Chapter 3

Bolin was annoyed.

Immediately after the events of the previous night, Bolin had been assigned a new partner. He knew Iroh was behind it. He had quickly found an excuse to ditch his post to find Iroh and give him a piece of his mind. When he arrived at the camp, though, he saw Lin Beifong, reinstated as chief of police, walking Iroh to a police van. Iroh appeared to be handcuffed. Bolin ran up to the car.

"What are you doing?" He grabbed Lin by her arm in an effort to stop her. Lin, however, was unshakable. She was still holding onto Iroh with her other hand. Iroh stopped walking as she stopped, but kept his gaze in front of him, purposely ignoring Bolin.

"General Iroh is to be detained until proper authorities arrive to judge his case."

"What case? What has he done?"

"You should know better than anyone. Actually, we're going to need you to come in as a witness. Are you free now?"

Bolin shot an unsure glance at Iroh, but as the man still refused to look at him, he simply gave Lin a weak nod and said: "Yes."

Lin detached herself from Bolin's grip and pushed Iroh to the back of the van. Iroh took a seat and stared in front of him. His dejected expression wounded Bolin to the core, as he had a feeling he was the cause of it. Lin closed the doors and got in the driver's seat. Bolin took a seat next to her.

As Lin started driving, Bolin turned to face her.

"So what exactly did he do?"

Lin drove on, her eyes on the road. "Your brother came to the camp last night. He put on a big show about how Iroh took advantage of his little brother. The whole camp heard, and someone reported it to their seniors. The matter is to be handled quietly, and that's why it's just me and not my whole force who's taking him in."

"It's hardly a secret if everybody sees him coming out of a cop car." Bolin pouted. The whole ordeal was ridiculous to him. And Mako. Why did he have to go and freak out like that?

"There are other entrances than the front door, you know."

Once in the parking lot under the police station, Lin resumed his grip on Iroh and they started walking towards the holding cells. Lin uncuffed Iroh. Just when Lin had opened the cell and was urging Iroh to go in, Bolin brought his hands to the general's cheeks, forcing the older man to look at him. "I'm sorry."

Iroh used his hands to push Bolin away. "It's not your fault. I'm here because of my own actions." He was about to walk inside the cell when Bolin suddenly grabbed him in a furious embrace.

Lin saw Iroh's surprised expression melt into a tender one. To the delight of the boy embracing him, Iroh clumsily nuzzled the boy's neck. Then he realized Lin was staring at him, and his face grew serious and cold. He pushed Bolin away again, this time more abruptly, and stepped inside the cell.

For one beautiful moment, Bolin had had the general in his arms, but he realized that he had probably imagined Iroh hugging him back. The man probably hated him now, considering that his career was about to come to an end because of him.

Lin cleared her throat. "Come along now", she said to Bolin while urging him to the stairs. Bolin shot one last look at Iroh, but the general had his back turned to him.

Bolin soon found himself in a questioning room. Lin told him that he would be questioned as soon as the Fire Nation army's representatives would arrive. That meant hours of waiting.

In the evening, the door finally opened and a man who distinctly looked like he was from the Fire Nation walked in. "Bolin? The case concerning.."

"General Iroh, yes." The man nodded, flashing him a content smile and sat in front of him.

"As you are a minor, we're going to need your parents or your guardian to come in with you. Is such a person available at this hour?"

"My parents are dead. I guess Mako, my brother, is my guardian."

"Quite right. I'll have him fetched to us." The man stepped out. An hour or so passed before Mako walked through the door and took a seat next to Bolin. He tried to greet Bolin, but the Eartbender turned away from him. Before Mako could ask Bolin if he was mad at him, the Fire Nation Rep returned and resumed his seat in front of them.

"You are Mako, Bolin's guardian?"


"Do we have your permission to question Bolin?"

"On what matter?" Mako was afraid Bolin had gotten himself into trouble again.

"He is our primary witness in the case concerning general Iroh and his alleged affair with a minor, specifically your brother."

Mako gaped at the man in front of him. He then glanced at Bolin, who was visibly pouting.

"Yes, you have my permission."

"Wonderful. Sign here." Mako scribbled his name on the paper he was offered and stood up. He rested his hand on Bolin's shoulder. "I'll wait for you outside, Bo."

Bolin didn't answer. Mako left the room.

"Now that that's settled, let me present myself to you. My name is Ozai."

Bolin stared at him eyes wide open. Ozai laughed. "Don't worry, there is no relation to that Ozai."

Bolin relaxed. Ozai opened his folder and took out a few papers. "Now, let me start the questioning. How did you meet general Iroh?"

"We were both helping Korra, I mean Avatar Korra when Amon attacked. Iroh, Asami, Naaga and me teamed up on a mission assigned to us by Avatar Korra."

"At the end of that mission, what was your relationship with Iroh like?"

"Comrades. Friends? Maybe."

"So you weren't intimate then?"

Bolin blushed. "No."

"Have you been intimate with him since then?" Ozai paused when he saw that Bolin's face was crooked from thinking.

"What do you mean by intimate?"

"Has he touched you in a way that made you uncomfortable?"

"N-no." Bolin became bright red. He wasn't sure if it was because he was embarrassed by the nature of the questions or because he was angry as the questions were obviously engineered to turn their relationship into something it was not. His best bet was to deny everything. "He has never touched me in any way."

"Your brother seems to think otherwise."

"I think I know my own body better than he does."

Ozai nodded. "You may go now."

Bolin sighed out of relief. "That was all?"

"That was all. Oh, would you be a dear and have your brother come in as well? He is our next witness."