A/N: For those of you new to the story, this is a sequel to my previous story 5 Years Later! Please Read and Review!
Some things never change…
"Hurry up Rina!" The small boy yelled to the bobbing toddler.
"I'm coming Lee!" The boy was anxious as he ran faster and faster and then stopped to wait for the little girl. She followed along eventually grabbing her brother's hand. They got to a massive door and the small boy knocked furiously.
"My, look who has decided to join us!" A tall man with red robes opened the door. He scooped the boy up into his arms and then bent down to retrieve the little girl. They giggled furiously and then stopped as they turned around. Their mouths opened in surprise.
There on the bed was the most beautiful woman. She had long dark brown hair and tanned skin. Her eyes were like blue crystals and they regarded the children thoughtfully. She rested on the bed sitting up holding a small bundle. Another child, this one only a few years old, played thoughtfully on top of the sheets by the woman's legs.
The children in the tall man's arms squirmed trying to get out of the grip and run towards their mother.
"Mama!" The little boy yelled enthusiastically. The little girl on the bed looked up enthusiastically. Her eyes were golden like their father's and the little boy in his father's arms. After impatiently waiting their father set them down on the bed and they crawled over to the small bundle. The moved their arms trying to drag their mother's arms lower so they could look at the baby.
"Now hold on a minute, be careful. I just got him to sleep." She eyed her children and they dropped their hands and tried to get a better look without crowding too much.
"What is it?" The little girl asked. She was about four years old and had beautiful crystal eyes just like her mother. Her hair was brown and straight and her skin was pale like her father's. Her mother laughed and tried to position the baby so her children could see it better.
"This is your new baby brother." The little six year old boy whooped into the air jumping a bit. The look of admonishment on his mother's face stopped it. He looked shyly then smiled and turned to his father.
"Dad," He said yanking on his father's robes, "I have a brother and no more silly sisters!" His father had picked up the smallest girl and was holding her in his arms. She sucked her thumb and looked wearily around. Her skin was a little bit tanner than her siblings but not nearly as dark as her mother's. Her hair mimicked the same color as her father's, but with a voluminous curl and her eyes also reflected the golden gaze.
His father chuckled.
"You still have two silly sisters and your new brother won't be able to play with you for a while." The small boy's face scrunched up upon hearing this.
"Well at least I can teach him boy things and I don't have to go to tea parties!" His father laughed at this and he smiled. Katara looked at her family sleepily. In her husband's arms their youngest daughter yawned.
"Well I think it's time you both left your mother and new brother alone. They have had a long day, see look even Maya is tired. Come on now." They both frowned, little Rina mimicking her brother's every move. They whined until their father gave them a stern look and they both kissed their mama on the cheek. A nurse came out of the shadows and took the small girl nestled in Zuko's arms and led the children away.
Zuko watched as they left the room and then turned back to his wife who was looking lovingly at her new son. He came over and kissed her on the forehead.
"So I believe it is your turn to name him. I got the last one." He grinned mischievously and she watched him through tired eyes.
"Oh Zuko, no more children. I think this should be our last. How do you like the name Tenu?" He regarded her seriously.
"Are you alright Katara?" She yawned and smiled. He bent down and took the precious bundle from her loving arms. He sat down next to her regarded her with weary eyes.
"Yeah I'm fine, just no more babies. I'll become an endless mother the way you're at me all the time." He grinned and bent down to kiss her.
"That's fine Katara, four is a good number. You get some rest, I'll put little Tenu in his crib. We can talk later." She sighed, finally feeling relief at being able to get some rest. He walked over to the small crib and set his new son down softly. It was the same crib he had used for his other children. On its side hung the banner of the fire nation with the backdrop of the water nation symbol. He wanted his children to be proud of their heritage and he wanted Katara to feel proud of her children.
He looked around and saw his wife already asleep. It had been an easy birth, he had been told. Unlike her first pregnancy with Lee they hadn't been caught unaware. He looked at his son and knew he would be a waterbender. He had shown none of the signs his two firebending children had shown on Katara. Those were her difficult births.
