The sun drew within the sky the brightest colors of a flame, all fire benders unable to turn their gaze from their element.
Zuko sighed contently as the ship touched the beach of the Sun Warriors Island. After peace had finally settled within the nations and the fire nation proved itself as part of the unity once again the sun warriors had visited the capital to announce their acceptance to the outside world and restoration of the temples began.
A few fire benders had even left to join the Islands lifestyle and the new Fire Lord ensured that all were taught the ways of old. The Island had become one of Zuko's favorite escapes from palace life; here he was not treated as a King because the warriors were not ruled by the fire nation. He sometimes wished the whole nation could return to the old ways, the monks and water benders seemed quite content with their lifestyle, but it would be wrong to take his peoples technologic advances, one of their last prides after the war.
"Papa look!" the heir to the throne yelled as he grabbed his father's robes.
Zuko smiled down at his son, Azar; the child looked every bit fire bender, from his thick black hair, fair skin, and bending abilities, until those beautiful blue eyes locked onto yours. His son had been a symbol of peace when born, the acceptance of two blending nations, and the nation loved him.
The boy shouted again as another creature that had first caught his attention flew past the ship: dragons. It had taken years, but the Island now flourished once again with dragons as fire benders hoped for their masters to return, many wished to one day see them at the nations capital again, as did Zuko.
"So this is the place you learned your dance."
"It is a fire bending form…" Zuko coughed at his wife's tease.
Katara giggled and took her husbands hand, her other resting atop her large belly that held their next child. The queen's hair tumbled down her back in soft curls, a section held by the traditional top knot and her two hair lops connected at the back to form a braid. She wore a loose crimson kimono with a simple fire lily pattern sown into it; unlike most Fire Lady's when Katara was not with child she often wore loose outfits that she was comfortable in and could exercise her bending in, but to Zuko they also showed off her lovely curves that he could not wait to see again.
"This is also the place you were wrapped in the Great Masters fires right Papa?" Azar bounced happily as his mother took his hand as they departed the ship.
"Yes, and realized I could marry your Mother."
This was the reason the Fire Lord had finally brought his family to the Island.
Zuko could remember those precious days when he had first joined the avatar's group, and could remember encountering the fiery water bender. Even then he had to admire her determination, love, and beauty; but he had restrained himself from trying get to know her, she hated him, and his nation had killed her mother, he did not deserve her or her forgiveness.
When he and the avatar had reached the dragons judgment it was her who he thought about, regretting never having the chance to prove himself to her. As the colored flames swirled around the two boys, images appeared before the prince within the inferno and the avatars amazed coos fell upon deaf ears.
Zuko saw the avatar and himself clasping hands at the fire nation capital, he was wearing the royal heirloom. He then saw himself holding a beautiful child with fair skin and black hair, typical of any fire nation child. Zuko had thought of Mai, thinking he and his ex-girlfriend had finally become the nations new royals, until tan hands petted the child's head.
A beautiful woman stood before his future self, obviously water tribe from her dark skin and deep blue eyes. The woman smiled gently as she slowly took the child into her arms, her dark curly hair hung loose down her back and wore a red silk robe. As she kissed the baby, future Zuko gently cupped her cheeks to direct her gaze towards him.
For a moment Zuko saw within those flames something he had never witnessed, but his uncle had told him of: Love. So strong even Zuko realized it was right and how much he wanted it.
"I understand." Zuko echoed his memory as he and his family stood in the very spot the fire had engulfed him.
"Are you telling me dragons got us together?" Katara laughed jokingly.
"No, there is not a set future, anything could have changed it. The masters showed me a possibility ; that I could forgive myself and pursue my happiness, and desires."
Zuko smiled as he took his wife's hand and knew that this was the destiny he would choose every time.