A/N: The last day, I had fun writing all these, I hope you enjoyed reading them!
"Nah, I don't think so," Bolin explained. Iroh frowned slightly at the younger man's answer, why was he thinking like that.
"You can't possibly mean that, a handsome guy like yourself is sure to find love someday," Iroh assured. He smirked as he noticed the light blush on Bolin's face. But it quickly disappeared as he looked down sadly.
"Thank, but it's just that none of my relationships have ever ended well, and especially after Korra, I don't think love's my thing," Bolin answered. The crestfallen look on the Earthbender's face broke his heart. All the young boy wanted was someone to love and to be loved back just as much. Iroh was at a loss for words, so the two just sat in silence.
"Oh well, it was nice seeing you again, I've got to go, pro-bending doesn't practice itself," Bolin said, miraculously pulling out a smile.
"Yes, it was nice seeing you too. Good luck, by the way," Iroh's mind was still foggy. Bolin waved goodbye and left him alone on the dock. Blinking a few times, he turned back to the water, how had he been able just smile it off like nothing and move on. Bolin was a strong soul and deserved much more than all this pain and suffering.
Iroh sighed and stood up; grabbing his boots he walked down the dock. He felt determined, he wanted to help Bolin heal, and help him feel loved and wanted. And Iroh wouldn't stop until he did.
A year later Iroh had come and gone from Republic City, now his fleet was on a four months shore leave here, after repeated Equalist offenders attacked parts of the city. Bolin and he had become considerably closer, each time he visited his goal was to at least do something with the Earthbender, once he'd even taken him out for dinner.
The man remained true to his word, seemingly avoiding love at all cost, not even a date. Iroh felt almost a little privileged by that fact, that Bolin trusted him enough do push his comfort zone.
Now, he was in his temporary room on Air Temple Island working on some papers. Iroh rotated his head, stretching out his neck, sitting at a desk for hours on end sure left a man stiff. Signing the end of his current document, he decided to head out for small walk around the island.
"Hey Iroh," the young Avatar called as he stepped out of the building.
"Hello Korra, I don't suppose you've seen Bolin around," the general asked politely. Korra smirked a little before shaking her head.
"Nope, I haven't seen him all day, suppose he's training or working with Mako," Korra answered. Iroh thanked her, than continued walking.
One of his favorite places in Republic City had to be Air Temple Island; he'd always been fascinated with the Airbending culture. He'd always enjoyed when Grandfather Aang told him stories about the Airbenders, and Sky Bison.
When he was five, he had actually gotten to ride a Sky Bison. It was an amazing feeling being up in the air like that. That had been a moment he would never forget.
The sound of the ferry's horn jolted him from his reverie. Iroh turned his attention to the person dashing off the ramp and down the dock. "Bolin," he heard a voice call as a second figure ran off the ferry. Stepping into the shadows, he watched as Bolin ran into the Temple dorms, tears streaming down his face.
"Bolin, please, I'm sorry, you know I didn't mean it," Mako shouted, chasing after him. Suddenly everything was eerily silent, making him feel slightly uncomfortable. After a few minutes, Iroh slowly walked back inside. He found the hallway around Bolin's room desolate, hadn't Mako followed him.
The general knocked on the door and waited for a response. "I already told you, Mako, I don't wanna talk to you," was Bolin's muffled answer.
"Actually, it's me," Iroh said gently. He listened through the wooden door, feet patted across the floor and the door unlocked. Bolin appeared his eyes and nose a bright red and his hair was a matted mess.
"Hey Iroh," Bolin murmured.
"May I come in," he asked. The younger man sniffed and stepped back, letting Iroh through. He sat on the edge of the bed with Bolin, watching the Earthbender with sad eyes.
"So, you wanna tell me what happened," Iroh asked. Bolin sniffed and wiped the tears from his eyes, he looked so young and broken.
"It was just a fight, really, but Mako got a little carried away and it hurt," Bolin explained, his voice cracking. The tears spilled more freely, even after his failed attempts to stop them.
"If you don't wanna go any further, you don't have to," Iroh assured. Bolin shook his head numbly, now he was sobbing again. Iroh pulled the young Earthbender close to him, rubbing his back soothingly.
"Will you stay," Bolin managed to say.
"Of course, I'll always stay."
Two weeks later Bolin was back to his old self smiling and laughing. Though Iroh could still see traces of hurt, he supported him anyways; he preferred to see Bolin like this.
Tonight, he took Bolin out for some dinner, which ended up just being desert, since neither of them was in the mood for actually eating some food. They hopped off the ferry walking down the dock, laughing and talking merrily.
They paused at the end of the dock not wanting to head back inside yet, and Iroh took this as his chance. He leaned in and captured Bolin's ice cream covered lips in a chaste kiss. He pulled away to see Bolin staring at him wide eyed. "I-I need to go," The Earthbender ran off, leaving Iroh alone on the dock wondering what he'd done wrong.
He warily followed Bolin, afraid that he'd caused him more pain, but as he came across him in an opening in the trees, he saw that Bolin wasn't crying. He was just slumped over a rock, a morose look on his face. Iroh knelt down next to him. "I'm sorry if I hurt you," he apologized.
Bolin sighed, seeming afraid to answer, but then said: "It's not that. You remember that conversation a few years ago," Iroh nodded, "Well it's that, I don't trust in myself with love, and you deserve so much more than me."
"Don't doubt in yourself Bolin, you've been in pain before, so let me help you heal. And honestly it's more like you deserve more than me. So, if you're willing we can work through this," Iroh said gently.
Bolin gave him a smile. "I would love to."
"How about a retry at that kiss?" The Earthbender wrapped his arms around Iroh's neck and pulled him in for a kiss. This was just the first step in the healing process, but he had no doubt that together, they could survive anything.
A/N: I'm FINALLY DONE! I apologize for taking so long to post these, life just has a knack for getting in the way. I hope you enjoyed all my fics, Please R&R! It means a ton!