Senna reached the United Forces' main ship due to an arranged breakfast by his brother.
Waiting for his sister in the entrance, Iroh walked to her giving a lovely hug, leading her to the set-up table in the prow.
Both settled beside each other. The prow was contrasted to the continent, enabled them to watch the daily marine motions of the city.
Knowing his fault, Iroh began a conversation by apologizing to her for not having accompanied her to the festival and she wasn’t surprised by this well-studied apology. She deliberately made him wait till swallowing her bite as if she hadn't heard him.
"It's okay. I already got used to it." She cynically smiled turning him."Jerk." She took one of the lychees as Iroh rising his brows with widened amber eyes. However, just like how she just did, he continued his breakfast responded more beatifically cynical tone.
"Jerk hah? I'll show you jerk in practice today." Senna bemoaned with a sullen face, refused him due to her meetings even if she usually loved to be challenged especially by him.
"I don't care about your meetings. You're the only sword fighter I have right now and I can't miss it." Iroh recklessly stated making Senna object.
"But you don't like losing," Iroh smirked, realized he missed his sister's self-confident demeanors that he coolly answered.
"Who said I'm going to lose?"
Even if Senna kept refusing, still she chose a sword and began practicing which Iroh won once and her twice.
"I told you you must be out of o practice." Senna humorously made fun with him slowly walking away from the area.
Quickly putting his sword to its place, he kept up to her wrapping her shoulders with a hand as other now spoiling her hair.
"Should I remind you that I beat you once?"
Senna pulled herself away annoyed, couldn't help pouting at him since her hair was in mess, but didn't grouse, noticing she even missed him messing around with her. She stopped opposite of him with changing mood, softly held his hands now looking up at him compassionately with a smile.
"We couldn't talk about it but you should visit home more. Everybody misses you...I miss you." Iroh was generally used to seeing his sister joking back that first he couldn’t figure out her thoughts. Then, However, exhaled a breath with the same feeling as hers, tightened her hands graciously, made a contact with her eyes.
"You know how my job is, Senna... Nevertheless, I'm still trying my best."
Senna tightly hugged him instead of an answer. Even if living far away from each other for years and age difference, she had a powerful connection with him and with all family members. She recalled how grateful she was since without them she had no idea what to do.
Having departed and made a glance to him, she found his attention on somebody else. She turned to his focus and laid eyes on Mako. Together, they walked to him.
After receiving his new repetitive order of being a guardian to a royal member, Mako arrived on the United Forces' ship almost an hour ago with his usual suit. He came across with General's secretary and asked where the princess was. With her leading, he reached the prow, watched their sword fighting against each other.
The fight was like watching a movie, quite realistic. If he didn't know them, he could easily assume they were fighting to kill each other. He admired both of their movements, but the princess...General Iroh was fighting just like how a soldier should fight with just thinking to win, yet the princess was different. She knew her opponent too well and as well as his movements. She wasn't trying to defeat him, at least in the beginning, but just savoring. With this successful enfeebling strategy, then wisely laying on him with all her strength and tactics, the General was defeated by her permanently twice. Mako automatically reacted when she fell with a wry face or stroke back with joy, and put a slight smile on his face each time she won, not thinking she would be so good even if he knew her acquaintance with blades from the festival.
After 3 matches and respectful bows to each other, they hugged and joked as if they weren't fighting seconds ago, started chatting with laughing. Realizing he was seen by the General he picked up his stance and respectfully bowed when they reached his side.
"General Iroh, Princess."
"You..." Senna didn't expect him here at least not that fast.
"Did you two meet?" Iroh curiously asked looking at Mako and her.
"Yes. I spent the night with the team Avatar in the festival when you chose your work over me." She patted his shoulder, approved him with teasing. Still, Iroh put a happy face.
"Then you should be thankful to me, my little sister." He tweaked from her cheek in her gaze turned Mako asking the reason of his presence here.
"Chief Beifong sent me as her guardian till her coming back to the Fire Nation, General." Mako formally answered.
