Broh Week 2012
comfort: [kuhm-fert] to soothe, console, or reassure; to bring cheer to
"Do you think things would have been different?" Iroh inclines his head. "If I was there …. back then?"
Bolin's brow furrows, though he tries to understand what it is the general could be referring to; a bit belatedly, he assumes it's the revolution.
"What do you mean?" Bolin shuffles closer to the general; he shivers, though the night air is crisp, not particularily cold. "You were there; right when we met you, you helped save the fleet, and afterwards-"
"No." Iroh shakes his head, meets Bolin's wide eyes with his own. "I mean, in your childhood. When your parents…."
"Oh." Bolin's gaze drops as he understands. "I- I don't know. Mako took good care of me."
A small, selfish part of Iroh is hurt- though he doesn't dare let it show on his features. "Oh."
Bolin detects the undercurrents of disappointment in the general's voice. "What? What is it? Did I say something?"
Iroh smiles, to soothe the lines of worry creasing the earthbender's forehead. "No. I just wish I could have been of help, back then." His hand finds Bolin's; pale fingers ghost over the surprisingly soft skin of his palm, then the calloused pads of fingertips. "The way I help now."
Despite himself, despite the note of sobriety in the conversation, despite how badly he doesn't want to; Bolin blushes. He always does when Iroh touches him, when those golden eyes are so inflamed and serious, especially when he's talking about him.
"I.. I don't know if you could have helped like this, though." Heat continues to creep up the earthbender's neck. "I wasn't sure about how I felt, how I was, until… well, until you."
Iroh's eyes soften at the endearing blush, at his lover's words. "I would have tried to help you- comfort you- in any way I can."
"Really?" Bolin raises an eyebrow. "How?"
"I would have given you dumplings." The general leans in, whispering in the earthbender's ear. "And flowers."
Bolin chuckles, the sound tinged with nervousness at Iroh's proximity, at his hot breath inflaming his neck. "Mako would say that financial help would've been more useful."
At that, Iroh chuckles too; Bolin can feel it rumbling in his throat. "That too."
Bolin pulls away for a moment, to look into Iroh's eyes; prays he can see the overwhelming gratitide he feels, one that he can't put into words. "Thank you."
Iroh leans in, chooses to smile against Bolin's lips. "No," he mumbles. "Thank you."
Bolin's eyelids flutter before closing; despite what Iroh says, he thinks, this is the best kind of comfort.