It was past nine in the evening and Bolin was alone in his bedroom. He had decided to read his favorite book again, but he had just reached the fifth page when there was a knock on the door.
It was Iroh. "I want to talk." If the General's guess was correct, he needed to put an end to this immediately.
"Sure, what is it?" Bolin said, looking back at the book.
"Well, I just thought… Maybe… Is there something you want to tell me?" Iroh felt so awkward he started regretting having even asked.
Bolin looked at him, pondering, rubbing his chin. "Don't think so. Why?"
"Er… nothing. It's nothing."
"Oh, come on, you can tell me. Is there something worrying you? Is it something I did?" The earthbender was now sitting up, looking straight into the other man's eyes. With no response from Iroh, who now avoided his gaze, Bolin reached for the General's hand, holding it firmly, and pulling him to his bed. There it was again, the touching. Iroh finally sat on the bed, still looking tense. He had gone so far, it was better to get it over with.
"Bolin, do you… uh…" He paused for a moment, still avoiding the younger man's eyes. "Do you like me?"
"Of course I do!" He answered without a moment's thought. "You're awesome!"
"No… I mean… in that way."
The boy looked puzzled at first, frowning his forehead at the firebender. "Oh, you mean, like… Well, I think you're pretty hot", stated him simply, smiling. How could he be so calm saying such a thing?
"I should go", Iroh said, already getting up, and soon stopping when he felt Bolin's gentle hand on his arm. Bolin noticed the General tensing up from his touch. "Wait."
Iroh met the green puppy eyes, feeling himself blush. What? No. Why was he blushing?
"Why did you ask that, Roh? Do you like me?"
"What? I…" But Iroh didn't have time to think of a coherent sentence, because suddenly Bolin was leaning over him, closing his eyes. It all happened too fast, nothing made sense. Bolin's lips were on his and he liked it. Oh crap, he really liked it and he wanted more.
Iroh put a hand on Bolin's shoulder pushing him gently, deepening the kiss. He ran his free hand over Bolin's chest, making its way up to his neck, touching the younger man's soft hair. He couldn't think of anything but Bolin, his lips, his tongue, his everything.
And then it was over. When the two of them broke apart, a wave of shock went through the General's body, who quickly backed away from the earthbender.
"Wow", Bolin said, eyes widening.
Iroh was too embarrassed to say anything. He couldn't even look at Bolin right now. So, without a word, he rushed out of the room, his thoughts all over the place.
The next morning everyone was gathered to say goodbye to General Iroh. He had to go back to work, and what a perfect timing! He was glad he wouldn't have to spend his days avoiding Bolin, running into him in the temple... It was too awkward.
"We're gonna miss yoooouuu", said Ikki, clinging onto him.
"I'm gonna miss you guys too".
The kids had gotten really attached to him over the past week. Meelo was running around him in circles, swirling the air frantically. Tenzin picked him up, scolding him for disturbing the General. Iroh laughed and looked down, where Jinora was pulling his sleeve, her face red. Iroh kneeled down, and Jinora quickly placed a kiss on his cheek before running away.
He had been careful not to meet Bolin's eyes, who had been behind his friends until now. But when Iroh looked again, the boy was coming up to him, a determined look on his face.
"About last night..." But Iroh looked the other way, pretending he wasn't listening.
"Take care, Avatar Korra."
"Listen, we need to talk about this", Bolin insisted. No response.
"Iroh!" Bolin yelled, grabbing the General by his wrist, pulling him away from the others. They were so busy watching Meelo's new airbending trick that they barely noticed.
"There's nothing to talk about", Iroh said bluntly, trying to get back to the others.
"No, it was nothing."
"Well, I liked it, Roh" Bolin said, rubbing his hand on Iroh's arm tenderly. The General pulled away, avoiding the earthbender's gaze.
"I gotta go."
And soon the General was setting sail and Bolin was left behind, not knowing what to think.
A/N: Thank you so much for reading the fic! This chapter was fun to write, but I think I'm enjoying the next one even better. I'm really happy with the support from you guys on tumblr. Please let me know what you think by leaving a review. Any criticism or tip is highly appreciated!