out water from the pouch I always have on my hip. I make a water whip and fling the man off the child. His goons rush to help him up. He sputters and glares at me.

"I said to leave him alone." I narrow my eyes on the thugs as they exchange a look. The leader saunters towards me. I have my hands poised at the ready.

"Fine. You want us to leave the boy alone?" The man smirks at me. "We will just take our payment from you." He sneers at me and snaps his fingers. His goons move to grab me but I quickly sidestep them and fling them away with my water. The leader's smirk falls from his face and he glares at me.

"You little water whore." He snarls at me. "Coming to the fire nation and think you can butt into other people's business." He pulls a knife from his belt and moves to lunge at me. I draw water and as I am about to freeze him where he stands, a huge burst of fire hits him and sends him to the ground. I look over and see a figure walking through the flickering flames. I gasp as Zuko walks through followed by his guards. His silhouette flickering against the ground. I watch as he approaches the cowering man. I gasp as I finally see his face. His eyes are narrowed to slits as he glares fiercely at the thug. His whole demeanor screams danger.

"What did you say to my wife?" I shiver as Zuko calmly asks the man. His voice is cold and hard. The thug looks up at Zuko and then glances at his guards. His eyes widen as he seems to grasp who is standing before him.

"Fire lord Zuko." The man bows and then takes a quick glance to me. He quickly looks away.

"Please forgive me I did not know I was in the presence of the fire lady." Zuko continues to stare down the cowering thug. "The child stole from us and we were merely trying to get it back."

"That's a lie!" The boy runs to my side and grips my skirt in his hands. He looks up at me his eyes full of tears. "My mom is sick and they tried to steal the money for her medicine." I look down at the boy and pat his head. He buries his face in my skirt and begins to cry. I rub his hair and try to calm him. Zuko looks over at me and I nod my head.

"For the crime of theft and treason against the fire nation, you are sentenced to life in prison." The man looks up at Zuko and begins to whimper.

"Please Milord it was just a misunderstanding. I did not know she was your honorable wife." He whines pitifully. Zuko holds up his hand and his guards seize him and his goons. They haul them away and Zuko comes to my side. He cups my cheek.

"Are you alright Katara?" I nod and Zuko lets out a deep sigh of relief. He then kneels down to where he is eye level with the boy.

"What is your name?" The boy trembles and tries to hide behind my skirt. I reach out and pat his head. He looks up at me with watery eyes before looking at Zuko.

"Shiki, Milord." The boy whispers. Zuko smiles at the boy before reaching out to ruffle his hair.

"Well Shiki we had best bring you back to your mother." The boy smiles hesitantly before reaching out to take Zuko's hand.

"Can Miss Katara come to?" The boy looks up at me and reaches for my hand. I gladly take his small hand and squeeze softly.

"Of course." We walk to a little hut on the edge of the village and Shiki rushes in. We follow and see a small pale woman laying on a cot with her eyes closed.

"Mama!" Shiki rushes to her side and grips her hand in his. Zuko and I sit down beside Shiki and the woman opens her eyes.

"Shiki, who are your friends?" The woman's voice is weak. I share a concerned look with Zuko.

"The fire lord and lady mama." The woman's eyes widen and she begins to cough. I quickly get up and pour her a cool glass of water. Shiki helps her sit up and she sips the water slowly.

"They saved me from thugs who wanted to steal our money." Shiki tells the story of how Zuko and I saved him and his mother watches him with amusement and love in her eyes.

"Thank you Milord and Milady for saving my dear Shiki." The woman takes the small pouch from the floor where Shiki sat it. She tries to hand it to us.

"Please take this as thanks." I shake my head and urge her to lay back down.

"No its alright, truly. Shiki being ok is thanks enough." She finally relents and lays back down. She coughs again before closing her eyes.

"Ma'am I am a healer and if you wouldn't mind I would like to see if I can help you." The woman struggles to open her eyes and sighs softly. Shiki grips my skirt and looks up at me with hopeful eyes.

"Yes Miss Katara please help my mama!" I smile and pat his head. Zuko gets up and brings me a bowl of water.

"What is your name?" The woman's eyes flutter but she doesn't open them.

"Ming." Her voice comes out in a hoarse whisper.

"Well Ming I am Katara." I bend the water and watch as it covers my hands and begins to glow. "This may be a little cold." I close my eyes and move my hands over her body.
....

A few hours later I open my eyes and sigh. My skin is slick with sweat and my body is exhausted. I look over to see Shiki sleeping soundly in Zuko's lap. I look up expecting Zuko to be asleep as well, but his golden eyes are trained on me.

"How is she?" Zuko whispers so he doesn't disturb Shiki. I rub my eyes and yawn.

"She will be just fine. She had a pretty severe lung infection." Zuko nods and reaches down to pick Shiki up. He carries the little boy to where his mother lies and places him beside her. I stand up and move towards the door. I take a look behind me and smile. Zuko follows me out of the hut and we begin to walk home. I stagger a little and yawn loudly. A moment later I stop in my tracks and see Zuko is kneeling in the dirt with his hands behind his back.

"Get on. I'll carry you home." I smile and move to climb on his back. I nestle into his warmth and sigh happily as his hands grip my thighs.

"Thank you dear." I place a small kiss on his neck. Zuko looks over his shoulder and smiles at me.

"Anytime my love." He kisses my arm. I close my eyes and enjoy the gentle movements of Zuko's body. I am almost asleep when Zuko says my name.

"Katara." I blink blearily.

"Yes?" Zuko is quiet for a moment and I manage to open my eyes.

"Today when I saw that thug with his knife coming for you, I felt scared. Terrified even." I wish I could see Zuko's face. I sigh and kiss his neck again.

"I never want to lose you Katara." I tighten my hold on him.

"You won't Zuko." I swear silently never to be apart from him.

"Swear to me we will never part." I snuggle closer to Zuko and give him the words he wishes to hear.

"You are my entire existence. If the world fell away tomorrow it would be alright as long as I had you by my side." Tears gather in my eyes and I close them to keep them from spilling out.

"I love you Zuko." He tighten his hold on me. "Always." Zuko smiles and I lean down on his shoulder and close my eyes. Slumber quickly claims me.

Chapter Text

I feel the bedding shift beside me and peak open my eyes to see Zuko getting out of bed. He stands up and flexes his arms out in front him. I watch as he walks over to the balcony doors and pause. I quickly close my eyes and pretend to be asleep again. When I open my eyes I see he is pulling on his clothing. He tiptoes around the room gathering various odds and ends before turning to come back to me. I fake sleep once more. Zuko leans down to brush a kiss against my forehead. He places a piece of paper beside me before closing the door softly behind him. Once I hear his footsteps lead further and further away, I sit up in bed and reach out to read the note.

'Katara, I went out to handle some business. I will be back shortly. Love Z.' I smile and run my fingers over Zuko's loopy script. I grab his pillow and lay down again. I hug the pillow to my chest and breathe in his spicy aroma. I yawn and decide a bit more sleep couldn't hurt.
....

The sounds of people whispering wake me up. I sit up and rub the sleep from my eyes. I see Zuko ushering the maids out of the room. Zuko has his back turned to me and is fiddling with some items on the table we have set up in our room. We use it when we want to have personal, intimate dinners alone.

"Zuko?" He freezes and quickly turns around to face me. He spreads his hands out, trying to shield whatever it is he was fiddling with.

"What are you doing?" I swing my legs over the bed and stretch. Zuko walks over to me and covers my eyes with his hands.

"I have a surprise for you, but I need you to keep your eyes closed." Zuko leans down to whisper in my ear. He places a small kiss on the nape of neck before releasing me. I keep my eyes closed as requested.

"Now, come this way." Zuko leads me to the table and helps me sit in the chair. I squeeze my hands together, giddy with excitement. Zuko runs his fingers over my cheek.

"Okay you can open your eyes now." I open my eyes and the first thing I notice are the water lilies. The pale aquamarine petals, surrounded by white little puffs. I reach out to touch the silky soft petals and smile. Zuko found my favorite flowers. I bring one of the flowers up to my nose and inhale the icy scent. Even deep in the fire nation they still hold their delicate texture and chilling aroma.

"My favorite flowers. Thank you Zuko." I smile and reach up to stroke his jaw. Zuko grabs my hand and points to a small black box next to the vase.

"You have one more present to open." He releases my hand and I smile softly before picking up the box. I pinch the lid and the box opens smoothly. I pull aside the protective cloth and gasp. I almost drop the box but quickly grip it in my sweaty hands. I stare in awe at the necklace inside. It is a water tribe betrothal necklace. Except this one is a perfect mixture of red and blue, swirling together in perfect harmony. I run my fingers over the smooth stone and marvel at the craftsmanship. Zuko has fashioned it to a silk choker.

"Zuko." I gasp as tears fill my eyes. I look up at my husband. He gazes lovingly at me.

"I know I promised to make you a betrothal necklace before we were married." Zuko's eyes cloud with guilt. "But I let my fire lord duties pull me away and I realized I never did make it for you." He looks away.

"You didn't have to make me one." I smile gently at him.

"Yes I did. For to long I have taken you for granted and let myself ignore your needs." Zuko stalks away angrily. "I didn't even make your necklace before we were married. I ignored your tribes customs." His hands are clenched and his head is bent as he berates himself. I stand up and walk over to wrap my arms around Zuko from behind. I hold him for a moment before spinning him around to face me.

"Now that's it. You need to stop beating yourself up." I grip his hands in mine and hold his gaze. "I'll have no more of that. I forgive you Zuko. You did what you had to for us and our nation." Zuko's lips quirk up into a smile. I reach up and kiss his cheek. I pull him over to the table and turn my back on him. I pull my hair up off my shoulders.

"Now. Fasten my necklace husband." Zuko lets out a little laugh. He fastens the choker around my neck and I sigh contently as I feel its weight against my skin. He leans down to place warm kisses against my bare shoulder. I turn around and lean up to kiss him.

"I love it Zuko. Thank you." My heart is heavy with love. Zuko smiles and cradles me in his arms.

"I wanted it to represent the both of us. The fire nation and water tribe." Zuko runs his hands up and down my back. "I wanted it to be beautiful and one of a kind as well. Just like its owner." Tears are running down my cheeks.

"Thank you Zuko." I snuggle closer to him and kiss the skin where his heart is.

"I wanted our last day here to be memorable for you." I smile and lean back to look at Zuko.

"Lets make one more memory." I smile cheekily at Zuko and he raises an eyebrow at me. All of a sudden my feet are off the ground and I'm being tossed into our bed. I laugh as Zuko quickly joins me.

"As my lady commands." I giggle and wrap myself around Zuko.

Chapter Text

I inhale and release a deep breath and center myself. A moment later a blast of fire comes soaring at me and I quickly flex my hands and meet it with water. It vaporizes and a cloud of steam surrounds me. I take a defensive position and listen for any movements. My stomach does an uneven roll and I wish I had eaten more than a hot cake for breakfast. Zuko and I have been back to the fire nation for a few weeks now and he has made it a point to see me more often. I was so excited to see my husband this morning that I forgot all about breakfast in favor of more fun activities. I am so distracted in my thoughts I don't see the blast of fire coming for me until it almost singes me. I quickly pull up a wall of water but the impact knocks me backward and I fall flat on my back. The trainers come rushing over to help me. They pull me up and begin to fuss over me. I quickly stand up and wave them off.

"I am alright." I move away from them. Suddenly my head starts to throb and my vision swims. My body feels heavy and I start to fall. The last thing I see before I hit the ground are the trainers rushing to grab me. Their faces fade in and out as they shout orders.

"Get the fire lord! Quickly!" I try to tell them its alright but a moment later darkness envelopes me and everything disappears.
...

"Mommy!" A little boy with tan skin and black hair streaks past me. I watch as he runs into the garden and spins around to face me. He has such familiar features and sharp golden eyes. His hair is done in the traditional royal knot. He stares at me and rushes over to grab my hand.

"Come on mommy! I wanna show you the new turtle ducks." He pulls on my hand and stunned I follow him to the pond. He sits down at the edge and pats the spot beside him. I sit and narrow my eyes at the little boy. Why does he look so familiar? He waves his chubby little hand excitedly at the turtle ducks.

"Aren't they so pretty mommy?" I look around confused. The little boys looks up at me with sweet eyes.

"Who is your mommy little one?" The little boy cocks his head to the side, confused. I reach out and brush a stand of hair from his forehead. He giggles as my fingers tickle his skin.

"Your funny mommy." The little boy comes over and climbs in my lap. He snuggles close and lays his head on my shoulder. He gazes out at the swimming turtle ducks with a content smile on his little face. My head starts to pound and it suddenly makes sense. The reason the little boy looks so familiar is that he has my fathers sharp nose and Zuko's delicate bone structure. Not to mention his golden eyes and my tan skin. I stare at the child in disbelief. He is mine and Zuko's child. My head starts to pound and I groan and grab my head.

"Mommy?" The little boy's lip trembles as he stares worriedly at me. He calls for me again but this time I hear Zuko's voice calling for me faintly as well. I gasp and open my eyes. The little boy is gone and instead I see Zuko's worried face hovering above me.

"Oh thank spirits." Zuko gathers me tightly in his arms and hugs me. I look around and see I am in the Royal infirmary. My head is pounding and my body aches. The door flies open and I see Sokka, Suki, Toph and Aang rush in. They see me and rush over to stand behind Zuko.

"Katara!" Sokka exclaims and grabs my hand. Suki stands beside him with a relieved smile on her face. Toph and Aang both smile at me. I can feel Zuko shaking slightly and I pull away to cup his cheek in my hand.

"What's going on?" I remember training then everything is a blur. Zuko stares at me before gripping my face in his hands and slanting his mouth over mine. He soft lips brush urgently against mine and I sigh happily. All to soon he pulls way and brushes his fingers over his skin.

"You fainted while training." I frown and move my hand up to tuck a piece of hair behind my ear. I notice my hand is wrapped in a white bandage. I frown and look up at Zuko. His jaw is clenched.

"One of the trainers burned you." Zuko mutters angrily. Ah. I tuck my hand under the blanket and mentally note to heal it later. I stretch out my arms and feel the bones popping and sigh.

"Well, I am sorry to worry you all but I feel fine." I smile at Zuko and look over at Toph. Her stomach is slightly protruding. "I am so happy to see everybody though." I move to get up but Zuko halts my movements.

"Katara you were unconscious for three days." I pause and look up at Zuko. It couldn't have been three days. I was just sparring earlier. My head starts to pound and my stomach recoils. I lay back down. I look at Zuko and finally notice how tired he looks. His hair is down and knotted around his face and his eyes look hollow and dark.

"You look terrible." I smile softly and Zuko lets out a strangled laugh. I look over at Toph and smile. I reach out my hand.

"Would you like me to check the progress on your little one?" Toph frowns.

"Sure. But only after you feel better sugar queen." I frown and retract my hand.

"So what did the healer say?" My hand aches under the bandage but I keep quiet. Zuko already looks like he wants to murder the trainers.

"Nothing yet." Zuko frowns angrily. "I swear if those imbeciles hurt you." Zuko trails off leaving his threat in the air. I reach out to pat his arm. I settle back into the bedding. The door opens and the healer walks in with a big smile on her wrinkled face. She walks over to Zuko and I and bows.

"Milord, Milady. I have some news about why the fire lady fainted." She pauses and looks over at the gang. Zuko waves his hand impatiently at her indicating she should continue. She spreads her hands wide and smiles brightly at us.

"The fire lady is expecting." She claps her hands together. "An heir." She looks positively ecstatic. Zuko and I stare at each other in stunned silence. I place my hand over my stomach. Zuko looks down at my stomach and places his hand over mine. I look up at him and see his eyes are misted with unshed tears. He looks up at me and smiles softly.

"A child." Zuko murmurs as if in disbelief. He closes his eyes as a tear runs down his cheek. He opens his eyes and looks at me. He leans forward to brush a kiss to my sweaty forehead.

"Thank you Katara." Zuko whispers to me. My hearts thumps unevenly in my chest and I remember my dream. The little boy with the golden eyes flashes before me and I gasp. Zuko looks at me startled.

"I had a dream. About a little boy with golden eyes. He called me mommy." I caress my stomach and tears fill my eyes. Zuko looks confused. Aang steps forward and smiles at us.

"Sounds like you had a premonition of sorts. It is not uncommon for expecting mothers." Aang moves to gather Toph in his arms and she blushes. I look at Zuko and smile happily. If the little boy in my dream is our son, Zuko and I have a lot to look forward to. Zuko gathers me in his arms and I see Sokka holding Suki tenderly as well. I close my eyes and burrow close to Zuko. In this moment everything is perfect.

Chapter Text

I am sitting on the balcony sewing a baby blanket for Toph with the silky fabric I bought from Ember Island when a blast makes me jump and I drop my materials. I quickly stand up and look below. Zuko is in the courtyard having a sparring match with the trainers. I watch as his large frame flexes and moves gracefully across the ground. It is a bit cooler today since its almost fall in the fire nation but still hot enough that one can work up a sweat. Zuko lets out a large ball of fire and it knocks the trainer back. Zuko quickly swirls away from the next trainer and swipes a kick under his feet. I watch mesmerized as he moves sensually. His pale skin gleaming with sweat and his muscles bulging with every swipe of his arms. I ogle my husbands shirtless physique and my heart races as he takes down one opponent after another. Zuko truly is a demon in battle. A moment later he holds up his hand signaling the end of the sparring session. I continue to run my eyes up and down, enjoying the view when I notice Zuko has quit moving and is instead staring up at me. I flush and quickly duck away. I gather up my items and quickly sit down again. I try to calm my racing heart. My fingers tremble as I resume my stitch work. A moment later I hear the door to our chamber open and then quickly close. I keep my eyes focused on my work and only look up when Zuko's shadow falls over me.