"I thought you made a deal with her?" Iroh, turning his sister again, asked wondered.
"Yes but last night I was kind of attacked so It was broken down." She unpleasantly made a short explanation. Iroh worriedly and held her arms.
"Why didn't you tell me, Senna!? How are you? What happened? Who were the guys!?" The anger in his voice was obvious that to appease him she made a contact with his eyes.
"Well, nothing particular happened and I couldn't find out who was behind this but depending on my deal she had the right to send a guardian, I can't blame her."
Iroh slightly chuckled with discernible anger from the fire in his eyes. However, it withered shortly and he humorously wished luck to the detective and found Senna rolling her eyes at him.
"Thanks to you, I have to go back to the hotel and have a shower." She grouched, seemed angry but suddenly softened and kissed him on the cheek. She passed Mako without looking and got into the Sato Mobile.
With deep annoying silence all over the car, it stopped at the entrance of the hotel.
Mako didn't let her get out with holding her wrist. He picked up his words, wanted to make an explanation.
"I know what you must be thinking but-" Senna tore her wrist away from him. She, now, knew his rank thanks to her brother and as well as how to call him.
"It's okay, detective. Actually, I was expecting this but I didn't think it would be the first thing you did in the morning."
Her voice seemed calm but indeed contained ambiguous anger, not looking at his eyes. She got out of the car climbed the stairs. Mako couldn’t figure her feelings but didn’t want her possible anger due to an erroneous misconception. Therefore, with a lighting speed, he followed her.
"No Senna-" He tried to stop her again but with her rapid turning to him, he was startled. Senna split his words with noticeable anger glimmering from her eyes, yet she didn’t raise her voice.
"Your Highness, detective. That's how you should call me." Mako coughed to regulate his voice.
"Your Highness, I didn't tell the Chief just like you asked." She rose a brow.
"You can't expect me to believe you since I'm so sure there were just two of us and...Ah! You promised me nothing." She cuttingly grinned at him in the last sentence, turning back to climb the stairs yet Mako grabbed her wrist again, rotating her; Senna harshly tore it away moved a few step closer raising her forefinger to him with a frigid face.
"Let's make things straight if you're planning to be by my side till the end of my journey. First, you will protect your distance and stay quiet all the time. I won't feel your breath around my neck. Second no physical interactions or casual conversations." She paused to give him time to comprehend, laying eyes on him enough to increase his tension.
"Am I understood?"
"Yes, Your Highness." He obediently bowed with a pouting face giving up on putting an effort to explain himself.
Senna felt glad that he would be out of his sight, having seen the understatement. She climbed the stairs, and shortly after Mako followed her. Till her hotel room, they didn't talk.
Unlocking the door, Senna saw him trying to go inside with her.
How presumptuous of him!
Before going in, she stood right in the middle of the door to close his passing with a risen brow looking up at him.
"What do you think you're doing, detective?" She asked cuttingly and he just pointed forward.
"What did I just tell you? I don't want to feel your breath on my neck." She continued with the same tone. She was furious about having someone around her. Especially a guardian. With their presence, she always felt weak, in need of protection, and she hated that, also of course, she didn’t forget he’d told everything to Beifong regardless of the princess of the Fire Nation request, finding disrespectful. Therefore, that was the reason why she was acting irritable.
"But Your Highness your safety-" Mako attempted to answer but not let by her.
"I'll have a shower and I don't think you should be inside of my room at that time." Mako couldn't object first, thinking she had a point. Then scratching his hair he finally did.
"But Your Highness what if...I don't know somebody tries to attack?"
"In my bathroom?" She rose a brow with a cynical smile on her face that Mako realized the absurdity of his statement.
"I'm hoping they have some respect for my privacy but even if they should, you're not the person I call. I deal with them by myself."
Rapidly turning back to him, Senna loudly closed the door behind her that Mako couldn't even make a move or say a thing.
