Actions

Work Header

Afire Love

Chapter Text

 

3 months after Kuvira's attack and shortly after the withdrawal of attempts to turn the Earth Kingdom into a democratic country. (Based on the comics.)


The sun was emerging behind the spirit portal and spreading bright and clear beams all around the city and so was the princess's face. Without caring the chauffeur, she’d already opened window, crossed her arms on it, and put her chin on them. She began vibrantly looking outside and upon from the car's window to the city, in one of Sato Mobile driving her to an area of the festival her mother told about after her arrival to the Republic City became apparent and she could count herself lucky.

She always loved the city since having grown up in the Fire Nation, here was like an another world for her to discover. After three years of not visiting, everything seemed different, strange with the spirits all around. She was here to meet the President and a few other senior staff but still deeply hoped to spend some time strolling around and with her brother, whom she missed and hadn't seen for 6 months. 

The car slowly stopped at the entrance of the festival area. Slowly getting off, she laid her eyes on to the spirit portal again. With its magnificent appearance, She unwillingly wondered inside of it, If it was the same as from books she read about it. She walked inside of the area having no idea about her way, vainly tried to find Chief Beifong, she came here to meet. Due to her grumpy nature she’d observed and heard for years, she thought it was so expected from her to suck relationships yet weirdly, she was one of her mother's teenage best friends with other old team Avatar's children. However her mother always stated that their relationship was deeper than the others. Therefore, they never cut off contact: still writing or radioing to each other.

That was the reason why she was planning to meet her. She easily forecasted her mother had already alerted Beifong to delegate guardians around her during visiting in case of any attacks. She was hoping to convince her for calling it off. As a princess since her childhood, she always had to be with the guardians all around her, making her feel as though her freedom had been trapped in those men's hands and she’d always endeavored to find a way to avoid since the age of three and usually most of enterprises resulted with success.

She kept looking for her with her head running through about the meetings, then realized her feet brought her right towards to the spirit portal. She slowly moved closer to it, as now with little effort she could touch.

The portal was yellow, in shape of cylinder without a head, infinitely prolonging through the sky. As standing closer to it, she could now see the other shades of yellow randomly circuiting around it.
She, admiring its view once again, reached out her hand but a few centimeters before touching she pulled it back childishly feeling afraid to be pulled inside and decided to remain still, keep observing its slightest movements since she could find the Beifong later but she didn't consider finding this memorable chance.

Chapter Text

The day before the festival in Republic City. Surprisingly, Wu came up with this idea so that people could be able to forget their recent problems even for a night. Team Avatar and President Zhu li enthusiastically accepted and praised him for it a lot. The President made an announcement all around the city and to the other nations, sent invitations. All showed their supports, leaders helped the organization and even constituted with stands for the festival. 

The President gave Wu a job. Singing. He was so excited and nervous because except Kuvira’s attack it was going to be his first performance in front of people. Therefore, he had been practicing on the stage, forcing the crew to watch him.

"Wu you're perfect, don't go too rush on yourself.” Korra voiced rolling her eyes, leaning on a leg, fed up just like others. They’d been standing since the morning, listening the same songs again and again. Wu rapidly shook his forefinger as opposition to her, other hand now massaging to his neck to regulate his voice that they knew, they were doomed to wait grumpily.  

"No, no, no I have to work more. There are still thousands of things I have to practice. For example-" 

"You're losing it again Wu." Mako split his saying with objection lifting his hands little, his palms turned to his side to relieve him and hoping to make him stop. Bolin put down his head on Mako's shoulder supported him with a crying face. 

"Mako is right man, just let it go and let us go too." Wu looked down sad, pondering they might be right. All he wished was to display himself properly as the Earth King. However, he couldn't stop yet naively smirked, uniting his hands together in front of the middle of his breast to make an offer. 

"Please, one last time then I'll treat you the dinner, I promise." They didn't respond knowing he wouldn't cease by looking at each other and rolling eyes they continued listening. 

Mako couldn't endure more listening to him. He secretly eluded from the crew, moved away from the stage, began strolling around with looking at his injured arm. Since the accident, he hasn't been feeling himself as if it had ruined everything. His arm healed he could fire bend with it, but still, he'd been feeling different as if part of him was gone. Maybe he just should get used to his new life and keep doing the job he had dedicated his life to in the police station.

Actually, he was okay with it. However, still inside of him just wanted his old self back. His head strolled into spasmodic and complicated thoughts of his life just like in the last few months and generally prompted anger. Anger at himself. He couldn't talk to anybody about it thinking they would probably find it ridiculous and tell him that he was exaggerating instead he had been talking with pencils. 

Mako’d always had talent in drawing and loved it since his childhood. His father used to bring him papers and new pencils every day from work that getting used to it, he always welcomed him by running to him enthusiastically ended with a warm, lovely hug. After his parents’ death he never gave up on it, just wasn't his daily habit since living in the streets all alone with Bolin, and having to take care of both of them, it wasn’t his priority, but  now he drew all the time especially whenever he was closing his eyes and visualizing something, ended with a sudden feeling inside of his breast like a whim just made him took out from the paper.  

He looked up, realized his steps brought him to the Spirit Portal. His eyes slowly strolled around, ceased onto a woman right towards it. He didn't make a move for a while, just viewed this foreign woman and as a detective, he already got used to paying attention to the slight details around him and that was exactly what he was doing right now. 

Long black hair, right behind the long forelocks partially tied back. Her amber eyes seemed to be carefully examining even the smallest movement of the portal lighting up her face little. Her dress was generally red with gold and black accents looked like she was from a high family or a counsellor. He was almost sure she wasn't from around here because he'd never seen her clothes' fabrics before. She must have come to Republic for the festival, he thought. She surely had a pure beauty that creating an air of demanded attention and Mako couldn't help himself watch her for a few minutes more. However, he suddenly remembered Beifong's order. She shouldn't be here. He regulated his voice and stance, slowly made his way to her still not noticing him. 

"Excuse me, Miss. You shouldn't be here." Senna cooly turned to the voice of  the officer.

"May I ask why?" She gently asked. Her voice was nothing like he’d imagined. It was melodic but unrealistically kind as if having to play nice. Mako answered formally. 

 "Because this area is forbidden for people." 

"Forbidden?" She with a cynical tone, continued. “Then can you explain to me why this festival is happening in a place of which the portal is right in the middle, officer?" She made a short eye contact, with risen brow and crossed arms; thinking she outwitted him that her arrogance  enraged Mako. 

"Because this festival is for to make people get used to portal and accept it's not going to disappear and remain as a part of the city." His anger was on its limit presenting in his voice. Senna didn't expect this fuming, still she didn't want any tension from the first day of her visit. She erected her stance. 

"I get it. I'm waiting for someone here so I'll be staying till she comes." 

Mako raised his voice, moving one step forward about to lose his patience due to this festival organization in which the security was all in the control of the RCPD and his thoughts a few minutes ago.

"Didn't you hear what I just said!? This is a restricted area and you need to leave." Their eyes were tied together now that, Mako admired its fiery color. Senna couldn't let him treat her in this manner. She hardened the tune of her voice emphasizing each words. 

"I think you didn't hear what I just said. I'm waiting for someone here and I'm staying." 

"Is that so?" Mako didn't turn his eyes away from hers questioning with a strict voice, retrieved the same tone looking right in the middle of his tangerine eyes. They now were answering back subsequently glowering at each other. 

"Yes." 

"Then we'll be waiting here together, Miss." 

"We will." Suddenly silence fell over on the area. Mako stepped back and at that time Senna found a chance to finally view him. 

She had to admit that he was an attractively handsome man. He was tall, at least for her, but with the heels, they were almost at the same height. He surely wasn't bulky but with a glance a anyone could see his muscular body shape. She generally preferred well-combed hair but this messy hair somehow looked good on him. She easily sensed he was a fire bender and a strong one but also sensed there was a problem about it. She kept looking but ceased on the scar on his left arm till the hand. It was deeply bad that he must have suffered for it a lot, but like her grandfather's scar, it also belonged to him. She, due to her curious nature, wondered the mystery of this scar. She stayed focused there a while. 

He was deliberately laying his eyes around to protect his strict attitude. Sudden realizing the stranger woman's eyes on his injured arm. He, with ridiculous shame, rapidly loosened the wrist pin and prolonged sleeve till his wrist. 

Since Senna felt his displeasure, she turned back to him. Watching the portal again, she pulled herself together to touch the portal again. She reached out her hand in as second attempt and about to touch it before it was instantly stopped by him from back holding her hand. They both felt the closure between each other. Mako felt the warmness if her body just like her and independently smelled her scent. He was sure he’d  never smelled it anywhere before. Therefore, he couldn’t determine it. He rapidly turned her back that they glowered at each other again. 

"What are you doing!?" He shouted. 

"What are you doing!?" Pointing her hand, she answered back exactly like him. Now both were irritated from each other easily seen with their tones of voices and eyes. 

"Trying to stop you!" 

"It was more like you're just raping me!"

"Raping you!?" Senna nodded as approval to him looking confused at her with risen brows. 

"I've tried to be kind to you but you have been yelling at me for no reason, holding my wrist without my permission, and ignoring my civil rights." Mako independently opened his mouth due to shock but quickly behaved himself.

"Because Miss you're being arrogant and not listening to me about that you shouldn't be here." Senna couldn’t give a sense that how he could entitle her like it yet The counter-answer immediately came. 

"Doesn't mean you have a right to be like that." She tried to tear her wrist away from his hand. 

"Let it go-" He suddenly pulled her close to him that Senna couldn’t grasp. She couldn’t move and unwillingly made a eye contact with him due to closure since now their noses were about to touch. 

"You must be a visiter Miss and I don't know how your law works in your city but in Republic, we obey the rules that told us." He hissed, instantly held her wrist and dragged  her out of the portal that turned her back to occasion. 

"What are you doing? Hey! You can't treat me like this! Hey! I'm telling you!" She started and continued shouting, balking still knowing it would be useless. 

"I'm getting you out from here. You can wait whoever you are meeting away from the portal." He didn’t looked back, proceeded his action and she struggled to be patient and not to use her fire bending but it was quite challenging with this man.

They reached the main square and stage, Mako let her wrist go. He moved to leave, but Senna ran right towards him, stood and rose her forefinger to his face shouting furiously.

"You jerk! You can say goodbye to your job  because I'll make sure you will lose it."

"I won't lose my job just because I ensure the security around, but I'll be waiting Miss." The answer calmly came with a cynical smile that drove her almost crazy. 

"You-" 

At the same time,  all eyes turned to them, seeing Mako arguing with a woman. Wu rapidly got off from stage in the middle of his rehearsal, ran to them interrupting her saying. 

"Excuse me, beautiful lady." He took her hand and courteously kissed. "Let me introduce myself to you: I'm Wu the Earth King. May I get this beautiful lady's name?" With this gesture, Senna slightly bowed and smiled at him with still the same anger. 

"Senna King Wu. I'm glad to meet you." The crew began watching chuckling at Wu's regular activity, as Mako slightly scouted right beside them. Wu curiously pointed to Mako.

"Could you please tell me what the problem is about my buddy?" 

"The problem is that your friend should learn some manners because he has none." Putting all her thoughts into one sentence, she turned her face to him recounting it with crossed arms. He rose his brows and exhaled a loud breath. 

"He wasn't like that Senna. I can assure you." With Wu's statement, She rose her brows not believing him. 

"Really? Seems like he is." Wu held her hand again, lifted till his breast. 

"Why don't we talk about it in a restaurant drinking or eating something if you're hungry as an apology?” 

She looked upon him for a while thinking he wasn't serious but he was. She wished to roll her eyes due to this regular action against her, instead, she kindly explained herself. 

"Such a kind offer King Wu but I was waiting for someone and Hah! There she is!" She enthusiastically pointed Chief Beifong, thanking him, then left a short smile, and radiantly headed to her. 

All the crew watched them hugging each other laughing. 

"Am I dreaming or did Beifong just hug her?" Bolin asked with a shock on his face. 

"No, you don't," Mako unpleasantly replied still pouting, not expecting her to be close with the Chief. 

"I swear I've never seen Lin laughing that much...Actually I've never seen her laughing," Asami felt needed to highlight it. As a final reaction, Wu leaned down to Korra smirking mesmerized. 

"And I have never seen such a beautiful woman like her." Mako reached their side standing beside Wu, muttering to him grumpily. 

"You told this for all woman you see."

Still leaning on Korea's shoulder he objected to him. 

"No Mako, she is different." That made Korra giggle. 

"You say this too.” 

Mako kept looking at her. Sensing somebody's eyes, Senna rapidly turned her head, caught him and the crew. After short eye contact with each and Mako last, he rapidly turned his eyes away patting Wu's shoulder to distract everyone's attention. 

"Aren't you supposed to be treating us the dinner?" Wu put on his general smile joyfully explicated himself. 

"Oh! Yes, but after finishing this song. Since it was interrupted by this magnificent woman, I have to start again." Now the attention gathered on him with turning eyes, complaining but still, he got on the stage and started again. 

After few minutes, Mako slightly turned his head not to the point she was chatting with Beifong but they were already gone. He started checking around with eyes yet suddenly finding his action nonsense, he looked aside to Wu on the stage now. 

"Whatever she was just an ordinary troublesome woman." He murmured and kept listening to Wu.

They finally, after the rehearsal, arrived at their usual place to have dinner. As usual, they lined up with the same sequence: Couples sat beside each other, Wu at  the head corner and Mako was beside him on the right side. 

"Are you gonna tell us what happened with that woman, Mako?" Asami asked cutting her meat with a knife. 

"Doesn't matter." He simply answered looking down at his food with a serious face. 

"It doesn't seem like that buddy. She seemed angry." Wu took a few sips from his cocktail curiously waiting for an answer. 

Mako, with wondering eyes on him, knew he wasn't able to get rid of this focus. He told them everything in short. 

"Why did you go too harsh on her?" Korra instantly asked, making him object right after. 

"I didn't! I told her nicely but she didn't listen." 

"But due to her acquaintance with Beifong and what she told you, I'm sorry bro but I think you should say goodbye to your job and look for a new one," Bolin stated his thoughts with the noddles in his mouth. Mako protested believing Beifong wouldn't do this to him. 

"Wait...What no! I'm sure Beifong would agree with me once she heard what happened!" 

They all rose their brows knowing the absurdity of his statement. Wu handed down the chat ordering the waiter new glasses of cocktail for everyone.

"I think Korra was right. You should apologize to her." Mako stopped eating, crossed his arms and leaned back.

"Apologize! No way." Putting his hand on Mako's shoulder, Wu attempted to explicate but Mako didn't let. 

"Can't we just talk about something else?" He wanted to be out of this ridiculous attention. 

