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Afire Love

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With morning beams shining upon all the presidential suite, Senna woke up in the middle of the double bed, shortly putting a grin smile on her face due to the festival. She energetically got up walking to the right side of the room to bathroom first to wash her face, then dressing room beside the bathroom to change clothes.

The door was knocked as her picking up the files on the desk in workroom inside of the sitting room. It was the room service, bringing the usual Republic City breakfast. He put all dishes on the coffee table between two opposite sofas, then asked if she needed anything. 

Sending him away she had a meal and left to meet Sir Varrick. 

Varrick personally opened the Sato Mobile's door just stopping in front of his company, excitedly greeted her with a wide smile. Since this meeting had a vital role to revive his company and make a fresh start, he had to convince the princess to his intentions.

"Look who's here. My favorite queen's favorite daughter." She cynically smiled this fawning manner answer back with the same tone of voice. 

"And here is my favorite fan: Sir Varrick." He spuriously laughed tightly wrapping up her shoulder. 

"Just call me Varrick. We'll be a business partner soon." She first made a frigid look on his hand then him. Receiving the message, he loosened his hands.

"No unnecessary physical interactions Sir Varrick." He obediently nodded, put a wide smile on his face to soften the area. 

They sat around the meeting table. Varrick finally stated his intentions of expanding the cooperation with Fire Nation but Senna declined him due to their inveterate collaborations with other companies. Varrick attempted to persuade her a few times with different ways, but in each Senna kindly rejected. Silence fell over the room but shortly Senna addressed him sitting opposite of her with a frowning face.

"Still I have an offer for you, Sir Varrick." His face speedily changed, filled up with joy. He suddenly stood up full of beans that startled Senna. 

"Yess! That's it! I'm listening." He joyfully clapped his hands. Senna waited till he sat down again that regulating her voice she continued. 

"I heard so many things about your intelligence in Kuvira's attack about counteracting the mega-suits with electromagnetic pulse and depending on my well impression and conversation with the Fire Lord, for the building new technological army, I think we'll need some geniuses, like you." The answer immediately came almost not letting her finish. 

"I'm damn in Princess!"

With Senna's useless struggles to calm him down, they gradually organized all future meetings and the time he would come to the Fire Nation due to his excitement which sometimes Senna couldn't help herself laughing, that she tried her best to keep them hidden. 

Finally finished, both stood up and shook hands, but Varrick suddenly hugged her due to his pure still alive joy. 

"Varrick." Her voice was calm but unpleasant. Varrick quickly pulled himself back flatting the wrinkles with a sweet smile. She called his name again but with a strict voice this time, Varrick easily comprehended he should stop. 

"Ah...yes no interactions." 

Coming back to the hotel, Senna directly walked to the dressing room. Her clothes and accessories were hung tidily for the festival. Since she didn't want to take attention and just spend the night without being known as an ordinary citizen, she chose everything as simple as possible with fewer accessories. 

After having a small bun made with a part of his hair, she gave the attendant a fire necklace. Before leaving the room, a guardian informed her that General Iroh couldn't come with her due to sudden occasions in military forces he had to deal with. She, not surprisingly, nodded her head expecting this. Now, what was she going to do all night alone? 

 Last night, after the dinner and as one of sleepless nights, Mako pondered his actions towards that woman, viewing all ceiling’s raggedness to feel drowsy. Evaluating the event again, he granted his friends right that he took his anger out of her. The anger at himself. He felt needed to apologize from her,  but how could he possibly find a stranger in Republic City? He inferred that maybe he shouldn't care about this woman at all. 

Mako flattened his tie than his hair in front of the mirror in one of the fashion stands in the festival area. He wasn't fond of wearing these upscale suits but Asami specifically insisted emphasizing today was a special day. After one last check, he commenced checking out everything again and again since the morning to ensure that everything was under the order.

As the earliest, Wu arrived and started practicing again. Mako wanted this to end quickly due to being fed up hearing the same songs hundreds of times. 

Shortly after him, the crew came, and then everyone. 

After arrival, Senna realized she never saw that many Republic City citizens in one place. Since having no meal after breakfast, she was dying of hunger. She, first, had decided to fulfill her need, began walking viewing all food stands one by one. She finally found a Fire Nation stand bought some fire noodles. 

