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.
Releasing a slow breath, Katara reveled in the knowledge that they finally had it. A smile curved her lips as the sun warmed her skin. Turning to lay on her side, Katara fully opened her eyes to see herself surrounded by her friends.
They were back where they started, in Fire Lady Ursa's garden. The fire lilies were in full bloom, roses stretched to kiss the sun, the white orchids were as lovely and pale as ever. The garden's beauty was enchanting as it had always been and yet now it was different. She wasn't a visitor here now, this place was her home and it felt right. Aang was sitting back to back with Azula, talking quietly, under the shadow of an old willow tree. Ty Lee and Haru were having a playful water fight in the pond. Suki reclined on a bench listening as Sokka animatedly described his dream wedding. Teo and Toph's laughed as they listened to Sokka's wild ideas. In Katara's opinion, everything was right.
She looked down at Zuko and smiled to herself. He had drifted off to sleep in the sun's warm embrace. Her fingertips traced his jaw line and then the pale skin of this neck. He slept peacefully and no worry lines creased his brow. He was at peace.
Her hand drifted to rest on her belly and she smiled. Her baby would know peace.
Life was perfect again, peaceful and calm. And it was by no means easy to come by. She'd learned that now. Peace was a difficult thing and maintaining it would be a challenge everyday but she looked forward to the challenge. She looked forward to the rest of her life with her friends.
General Kawamura and Advisor Hiromu had been locked away. The Earth Kingdom was a republic now. The people had a voice to help heal themselves. With Bumi's aid, they were opening their eyes to the aid the Fire Nation was providing them. They were accepting the help the Fire Nation was willing to give them.
The world was finally at peace.
Katara closed her eyes again and lay her head against Zuko's chest. His arms wound around her habitually in his sleep. She smiled. This was peace.