"Okay okay. Then I have some news for you!" Bolin changed the subject excitedly. 

"What's going on Bolin?" Asami asked wondering the issue just like others, even Mako but little. 

"Zhu li personally told me that the princess of the Fire Nation is coming to Republic City." 

Opal specifically added with happy tone.

"Lord Zuko's granddaughter you mean,"

"I didn't know that Fire Lord Izumi had another child." With Kora's statement, now all the relevance was on Bolin wondering his oncoming words. 

"Neither do I and Zhu li said she was really important to get enough fund to rebuild and expand the city."  Mako erected his stance to continue to finish his plate. He stuck his fork in the one of the last pieces of meat.

"So we have to flatter her so that she could show us mercy and give what we want." Everyone rolled their eyes due to his regular grumpiness.

"No, I don't think that is what she meant bro. She wanted me to ask you to treat gently and help her since she hasn't been here for a long time but maybe we need to convince her if Zhu li couldn't." 

With Bolin's last state now the conversation was all about the princess wondering what kind of person she could be, also the possibility of them learning about Fire Nation more, which they all agreed. Wu suddenly barged into the conversation putting his hand on the table with a shrewd smile. 

"I might have heard little about her." 

"What?" Everyone except Mako asked enthusiastically to learn more about her. 

"I heard she was a singer too." Mako laughed.

"Why wasn't I surprised ?" 

 

 

"Iroh!" Senna vibrantly shook her hand, ran to him waiting for her with open arms. 

Iroh tightly wrapped her up, lifted with joy, rotating her a few tours with their laughing combined. After landing down to the ground, Iroh humorously grouched with counterfeit fury. 

"I was starting to think that you forgot me, little dragon. I've been waiting for you almost an hour and I'm starving." Iroh pointed out his tummy frowning at her. She responded with holding his hands. 

"I'm so sorry. I went to see Beifong and finding her took longer than I thought." Seeing his questioning face, she continued. "I tried to convince her that I wouldn't need a guardian to watch me." Iroh slightly smiled.

"You never change, do you?" Senna joyfully continued ignoring his saying. 

"And I made a deal with her." 

His smile turned into laughter. "Good for you." After wrapping her from his shoulder, he directed her inside due to his hunger asking more about the “deal”.

After ordering food, Iroh opened up a conversation. 

"How are you ?" He put his hand on hers compassionately smiled shortly receiving  respond. 

"Same. Classic meetings, lessons, training, battles, and charity services. People are happy and I feel happy when they are." Iroh compassionately fondled her hand. 

"You always put others before yourself, don’t you?” Senna’s smile widened contemplatively in thoughts. 

"I'm the future Fire Lord, Iroh. I have to ensure my people's happiness." 

"You surely do." Iroh penetratingly stated, making eye contact with her “You will be a great Fire Lord, Senna. Unlike me, you were born for this." 

She kept smiling to comfort him but it was obviously counterfeit and his brother probably knew it. She wasn't sure if she could be a Fire Lord like her mother or grandfather but for now, delayed thinking of it. Now it was time to fulfill their longing with her brother. 

With a sudden change of her face, she squeezed his brother’s hand smiling radiantly. She spun the topic squeezing his hand little. 

"What about you? How are you?" Iroh quickly responded. 

"Fine. Same military occasions and we're still dealing with what was left from Kuvira's attack." Ceasing smiling, Senna nodded her head showing her understanding.

"I saw some derelict places while going to the festival area and they weren't looking good." 

"Yes, people who used to live around spirit portal are homeless now and the president is trying her best to provide them a place." 

The waiter brought the cocktails and respectfully bowed to the General and walked away. 

"I saw spirit portal and it was magnificent." She was glad that he didn't recognize her.

"It is. You're going to the festival right?"  He brought up the topic she was looking forward to talking about. 

"Of course. I can't miss it and I was hoping you could come with me too." Senna explained herself enthusiastically to him rising his brows questioning her. 

"Me? You know these places are not for me and I have to work." Senna rolled her eyes leaning back, not be able to believe his attitude. 

What was wrong with all men around her today?

"Come on Iroh! You're not going to guide me in the city because you're a workaholic. Also, you have to come with me. I know no one in the city and I need you." She wrinkled her lips, blinked her eyes, and tried to make a sweet baby face to get his approval like how she used to do as a kid. 

"Seriously Senna?" He laughed and loudly exhaled. "Ok but don't get mad when I become grumpy and try to leave too early." 

Senna obediently nodded, her mood reversed to the beginning of the night. 

"I won't. You're the best." 

With the serving of their meals, they had dinner as continuing to catch up with each other from where they'd left.

Chapter Text

 

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.

Chapter Text

Turning the left side in the bed again for the fifth time, struggling to sleep, Mako finally lied flat giving up, which led him suddenly to recall that woman: Senna. 

With closed eyes, he visualized her in his mind, with a unwillingly slight smile. Her appearance as watching the portal yesterday and the fireworks today, the shining of her eyes as bringing up her nation or the fire on them as pissing off to the sword fighter. She was surely a unique woman but just it. 

Yeah. Just it

However, Mako felt the whim inside of him as if objecting him. He opened his eyes already having recognized what was coming next. Turning on the light, speedily sitting on the chair, he drew the woman he just met today. 

Mako woke up late in the morning lying on the desk, glad not to encounter furious grumpy Chief Beifong for being late, since today was his off day. He opened his arms to stretch his body then had a shower. After breakfast, he went out to meet the others. 

Princess Senna slowly got off from the Sato Mobile. Today was the day of the interview with the president. As she cooly climbing up stairs, her eyes stayed on someone familiar in the entrance: a member of the team Avatar from last night. 

Bolin quickly moved through her with the same confusion and greeted her. Senna answered back him asking the reason for his presence now. 

"I work here as the president's secretary. What about you?" They subsequently answered back with each other. 

"I have a meeting with the president."  

"But now she is supposed to meet the Fire Nation Princess-" Senna looked down to hide her smile, yet it was too late. Bolin'd already suspected from her. 

"Wait a second...You can't be the Princess of the Fire Nation right?" Bolin asked confused with widened eyes to ensure but before Senna could answer, President Zhu li called her name and rank, walking through their way from the entrance door. Her reaching their side, this two woman bowed to each other.

"It's an honor to meet and host you in Republic City." Senna smiled  intimately as reaching her hand forth. 

"It's good to be in here. I missed the city a lot." Zhu li, responding to her gesture, gazed at Bolin. 

"Shall we go inside? I can see my assistant is not guiding you well." He speedily turned the President, objected. 

"No, no Mrs. President. We met yesterday and I was just-" 

"Let's go inside." Senna cutting his words, patted Bolin's shoulder with the same smile. Three of them walked to the parlor. Bolin asked the choice of their tea. Senna asked for a cup of Jasmine tea and the President her usual. They chatted about worldly matters till the tea came, then actual matters were put on the table.  

To convince the Princess if Jhui li couldn't, the crew'd gathered in front of city hall's doors, now walking to the entrance. However, they came across Bolin ecstatically running to them. He hardly stopped himself reaching their side. 

"Bolin, Is there a problem?" Opal curiously asked as Bolin regulating his breath. Korra repeated the question, but at the same time, Asami pointed to the entrance. All eyes turned to the princess descending from city hall's ladders. 

"Here is the news: She is the princess." Bolin proclaimed. All eyes first turned to him and then her again. 

Senna easily spotted the team semicircled from the beginning of the ladders as well as the confusion on their faces. 

"I'm guessing he told you." She approached them with intimately putting his hand on Bolin's shoulder.

"But last night you didn't tell me-I mean tell us you were the princess and answered Wu's question about...about yourself." Light anger in Mako's voice was easily perceptible. 

"Because you didn't ask and I didn't have time for that. Also, It's not safe for me to tell everyone I meet that I'm the Princess of the Fire Nation." Looking up at Mako, she humorously explained herself hoping to soften him and the area but instead annoying silence fell down. 

She wished to please them since even before coming to the city she'd intended to have good relations with the team Avatar, if she could've had the chance to meet the then due to his grandfather's having been part of the old team. With short coughing, she broke the silence. 

"Look, I'm sorry I should have told you about my true identity from the beginning." She paused. "Please, let me make this up to you. How about I treat you to dinner today? So that we could get to know each other better and honestly?" 

After a few seconds, instead of everyone, Korra hesitantly accepted this kind offer. Senna clapped hands with excitement and remarked the restaurant's name and address. Stating her farewell, she slowly walked away to the Sato Mobile. 

In the parlor, Zhu li waited for the crew to settle on the sofa then elaborated on what was discussed in the meeting. 

"I don't want to say this but she is right." Asami calmly stated. 

"Maybe but still she was supposed to help. Her grandfather and Avatar Aang built this city." Korra proclaimed disappointed. 

"Actually, Fire Nation helped us for food or temporary accommodations like all other nations, and even if most of help was provided by them, I still couldn't convince her to do more. With the Fire Lord, she'd already made up her mind before coming here." Zhu li hopelessly explained. 

Asami vainly asked the next step but instead of President Bolin responded hopefully standing up. 

 "She invited us a dinner today. We can try to talk to her again." Everyone made an eye contact with him, questioning tentatively if this was a good idea. Finally, Korra answered him leaning back. 

"Depending on what she said about herself yesterday, I'm not sure if it's going to work but it's worth trying." 

After the meeting, he preferred staying silent as in contemplative thoughts,  Mako headed to the police station. He didn't care about the mocking faces around him and jokes about his passion of working. He stopped by a few departments and the archive and tried to find everything about the princess all day. He borrowed all files with him to read.

As having compacted with each other, the crew first met the entrance of the restaurant and walked to the private room booked by the princess as the first time they came to this restaurant and Fire Nation district.

From the entrance and inner decor colored with specific tones -red, brown, white- and motifs -dragons and fire-, it seemed like a local place. Not too luxurious but casual either. 

After greetings, everyone took seats. Korra and Asami sat together opposite of the princess and Bolin and Opal to the right side of her and Mako beside on her left side. All settled and Senna began explaining about the restaurant, making a contact with all eyes on her. 

"This is one of the best Fire Nation traditional restaurants. I was afraid if it was closed due to circumstances but fortunately, it wasn't." All nodded their head insightfully attempted to look at the menu, but Senna lunged forward. stopped them. 

"I already ordered the meal." 

Then, the expected conversation by both sides began. Bolin and Korra asked her about the rejection of funds for Republic City which she patiently answered all questions while others were listening. She explicated everything in details. She stated the Fire Lord had to think about the benefits of her nation too and dispensing this was a big economic risk for Fire Nation citizens. Opal and Asami interestedly joined by asking a few more questions and stating their ideas. Mako just like before preferred to stay quiet and listened to all the ideas with evaluating in his mind yet this was easily realized by the princess. 

When the meals were served, she introduced all the plates to them.

"...We as a Fire Nation people are really fond of spicy food but if you don't like or have any sensitivity, we can order something else." She added. 

"I can't say I always eat spicy things but I guess I can try," Bolin answered seemed excited. 

After everyone filled up their plate and busy with tasting, Senna found an opportunity to talk to him. 

"I guess you don't like to talk." Mako turned his head to the source of this question. 

"What made you think that?" She waited to answer till swallowing her bite.

"You have been listening to us carefully, and till now you haven't talked or asked any questions." Mako slightly smiled finding out her attention on him. 

"I can't say I'm into policy. Numbers are generally my section. I wanted to listen all ideas and find the right one since at least I can differentiate the right and wrong." He explained himself, then turning back eating fire noddles from his plate endeavoring to ignore the amber eyes on him.

"Then which one is right?" Senna inquiringly asked. Mako stammered for a second but to look normal he didn't stop eating or turn her. 

"A-Actually I believe both of you just think about your own city's benefits and that kind of makes all of you right." She giggled. 

"It's good that you are not into policy. It would be such failure." He lowered his brows automatically turning her side, made eye contact. 

"Why?" 

"Because in policy, somewhere you have to choose a side and I can see you're pretty bad at it." Her voice was calmly confident, knowing what it was saying. 

"I'm not bad at choosing a side!" He silently proclaimed making the princess chuckle. 

"I'm not talking about your life but just policy." She continued on her dinner. 

Mako needed to change the subject. "Yesterday you didn't answer none of my questions." He hesitantly asked taking another bite from his plate just like her. 

"No, I did. You asked me where I was from or if I loved the city and I gave you answers..." She calmly said.

"I mean the questions of if my apology was accepted or if I could show you the city." He slightly blushed but began staring at her. 

"I answered those too. I said if you told me why you were angry at yourself, I would." She finished her plate and quickly covered her mouth with a napkin to curb herself from smiling because of his eyes on her and his slightly red cheeks. 

"I told you." Mako muttered. Putting the napkin back she turned him, rising a brow, answered him self-confidently. 

"No, you literally lied."  He fully turned to her side. 

"How do you know?" Their eyes matched again. 

"Because I'm a people person." Mako rolled his eyes. 

"Can't you just want something else?" She waited to answer yet her eyes slightly slipped into his lips that he felt the warmth flowing in his veins. She sensed his heartbeats increasing. Approaching his body with slight smiling, she reached the napkin beside his plate, prolonged it to him still staying close looking at his eyes. 

"There is an oil stain on the left corner of your mouth." Her answer was totally irrelevant from his question that Mako with a sudden impulse due to this sudden closure, leaned back to clean the stain. 

Senna slowly turned the others, started up a conversation asking if they'd liked the meal, and came across with the same response: Good but too spicy. Then the conversation moved on with Bolin having drunk almost two jugs of water after the fire noddles with laughings over the room and Mako joined them unsatisfied. 

The ending of the drinks, with thanks and pleasures, first Korra and Asami, then Bolin left with Opal to escort her to the Air Temple Island. Now that was just Senna and Mako in the room. She called a waiter and ordered a glass of wine for herself. 

"You can leave if you would like." She said recklessly, but Mako ordered the same wine as the answer. 

"I can't leave the Princess of the Fire Nation alone late at night." He humorously stated. 

Senna glanced at him, then looking down she began playing with a tablecloth. Mako easily comprehended her sudden contemplative state, didn't attempt to interrupt, Senna didn't want that either.

Till the glasses were brought none of them broke the silence. Finally, she raised the glass through his, telling the trite word to make a toast with a fake smile. He responded by making touch to her glass and having seen her quaffing the glass in one sip, he automatically verbalized his opinion.

"I think you should be glad that I'm staying since with that speed you will become drunk shortly."  

She opened her mouth to answer him but both heard the groans of few men in pain from outside of the room. Mako easily guessed what that was about since he'd worked for Wu. 

"We need to get you out of from here." He held her wrist. Senna instantly took a look at him. 