The waterbenders she birthed easily because of their connection to their mother, but his own firebending prodigies had been a different story. They had caused their mother pain during her pregnancies often causing her to lose weight and sleep. The physicians had always said there was strong blood in their veins and in Katara's. The babes survived the pregnancy unhindered by the effects of her sickness and so did Katara. That was the most important thing and they had all been healthy. He couldn't ask for more.
"Zuko!" Zuko whipped around and silenced his uncle with a glare. He shut the door hoping Katara had not been awakened by the noise.
"What is it Uncle?" Iroh felt abashed at having disturbed the silence and he looked at the door a little disappointed.
"I was hoping I would have gotten a chance to see my new grandson but it can wait. How did the children react to him?" Zuko smiled at his uncle as they began to walk away from the room.
"Lee was excited to finally have a brother. Funny thing he mentioned he was sick of tea parties. That wouldn't be any of your doing now would it, Uncle?" Iroh smiled sheepishly.
"Why of course not Zuko, why would I do a thing such as that?" Zuko stood a good bit taller than his uncle now who bent over a cane. Even at full height he would still have been taller. His build hadn't changed much from the previous years, if nothing it had gotten more refined. He still trained in the morning to keep his strength up especially since his son was beginning to come of age to train harder.
"How has he been doing on his lessons?" Zuko asked suddenly interested in his son's progression.
"He is very smart, Zuko. His tutors adore him, but sometimes he is too impatient to take the time to learn everything he needs to. His firebending is progressing of course, but he is like you in the sense it does not come so easily to him as others, but he has more power than the other children. They know this and dare not tease him for it. But otherwise I feel that the only reason he is slower is because he takes the time to try and learn his stances and reason them. He does not like to waste effort, he is very efficient." Zuko smiled at this. His son had begun training with him a few mornings a week now and Zuko had come to enjoy the bonding. His own father had never been so kind.
"I am glad to hear he is doing well and Rina with her studies?" Zuko always felt very separate when it came to Rina and her waterbending. She had only her mother to teach her and presently her teacher had been incapacitated. It wasn't fair to Rina to be neglected from her training but Zuko had little other choice. She sometimes tried to apply the firebending stances her brother taught her to her waterbending but without the proper waterbending basics to support them it failed. He knew eventually she would have to go to the North Pole if she was to learn anything at all and the separation from his daughter made Zuko nervous.
"She is as sweet as they come and very bright. She is patient and collective and does what she is told, that is until her brother comes around. She mimics his every move Zuko, sometimes it is good and sometimes it is bad." Zuko nodded his head a bit and listened to his uncle chatter on and on about his children. They were all precious and unique in their own way. He was kind of saddened by the fact Katara did not want more, but he understood. He missed holding her and having her all to himself. They had been together only briefly, it seemed, until Lee was born. He was born only a few weeks after their first anniversary.
Katara had been too ill to celebrate then but they had made up for it later. The new baby had caused many changes on their life and daily routine. Luckily for them he managed to sleep through the night after he was a month old. Zuko thanked the spirits his son was a firbender then and slept at night and rose with the sun. It made his routine easier, but for Katara it was harder when she had to suddenly awake just to breastfeed the mewling infant.
It helped that her family had come to visit, but it left her more tired by evening. Hakoda, Sokka, Suki, Toph and Haru had all come. Many royals came from around the world to gaze upon the new prince born of fire and water, bringing bountiful gifts to honor the new child.
Although Haru and Toph had been married for a few years they still had not managed to conceive and by the time they did Katara was also pregnant again. So a few months after the birth of their first princess, Toph gave birth to twin girls. Another few years passed and it seemed Katara and Suki were expecting at the same time. Sokka and Suki had been married for three years before they found out she was pregnant. Their first child was also a little girl. When Katara bore a little girl as well, Zuko feared his son would be surrounded by girls for the rest of his life until Toph had a little boy a few days before his second son was born. So far it seemed the rest were content with their litter of kids and now that Katara had born a fourth child, she seemed content too.