"Zuko." I smile at him. Zuko merely smirks at me and walks over to the edge of the balcony. He looks down at the courtyard and then walks back to me.

"Wow. You can really see everything from up here." Zuko smiles sweetly at me. I murmur my acknowledgement and continue sewing. My face feels as if it is on fire. I am sure I look like a tomato.

"Oh and you can even see the training grounds." I remain silent. Zuko walks slowing around me like a predator about to pounce on his prey. My heart is beating so fast I am surprised it doesn't spring from my chest.

"Really? I've never noticed." I shrug my shoulders. Zuko lets out a little snort of amusement and moves to where he is standing behind me.

"How was your training session dear?" I try to act nonchalant.

"Hm good. Though I am sure you know that already." I do not have to see him to know he is smiling.

"I am sure I do not know what you mean." My voice trembles and I curse my raging hormones. Zuko leans down and places his large hands over my trembling ones. His warm breath blows against my ear and I shudder. His hands move up from my hands to my arms. His fingers dance over my feverish skin.

"Oh I think you do." Zuko whispers. He nips my ear softly and I have to stifle a moan. His hands come up to rest on my shoulders and I lean my head back. He massages my tired muscles gently and I close my eyes. Zuko twists a handful of my hair in his fist and pulls my head to the side. I open my eyes and gasp as he flicks out his tongue to taste me.

"Ok, so I was watching you just a little." Zuko peppers hot kisses along my throat and this time the moan escapes my lips. "You're my husband. I can ogle you if I want to." Zuko chuckles and sinks his teeth into my tender flesh. Zuko pulls away and I spin around and throw myself into his arms. I press my lips to his urgently and Zuko picks me up. I wrap my legs around his hips and thrust my tongue into his moist cavern. Zuko groans and grips my hair in one hand and my ass with his other. Our tongues battle for dominance but he quickly wins. He pulls me closer. My back hits the wall hard and I let out a little gasp. Zuko takes this opportunity to plunge deeper into my mouth. I fist my fingers into his silky hair and tighten my legs around him. Zuko pulls away and gazes at me. His golden eyes are hooded and shinning. His breath comes out in sharp pants with the occasional steam. Zuko pulls my legs from around him and pulls me to the balcony. He spins me to where he is standing behind me. He pushes me forward to where I am bent slightly over the railing. He leans down over me.

"I saw you watching me." Zuko murmurs in my ear. He trails a hand down my arm. Zuko reaches down and bunches up my skirt in his fist. His other hand brushes against the skin of my thigh and I gasp.

"I like when you watch me." I push back into Zuko and he lets out a muted groan.

"Please Zuko." I plead with him and look over my shoulder at him. He reaches around and pulls down my top. I gasp and quickly try to cover myself. Zuko pulls my hands away from my breasts. He pulls me close and cups my breast from behind. I moan when he runs his calloused finger over one stiff peak.

"Do you want me?" Zuko continues to tease me and I wither in his arms. My whole body feels as if it's about to explode. Every since we found out I am pregnant its like I am constantly in need.

"Yes." Zuko presses into me and I gasp. "Please." I pant. Zuko chuckles and leans down to brush his lips against my ear.

"You beg so prettily." Zuko pulls away and I whine in protest. Zuko suddenly thrusts into me harshly from behind and I let out a choked grasp. He moves one of his hands down to my hip and pulls me close. He begins to push in and out. I thrust my body back to meet him. I smirk as Zuko lets out a quiet moan. Zuko grasps my neck in his hand and pulls my back up to his front. He begins to thrust roughly. If anyone were to walk by they would hear the wet sounds of our bodies coming together. Zuko tightens his hold on my throat and I reach back to rake my nails over his exposed skin. Zuko pants harshly behind me and I see steam rising around us. Zuko kisses the shell of my ear.

"You feel so good. So perfect." I push back to meet his thrust. Zuko leans down and sinks his teeth into my throat and I throw my head back and scream my release. Zuko's thrusts become choppy. He thrusts quickly into my welcoming body and I grunt when I feel his hot release flow into me. Zuko slumps onto me and I welcome his weight. I lay on the railing and try to catch my breath. A moment later Zuko pulls from my body and I groan at the loss of him inside me. Zuko pulls me from the edge of the balcony and pulls me into his arms. I lay my head on his shoulder.

"Wow." I giggle and trace little hearts on his exposed chest. Zuko laughs quietly and pulls me into our room. He sits me on the bed and disappears into our bathroom. I hear running water and the sound of the tub being filled. Zuko walks out gloriously naked and my mouth drops open. He reaches over and pulls my top from my body, then my skirt. I look down and notice it has been singed.

"You singed my skirt." I look up at Zuko and pretend to pout. Zuko chuckles and tosses the skirt out on the balcony.

"I'll buy you another." Zuko pulls me into his arms once more and carries me into the bathroom. I gasp and take in the scenery. Zuko has filled the tub with steaming water and lit candles all along the room.

"I thought we could take a relaxing bath together." Zuko whispers in my ear and I shiver. He walks over the lip of the tub and carefully sits down in the water. I cling to his body and sigh when the water washes over my tender flesh. I settle back against Zuko and sigh happily. All is quiet until Zuko touches my neck.

"I think I was to rough." I look back at him and see him frowning. I press back into him and pull his hands up to my face.

"I thought you were wonderful." I kiss his palm. Zuko shakes his head but decides to let it go. I smile and close my eyes.

"I love you Zuko." Zuko tightens his hold on me and leans down to kiss my hair.

"I love you Katara." Zuko moves his hand to where it is cradling my belly. "I love you as well." Tears prick at my eyes. I lean back and relax as Zuko tells me about his day.

Chapter Text

"So are you still sure it's going to be a boy?" Toph sits behind me with Suki. I am folding baby clothes and putting them away. I have slowly been setting up a nursery in the chamber adjoining to our bedroom. It has been weeks since the news that Zuko and I are expecting and I already feel behind with everything. I am adamant that the baby is a boy so all I have bought is little boy clothes. Zuko has been gently trying to get me to buy neutral things but I know deep in my heart that the little one I carry is a boy.

"Yes in fact I am." I clench my jaw. Toph also doesn't believe that I could know the gender just by having a dream. I know she doesn't mean anything by her comment but my hormones are all out-of-order and I feel irrationally angry. It also doesn't help that Toph is pregnant as well.

"Well all I'm saying is don't count your eggs before they hatch." Toph sips her tea loudly and I grind my teeth together. I drop the outfit I am folding and turn to look at her. She of course can't see me glaring at her but it makes me feel a little better.

"Just because you can't see or in your case feel something doesn't mean it is not real." Toph huffs. "You should know that better than anyone. You are married to the avatar!" I throw my hands up in frustration. Toph frowns and sits down her tea.

"Listen here sugar queen." Suki quickly stands up and touches Toph's shoulder.

"Stop it. Toph quit poking at Katara." Toph huffs and picks up her tea. My shoulders slump and I rub my forehead. Toph holds her cup and closes her eyes.

"I'm sorry Katara." Suki and I stare at her in astonishment. Toph gulps her tea. I look over at Suki and then back at Toph.

"I am to Toph." I smile softly. Suki sighs in relief before taking her seat. She nibbles on a hot cake.

"Pregnancy can really make you crazy huh?" Toph lets out a laugh and agrees. I notice Suki looking down into her cup. I sit down the shirt I am folding and move to sit beside her. She looks at me and smile.

"Suki. What's going on?" Suki startles and the smile falls from her face. She laces her fingers together in her lap.

"I guess I can't hide anything from you guys huh?" Toph props back in her chair and sits her feet up.

"Nope. So spill it." Suki looks down at her hands.

"Well as you know Sokka and I have talked about having children." I nod. "It would seem that we only have about a twenty percent chance of ever conceiving." Suki's voice cracks and she takes a deep breath.

"How do you know?" Suki's knuckles are starting to turn white. I gently detangle her fingers and hold her hand.

"We saw the healer at the north pole and she is certain our chances of conceiving are near impossible." Suki starts to cry. "The one thing woman are supposed to be good at and I can't even give the man I love a child of his own."

"I'm sure snoozles couldn't care less Suki. He loves you no matter what." Toph easily lies. We all three know how much Sokka wants a child. He has talked about it ever since he found out Aang and Zuko would be fathers soon. He wants to carry on the water tribe warriors. I squeeze Suki's hand.

"I know he loves me but I feel like I am disappointing him." Suki lets out a strangled sob. I squeeze her hand and she looks at me.

"Everything will work out Suki. I know it." I smile at her and feel guilty. After all here I am pregnant and one of my best friends may never get that. Toph is silent as if unsure what to say. Suki gives us a watery smile and wipes at her eyes.

"Well at least I will have a cute nephew to spoil." Suki tries to smile at me and I laugh. Toph snorts. I move and gather her into a hug. Toph joins us a moment later and Suki sniffles. I pat her back comfortingly.

"Thanks for listening." Suki lays her head on my shoulder.

"Anytime." Toph pats Suki's arm.
...

I feel the bed shift beside me and I open my eyes to see Zuko gingerly getting in. He is trying not to wake me. I smile at him. He looks over at me and sighs. I giggle. Zuko reaches out and pulls me close. I snuggle into his arms and lay my head on his chest. I have been so tired lately I went to bed after we had dinner with the gang. The little one I am carrying really drains my energy.

"I was trying not to wake you." Zuko kisses the top of my head and I breathe in his spicy scent.

"How was your time with Sokka and Aang?" I stifle a yawn.

"Good. It was nice to catch up with them." I smile and snuggle closer.

"Though I did miss you." I place a kiss above his heart.

"I missed you to." Zuko places his hand on my stomach.

"How is my son today?" I lean back and stare at Zuko. Zuko smiles and traces my jaw.

"After all this time I would be a fool not to trust in my wife. If you say our child will be a boy, I believe you." Zuko smiles at me. My eyes grow moist and I quickly swipe away the evidence. I lay my head on Zuko's chest.

"He is the most beautiful boy. He will have your dark hair and golden eyes." I close my eyes and picture the little boy from my dream.

"What will he have from his loving mother?" Zuko plays with my hair and I sigh happily.

"My tan skin. Though I think not as dark." Zuko hums his approval. I wait for him to say more but he is silent. I lean back and look up at him. Zuko is staring off into the darkness with a pensive look on his face.

"Zuko? What's wrong?" I cup his cheek in my hand and he leans into my touch.

"I hope our child has your goodness." Goodness? I wait for him to continue. Zuko sighs and looks down at me.

"My bloodline isn't exactly the best." Zuko has a faraway look on his face. "For a hundred years my family was responsible for war. For killing."

"I want our child to be good. To lead this nation into peace and prosperity once I am gone." My heart constricts painfully at the thought of Zuko dying.

"I fear that with me as a father he will turn down the path of darkness." Zuko is frowning. "My only consolation is that he will also have you as a mother." Zuko smiles ruefully at me.

"He will have your goodness in him. Your pure of heart and selflessness." I dig my nails into Zuko and he grunts and looks down at me in surprise.

"Stop it." I am so angry my body shakes. "I am tired of you always putting yourself down. For always thinking because of past mistakes and your family that you are somehow a monster." I look up and glare fiercely at Zuko.

"You are a loving, wonderful man. Not to mention an amazing leader." Zuko stares at me. "Our child will be blessed to have you as a father." Zuko's eyes grow misty and he looks away.

"Somehow you always make me feel worthy." Zuko looks at me and smiles. I snuggle against him again.

"It is because you are." I kiss his chest. Zuko chuckles lightly. He places a kiss at my temple.

"I love you Katara." Zuko caresses my stomach. "I love you my son."

"We love you to." I place my hand over Zuko's. I fall asleep in my husbands arms, our little one nestled safely between us

Chapter Text

My stomach twists uncomfortably and I sit up. I rub my tired eyes and swing my legs over the bed. The baby moves restlessly in my belly and I walk down the little hallway leading to our private bathroom and shut the door. After relieving myself I wash up and walk quietly down the hallway. I am almost to the entryway to our chamber when I hear voices whispering. I flatten myself against the wall and cock my head. I focus intently to the sounds. I catch bits and pieces of a hushed conversation.

"Where is the water peasant?" A raspy voice whispers.

"Who cares? Lets just do what we came here to do and leave." I ever so slightly lean my head and look over the wall. Two figures cloaked in black clothing stand near our open balcony doors. One of them pulls our a sword and a set of daggers. I look over at the bed and see Zuko sound asleep. He has a cold so he took a sleeping potion to help him get some rest. I curse silently and look over at our table. A vase filled with flowers. Water. I cradle one hand around my slightly swollen stomach. I have to help Zuko while maintaining a protective barrier for our little one.

"Hurry up and kill him!" One of the assassins hisses and the other one shushes him. I clench my teeth as anger rushes through me. They move around the bed slowly and quietly. I keep my eyes on them and silently snake the water from the vase towards me. It moves gracefully across the floor until it is coiled around me like a cloak. I twist my hands and move stealthily into the shadow of the room. With ease that could only come from a master waterbender I wrap a water tendon around one of the men's ankles and fling him against the wall. He slumps down, unconscious. The other man whirls around to face me. I glide across the room and freeze his feet. He throws knifes at me and I twist out-of-the-way. I crouch low and hold a protective hand over my stomach.

"Die bitch!" He throws more knives at me. I go to roll out-of-the-way but one of the knives slices deep into my arm. The pain is instant and it sends ripples down my arm. I fall to my knees and clutch my arm.

"Zuko! Wake up!" I scream for Zuko. I fling the rest of my water at the man who cut me and he freezes solid. I breath a sigh of relief until I see another shadow sneak across the room. Another assassin emerges from the darkness with green tipped blades ready to kill Zuko. My water gone I use the only resource I have left. I flex my hands and feel the blood coursing through his veins. The water flowing within the blood. My arm screams in protest and blood runs down my skin but I bloodbend the assassin to the ground. I squeeze my hands into fists until I see his body slump unconscious to the floor. I relax my stance. I stand up shakily clutching my bloody arm and stagger towards Zuko. I catch movement out of the corner of my eye and spin around to see the first man flying towards me with his blade poised to strike me down. My body trembles and I fall to one knee. The bloobending really took its toll. I clutch my stomach and fling up my injured arm to deflect his attack. Suddenly a huge blast of fire barrels into the assassins and sends him flying into the wall with a resounding crack. I look over my shoulder and see Zuko dragging one man by the throat and see smoke billowing from his nose. His eyes wild and angry.

"Fire lord!" Guards rush into the room followed by the gang. Zuko ignores them and throws the man to the floor. He sets the floor aflame around him and stalks into the circle. I watch as he makes a fist and I watch as he gathers a ball of fire. I realize what he plans to do and I quickly stagger to my feet and rush towards him.

"Zuko!' Zuko startles and looks over at me. My injured arm hangs uselessly by my side and I hold my stomach with the other.

"Stop. Please." Tears well up in my eyes and my legs shake. Zuko and I continue to stare at each other. I know Zuko wants to kill the man. But I know if he did he would regret it. He has tried to bring the fire nation out of that kind of darkness. After a moment Zuko unclenches his hands and brings down the ring of fire. I breathe a sigh of relief and slump to the floor. The guards rush over and gather up the would be assassins and put them in chains.

"Take them to the cells. Lock them up separately. I will be down to question them shortly." The guards nod and file out of the room. My body shakes and my head spins. Zuko rushes to my side and gathers me into his arms.

"Katara!" His voice sounds hoarse. I lean my head onto his shoulder and close my eyes. The gang is at our side a moment later and I feel hands touching me. As if they need to touch me to assure themselves I'm ok. Zuko cradles me in his arms and picks me up. He carries me to our bed and lays me down. A moment later the physician runs in. I guess one of the guards must have called her. She sits beside me and pulls out materials from her medical bag.

"Fire lady." She bows her head to me and gets to work. She pulls the flesh tight together and pulls a stitch through it. I grunt in pain and look over to the gang. Zuko is conversing angrily with Aang and Sokka. He runs a hand through his hair. He notices me looking and moves over to me. He sits on my other side and takes my hand. A few tugs later and my skin is tightly stitched. The physician gives me some herds and pats my hand. A moment later she is gone. Sokka moves to take her place and grips my other hand with his. He looks at me with fear in his eyes.

"Katara what happened?" I settle back against the pillows and sigh. My head is pounding and my arm burns. Hopefully the medicine she gave me kicks in soon. I squeeze Zuko's hand and look at Sokka.

"I went to use the bathroom and when I came back I heard whispers." I close my eyes. "I saw assassins getting ready to kill Zuko and I stopped them." Zuko's fingers tighten around mine.

"Why didn't Zuko stop them?" Sokka questions angrily. Zuko sighs and runs his hand through his hair again.

"I took a damned sleeping potion and I was out of it until all the noise woke me up." Zuko looks at his hands and clenches his teeth. I squeeze his hand reassuringly.

"I didn't have much water." I dread telling them about what I did. "I bloodbended." I wait for the horrified gasps but when I open my eyes they are all staring at me with sympathy.

"You did what you had to Katara." Aang places a calming hand on my shoulder and I give him a small smile.

"I'm just glad you are alright." Suki wraps her arms around my shoulders and gives me a hug. I smile and look over at Zuko. He is looking down at his clenched hand with a fierce frown on his face. I look over at the gang.

"I'm tired guys. Can we talk more tomorrow?" They all smile at me and file out. The door closes and Zuko and I are finally alone.

"Zuko?" He refuses to meet my eyes. I tug on his hand. He finally looks up at me, his eyes filled with anguish.

