The general insisted that he hurry off to working, but Pema persuaded him to join them for lunch. Though Bolin was now able to spend more time next to his love, this was going to be an humiliating situation.
Everyone sat down at the ever-expanding table of guests and was silent. And to Bolin it seemed that each person took their own turn looking Iroh and him over. It made him uneasy but whenever he thought we would lose it, Iroh slide a hand under the table to hold his hand. Bolin was sure their flirting was obvious to everyone.
Ikki suddenly piped up, "So, how do you two have babies?"
There was simultaneous spitting and choking on food.
"Ikki!" Tenzin warned, "That is not something to be talked about during eating."
The girl looked unashamed as she sat, still waiting for an answer.
Then, Bolin just smiled and answered in a mournful sort of way, "We can't have children."
Mako cringed and leaned over to him, "I'm not sure that she meant it in that way."
Bolin raised an eyebrow, "What do you mean?"
Iroh was absolutely plum red and he stood up, "Thank you for the lovely meal, but I should be taking my leave now."
He bowed and walked out. Bolin quickly scrambled to his feet to follow.
The general stopped out in the hall knowingly.
"Hey," Bolin said stupidly.
The man smiled, "I'll be back when I can be."
"I know you will."
As he took Bolin's hand in his, he stepped a bit closer. Iroh could see the excitement in the teen's eyes at their close proximity. But the general teased him as he picked up Bolin's hand to slowly give each knuckle a kiss.
"I love you," Iroh whispered, staring into the other's eyes.
Bolin wanted to pounce the man, but he restrained himself. The humiliation he had last night about being a rushing virgin was burned in his brain. Plus, he knew at least one person was watching them now.
The general gave a final kiss on Bolin's middle knuckle and then with a nod let go. He exited.
Bolin sighed dreamily as he promised to himself never to wash his hand.
"Geez, you got it bad."
The earth-bender turned to see his brother smirking at him.
"You mean I got it good?" Bolin grinned.
Mako rolled his eyes, "Dude, I'm dating the Avatar."
The younger brother stuck out his tongue, "Well, Iroh's butt is way perkier."
Mako smiled playfully and crossed his arms, "How does that make you win this argument?"
Bolin raised his arms enthusiastically as he talked, "The fact that Iroh's butt is perkier than everyone else's WINS EVERY ARGUMENT in the history of the universe."
They both laughed and Mako pulled his brother back in to finish lunch.
The next two weeks were miserable and lonely for Bolin. The general had nonstop meetings and plans on helping Republic City and the rest of the world get back to its normal self. Bolin had taken to sneaking off to a secret training field he found just outside the city. It was where the general's warriors lived and trained for the next month or so, or until all of the attacks of the remaining Equalists stopped.
Ever since Iroh had commented on him not being a metal-bender, he felt the urge to learn. Lin, of course, was also too busy to give him the time of day, so Bolin spent his free time sitting behind a rock or something on a hill several yards away studying them.
Unfortunately, he still hasn't learned that much. They moved too quickly and advanced for him to catch on.
"What are you doing here?"
Bolin was jerked out of his concentration and looked up in fright, but it turned to joy. The man standing above him was the general.
"Oh, sweet turtle ducks!" Bolin exclaimed and threw himself around Iroh's legs.
The general didn't quite understand his reaction, but he couldn't help but smile a little.
"Why are you out here?" Iroh repeated.
Bolin jumped up and answered, "I was just watching your guys metal bend, but it's kinda hard to learn with how fast they do it and all…" a frown formed on the general's face while he said this and Bolin misinterpreted it wrong, "oh, this is illegal isn't it? Oops. I'm sorry; I didn't mean to. You could arrest me now and tie me up and stuff."
Iroh smirked, "Tie you up?"
"Well, yeah. I'm a law breaker," Bolin said with dismay.
The general shoved the teen's arms up and held his wrists tightly in one hand above Bolin's head.
"You really are innocent, my sweetness."
"Huh?" Bolin questioned, blushing at his new nickname.
Iroh moved in and kissed his love, passionately. As their lips parted, Iroh could see that the earth-bender was overwhelmed and turned on.
"Wow, Iroh where do you learn how to do that?...Scratch that, I don't want to know."
The general chuckled, "Many lonely nights with my pillow."
"Umm…are you being serious?"
Letting the teen's wrists go, Iroh backed off, ignoring him.
"If you were interested in learning, all you had to do was call me, Bolin."
Bolin grew flustered once more, "Well, I didn't want to bother you…"
The general sighed, "Come on."
He turned and hurried off down the hill to the training facility. Bolin bent the dirt beneath him to surf down the incline.
The man who was organizing the training exercise stood at attention in front of Iroh. The teen looked on from afar as the general spoke and then the two of men exchanged bows. Iroh beckoned the young earth-bender over.
"You can sit here," Iroh said, pointing to the ground in front of the warriors.
"Really?" Bolin asked excitedly.
The general nodded with a serious expression, eyeing his men.
"Oh," Bolin bit his tongue and sat where he was told, "Continue good sirs."
After Iroh moved back, the warriors continued their practice. He dropped himself down next to Bolin and the both of them resisted the urge to touch.
"I'm sorry I haven't been able to see you," Iroh spoke dejectedly, "I think this is the first time I've sat down in the last two days."
Bolin placed a hand on his arm, "It's okay. You made a commitment to this first."
Iroh smiled, "How can you be so perfect?"
Blushing, Bolin rubbed the back of his neck, "I…umm that's not-"
The general grabbed the other's chin and forced his eye contact.
"You're amazing, Bolin and I love you."
As Iroh leaned forward, Bolin moved back, "What are you doing? People are watch-"
But Iroh didn't care. He wanted, needed Bolin and kissed him thoroughly.