A/N- My one and only disclaimer, I do not own Avatar: The Last Airbender
This is as Sequel/Prequel story to my one-shot Living Life.
Ursa woke up and stretched, her golden eyes wide awake from the rising sun. Like most firebenders, Ursa rose with the sun. She stood up and went through the clothes in her closet, trying to decide what to wear. She settled for casual work-dress and a shirt, in the green colors of the Earth Kingdom. She contemplated wearing one of her more elegant dresses, but it was her first day at her new job.
It wasn't that she needed a job, her parents were the richest people in the town and one of the richest in the entire Earth Kingdom. But they that didn't mean she got everything she wanted, it was something her mother was adamant about. Ursa would have to earn any money she wanted to spend, plus she had to learn to work with people. And of course her father fully supported the idea.
So Ursa had gone into town the other day and asked Mrs. Kim, the widower who owned the tavern, for a job. Mrs. Kim normally wouldn't hire a fourteen year old girl, it got to rough at the Tavern, but it was well known that the entire Coldfire family, her and her parents, were capable fighters, so Mrs. Kim had agreed to a one week trial. But if Ursa couldn't hold her own in the rough Tavern, she would have to get another job by the end of the week.
Ursa walked down to the basement training area, and sure enough, found both her mother and father sparring. She watched the beautiful dance that the fight was. Both of her parents had been in the hundred-year war, it was how they met. And both had been expertly trained. Even without her father using his sword, or her mother using her bending, they were both dangerous opponents. Watching them spar had always amazed Ursa, and made her grateful that they had yet to go all out on her when they trained her, another thing her mother insisted upon.
That's not to say that they took it easy on their daughter when they were training her to fight, or bend in her mother's case, but they weren't harsh taskmasters. And as skilled as she was, she was nowhere near as good as her parents. Her father explained that it was because she had never needed the skills they had taught her, growing up in a time of peace, whereas her parents had depended on their skills for their very survival.
Her parents stopped sparring when they noticed her.
"Morning Little Princess," her father said smiling, using his pet name for her (her mother's was Princess). "Are you ready to start your new job today?"
Ursa smiled at him. "Morning Dad, and yes I am ready. And a little nervous," she admitted.
Her mother chuckled. "You'll be fine," she assured. "Just remember not to firebend, a lot of people here in the Earth Kingdom still resent firebenders for the war. And working in a tavern, a lot of different travelers will come through."
Ursa rolled her eyes. "I know Mom. You always remind me not to firebend in public unless I have to. And I haven't had to yet, so what are you worried about?"
"I'm your mother Ursa, It's my job to worry."
"Ladies," her father interrupted, "I believe that Ursa needs to get going, otherwise she'll be late. I doubt Mrs. Kim would appreciate that." he leaned down and kissed on the forehead. "Have a good day Little Princess. We'll see you when you get home."
Her mother hugged her. "And if any men try anything, you know where to hit them."
Her father chuckled. "Go on Ursa."
Sokka and Azula watched their daughter walk away.
"She'll be fine Princess," Sokka said as he watched his worried wife. "She can take care of herself."
"I can't help but be worried," Azula explained. "And it's not the job, I know she's more than capable. I just have this feeling that our world is going to come crashing down at any moment."
Sokka hugged his wife. "I would never let anything happen to you or Ursa, you know that."
Azula smiled. "I know."
The former Water Tribesman chuckled. "Come on. I've got some work to do in the forge, and I'm sure you have something to do for the vineyard."
Firelord Zuko sat at the table with his friends. On his right was his wife, Firelady Mai. Others in attendance were Avatar Aang, and his wife Katara, Toph Bei Fong Queen of the Earth Kingdom, Suki Head of the Kyoshi warriors, the acrobat Ty Lee, and the Firelord's mother Ursa.
Zuko stood up and raised his glass in a toast. "Eighteen years ago today, Aang defeated my father, Ozai. Since that day, we have had many good things happen. I and Mai were Married, as were Aang and Katara. Toph reconciled with her parents and was named Queen of the Earth Kingdom, I found my mother. And we have endured a time of peace and prosperity. But this time has also been tinged by sadness. Sokka's disappearance, Azula's escape, Uncle Iroh and Kanna's passing. I pray that we never forget what has happened, good or bad. To peace." He took a drink of his wine.
"Very nice speech Zuko," Ursa smiled at her son.
"Mmm. This wine is really good," Katara said. "Where's it from?"
Toph answered for her. "The wines from Coldfire Vineyards in the Earth Kingdom, I'd recognize the taste anywhere. They make perhaps the finest wine in the entire Earth Kingdom, and some cheaper wines to sell to the people. I drink it a lot at social functions back home."
"Coldfire?" Mai asked. "That's an unusual name for an Earth Kingdom vineyard."
"I know. I actually did a little digging into them when I found out," Toph explained. "Apparently the vineyard is owned by a couple that inherited it. It used to be Gi Hong Vineyard. The owners worked there for two years and the previous owner willed it to the when he died. They changed the name to Coldfire and expanded. From what I understand, the husband also makes some of the finest swords in the world, right up their with Piando's work."
"I wonder if they'd give us a tour?" Ty Lee asked.
Everyone turned to look at the acrobat. "What? Some vineyards will give tours to the public. And I think it would be fun."
"It's not a bad idea," Mai said, supporting her friend. "They have made quite a name for themselves. And even if they don't offer public tours, I'm sure they'd make an exception for their queen," she added looking at Toph.
"I'll see if I can arrange it," the blind queen said. "In the meantime, don't we have a meal to eat?"
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