"I'm sorry Katara." I frown and cradle my stomach. Sorry for what?

"I should have protected you. Fucking assassins came into our chamber and you could have died!" Zuko yells. "Our baby could have died!" Zuko pulls away from me and storms across the room.

"I wanted to kill them. Burn them alive and listen to their screams." I sit quietly and wait for him to continue. "I feel helpless." That's unexpected. I gingerly get off the bed, careful not jostle my injured arm. I snuggle against Zuko's back.

"Helpless?" Zuko looks out at the gleaming moon.

"I feel like I am making mistake after mistake." Zuko turns around to hold my face in his hands. "The fire nation needs a strong resilient leader who will lead them into the world they deserve."

"Zuko you are an amazing fire lord!" How he can still think he's not is mystifying.

"Then why are assassins coming into our chamber to kill us in our sleep!" Zuko raises his voice and then storms out onto the balcony. I follow, undeterred by his rage.

"I feel like your life and the life of any child we have will always be in danger." Zuko clenches the railing in his hands and stares out into the darkness.

"Sometimes I think you would have been better off falling in love with someone safer." My heart clenches painfully and I rush to his side. I spin him around to face me and glare up at him.

"I am here because I chose you Zuko. I love you." I cradle his jaw in my palm. "If I was anywhere else I would be miserable." I reach down and grip his hand. I place it over my bump.

"You are an amazing fire lord and will be an even more amazing father." Zuko moves his hand over my stomach lovingly. "Would you want me to be with anyone else?" I peek up at him through my lashes. Zuko wraps his arm around my waist and pulls me close.

"Never. You are mine. You both are." Zuko continues to caress my stomach. I lower my head on his chest and breath in his spicy aroma. We stay like that for a moment before Zuko tilts my head to meet his. Our lips press together softly. He kisses me as if afraid I will break.

"I have to go question them." Zuko whispers against my lips. I sigh and move towards the bed. Zuko follows me and tucks me in. He leans down to brush his lips against my forehead and takes a deep sniff of my hair. He lovingly strokes my stomach.

"Try to get some rest. I love you." He leans down to murmur his love for our little one before straightening.

"I love you to." I cover my mouth and yawn. Zuko smiles and opens our chamber door. Two guards follow him in and he places a guard outside on the balcony.

"Keep watch and don't let anyone pass." Zuko glowers at the man and he nods before taking his post. He stations another guard outside our chamber door. He gives me one last loving glance before shutting the door quietly. I yawn again and snuggle against Zuko's pillow. His calming scent lulls me to sleep.

Chapter Text

I sit by the pond throwing little bits of bread into the water for the turtle-ducks. They swim quickly and fiercely devour the little chunks. I reach down and stroke my expanding stomach. Our little one grows bigger and stronger every day. It has been weeks since the assassination attempt and I still have fear in my heart. I try to be strong and show no weakness around Zuko but it is hard. Our son is so fragile inside of me and I worry constantly. I worry about Zuko as well. After all it was not me who they came to assassinate. It eases my worry some to have the kyoshi warriors around as added protection for Zuko. I remain steadfast and unwavering in my love and support of Zuko and Zuko continues to make time for me and our little one. He holds me close at night and whispers all of his hopes for our son. He told me he wishes for our son to be a waterbender like me. I was flabbergasted. Surely the fire nation wouldn't allow a waterbender to be their fire lord. Zuko merely shrugged and said he did not care if they liked it or not. Our son I am sure will be a firebender. My heartburn has been so severe it feels as if my chest will collapse, but I also feel it deep in my bones. Our little one will be a mighty firebender rivaled only in power by his father. I lean back against the tree I am under and close my eyes. I caress my stomach and decide a little nap sounds heavenly.

...

I can feel someone shaking my arm. I yawn and sit up. I stretch my arms and smack my lips together. The shaking stops and I bring my hands up to rub the sleep from my eyes. Someone tugs on my sleeve and I look down and gasp. The little boy from my first dream is staring up at me with wide golden eyes. His cherubic face open and happy, he beams at me happily and I notice one of his front teeth is missing. I reach out and brush my fingers down his baby soft cheek. He giggles and reaches up to pat my jaw. He snuggles close to me and I happily wrap my arms around him.

"I love you Mommy." He rubs his face in my shoulder and sighs. My heart squeezes with love and I smooth some baby fine hair from his face. He looks so much like Zuko it fills my heart with joy.

"I love you to little one." I place a small kiss to his temple.

"Mommy will daddy come help me practice today?" My son looks up at me with hopeful eyes.

"Practice what?" It may just be a dream-or vision as Aang calls it- but it feels so real. His warm little body safe in my arms. The sounds of the turtle-ducks swimming around in the pond. Even the sweet fragrance of the fire lilies blowing in the breeze.

"My bending mommy." He looks up at me and pouts. Ah. I smooth my hand through his hair and smile.

"Of course. Would you like me to help you?" He little face stares at me and then he bursts into giggles.

"Silly mommy. Daddy has to help me." His little shoulders shake with his mirth. I pretend to pout and slump my shoulders. He stops laughing and cups my jaw in his little hand. I look up at his through my lashes.

"Don't be sad mommy. You can help me with my breathing techniques." He flashes a radiant smile at me. "Daddy says that is really important to." His missing tooth makes me smile and I snuggle him close.

"Tell me your name little one." He frowns and looks at me, his expression puzzled.

"You know my name silly mommy." He sighs and shakes his head as if saying what am I to do with you. I chuckle softly and pinch his chubby cheek gently.

"Humor me little one." He giggles and rolls away from me. When he sits up against his clothes are rumpled and his hair has grass in it. I laugh and reach out to tickle him. He swats my hands away and giggles once more.

"Kushanu." He murmurs his name is his little voice and settles once more into my arms. Hm. I gently pull my fingers through his hair as he starts to snore softly. We named him after the flames of fire. I smirk and look down at my son. He must be a firebender. I pull Kushanu close and close my eyes.

...

I wake some time later. I am wrapped up in a pair of warm muscular arms. My head is snuggled close on Zuko's chest. I shift and lean back to look up at him. Zuko smiles down at me and leans down to kiss me. All to soon he pulls away and smiles at me. His golden eyes shinning lovingly at me. His scarred eye crinkles affectionately.

"Hi." I blush and snuggle close once more. Zuko chuckles and plays with the ends of my hair.

"I dreamed about our son again." Zuko's fingers pause and then resume.

"He feel asleep in my arms. He also told me his name." Zuko is silent so I look up at him and my heart lurches in my chest. He is smiling down at me. His eyes narrowed with love and his smile bright.

"His name is Kushanu." Zuko grunts, pleased with his name.

"Flames of fire huh? A good strong name." Zuko's voice is proud. I smile and snuggle back against Zuko and close my eyes. Zuko resumes his tender touch and begins to hum softly to me. I slowly drift off to sleep. I dream of a little dark-haired boy and his brave, strong father.

Chapter Text

I will be back soon with more Zutara. I have been under the weather lately with a back sprain and sleeping and resting.

Thanks for your continued support.
-Much love, MaidenP

Chapter Text

The ship taking us to Air Temple Island rocks as the waves crash against the sides and my stomach revolts. I quickly move away from Zuko and lean across the railing to empty the contents of my stomach into the churning water. I heave and feel Zuko pull my hair back from my face and rub a soothing hand across my back. I vomit the last of my lunch and wipe my mouth with the back of my hand. Zuko hands me a canteen of water and I smile my thanks at him. I take a swig of the water to cleanse my mouth. Zuko moves close and brushes stray hair away from my sweaty face.

"Are you alright?" Zuko asks. His eyes shinning down at me with concern. I nod and reach down to cradle my bulging stomach.

"Our son does not like the movements of the ship." I smirk slightly and sip the water slowly.

"Ah." Zuko reaches out to rub soothing circles on my stomach. I smile and lean into him. He wraps a strong-arm around my shoulders. I close my eyes and lean my head on his shoulder.

"Milord." A guard bows before us. Zuko and I look over.

"We are approaching Air Temple Island. The captain said to tell you we will be docking in a matter of minutes." Zuko nods and the guard bows once more before leaving.

"I hope Toph likes the blanket I made for her little girl." The blanket is light and airy while still thick enough to keep a newborn babe warm. The material is the silky, soft fabric I bought while on ember island. Zuko brushes a kiss against my forehead.

"I am sure she will love it." We watch as we get closer to the Air island that Aang had built after the war ended. I asked once why they didn't just move to one of the old Air Temples and he said it was too painful to be there. Instead the Air Acolytes inhabit them and look after them. When Toph told us a few weeks ago that her parents had planned a celebration for her pregnancy, I was worried that we might not be able to attend. But Zuko took care of everything that needed our immediate attention and left the rest for later. Uncle Iroh is watching over the fire nation for us while we come and even sent along a little tea set for their little girl. He was sad he would be missing it but I promised to tell him every detail.

...

"Katara!" Suki rushes over to us once we make it into the grand temple that Toph and Aang have made into their home. She wraps her arms around my waist and gives me a side hug since my belly does not permit much.

"I am glad to see you Suki." I smile at her and she kisses my cheek. I look over her shoulder to see Sokka has grabbed Zuko into a bear hug. Zuko laughs quietly and pats Sokka on the back. Sokka releases Zuko and then moves to hug me gingerly.

"You look huge Katara!" Suki gasps and swats his arm. I merely chuckle and hug him in return. He kisses my forehead.

"It's great to see you to Sokka." Sokka releases me and slings his arm around Suki's thin shoulders.

"I can't wait to see the little guy." Suki clasps her hands in front of her and smiles brightly at me. I don't miss the sadness in her eyes though. I make a mental note to talk to her later when we are alone.

"Us as well." Zuko places his hand on the small of my back and puts his other hand on my stomach.

"Did you guys pick out a name?" Suki leans into Sokka's embrace.

"Kushanu." Zuko says proudly.

"A good strong name for the future fire lord." Sokka nods his head in approval.

"Finally." We all look over to see an exasperated Toph stomping her way over to us.

"I thought you guys would never get here. Aang and my parents are about to drive me crazy." Toph crosses her arms over her massive stomach. I reach over to hug her as much as out stomachs will allow.

"Why?" Suki hugs Toph next.

"Because they won't let me do anything!" Toph huffs. "They act like I'm made of glass." Toph blows her bangs.

"Well you are due in just a matter of weeks." I point out and Toph frowns in my direction. She opens her mouth to say more but before she can Aang appears.

"Toph I asked you to please stay off your feet." Aang clucks his tongue and moves to pick her up. He sweeps her up in his arms and smiles at us.

"This way guys." I gasp as we enter the main area where the party is being held. It looks like a pink explosion. I share at look with Suki and think it's a good thing Toph is blind.

...

I move out to the balcony to get a breath of fresh air. I look out at the waves and sip my drink. The door opens and I see Sokka come out. I smile at him and turn back to watch the waves crash and retreat against the shore. Sokka moves to stand beside me and leans against the railing. We stand in comfortable silence as we sip our drinks.

"Tell me what's on your mind Sokka." Sokka startles and looks over at me. A moment later he sighs and sets his cup down.

"It's Suki." I frown and turn to face him.

"What's going on?" I ask.

"She is beating herself up about not being able to get pregnant." Sokka picks up his cup and takes a gulp.

"She has it in her head that if she can't have my children that I will think less of her." Sokka huffs and sits his cup down again. "That I am somehow disappointed in her." Sokka looks out over the water a pinched look on his face. I wait for him to continue.

"It's true I want children. I want to make our tribe what it used to be before the war." Sokka murmurs to me, his face tight.

"But honestly If Suki cannot give me children I'm ok with that. I just want her to be happy again." I reach out and place my hand over his.

"I'm not disappointed or angry. I love Suki." Sokka shakes his head.

"Have you thought about maybe adopting a child?" Sokka looks at me in surprise.

"There are orphaned water tribe children." Even now I can picture the children orphaned by war.

"You really think Suki would want that?" Sokka looks at me with hope in his eyes. I reach over and clasp his shoulder.

"What I think is that you and Suki need to talk. Sit down and really talk about this." Sokka smiles at me and reaches out to hug me. I squeeze him and pull away.

"Tell Suki everything you told me. It will do her heart good to know that you feel this way." Sokka kisses my forehead and moves towards the door.

"Thanks Katara." I smile and Sokka vanishes through the door. Once he is gone I let out a deep breath and sag against the railing. My heart is heavy with concern for my family. But also hope. I know Suki and Sokka will figure out what is best for them. I am lost in my thoughts when Zuko sneaks up behind me and places his hands on my stomach from behind.

"Here is where you ran off to." Zuko puts his chin on the top of my head. "I should have known." Amusement is clear in his words and I smile.

"Sokka just needed some sibling time." Zuko grunts and kisses my hair.

"It's so peaceful out here." I whisper as we watch the sun setting against the shimmering water.

"It is." Zuko agrees. We fall silent. I place my hands over Zuko's. Together we watch the sun set and hold our baby. My heart is full of love for my little family and I lean back into Zuko's embrace and smile.

Chapter Text

I am sitting calmly beside Sokka as I sip my tea. We both watch Aang pace nervously around the room. Katara and Suki are in the delivery room with Toph and some Air Acolytes. Katara is the one delivering Toph and Aangs baby. Toph insisted that Katara be the one to do it as she trusts her more than anyone. I take a small sip of the herbal tea and school my expression. It is not that it is terrible but I sorely miss the spicy tea Katara prepares for me. Aang continues to pace and I sigh and set my cup down.

"Aang. You must calm down. Toph will be fine and so will your daughter." It's a little amusing to see the even-tempered bender be so out of sorts. I wonder if I will also be a nervous wreck when Katara goes into labor. I imagine not. Sokka stands up and slings his arm around Aang's shoulders.

"Come on Aang, Zuko is right. Katara wouldn't let anything happen to them." At the mention of my wife Aang visibly relaxes. He nods his head and clasps Sokka's arm.

"You're right. Katara will take care of them." The avatar smiles at us and moves to sit down. Just as we sit Suki flings the doors open and smiles brightly at us.

"She's here." Suki beams excitedly and we quickly follow her into the delivery room. Toph is propped up on a sea of pillows and cradles a pink wrapped bundle in her arms. I look over at Katara and see her hands glowing faintly, her eyes closed. I move to her side. A moment later she drops her hands and opens her eyes. She smiles at Toph and tells her she is done. All that Toph needs now is rest and to stay off her feet for a while. Toph smiles tiredly at Katara and rubs her finger down the sleeping baby's face. I move closer to see her. She is as bald as her father and tiny. She opens her eyes and I see she has deep brown eyes. She stares up at all of us with a fascinating sense of calm.

"She's so beautiful Toph." Katara murmurs so not to alarm the child. Toph snuggles the baby close and places a kiss on her face. Aang gathers Toph into his arms and holds his daughter and wife close.

"What is her name?" Suki asks softly as the baby drifts back to sleep. Toph looks to Aang. Aang gazes down at his tiny daughter.

"Rinza." Toph considers the name for a moment and then smiles sleepily at Aang.

"That sounds like a great name Twinkle toes." I smile at the happy parents, and move back to Katara's side. I curl my hand around the nape of her neck and she gazes up at me. Exhaustion lines her beautiful face and she has purple shadows under her eyes. I frown and brush some stray hairs back from her face. She looks exhausted. I cup her swollen stomach with my other hand. Katara leans into my embrace and I hold her close. I turn to Toph and Aang.

"If you are well enough Toph I think I will take Katara and put her to bed." Already Katara wavers at my side, unsteady on her feet. Concern grips my chest and I hold her closer to me. Toph waves us off and I gently gather Katara into my arms and carry her from the room. Katara snuggles into my arms and sighs sleepily. I carry her into our room and sit her down on a chair. I move to the bathroom and heat water for a bath for her. Once I find it is adequately warmed I undress her. I run my gaze over her naked flesh and groan. Even exhausted and sweaty, my wife is a sight to tempt any man. I place her into the steamy water and she sinks under it. She stops until only the tip of her nose and eyes are visible. My heart clenches with love for Katara. How she ever chose to marry and love someone like me will never stop astounding me. I scoop a basin of water and slowly pour it over her hair. She opens her eyes and looks up at me.

"You have run yourself ragged tending to Toph and the child. Now it will be you that gets pampered." I lather up my hands with shampoo and gently massage her hair. Katara closes her eyes and moans in pleasure. My mouth runs dry and I swallow my tongue. I gently wipe a stray bubble from her cheek and she opens her eyes once more. She gazes up at me with such love shining in her eyes.

"Thank you for taking care of me Zuko." Katara smiles sweetly at me. I cup her cheek and brush a gentle kiss to her parted lips.

"You are my heart Katara." Katara's eyes look misty and she quickly closes them again. I smile slightly and continue the task at hand. I gently run my fingers through Katara's hair and run my finger tips over her skin. I fill the basin once more and rinse her thick hair. Katara smiles at me and lifts her arms out of the tub. I wet my wash cloth and begin washing her thin arms. I trail the cloth over her flesh and muse how such fragile looking arms could hold such power. Katara rinses her arms in the water and then lifts her leg for me to wash. I admire her long, delicate legs and trail my fingers over her silky skin. Katara giggles and pulls her leg away. I smirk and reach out to tickle her foot. Katara squeals and splashes me with water. I snort with amusement and splash her back. Katara bends a flick of water at me and it hits me square in the face. Katara howls with laughter and I join in, my heart heavy with happiness. Katara stands up and I reach out to wrap her in a plush towel.

"Come sit by the fire and I will dry your hair and brush it out for you." Katara smiles at me and I lead her to a bench in front of the fire I made for her. I sit behind her and pull out her favorite bone comb that her gran gran made for her when she was a small child. I slowly pull the teeth through her thick hair and Katara sighs contently.