He loudly exhaled a breath with a small flame and leaned back beside the door, with arms crossed, brooding. Since yesterday night, she had been acting exactly like a grumpy spoiled princess just like general stories recounted. However, he knew she wasn't a person like that from the festival, at least he hoped. Moreover, she was furious at him, he considered all possible reasons but dubiously thought it couldn't be just because she believed he'd told the attack to Beifong which he rolled his eyes with a small fire breath again after recalling. How could he tell her the truth when he was being silenced by her every time he tried to explicate himself?
Mako waited for her to come out and when she did he bowed. However, ignoring him, Senna walked to the elevator.
"Where are we going?" Mako asked bashfully catching her up.
"The Fire Nation District." She answered formally, Mako couldn’t ask more since having no idea how to act, react, say, or any of her reactions. For a second he thought about the times being Wu’s guardian which was much easier than now since he didn’t have to think what to say or talk since Wu was the one doing these parts. All he had to do was just standing his side.
They arrived at their destination and that was the second time Mako'd come to this district. First for the dinner yesterday evening and now for princess's meetings. Since the restaurant was at the end of the district, closer to the city, he couldn't have a chance to review the district, as now they were in the middle of it and he had plenty of time to look around.
This place was like another world inside of the Republic City. The buildings, structures, roads...everything was different, magnificent and probably traditional. He always heard rumors that everything was too luxurious and expensive in here. Now, he was sure that they were all true. He couldn't help himself mesmerized and the words automatically dropped out from his mouth with glimmering eyes.
"This place is beautiful like another world. It’s so sad that I've never been here before.” He approached her hoping to open a conversation. Whereas, she didn't answer him, just walked to the miniature palace in the middle of the area. He hid his displeasure thinking at least he deserved an answer yet followed her, still viewing around.
A man standing in front of the palace entrance bowed respectfully with princess's seen.
"Princess Senna, welcome to the Republic City. It's an honor to host you here." She intimately smiled at him.
"Thank you, Manager Mohan. How are you? I hope everything is good." She sincerely put her hand to his shoulder smiling. He looked up with gratefulness in his eyes and answered.
"Thanks to you, we're living the best life we could ever dream of, princess. If you weren't there in that day-" Senna didn't let him finish with the same expression on her face since not liking these trite conversations of thankfulness but she felt pleased to see him well.
"Don't mention it, Manager. Let's go inside and discuss some business." The manager nodded and showed her the way.
"Thankfully this part of the city stayed the same. I was worried after having heard Kuvira's attack." Senna felt needed to state her concerns, which was one of her usual tactics in these kinds of meeting. Creating a casual area so that the opponent and she felt relieved, then they could easily lay down the main matters on the table.
"It was disastrous surely but since this district is at the end of the east part of the city almost nothing affected here." He explicated.
She nodded to show her understanding and they walked to the parlor room which Mako attempted to went in with her again. Having realized his accorded steps with hers, she lunged to the door right opposite of him preventing his entry with a hand leaning down to the other side of the door.
"First my room, now here?" She asked fuming at him.
"I have to ensure your security, Your Highness. I should be with you inside." Senna walked a few steps, as he walked back in accord. However, he hit one of the seat and automatically sat down with jumping grabbing the sides of the chair. At the same time, she approached him. She held the corner of the seatback leaning down, coldly looked right in the middle of his eyes, and Mako easily found hers, blushing with slightly open mouth. His eyes met hers, he saw the small fire inside of it as if burning that he felt his heartbeats increasing in a rapid rate that he couldn’t comprehend if it was due to fear or warmth.
"Remember the rules, detective." She hissed not caring the closure.
"But-" She rose her voice making him jump again.
"And if you don't like it you can as well as leave!” She pulled herself away.
“Now. Stay. Back." She calmly stated looking at him from shoulder and went inside.
Mako exhaled breath grumpily waited for her thinking how she could easily achieve to be a troublesome woman.
The rest of the day passed just like that. He, several times, attempted to open up a conversation and asked questions but she just gave short answers, indeed generally nothing, and each time he attempted to be by her side, he came across her gazing at him with fiery eyes.