Filling up her stomach, Senna kept wandering without any destination, ended in the main square inside of well-organized show about to begin. First, water benders set in their arranged positions, composed long water whips. In beginning, the dancers rotated a few tours with water, then continued with numerous dancing movements synchronizing the water with them both alone and together. The water was looking beyond reality under the lights of the spirit portal as if coming from there. 

As watched by everyone without breathing or closing eyes till the end, Dancers greeted people clapping them enthusiastically getting off in sequence. 

The President walked on the stage with five more people, that Senna’s eyes locked to the prickly officer she met yesterday. 

What was he doing with the President? 

She gently passed through the people with her hands help and stood on the front side listening to the President coughing to commence. 

"Welcome to the Spirit Portal Festival. Thank you all for joining us today." 

Zhu li stopped due to claps when Mako saw the stranger woman. He was conscious of that he unintentionally looked for that woman all around for  several times, as checking the area, yet already gave up his hopes and never thought he would find her right now. They made prolonged eye contact shortly after she broke but Mako unwillingly kept looking 

"First I want to thank King Wu for coming us with this idea and the all nations for their help. I know in the last few months hasn't been easy for the citizen of the Republic City. Most of you lost your homes and half of the city was severely damaged. We're  still trying to repair it but I believe with this occasion we'll see something inside of our hearts that we're all United and strong enough to get over this..." 

Their eyes met again but Senna turned back, move away from the crowd in his watch. Mako desperately wished to stop, but shortly he wasn’t able to view her. 

Now, He had to find her again.

"...At the end of my speech I, as the President of the Republic City, would like to ensure you that we'll do anything to make the Republic City a better place with a portal in the middle of it, but for now, I wish you to have a great night." 

After the speech, The President walked to the sight of the team Avatar and they all bowed with jubilant claps rebounding all around the area.

Getting off the stage, he separated from the crew telling him he had to talk to Beifong and began searching that woman around stands. 

Senna was just strolling around feeling lonely as usual, confessing herself that she'd been deeply longing for having someone a friend, except her family, around her. But she knew that in her position it was impossible. Also, she had already forgotten how to have someone or trust. 

Able to put herself out from pondering, Senna realized she didn't know the way either to the center or to the exit. She was lost. However, She kept walking hoping to find one of the Fire Nation stands again. With their help, she might find her way out and drink a cup of tea.

After long exertion, Senna slowly approached one of the stands but suddenly turned the voices of fireworks. She forgot ordering, adapted to fireworks with a childish smile. 

Mako was about to come back assuming she might have left, if he hadn't seen her watching fireworks standing still within everyone moving as of out of from this world. Lights hitting her face, black hair was partly tied up with braids on each side, a plain dark red dress with sleeves till her wrists completing with same-colored lipstick and a simple gold fire necklace. Her look was basic with no ornamentation but somehow, he thought, she achieved to be unique. 

Mako recalled his true intention. He drew up his stance and slowly walked to her, trying to find a impressive sentence to start talking. He stood right against her first looking up then her. 

"Beautiful isn't it?" With sudden voice opposite of her, Senna glanced at him, rolled her eyes.

"It is." She answered shortly, silently moved beside him to walk away, but Mako cut her way. 

"I...I mean Miss, I wanted to apologize for my yesterday's action." He barged into the main topic. 

"You didn't need to." She answered aloofly not making any contact with him. 

"No, it was out of line, Miss." She slightly smiled and looked up. 

"I didn't tell a thing to Beifong and I won't. You won't be losing your job, so you don't have to apologize." She might be a lonely person but as her aunt used to tell her she was a people person and could easily guess the reason for their actions and this one was totally obvious. She passed through him again but Mako held her wrist and slowly spun her. 

"It wasn't about that. I don't care whether you tell her or not. I was just angry at myself and took it out from you and that was...again out of line, Miss." But maybe he was...

"Senna." 

"What?" He automatically questioned. 

"Stop calling me Miss. My name is Senna."

"Uh...Okay." She looked at him with a questioning face that he understood he was supposed to tell his name but he couldn't pick up his words. 

"Mak-I means my name is Mako."  Senna slightly beamed due to his reaction. 

"Nice to meet you, Mako." She reached out her hand, he hesitantly shook it. 

"So is my apology accepted?" He shyly asked putting a hand on the backside of his neck. 

"If you help me find the square, It could be." She could use him. 

"Of course Mis- Senna." Mako moved forward as her moving back to the tea stand. 