"You are a sweet man Zuko. Taking care of me as such." Katara likes to sing her praise about me, but honestly I just like taking care of her. I like knowing that I am the one she turns to when she needs something, or if she is in trouble or sick. My wife is a treasure and I plan to spend the rest of my life treating her as such.

"I would do anything for you Katara." Katara turns her head and smiles sleepily at me. I frown and cup her jaw.

"You wore yourself out today. You must take care of yourself and our son." Katara yawns and turns back around. I resume my brushing.

"I know, but Toph needed me. I couldn't just leave her without a midwife." Katara murmurs quietly. I smile slightly at her loyalty.

"Our son has been very active today. He has kicked me in my sensitive spots all day." Katara chuckles softly. I finish with brushing her hair and I lean down to cradle her in my arms once more. I carry her to our bed and crawl in after her. I wrap us in the blankets and pull her close. I kiss the top of her head and place a protective hand over the swell of her belly.

"I can't wait to head home and finish up the nursery." Katara yawns again and snuggles against my chest like a sleepy fire kitten.

"Do you think our son will be here soon my love?" I envision Katara holding our little son and I am filled with fierce protectiveness.

"I think it will be soon." Katara murmurs sleepily and I look down and see that she has fallen asleep. I smile and hold her closer to me. I kiss her brow and close my eyes. I dream of Katara and our little son that night.

Chapter Text

A sharp pain stabs through my abdomen and I sit up in bed. Zuko stirs beside me and rubs his eyes. Another tremor moves through my body and I gasp in pain. I look around in a daze until I realize the pain I am feeling is a contraction. Our baby is coming. Zuko lays a comforting hand on my stomach and looks at me with concern.

"It's time." I gasp as another contraction rolls across my stomach. Zuko jumps from our bed and moves to my side. He helps me in a propped up place in the middle of our bed. I clench my teeth and remain silent as pain washes over me. Zuko is fussing over me when a loud explosion sounds, shaking the walls. I jump and wince and Zuko rushes out to the balcony to look into the court-yard. I hear a string of curses and he quickly shuts the doors and latches them.

"What's going on?" I ask through labored breaths. Zuko doesn't answer me but he quickly begins to dress. I start to panic and reach out to grasp his arm. He looks at me and frowns slightly.

"It looks like the palace is under attack. I must alert the guards. I also have to retrieve the midwife." Zuko's mouth flattens into a tight line and he rubs a soothing hand over my straining stomach. He moves to leave and I grip his hand tight in my own.

"Be safe." I want to cry and beg him not to leave us but I know he must. I have to be strong. Zuko gathers me into his arms and squeezes me tightly. He places a soft kiss to my forehead and leans down to murmur calming words to our son.

"I will be back soon. There will be guards stationed outside." Zuko claims my lips in a passionate kiss. I eagerly respond. My stomach clenches as another contraction hits me. I groan and lay against my pillows. I lock eyes with Zuko.

"Hurry." Zuko gives me a short clipped nod and rushes from the room. I hear him latch the door and then silence. I close my eyes and think pleasant thoughts of holding our little son. Surprisingly I manage to fall asleep.
....

The sound of a door opening wakes me from my restless sleep. I rub my eyes and look up from my pillows.

"Zuko is-" Two women I have never seen before enter my room and quickly shut the door. I catch a glimpse of the guard unconscious before the door closes with a resounding click. The women are wearing masks and dark clothing with fire nation symbols. I lean against my pillows and watch them warily.

"Hello fire lady. We hear you are having contractions. Has your water broken?" One woman asks me kindly. I remain silent and continue to watch them warily. The other woman moves to the bed and touches where my legs are.

"Hm, I would say not. The bed is dry." They exchange a look and begin to pull bindings out of a bag.

"Who are you?" They unwind the bindings and turn towards me.

'We are with the new Ozai restoration. Now please don't make this harder than it has to be." They advance on me and I quickly snap my wrists and water from the vase flings them both against the wall. I let out a mighty breath of air and they freeze solid. I gingerly slide my legs over the side of the bed and try to stand. My body screams in protest and I clench my teeth. I slowly move to the door and peek out. The hallway is silent and my guards are unconscious on the floors. They have poisoned darts in their necks. I lean against the walls and move towards the staircase. I hear shouts from the courtyard and look frantically for Zuko. My body shakes and I stumble over my feet. I feel so weak. I rub my hand over my trembling stomach and murmur soothing words to my little son.

"Fire lady." I look over and see a kind looking man in a guards uniform. Relief surges through me and I move to grip his arm. He stabilizes me and pats my hand affectionately. I look up at him and he smiles slightly.

"We have to find my husband. Please." Another contraction hits me and I gasp quietly.

"Of course my lady." He helps me walk and I lean on him for support. He must be new. I haven't seen him around before. Instead of leading me to the main rooms he pulls me to the furthest part of the palace. Unease twists in my stomach and I finger the pouch of water at my hip. I watch him out of the corner of my eye. We stop in front of a hallway and two figures emerge. I gasp and pull away from the man. The women from earlier stand next to my would be helper, dripping water. I coil my hands when suddenly someone grabs them from behind. I turn my head and see a man with cropped dark hair and a sharp face.

"Careful now fire lady. We would not want you to hurt yourself or the little lord." The man continues to talk but all I can hear is the pounding in my ears as my water breaks. The liquid gushes down my legs and soaks my feet and the floor beneath me.

"My my. Looks like the little lord is ready to greet the world." The man smirks and gathers me into his arms. I try to fight but it feels as if all my strength has fled. My body feels heavy and awkward.

"What do you want with me?" The faces start to blur and my head starts to spin. The people around me chuckle and I feel the wind around me move as they carry me away.

"It is not you we want my lady." I frown and try to focus on his words. He leans down close to me and whispers.

"It is your son." My heart clenches in fear and rage and then everything goes black.

Chapter Text

I open my eyes and I see my little son running around the turtle-duck pond tossing bread into the water and laughing. His little legs carry him away from me and my heart starts to race. I jump to my feet and hurry after him, my hand stretched out trying to grasp his clothing. He moves further away from me and then stops suddenly in front of a tall imposing figure. He looks up at the man and then back at me, his golden eyes filled with fear. I push my legs faster and strain to grasp him.

 

"Kushanu!" The man reaches down and gathers my son and holds him close. He smirks at me before turning away. Kushanu reaches out with his little hands and his eyes filled with tears.

 

"Mommy! Don't let him take me!" Kushanu cries out for me to save him but I begin to stumble. My legs give out beneath me and I tumble to the ground. I look up and try to bloodbend the man but my powers fail me. My strength is gone and my body falls limp. As i struggle to keep my eyes open the last thing I see before the darkness claims me is my little Kushanu being stolen away from me. I open my mouth to scream for him but my voice is gone. The darkness crowds my vision before swallowing me whole.

...

 

"Kushanu!" I gasp and sit upright in bed. My body protests and my stomach ripples with movement. I pace my hands flat on my stomach and am relieved when I feel my son move beneath my skin. My stomach cramps and I gasp. My son is ready to greet the world but he can't. Not yet. I look around the room and notice that the windows are sealed shut and its dark. As I am taking notes of my surroundings the bedroom door swings open and some women and the man who stole me enter.

 

"Good morning my lady." He smiles cordially at me. I glare at him and remain silent. He moves to sit beside me and reaches out to stroke my stomach. I swat his hand and move away. He smiles, unbothered at my anger. I grit my teeth and clench my fist in the bed sheet as another tremor wracks my body.

 

"It would seem our little lord is ready to greet this wondrous morning. Now my lady please do not keep the little one hostage. It could harm him if he stays within your body any longer." I scoff at his words and lock my teeth to keep my screaming in agony.

 

"Hostage? You are the one who stole us!" My words come out in rushed pants. I can feel my son moving closer to my opening. He wishes to be born. I want to scream and cry in anger. My son should be born surrounded by those who love him. Not here by these wretched people.

 

"We did what we had to my lady. The young lord is very important to us. He is our lord Ozai reborn." The women nod their heads and I stare in disbelief. Surely they cannot believe my son is Zuko's horrible father reborn.

 

"Your crazy." I sneer at them. The man merely shakes his head and moves to where my legs are. He places his hand on my knee and I flinch away from his icy touch.

 

"Don't touch me." I glare at them.

 

"I do not wish to have you tied up my lady. Childbirth is painful enough. But I will if you force my hand." Despite his polite demeanor and affectionate smile, his eyes shine with malice and evil. I need to play by his rules for now. For my son's sake. I prop my legs up and open them slowly. I grit my teeth and swallow down vomit. For anyone but Zuko to see in such an intimate position is shaming.

 

"There there my lady. That wasn't so hard." He pats my leg comfortingly. I close my eyes and send out a silent prayer for Zuko to find us.

....

 

Zuko's POV

 

"Well where the hell are they?!" I slam my fist against the war table and flames fly out in all directions. My uncle moves to my side and places a comforting hand on my shoulder. I take a deep breath and release steam.

 

"We will find them my nephew." Sokka frowns at the map of the fire nation and the rebellion groups listed. Toph holds her little daughter close to her and murmurs soothing words to her. I close my eyes and try to reign in my rage and terror so I won't frighten the child. Aang tried to get his wife to stay behind with their newborn daughter but she wouldn't hear of being left behind. Not since Katara and our son were taken. Aang stands up and pats my shoulder.

 

"We will find them Zuko. I promise." I look at the avatar. His gray eyes shinning with determination. I nod my head and scope out the list again. A guard slams the doors open and rushes in. He is holding an insignia ripped from the uniform of one of the traitors.

 

"Fire lord we found this." He hands the scrape of fabric to uncle. He studies it for a moment before closing it in his fist.

 

"They were taken by the new Ozai restoration." My heart clenches in my chest and I bellow out my rage and swipe all the papers into the floor. I stride towards the door and bark out orders to my guards.

 

"Prepare to leave. We leave to rescue the Fire lady and my son." My blood boils in my veins. I won't be swayed this time. I walk with purpose to my armory. I do not go to capture them. No. I go to kill them for daring to touch my family.

Chapter Text

My body clenches in agony and I have to muffle my scream. I watch as the man and his followers prepare clean towels and hot water for the birth. I close my eyes to try to keep my tears at bay. I want to thrash and cry. My heart is filled with rage and despair. Rage for the people who stole us away and despair that Zuko will not be present for our son's birth. These people are stealing a precious moment from father and son and for that I will make them pay. My legs are spread open and I watch as he takes up position between them.

 

"Our lord is coming. Now you must push my lady." I grit my teeth and do as he says. My blood burns under my skin and my head pounds. It feels like there is a boulder in my stomach and it just gets heavier the longer its there. I push again and then sag against the bedding, my lungs burning with exertion.

 

"Keep going my lady. This time do not stop. Push until you can't push anymore." I glare at him and then pull myself up onto my elbows. I take a deep breath and then let it out in a mighty roar. I push harder than before. I can't contain my agony and scream. My body feels as if it is being torn in two.

 

"Push! Do not stop! Do you wish for the young lord to die?" The man snarls at me and I rear up. I steel myself and push once more.

 

"That's it! Keep going!" The man's eyes gleam with anticipation and I can't help but sneer at him.

 

"Ahhhhhh!" My body seizes and I feel the heavy weight fall from my body. All of my strength fades and I fall against the pillows. I watch, helpless as they pull my squalling son from my body and take him to the basin. They splash him with water and he squeals his protest. They swaddle him in blankets and hand him to the man. He gazes down at him with open admiration.

 

"Lord Ozai." He whispers in awe at my little son. I weakly hold my arms out for my son and plead with them.

 

"Please let me see him." My heart yearns for my son. The man smirks at me. He walks to the cradle and sits my son in it. My heart sinks.

 

"You were merely the lords incubator. You will have no more interaction with him." This time I cannot stop the tears from coursing down my face. How dare they take my son from me. I will destroy them all. Before he can say more there is a loud blast from somewhere in the hideout. The man stands up and peeks out into the hallway. There are people rushing about and smoke. He glances back at me and levels a hard look at the women.

 

"You come with me. And you stay here and watch her." I lay limp against the bed and watch them quickly file out of the room. I close my eyes and pretend to fall asleep. I hear the woman walk over to me and press her fingers to side of my neck to check for a pulse. I even out my breathing and she sighs in relief before moving to my son. I crack open one eye and watch her. She is bent over my son, cooing to him. I quietly sit up in bed and have to swallow back my sounds of pain. My body is covered in sweat and blood is smeared all over my legs and thighs. I cautiously swing my legs over the bed and continue to watch her. I flex my hands and the woman turns around just as I bend an ice shard into her neck. She chokes and reaches up to grab at it. Blood starts to pour from her wound and she gasps. Her words get swallowed up as blood begins to fall from her lips. A moment later she collapses, dead onto the floor. I gingerly walk over to my son. He is the most precious thing I have ever seen. He has a thick bundle of almost black hair. His golden eyes are trained on my face and he makes a gurgling sound. I gently pick him up and cradle him to my chest. I'm blubbering happily at finally getting to hold my son. He is perfect. Shouts from outside the door remind me that we are still prisoners. I grab the sheets from the bed and quickly bundle them around my son and then tie them to my body.

 

"Alright little guy. Let's get out of here." I open the door and look down the hallway. So far so good. I walk as quick as I can. My body screams in agony and I have to stop to catch my breath. My arms and legs are shaking with exertion. I feel weak and depleted. I press a small kiss to my son's face and murmur soothing words to him. Another bang sounds and so I place my hand on his small bottom and push myself up with the other. I hear yells and try to walk faster. I stumble and have to catch myself. I want to cry in frustration. My body is weak and unable to move any faster. I need to be stronger to protect Kushanu. I find an old entry way off of a crumbling exterior. It has weeds grown over it so badly that I almost missed it. I quickly cover Kushanu up and get down onto my knees. I don't tear the vines and thorns down lest we be found. I crawl through the old tunnel and grit my teeth. The thorns dig into my hair and skin and my knees scrape against the uneven ground.

 

"Ah!" I start to tumble out the other side but manage to catch my arm on a stray branch. My shoulder pops and I have to muffle a scream. I try to move my arm and find it unresponsive. Kushanu gives a little cry of protest and I unwrap him with my good arm. His golden eyes are narrowed and his little mouth trembles. I pull aside my night shift and press him to my breast to suckle. He latches on happily and begins to feed. I give a little sigh of relief and lean up against a tree. A few moments later and I feel Kushanu release my nipple. I look down and see his little eyes are closed and he burrows closer to my chest. I hold him close and kiss his hair.

 

"Please Zuko. Find us." Darkness swims in my vision and I succumb to sleep.

Chapter Text

A heavy weight wiggling against my chest pulls me from my sleep. It feels nearly impossible to open my eyes but when I do I look down and see Kushanu gazing up at me. His golden eyes watching me calmly. He bangs his fist against my jaw and I smile. I pull him close and press a kiss to his fat cheek. My little son is a big boy and my good arm aches from having to support his bottom even with the bindings holding most of his weight. I pull aside my shift and Kushanu latches on happily. His little eyes narrow as he feeds. I try to move my injured shoulder with no avail. I must have dislocated it when I fell. My body aches but my nap helped to give some strength into my legs. I pull myself up and let out a groan. Everything aches from childbirth and falling out of the tunnel.

 

"Alright we need to find a way home." Like that will be easy. I shift Kushanu against my breast and he lets out a whine of protest. My sweet little boy. I caress his cheek and marvel at him. Zuko and I created this perfect little one. My heart aches for Zuko. How worried he must be. I start to trek across the forest floor when I start to tremble. My head swims and I have to lean against a tree to catch my breath. I look down at my legs. I must have lost more blood than I thought. I gingerly sit and lean back against the tree.

 

"Mommy is going to rest for just a moment." The last thing I see is Kushanu gazing up at me once more.

 

...

 

Zuko's POV:

 

I throw the door open where they were holding Katara. Aang, Suki, and Sokka follow close behind with the leader of the Ozai restoration in custody. I look around the room and see blood stained sheets and a woman dead on the floor. She has a puncture wound on her neck but no weapon. I move over to where Lee and the leader is standing and grab him by the front of his vest. He strains up on his tiptoes as I press my nose to his.

 

"Where is my wife?" The man shakes and quickly looks around the room. He notices the dead woman and his mouth twists in disgust.

 

"Useless woman. Couldn't even contain a woman weak from childbirth." My heart races and I look at him with narrowed eyes. He looks at me again and gulps. He quickly looks away and I clench my teeth in rage.

 

"She gave birth to my son?" The man swallows and smirks at me.

 

"She did. I held her legs open and the young lord fell right into my hands." He puffs up his chest in a show of false bravado.

 

"She cried like a little bitch when I took your son away from her. Begged me so sweetly to please let her hold him." I see red. My blood roars in my veins. This ends. Now. The leader smirks and continues to belittle Katara. A moment later he stutters and blood splatters on my face. He moves his lips, trying to form words but it must be hard to talk with a fire sphere in his throat.

 

"That was for my family." I throw him to the floor and watch as his eyes grow dim, the light fading from them. Everything is silent as he takes his last breath. I wipe my face with my sleeve and turn to leave. Aang looks at me with slight disapproval while Sokka glares at the dead form. I meet my commander by the door.

 

"Find every last member of this cult." My commander nods and waits.

 

"Kill them all." I stalk away with the gang following quickly behind. I look down hallways and Aang makes an annoyed sound.

 

"Zuko you really plan to kill all of them?" I ignore the avatar and look for clues. I notice bloody footprints leading down a decrepit looking hallway. Sokka and Suki remain silent and quickly follow me. The footprints end at a vine-covered wall. I lean down to look for an entrance. Aaang grabs my shoulder and roughly pulls my attention to him.

