Seven years later

The young Fire Lord paced back and forth outside his bedchambers, closely followed by a pair of muddy brown eyes.

"You should sit down, Nephew." Iroh said, seated across from the door to the chamber, a cup of tea in his hands. "Wearing yourself out will not help the child come faster."

"I know."

Iroh sighed as Zuko continued his frantic circles, glancing to his nephew's personal body guard for support.

Jet shrugged. "You want to tie him down?"

Iroh shook his head. He was the only other person aside from the two present, and the woman screaming behind closed doors, who was aware of the special relationship the three possessed. It gave him the shivers but he supported his nephew's choice, only warning him not to allow the information to become public. The Fire Nation was steeped in tradition and it could go poorly for all three of them. "No, I believe it would only distress him further."

Jet grunted, showing his own nerves in the furious tapping of his foot against the tiled floor. The past seven years had been good to him, growing him from a scrawny lean teenager into a tall, muscled, confident young man. Most of his aggression had bled off with age, but his temper was still quick, as were his swords. In the prime of his life, he was Zuko's constant companion even into the night. Most did not question his devotion, though some servants had raised eyebrows several years ago.

Zuko, for his part, looked similar to his teenage self if not several inches tall and several more inches broader. He paced barefoot and shirtless, having been woken by his wife's quiet screams close to midnight. His pants hung low on his hips, billowing around him as he walked, his long hair tied into a tight knot on his head. His hand would brush against Jet's hair almost unconsciously as he passed, his thoughts consumed with why it was taking so long. He could feel the sun coming up.

Finally, when Jet felt he couldn't take Zuko's pacing anymore and was about to drag him into a closet and wear him out another way, the doors pushed open. A tired midwife stood leaning against them, brushing a hand across her sweaty forehead. Iroh and Jet rushed to their feet, Zuko finally grinding to a halt as he turned.

"Fire Lord," the woman smiled. "She's doing fine. As are your children."

"Children?" Jet muttered as Zuko strode into the room, thanking the woman, Iroh hard on his heels. He had recognized the need for Zuko to secure his family line with an heir, and had supported them when they decided to try. But he also felt incredibly left out, as if the woman they both loved was choosing to start a family without him. She had done her best, because Katara would never hurt anyone's feelings on purpose, but the feelings remained.

"Jet." He heard Zuko call him and he entered slowly, feeling awkward and out of place. The assistant midwife was standing with Katara, talking with her as she bathed her face with a cool cloth.

She really was beautiful, Jet thought as he leaned against the wall. The girlish roundness had fled her face, leaving her with high, proud cheekbones and full lips. Her hair, longer and fuller, cascaded down her shoulders to her breasts, made fuller and rounder by pregnancy. He enjoyed those, he thought with a smirk. Katara had such a gentle presence and a calming spirit that balanced both Zuko's and his own tempers wonderfully. He didn't know how, years ago, he could have thought he would love her the way he did Zuko. It was a different love, but one just as strong and gripping as the other. Seeing her smile at him, just him, drew him closer. The assistant bowed and left them for a private moment, shutting the doors to the room behind her.

"You broke our deal, Zuko." She murmured, giving her husband of five years a mock glare. "I agreed to share the bed with him if I never had to have his children." Both Zuko and Jet stared at her before each other. She giggled, and they both heard the exhaustion behind it. "I'm not serious." She indicated the wrapped blankets in the crib beside her. "Iroh, if you please."

Iroh nodded sagely, barely managing to contain his enthusiasm. He was a grandfather at last, with a new generation of children to raise and spoil. He was ecstatic. Carefully, he lifted out a precious bundle from the crib, handing the blanket-wrapped child to its mother.

"Zuko," Katara murmured, peeling back the blanket to reveal golden eyes, tiny red lips, and a tuft of dark brown hair. "this is our first born, Crown Princess Izumi."

Zuko, almost struck dumb, lifted the girl from her mother and cradled her in his arms, perfectly performing the lessons his Uncle had drilled into him. "Hello." He murmured, his eyes greedily roaming across her face, wanting to memorize every inch of her. She blinked her eyes up at him sleepily, tiny fists waving as she inspected him in turn, tiny mouth finally splitting in a wide grin.

Jet watched, feeling a small pang of melancholy as he realized neither of them would be first in Zuko's world anymore. Izumi would be.

"Jet." He turned, startled as Katara called him to the bedside. Iroh was placing another bundle in her arms. Twins? He thought. All the better for Zuko. Katara pulled the blankets back as she had for Izumi and Jet's heart stopped. The baby boy had tanner skin than his sister, a shock of brown hair, and when he opened his eyes they were a deep brown. "this is our first born, Prince Manik."

"What?" He gasped, clumsily accepting the boy, sitting on the bed beside her. He didn't trust himself to stand. "He's…mine?"

Katara smiled and laid a hand on his arm. "Yes."


Iroh cleared his throat. "Sometimes, when a woman is ready to conceive a child-"

"Aah." Zuko shushed him, frowning as Izumi began to squirm.

"We were all…together at the same time, Jet." Katara said, trying to spare Iroh the details. "I must have had two eggs ready, and you each conceived one of them."

"How do you know he's mine?" Jet whispered, gazing into the eyes of the small life in his arms.

Katara chuckled. "Can't you tell?"

"Zuko?" Jet asked, suddenly worried he would be angry. He tore his eyes away from his son's, barely missing colliding with Zuko who had bent down.

"It'll be fine." The Fire Lord and new father murmured, bringing his mouth to Jet's. Iroh looked away, still not entirely comfortable seeing the displays of affection between his nephew and his…other. "We'll do this together, like we do everything."

Jet kissed him back, his panic starting to recede. "Okay."

Zuko straightened to sit next to Katara, propping his feet up in front of him as he handed their daughter back to her, his freed arms encircling her. She allowed her head to fall and rest on his shoulder, smiling as Jet joined them on her other side, his eyes glued to Manik's.

"Congratulations, Katara." Iroh said, heading for the door to summon the midwives back. The three of them looked hungry. "You have two fine children."

"I know," Katara whispered so only Zuko and Jet could hear her. "Because they have fine fathers." She giggled tiredly as two sets of lips kissed her cheeks and little hands reached up to play with her hair.


The end! :D