"There is another exit in the back." She pointed outside of the room. With Mako following her, they went out but in just a few steps, they were already surrounded. They stood back to back, glancing at each other in the middle of the dark street now just enlightened with fire flames on opponents' palms. 

"I'm assuming you're a great fire-bender." Senna asked to ensure. 

"So am I." He, then, gave her directions. 

"I'll count on three. When you're finished just run." Senna attempted to object.

"But..."

"1" She rolled her eyes. 

"2" Both took the position. 

"3!" 

Senna reached some of the opponents’ bellies with fire whips and took down four men before them using fire-bending without caring their scream due to burning. Mako used his punches and kicks with fire streams and took down two men. Then they changed sides and repeated the same things.

When she was finished, she saw him still taking on with two of the guys. She decided to wait for him. She furiously leaned down and harshly took one of the men's collars to learn the person attempting to ambush her. 

"Who sent you?!" The man cynically smiled at her. Mako took down the last guy and rapidly came to her side. 

"Didn't I tell you to run?!" Before they could begin to chat, other men appeared at the beginning of the corner shouting to catch the princess. 

 Mako rapidly grabbed her hand dragging her away with him. They ran for a while going in countless streets that Senna couldn't follow but only accord him. 

As Senna looking back, Mako wrapped up her belly pulled her in between two buildings, caged her between the wall and his body. 

"Be quiet." He whispered pulling his hands away. Senna nodded and laid eyes on him watching the street. Both sensed the warmth, and for a moment, he looked down at her. With short eye contact, She turned her head to the way of the street. 

Mako didn't let her go till the shadows ran by the path they were hidden. Upon Mako finally pushing himself off from her, she was finally able to breathe again,  but she little wanted the warmth back. 

"Are they gone?" He nodded and asked the hotel she was staying in. She told the name. 

"Let's get you to your hotel. Come on." As his mind was focused on eluding the ambushers, he didn't ponder too much about the closure.

He moved a few steps closer and softly held her wrist but before moving she stopped him.

"You can't tell this to Beifong, okay?" She asked nervously. Since Mako gave it no sense, he questioned the reason. 

"Why not?" 

"Because I made a deal with her." With his continuing questioning face, she needed to explain herself. 

"She was going to put a guardian next to me to look after but I assured her nothing was going to happen. However, also assured that in any attack she could put as many guardians as she would like." Still holding her wrist he cynically smiled. 

"After today it may not be such a bad idea." She ignored his saying and kept staring at him. 

"Promise me." She moved a few steps closer. 

"I can't promise you that." 

"If you do this I'll accept your apology, Mako." 

He didn't answer her knowing he couldn't promise her, also say that he would tell Beifong. 

Senna opened her mouth but slowly closed it. Harshly tearing her wrist away from him, she walked away trying to find her way but each street seemed the same as the other one.

Mako didn't try to catch her, just followed from little behind. 

"Can you come here and show me the way!?" She grumpily shouted at him having given up. 

Mako moved throughout her but put a proper distance and guided her to the front side of the restaurant glancing at her frequently to figure out her thoughts. 

"Let me take you to the hotel." He stood in front of her, warmly said to soften her, after they reaching his motorcycle which Senna hesitantly looked. 

"Uhh...Maybe I should call my chauffeur." She wasn't a person of any kind of automobile since all her life in Fire Nation she was used to driving dragons or just walking. 

"Oh yeah...I guess I should have told you." He burlesqued her with her reaction from the morning.

Senna harshly pushing, passed him looking for someone to help. 

"What are you doing?! We need to leave now!" He raised his voice at her shortly receive the same response. 

"I've never ridden a motorcycle before and I have no intention to do it tonight!" 

Mako rolled his eyes and caught her up in a few steps. He quickly put his hands under her legs and belly, lifted her, automatically aligning his face to hers.

"What are you doing? Put me down!" Senna shouted hitting his breast. 

He didn't answer instead carried her to the motorcycle with her furiously grouching at him which somehow amused him, but he curbed himself to laugh. 

Having placed her on the seat, he reached out his helmet but Senna was still grouching. 

"...You surely have no manners. How can you just come and lift the Fire Nation-" Mako harshly put on the helmet, picking up her hair, cut her saying. She gave up talking and just hoped this night to end immediately with a pouting face. Mako sat before her. 

"Hold my belly princess."He started the engine and driving. 

"Really? Do you think I'm going to-" 

Senna suddenly, in panic, wrapped up his belly tightly, pulling herself into his body on motorcycle began moving. Mako first glanced back with confusion, his heart pounded at an increasingly rapid race.He didn’t realized till her rapping on his shoulder he’d kept staring. 

“Don’t looks at me, just look at the road, you idiot!” He instantly turned away his face, hoping she couldn't sense his heartbeats but it was too late. 

Reaching the hotel, Mako attempted to help her to get off but Senna repelled his hand. She took off the helmet harshly prolonged it to him with formal thanking, before walking inside. Finally, with time to ponder everything, Mako looked behind her even after the elevator's doors were closed.

Chapter Text

 

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.

Chapter Text

The Princess woke up early in the morning, completely used to a few hours of sleep. After preparation and taking the necessary files with her, she went down. She wonderingly looked around, waiting to come across Detective Mako to apologize, but instead, she saw a stranger waiting next to the car. He greeted her bowing. She returned his greeting and curiously asked the detective.

"He couldn't come." Senna rose a brow, successively asked the reason disappointed. 

"Unfortunately I don't know, Your Highness." She didn't respond to him and got in the car disappointed. After yesterday, today's schedule was much less busy. Just three meetings: two of which in the morning and at noon lunch with King Wu. 

Then, she supposed she could have some time to explore the city. Even if not having thought about where to go, she was still excited that she could have almost half a day for the Republic City, which was enough to make her grin and forget all stress. 

The first two meetings began and resulted too quickly that the Princess could spare even more time than she computed till the lunch. However, she ordered the chauffeur to drive to the police station. 

Deep down inside, she still pondered Detective Mako, aggravated for not coming today. After calling her kid, did he really act like a 5-year-old boy? With this, she couldn't help tittering cynically, shaking her head, but shortly she noticed the eyes of the chauffeur from the rearview mirror and the guardian right beside her, instantly solidified her stance looking outside of the car's window. 

Reaching the station, with the warden’s help Senna went up to the precinct where Beifong's room was. 

Not having seen him, Senna calmly walked into the precinct to the middle table left side of the hallway with a plaque of his name. Due to the tidiness, she easily comprehended that he wasn't here. She evaluated all the options inside of her mind but instead of wasting more time, she decided to ask the Chief. She first told her new guardian to wait, then walked to the Beifong's room and knocked on the door. After approval, Senna went in. Beifong looked at her with confusion, asked the reason for her presence, as her nature, in case of the possible unexpected occasions to take place. 

She closed the door behind her responded by crossing her arms with inquiringly asking questions. 

"You tell me, Lin. Why did you change my guardian?" Her voice was full of strict seriousness as if it were important. 

"Because Mako couldn't come to work today since he got ill." She found this conversation ridiculous but Senna continued with a risen brow and unsmiling face. 

"He was fine yesterday?" Senna crossed her arms. 

Fine enough to debate with me. 

"He was out till dawn looking for you." Senna rolled her eyes exhaling. 

Stupid.  

Even if estimating the reason, probably not losing his job she assumed, she still felt the content of being called by him, a total stranger. However, she ceased the thoughts and considered requesting his address but didn't due to the absurdity of it. Moreover, she could find it by herself, but still, she had a question. One last ambiguity.

Senna approached her, desperately asked, and hoped she was right. 

"How did you find out about the attack?" 

Lin grumpily leaned back on her seat pointed to the telephone with her brows. 

"The owner of the shop called when I was about to leave the office." Senna rolled her eyes. 

So good. He was telling the truth.   

After distant thanking and short farewell, she went out. She quickly ordered the warden to find his house address and walked down to the car, waited impatiently. With having received a small paper she gave it to the chauffeur, ordered him to drive the address on the paper. 

Having come home at dawn and a few hours of lounging, Mako woke up and realized he couldn't even move as trying to get up. His immunity system had become weaker since Kuvira's attack that he wasn't surprised, figuring out he caught an ailment. With Bolin's insistence, he called the station and let them know about his state. Now, he was at home, under the quilt, languished, pouting angrily due to the princess's nonsense spoiled behaviors, yet he was sure she wouldn't care at all and even maybe think he deserved it.

 Mako tried to keep himself busy in his off but ill day with reading the files he borrowed from the station about the princess. He, once again, admired her: her services, the charities, and battles she had joined so far for her nation. However, couldn't stop the sentiment of frustration due to the person he had been occupying with in the last few days, especially yesterday. In some pages, he couldn't pile her with the character written in the papers yet still curiously kept reading. 

After finishing the files, he hardly lied down, closing his eyes to sleep, but the door was knocked. 

He opened his eyes, waiting it to stop, yet with another sound of knob, he rolled his eyes, hardly got up, with leaning wall he walked till outdoor questioning who might be at this hour since he was almost sure everyone having a chance to come here was in his or her own life rush now, and except Bolin no one knew about his state and he couldn't come home at this hour. However, if that was him, regardless of his statement now, he would be sure of giving him a good scolding. 

Mako hardly opened the door, when Senna was about to leave thinking he wasn't at home or available. With risen brows, he independently muttered her name weakly but immediately corrected with the way how "He should call her." He tried to bow with a sulking face, that Senna easily predicted he was angry at her, yet she didn't care since his skin was pale and lighter than normal she could observe. 

She nervously raised a hand gave obviously an tense smile and slightly shook it, trying to soften him.

"Hey...May I come in?" Mako stammered with changing face invited her in. He showed the way with a hand, as the other one was holding and leaning to our door trying to stand still. She, before sitting, turned him and he attempted to walk to ask her why she had come but for a second he staggered, not being able to find his balance. When he was about to fall, Senna, in panic, quickly went under his shoulders. She held his body strongly wrapping him from back with her arms. 

"You don't look good, detective." Senna warmly looked up at his eyes half open. With their almost compound bodies, she felt heat, automatically touched his skin. "Wait." She suddenly pulled him back with him grouching to be slow, put her hand on his forehead.  

"You're hot!" He subtly smiled, opened his eyes fully looking down at her eyes. 

"I'm." Senna gazed at him worriedly. 

"You have a fever idiot!...Where is your room?" She wished to help him since feeling responsible for his state right now not considering his resistant nature.

He pointed forward yet tore her arms away and tried to stand telling her he was fine but toddled again. Senna rolled eyes, lunged at him and went under his shoulders again. She positioned his left arm on her shoulders wrapped his belly and carefully carried him to his bed. Mako mandatorily accepted her help. He closed his eyes and let her, just accorded her steps.

With him fully leaning down at her, Senna hardly carried him till his bedroom. She lied him down, yet to find his balance again Mako held her from the belly, automatically pulled her in and made her fall on his body. 

Senna lifted her head. She found her hands on his chest and herself in a close position that she could easily kiss him. Mako already left her. However, Senna couldn't move, felt her increasing heartbeats and warmth just like the dinner night. She blankly looked at his face. He wasn't almost at himself but could sense her hands on his breast. He opened his eyes and put on a cunning smile making a contact with her eyes. 

"I'm hot, aren't I Your Highness?" 

Senna quickly pulled herself back scowling at him. She picked up her stance. 

"You...I'll be right back." Senna walked briskly into the small house, easily found the bathroom. She filled the first basin she'd grabbed with water and took a few towels from the shelf. 

Mako probably couldn't talk to the princess like that if he’d had his mind all together but now he could hardly think yet freezing. He pulled up the quilt as much as he could to be warm himself but didn't work. As last resort, he took a deep breath to heat himself but her strict and angry voice stopped him, brought him around. He opened his eyes, blankly made an eye contact. 

"Hey! Stop! Would you like to kill yourself!?" 

Senna quickly put the wares on the ground quickly unveiled the quilt from his body but this only caused him to shout at her grumpily. 

"What are you doing!? I'm freezing!" Senna sat on the edge of the bed and rapidly held his arms, rolling eyes. 

"Stay put, detective. I'm helping you." He scowled, stumped her with his eyes right into hers emphasizing the words one by one. 

"I don't need your help, princess." 

Senna ignored him and her hands went down to his upper pajamas and took them off. 

"What are you do-" Mako blushed, since, now, he was shirtless in front of the her. 

"Helping you. Just wait a few minutes then you'll thank me." Senna dipped towels into the water basin, pulled them out, and squeezed little. "You really must work on your body detective unless you couldn't make those muscles, right?" She, with cynical tone, asked to create a distraction, giggling to see his all turned-red face causing him to stammer.

"N-No, I-I mean I just-” She speedily put the towel on his forehead arms and breast. 

“Fuck!” He proclaimed but realized the princess's eyes on him with risen brows. He muttered a few more slangs, trying not to be heard and slightly move but Senna held his body put with restraining herself from laughing with pondering. 

As the Fire Nation Princess and future Fire Lord, she got used to waiting some manners from the person towards her as she usually attained, yet this man had none. He without any drawbacks spoke with her freely. Beyond that, he almost never refrained from going against her, which not only enraged her or driving her crazy but also sometimes amused her with pleasure. 

Repeating the only possible treatment she could think of a few more times, each she controlled his body temperature from his forehead not realizing, due to brooding, she had been watched by Mako, who was, now, feeling contented and liking the idea that she was worried about him. 

His temperature, skin tone and look in his eyes were getting better, he was revitalizing. She controlled his temperature one last time, designated it normal. She put all the towels down and picked up his hair. She didn't know how to react as much as he yet tried her best to look natural. 

"That's it! How do you feel?" Senna smiled with her eyes shining to his. 

"Better." He answered hoping to look normal. He couldn't turn away his eyes away from hers. They made prolonged eye contact that Senna was the first one looking away. 

Pulling himself together, he attempted to stand up, Senna softly put his hands on his naked breast stopped him. 

"You should stay put. I'll go prepare something. Wait for me and don't veil yourself with the quilt." He could just nod since now all his attention was on her hands.

As soon as she left, Mako hardly but silently stood up looked over the room. Picking up the room little, he hid the files about her in the drawer. Then, lying back with closed eyes, waited for her with contentment. 

She found the kitchen and searched every cupboard to find ingredients to make a soup but depending on her wretched cookery abilities she decided It was better if she wouldn't. Therefore, she tried to find herbal weeds to make at least some tea. She eventually found some lindane, mint powder, and lemon. She quickly heated the water with her fire blended ingredients together and made a tea for him and herself. Putting them on the tray, she walked throughout his room. 

Hearing footsteps, he opened his eyes, saw her with two cups on a tray. He couldn't help himself elatedly smiling, softly declared trying to lift himself. 

"You needn't have done this. I'm fine." Senna quickly put the tray on his bedside table and lunged to his bed leaning down. 