 

"Zuko!" I snap and shove the avatar away from me.

 

"Yes Aang I am." Aang scowls at me and moves to the wall.

 

"I'm a pacifist Zuko. How can you think I would be ok with something like that?" I glare at Aang and my anger boils over.

 

"Honestly Aang I could give a shit what you think." Suki and Sokka stare at me wide-eyed. "My wife and son are missing. Those people stole Katara away and hurt her. My wife. YOUR friend Aang!" I snarl at him and push him out-of-the-way to scope out the wall once more.

 

"They planned to steal my son away and kill my wife. They are lucky they get off with a swift death." I pull the vines out-of-the-way and finally I see a small opening. I light a small flame in my hand and peek in. As I suspected the blood trail continues down here.

 

"Zuko is right Aang." Sokka finally speaks and moves to my side. "You guys can hash this out later but right now I want to find my sister and nephew." Aang nods and I lean down and crawl through the tunnel. I'm nearing the end and all of a sudden the floor ends and I end up toppling out onto the forest floor. I grunt in pain and the gang falls out after me.

 

"Ow! That could have been a better landing." Sokka complains and rubs his backside. Suki shrieks and falls out next. Sokka quickly catches her. They murmur to each other and I catch a faint sound. Its sounds almost like a cry.

 

"Shh." I cock my head to the side and listen. A faint cry sounds from the forest and my heart races in my chest. I sprint towards the sound. What I see next has all the air leaving my lungs. Katara lays on her side surrounded by vegetation. Her hair is tangled with twigs and dirt. Her shift is filthy, covered in dirt and blood. Her arm is twisted at an odd angle and every inch of uncovered skin is covered in cuts and scrapes. I kneel beside her and notice her legs are caked in dried blood. I brush her tangled hair from her face. She has purple rings around her eyes and her cheeks look hollow. I look down as the cloth against her chest wiggles and I pull it aside. I gasp. My son is nestled safely against Katara's breasts. His little face screws up in anger and he gives a bellow of rage. I pick him up and hold him close. I close my eyes and send up a silent prayer that my son is safe. It's all thanks to his fierce mother.

 

"Suki." I hand her Kushanu and she holds my son close to her. She murmurs soothing words to him and after a moment his cries subside. I kneel beside Katara once more and run my fingers over her cheek.

 

"Katara. I'm here. Wake up please." Katara lies motionless. Her face pale. I gingerly clasp her hand. Her fingers are cold. I press my fingers to her wrist and I start to panic. After a moment I can faintly detect a pulse. I slowly gather her up in my arms and hold her close to my chest. Aang makes a platform for us. He begins to move his arms and we glide across the forest floor.

 

"We have to hurry." Sokka watches Katara warily and Suki weeps quietly, holding my son close. Aang looks down at Katara, his gray eyes shinning with concern. I close my eyes and place a gentle kiss to her forehead. I say a silent prayer for Katara.

 

"You cannot leave me. Without you I am nothing." My tears fall onto her face smudging the dirt covering her skin. I hold Katara close as we move closer to our destination.

Chapter Text

Zuko's POV:

 

I sit in a chair by Katara's side, my hands clasped together in silent prayer. She lays motionless, bone pale. She looks so damn fragile, like if I touched her she would shatter under my fingers. Our son sleeps peacefully in his bassinet on the other side of the room. He is only days old but sleeps so soundly. Katara lost so much blood that her body has went into a protective coma of sorts. The physician says she is getting better every day and can wake up at any moment. I have her in our room instead of the physicians wing because when she does wake up I want her to feel safe and comfortable. Kushanu stirs in his bassinet and lets out a little whimper and I move to his side. He waves his little fists in anger and gazes up at me with piercing golden eyes. His dark skin-so much like Katara's-is flushed. I pick him up and snuggle him close to my chest. He settles in against me and I sit down beside Katara once more, out little son with me. I reach out to run my fingers down her cheek.

 

"Please Katara come back to us. Kushanu needs his mother. I need you." My voice breaks and the words die in my throat. Damn it I need to be strong now. Kushanu pushes against my jaw and I look down at him. He looks so much like Katara. My heart clenches painfully in my chest. I smile slightly and brush my knuckles against his chubby cheek. He gives a small giggle and then sneezes.

 

"Kushanu is here with us Katara. He misses you." At that exact moment Kushanu lets out a small cry and Katara's eyelids flutter. I move closer to her and watch for any more movement. Kushanu cries again and instead of consoling him I let him be. Katara's eyelids flutter once more and her body seems to twitch.

 

"Katara. We are here. Come back to us." Katara lets out a quiet groan and I grasp her hand. A few minutes pass and then I am greeted with the most beautiful sight. Katara opens her eyes and blinks dazedly up at us. I prop Kushanu up on my shoulder and grab Katara with my free arm. I press her tightly to my chest and bury my face in her hair. My body is trembling and I am weeping. Kushanu struggles in my hold and I pull back from Katara to press him between us. Katara tries to speak but her voice is hoarse. I hand her a cup of water and she drinks it quickly. She presses her hand to her temple and closes her eyes.

 

"What happened?" Her voice is a papery whisper.

 

"You were abducted and went into labor." Katara gasps and moves her hand to her flat stomach. She opens her eyes and her gaze settles on Kushanu. Her face softens into a loving smile and she holds her arms out for him. I settle him into her outstretched arms and she leans down and presses a kiss to his forehead. She holds him close and begins to weep loudly. I gather her into my arms.

 

"Shh Katara. It's alright now. You are safe, you both are." I kiss her brow and she settles into my arms. Kushanu gazes up at Katara with a small smile, his gums showing. He knows on some level that his mother almost died saving him.

 

"I was so afraid. Afraid that they were going to take him away and we would never find him." Katara lets out a broken sob. She looks up at me with shinning eyes.

 

"I was afraid I would never see you again Zuko." My eyes grow misty and I hug her tightly to my chest. I run my hand through her silky hair and sigh. It feels like heaven to be able to be here with her and our son.

 

"No matter where you go in this world Katara, I will always find you." I rub my finger over Kushanu's soft little cheek and he gurgles happily. "You and Kushanu."

 

"Thank you Zuko. For finding us." Katara tilts her face up and I lean down to brush my lips against hers. My heart is finally at peace. My wife and son are safe in my arms and our enemies are dealt with. For now at least. I pull away and Katara beams a tired smile at me. I hold out my arms for Kushanu and she reluctantly hands him over. I press her down and she lays back against her pillows. Once she is settled I lay Kushanu down beside her. She immediately pulls his close and murmurs words of love to him.

 

"I am going to notify the physician you are awake. I will be back momentarily." Katara smiles at me before turning her attention back to our son. I watch them. I vow to always make sure that my family will always be safe and happy.

Chapter Text

Hi everybody! So sorry I have been MIA for a few weeks. There have been some personal issues going on in my life right now. I plan to update soon and have some pretty great ideas about where to take Katara and Zuko next along with the rest of the gang. Spoiler: It will have a bit of a time jump :) I really appreciate you guys hanging in there and putting up with my slow updating. You guys rock!

Much love,
MaidenP

Chapter Text

I rub my finger across Kushanu's cheek as he nurses against my breast. My little one has grown rapidly all seemingly in the span of a moment, even though he is almost a year and a half. His little hands close into fists before opening again. His narrow eyes watch me and I smile down at him. All is quiet before I feel a set of muscled arms wrap around my waist and Zuko burrows his head into my neck. He takes a deep breath before releasing it and I shiver. Lately everything Zuko does seems to arouse me. The other day he gave me his signature smirk and I about melted into a puddle. I turn around and Zuko runs his hand over Kushanu's inky black hair. He fusses for a moment before settling against my breast once more. I look up at Zuko and my pulse races. He is gazing at me with narrow eyes, a deep fire burning within.

"Even when you feed my son, you tempt me Katara." He leans down to brush his lips against mine and I quickly fuse my mouth to his. Zuko groans and pulls me closer. Our lips move in synch and I part my lips to flick my tongue against his. Zuko twists his hands in my hair and deepens the kiss. I clutch his vest with my free hand and press my body to his. My body trembles with desire but before we can do more Kushanu lets out an enraged cry before squirming between us. I quickly detangle from Zuko and look down at my little one. His face is screwed up in anger and he lets out a squeal and bangs his fist against my breast.

"I think we squished him." I blush and put Kushanu up on my shoulder and pat his back. Zuko smiles at us and runs his knuckles over my exposed breast. I shiver and look up at him. He smirks. Zuko decided to let his hair grow out. It now flows just past his shoulders and he is even starting to grow a beard. I never thought I would find long hair sexy on a man but Zuko certainly makes it work. Kushanu finally burps for me and I lay him down in his bassinet. Not even a second later Zuko has me pinned against our bed, his tongue slicking into my mouth. His hand finds my breast once more and he strokes his fingers over my nipple. I gasp and arch my back. My breasts have been so sensitive ever since I started breast-feeding Kushanu. Zuko quickly pulls my sheath from my body and fuses his mouth to my breast. I sigh and tangle my fingers in his hair.

"That feels amazing." Zuko nips my tender flesh and I gasp. Hm. Two can play that game. I trail my hand down his shoulder to his stomach. I quickly toss his vest aside and marvel at him. How I got so lucky to have such an amazing husband I will never know.

"See something you like?" Zuko arches his eyebrow and I bite my lip. Zuko begins peppering kisses to my heated flesh and I run my fingers over his exposed skin. His stomach muscles contract and he lets out a quiet groan. I dip my hand into his pants and grasp him in my hand. Zuko jerks and lets out a hiss of pleasure. I move my hand against his skin and he drops his head down against my shoulder.

"Katara." Zuko's voice is heavy with desire. I twist my wrist and Zuko moans deeply. He grips my wrist and pulls my hand from him. I pout but before I can give a sound of protest Zuko jumps from the bed and tosses aside his pants. I stare unabashed at my husband and Zuko blushes faintly. I smile and curl my finger at him, beckoning him to come to me. He settles himself between my legs and thrusts fiercely into me. I gasp and dig my nails into his shoulders. I hike my legs up high against his sides and lock my mouth to his. Zuko thrusts into me in a frenzied pace and I push my hips up to meet his demanding pace. Zuko pulls his mouth from mine and brushes his lips against my throat. I tilt my head back and he sinks his teeth into my skin. I gasp and dig my nails deeper into his skin. Zuko grunts and slams his hips into mine. My body twists tighter and tighter until finally the coil snaps. I throw my head back and thrust my breasts in the air as my climax roars through me. Zuko thrusts against me twice more before moaning my name in broken prayer. My legs slump to the bed and Zuko relaxes against me. I run my fingers through his tangled hair and sigh happily.

"That was amazing." Zuko nuzzles my cheek and I smile.

"You have been insatiable lately. Not that I am complaining." Zuko smiles sweetly at me and I lean up to press a soft kiss to his lips. Zuko pushes off of me and rolls to my side. He pulls me close and I snuggle into his chest. Zuko rubs my slick skin and I breath in his spicy scent.

"You are just so irresistible. I can't help myself." Zuko chuckles and pats my bottom playfully. I giggle and kiss his chest where his heart is.

"As much as I would love to hold you naked all night, we have to meet the gang for the festival." I sigh and slowly sit up. My body aches deliciously and I feel utterly relaxed. Zuko lounges on his side and watches me with a hungry look. His eyes holding a predatory heat. I slide my legs over the side of the bed and walk to our bathroom. Zuko reaches over to Kushanu's bassinet and pulls our sleepy baby from his bed. He lays Kushanu beside him and runs his fingers over his chubby cheek gazing at him with such devotion and love my heart grows heavy with happiness. Kushanu giggles sleepily and I smile.

"I am going to wash up before we go. Can you get him ready?" Zuko nods and twirls a little black curl over his finger.

"I love you." Zuko looks up at me and smiles sweetly.

"I love you Katara. You and Kushanu are my whole world." I blow him a kiss and go to wash up.

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I walk beside Zuko as we look over the vendors selling their wares at the festival. He has Kushanu strapped to his chest, bindings holding him secure. Kushanu sleeps sweetly, his little fist in his mouth. Aang and Toph walk in front of us, their little girl sitting on Aang's shoulders. She has her little hands gripping his ears and her gray eyes observing everything she sees. She is only a bit older than Kushanu but she seems like an old soul. I secretly suspect she will be an airbender. Suki and Sokka walk huddled over a fussy bundle. Suki clutches the blanket wrapped baby close to her chest cooing at the little girl. They recently adopted an orphaned water tribe baby whose birth mother passed away during childbirth. They named her Siku after the ice storm from the night she was born. She is six months old but due to water tribe customs they couldn't adopt her until a few weeks ago. The little girl has light brown skin and dark blue eyes. I watch as Suki lifts her up on her shoulder and pats her back. Sokka hovers by them, his usually joking expression replaced with a look of worry. I nudge Zuko with my elbow and lean close to whisper to him.

"New parents." I giggle softly and Zuko snorts. We remember well how it was when Kushanu was first born. He was the fussiest baby. Zuko rests one hand on Kushanu's bottom and wraps his other arm around my shoulders. He leans down to brush a kiss to my forehead.

"I'm glad they finally got the family they've wanted." Zuko murmurs against my hair. I smile and snuggle close to him. I reach out and brush a stray curl from Kushanu's cheek. He yawns slightly and burrows closer to Zuko. We walk in comfortable silence and I smile as Suki holds Siku close and kisses her head. Sokka smiles lovingly at them and I sigh happily. Toph and Aang stop and browse the vendor selling silky fabrics. Kushanu begins to whimper and my breasts start to tingle. Zuko pats his bottom and tries to soothe his distress.

"He's hungry." I move towards a secluded corner of the festive and Zuko follows me. I unsnap the top of my shift and push the straps off of my shoulders. Zuko watches me with a hungry gaze. I roll my eyes and stifle a grin. Zuko smirks and begins to unbind Kushanu. A moment later he passes him to me and he settles against my breast and begins to nurse.

"You are a true vision of loveliness." Zuko sits beside me and leans over to run his fingers over Kushanu's plump cheek.

"You have given me everything I could have ever wanted Katara." Zuko murmurs quietly so as not to disturb Kushanu. "You gave me a beautiful son. You have helped me to rebuild my nation." Zuko looks at me, his eyes burning with intensity.

"You gave me the greatest treasure of all. Your love." My heart thumps unevenly in my chest and my eyes well with tears. "I will spend the rest of my life making sure I am worthy of such a prize." I smile at him and brush a kiss to the corner of his mouth.

"You already have." Zuko reaches up to caress my cheek and I lean into his touch. Zuko gazes at me with tender eyes. A little hiccup followed by a burp, pulls us from our moment. I look down and see that Kushanu is watching us with golden eyes.

"Thank you for seeing the good in me. For believing in me." I put Kushanu on my shoulder and gently pat his back.

"You have always been good Zuko, never bad. Just a little misguided at times." I smile slightly and Zuko snorts. Kushanu burps and reaches for Zuko. Zuko smiles happily, the delight clear on his face. He holds Kushanu to his face and breathes in his scent. He has a slightly spicy scent to him, just like his daddy. Kushanu sighs and nuzzles into Zuko's shoulder. I smile and burrow into his side.

"I love you Zuko." Zuko kisses the top of my head.

"You are my heart Katara." I smile and enjoy this peaceful moment with my little family.

Chapter Text

I shift in our bed and look over my shoulder. Zuko sleeps soundly with Kushanu nestled in his elbow. Both of their hair is standing straight up. I giggle quietly and pad over to our balcony. The full moon is shining so brightly tonight. I stretch my arms out wide and breath in the power radiating from it. My body yearns for the cool pushing and pulling of the waves. My skin tingles and my body pulses. My blood feels like fire in my veins. I sway slightly with the wind. A moment later I feel Zuko wrap his arms around my waist. I smile slightly and turn around to kiss his cheek.

"It's the full moon, huh?" Zuko is used to my strange moods every time there is a full moon. I look over and see Zuko has put Kushanu in his bassinet and the little one sleeps peacefully. Zuko moves his hands up to my shoulders and runs his palms over my fevered flesh. I tilt my head back and moan softly. Zuko's touch no matter how small always drives me crazy. He moves his hands from my shoulders down my arms until he encircles my wrists.

"Come to bed." Zuko peppers feather light kisses along my bare skin. My body moves as if on its own. The power radiating through my body sets my blood aflame. Zuko sits on the bed and waits for my next move. I saunter towards him and slowly strip my sheath. The silky material pools around my feet and my bare skin feels slick with sweat. Zuko's gaze remains fixated on me, watching every twist of my hips.

"Remove your pants." My voice is husky with want. Zuko doesn't hesitate and a moment later he is naked. I gaze appreciatively at my husband and my heart pounds fiercely in my chest. Zuko's hair hangs in tangled curls around his shoulders, his eyes burning. I run my fingers down his naked torso and Zuko grunts. His hands move up to grasp my ass and he fills them with my generous proportions. I lean down to brush my lips along his collarbone and he sucks in a deep breath. I move up to kiss his oh so tempting mouth and gasp. His mouth locks against my own and his tongue brushes into my mouth. I grip his shoulders in my hands and pull back. Zuko grunts and squeezes my flesh. He moves to kiss me again but I lightly push him back towards the bed.

"Lay down." Zuko does as I command and lays down against the bed. I rake my nails over his legs and he hisses in pleasure.

"You seem to be forgetting who is in charge tonight." Every time there is a full moon it does something to me. Something powerful and arousing. I move my hands up his thighs and dance my fingers over his enlarged flesh. Zuko groans quietly and I smile. To be able to take control over such a strong, virile male such as Zuko is intoxicating. I move up to where my thighs straddle his legs. Zuko's hands remain by his side. The twitch every few seconds as if he wants to touch me. I smirk slightly.

