Sorry for the long wait but school is out and I'm free!

And here you go.

Paperbackwriter9

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Epilogue

This was a sight that brought peacefulness with it. Zuko, my husband, my lover, my friend, playing with our small children in a large beautiful blooming garden outside my chambers.

Something like that is a sight that brings tranquility, and it helps clear my mind. This is a sight I wish to commit to memory, most of my memories are ones that I will want to keep. Only, not all of them give me the same pleasure and joy these seem to.

I often have days were I just start to remember. My mind starts wandering and I forget my surroundings and I think of the past. I remember how I haven't talked to my brother since the day I left; I remember how I was only a sad age of sixteen when I was raped.

The word was harsh, and overwhelming still, but I soon got over that when I started to live here. When I familiarized myself with the palace, I became less afraid of what I didn't see before hand. I grew from a sixteen year old, into something more mature, and more conscious of everything.

Zuko told me first, and then others did as well. Not everyone liked me, even today, but it was expected. It would be like dropping a Fire Nation woman in the Water Tribes and having her help rule the land. Of course, they would dread her more than the people would fear me here.

I moved away from my window, and from the seat of watching my two year old son on Zuko's lap. I walked over to the door and pulled it opened. The guards looked startled, and I knew they had been gossiping, but I walked through and motioned for them to stand their guard at the door.

Leisurely, I strolled into the hallway of my past, or should I say the room. I cautiously opened it and took a lighted torch from outside into it. Lighting the small candles in the room, I looked around and saw images. Not images that made me look away, but things that flew at high speed, and things that reminded me that I was in the room.

"Fine, I'll take the girl if it means you'll leave me alone," the Prince said and the door open all the way, almost hitting the guard in his big fat ugly nose…Standing there was the Prince of the Fire Nation. My first thought was...wow.

That was a day that I would always remember, how could I forget? I had first laid my eyes on Zuko, and who would have thought he was mine.

Zuko had saved me, and I got to keep my virginity for someone I loved. But why did he care so much? His father seemed to upset him so much. I couldn't blame him, his father was horrible.

How ironic, Zuko had let me keep my virginity, and then his father took it. Then of course, Zuko was the one that I wished had taken it. Not everything comes true, I guess.

That had been an…interesting night. Our wedding night had been, unusual, and I guess it was all thanks to the 'ex' Fire Lord. My thoughts drifted to that night, and a smile spread slowly on my face.

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Zuko's strong arms had picked me up and laid me on the bed. I had glanced around nervously and waited for him to talk. He had just smiled and I became even more nervous then I already was. "Was is it?" Zuko had moved over to me and kissed me before he took of his formal clothing and was left in a light tee-shirt and black pants.

My lips had stayed on his when he pulled off my shoes and then his own. Finally he had sat on the bed and pulled me down slowly. I remember shifting nervously and he stopped at stared at me. "Something tells me that you're nervous."

Of course, I had thought, but I smiled and nodded.

"I can understand why, I mean, this is really your real first…" He had stopped suddenly because he must have seen my eyes widen with the thought of his father. "I didn't mean to say anything," he said quickly had and sat at the edge of the bed.

"It's alright, that's alright," I said and had sat behind him, wrapping my arms across his chest and kissed his neck. "I'm can handle it; I'm not that weak anymore." Even though I had turned seventeen, many months earlier, I felt different, I felt like I was refreshed with a new start, and new chance at living a good life.

Zuko had turned to face me and he had sighed, "As if having…making…do this wasn't already uncomfortable, I just had to bring up my father…in our bedroom. I was telling myself not to, but I did and I'm sorry." I had nodded my head no, and a silent understanding went through us both. Zuko had smiled softly and began kissing me and soon removed his shirt. His chest was well built, and I had felt a jolt of excitement when I ran my hand down it.

I was beneath him, and I felt the need to be free of my past. Even though I had been beneath him many times before, I had finally felt secure. I looked up at him and did not see his father, but a young boy who was struggling to fight against his father's repetition.

Zuko had gently removed my shirt and stared down. A sudden feeling of relaxation buzzed through me and I had smiled. Zuko had smiled too, and I knew that everything was going to be alright in that instant.