"Let me help you."  Her hands moved on his bare body, back and head as Mako's heart beat faster with her touches. He looked at her face to figure out what she was thinking but her face was like as usual even too usual but for a second he could swear he saw little flushing. 

Senna slowly lifted his body. Their face came close again. She hardly resisted turning to him this time but sensed his eyes on her and heartbeats. Mako looked at her closely, especially at her eyes as if memorizing. She sat down on the side of the bed still holding him, pulled him a little into her body fragilely from his back to erect the pillow. 

Mako automatically smelled her scent for few seconds unwittingly smiling with closed eyes, liking it. It was just like the day they met but this was closer and more intense. Senna pulled him back endeavoring to hide her tension. 

"You're good." She said appeasingly, about to pat his shoulder but then gave up. She moved to the tray and put it between them.

"I made your herbal tea from what I found in your kitchen, but I'm sure this is gonna make you better." She took one of the cups and reach out to him. 

"I'm already feeling much better. Thanks." With his grateful eyes, she cynically chuckled. 

"I told you you'll thank me." Mako nervously took a sip from his tea, pondering what she was talking about since not recalling before she checked his temperature. However, with a sudden flashback, they all came back. He remembered each of the exact second and especially sentences he told the princess but just one of them spin around in his mind again and again. 

"I'm hot, aren't I, Your Highness?"

While he was in grabbling with his thoughts, Senna slowly took a few sips from her tea, regularly glanced at him, not minding to wait. 

His face suddenly turned red that Senna feared his temperature rose again. Quickly putting the tray on the bedside table and then on her forehead, she checked the temperature. Mako came to his senses now looking up at her hand, which she attempted to explain yet Mako didn't let. 

"I'm sorry Uh...everything...I said... especially the one...whatever you needn't have had to do this." Senna objected, seeing the reason for his blushing that amused her. 

"No, I had to. I talked to Lin and found out you looked for me all night." She slightly smiled trying hard not to blush but she couldn't. "Which means I'm the reason for your ailment and fever." He couldn't answer back. He was impressed. He never thought she would see it in that way. Now she was the same woman as in the files he read. Thoughtful and delicate. He kept listening to her. "Also I found out that you didn't tell Beifong about that night." She recounted a little embarrassed, making contact with his eyes. 

"I told you." He crossed his arms with a risen brow. She began explaining herself accordingly using her hands. 

"I know and I had no reason not to believe you but I chose not to believe you and acted like...I mean it was partly about being someone around me but still, I think little...bitchy." Mako left a wide laugh. 

"Bitchy? I don't think a princess should use words like that." Senna joined him blushing. She quickly took the tea from the bedside table, then took a sip to hide her face.

"Do I look like an ordinary princess?" Mako automatically answered. 

"Totally not." They made prolonged eye contact. Her laughing turned into a slight smile. She reached out her hand. 

"Truce than?" He shook it softly not breaking the contact and felt the warmth strolling in his veins even if his body temperature was higher than hers. "By the way, I have answers for all your questions."  Senna looked down to her cup  feeling in need to change the topic and Mako remembered their conversation.  "Listening?" 

"First of all your apology is accepted. In that day I might have exaggerated things little too." She slightly giggled. 

"You totally did. Raping hah?" Mako smiled at her, relieved to hear that which didn't last long. 

"And now, I'm thinking to review my acceptance of your apology, detective." Senna looked at him with a risen brow with a strict tone of voice. He rapidly held her hands. 

"No, Don't think much, please." She pointed his hands rolling eyes. Looking down their hands, he rapidly pulled them back remembering her saying. He attempted to explain himself yet she didn't give him a chance. 

"Secondly I'd love to explore the city with you but maybe next time." She distinctly explicated and Mako couldn't help himself asking the reason. 

"I still have meetings and tomorrow is my last day here." She didn't mention her failing tour plan today or having missed the meeting with King Wu directly because of him. Actually till now even she didn't recall and care about those and that was strange. 

"I get it. Maybe next time." Mako answered to sound cool at least normal but knew that what he'd told before he already lost this chance. 

Long-last silence fell over the room. Senna unwillingly thought it was because of her devastating capacity of having a normal conversation as having no friends and spending her days with just joining political meetings or fire-bending practices. She began playing with the quilt while his eyes were on her, waiting for him to bring about something.  

As if noticing this, Mako began speaking about things in Republic City. They had a chat till finishing their tea. 

"Let's lie you down." Senna put the tray on his bedside table stood up and leaned down to help him. A few heaps of her hair fell on Mako's face and he smelled the same scent, again and again, wishing he could smell it all day. Senna nonreactively lied him down picked up his hair and cover his half body with a quilt and stood up. "You sleep here." She calmly turned back to leave but it was stopped by him holding her wrist that she didn't expect. 

"Leaving?" He asked with obvious disappointment in his tone. 

"I-Uh...There is nothing left to do here. I'm sure you'll be well till tomorrow." To this unexpected question, Senna tried her best to answer him properly. 

"Can you stay a little bit?" He weakly asked and attempted to pull her in. Senna let him do that sat on the edge of the bed. She fragilely closed his eyes with her fingers and tried not to make more deal than it should be. He was just ill and needed someone, that was all. 

"I'm here." She muttered putting her hand on his forehead to check his fever. He didn't leave her hand till sleeping, which didn't take long due to almost not sleeping last night.

Senna didn't leave his side for a while. She watched him, hesitantly fondled his hair than his face afraid of waking him up. She never became so close with a man or let any touch her in her life but in the last few days he'd been continuously breaking her rules and with irritation, she also felt content. However, with sudden questioning of her presence here, she rapidly stood up. She shouldn't be here shouldn't be doing or thinking this or trust him. She should be joining meetings or practice. He was just like the others. He must be...

 Mako woke up at almost midnight. He couldn't comprehend why he slept that long but shortly realized he was feeling well. At least he could gladly state there was no ailment. He remembered saying to the princess to wait for him. With a desire to want her around him regardless of everything, the words just ejaculated from his mouth. He wondered if she was still here. He rapidly got up, stood in front of the mirror half-naked. He suddenly recalled he was like that towards her all day. Moreover, she paid a compliment to his muscles. He looked at himself again and couldn't help himself blushing again like a kid. 

Mako put on his upper pajamas and picked up his hair. He went inside but except Bolin oversleeping on the couch, as working with political files, he couldn't find anyone. He unpleasantly woke his brother up warning him to sleep in his room not to have backache tomorrow even knowing he wouldn't listen. 

He came back to his room and on his bedside table, he found a note. He took it with lightning speed and read with a radiant smile. 

Tomorrow morning at 08.30 in front of the hotel.

There is some tea left. Don't forget to drink it, put on your clothes and sleep properly, detective.  

-Senna-

Chapter Text

 

 

Mako looked at the right side of the motorcycle's mirror and picked up his hair one last time. He excitedly walked to the side of the princess’s car, impatiently waited for the her. 

With the opening of the outdoor, Mako unwittingly pried the princess with her aloof but captivating look, agitating nonnegligible demand attention on herself that she'd probably gotten used to. 

Their eyes met. Senna felt pleasant to see him yet achieved not spoil her stiff face and showed no emotion but just put a slight smile on her face. As attracted, Mako struggled to look normal. He quickly opened the Sato Mobile's door for her, stated his greeting. 

"Good morning, Your Highness." 

Senna looked at him before getting into the vehicle with the same smile. 

"Good morning...It's good to have you back, detective." She softly patted his shoulder. 

The car first stopped at the city hall. Senna interviewed with the president one last time due to her request but, had to reject her again in the end since she tried to convince her again about the funds again.  

Then the car arrived at one of the restaurants in Fire Nation District.

With Mako following her, she approached the table where King Wu was already sitting and drinking his cocktail. Mako remembered the conversation at the festival between them. He withdrew one step back to watch his reaction secretly grinning. Wu formally stood up by buttoning up his suit to greet the princess. 

"Princess-Hah! You!" He was stupefied with wide-open eyes. Senna smiled in joy. 

"It's good to see you again." Wu suddenly noticed Mako. 

"Mako, tell me I'm dreaming and she is not the Princess." Mako shook his head still grinning. Wu rapidly turned her began talking, protecting the shock on his face. Risen brows, open mouth and eyes. 

"But you told me-and yesterday you didn't come?" Senna apologized and explained the reason implicitly, glancing at Mako who instantly blushed. 

Getting over the shock, Wu held her hand and softly left a kiss on it. After everything she had said about herself, he had been preparing himself for this meeting without knowing he was already beaten. 

They sat around the table. Senna ordered Mako to wait outside. He attempted to object, but she didn't let him and just reminded the rules from the first day and strictly ordered him again. With her frigid voice, Mako grumpily stepped back. Now she was like exactly in their first day.  

Ordering their food, Senna coughed to start up this well-planned conversation, now making a contact with his eyes. 

"King Wu, today I called you here because I want to end the conflict left by your aunt..." Wu looked at her confused.

"Conflict?"  She wasn't surprised, due to the information she gathered about him, began recounting. 

"My grandfather Lord Zuko and Avatar Aang made a deal with your aunt's father for purchasing the Republic City lands. However, ever since your aunt became the queen, she had always accused them to steal from the Earth Kingdom, plotted about my nation, and even once attempted to have me and my mother killed in Ba Sing Se." 

Wu desperately stated his sorrow and apologized with a down face, as now their meals were served. Senna waited for the waiter’s leaving to answer. Then, she patted his shoulder with an intimate smile. 

"Please don't. I won't judge you or your people due to her actions all in the past. Me as the next Fire Lord and representative of the current Fire Lord here, I wish to have great relations with the Earth King and between our people from now on and in the future."  

"It would be an honor, Princess." Wu gladly stated after her appeasing voice. For him, this meeting turned out to have unexpected topics that his heart filled full of hope for future events. 

As seeing the happiness on his face, Senna, feeling her triumph, rose her glass to make a toast. 

"For the greatest future." Wu joined her with repetition of her byword. 

During the rest of the meeting, Senna showed him well-written papers suggesting what could be done and discussed items one by one with him. 

In the end, with stating their farewells and hopes to meet again on better occasions, Senna took out the files and walked away giving one last smile at him. 

Leaning to the inner door Mako was waiting for her with crossed arms observing the whole interview away. He tried to figure out what was being talked about, but giving up on this vain effort shortly, he just observed them. He made of that the princess's movements were just like the Fire Lord Izumi, from his first encountering (the emergency meeting for defeating Kuvira): Intimate but also frigid knowing what she was doing. 

 She was born to be the Fire Lord. 

 Viewing Mako at the door, Senna rolled her eyes for his wayward nature, calmly passed him without saying a word. Mako moved to pursue but stopped by Wu now asking questions about the princess in sequence. Mako deliberately gave him simple evasive answers and shortly achieved to escape from him. He went outside, saw the princess at the end of the stairs looking around. 

"I guess your little chitchat is finally over." She teased him waiting for him to reach her side. 

"I'm sorry Your Highness. He just...likes to talk." He excused nervously with bowing. Senna didn't respond. Considering it as a mark Mako moved to open the door, but she held his shoulder, stopped him.

"We're not leaving yet." She calmly stated pulling away her hand. With turning face to her he questioned the reason. 

"Because the next meeting is late in the afternoon and I've never been here for almost four years. I wonder what's changed." She excitedly explicated still looking around. “You can leave too but make sure to be here after two hours."  

"I'm supposed to not leave your side. I'm coming." Mako answered formally waited for her to object but she just passed over him. 

Now, walking beside her with united hands on his back, he hesitated to open up a conversation depending on the rules from the first day. However, he recalled yesterday: their chat in his room. This added encouragement to take action. 

"You were really good in there. I gotta say I'm impressed." She looked up at him surprised and answered him with suspicion. 

"You didn't even join, How can you say that?"  

"I observed you and Wu and depending on what I'd read about the charities and your doings for your people or with them, I could tell you did a great job." After his explanation, Senna stopped him from arm looking with the same suspicion.

"How do you know about my actions and charities for my nation?" He unwittingly blew himself out that he wished to take it all back. He began to stammer with slightly sweating. 

"Uhh...I just-I found out about your actions in Fire Nation, for your people." She rose her brows. 

"Did you search for me? For what exactly do I owe this interest on me, detective?" Senna asked cynically with a stiff face curbing herself from giggling. 

"No-I mean yes, after learning that you were the princess...I just wondered about you and read some articles." She couldn't hold more and smiled looking down due to contentment. She kept walking without any question that Mako rolled his eyes, easily comprehended he shouldn't have said those. 

Idiot!

"You said before you've never been here right?" The Princess asked Mako, after short but torturous silence for him, looking back at him. 

He silently nodded, she turned back. 

"Shame." 

Mako was going to ask the reason if she hadn't run one of the inner streets full of small shops shouting a name. As he followed her quickly, he viewed her and a woman tightly hugging each other with laughing. With Mako’s arrival at their side, the woman, Master Yue, stopped talking, shortly examined him, and shortly after proclaimed briskly walking inside without asking any question about him. 

"Tea's on me!"

Senna enthusiastically shouted her with approval and turned Mako. She held his arm with a radiant smile as dragging him in, he couldn't object but only accord. 

With unexpected size of the inner place due to the small entrance, the bookshelf, in the left side, took Mako's attention first. It had 3 wide long column full off well-sequenced books. The golden flower chandeliers lighted around not too luminously, making the area commensurately dim. The walls were brown with the same golden flowers on it and the chairs were light red and tables brown again, all placed in particular sequence that he loved the harmony of the place, strangely feeling no foreignness. 

A few minutes later after settling, Másteres Yue came back with three cups on a tray, kindly served them one by one with intimate smile. Then she and the princess continued their chatting about numerous topics fulfilling their longings.Senna gave a compassionate glance at Mako already noticing his boredom, she found it normal. Calling his rank, she advised him to stroll around and check the bookshelves if he'd like. 

Mako was glad to finally be able to stand up. The chat was about matters he had no idea about or never heard. Even though Mako first tried to listen, it didn't take long for him to bore. He gladly stood up, giving the princess a grateful smile, walked to the bookshelves.

"Just tell it, Yue." Senna calmly gazed at her, asking, after made sure of Mako's secession due to her disturbing glancing at him as taking a sip from her tea. 

"He is such an attractive man. I can see your compatible energy with each other, princess." 

Senna slightly coughed with this statement, then cynically tittered with red checks. She explicate his situation as her guardian. However, Master Yue kept insisting with blinking an eye. "But such a handsome guardian, right?" 

"Hey stop it!" She proclaimed to seem serious. 

Másteres Yue's mood suddenly changed. She softly grabbed her hand and inserted it on hers, compassionately made eye contact with her. 

"But somehow, sometime you need to marry Princess. You can't always work, join the meetings or fight in the battles. You need to give yourself some time." Senna shrugged and tried to smile to relieve her not turning away eyes. 