"Do you wish to touch me?" I skim my fingers over his chest. I move my hips and run the length of him against my moist center. Zuko pants slightly and grips the bed sheets. His hips buck slightly and I grin.

"Yes. Please." Zuko pleads with me.

"Please what?" I grip his cock in my hand and tug. Zuko's hips arch off the bed and he moans.

 

"Please my queen. Let me make you feel good." I pump my hand up and down and Zuko throws his head back and grunts his pleasure.

"Fine. You may touch your queen." No sooner are the words out of my mouth before his hands are on me. They cup my breasts and squeeze. Zuko sinks his teeth into the side of my neck and runs his tongue over my sensitive skin. His fingers pluck and pull at my nipples and I arch my back and sigh. He moves one of his hands to my ass and squeezes the flesh firmly. Zuko moves his mouth down to my breast and begins to roughly suckle the tender skin.

"Enough slave." Zuko continues to suckle me and I grip his hair in my hands and tug softly. Zuko grunts and tilts his head back to gaze at me. His golden eyes burn with desire and he licks his lips.

"I will take my pleasure now. You will not come until I allow it. Understood?" Zuko narrows his eyes and me and nods once. I push him back against our pillows and settle myself against him. I grip his length in my hand. It throbs impatiently. I lower over him and gasp as his cock sinks deep inside me. I push until my thighs are pressed flush against him. Zuko throws his head back and groans deep in his throat. I start to move my hips up and down, adding a twist here and there.

"Please Katara. Let me touch you." Almost lost to the pleasure I absently nod my consent. One of Zuko's hand grips my breast tightly in his hand while the other grips my hip. He digs his nails into my flesh and I let out a hiss of pleasure. I continue to move on top of Zuko and I look down to see him gazing at me. His eyes narrowed in pleasure and his teeth digging into his lower lip. I lift almost completely off of Zuko before slamming my hips back down. Zuko snarls and rears up. Before I realize what is happening I'm on my back with Zuko on top of me. His hips snap forward before retreating. He thrusts wildly against me.

"So good Katara." His voice is garbled and harsh.

"Zuko!" I squeal as he hits an over sensitized spot inside me. Zuko lowers his head and bits the side of my neck. I feel the smallest trickle of blood and my body snaps. The coil inside of me finally breaks and my release floods through me. I grip Zuko's hair tightly in my fists and scream my pleasure. Zuko throws his head back and roars. LIttle flames lick from his mouth and I feel the hot rush of his seed inside me. Zuko gives one last lazy thrust before relaxing on top of me. He rolls over to my side and I snuggle against his side. He wraps his arm around my waist and I breathe in his slightly sweaty scent.

"Thank you." I place a sweet kiss over his heart and snuggle closer.

"I think I should be thanking you." Zuko huffs in amusement.

"You always put up with my crazy full moon moods." Zuko runs his hand through my tangled hair.

"I love your crazy full moon moods. In fact I look forward to next month's." I giggle and Zuko leans down to brush a kiss against my sweaty brow. I'm almost asleep when a small cry rings through the room. I groan and pull away from Zuko. I walk over to Kushanu's bassinet and pull the fussy baby to my breast. Kushanu begins to suckle and I shift him to where he can rest comfortably in my arms. Zuko lays propped up in bed and watchs us with an almost starstruck expression. I move back to our bed and snuggle between Zuko's legs. Zuko wraps his arms around us and rests his chin on my shoulder.

"I will never get tired of this. He's getting so big." Zuko gently runs his hand over Kushanu's small head and he watches us with golden narrow eyes.

"We should have another. But a little girl this time. One that looks just like you." Zuko murmurs quietly. I startle and turn my head to look at him. He smiles and his eyes crinkle in the corners, like they do when he is really happy.

"I think we better let Kushanu get a bit older before we even think of having another." Zuko shrugs and kisses my shoulder.

"I don't know. I wouldn't mind them being close in age. That way they would always be close." Zuko is quiet for a moment and I imagine he is thinking of himself and Azula. I think of myself and Sokka and imagine Kushanu having that. I smile and gaze at my little one.

"Maybe he will have that one day. Just not yet." Zuko sighs and smiles at me. He rests his chin on my shoulder again.

"I love you Zuko." I will never get tired of saying that.

"I love you Katara." Zuko reaches down to caress Kushanu's cheek. "I love you to little guy." I smile at Kushanu. With a full heart we go back to watching our little one feed.

Chapter Text

The wind blows softly through the garden and I watch as Kushanu toddles on his little legs, trying his best to chase a butterfly. His black hair is no longer just tuft on his head but has started to develop into silky locks. I sit under the shade of my favorite tree and watch as he giggles happily, his pudgy hand outstretched. It's hard to believe my little son is three already. It feel's like just yesterday we were escaping that terrible place where I gave birth to him. I suppress a shudder. Thankfully Zuko took care of them. I'm lost in my thoughts when I hear Kushanu let out a little cry. I look up to see him face first in the grass. He sits up and his little mouth trembles. I quickly move to his side and lift him into my arms. I brush the grass off his face and his eyes water and he sniffles.

 

"I falled mama." His little voice wobbles and I press a kiss to his forehead.

 

"It's alright baby." He hiccups and wipes at his eyes. A chill runs down my spine and I jerk my head up. Unease pricks my mind and I clutch Kushanu closer to my chest. He goes quiet and watches me with curious eyes. I scan the garden looking for something, anything that could tell me what the danger was I sensed. The garden is quiet, the only sound the occasional rustling of the trees as the wind blows through. I don't know how long I stand there, frozen with Kushanu held tightly to me. I jump and spin around when someone brushes my shoulder.

 

"Is everything OK?" Zuko watches me, concern in his golden eyes. Kushanu pushes against my chest, his little arms outstretched. I absently hand him to Zuko, never taking my eyes off of the garden. Kushanu leans against Zuko's shoulder, his thumb in his mouth and watches me.

 

"I thought I sensed something just now." I relax my position and rubs my eyes. Ever since I was held hostage I feel like I am constantly on alert for threats. Zuko stiffens and moves closer to me.

 

"Like what?" His eyes stay locked on the garden area and he leans down to whisper in my ear. I let out a deep breath and wrap my arm around him.

 

"It just felt cold. Like something bad." I burrow into his side and close my eyes. I start to relax. Zuko always has a way of making me feel safe. Kushanu reaches out to pat my face.

 

"Hungry mama." His little voice is soft and he eye's me curiously. I smile and kiss his hand.

 

"The feeling is gone. We better get inside and feed this little butterfly hunter." I poke Kushanu's belly and he giggles. Zuko looks down at him and smiles.

 

"Did my little hunter catch anything today?" Zuko lifts Kushanu into the air and twirls him. Zuko flies Kushanu through the air and his giggles ring through the garden. I smile before looking back over my shoulder, unease twists in my stomach. I quickly follow behind.

...

 

I sit beside Kushanu in the dinning hall, watching as he stuffs his mouth with a finger sandwich. He wanted a fireberry jam sandwich. I brush his hair back from his sticky mouth and he kicks his legs as he munches happily. There is a knock on the door and Zuko's leading general comes in. They converse quietly by the door. Zuko closes it and moves to sit beside Kushanu.

 

"Your food good buddy?" Zuko pokes Kushanu's cheek. Kushanu nods and then proceeds to push more food into his mouth.

 

"What was that?" I nod towards the door. Kushanu looks up at me, then at Zuko.

 

"Just telling the guards to be vigilant." Zuko runs his fingers through Kushanu's hair. I look away and my mouth twists into a frown.

 

"I'm sorry." I feel silly now. The whole Guard will think I'm nothing but a paranoid ninny now. Zuko brushes his knuckles against my cheek and I look over at him.

 

"Don't ever apologize for something like this." I lean into his touch and he gazes at me. "Your and Kushanu's safety is the most important thing." I smile softly and Zuko leans over Kushanu to brush a gentle kiss across my lips. He leans his forehead against mine and looks deep into my eyes.

 

"I love you." I smile and lean up to kiss him.

 

"I love you to." Kushanu grunts and pushes against Zuko. Zuko pulls away and we look down to see Kushanu pouting up at us.

 

"Squished." Kushanu mumbles between bites of food. I smile and reach down to tickle his belly. He giggles and squirm's away. He plops into Zuko's lap and grips his vest in his little fist. Zuko pats Kushanu's head and I smile at them.

Chapter Text

I stand in the shadows and watch as she chases Kushanu around the garden. Her beautiful brown hair flowing in waves down her back. She finally catches him and leans down to brush a kiss to his cheek. Her petal pink lips curved into a beaming smile as she holds him. The wind blows her hair across her slender neck and my hands twitch. How I yearn to run my fingers through the silky threads. I close my eyes and envision her beneath me, gasping my name. Her caramel colored skin slick with sweat as I claim her. A voice calling for her pulls me from my musings and I step deeper into the shadows. I turn to look who calls for her and I clench my fists.

"Katara." Fire lord Zuko strolls to her side and leans down to kiss her. Fire burns in my stomach as I resist the urge to step out and destroy Zuko for touching what I have decided will be mine. I have watched the Fire lady for some time and I have decided to steal her away from the traitorous weak Fire lord. I was originally sent here to spy and gather intel but the moment I saw the glorious Katara all other thoughts disappeared. I had to have her. She holds their son close to her as she smiles up at Zuko. Soon she will be smiling up at me. Her belly round with my seed. I will give her a child like no other. Not like the disgusting child she clings to. Anger rolls off of me in waves and Katara stills. She turns her head and scans the garden. I stand very still as her eyes linger where I hide, before moving on. Zuko leans down and murmurs in her ear and she shakes her head. Zuko wraps his arm around them and leads them from the garden. His eyes search for me but I manage to cloak my presence. I watch as he leads the object of my obsession away. Soon she will be mine. With that thought in mind I melt into the darkness.

...

"I thought I sensed it again." I pull Kushanu's blanket over him as nestles down into his bedding. I read his favorite story to him before bed and he went right to sleep. I gently brush my fingers over his tan cheek. My little son isn't so little anymore. He grows bigger every day. Zuko lingers by the door way a frown on his face. He moves to my side and leans down to kiss Kushanu's hair. We quietly close the door to Kushanu's room and walk into ours. I strip down into my night sheath and pull the fire crown from my hair. Zuko comes up behind me and rubs my shoulders.

"I'm scared." I whisper as shame washes over me. I'm the fire lady. I need to be tougher. Zuko wraps his arms around me from behind and holds me close to his chest. I close my eyes and lean my head back against his shoulder.

"I will never let anyone take you from me again Katara. I will kill anyone who tries." I shiver and Zuko turns me around to look at him. I tilt my head back and gaze into his golden eyes. They burn with determination. I place a small kiss to his chest and he shudders. He leans down and kisses the corner of my mouth before trailing open-mouthed kisses across my jaw. He moves his lips against my throat and I arch my neck and sigh. His touch leaves me breathless. His hands move up to my shoulders and he pushes my straps down my arms, baring my breasts to his hungry gaze. Zuko moves a hand up to cup my breasts. My nipples bead against his calloused skin. My sheath falls from around my hips to pool in the floor around our feet. I reach up and tangle my hands in his hair.

"You feel amazing Katara." Zuko rasps against my jaw. His fingers pluck my nipple and I let out a little cry of pleasure. I step closer to Zuko and lean up to seal my mouth against his. He eagerly parts his lips and I brush my tongue into his mouth. He tastes heavenly. Like spiced cinnamon. One of Zuko's hands clench my ass and I stretch up onto my tip toes. Zuko takes the hint and pulls me into his arms. I wrap my legs around his waist. I expect him to take us to our bed but my back is pushed roughly against the smooth marble of the wall. I grunt and brush my center against him and Zuko lets out a deep groan.

"Spirits Katara. I can't wait." My body burns to be connected with Zuko's and I eagerly kiss him. A moment later Zuko lines up against my moist entrance and thrusts deeply into me. I rip my mouth from his and lean my head back against the wall. I close my eyes as the cool marble soothes the fevered burn of my skin. Zuko grabs a fist full of my hair and pulls. I gasp and open to see him gazing at me with fire burning in his eyes.

"Watch." Zuko commands as he surges inside me. I clench my legs tighter around him and lean down to look at where we are connected. My skin is stretched tight around Zuko's impressive girth. Zuko's other hand digs into my hip, his grip bruising my flesh. He hits the magic spot deep inside me and I dig my nails into his back and rake them down. They leave a small line of blood in their wake. Zuko growls in pleasure and slams me back into the wall as his hips surge impossibly deeper inside me.

"I'll never have enough of you Katara. Never." Zuko leans down to sink his teeth into the sensitive skin between my neck and shoulder and I feel the coil inside me snap. My body seizes up from against the wall and I scream out my pleasure for the world to hear. A few more rough thrusts and Zuko is groaning as he releases within me. I feel as if all my strength has deserted me and I sag against Zuko. I close my eyes and lean my head on his sticky shoulder. I feel him pull us away from the wall and a moment later we are snuggled in our bed, our limbs intertwined.

"That was amazing." Zuko murmurs against my sweaty hair. I place a small kiss where his heart is and sigh.

"If we keep this up there will be another little fire baby running around soon." I chuckle. Zuko brushes his hand against my flat stomach and I smile. He wishes for another child and I have put it off, waiting for Kushanu to get a little older. But the more I think about it the more I like the idea of Kushanu having a little sibling to grow up with. The world around us is silent as we catch our breath.

"I love you Katara. Always." My heart is full of love for Zuko and I sigh happily.

"I love you to Zuko." I close my eyes and drift off into a deep sleep.

Unknown to the happy couple within a cloaked figure hides in the shadows, waiting, watching, planning.

Chapter Text

I sit in the garden munching on fire cakes as Toph, Suki and I watch Kushanu chase Rinza with a wriggle worm. Rinza shrieks and runs away flailing her arms. Siku tries to follow them her little baby legs toddling unsteadily. Suki watches her with a love struck expression and I smile to myself. My beloved sister-in-law finally has the baby she has wanted for so long. Siku trips over her feet and lands in the grass, her little face scrunching up. Before Suki can even get out of her seat, Kushanu and Rinza are at her side helping her up and dusting her off. Her lower lip wobbles and Kushanu wraps his arms around her and Rinza kisses her head. Siku sniffles before breaking out into a toothy smile. We watch silently as Kushanu takes her hand and pulls her behind him. Rinza grips her other hand and they spin around, giggling.

 

"That is just so sweet. I wish you could see this Toph." Suki murmurs so not to disturb them. Toph smiles and places her feet on the ground.

 

"They are some great kids." Toph stuffs a fire cake in her mouth and chews. I smile and watch Kushanu play with the girls. Rinza is a little older than him but he is already bigger then her. I have a feeling he will be the size of his father if not a little bigger.

 

"Do you have something to tell us Katara?" I took over at Toph and smile.

 

"I do in fact." Suki cocks her head to the side and takes a sip of her tea.

 

"I'm pregnant again." I place my hands on my stomach and smile. I wasn't sure if I wanted another one so soon but this feels right. Suki drops her cup and throws her arms around me. She squeezes me tightly and squeals.

 

"Katara! I'm so happy for you!" Toph joins in on the hug and I am squished between two of my best friends. They hug me for a moment before something pushes between Suki and me. We pull apart and look down to see Kushanu frowning up at us, his little face so serious. He looks just like Zuko.

 

"My mommy, Aunt Suki." Kushanu pushes again and then tangles himself around my leg. He lays his head in my lap and looks between Toph and Suki as if daring them to challenge his claim to me. I can't help it. I let out a hearty laugh and Toph and Suki soon join in.

 

"Yes baby I am your mommy only." I brush his hair from his little face and he smiles up at me. Rinza runs over pulling Siku behind her.

 

"Rinza baby you need to slow down. If you keep running that fast little Siku will fall again." Rinza slows to a small trot and Siku toddles beside her. She let's go of Siku's hand and moves to Toph. She gracefully climbs up her legs to sit in Toph's lap. She snuggles into her mother and watches us with calm gray eyes. Siku toddles to Suki and impatiently holds her arms up, wanting to be picked up. Suki obeys and brushes a kiss to her chubby cheek. Kushanu lets out a gusty yawn and rubs his eyes.

 

"I think its time for a nap." Siku is already snuggled into Suki's neck, her little eyes dropping. Toph holds Rinza and follows us out of the garden.

 

...

 

Later that night after I put Kushanu down to sleep I decide to get some warm oxe milk from the kitchen. Zuko is out with Aang and Sokka for a few days signing some new treaty on the southern border. Fire lord and Avatar duties never end. I had a wonderful day visiting with Suki and Toph. I'm glad they will be here for a few days. I enter the kitchen and see Diavo. He recently joined us and has been a wonderful addition to Zuko's guard. He startles and spins around.

 

"My lady. You scared me." He places a hand to his chest and lets out a deep breath. I smile and move to grab a cup from the cabinet.

 

"My apologies Diavo. I came to get some milk. It helps me sleep when I'm alone." Diavo holds out his hand and takes the cup.

 

"Sit my lady. I will prepare it for you." I smile and sit on the stool.

 

"My mother always used to heat milk for me and my siblings to help us sleep." Diavo heats the milk and I sit my chin in my hand, listening.

 

"Your mother sounds sweet." Diavo lets out a small snort and adds cinnamon to the milk.

 

"In her own way perhaps." Diavo sits the steaming cup in front of me and I blow on it. I take a small sip and the sweet concoction floods my mouth.

