"Uh, I'm Hoshiko." She answered. Iroh smiled.
"Beautiful name. I am Iroh." He said. Hoshiko nodded. Iroh slid open the door and stepped inside. Hoshiko followed close behind.
"Hoshiko, may I present to you Prince Zuko." Iroh whispered when he noticed Zuko had fallen asleep. Her eyes were immediately drawn to the scar. Iroh noticed. "Firebender." He said. Hoshiko nodded. She couldn't help but feel sympathy toward the young prince. She watched his chest rise and fall with the steady breathing of sleep under the thin green blanket. Iroh sat down next to him. Hoshiko knelt down on the other side as Iroh roused him. After a few tries, Zuko's copper eyes opened. Hoshiko watched him intently. He still seemed a bit dazed from fever. "Zuko." He turned to his uncle.
"Wow you really are a prince." Hoshiko whispered in amazement. Zuko jumped and turned around.
"Who are you??" He demanded. He stood up and backed away.
"It's alright my nephew." Iroh said. "This is Hoshiko. She is here to help you. I found her at the market."
"So you brought her home? You can't just bring random people into our home!" Zuko yelled.
"Quiet down nephew. You can trust her." Iroh tried to comfort him.
"Sorry, but I don't just throw around my trust like something you can buy from the market." Zuko grumbled.
"Zuko, lay down. I know she will help you." Iroh said, growing impatient. Zuko obediently sat back down. He looked at Hoshiko.
"Are you really a prince?" She asked.
"Uh, yea." Zuko answered.
"Prince of what?" Hoshiko asked again. He wasn't about to answer that question. He wouldn't take the risk of exposing himself and his uncle.
"Are you here to help me or what?" He asked.
"Sorry Prince Zuko." Hoshiko apologized.
"Just call me Zuko. There's no need to be formal." Zuko grumbled. Hoshiko half smiled. She retrieved the bottle of Jin Sang from her pocket. She popped off the cap and cradled his head. She tilted back the bottle and poured a small amount of the dark liquid into his mouth. He winced.
"You have to swallow it." Hoshiko told him. He gulped it down hard. Hoshiko smiled in spite of herself. Zuko finally took a good look at her. Her enticing crystal blue eyes, her soft onyx hair. He shook his head.
"Thank you for your help, but I think you should leave now." He said suddenly. Iroh looked at him, confused. Hoshiko was a little taken back. She blinked a few times.
"Uh, okay. Yea. I hope you feel better." She said. Zuko nodded.
"Goodnight Hoshiko. I graciously thank you for your help." Iroh called. Hoshiko nodded and let herself out.
After Hoshiko left, Iroh glared angrily at Zuko. "What?" He asked.
"You practically shoved that poor girl out the door!" Iroh yelled.
"Is that really my fault? You can't just invite some strange girl into our home! What were you thinking? Especially telling her I was a prince! Do you even realize what could have happened if she would have figured out I'm the FIRE prince?" Zuko argued.
"You are very foolish Zuko. Do you honestly think I don't know that? I am surprised that you would be so blind." Iroh scolded.
"What are you talking about?" Zuko demanded.
"That girl lives a horrible life nephew. She was being beaten when I found her." Zuko was silent. "Is something wrong Zuko?" No reply. Zuko began to sweat. He collapsed to the floor and fell into a deep sleep.
Hoshiko looked back toward the apartment. She turned and began to run. She ran until her lungs felt about to burst and still pressed on. She ran through the night to the coastline. She tripped over a root and fell into the sand. She breathed deeply and gazed at the reflection of the crescent moon on the water.
Zuko tossed and turned in his sleep. Nothing but darkness. "She reminds me of song."