No, Not Forever
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"No, not forever... no... you cannot leave me alone in this prison cell. Think of mother... and your baby... is this how you'd betray them? Don't leave me... NO!" Zuko sat up. It was just a nightmare.

After the birth of his first child, Ursa, Zuko had been having a lot of nightmares and daydreams. Mainly about parenting, and once in a while about Azula and his used-to-be-Fire Lord father, Ozai. He was scared that he wouldn't be a good enough father to his daughter. What if she turned out to be like Azula because of his parenting? What if he was even worse than Ozai?

"Zuko, what are you doing up so early? (yawn) Is it another nightmare? What's wrong?" Mai was a comforting wife. She understood Zuko's problems and Zuko was a promising husband. He gave her everything she wanted.

"It's nothing... Do you think I'll be a good dad? I mean... What if she turns out to be like... Azula?"

"Zuko, you know that our daughter will never be like 'You-know-who'. And, you promised me you'd never use her name in this house. I'm ashamed that I even was her best friend until she put me and Ty-Lee in jail. And don't worry, you'll be the best father in the world!" With that Mai went back to sleep, and didn't wake up until baby Ursa started to cry from her room. "Zuko, I should go and check on her. Can you make me some hot green tea?" she asked.

"Sure. Give me 5 minutes and I'll be in Ursa's room." he replied. He hurried downstairs, and into the kitchen, where clattering noises of pots and pans falling on the tile floor could be heard only moment after.

"Darn it, she's going to scream... " Zuko muttered to himself.

"Zuko... are you all right?" Mai asked. Ursa laughed when she saw her dad with messed up hair, in pajamas, picking up pots and pans that fell on the tiled floor of their large kitchen, but Mai was angry that he woke Ursa up. "You woke up Ursa... but that doesn't matter... you're okay right?" she asked a little annoyed but mostly happy.

"Yeah. I'm okay. At least Ursa's in a good mood." he said.

"I was thinking, Zuko, maybe we can invite all our very close friends, like the Avatar and family to a picnic at Ember Island! Don't you think that'd be fun? The last time we saw them was a year ago at Ursa's baby shower." Mai said in a happy voice.

"Of course we can... it's a great idea, and we'll send them an invitation tomorrow! When can it be?" Zuko asked a bit surprised. Mai had always hated parties and picnics. Five years ago she liked to destroy them, but she had changed since they'd gotten married and so had Zuko.

"I was thinking 3 days from now... You're okay with that?"


"Why don't we all go to bed now? What do you think Ursa?" Mai asked tickling the squirming baby.

"Come. Lets go upstairs and get some good night's sleep before we rest." Zuko said.

"We'll certainly need it for tomorrow when we plan the picnic!" Mai said cheerfully even at 11 pm. And they all laughed happily.

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