 

"This is wonderful Diavo thank you." We chat for a few minutes as I finish my milk. I move from the table to take my cup to the basin and my head spins. I stagger forward and have to catch myself on the table. I drop the cup and it shatters on the floor. I move my hand up to my head as it pounds.

 

"My lady are you alright?" Diavo's face swims in my vision and I try to move towards the door. My legs grow numb and I tumble to the ground. My head makes a cracking sounds as it bounces off the floor.

 

"My lady." Diavo pulls me into his arms and brushes my hair back from my face.

 

"Diavo." I stutter his name. "What's going on?" Diavo caresses my cheek and hushes me.

 

"It's alright my lady." He brushes his fingers over my lips and I feebly try to push his hand away.

 

"Get help." My lips stop moving and I can't speak. He leans down to kiss the corner of my mouth and I try to jerk my head away.

 

"You'll feel better my lady after I give you the antidote." My heart races.

 

"Antidote?" I wheeze the words as my throat struggles to form them.

 

"Yes for the paralysis potion I gave you. Now we must be going." Diavo swings me up into his arms and I just flop around, my body unresponsive to my commands. This time Diavo kisses me fully. He pushes his tongue into my mouth and moans. I can only lay there in his arms and endure. Tears leak from the corners of my eyes.

 

"I love you Katara and now you are mine." Diavo pushes his fingers against the side of my neck and darkness consumes me.

Chapter Text

Hi everybody! I hope you all are enjoying the way the story is going. The next few chapters will have intense situations that may be a trigger for some people. I just wanted to let you all know before you read them that they will have situations involving possible attempted rape. I'm not saying it will have it in there but there is a possibility. I can't thank you all enough for your continued support and for sticking it out with me when I couldn't update more frequently. If this is a problem for anyone please let me know.

Much love,
MaidenP

Chapter Text

A quiet thump rouses me from my sleep and I try to open my eyes. My head is pounding and my body feels like its made of lead. I manage to open my eyes. I look up and then around. I'm in an unfamiliar bedroom. I fight to push myself up from the bedding and my head swims. I close my eyes and try to rack my brain to remember what happened. I open my eyes and gasp. Diavo drugged me.

 

"Your awake. I was starting to worry." I look over and see Diavo sitting in a chair by the window. His ash colored hair a stark contrast to the darkened room. I continue to stare at him and he flashes me a small smile. I flinch away from him when he gets up and walks to my side. He dips his hand into a basin on the table by the bed and wrings out a wet cloth. He moves it up to my face and presses it against my temple. I hiss in pain and push away from him. I don't get far before my strength leaves me and I sag against the bedding like a new-born babe.

 

"You hit your head when you fell. I'm just trying to help." Diavo leans down to pull me back up into a sitting position and brushes his fingers over my hand. I bat his hand away and glare at him.

 

"If you want to be helpful let me go." Diavo lets out a deep breath and move to dab at my temple again. He pulls it away and it comes away red with my blood.

 

"I can't." I silently study Diavo. He has always seemed like a nice guy. Quiet but nice.

 

"Why? In fact tell me why you even took me in the first place." Diavo is quiet as he ponders his next words.

 

"I was sent to infiltrate Zuko's guard to gain information." Diavo wrings out the cloth and blotches my skin.

 

"Everything was going according to plan and then I saw you." Diavo smiles sweetly at me and trails his fingers over my cheek. I sit there and watch him.

 

"You were like this beautiful dark star." His eyes take on a glassy look as he remembers. "You were chasing after Kushanu and you smiled at something he said. It was that moment I was smitten. I knew I had to have you."

 

"My mission no longer mattered. All I cared about what spiriting you away and making you mine." My stomach clenches and I try to lean away from him.

 

"You can't have me. I already belong to Zuko." Diavo's open smile twists into an angry snarl and I clench my hands.

 

"Not for long you won't." Diavo slings the cloth angrily into the basin and stalks away from the bed. My stomach grumbles and he pauses.

 

"Forgive me my love. You must be ravenous." Diavo picks a tray off the table and sits beside me once again. He ladles some soup into a spoon and blows on it before holding it out for me. I start to refuse until I remember the secret baby inside me. I have to keep my strength up for it. I reluctantly eat the spoonful and Diavo smiles happily at me. Diavo continues to feed me until the bowl is empty. He leans over to dab my mouth and pauses to gaze at me. He grips my neck in his hand and leans down to try to kiss me. Anger bubbles inside my chest and I lash out with my hand. It makes a resounding echo through the room as my hand connects with his face. Diavo rears back and brings his hand up to his cheek. Diavo sneers at me and then he is on me. One of his hands grips both of mine and pins them above my head. His other hand goes to my face and roughly yanks it to where I am staring up at him.

 

"I didn't want to be rough with you but it seems like you want it that way." Diavo smashes his lips to mine and forces his tongue into my mouth. I try to struggle but it feels as if I am underwater. My movements are sluggish and weak. Diavo moans into my mouth and presses himself down on top of me. I feel his erection pressing into me and I start to fight harder. I manage to free one of my legs and I rear up and kick him in the side. Diavo grunts and releases my hands. I summon all my strength and shove him from me. He tumbles from the bed and hits the floor. I sling my legs over the bed and run for the door. My hand just grazes the handle when I'm body slammed against the door. The air is knocked from my lungs and I slump to the floor. Diavo grabs a fist full of my hair and gets in my face.

 

"Don't try that again Katara." I glare at him and spit in his face. Diavo sneers and rears back to back hand me across the face. My head slings to the side and I groan. My ears ring and my lips stings. I lick my lips and taste blood. I look up at Diavo and his face is horrified. He suddenly cradles me to his chest and pets my hair.

 

"Gods I am so sorry Katara. My anger got the best of me." I can no longer feels my limbs and I suspect he drugged me once more.

 

"I just love you so much. I want to share it with you." Diavo lifts me into his arms and lays me back down in the bed.

 

"You drugged me again didn't you?" Diavo looks away and nods.

 

"I need you to be submissive my love. There may not be any water but I can't take the chance of you blood bending me." My eyes widen and Diavo smirks at me.

 

"Yes Katara I know you are a very rare bender. I know everything about you." He leers at me and licks his lips.

 

"Including where you love to be touched." Diavo runs his knuckles over my breast and I glare at him.

 

"You know nothing. In fact I can't even feel your touch because of that lovely paralysis potion." I bare my teeth at him and he glares at me. Diavo looks ready to strike me again but then a moment later he smiles.

 

"Never fear my love. Soon enough you will be begging for my touch." He leans down to kiss me once more. He pushes his tongue into my mouth and I bite down. Diavo yelps and jerks his head away from me. I smile and spit out his blood.

 

"Don't hold your breath." Diavo grips my throat in his hand and squeezes. His nails tear into my skin and I clench my teeth. He continues to squeeze and my lungs burn for air.

 

"Don't forget Katara. I hold your life in my hand." The last thing I see before the darkness swallows me is Diavo's smiling face.

Chapter Text

Zuko's POV:

I'm going over reports with Sokka and Aang when two guards burst into the tent with Suki and Toph close behind. Suki has the baby strapped to her back and holds Kushanu in her arms. When he sees me his little face lights up and he thrusts out his arms.

 

"Daddy!" Kushanu reaches out for me and I put down the papers and hold him close. I look around but can't see Katara anywhere. Kushanu snuggles into my chest and I brush a kiss to his brow.

 

"Where is Katara? Why do you have Kushanu?" Aang reaches out and gathers his small daughter into his arms.

 

"Katara is missing." Suki clasps her hands in front of her and her eyes water. All the air in my lungs vanishes and I stagger.

 

"What?" I look over at my guards and they bow their heads in shame.

 

"The fire lady was conversing with Diavo when we last saw her. After that she just vanished." Fear grips my throat and I clutch Kushanu closer to me.

 

"Where is Diavo? Have you questioned him?" The guards share a look.

 

"Diavo has also disappeared my lord. We scoured the grounds and there was no trace of him or the Fire lady." Realization hits me and I slam my fist on the table. Kushanu jumps in my arms and lets out a distressed whimper. I take a deep breath and try to rein in my rage. I rub Kushanu's back.

 

"Bring me everything about Diavo. I want to know everything and anything about him." The guards bow and hurry out of the tent. Sokka holds their little daughter in his arms and rubs Suki's back. Toph and Aang hover over Rinza and murmur quietly.

 

"What is it?" Suki and Aang share a look. I huff impatiently and wait for them to answer me.

 

"Zuko has Katara told you?" Suki looks uneasily between Aang and Toph.

 

"Told me what?" I look down at my son and he watches me with tired eyes.

 

"She's pregnant." My head snaps up and I stare at her.

 

"She just told us. Before she disappeared." I stand frozen as the words sink in. Katara is pregnant. We will once more be parents to a sweet little one. Kushanu pushes against my chest and I look down at him.

 

"Daddy. Want mommy." Kushanu sniffles and rubs at his eyes. I crush him to my chest and kiss his face.

 

"I know buddy. We're going to find her." Kushanu sniffles again before crying softly. I rub his back soothingly and murmur gently to him. Sokka and Suki hold Siku close and Aang and Toph huddle over Rinza. I look over at our family and vow silently to bring Katara back.

 

...

 

I'm standing with a cup of jasmine tea and watch as Kushanu sleeps soundly on the cot. He sucks his finger and snores softly. My small son cried himself to sleep. He misses Katara. Not that I can blame him. I feel empty without her by my side. I feel the helpless rage bubble up inside my chest and I clench my hands around the cup. I'll destroy Diavo if he has anything to do with Katara's disappearance. There is a soft thump against the tent's flap and I open it to see the captain of my guard. He holds a rolled up scroll and has a grim look on his face. I wave a guard over and station him inside the tent to keep an eye on Kushanu. I then motion for my captain to follow me.

 

"These were found stashed in Diavo's quarters. He made plans to abduct the Fire lady." I unroll the scroll and read through his notes. His obsessed musings about Katara. His detailed notes telling how he has watched her. The scroll shakes in my fists as I realize Diavo is the one who has been watching Katara. All those times she was worried and scared it was him. White hot rage burns in my stomach and I stalk away from my captain. He follows me and holds out more scrolls.

 

"We dug up all the information we could on him my lord." I take the scrolls and walk back to my tent. I dismiss the guard stationed and sit down at the table. I unroll the papers and begin to read.

 

....

 

Katara's POV:

 

 

I shift in the bedding and sit up. I rub my eyes and look around the room. It looks like its nighttime. I stretch out my arms and flex my fingers. The potion seems to be wearing off. I look over at the table and see a tray off food. A note sits beside it.

 

'Katara. I went out for an errand. I expect you to eat every last drop. Also don't try to leave, you won't be able to. Love Diavo'

 

I gag and crumple the note up and throw it across the room. I look over at the food and try to think of where I can hide it. No doubt Diavo has drugged it. I need to make it seem like I've eaten the food and that I am still paralyzed. I pick up the bowl and pour it underneath the bed along with the chunk of bread. My movements are stiff and I have to pause to catch my breath. The potion may be weakening but it's still in my system and I am still weak because of it. I walk to the windows and peek out. I can barely make out the moon through the slivers of wood. I try the door next and shove against it. It doesn't budge. I'm starting to sweat and my body trembles slightly. I move to the bed and lay back down. My neck aches and I run my fingers over it. I wince and pull my hand away. Diavo strangled me until I passed out. I feel helpless and angry.

 

"Hurry Zuko." I lay my head on the pillow and weep silently into the night.

Chapter Text

My eyes are closed and I lay flat on the bed feigning sleep. I hear the floorboards creak and a moment later the bedroom door opens. I even out my breathing and lay completely still as Diavo settles on the bed next to me. He brushes my hair from my face and I have to force myself not to cringe away. His other hand moves down my bare arm to my hip. He trails his fingers down my hip to my thigh. He leans down and sniffs my hair.

 

"Spirits Katara." Diavo groans and I clench my teeth. His hand grips the bottom of my sheath and slowly pulls it up my legs. Every instinct I have urges me to throw Diavo off of me and make a run for it but I know I have to plan this just right. I feel the sheath pool at my waist and my skin pebbles from the cold air.

 

"I wanted to wait until you were awake but I can't wait. Next time I'll give you a smaller dosage." Diavo murmurs to himself. He grips my leg and slowly pulls it to the side. Diavo leans up and I hear the sound of clothes rustling. I open my eyes and snap my legs up to grip his head and I twist my hips. I fling Diavo to the side of the bed and he lets out a yelp. With my thighs squeezing his head I jab my fingers into his eyes. Diavo screams and swings his fist. It connects with my jaw and my grip loosens just enough for Diavo to fall away. He unsteadily gets to his feet and howls in pain. His eyes are bleeding and he stumbles toward me. I quickly grab the bowl and bring it down with a satisfying crack into his head. He slumps to the floor, unconscious. My jaw aches and my body is weak from hunger and the lingering effects of the drug. I place my hand on my flat stomach and say a silent prayer for the little one inside me. I rush for the front door and fling the door open. I take off running for the trees. I'm just passing the first layer of the trees when I hear my name being screamed to the heavens. The sound sends shivers down my spine and I push my legs faster. The twigs and ground tears at my bare feet and the branches scrap and cut my arms but I don't dare stop.

 

...

 

Zuko's POV:

Aang sets Appa down just a few yards away from Diavo's private cottage. The small armada of troops I brought with follow on mongoose dragons. Aang, Sokka and Toph jump down beside me. We quietly sneak around the side of the cottage and Toph presses her hands to the ground. A moment later she stands up and announces it is empty. We rush into the cottage and I push the bedroom door open. There are signs of a struggle. A broken bowl lays next to a puddle of blood. My heart stutters in my chest and I clench my fists. I meet my men outside and give orders for them to spread out and look for signs of Katara or Diavo. I station a few guards for if they come back.

 

"Spread out. We have to find Katara." Fire burns in my chest and I have to take a calming breath.

 

"We'll find her Zuko. We have to." Sokka clasps my shoulder and I nod at him. We split up and start looking for clues. I'm at the edge of the trees when I see a broken branch with what looks to be like tangled hair. I pull it from the branch and check it. It's pieces of Kataras hair. My heart races and I take off through the trees.

 

....

 

Kataras's POV:

 

I'm leaning up against a tree trying to catch my breath when I hear a twig snap. I quickly hunker down into the shadows and press myself flat against the tree. I scan my surroundings when a shadow passes by me. I hold my breath and as the figure turns his back to me, I creep out from the shadows. Once I'm close enough I kick my leg out and sweep his legs. He tumbles to the ground and I pounce on him. I twist his arms behind his back and dig my knee into his spine. My captive struggles and I press down harder.

 

"Move again and I'll snap your wrist." My captive immediately stops wiggling.

 

"Katara?" His voice is like a balm to my aching heart. I quickly release his arms and move from him. He leans up and I cup his cheek in my hand.

 

"Zuko?" My vision swims and the tears fall freely down my face. Zuko grips my shoulders and pulls me into his warm embrace. I bury my face in his chest and weep. I wrap my arms around him and breathe in his spicy scent.

 

"Thank the spirits." Zuko trembles in my arms and I lean back to see his golden eyes filled with tears. He cups my face and I lean into his touch.

 

"Are you okay?" I nod my head, my throat to clogged to speak.

 

"I read his notes. Did he?" Zuko lets the words carry off and I quickly shake my head no. Zuko slumps with relief and runs his thumb over my jaw and I wince. He leans down to look closer and notices the bruises formed around my neck. He lets out a small gasp.

 

"He kissed me and I fought back so he strangled me. When he tried to..force himself on me, I gouged his eyes and ran." I look down at my hands and notice the dried blood on my fingers and under my nails. Zuko embraces me fiercely once more and I grip the back of his tunic in my fists.

 

"I will destroy him. I will rip him apart and let him watch as I burn his insides out." The visual image turns my stomach and I have to twist away and let out the near empty contents of my stomach. Zuko is holding my hair back and murmuring soothing words to me. So caught up in each other we don't hear him before it's to late.

Chapter Text

I'm dry heaving when we hear the crunch of dead leaves. Zuko tries to spin around but he is subdued into a headlock. Diavo wraps his forearm around Zuko's neck and begins to choke him. Zuko thrashes and elbows Diavo in the face. Diavo cries out but continues the death hold he has on Zuko. Diavo spins Zuko around and I see my chance. I spring into action and leap onto Diavo's back. I rake my nails down his face, drawing blood and sink my teeth into his ear. Diavo releases Zuko and Zuko falls to the ground coughing, trying to catch his breath. Diavo spins around trying to dislodge me but I clench my fingers into his face and hang on. We continue to spin until Diavo slams me against the tree. All the air in my lungs rush out and my head cracks against the wood. I release him and slump against the ground, my head spinning. I groan and try to gather my bearings when I see Diavo try to grab at Zuko again. This time Zuko is ready for him though and releases a blast of searing hot fire into his face. Diavo screams and falls to the ground. Zuko staggers to his feet and rushes to my side. My hair feels sticky and I reach up to touch the back of my head. My fingers come away red with blood.

 

"Come on Katara we have to get you to a medic." Zuko helps me up and as we start to leave Zuko suddenly pushes me to the ground. I look up just in time to see a dagger protruding from Zuko's back. He grunts and falls to his knees. His face twists in pain and I try to stand. My head throbs and my vision is blurry. I can make out Diavo staggering to Zuko, his face a bloody red mess.

 

"I'll kill you!" Diavo howls and charges for Zuko. Zuko tries to stand, his face a dark storm of rage. My heart races and rage burns in my chest. Before I know what is happening, I'm on my feet and my hands are twisting. I feel the push and pull of his blood in his veins. With one quick snap of my wrists Diavo's head bends to the side and I hear the bone shattering and feel the veins tearing under his skin. Blood flows freely from Diavo's nose and his eyes twitch. A moment later he slumps to the forest floor, dead. My arms shake and my legs feel weak. I hurry to Zuko's side and see the dagger is lodged deep into his skin.

