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Broken Hearts and Shattered Breaths

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Epilogue

Two Years Later

Katara rocked two-month-old Kuzon in her lap. He opened his eyes, golden like his father, and yawned.

“He looks like me,” Kya declared. This was an ongoing argument between the three siblings, each of them claiming that the latest addition to the family was their copy.

“He has golden eyes! So clearly, it’s me,” Izumi protested, running her index finger through his patch of downy hair that decorated a patch over his forehead, leaving the rest of his head bald.

Bumi gave a fake laugh and held his fist against Kuzon’s tiny one. “See that? His skin color is like mine.”

“What’s the bet he’s a Water Bender like me?” Kya said. “I’ll be teaching him Water Bending then.”

“Nah, he’ll be a Fire Bender. Golden eyes!” Izumi insisted. “Also, I will teach him how to throw knives.”

“I’m teaching him sword fighting,” Bumi said, nodding.

“How about we wait till he gets his first teeth, at the very least?” Zuko walked into the chamber, interrupting before the argument devolved further. “I don’t think Kuzon is quite ready to learn any kind of fighting.”

“Yes, yes,” Bumi nodded as Kya giggled. “We know that.”

“We won’t be teaching him anything right now,” Kya added in a reassuring voice. “We will wait till he learns to walk.”

“You lot are so generous,” Katara said laughing.

“Okay, now off you go. The lot of you,” Zuko said, waving a finger. “Your tutors would be waiting. Plus, Kuzon needs to sleep.”

“Okay!” Bumi said cheerfully, jumping off the bed. At nine, the boy had now shed all his inhibitions, and was becoming a precocious and active child. Kya was the next to follow, chattering away about the latest Water Bending technique she was about to try. All of six years of age, she was already showing signs of being a Water Bender who could rival her mother in her skills. Ten-year-old Izumi was the last to leave. She was growing up to be a fair, just and balanced individual. Someone who could become a great Fire Lord someday. Zuko and Katara tried their best to not let the weight of the throne sit on her young shoulders, but she seemed to be developing a personality that would make her worthy of the throne. Left alone, Zuko settled down next to Katara and pecked her on the forehead.

“Are you okay?” He asked.

Katara sighed and ran her hand over Kuzon’s arm, “I’m okay. Just… when I look at him, I feel bad. Gran Gran did not get to see him or Sokka’s first child. But it’s okay. She lived a full life. Tough as it was.”

Zuko nodded. “She would have loved to see Kuzon and Sonnit. But, I’m sure she is watching them, proud of her grand children and great grandchildren.”

“Thanks Zuko,” she whispered. Even though it had been almost six months since Gran Gran had passed away of old age, Katara still missed her.

“I got news from Uncle,” Katara said, leaning into Zuko’s shoulder. “He’s about to start another branch of the Jasmine Dragon, this time in Middle Ring.”

“I have news for you,” Zuko said, procuring a scroll from the folds of his clothes. “Ty Lee sent a letter on behalf of Toph. Ty Lee is happy with the new girl, Marin. And Toph is pregnant.”

Katara paused, halfway through swaddling Kuzon, “What? What did you say?”

“Toph is pregnant.”

“What? How?”

Zuko gave her a deadpan look, “The usual way, I guess?”

Katara slapped a hand on her head, “I mean who’s the father?”

Zuko scanned the letter, “Doesn’t say.”

Katara grinned, “That’s wonderful news, Zuko! I’m so glad for her.”

“Me too,” Zuko leaned back on a pillow, sighing softly. “I need a bit of help from you today, whenever you can.”

“What?” she asked, climbing off the bed to put Kuzon on the crib.

“The revised trade agreement with the Water Tribes,” he said, rubbing his hand over his injured eye.

“Tonraq seems reasonable,” Katara said, settling next to Zuko. “Definitely better than his predecessor, Timuk. It helps that he is Korra’s father. He would be okay with the trade agreement.”

“It’s not Tonraq that I’m worried about. I’m more concerned with Takar, the new chief. I don’t know what kind of a man he is,” Zuko draped a hand around her shoulders.

“I met Takar when I lived in North for a while,” Katara said, leaning into him. “He is better than Hahn.”

Zuko snorted, “Even Bumi would do a better job than Hahn and he is not ten yet. Hahn is a very low standard to set.”

Katara laughed, “Honestly, though, I’m glad Hahn and Timuk were taken off. They were doing the Water Tribes more harm than good. New leadership will prove good, I’m certain.”

Zuko nodded in agreement.

“How was Fire Bending with Azula?” Katara’s words came out garbled thanks to the exhausted yawn.

“It was good. She managed to hold on to a blue flame for three whole seconds today.”

“That’s fantastic,” she said, her eyes drooping close.

“Sleep, sweetheart,” Zuko said, laying her down on the bed and giving her a kiss. “I love you.”

“I love you too,” she said and drifted to a peaceful slumber.

 

The End