Now they were sitting opposite sides in the car heading to the hotel. Mako looked at her contemplatively, impressed with how she could be able to show no emotion, and without even trying she was releasing fear but also admiration around her.
Senna had enough experience to realize if someone's eyes on her and having noticed Mako's eyes wasn't hard but she did nothing and let him. Since now she had other things to worry about. She was dying in anger inside of her. However, as usual, she knew with a straight face and body, she achieved to show nothing around. She felt as if, now, the time was deliberately flowing too slowly so that she couldn't reach the hotel. The last meeting was about Red Lotus which was fairly enough to devastate, enrage her. For her, it wasn't just a type of fanciful organization or what they called themself "A Secret Society". She had a personal matter with the new leader and today she found out their surreptitious actions to gather weapons probably to attack somewhere in Fire Nation as usual for almost three years.
Senna sensed her inner dragon's fire, moving and squeezing in her veins. She calmly closed her eyes knowing she needed some time alone with herself right now to release this anger. Opening the eyes, she rapidly moved forward to the chauffeur and ordered him to stop.
Mako needed to ask her what was she doing. By gripping her wrist he verbalized his question.
"I'll take a walk. You're done here today. You can leave." She answered hardly achieved to sound tranquil.
She quickly got off from the car and began walking recklessly. Mako couldn't give any sense to her actions all day and this was his down-break. He quickly pursued her.
"Stop following!" Senna shouted frigidly yet Mako vainly attempted to explain.
"I have to ensure...” Senna couldn’t stand anymore.
"Hahh! Stop saying the same thing! I don't need your protection!" Not looking forward, she suddenly bumped into a beggar and shouted at him to be more careful. Mako knew these types too close and what they were capable of. Hence, before any physical interactions, he intervened between them rapidly holding her from arm and harshly pulling his back, sent the man away. Now he was angry. Spinning her to him, now he was the one shouting.
"What are you doing?! You're acting like a child!" Senna shouted aggravated, with widened eyes, pushed him, tearing away her arm.
"Child!? Then stop dealing with a child detective! And just go to your home!" Mako rolled his eyes grabbing her arm again, this time not letting it go.
"As I told you before I'll be by your side till you left to ensure your security.” Mako emphasized the words one by one angrily and Senna walked few steps closer to him with the same cold face in the morning, but now it was filled with raw anger. He, now, with little leaning forward, could kiss her easily. She looked into his eyes again and Mako saw the fire inside of it and felt fear. Fear of her with automatically risen brows.
"And as I told you before I DON'T NEED YOUR PROTECTION!"
Senna furiously tore her arm away, turned back, and walked a few steps but Mako held from the wrist and spun her again but she, with the other hand, pushed him away with fire flame.
Mako rapidly fell down to the ground, crawled away.
"LEAVE ME ALONE!"
Mako, with a wry face, tried to answer and stood up as she ran away. He achieved to stand up with chauffeur's help, but till then she was already gone. Sending the chauffeur home and running through in the streets, he looked for her till dawn worried, thinking how he would explain this to Beifong now.
After being sure of going far away enough from him, Senna began walking through the streets not knowing where to go.
Somehow she reached the Avatar Park, tried to find the most covert bench with the final victory of staying alone. She sat down, leaned back, looking up to the sky, made breath exercises to restrain the whim to burn everything around her. She automatically composed a small blue fire flame in her right palm.Watching it going up she looked down to her palm, shortly closed her palm wiping out the fire inside. She closed her eyes and let her anger go with tears subsequently falling from her cheeks as a better way for everyone.
Achieving to calm down, Senna opened her eyes stood up, picking the remnants of tears. Ironically, she found a chance to explore the city at this hour but strangely that pleased her. With sorrowful eyes yet smiling, she strolled around to the park viewing transients one by one.
Senna suddenly remembered Mako how she fire bent onto him due to losing control for a second. She felt woeful and hoped him to be fine. Instantly deciding to apologize to him tomorrow, she acknowledged that she had to come back. Having chosen the beggars awake, with their help, she found the hotel at almost dawn.