Author's Notes: omg grab them tissues again, my babies! I realize I haven't given Pabu any love so he's here now. And some Interjecting!Korra to help keep my running-around-dialogue in check. And a brought back a joke from earlier in the story, so skim previous chapters before you read this so you remember it and hopefully laugh at my horrible sense of humor. Thank you for the wonderful reviews, apparently I'm a god, so enjoy my heavenly writing~
Bolin sat down in the parlor at Iroh's mansion. The man wasn't home yet from the business he needed to attend to. This gave the teen time to think through his predicament. How exactly was he going to tell the general he was pregnant? Lin had done a surprisingly good job at telling him, but then again she had a good lead into it. Though, Bolin's reaction was just to sit there and cry, with her hand still on his knee.
He hadn't realized how much time had elapsed until Iroh was walking into the room, Pabu waddling in behind with a full stomach. Iroh had a rare smile on his face, but it faded when he saw the seriousness of Bolin's posture.
"How did your time with Lin go?"
"Umm…" Bolin shrugged, lost in what to say.
"She gave you a chance, correct?" he questioned as he knelt down next to the teen's seat, knowing something was wrong. Pabu jumped up onto Bolin's lap in similar concern.
"She was impressed, but I probably won't be able to join the force until I learn to metal-bend."
That hadn't been a lie, right? He was going to get to the big part soon.
"That's great," Iroh smiled and kissed Bolin's cheek, "So, why are you sitting here all alone instead of having gone to the Air Temple for lunch like we planned?"
The earth-bender's eyes widened, "Oh, shoot. I totally forgot…I'm sorry."
He had been so overcome with this new development that his memory as well as his appetite had escaped him. Iroh took his hand.
"Talk to me, Bo."
Bolin sighed. Where to begin…?
"Do you wanta have kids?"
Iroh was surprised, "You mean adopt?"
Bolin nodded slowly and unsure, but the general didn't seem to notice as he continued.
"I'd love to raise a kid. At lunch today Pema let me hold Rohan for a minute," he looked peacefully at Bolin, "It was really nice…until he threw up on me."
When the teen didn't laugh at that, Iroh frowned. Bolin fixed his face and smiled a goofy smile. If he expected Iroh to act excited about this, he had to act that way, too.
"What if we were able to have a kid of our own?" Bolin said in a wondering, fun sort of way.
The general chuckled, "I don't think I'd look too attractive with a baby bump, sweetness."
The teen raised an eyebrow, "Why would you think you'd be carrying our imaginary baby?"
Iroh blushed, "Well, it is pretty painful to carry a baby."
Not being able to be nervous any longer at this strange conversation, Bolin broke out into a smirk, "You saying I can't carry a baby?"
"Fire-bending babies tend to be feisty in the womb."
Bolin snorted, "So now this baby is a fire-bender, too."
"My bloodline is very strong, Bo," he shrugged, flicking at the teen's cute little nose, "Plus you have some fire in your blood, too."
The earth-bender saw an opening in the conversation and gripped the chair arm as he spoke.
"How would you react if I told you if I was pregnant?" he smiled, trying to keep it light.
Iroh, of course, didn't take it that way even though he knew this was hypothetical and he stared into Bolin's eyes, seriously, "I'd love it."
Oh, he had to cry at that. Bolin had to. Iroh looked at him confused and then pulled him into a hug.
"…You really want a baby, huh?"
Bolin cried harder at the words. He really didn't know how to tell him.
Suddenly, the sound of Pabu's clicking caused Iroh to move back slightly. The fire ferret, who Iroh thought he might have squished, was looking curiously at Bolin's stomach. Iroh was confounded by the behavior, but Bolin understood why. The very tiny baby squirmed inside him from the excitement.
The general reached over and scratched the top of Pabu's head.
"He must be hearing that stomach rumble, huh? How about we eat something, Bo?"
"No," Iroh gave him a nervous glance, "That wasn't my stomach."
The man tried to make the teen laugh, "What? Was it your imaginary baby?"
Bolin started to tear up again and Pabu pawed gently at his owner's belly.
Iroh swallowed, "Are you seriously…?"
He could only nod as Pabu clicked loudly, sensing the baby's movement once more.
