A/N: This is the last chapter of Never Change, there will not be an epilogue. Please R&R and look forward to the final installment of my Zutara Trilogy. It will be titled Begin Again.
Zuko rested at Sozen for a week and occupied his time strengthening his muscles more tolerably and helping Katara run the nation. But he soon realized the stress it was putting on her was too great and he decided enough was enough. He stood before Katara one day at the desk in his study and yanked her out of the seat.
"Zuko! What are you doing? You know the doctor said to watch your strength!" She cried out concerned. He smiled up at her and pulled her close to him.
"I'm tired of seeing you so stressed, so I think we should take a vacation." Katara's eyes widened.
"A vacation, but Zuko we can't afford to do that right now, there is so much work to be done!" Zuko chuckled.
"Leave it for the advisors to take care of. They can handle it. Besides you and I both need a break." Katara shook her head.
"And where would we go, husband?" He smiled mischievously and bent and kissed her on the cheek.
"Well I was thinking of joining the kids at the South Pole. It has been an awfully long time since we've seen your brother. And you know how much I miss him." Katara smiled up at him suddenly excited, although his sarcastism was not lost on her. Zuko had not been down to the South Pole since he had tried to capture Aang so many years ago.
"There is so much to be done. I'll need to make sure you have a coat. You could probably just wear one of Sokka's until we get one that fits you and the kids will be so happy to see you, they were so worried. Speaking of which we should send a message to them telling them you're coming. Oh but wait, we need to talk to the doctor first and make sure it's alright for you to travel."
Zuko scowled at the word doctor and shook his head.
"I'm going whether he will let me or not. Come on I want to leave in a few days time and we can't waste it standing here." Katara smiled at his stubbornness.
"Oh Zuko, let's invite Iroh and Aang. From the way it seems they need as much of a vacation as we do." Zuko nodded without a second thought and Katara ran out to make preparations to travel to the South Pole.
After a week Katara, Zuko and Aang arrived at the South Pole. Waiting for them were Lee and Rina. They jumped for joy and tackled their mom and dad before they were even fully off the ship. Maya joined in on the merriment of her siblings and Sokka and Suki greeted them. Katara welcomed the warm bundle of her son into her arms. Now a few months old he was much bigger than she remembered and he regarded everyone quietly.
It was a good trip for everyone.
While everyone laughed and cried and was happy, Aang was off by himself. He had shared in the festivities but that night he had made it a point to seclude himself so he could reach the spirit world.
He opened his eyes and looked around the familiarity of the spirit world. He called for Avatar Roku and this time the former avatar appeared to him almost instantly.
"Aang, how did everything work out with the Fire Lord?" Aang smiled at the apparition.
"He is back, thanks to Agni. By the way I wanted to ask you about that. At first when I spoke to Agni he was reluctant to give me an answer."
"The lord of firebenders is well known for his pride. He looks upon firebending as the greatest gift that can be bestowed. For those who do not carry the inner fire he is often very hard to get along with." Roku replied causing Aang to think for a minute.
"I noticed and I did everything I could think of to try and get him to change his mind but it was only after I mentioned Katara did he finally help me. Do you know why?" Avatar Roku smiled a bit before he spoke.
"The life of Agni when he was a mortal is often a mystery to most but I myself know that even the great Agni loved at one point. The great Agni, the first firebender, in all his power and glory loved a waterbender. When you mentioned Katara he knew she must have been from the water tribe. I bet it was only after you said she was a waterbender did he help you?" Aang nodded and Roku's words still slightly confused.
"You see Aang when Agni was a young man he loved a waterbender. Water and Fire have always been attracted each other. To the benders their other half is so mysterious and it is in that, which draws them together. Unfortunately during Agni's life, the women he loved was killed and in his rage he swept across the world hunting down her murderer. It was how he became the fiercest firebender and the strongest. To this day it is known he travels the spirit world looking for her spirit so they may be with each other eternally. It would seem he would not wish the same fate on another." Aang smiled at Roku finally satisfied with the answer he got.
"Thank you Roku, for everything." Roku smiled and disappeared leaving Aang to return to the living world.
As Zuko watched his family smiling and laughing he remembered Agni's words of advice. It seemed the firebenders had more in common than he had anticipated. Before he had awoken Agni had spoken to him directly and from the heart.
"Fire Lord," He said, "hold on to your waterbender. Like water she will slip through your fingers if you don't hold on tight. Do not give her that chance. You are fire and she is water and together you can do amazing things and your lives will be fulfilled. But I warn you, you will never truly realize how much a part of you she is until she is lost to you forever. Don't give her that chance. Hold on to her."
Zuko intended to do just that.