"I'll buy a cup of tea. Would you like some too?" She asked him about to question her that where she was going. 

"Of course." He answered slightly smiling trying to figure her out as his natural tendency. 

After the payment, Senna first gave his tea with him thanking her, then took hers. They began walking slowly viewing stands with cups of tea in their hands. 

"I'm guessing you're here for visit?" Mako asked trying to open up a conversation with her. She nodded and answered formally after a sip. 

"Yes. I came for business and to visit my brother." Both were glancing at each other regularly but secretly. 

"From?" 

"Fire Nation… Have you ever been there?" 

"Unfortunately no." Mako softly placed his hand on her shoulder now directing her to pass the crowd of metal bender players. 

"Shame." Senna giggled nervously due to the hand on her body, touching fragilely yet enough to disturb her. However she didn't object for now, since she needed him. 

"Did you come to the Republic before now?" Mako kept asking about her, pulled his hand back. 

"Three or four years ago but I can say so much has changed here since then." Mako nodded with a smile as her eyes on him. 

"So do you like the city so far?" He was asking too many questions and she always hated "too many" but still she politely answered him. 

"I can't say yes because I came here yesterday morning  and barely got a chance to explore the city." 

"Shame." She rose a brow looking up and Mako’s smile widened. Wu was right, there was something different about her. Her stance, movements, all were all different. However, Mako logically linked because except for Lord Zuko and General Iroh he never met someone a woman from Fire Nation. 

"Maybe I could show you some places during your staying." He shyly asked not making any contact with her instead laying his eyes on the slight fumes coming out of the cup. He quickly quaffed the tea not knowing why he'd said that. He had a job six days in a week and no time even for himself but for a moment he wanted to see this woman more. 

Senna slightly blushed pondered what she should tell him. She found it a little absurd depending they officially just met and knew that she would probably have no time.

"If you tell me why you're angry at yourself, you could be." She answered to outwit him with something he would probably not share so that she could easily reject him.

"Some work matters," Mako muttered enough for her to hear even in this crowd. 

Liar.  

"Is it about your arm?" She asked and Mako felt ashamed of it again and towards her for the first time. He preferred staying silent that Senna didn't insist. They reached the stands of the Water Tribe citizens shortly came across with Bolin. 

"Mako! Where have you been bro? We have been looking for you everywhere." With his hugging Mako rolled his eyes.

"I'm here as you can see. I was looking for Beifong as I told you." Others walked to their side after Bolin's proclaiming. 

"Yet you're not with Beifong." Korra added chuckling. "Hi, I'm Avatar Korra." She reached forth. Now Senna  understood why they were on the stage. They were the team Avatar. 

"I'm Senna." Mako handed down the conversation putting his hand on Bolin's shoulder. 

"And these are Bolin, Asami, and Opal." He introduced the others. She respectfully bowed. 

"It's such an honor to meet you." Mako continued to correct all the wrong misconceptions his friends could deem. 

"We came across while I was trying to find Beifong. I apologized to her about my yesterday's behavior and since she is a foreigner I was helping her to find the square." Mako explained. Asami and Korra made a subtle look at each other as if talking with eyes. 

"Then, let's help together." Bolin said. 

Senna walked with them chatting to the square. 

"Thank you for your help." She said especially looking at Mako slightly smiling at her. 

"Don't mention it. Now, what are you going to do?" Korra asked feeling closure with her probably since she had her mother's name. 

"I don't know. I was supposed to come here with my brother but he just couldn't lift his head from work so I'm all alone." She ironically smiled lifting both hands till her breast with open palms. 

"Then why don't you join us?" Asami asked. 

"I don't want to be an inconvenience to you." She played with her fingers nervously. 

"Don't be ridiculous. Let's show you around." Opal softly voiced taking her hand and directed  her to the stage that others followed them behind. 

Together, they listened to Wu's performance. Senna automatically evaluated his voice as the crew begging it to end. It wasn't perfect but somehow giving fun for people which was the most important part. Shortly after, Wu joyfully came to their side. Before praising himself for being the best singer, Senna took his attention. 

"You're- It's so good to see you here, Senna." He softly took her hand and left a kiss. 

"It's so good to see you too, King Wu, and I'm glad that you still remember my name." She smiled at him. 

"You're not someone easy to forget." Wu beamed her back still holding her hand, Senna blushed nervously. Mako felt needed to meddle in this conversation. He stepped forward to split them. 