"I'm happy now and I'm sure when the right time comes, I'll meet the right person." Senna hopelessly said, knowing she probably sensed it too, but Master Yue didn't go forward. She didn't leave her hand yet the tone of her voice changed. Now it was just like in the beginning. 

"But you should be hurry princess. Handsome men like him usually have so many women around them."

Másteres Yue took the cups, deliberately left her alone with thoughts, yet Senna didn't want to brood more. Shortly after her, she sneaked into the shelves, and found him within the second and third. She slightly leaned down with crossed arms and watched him. 

He had a book in his hands reading the summary written back. His face was changing due to what he was reading. Generally, it was tense, but in some parts, he slightly smiled or rose a brow. He was engrossed in the book that she curiously attempted to see the title secretly, yet she couldn't because it was covered by his fingers. She moved away from the shelf, walked to him. 

"Do you like it?" With the sound, Mako slightly jumped, instantly staring beside him. With short eye contact, Mako looked down the book than her again. 

"It seems interesting due to the summary." Senna moved to him a few steps closer and finally had the chance to see the title. Having recognized the book, she slightly smiled. 

"It was one of the writer Gun Sho's famous books. Do you know him?" He shook his head. Now all his attention was on her. 

"He was a fire-bender, pro-bender, before being a writer. His team won six championships in a row. In this book, he tells everything about pro-bending and everything about his life as a pro-bender: daily life, championships, relations, disputes in the team." She recounted distinctly. 

"Sounds interesting." 

"I've been a huge pro-bending fan since reading this at age of fifteen." Mako rose his brows due to shock grinning. 

"Really? You don't seem like a woman who goes to the pro-bending matches and cheer to the pro-benders." His voice easily gave away him that he didn't believe her, yet she couldn't blame him. 

"Actually I did. Fire Ferrets were my favorite team and there was a great fire bender. His name was..." in the middle of her explanation, Senna suddenly looked up at him. "You can't be that Fire Ferret player Mako right?" She asked with not being able to hide her excitement, kept looking up at him confused with shining eyes. Mako’s hand rested on the side of his neck shyly smiling. 

"Uh...Actually, I am."

"Get out of the town!" Senna instantly reacted; that Mako laughed since it was similar to his. 

 "Why are you so surprised? Don't I look like a pro-bender?" He curiously asked as putting the book in its place. 

"No...It's just-I couldn't picture you as a  pro-bender. You seem like you were born for being a detective." Senna didn't ponder her answer much and just responded him. 

Mako couldn't talk for a moment since the ambiguity of the sentence. Then he put a slight smile on his face,leaning down little to the shelf. He looked right in her ambers, gave his best shot. 

"Should I thank you for this compliment or this despising?" She laughed automatically looking down, Mako exalted himself from inside. 

"Thanking for the compliment would be better for you." She paused. "How did you start pro-bending anyway?" 

Mako shrugged, just told the story in a short, of course not mentioning his workings for the Triple Threats. "It was nothing special. After I got my fire bending I educated myself to protect my little brother but after coming across to the matches, I thought I could make money with it. I was seventeen." 

Senna insightfully nodded her head, then addressed some memories of her watching his pro-bending matches and confessed her admiration to his bending style.With this, Mako instantly rose her brows with an open mouth, surprised. 

"Really? But I'm sure you know more things about fire-bending than me."  Senna approached, put a hand on his shoulder, and, just like before, sensed his accelerating heartbeats with a smile, looking up at him. 

"Bending is not just about power. I admired your skills to use it which made you beat the opponent even your power or knowledge might be less than his or hers ." Mako beamed, contented to be praised about his bending by her probably one of the strongest fire-bender. Especially after Kuvira’s attack, he needed this. 

After her farewell with Másteres Yue, now walking into the streets, they kept talking about pro-bending, and Mako promised her to take one pro-bending match the next time she came. 

 "So you're sure that next time I come here I'll see you again?" Senna asked to baffle him with a cynical smile. Mako easily comprehended her intention. Willing to play her game, he answered shortly.  

"You said yourself." Her smile widened looked right inside of his eyes. 

"But I can change my mind." Mako quickly moved a few steps forward from her and opened his arms with shrewdly smiling.

 “I don't think you would want to miss a chance to watch a pro-bending match with your favorite pro-bender." Senna chuckled looking down and ,strangely for her, accepted her defeat without resisting. 

"Arrogant." 

The chat between them continued as Senna showing him around, but this time the princess generally turned him and gave pieces of information about Fire Nation. Mako preferred listening to her and saw the shine in her eyes, while she was telling something she liked. Now, the strict mature woman from the meetings turned into a little kid, and Mako just watched and followed her wherever she was taking him with a slight smile. 

"You really don't like talking detective, do you?" She softly asked and Mako questioned the reason for her statement. 

"Because since leaving the tea shop, I'm the only one who has been talking and you're just nodding your head or say the same things: Oh! Interesting! Really!" She beamingly made his imitation in the last sentence with thickening her voice. 

"I'm not talking like that." He objected but softer than general. She burst out laughing. 

"Is that really the only part that interested you?" He laughed in diffidence and felt needed to explain himself.

"Okay. I can't say I'm so fond of talking, but now the reason of my silence is that we're in kind of in your territory where you have a great amount of knowledge." Her laughing turned into grinning with a questioning tone. 

"So you're saying I have to wait till your time comes." 

"Probably...but don't expect too much." Mako lifted his hands till her breast to express him, unintentionally sounding humorous that made her laugh again. 

"After this day, don't worry."

That was the only conversation between them, as they were walking to the car. Senna once in her life didn't worry about what she should say or not, against someone. She didn't pretend to be content. She actually was content...content of his chatting.

After the last meeting, now the princess was on the boat approaching the quay of the Air Temple Island to have dinner with Master Tenzin, his family, and the Team Avatar.

Ikki shouting her name with Meelo, ran to the edge of the quay. They greeted the princess with bowing. 

"It's an honor to meet you, meet a princess." Ikki stated clapping hands Meelo took her hand and kissed it.

"Princess Senna, I'm Meelo. A natural leader, the best airbender in the world, and her brother." He used a sarcastic tone on emphasizing the last two words that Ikki ignored him. 

Senna patted their shoulder beamingly stating her pleasure to meet them. The others came to her side, she all greeted them one by one. Master Tenzin depicted his gratitude to host her here. 

"It's a pleasure for me as well. My mum used to tell me so many stories about Team Avatar's children's relations and adventures happened in here." She stated with the same naturally radiant smile on her face since arrival.

Asking about each other with Korra, she was about to go inside with everyone before hearing Bumi's voice howling. 

"Where are youuuu, little draaaagon?" Bumi ran to the quay. 

"Hereee!" Senna shook her hand. She walked briskly to him, and they enthusiastically hugged each other with Bumi lifting her rotating a few times that Senna couldn't help laughing like a little kid. Bumi landed her down grabbing her shoulders, quickly laying his eyes on her. 

"Look at you! The last time I saw you, you were a little girl." With his humorously cutting tone, Senna rolled her eyes yet still smiling at him. 

"It was three years ago Bumi. I don't think I was that little." He shook his forefinger in front of her. 

"No, no. You were such a peevish teenager but now you're a young lady." Senna automatically beamed at him as him leading her inside with chatting to catch up with each other. 

At the dinner table, listening to the conversation about the recent state of the Republic City, Senna was also answering all the questions which Ikki was asking her about being a princess. As sitting next to the princess, Mako unwittingly listened to her conversation with Ikki, admired her resistant patience since he probably couldn't endure that long. With regular glancing at her, he had his meal.

Short after the end of dinner and beginning to drinks, Meelo suddenly shouted Mako's name making everyone jump. "I have some questions for you!" He paused and his eyes shrank. "Math questions." Everyone began laughing except Mako gazing at him, crossed his arms, trying his best to sound cold. However, it was unbelievable. 

"You always make me solve them Meelo but they all are your homework." He stated fed-up. 

"But I learn better when you solve it. Wait here, officer." Meelo softly objected but without hearing his answer flew away with air ballon.

"I can see you're good at math." Senna stated little approaching to his ear, giggled thanks to their conversation. 

"As I told you I love numbers." Meelo came back and sat between them putting forward the papers. 

"Would you mind me watching you, Meelo? I'm a little interested in math and maybe I could help." Senna affectionately asked grinning. 

"Of course Princess, but I don't think he will be needing your help." 

Mako started solving the questions and explaining distinctly to Meelo. He put his greatest effort to choose his words carefully since he was being watched by the princess, and when it came to the last question, Mako couldn't find the answer, he tried again but failed once more. That suddenly changed Meelo's confident-of-him mood. 

"Do you see princess? I'm trusting this man considering he is good at math but he can't even solve a simple problem." They laughed together that Mako gazed both sullenly scowling and rapidly turned into the question again. "You forgot to add this one." Senna pointed to one of the numbers in the question. Mako quickly glimpsed at her still pouting and rapidly turned to the question as she kept laughing at him secretly. 

"That's it!" He, out of control, raised his voice with a triumphantly ambitious face, made everyone look at him. He shortly expressed the reason with an intimate smile; turning to Meelo, gazing, he harshly gave the papers. 

"Next time you ask, I'm sure I'll need some time to consider your request." 

Meelo scowled at him pouting as leaving their side. Mako looked up, smiled Senna as thank you shortly responded by her with the same face. 

After the dinner, the crew decided to show the princess around the island.

"Actually it looks better in the morning but I hope you like around at night." Korra intimately depicted the princess strolling around as all lined up. Senna kept her stance happy. "Don’t worry. I think It looks kind of exotic.” Shortly Bolin excitedly started to narrate the story of how they had traveled to all the Earth Empire to find air benders to the princess. 

Senna carefully listened to him, generally smiling sarcastically as the Queen's general greediness. 

"Do you know the queen?" Senna instantly turned to Mako curiously looking at her, not realizing she'd been watched, and shortly explicated their relations. 

After the end of the story, all startled to having suddenly faced off with first Meelo and Ikki air-running to them, then Jinora and Kai, slowly walking behind. Except for Senna giggling, all frowned warning them.

"Have you seen a bison princess?" Ikki ignored others and asked to the princess laughing. Senna shook her head with slight sorrow. Meelo coughed, stepping to her like a nobleman. "That's why I came here, beautiful lady to show you and end this tedious conversation." Meelo said looking at Bolin and they stuck their tongues out at each other. 

Senna nodded with smiling at him, softly patted his shoulder to make him start moving. With short walking, they reached a human-made nest in the forest full of bisons. She looked all Bisons in their chamber with shock, rose her brows. 

"Except Senkaku Island I didn't know there were that much in here." With the princess's obvious amazement, Jinora narrated to her how they'd found them near to the Northern Air Temple and fought with the Earth Kingdom's merchants. 

"Would you like to feed them? I can escort you." Meelo asked standing in front of the princess reaching out his hand with slightly bowing. 

"Can you assure me that you are trustworthy, air-bender?" She bowed little too, asked with grinning at him. 

"Of course." 

"Then let's go." She held his hand towards her and together they walked to the bison with the crew following them behind. 

Senna first watched Meelo showing her how to feed, then with lettuce she grabbed, she attempted, but the bison suddenly pushed her back, she didn't expect as staggered to the bump. However, her arms was held with two arms, on about to fall. With the warmth Senna felt again, it wasn't too hard to guess who. She stood up with Mako's help and he softly held her hand that Senna first looked down then at him. She felt her increasing heartbeats, yet didn’t felt need to injury. 

"Let me help you." Mako directed her to the bison. Both first took some lettuce from the box. Then standing on the opposite sides of the bison, they leaned down together. He first directed her hand to its head and the other one with lettuce to its mouth. 

"I did it." She looked at him, radiantly laughed with her eyes shining that Mako was petrified with the beauty so close to him and couldn't help himself responding, but Meelo suddenly came between them. 

"They liked you princess." He stated and her answer immediately came. 

"I always have good relations with animals." After feeding the bisons a little more, they walked back to the Air Temple chatting. 

"How can you trust someone so easily?" Bolin curiously asked what is in his mind to Senna, moving next to her with pushing Korra. Senna gave a look to Bolin, slightly laughing. Then with her forefinger, she pointed Meelo now heatedly arguing with Ikki a little away. 

"The person you called someone is a 9-year-old-kid Bolin." With her cynical statement, Bolin kindly objected, concerned. 

“Yes, but still I gotta warn you, Princess, the world is not somewhere you can trust that easily."  

Her happy face suddenly fell, looked down for a second, making Bolin think he'd said something wrong. However, Senna made a contact with his eyes intimately but slightly smiled at him. 

"Who says I do? I just trust kids so easily because they're not like us." She answered. 

"What do you mean?" Korra curiously handed down the conversation.  

"They just live their lives. They have no anxiety, no worries, or not thinking of their profits. They can easily tell you everything right or wrong and never let you down, unlike so many adults." This time, Mako objected to her claim.

"Even as kids not all of them can be trusted."

Senna looked up at him and demanded to explain himself as wondering his idea. Mako calmly turned her and pointed to Kai. “For example Kai. He was a thief and lied to us when we found him. If we had trusted him at that time, he would have stolen everything we had." 

"Hey, I'm here!" Kai furiously proclaimed gazing at him. 

"But he is not now right?" Senna first looked Kai blinked her eye and then back at Mako attempting to answer back. 

"Yes but still..." However, she didn't let. 

"You're wrong detective. Even in that time, you trusted him and your trust made him who he is today." Mako couldn't say a thing but saw the raw joy in her face to have outwitted him. 

That was the last conversation between them till the Air Temple. Then, the time of leaving came. Senna intimately stated her farewells one by one with everyone with a radiant smile on her face, invited all to the Fire Nation and walked to the boat with Mako right behind her. 

After settling, Senna closed her eyes and peacefully let the wind blow her hair not knowing she was watched by Mako with a contemplative face, a mesmerized smile, and his right cheek leaning beside on right hand. He felt his whim again and easily predicted what would happen next: He would draw her all night. 

In front of the hotel room's entrance, Senna made formal but intimate farewell reciprocated by him with the same words due to the elegance of her saying. He hardly achieved to wait for her till going into her room and after that he tensely, with a lighting speed, went down and got on his motorbike to reach home before losing the whim.

Chapter Text

 

"Why don't you write to her anyway? I need to put an emphasis on that she is the best pen pal I've ever had." Bolin asserted in the dinner with the crew, taking a fork from his cub of noddle in Mako's grumpily glancing at him. 

"You only had two pen pal: Korra and her." Bolin gazed at him yet his answer immediately came. 

"I know and she is way better than Korra. At least she responses me back." With air-bending, Korra sullenly threw the strawberry pie to Bolin's face. Now, they were all amusingly deriding Bolin's struggle to clean himself. 