The general stood quickly and he pulled Bolin tightly against him.
"I love you so much, Bolin."
Pabu sounded his own love from the floor next to them as Bolin placed a kiss on the man's lips.
They stayed like this for what felt like hours until there was a loud knock from the front door. Bolin started.
"Don't worry about it," Iroh whispered against the teen's scalp, "The butler will get it first."
Bolin took a few more deep breaths before stepping back, wiping his face with a handkerchief he had stolen a while ago from a pile of the general's cleaned garments. Iroh blushed at the cloth and tried to compose himself by looking down at Pabu who was now napping on the warmed seat Bolin had been in.
There was a small knock on the door and the butler announced, "Avatar Korra and Master Mako have come over for unscheduled social interaction, sir. What do you wish for me to do?"
Bolin chortled at the butler's word choice as Iroh answered.
"We'll meet them in the living room. Prepare some sandwiches, please."
The general fixed his lover's shirt from their embracing and kissed his nose. Then, he unexpectedly squatted down and placed the side of his face against Bolin's lower abdomen, gazing up at him with love. The teen seemed as though he was about to cry as he turned his head away to gather himself. And then Iroh felt what Pabu had been so excited about. It wasn't a kick or anything. The baby was only two months old, but there was a feeling of movement for a second and the general gasped.
"Wow," he murmured and placed a kiss on the stomach before returning to standing.
"We should get going," Bolin reminded him as Pabu woke and climbed up the teen's back to rest on his shoulder.
Iroh smiled, bashfully, "Sorry about that."
He grasped his lover's hand and they walked out to greet their guests. When they entered the living room, Korra was doing some funny impression and Mako was laughing at her. Bolin wanted to hug the both of them because of his emotional state, but resisted.
"Hey, bro," Mako waved.
Bolin grinned and sat next to him.
"What brings you two here?" Iroh asked.
"Mako was worried about Bolin," Korra teased.
Said teen ran a hand through his hair and plainly lied, "We happened to be in the neighborhood."
"Aww," the earth-bender pouted, "I'm sorry for getting you on edge, bro. My try-out with Lin lasted longer than I thought and I was so tired after." Not really a lie.
"Iroh told us about that," Korra said, "Did you do well?"
Bolin took the moment to flaunt his success, "Oh, I'm totally on the force…well, eventually."
Mako clapped a hand on his brother's shoulder, "That's my bro – kicking butts. Looks like I'm going to have to find a replacement for the Fire Ferrets when the stadium opens back up."
"What do you mean eventually?" Korra asked, changing the subject.
Bolin looked over to the general with an 'oh crap' face.
"You should just tell them, now," he suggested.
The hand on Bolin's shoulder tightened, "What is it, Bo?"
He couldn't take another five agonizing minutes trying to tell them, so he blurted it out.
Mako's face turned white in shock. Korra, on the other hand, burst out laughing.
"You're kidding, right?" she heaved with laughter, "How does that even happen, dude?"
"I'm not kidding," Bolin explained, weakly.
Korra silenced, but then let out a giggle, "That's so great then! It's his, right?"
"Umm, yeah," he faltered at her reaction.
"Congrats!" she beamed at Iroh.
"Thank you," the general blushed.
Mako was still quiet as he processed the situation.
"Mako?" Korra asked.
"What the hell, man?" he grounded out, looking toward Iroh.
Bolin pressed a hand to his brother's chest, "Calm down, bro."
"I'm not going to calm down. He took your virginity and he knocked you up without even asking for my permission," he looked over to the man, "Are you even planning on marrying him?"
"Of course, I'm marrying him; I love him," Iroh said matter-of-factly.
Mako didn't seem satisfied as he tried to get up. Bolin held him back.
"Come on, Mako. Remember you said you wouldn't act this way?"
"I didn't plan on you getting pregnant," he said with anger.
Bolin drew a blank at what to say, "Perkier."
"What?" Mako furrowed his brow.
"His is perkier than hers."
"What? Bolin this isn't the time for-"
"Wins every argument, dude."
Mako sat back down, "But-"
"Every argument, dude."
He had relaxed from Bolin's strange way of quarreling with him.
"What are you talking about?" Korra interjected, bewildered.
Mako gawked at her, "…somehow, butts."