"Are you joining us?" Wu made an eye contact with him, blinked an eye. 

"Of course buddy." They went into the stands again chatting about Republic City, showing Senna around. 

A crowd around a man interested them. He was a sword fighter. They walked inside of the crowd till the front row to see him. Tall bulky, with brown hair and eyes, he was now swaying his swords. 

"...I'm the best sword fighter in this world. Even the legendary princess of the Fire Nation couldn't compete with me." He was declaring his words with huge confidence but most of it was a lie. Senna couldn't endure more to this nonsense. 

"Because you've never met her." She stepped forward shouting, made all eyes including the man look at her. 

"How do you know beautiful lady?" He insultingly asked slowly walking to her.

"I just do. You have to be careful while choosing your words against the Fire Nation, sir." Her voice was too calm enough to push the man's limits. 

"What if I don't?" Senna could easily see his anger he was hardly restraining.

"Then there will be consequences. Severe consequences." She emphasized the last two words with a cynical smile. 

The man disdainfully laughed and walked into the middle gap of the crowd started shouting. 

"I hate the Fire Nation! They were a bunch of dragons and the only thing they do was killing! They have no place between us bec-" He couldn't finish due to finding himself stuck on long wood made for knife shooting with a blade on his collar. Nobody expected that. They all looked around and saw Senna not knowing she was the princess. She slowly moved to the man now rising her voice just like him. 

"I guess you're not as good as you've been telling. If you were, you could have sensed the blade coming from your back." She lifted the other side of his collar and tucked in the wood with the blade she had been holding in her hand emphasizing her words to be clear. 

"How dare you insulting my nation…” She angrily exhaled little fire, the area instantly  buried into silence. For the last words, she leaned down to his ear whispered. 

"You should hope not to meet me again, sir, because next time this won't be the only thing you will get." With a rapid turn, she walked away from the crowd, and nobody dared to object. 

Reaching to the side of the crew she saw their surprised eyes on her.

"I'm sorry but nobody can insult and lie about my nation in front of everyone."  With a grin smile on his face, Mako glanced at her admitting from inside that he was impressed. Earlier she was a kind and shy woman but now a badass.

They decided to walk away from there that Wu couldn't stop proclaiming admiringly. 

"I thought you were a nonbender."

Senna humorously giggled looking at him. 

"Who said that?" Korra excitedly reached her side. 

"That was amazing! The wood was too far yet still you achieved to hit the man's collar!" 

Senna smiled. "I'm a sword fighter..." Wu suddenly handed down the conversation not letting her finish. 

"Do you know the princess? You talked like you were so close."

Senna couldn't answer first. Now, they all stopped waiting to hear her. 

"Uh...Yes. I know her because..."

I'm the princess. 

"...because I had a chance to meet her a few times."

With Wu's clapping hands enthusiastically, all looked at him with questioning face to explicate himself. 

"In the morning I found out that she wanted to meet me and have lunch few days later and I've tried to pick up all information I could but found nothing useful about her." He turned to Senna and held her with shoulders in worry. 

"Maybe you could tell me something especially about her personality so that I could be ready...Please." He slightly shook her body. 

Senna felt quite uncomfortable with his hands. She frigidly gazed at him.

"First of all, I don't like unnecessary physical interactions with people." Wu couldn't understand her and Senna, rolling eyes, pointed his hands with her brows. He rapidly pulled his hands back due to what he witnessed a few minutes ago. She straightened herself. 

"Secondly, about her, she is...a great fire bender you can read so many legends about her, little grumpy...weird but well-meaning and intelligent person. She likes outwitting people so you really should be prepared or just let her control you." Wu's face suddenly twisted into a sad mode that Senna hardly suppressed herself from laughing. 

"This is not good." Bolin added worriedly and Senna curiously questioned the reason. 

"The president told us to treat her gently and if it's necessary, try to convince her for the funds for Republic City." Senna answered intimately smiling. 

"Good luck then." 

Senna spent the rest of the night with the crew. They told her more about Republic and she did the same about Fire Nation. 

Everyone felt intimate with each other and glad to have met. 

At the end of the night walking to the exit, Senna thanked all of them for their hospitality and made her farewell. 

In her vehicle, now looking outside to  the moon she noticed that, except for her family, tonight, she forgot her loneliness even for a short duration.