"She wrote me about you." Korra nudged Mako right beside her that his eyes suddenly widened, impatiently waited for Korra's answer. 

"She asked how you were, why you didn't write to her." With Korra's statement, Opal kindly barged into the conversation subtly blinking an eye at Korra.

"She must have been waiting for a letter from you the most." Both chuckled together that disturb Mako. 

"Why is that?" He grumpily asked giving a look to them. 

How could a princess wait for something from me?  

"I don't know you should tell us. In festival, dinner, or her farewell, you two seemed close." Asami subtlety giggled joining other women as she now finished her food. Mako sulked his face, and as usual, rapidly attempted counterclaim with a raising voice. 

"We don't even know each other, we're not that close!" Korra put a hand on his shoulder to calm him down advising him to write even a few words. He just nodded looking down not sure if he could or if she would accept. 

At home, with blank papers on the left side of the desk, Mako struggled to write to the paper right towards him. Except for Korra, he'd never written a letter with anyone before and he couldn't consider himself as good at it. 

In a few hours, he hardly achieved to pen a few words, but in each paper, he found a flaw, and, with rolling eyes furiously, all his efforts resulted in throwing them away.

He had no idea how to begin or what to tell. 

She was the Princess of the Fire Nation. Everything he could possibly write would be in vain with her greatest stories and so many friends.

He leaned back to his chair hopelessly, shortly stood up vexed, and went to bed with his mind filled with their memories. 

The whole week passed like that. Every night, in his room, he tried to pen even a few words to her, which always ended in bed lying down thinking of her with thrown papers all over the ground. 

As at the end of the week today, Mako drove to the usual place for the crew dinner. After Korra's coming back to Republic City, Asami shared an idea of arranging such dinners with each other at least once a week, willingly accepted by everyone. Each of their life was proceeding in its own way not allowing them to spend time together. Hence, to keep their connection vivid, these meetings were the best wellsprings for them.  

As being usually the latest one, today he was the first. In the room booked for them, he waited for the others, viewing movements of the wine in his glass with thoughts evaluating if he should ask others about what to write to the Princess. 

With the footsteps sound, he looked up at the inner entrance, grouched with muttering as being late. However, instead of his friends, General Iroh entered the room. Mako instantly stood up and bowed to greet him in confusion, questioning his presence in here from inside. 

General, with a formal but intimate tone, asked the others. 

"They must be on their way, sir." General nodded sitting right opposite of him, ordered the same vine as his. 

Mako slowly sat, took the last sip of his glass. In silence, the General waited for him finishing to open up a conversation. They both inquired after each other's health. 

"Can I ask what you're doing here General?" Mako hesitantly started making General smile slightly. 

"You already did. There is something I need to tell you." He nodded his head still not having an exact answer but he knew he shouldn't ask more.

Till the others came, they continued a formal mundane conversation about their works or Republic City. As Iroh deliberately wasn't bringing the topic to the Fire Nation or his sister, Mako deliberately didn't ask about her too. After all arrivals and the settling, the meals were ordered.

Korra waited until the waiter's leaving to ask if there was a problem worriedly. Iroh sincerely smiled at her and made a contact with each pair of eyes. 

"Not at all. I have been talking with my sister and she has been telling me so many good pieces of stuff about you. I wanted to thank you all for treating her nicely till now. She doesn't have any friends and observing her building a friendship with the team Avatar just gladdens me." With his softened well-tuned voice, Team Avatar for the first time saw the loving man inside of the mighty cold General outside. 

"How?" With risen brows, Mako couldn't help himself asking absentmindedly. Iroh glimpsed at Mako sitting opposite of him, shortly explained.

"Let's say, she is just not very good at trusting people but it seems like she trusts you." 

Bolin erected his stance, put a hand on his breast, handed down the conversation.

"You don't need to worry sir, now she had five friends and I don't think we could lose the best pen pal we have." He humorously stated. 

"She has a way with words, doesn't she?" Iroh chuckled but shortly coughed to spin the conversation. 

"Now, let me explain the true reason for my presence with you today. Next month, I'll go to the Fire Nation for the Fire Lily Festival, and yesterday, my sister asked me to suggest you coming with me since you all have never been there." 

The crew instantly accepted and declared their enthusiasm, before thanking the General for his kind offer. All couples sitting beside each other hugged each other and Mako joined them with grinning radiantly as feeling excited for this journey like others. 

Then, in dinner, Opal eclectically asked the General about the fire lilies that he patiently answered each of her questions without any objection. Listening to their conversation, Mako remembered the princess in their first dinner in Fire Nation District while answering all questions about the funds for the Republic City. Mako noticed the similarities between General Iroh and Princess Senna: first the amber eyes and the authoritarian stance. Even without an effort, with the emotionless faces, body language, and sound of voices, both could easily spread fear making people shun from them but also admiration making people wonder about them more. 

After all the statements of them having never seen a fire lilies before by the crew, Iroh chuckled explicating the reason. 

"The fire lily is a flower to grow only in greeneries of the Fire Nation. Around the middle of the summer every year, it blooms just for a few weeks. Moreover, for generations, each year of its blooming period is celebrated as festival...As an image let's say It is a red version of the panda lily flower in the Earth Kingdom." 

Passing the part of drinks, Iroh expounded the traditional celebration customs of the festival but not all of them since he had to leave early due to his hard work in the morning but strongly advised them to ask for details to Senna.

"She really loves exposing people with Fire Nation." Which made Mako smile recalling their last day in the Fire Nation District together. 

Even after the General gone, the crew enthusiastically kept chatting about Fire Nation still without any idea. However, Mako wasn't with them. He was in deep thoughts all about seeing her again. His heartbeats accelerated combined with the whim. He suddenly squeezed the table cloth a little. He desperately wished to leave. No! He had to go home now! 

In the middle of the conversation, he rapidly stood up with all turning eyes to him. He made an excuse with his so-called tiredness and moved to the exit after paying for his food. 

Even without changing clothes, he quickly sat on the chair. Just like in the last few days, he tried to visualize her with closed eyes. However, this time was different. Instead of blankness, he heard her voice talking to him, viewed her laughing at him, he felt her hand touching him. Now he felt fullness with an extreme whim.  

Suddenly, he recalled the pictures of her he drew. He groaned a little enraging himself for not calling up them sooner. He opened the drawer under the right side of the desk, took out pictures, Inspected each carefully, he took the pencil, and started drawing absentmindedly on empty paper. 

When he was finished, he realized that he'd drew every detail of her features. He smiled as surprised how he could remember those all. He put the picture next to the other ones and in a new paper and he began writing as if somehow like words just wrote themselves, and with the drawing, he put them into an envelope to send it in the morning.


After her usual morning meditation session with her grandfather and short chitchat, Princess Senna was, now, walking throughout the parlor to join one of the parliamentary interviews with the Fire Lord. 

The meeting would be with presidents of the Fire Nation cities and colonies, under the Fire Lord, about the presidents' governing in their districts depending on the report, Senna and the Fire Lord prepared together with hours of work last night. 

First, the Firelord greeted all the presidents with a slight smile; they bowed as an answer. Then, she began with asking after them and chatting about mundane matters that meanwhile, Senna had time to brood. 

Today was the day she was supposed to receive letters from the Team Avatar. Strangely, she enjoyed chatting with all of them. Each one had different characteristics inside of themselves, made her discover various worlds that pleased her.  

Firstly Bolin, as Senna first observed in their first encountering, was quite funny; hence, with his attentively literal language, he generally wrote the most amusing letters that she couldn't help herself bursting into a laugh. 

As a businesswoman, Asami's letters were just like how they were supposed to be: formal but Senna could still sense intimacy. They generally chatted about politics or economy that she could easily comprehend her intelligence, making her think throughly each of her responding letters. 

Just like how Senna designated about with their interactions with her helping during the festival, Opal's letters were soft, sweet, and optimistic almost opposite of her. She generally wrote about her hometown and really good at making observations. Senna liked her nature to pay an attention to details just like her. 

Korra's letters generally touched Senna's powers as a fire-bender with her being the Avatar. She usually preferred telling her details about the responsibilities of being the Avatar that reminded herself. She told her the fights she had to endure in the last few years, Senna always admired her strength after everything she had been through. 

For Mako, as she remembered their gently saying goodbyes after a few fights all of which were solved that she was sure, he hadn't written to her yet, making her put an effort to designate a reason, till now she couldn't find any. Also, she knew he wasn't good with talking and probably in words but still it shouldn't be so hard to say a few words, like "Hello" or maybe a story. As she kept telling herself from the first day she'd met he really had no manners. 

"Are you here Senna?" Firelord Izumi teasingly asked a third time to her daughter, and this time she finally heard. With confusion, she turned to her mother, quickly came to her senses as Fire Lord Izumi pointed the presidents with her brows. 

"Huh?...Yes, totally Firelord." 

 With her mother's orders, Senna showed them files including flaws in the president's governing. She gave them some advice to correct those mistakes which were listened carefully by everyone except one person: President Eichi. 

"Is there a problem President Eichi? I guess you know best how to govern your district better than the others." Senna asked annoyed if him, teasingly with a risen brow as he gazed at her because of hearing his name announced. 

"Of course, princess...Also, I found it ridiculous of princess giving us orders instead of the Fire Lord." He disdainfully stated smirking slightly looking right into the princess's eyes. For him, the princess was just a spoiled child only causing others to suffer and she certainly not deserving to become the next Fire Lord.

Fire Lord Izumi angrily attempted to plead but with eye contact with her daughter, she let her daughter answer. Senna coughed to be heard clearly. 

"First of all I'm not giving you orders; we prepared these files with Fire Lord, and she will participate in to the conversation in her right place since right now we're just arguing what should be done for our people." Senna glanced down the files, found a chance to teach him a lesson that made her subtly smile. 

"I just saw your district is the first on the list with the most problems. Would you like to explain that instead of teasing the princess?" As soon as her statement with the cynical tone, he surprisedly looked down to the files, he hadn't even attempted to open till now. After a few minutes of browsing, he furiously raised his voice, raising the file. 

"This file is a lie! My people are happy!" Senna put her hands on the table united, continued with the same attitude. 

"For sure but not with your governmental system depending on polls," Senna answered smirking, which ignited him to stand up wagging his finger at her furiously. 

"You...you plotted this!" 

"Watch your language, President." Fire Lord strictly interrupted the conversation making him bowed to apologize.  

"I'm not accepting this. I want open voting in my district." This seemingly naive stance and his request made Senna chuckle first, soon objected with a strict voice. 

"So that you could get rid of everyone rejecting you? I don't think so." He didn't wait to answer back. 

"Princess, you have no right to give the last orders." He looked back to the Fire Lord, softened his language. 

"I need to know who has problems in my district so that I could solve with their help, Fire Lord."

Senna opened her mouth to answer but before her, other presidents stated the ridiculousness of this idea and began arguing clamorously. Shortly, Fire Lord stood up to silence everyone. 

"That's enough! I'm the one who makes decisions here not you." With her shouting, all presidents bowed and stated their apologies. Then she continued calmly. 

"I think other presidents and Princess Senna are right Eichi. You can't expect open polling to be objective and fair. Your request is rejected." Fire Lord paused to observe his reaction better. He sullenly opened his mouth first, but shortly closed with obediently nodding and sitting down on his seat. "And this interview is over. I hope you consider what we talked about and take necessary actions till the next meeting. Thanks for coming." With Fire Lord farewell all presidents up-stood and bowed to her and the princess as they walked away from the parlor together.  

Fire Lord put her hand over her daughter's shoulder proudly praised her for today.  “You were so good in there darling. You put the Eichi in his place." Senna looked at her confused.  

"I know he annoys you, so why are you keeping him around mum? He is obviously an useless greedy person...and idiot." Senna’s tone became furious till the end of the sentence, since deeply she hated him due to his attitude against her and her family. 

"Because of Gaya." Senna looked beside at Firelord's ruthful face due to the cause of her death. She felt remorse just like in the last seven years. 

"I'm the one who should be making up not you. She died because of me." Senna hardly stated with remembering her death. She looked down, her eyes slowly began filling up with tears 

Fire Lord Izumi put her hand on her shoulder stopped Senna. She tenderheartedly placed other hand on her chin lifted till aligning their eyes, fondling. 

"Stop blaming yourself, Senna. It wasn't your fault." 

Senna sorrowfully exhaled a breath, closed her eyes, and a few tears fell. She was about to answer when staff came to their side bowed respectfully. Senna pulled herself together and looked upon him stiffly. 

"Princess Senna, as you'd requested, I came here to let you know that the letters came from the Republic City." He reached the letters out to her. She thanked him and took the letters. As the staff was withdrawing, she saw the title on the upper envelope. 

FROM DETECTIVE MAKO 

Her sorrowful mood seconds ago, suddenly changed that now she was over the moon. She automatically put a radiant smile on her face, not questioning the reason for now. He speedily just said goodbye to her mother and fire-jetted to her room regardless of her mother's warnings not to do it inside of the palace. 

Senna sat on the table on the right side of the room, rapidly opened his envelope first, already forgetting the others. 

Senna took out two papers. Firstly encountering a well-drawn picture she looked at it. Senna saw a woman laughing, couldn't figure who she was. She shrunk her eyes, began to examine it. 

Shortly, Senna realized the girl in the picture was herself smiling radiantly, in the Air Temple Island, while feeding the bisons. She giggled, admiring his skills to draw. She kept viewing picture for a while, remembering that day.

Then,Senna reached out the other paper with a wide smile on her face she began reading.


 Princess Senna, 

I hope this letter finds you well. I know you've been corresponding with everyone regularly and I believe I should apologize for not writing you sooner. I didn't know what to write or where to start. Each time I attempted resulted with failure since it is hard to find the truest words for you. Bolin is a lot better in this kind of stuffs you probably designated from letters. Maybe it is because he doesn't think too much and just states what's in his mind whether it is proper or not...Whatever that's not the point.

General Iroh told today that you invited us to your home, and I sincerely want to thank you for that. It's such a kind thoughtful offer. I'm looking forward to seeing the Fire Nation and learn new things about it, but on a lighter note, I am looking forward to seeing you again, hoping this time is filled with you laughing at me more instead of yelling.

Also, I drew a picture of you. You can assume as a price for not writing you sooner. I'm not sure if you like it, but I'll just hope so.

I still would like to know what you like, do, and hear an interesting story or stories that you have to share. I know this letter is little short but I'm hoping our conversation will become better quality and letters longer once we started sharing things. 

Until then, I eagerly await your response, and for the day we can see each other again.

