Disclaimer: I don't own any rights to Avatar: The Last Airbender

Rating: T (may go up later, depends on how the story progresses)

Pairing: Zutara

Summary: Post-Sozin's Comet
The war is over and the gang can finally relax in a world of peace, or so they thought. When the price of world peace is far more than the group originally bargained for, tough sacrifices must be made to appease the feuding nations. And even when they'd done everything they can, it still seems, it just isn't enough.



The absence of war…of hatred…of anger. It seemed so long since they had it. It had been so long since their minds were free of the anxiety, the distraction, the constant worry of what next.


It was so close Katara could taste it. To be serene and tranquil again, to make snow angels, and waste away the cool days with her brother and father. That's the way life should be and it was so close.

A smile crept across the young waterbender's face as she watched Aang whirl around the courtyard. Fire lily burst with life and color all around her, rose bushes blossomed a beautiful scarlet, white orchids enhanced the lush array of plants that grew in what was once Fire Lady Ursa's favorite place to think. Katara remembered when she had first laid eyes on this garden, she hadn't thought it possible for anything so beautiful to not only come from but exist in the fire nation. She had been enchanted by tales of the life and beauty that had once filled this city and she had seen the passion in Zuko's eyes as he spoke of his plans to restore his nation to greatness.

Another smile danced across the waterbender's lips as she thought of the young Fire Lord. She had encouraged him in the days before his coronation not to worry as he paced around speculating on all the things that could go wrong. What if he couldn't restore his nation? What if he couldn't keep the peace? What if everyone hated him because of his father? What if he failed again? She had smiled and told him he had nothing to worry about because he had great friends and they had no intention of leaving his side until he was sure he was securely on the throne and an agreement had been formed between the three remaining nations to keep the peace. He'd been a wreck in the final hours before, but when the time came there wasn't a hint of fear or doubt to be found in Zuko. He'd held his head high as he came before his nation, vowed to restore their tarnished name, and was crowned Lord of the fire nation. She was proud of him. They were all proud of him. It was so clear that this is what he had been born to do.


Katara closed her eyes and shook her head in frustration. Once again, her peace was destroyed.

Casting a glance over her shoulder, she couldn't help but smile at the sight of her brother soaking wet and Aang apologizing profusely as he pulled Sokka out of the cool stream that ran the perimeter of the garden and was somehow forced up into a water fall that dumped back down into a small pond as the head of the garden. Suki's giggles and Toph's loud laughter echoed throughout the courtyard and Katara knew that it would be some time before she could escape again for some peace and quiet. She couldn't be upset though, it had been her very wish for moments like this, when she and her friends could simply relax, smiling, and laughing.


The war was over. Now life could begin.

A/N: Please review, it helps me write when I have your opinions because I will actually consider them and if you have suggestions that don't sway where I'm going with this I'll probably try to put them in. This is my first fanfic so please bear with me.