 

"We have to get you help. I'm not going to pull the dagger out. It's keeping the wound from flowing." Zuko pants and nods his head, acknowledging my words. I loop Zuko's good arm around my shoulder and we begin to leave. I cast a glance behind us. Diavo's broken body lays in a bloody mess. I shake my head to try to clear the spots in my vision and trudge forward. We reach the edge of the trees and into the clearing. Sokka spots us first and breaks into a run. My head swims and I start to sway.

 

"Katara?" Zuko murmurs worriedly to me. His words sound quiet even though he is right next to me. Sokka reaches us and takes Zuko from me. My legs tremble and I see Aang and Toph reach us a moment later. Aang reaches out to me and my vision fades. My body feels like it weighs a thousand pounds and the next thing I know I'm in Aang's arms. Zuko yells for a medic and hovers over me. His beautiful face fades in and out.

 

"Stay awake Katara!" Zuko yells at me and I try to open my mouth to shush him, to tell him I have a headache and I want to sleep. My mouth opens but no sound comes out. I close my eyes and dream of my little Kushanu and the little bean inside me.

 

...

 

 

Zuko's POV:

 

 

"Katara!" I lunge for her despite the fire burning through my skin from the wound in my shoulder. Her eyelids flutter and open briefly. I cradle her bruised body in my good arm and weep openly into the moon filled clearing.

 

"Damnit, Katara stay awake!" Her eyes stare up at me but they are unfocused, before closing once more. Her hair is tacky with blood and her neck is tinged red. That bastard smashed her head open. A team of medics rush to us and I snarl as they attempt to take her from me. My heart pounds in my chest and helpless rage fills me. I hand her over to the head medic and they rush her to the tent they had set up when we first got here. I watch with watery eyes as they lay her out on a white table. Sokka and Aang help me to my feet and we move into the other side of the tent. Toph hovers nervously over Katara and I ache to be next to her, holding her hand.

 

"Fire lord we need you to lay on your stomach and stay as still as possible." I nod and lay down, never taking my eyes off of Katara. I feel the medics slice away my tunic and until now all the pain from my wound had faded to the back of mind as I stared at Katara.

 

"On the count of three. One, two, three." The medic pulls the dagger from my back and I clench my teeth and hiss in pain. My vision fades to black and Katara's still form is the last thing I see before the shadows overwhelm me.

Chapter Text

My head feels like it weighs a thousand pounds and my body aches. I open my eyes and try to blink the fog away. I look over and see Zuko slumped on my bed. His torso is laying next to me as he sits halfway in the chair. He clutches my hand in his and I see his other arm is in a sling. I suspect his back is bandaged from where Diavo stabbed him. He breathes slowly as he sleeps. His long hair is tangled around his shoulders and his face is so relaxed. I reach up to touch my forehead and my fingers brush against a bandage wrapped tightly around my head. I reach down and caress my little bump. It's so tiny if I didn't know I was pregnant I would completely miss it. I slowly pull my hand from Zuko's, trying my best not to wake him. He stirs briefly before puffing out a snore. The balcony doors are open letting in the warm breeze. My sheath falls around my feet and the thin material allows the wind to cool my battered skin. I close my eyes and tilt my head back, letting the sun warm my face. I turn back to look at Zuko and I smile. My fierce husband. Always coming in to save the day. I move to his side and brush stray hairs from his handsome face. He leans into my touch as his eyelids flutter open. He blinks blearily for a moment before breaking out into a radiant smile.

 

"Katara." He whispers my name as one would a god. His eyes grow misty and he wraps his good arm around my waist and buries his face in my stomach. His shoulders shake and he begins to quietly sob. I lean down and lay my cheek on the top of his head and run my fingers through his hair. He grips my sheath in his fist and clings to me as if any moment I may vanish. I rub his hair soothingly and close my eyes. There is no greater feeling in the world then being in Zuko's arms.

 

"I knew you would find me." Zuko leans back and I wipe away his tears, his golden eyes shinning. I lean down and brush my lips to his and Zuko grunts. He quickly stands and grips my hip in his hand. He slicks his tongue against my lips, seeking entrance. I eagerly open and our tongues glide together. I moan and tangle my fingers in his hair. I stand on the tips of my feet and wrap my arms around his waist, trying to be as close as possible. He pulls me closer and deepens the kiss. I grip the waistband of his pants and tug. Zuko gasps and gently pulls away from me. He reaches up to take my hand in his.

 

"Zuko?" My voice is husky with want and I lick my lips. Zuko groans and quickly looks away.

 

"You are hurt. You need rest." Zuko mumbles all the while not looking at me.

 

"Why won't you look at me?" Zuko runs his hand down his face and turns to meet my questioning gaze.

 

"Because if I stare at you for to long I'm going to forget that your hurt and throw you down on that bed and ravish you, just to reassure myself that you are here and safe." My pulse quickens and my skin flushes.

 

"Oh. That's a bad thing?" Zuko gives a half-smile and kisses my hand.

 

"Normally no. But you sustained a serious head injury and you need your rest." My head decides at that moment to throb reminding me that he is right. I pout and move to sit on the bed. Zuko sits beside me, never releasing my hand.

 

"Katara." Zuko pauses as if unsure how to proceed. "Can you tell me everything that happened?" I look down at my feet and give a short clipped nod.

 

"Diavo drugged me. It made me aware of my surroundings but unable to move. He tried to force himself on me." I shudder delicately and Zuko squeezes my hand.

 

"Did he..did he succeed?" Zuko has to force the words out and I bite down on my lip and shake my head. Zuko lets out an audible sigh of relief.

 

"Thank the spirits." Zuko brushes a sweet kiss to my hair and I smile softly at him. Memories of the dark almost windowless room flash in my eyes. Of seeing Diavo on top of me. Feeling his weight, the sickening touch of his lips on mine. I begin to tremble and Zuko wraps his good arm around my shoulders. I bury my face in his shoulder and clench my fingers in his vest.

 

"Thank you for saving me." Tears flow freely from my eyes once again and I have to stop myself from wailing like a newborn baby. Zuko rubs my back in soothing circles and murmurs sweet words to me.

 

"I've told you before and I'll tell you again. No matter where you go in this world I will always find you." I lean up and place a small kiss to the corner of his mouth. He smiles lovingly at me and squeezes my shoulder.

 

"You know you saved me as well. You continue to save me everyday." I relive the image of Diavo dying. The light fading from his eyes and the deafening crack of his bones. Fierce satisfaction flows through me and I look Zuko in the eye.

 

"I don't regret killing him. I never will." Zuko smirks slightly.

 

"Good. Never feel guilt over protecting who you love." I lean my head against his shoulder.

 

"But that's not what I meant when I said you saved me." I lean up, confused. Zuko smiles at me and brushes his knuckles over my cheek.

 

"You saved me when you told me you loved me. You continue to save me everyday that you give me your love." My heart squeezes happily in my chest and I wrap my arms around him.

 

"I love you Zuko." I kiss his chest where his heart beats.

 

"I love you Katara. You, Kushanu and our newest little one." Zuko rubs his hand lovingly over my tiny bump. I gasp and quickly lean up. In all the excitement I forgot to tell Zuko. I look at him apologetically and he pats my stomach.

 

"It's alright my heart." I kiss him once more and we stay wrapped in each others arms until Kushanu barrels through the door his arms wide open for us.

Chapter Text

"Katara calm down please." Zuko sits on the bed and pats the spot next to him. I shake my head and continue pacing. Zuko sighs and runs his hand through his hair.

 

"I can't. I need to keep walking and hopefully my water will break." The baby chooses at that moment to kick my belly button, as if agreeing with me. My protruding stomach hangs from my body as if mocking me. Zuko stands and move to my side. He rubs the back of my neck and I lean into his touch.

 

"You know there is another way we could try to induce labor." I look up at him and he waggles his eyebrows at me. I can't help but let out a giggle-snort.

 

"Really? Even with all this?" I wave a hand at my swollen abdomen and Zuko smirks.

 

"No matter your size Katara I will always find you tempting." I smile shyly and lean up to kiss him. Zuko grips the nape of my neck and crushes his lips to mine. I open under him and his tongue sweeps into my mouth hungrily. I moan under his touch and Zuko pulls away to lick a line along my bottom lip. Zuko grips my hand in his and tugs me to the bed. He moves behind me to unfasten my maternity shift. The silky material falls from my shoulders to pool around my bare feet. Zuko cups my swollen breasts in his hands and gently squeezes them. He leans down and trails open-mouthed kisses along my exposed neck and shoulder.

 

"You taste amazing." Zuko blows my moist skin and I shiver. My nipples pebble under his masterful touch and Zuko runs the tips of his fingers over the hardened peaks. I grunt and lean my head back on his shoulder. Zuko nips my throat gently before pulling away. He turns me around and gently pushes me down onto the bed. I spread my legs anticipating his familiar weight on me but instead Zuko leans down between my splayed legs. He lifts up my foot and places small kisses on my heel, moving up to my ankle. He starts to kiss up my leg and I let out a contented sigh and lean back on my elbows to watch him.

 

"That feels amazing." Zuko gazes at me with hungry eyes and my heart flutters in my chest. He continues to watch me as he lashes at my skin lovingly with his tongue. He blows a warm breath on my moist center and I quiver. He locks his eyes with mine and leans down to lick the seam of my center. I groan and tilt my head back. Zuko places a kiss to the top of my mound and I sigh and close my eyes. Zuko takes that as his cue to spear me with his tongue. I squeal and grip his hair in my hands. Zuko lovingly laps at my wet skin and I shudder. He finds my clit and engulfs the little button in his mouth and begins to suckle. He pulls with his lips before releasing me. I gasp and arch my hips off the bed. Zuko chuckles and runs his index finger over my engorged flesh.

 

"So responsive." Zuko circles my clit with one finger and leans down to love me with his tongue once more. He watches me with rapt attention.

 

"Zuko. Please. Faster." I pant out my plea and Zuko happily obliges, stroking his finger faster over my quivering flesh. I can feel the rush of my climax flow through me and I pull slightly on his hair. Zuko grunts and moves with finger faster in tandem with his tongue. The coil wounds in my stomach and I let out a deep moan.

 

"Zuko I need.." I can't find the words to finish my sentence. Zuko redoubles his efforts and my back bows off the bed. I'm almost there when Zuko suddenly thrusts three fingers into me. I open my mouth and let out a scream as my climax rushes through me. My hair clings to my sweaty skin and my pulse thunders in my ears. Zuko continues to lap leisurely at me until I can manage the strength to push his head away. Zuko leans up and smiles at me, his mouth a shiny mess. I reach out for him and he moves to lay between my shaking legs. His member nudges at my sensitive center and I let out a small mewl of pleasure.

 

"I must have you." Zuko pants and leans down to lick the sweat dripping down my collarbone. I wrap my arms around his shoulders and give him my best sultry smile.

 

"Come claim your Lady." Zuko smirks and leans up away from me. I pout and reach for him but he merely helps me sit up and then turns me over onto my knees. I realize what he wants and watch as he puts a pillow down for me lean against. I look back at him and lick my lips. Zuko grins and pushes my shoulders down slightly. He blankets my smaller frame with his larger one and thrusts into me in one fluid delicious snap of his hips. I gasp and dig my nails into the bedding.

 

"Spirits Katara." Zuko groans and pushes deep. He pulls back before filling me once more. He digs his pubic bone into my clit and I gasp. Zuko pushes and pulls slowly, dragging out the sensations of him inside me. He hits a deep spot inside me and I throw my head back.

 

"More. Please." Zuko snarls and pulls all the way out except for the tip, before slamming back into me. My toes curl and I once again feel the delicious tingling in my body. Zuko begins an almost punishing pace and I can't contain the cries that leave my lips.

 

"Fuck, you feel amazing." Zuko thrusts savagely into me and I feel the coil get tighter. "Always so hot. Tight. Wet." Zuko snarls and thrusts into me one last time. He pushes so deep I swear I can feel him brush against my cervix. The coil inside me finally breaks and we come together in a hot sticky mess. Zuko's hot release flows down my legs and my arms give out and I fall onto the pillow. Zuko pants against my slick back and places a gentle kiss to my shoulder. He rolls from me and pulls me into his chest. He brushes the hair from my face and tilts my chin up to give me a sweet kiss.

 

"That was amazing. Thank you." I giggle and kiss him again.

 

"I think I should be thanking you." Zuko gives me a roguish grin and taps my bare ass. I snuggle closer and let out a yawn.

 

"I love you." Zuko kisses the top of my head.

 

"I love you." Zuko rubs my stomach lovingly and I smile, understanding the gesture. I close my eyes and drift off into a peaceful sleep.

 

....

 

I open my eyes and blink sleepily. I look over at Zuko and frown, wondering what woke me up. A ripple moves through my stomach and my legs feel wet. I lift up the blanket and see the sheets are drenched and my night sheath is stuck to my lap. I gasp and quickly shake Zuko awake. My stomach cramps and I grunt.

 

"Zuko! Wake up it's time!" Zuko rubs his eyes and then jumps from the bed. He shouts orders to the guards outside and I close my eyes as another contraction passes through me. It's showtime.

Chapter Text

I'm propped up at the head of our bed when the next contraction hits. My stomach twists in agony and I push back into the pillows, trying to ease some of the pain. Zuko bustles around the room, tossing the soiled sheets and bedding into the corner. My skin is slick with sweat and I clench my teeth to keep from screaming, when the midwife bursts into the room. I sigh with relief at seeing her.

 

"Where's Kushanu?" I gasp when another contraction hits and Zuko rushes to my side. He grips my outstretched hand and squeezes softly.

 

 

"He's with Suki and the others. He's being taken care of, just worry about you and the baby." The midwife moves to my legs and gently parts them. The pressure in my stomach continues to rise and I feel like a boulder is being pressed against my pelvis. I look at Zuko and he pushes my hair from my eyes and caresses my cheek with his knuckles. I confided in him not long ago that I was scared to give birth. I knew he would keep me safe but I started having nightmares again, about when I gave birth to Kushanu. The fear I felt, the fiery agony and the very real thought that I wouldn't survive. As the midwife preps me, Zuko leans down to murmur encouraging and love-filled words to me. Another contraction rolls through me and my spine tingles. I arch my back and scream.

 

 

"It's time Mi'lady, get ready to push." The midwife settles between my legs and when she looks up at me, I push. I push and grunt and groan with all my strength. The midwife counts to ten and when she stops, I stop. I sag into the pillows and try to remember to breath. Zuko moves to sit halfway behind me and grips my shoulders. I smile my thanks at him and start to push again. My body feels like it's being split in two and I can't help the yelp of pain that escapes my clenched teeth. The pressure is so intense it steals the air from my lungs.

 

 

"You can do it Katara." Zuko kisses my hair and I grip the sheets in my fists. I push again and I can finally- FINALLY- feel the heavy weight moving down my canal. I don't hesitate to push now that I can feel it moving. I want this baby out and I want it out NOW. I push and push and my head swims. I throw my head back and scream. My body is on fire and my skin feels stretched to thin. I gather all my strength and give one final push. The weight drops from my body and the bubble of pressure inside me pops. I collapse against Zuko and my body shakes. I watch with fuzzy eyes as the midwife cleans the baby before swaddling it in a soft little blanket.

 

 

"Congratulations Mi'lady, you have a perfect little boy." The midwife carries him over to us and I force myself to focus. I look at Zuko and see tears in his eyes. The midwife hands him to me and I hold him close to my chest. He has the softest looking brown hair and skin as pale as the coldest snow. Unlike when Kushanu was born, this little one is silent. He lays calmly in my arms, the only sound is his quiet breathing. I place a small kiss to his soft cheek and he blinks. His eyes are the more serene, icy blue I have ever seen. I gasp and look at Zuko. He watches our little son with reverent eyes. He very gently touches his fat cheek and our little son blinks slowly at him.

 

 

"He's beautiful Katara. Thank you." Zuko holds us close and he places feather light kisses to my face. I close my eyes and weep quietly into Zuko's neck. Our little son is finally here and he's healthy and just perfect.

 

 

"I can't believe we had another boy, but now that he's here I can't imagine wanting him to be anything else." Zuko nods his head in agreement and continues to softly touch our baby. He stares at our newest little one with warm eyes.

 

 

"He looks just like you. I hope he'll be a waterbender to." I love that Kushanu is a firebender but I can't deny having a child who also is a waterbender like me is something I have always wanted. I brush a stray hair from his eyes and he gurgles softly. I move my shift to the side and he latches on hungrily to my nipple. I chuckle and settle closer to Zuko. Despite their differences it would seem both my sons have hungry appetites.

 

 

"What do you want to name him?" Zuko considers my question before smiling at me.

 

 

"We gave Kushanu a fire nation name. I want to give this little one a water tribe name." My eyes fill with tears and I look away quickly. I nod my head and Zuko huffs at me, amused.

 

 

"Nilak. It means 'Fresh water ice'." Zuko grins and kisses my forehead.

 

 

"It's perfect. He's perfect. Our little Nilak." Zuko leans down to kiss our baby and I smile. I look up and notice that the midwife is gone. She must have left while we were in our little family bubble.

 

 

"Do you want me to bring in the gang?" Zuko can't take his eyes off our little Nilak.

 

 

"Not just yet. I think I just want to be here, in this moment with just the three of us." I can't wait to see the look on Kushanu's face when he see's his little brother. I close my eyes and drift off to sleep, with the biggest smile on my face.