Sincerely, 

Detective Mako

Chapter Text

 

 

(Twelve hours ago before summary) 

Just like in the last few days, Senna was checking the rooms of their guests, before getting into bed, once again in pure joy due to the arrival of her brother but especially the Team Avatar. It probably meant regular for them based on their journey all over the Earth Kingdom as Bolin told, but, for her, their accepting her offer was significant as they were going to be her first guests. Therefore, she was looking forward to showing them everywhere, making them comfortable during their stay. 

"Checking again?" Hearing a familiar sound behind, Senna startled, instantly looked back as asking staff to pick up sheets inside of the last room. 

"You scared me, dad!" Senna proclaimed relieved. Taichi repeated his question. She surlily rolled her eyes, yet her face quickly softened. She exhaled a breath. 

"I just want to make sure everything is perfect." 

Taichi approached with a compassionate smile, wrapped her up from shoulder with a hand, led her out of the room, making an effort to appease her with words. 

"Stop worrying herself too much. Everything is already perfect." 

Accompanying his daughter till her chamber, Taichi joyfully smirked soon turned into laughter as seeing his little daughter, still for him, willingly attentive for people except for her family and Fire Nation citizens.

"I'm so happy to see you finally having friends, darling." Taichi intimately squeezed his hand on her shoulder with the same face of happiness. 

Senna looked up protested, sullenly objected as them not being her friends due to their strict friendship within each other for years but her voice nothing more than muttering, since she wasn't so sure either. That was how all her relationships evolved. She, first, got on well, then with suspicion of betrayal, she drifted herself away, acting aloof and finally lost everybody since she was afraid of stabbing behind the back, like dramatically experienced before...

With a tear falling from her cheek at almost dawn, Senna slowly opened her eyes. She blankly looked up to the ceiling, couldn't move for a while, even couldn't open the bedside light right beside her. She just stayed the same. 

Just like in the last seven years she'd had the same nightmare. What she'd lived through seven years ago. The same scene all over again without ceasing and changing even in the smallest detail that was enough to crumble her heart into pieces. 

Senna lifted her hands, looked up to them all in dark as if filled with blood and caught the scent of it.

This can't be real. 

Senna couldn't endure to see more. She had to get rid of it. Get rid of all her conscientiously burdens, everything…

Rapidly standing up without even considering turning on any light, Senna totteringly ran to the bathroom, leaned down to the sink. She began to wash her hands with tears closing her sight. She speedily teared them away and continued, but the blood never poured out. It was still in her hands, enraging her. She began rubbing more harsh soon turned into galling carelessly just wishing all gone. 

"GO AWAY!" 

Senna ceased washing. Her shouting turned into lamentation, putting hands on both sides of the sink. She was anguishing, deeply, from her spirit which had accepted no recovery or treatment yet she desperately wished to. If she could, she'd forget that night, everything related to it...and just moved on.

She lifted her head, looked at the mirror, viewed the miserable weak and messy woman. Tears flowing from eyes turning red as well as her face, body trembling. 

"Look at the legendary princess." Senna muttered with sobbing. Her eyes slipped down to her hands begging from inside that the blood was gone but her hands were still full of it. She felt the bottom and exhaustion. 

Senna turned back crouched to the ground, with leaning back to the bathroom cabinets, letting the tears go loudly this time. She closed her eyes, exclaimed with mumbling still uselessly galling her hands. 

"Please go away..."  

Minutes passed and Senna had no intention to do anything if hadn't sensed a firm pressure inside of her heart. She lamentingly leaned down little on the ground, her hand was on the breast slightly groaned. She thrashed about to move forward yet the pain didn't let. It was severe like someone now pressing violently on all over her breast with a great deal of strength. 

Since this had never happened to her before, without any experience, she firmly closed her eyes and this time vainly begged it to be gone with muttering. 

As she'd expected it didn't work but now she could feel something. Hazard and dread...

The ancient dragons.  

She could now be able to figure out everything. The rage and fear inside of her belonged to the ancient dragons due to the spiritual connection she had with the Dragon's fire. 

Senna easily comprehended they were in danger.

"I have to go." She muttered. With a recently obtained priority, she temporarily forgot all the blood, pain, endeavored to go to the dressing room. Changing her pajamas into a suit, she finally dared to look down at her hands owing to the first lights of the dawn falling into the room. She looked down hesitantly but just viewed a few scratches on her hands and palms. 

However, she didn't have much time. Without even pondering to communicate to the island first, she reached the back garden of the palace where a few airships resided just in case of sudden attacks. Not to be realized, she chose one of the hot air balloons, set going with fire. 

Landing near to the ancient dragon's caves in a few hours, she hurriedly climbed the stairs of the caves thinking of calling the dragons, not only because it would make things easier for her in any possible attack, but because she thought they should be now out depending on her feeling of danger, agitating her that something might be wrong. 

She sat in the middle of their caves, crossed legs with closed eyes. She composed a small flame to show them her presence, took a deep breath. Since having the Dragon's fire, she'd always tried to teach herself to communicate with dragons thanks to her grandfather's assistance that even just composing a flame was enough for that. 

However, after waiting a few minutes no one came out. She endeavor to feel their inner fire, then conveyed fire streams inside of the caves, still, nothing occurred that understood they were gone. 

But where?  

She now was sure that something was wrong. She worriedly tried to call them here from inside, as standing up and moving a few steps forward to the edge, looked down at the other side of the island. She viewed enemy ships some of which were already here and others coming. She quickly jet-stepped up to air then down to the ground. Standing in front of the Sun Warriors, Senna repulsed the first group of soldiers with fire streams and wheels yet she viewed the Red Lotus flags from the other ships.

Now, she comprehended everything: Red Lotus was invading the Sun Warrior Island. 

She tried to calm herself down and firstly asked about citizens to the leader of the warriors. 

"We hardly achieved to take all the citizens to the secret bunker." 

"Dragons?" He couldn't answer. The tension on her face increased. She shouted making the leader jump with fear. 

"I said dragons!" He rapidly answered her with bated breath. 

"After the first Red Lotus ships came they flew away that we couldn't understand Your Highness. I'm so  sorry." 

"That's okay." With turning a calm tone and face, Senna patted his shoulder to appease him, asked the ammunition. He explicated the previous soldiers suddenly coming before her to the island injured almost half of the soldiers and citizens. She hopelessly looked up the sky hoping to see the dragons but there was none. She exhaled dismally. 

"Did you communicate with the Capital?" She asked while glancing at the sea to locate the distance of the ship from the continent. 

"They are attacking speedily subsequent. Thus, we couldn't reach the com-center tower."

Senna nodded trying to ponder an urgent plan in a few minutes. Almost nothing came up on her mind but she knew two things for sure: 

First, she had to communicate with the Capital to evacuate the citizens, and come back here to fight. 

As second she had a minimum of an hour to do that as she computed. 

"I'll reach to the headquarter to make a contact with Capital. Till I come back,  you have to resist then you could go to the secret bunker and wait for the unit of evacuation." She simply explicated to him that made the leader instantly object. 

"But Your Highness we can't leave your side!" 

"I could handle with them. I've been doing this for three years." He could just nod to the princess. 

All the villagers were in the safe bunker which was built years ago in every Fire Nation Islands in case of any attacks, and the city was far away from the shore with a hill in front of it. Senna, now, was the only one jetting along with the village like a madwoman. It took her twenty minutes to reach the communication center. She closed the door in rush and grab the radio on the right side of the table. 

"Is anyone copy?" She repeated a few more times as trying to regulate her breath after jetting almost twenty kilometers. She finally found an answer from a soldier.

"Bring the General of the forces. I'm Princess Senna and I'm calling from The Sun Warrior Island." With the soldier's approval, Senna began waiting for the general, that now she was slightly hearing sounds but endeavored not to care. 

In ten minutes, the General came to the radio in rush, just knowing what the soldier told. 

 "Senna? When did you go there and why? The team Avatar was about to cross the border doors of the Fire Nation. You need to come ba-" She didn't let her dad finish. 

"I can't...Red Lotus is attacking and invading the island. The villagers are safe in the bunker and the Sun Warriors took necessary precautions but the dragons are gone. I don't know where and can't call them. I don't think the Warriors could resist long, since the opponent is too many. At least three times more than ours. Also with half of the soldiers and citizens were injured. I think I could handle it, but still, we need a unit for evacuation." 

Right after her father's approval, she suddenly tell him to be quiet in panic, since having heard steps walking around the center. She hid behind the door waited for the enemy with two fire dagger in each of her hands. 

The enemy went inside, closed the door. Senna silently approached him. In a matter of time, She held his collar, with pushing back, caged him between the door and herself putting a dagger close to his neck without any chance to see his face. 

"Who are yo-" However, as soon as she viewed him, she instantly pulled herself back from the enemy, not able to finish the sentence because of the familiar face she saw. 

That was Noah. 

Leader of the Red Lotus.  

She'd been endeavoring to find for three years. 

Her first best friend. 

The boy she used to play, study, share everything, spend all day together. 

The one having betrayed her, changed her life permanently. 

The reason of the dreams, relations...everything. 

"Senna? Darling? What's happening!? Senna answer me!" With blurry noises Taichi heard, he desperately asked as the third time worrying more about her safety. 

Sudden coming to her senses with her father's voice, she moved to the radio, not turning her eyes from Noah and keeping one of the fire daggers in her hand towards him. 

"He is here." Senna coldly hissed. 

"Who...Are you sure?" Taichi hesitantly asked pondering everything which had took place because of Noah.  

"He is standing right towards me right now." Since what Taichi was afraid the most for his daughter now occurring, that panicked him. 

"Senna, Listen to me. I know you're furious but don't do anything! I'll sen-" She harshly turned off the radio knowing the rest of the sentence. 

"It's been so long, hasn't it?" Noah waited for the end of their conversation, now trying to sound intimate that obviously counterfeit. 

"Seven years." Senna hissed. She nervously compose a dagger to her other empty hand, but with smirking, Noah raised both hands. 

"I'm just here to talk," Senna swore to kill him years ago and now she was supposed to attack yet she just couldn't. She was furious, as he could see in the fire from her eyes, yet she couldn't even move but just look at him blankly.

"You're silent. I never thought our first confrontation was going to be like that." Noah's fake smirking turned into a compassionate smile with viewing the scratches on her hands.

"Me neither." She could hardly answer. Now all of her plans she had been flourishing for years failed. Now she had no idea what to do or say. 

You have to! He is the reason of everything, Senna! You have to do something! 

Her contemplative state, burring in thoughts,  gave him an advantage. He lunged a few step forward to her, yet a strict voice stopped him. 

"Stay back!" She automatically moved back. 

"You don't think I'd hurt you, do you?" Noah asked with real sincerity this time, but not perceived by her. 

"That is the only thing you've ever done to me." She hissed again. Her eyes filled with tears recalling that night. She held the tears, spit out everything about him inside of her mind at that moment, desperately shouting with looking right in his eyes. 

"Why did you come!? I've searched for you for years, captured most of your soldiers! Why now!?"

"I had no courage to face you...Till now. I knew you were going to feel that the dragons are in danger and come here." Except for what she heard about her state and watching her fightings secretly, he had almost no idea about how broken she could still be. With alive anguish he viewed, he attempted to approach her, wishing to hug, yet wasn't let by her walking away from the door harshly hitting his shoulder by hers. 

"Follow me." With her frigid tone, he caught her up in confusion, asking where they were going. Senna ignored him and kept walking to the inner city followed by him. She knew all his eyes were now watching her but didn't care. She achieved to keep her stance strict and still, now walking with her biggest enemy with a priority to think her next move. A plan to beat him and kill him. 

They reached one of the tea shops at the beginning of a street open due to sudden dispatch early in the morning. Senna passed over him, went to the kitchen, and put Jasmine herbs in teapot heating with fire. She walked outside with two cups of the tray to where he was sitting.  

Harshly leaving his cup to his side and other to hers, Senna sit right opposite of him, slowly took a sip from his tea as if everything was normal or the island wasn't in invasion by his group. If an outsider had seen them, he or she would have easily concluded no animosity between them, yet she was dying with rage. Rage at him and herself. She put the teacup on the saucer, looked right in the middle of his black eyes. Now she had a plan: enraging him with distracting his mind then attack just like when they were kids. 

"Today I was hoping to drink some tea and visit the ancient dragons but thanks to you I had to delay my intentions." 

Without turning his eyes away from hers,  Noah savored the amber eyes after years, sneering. "You're still exerting to sound aloof when inside of you is boiling." She flared easily as with the answer, never looking away from his eyes. 

"Cut the chase, Noah! Before any harm happens, pick up your army and leave. This is not like ransacking armory shops in the villages. You're invading one of the most precious islands, meaning an all-out war, and Fire Nation doesn't stop till burning everything on her road...I don't stop. You've seen enough to know that. I don't want to hurt those innocents who you fooled to fight for you." Regardless of her threatening statements, Noah calmly took a sip from his tea.

"I didn't fool anybody." 

"You can't win against me." The self-assurance hissing from her voice, the aloofness began to fade as exactly how Senna wanted, but he achieved to stay cool. 

"Don't be too harsh on me. It's been seven years since we last fought. I believe I've taught new skills to myself enough." 

Both were playing aloof against each other wondering who would fail first. However, Senna was the one. 

"Taught yourself!? My family taught you everything you know today! I showed you all this knowledge you have now! We fought together!" Her sudden shouting made Noah giggle.

"I told you you're angry." That enraged Senna to herself due to not restraining. With these acrimonious words, he was pushing her limits and she could not fall into his trap, become his victim again.  

Senna cynically chuckled leaning back to the chair. 

"I know all your, movements, skills...everything." Noah stood up putting his hands on both sides on the table leaned down to her. His smirking didn't change, even got worse but Senna could easily sense his anger that gratified her, hinting how she should play. 

"And so do I." Senna didn't sit still. Just like him, she up stood pulling the chair beside her. Unlike him, she didn't lean down yet still their eyes were still aligned with each other. 

"You know how this is going to end right? One of us has to die." Senna told the words knowing him to fail for them, and it worked.

"Then let's find out who." He rapidly attempted to push her away with a composed fire stream.

That was what Senna'd been expecting since she recounted that she knew everything about him. Therefore, speedily getting down under the table, she made him mishit and counterattacked with the same movement. With success, he harshly crashed to the wood bars in the corner of the shop crept till the entrance of the other street.

Now, she was the one chuckling shouting at him with a cynical voice.

"Like before, you're still too aggressive." 

With the time she'd gained, she jetted to the hill between the beach and the city center to carry the fight away from the downtown. With her connection to the inner fire, she could sense him coming right after her. Since he knew these places as much as her, she wasn't surprised. 

Senna reached the rapture on the top of the hill running almost ten kilometers. The rapture was huge with no house, anything, like an area. 

Bending down to the ground, Senna suddenly stopped to fall behind and this unexpected maneuver worked. Creeping on the hill, he rotated on the ground that now he was the right opposite of her.