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My thoughts drifted back to present day, and I slowly opened my eyes. I rose and swiftly moved to the mirror in the bathroom and ran my fingers over it. The grime covered the tips of my fingers and I peered into the mirror. My ensemble was red, from head to toe, and I didn't mind. My brown hair was free and flowing down my back. My blue eyes shined with the glint of the candle light. Then there was my dark skin, which could almost become one with the shadows, but not quite.

Poor Zuko, he never did hear from his sister again, or his mother. I didn't really ask him and he didn't explain about his family. The only family that he kept himself busy with was our young children. A girl who was three, and boy who was two, and with any luck more on the way.

There was a portrait hanging above our great bed, and it had all four of us painted onto it. We took down the first one when our son was born, so we could paint one with him. I smiled into the mirror and my reflection glimmered with cheerfulness. I would not be the one to tell my children who there grandfather was. For the time being, he was just a figure, no one who was significant.

That room, the room were my innocence was stolen, would be forever locked up until I passed away. I thought I was strong enough, but when I first tried going down that hallway, past that room, I realized I was strong enough when I was away from the door. It haunted my memories, and they usually replaced the comfortable memories I wanted to think of.

I was twenty five, and I still couldn't get past some things. Zuko usually took my mind off of everything. In my head, I could hear someone saying, "Stop being a whining child and grow up." The problem was, I had been only a child, and sometimes I still felt like one.

Truthfully, I didn't want to forget my past. I didn't want to forget the few stray memories of laughing with my brother, talking to my father and Gran Gran, and living in my true home.

Finally, I could look at myself and think of how fortunate I was, how much I was needed by someone. I was needed by Zuko, my children, and the quickly repairing Fire Nation. I smiled again, and felt the sense of release that came with it.

There was an unexpected rush of warm air around me and I glanced up quickly. "Zuko," I said tenderly and he came up from behind me. He leaned down and rested his chin on my shoulder, and wrapped his arms around me.

"Katara, I thought you told me that you didn't come in here anymore," his voice was very tranquil, but had a questioning sound to it.

"I did, but I felt like coming back. I'm allowed to aren't I?" I turned my head and questioned him and he pulled away. He nodded but still raised his eyebrows.

"You surprise me a lot Katara," was all he said and pulled me away from the reflection in the mirror. His lips slowly traced the skin behind my ear and I closed my eyes. There was a silence that made me feel relieved to be out of everyone's view except Zuko's.

No doubt, trying to be accepted was certainly a hard thing to do in this nation, but it was paying off. Zuko replaced many nobles with nobles and generals he could cope with. He was truly trying to give the Fire Nation a good name, and hoped that our son would want to do the same thing in the future.

Still, I often wondered if I was an aunt, or even still considered to be Sokka's sister. Things were too hectic when I had gone back, and Sokka had just been there at the wrong time. That mistake had probably already caused our relationship to change for good. It was a sad thought that I was without a brother that I thought would protect me for danger.

I knew Sokka had tried to protect me, and I realized that it wasn't his fault for being upset. After all, I hadn't told him anything that had happened, so he probably put his own ideas of what did in his mind.

Zuko grabbed my hand and pulled me out of the room and closed it. I would never return to it again, but somehow I knew that I didn't need to.

Zuko's strong grip pulled me along down to our bedroom and back out into the sun and laughter of our children. "Mama!" My baby boy shouted, as that was one of the few words he said. I bent down and picked the light skinned, blue eyed boy and smiled. My little girl sleepily moved over to Zuko and Zuko picked her up gently. I smiled at the sight of Zuko being a good father, and our daughter in his arms.

All I could say now was that my life was going to be as good as it could be. That I was at peace with myself, and I had left the tortured sixteen year old version of me locked away…for good.

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So, sort of a sad happy ending, just what I wanted, and I hope Katara sounded older in this, that was what I was shooting for.

On another note, I'm sorry if you were expecting a sex scene, but it just didn't fit in with the calmness to the chapter.

Look out for my next story! Please!

I thank you all who reviewed….nice or mean….and the people who added me or my story to their favorites. It really means a lot!