With the triumphant smile on her face, now they were standing right towards each other on the two edges of the rapture. 

That was the day she was waiting for years. The day she could kill him, and she could speak of her plan of doing it but from inside something was still deficient. Her mind was contemplated. Even if she won, she didn't ponder yet still she tried to encourage herself for this. 

"Nice move!" Noah breathlessly stated.

Instead of an answer, she composed huge fire streams against him from the beginning of the rapture till the end. Noah first reciprocated then achieved to flee and like her endeavored to fall her behind with jet-propulsion. However, she didn't let him. The more he ran to her behind, the more she moved to the center of the rapture with her streams. Noah continued jet-propulsion that now the rapture was all surrounded by their fire as if a fire tornado. 

Senna was in the middle of rapture and with his speedy movements, she couldn't see him but her mind wasn't still there. She was still in the same thinking and persuading diffusively and his subsequent movements stopped her from using Dragon's fire to sense his place. Therefore, she made random fire lashes but one of them hit his ankle. He fell to the corner of the rapture. 

With both hands, Senna intertwined two fire streams directing to him, now lying on the ground, for several times. 

Noah could block the first a few ones till gaining his strength then redirected the oncomings to her that she easily fled. 

Then, standing right towards each other and composing fire whips, they directed to each other. Each whip united with one another. However, he was stronger and more adapted that she suddenly lost control and crept till the end of the rapture just like him. 

"So who can't win!?" Noah shouted wrapping the burning wound due to lash on his ankle with a shabby fabric he teared from his suit. 

Senna easily sensed the blood flowing away from her right arm but ignored it, stood up. 

Just like her, Noah ejected an intertwined two fire streams to Senna but she, with her palm, stopped it and easily blocked it. She jetted stepped, landed on the boulder on the edge of the rapture and didn't wait to began composing numerous fire missiles against him. 

He was struggling to run away from the missiles when the groans of soldiers were heard. Recalling the Sun Warriors, Senna worriedly looked back without thinking the opponent right towards her that gave advantage to Noah. He immediately redirected one of the fire missiles towards her. 

Realizing at the last moment, Senna attempted to absorb it, yet still, she was thrown off from the boulder. 

She found her balance near to the ground and with jetting she softly landed on the ground on the beach. She found herself in the middle of a fight that she instantly viewed the Sun Warriors striving to reach the bunker with opponents' weapons as she'd ordered and the Team Avatar. 

What were they doing here?

Chapter Text

Waking up at dawn, strangely for him except working days, and changing pajamas, Mako strolled around to discover the ship ended in the prow. 

After seeing only one bench in the prow, he questioned why there were here in the middle of the prow with a risen brows, yet still sat down, looked at the sun gradually rising. He closed his eyes for a minute with a slight smile letting the beams pierce his body for a few minutes. 

Opening the eyes, he reached to a red file he'd brought with him and took out letters the princess had been sending to him.

Since his first letter, they had become correspondents that sending long-termed letters, sharing things about fire-bending, mundane matters, books, and interesting stories from their life. 

As preparation before their meeting after weeks, he read them all again under the sun rising and brightening his body, couldn't help smirking and his heart fluttering in joy. He was feeling an inexplicable excitement for the journey in the Fire Nation. Relishing this raw feeling inside of him, he convinced himself it might be because it was her mother's birthplace where he was also from. 

After letters, he took out the pictures of the princess. Mako'd never stop drawing her since the first letter, which quickly became a daily habit for him. Like a cigarette. In his mind, he repeated their moments with each other hundreds of times or sometimes looked for to her pictures into the newspapers' headlines. 

Although Mako was caught by Bolin a few times, he rapidly moved away from the pictures till him realizing that was her. He didn't tell about a thing to anyone and he probably wouldn't as not having figured out why he was desperately like that. Why even her smallest movement or his thoughts about her was madly activating his whim, increasing his heartbeats. Why he had easily built something...a connection with her, a soft spot for him...

However, Mako delayed questioning his thoughts as long as he could. For now, he was just savoring this strange feeling. Also, he probably would never be in her concern since she was the Princess of the Fire Nation soon to become the Fire Lord, so without losing control he thought it was okay. 

He attentively placed everything in the red file watched the sea, shortly viewed a few flags nailed on hoys, he couldn't comprehend what they were. He shrunk his eyes to see them closely and vainly tried to figure.  

"Those are the Fire Nation flags. That means we have a few hours to arrive at the Fire Nation Border Doors. Then we will have five hours left till the Fire Nation Capital." 

Looking back at lighting speed, startled, Mako viewed General Iroh with his usual suit, standing a little way off from the bench. 

Mako immediately stood up, greeted him with bowing. 

Wishing Mako a good morning as a response, Iroh sat on the bench, and so did Mako hesitantly. Both didn't talk for a while that disturbed Iroh. 

"Have you ever been to the Fire Nation, Mako?" He asked closing his eyes just like Mako letting the beams strike his body.

"No sir." Mako formally answered nervously around him as usual. 

"Shame." With his statement, Mako titter slightly remembering how the princess told exactly the same thing again in sheerly the same question. Having heard and given no meaning, Iroh opened his eyes, curiously asked the reason for his reaction. Mako stammered first but of course, he couldn't tell it was because of his sister. Instead, he tried to figure out an excuse from inside.

"Uhh...I just- General Iroh, why there is a bench in the middle of the prow?" Therefore, he changed the topic, shortly turning the other side, he secretly exhaled breath of relief. Now, Iroh was the one chuckling soon he began recounting his answer by making regular eye contact with Mako. 

"This bench...I purchased this ship twenty years ago. At that time, I used to work in one of the United Forces bases near the Fire Nation that enabled me to visit home more frequently. Senna always loved this ship that she used to come here every morning to watch the sun rising as a kid in my every visit.  Therefore, I sometimes caught her here lying on the ground sleeping, which brought an idea of this." Iroh paused as seeing Mako listening carefully with a compassionate smile on his face, felt pleased. He responded him with the same face. However, Mako blushed thinking he shouldn't have done that, quickly turned the sun. So did Iroh shortly still chuckling. "You should have seen her after finding out about this. It was just a wooden plain bench but enough to make her the happiest."  

"You have a strong connection regardless of the age difference between each other." Mako automatically stated. Iroh didn't respond back but just patted his shoulder with a smile, suddenly noticed the red file and took it viewing its cover. 

Having turned his side again after his patting and smiling back at him, Mako's eyes suddenly widened seeing the red file in his hands, considering things in it. Having already forgotten he'd brought it with him, he would be in big trouble if he opened. Of course, he couldn't tell him to give it back, yet nervously waited readily to pull it back if General attempted to open it. To not look absurd, he turned the sun again, still glancing his hands regularly with no remnant of his peaceful mood in the morning. Just like his sister, Iroh easily realized the eyes on him. He began laughing. 

"Don't worry, young man. I won't open it without your permission." Even without a great amount of conversation except collective meetings with the team Avatar, Iroh still saw him as a young friend of his maybe since the first day they met, he'd likened him as the younger version of himself both physically and spiritually. 

When Iroh reached the file out to his side, a soldier came to their side transferring an urgent call from the Capital. Iroh quickly stood up, unexpectedly, with Mako, they went to the communication room. 

With a short formal introduction of himself, he asked responding from the opposite speaker yet hearing a few words he easily made out it was the General of the Fire Nation Forces, his father. 

"Dad? What's going on?" Taichi answered in a panic. 

"You must go to the Sun Warrior Island." 

Iroh asked the reason in confusion, and Taichi cited just like how Senn'd told.

"It's now under attack. Dragons flew away, and Senna was there all alone with the Sun Warriors half of who is injured. Now you're the closest ready ship outside of the border that you have to go there for evacuation." 

Iroh kindly requested Mako, who had been listening everything carefully, to let the others know. He speedily ran outside of the room to find them.

After two hours of a journey, the ship anchored the backside of the Sun Warrior Island close to the bunker. Everyone lined up the exit perturbed having no idea about what was happening. Korra asked a few questions to the General, and with a disappointed face, he explicated what he'd got, knowing it wasn't enough. 

Getting off from the ship, Iroh guided the crew to the secret bunker. Quickly reaching there as it was built close to the backside shores of the island, they saw nothing, no fire but just slight voices, which was weird depending on what was told. 

All first began helping injured citizens and soldiers with others' help. In that time the groans increased, yet as helping people, they couldn't hear. 

After the evacuation of everyone, General Iroh directed the location of the beach, as now they viewed huge colorful fire missiles on the sky that amazed them. However, they couldn't ask any questions since having no time and the groans of the soldiers increased. All except Asami, since she decided to go with the General, quickly reached the beach using their bendings. 

(Present) 

Viewing the Team Avatar, Senna exhaled a small breath of fire pouting, finding it ridiculous. She asked a unit for evacuation, not warriors for protection. However, now they were in the middle of the quay, having no idea what was occurring in the soils they'd never been. They were endeavoring to defend themselves against the soldiers and tanks coming away from the ships with their bending skills. 

Senna arbitrated they needed some help but especially guiding. She viewed a huge fire comet constructed by a group of opponent soldiers. 

Although having never seen it, as fire-benders Korra and Mako stepped forward to redirect it but before them, Senna jetted in front of them, with flames in her palms she grabbed the comet. She closed her eyes and after a few seconds, she opened as taking all the control of the fire in it. She with her greatest arm power, pushed it back, redirecting to the opponent ships blowing up all of them on the quay. 

However, the fight was already handed down by tanks on the right side and with soldiers on the left side. Senna with her finger pointed to the right side to Korra and Mako, as they were more and she fire-stepped to the sky on the left side. She hiked up the fire streams coming to her and sent forward to the opponent's army as a wall of fire. They first attempted to redirect it and counterattack, but eventually, failed with numerous fire wheels and streams coming from her hands and feet. They fled to the sea. 

Since the Team Avatar already smashed the tanks, Senna jetted down to them smiling intimately.

"Welcome to the Fire Nation and the Sun Warrior Island." She said humorously. The crew greeted her mystified with the fire she created. Of course, they'd already predicted that she must be a strong fire bender as the granddaughter of the legendary Lord Zuko but her fire was colorful they'd never seen, and with her speedy maneuvers, it was like a show.

Mako impatiently attempted to ask about her fire, before Opal with obvious worry on her face, pointed to the harbor.

"Guys! I think we’ll be surrounded again."

With all the eyes turning around them they saw fire-bender soldiers far but all around them. As a leader, Noah was on the front side right opposite of them with his phoenix mask now. 

Senna kept looking at Noah for a few seconds but then hurriedly turned to Bolin instantly with an idea and gave him a direction. 

"Bolin draw a circle with lava. We need to make a plan." 

"But ho-" He attempted to object with fear but she didn't let with raising her voice. 

"Bolin now!" 

With the army approaching them with fire flames, Bolin, in panic, drew the circle. 

Senna quickly knelt down to the ground, ignoring others' warnings, she touched the lava with a small composed fire flame in her palms. She stood up, shortly lifted her hands.

A shield of cylinder fire composed of lava emerged, rising till the sky with a closed top for any attack. She quickly drew circles with rotating her hands synchronized with arms. 

Within the team Avatar, now they were in the shield. 

"Oh my god! Can you lava bend!?" Bolin with sheerly open mouth proclaimed, with no need to hide his amazement. Senna came closer to them now just rotating her hands and sometimes squeezing due to fire streams attacking the shield. She asked the evacuation ship that they explicated everything. Stating her relief, now she had to explain the idea of repulsing the enemy. 

"I know you're frustrated and I promise I'll explain everything to you later but now we don't have much time and we must defeat them all." She tried to explicate herself distinctly. They all nodded letting her take over the control. 

"Now, we have to take the fight as far away as we could from the ground to gain some time. There is a hill on the north side before reaching the city." Senna pondered it as an only option till the dragons came. Yes, she somehow believed or felt that they would come. 

She made eye contact with Bolin and Korra. "Bolin and Korra, when I landed the lava shield, You need to earth-bend to convey us on the hill. We will have some time as our advantage. Till they come up, we take the positions with earth walls. Then the funniest part begins: taking down the soldiers." She deliberately softened the funniest part since for her, she would surely burn them all. 

"What about the Phoenix guy?" With a slight touch to her shoulder, Mako asked as her squeezing her hands more powerfully. 

"He is mine." She hissed making eye contact with Mako first, then all the others' to get an approval of their understanding which was positive. 

Senna counted back from three. Swiftly landing the fire-lava shield, She tossed them all to the ground, vanquishing a part of soldiers, and Bolin and Korra, with earth bending, launched them to the hill. As Senna'd ordered they composed earth walls drawing a circle with just leaving the walkway road open as opponent soldiers only entrance and all began waiting.

Just like how Senna had taught, Noah rose with composed fire-lava whips with arms branching out downwards, before all soldiers, right towards her again.

Senna viewed him, rolled her eyes, enraging at herself. She exhaled a deep angry breath with a fire flame hissing. 

"I shouldn't have taught you that." 

If there weren't a mask, Senna could easily see the cynical smile on his face, yet she still comprehended it knowing him well. She started jetting to him and that was when Noah pushed his arms forward. Now, all whips were coming along to her and the others side like spider paws. 

With jetting and composing fire lashes, She, in sequence, first cut them one by one, picked them up achieved to huddle all together which sometimes she had to turn back for the missed ones with a fire whip. Then, she directed it as a huge combined blade to him. 

As Bolin standing forward as the only lava bender, the opponent soldiers were seen gradually that now it was a sign for the team Avatar to start fighting. 

They all fought with their bendings: Opal air, Bolin just earth depending on Senna's warning, Mako fire, and Korra helping them with all her bendings. 

Even knowing they could beat these advanced soldiers, still Senna checked others regularly to make sure they were safe. Her father sent them to ensure her security so ensuring theirs must be her priority too. 

Realizing her manner, Noah, now, was creating a distraction with fighting others instead of Senna and sending soldiers against her. Each time she beat the soldiers, she gravitated towards him yet he continued on his strategy. 

This time, taking down the last soldier again, her eyes automatically looked for Noah. She jetted to the sky to find him as composing a huge lighting to the tanks reaching the hill and blew all them up, she saw him fighting with Mako. 

This time she didn't let him finish since Noah was grown up in Fire Nation with learning fire bending with royal and advanced masters all the time. He had much more knowledge to beat him. Hence, she jetted down to Mako just having fallen to the ground. 

Just like how he did minutes ago, Senna pushed him with a stream from her foot, then composed a fire shield around Mako and herself. Her furious face immediately changed and softened. 

"Are you okay?" Senna reached him and with holding his hand, helped him to stand up.

"Yes. I'm totally fine." They didn't leave each other's hands and eyes. 

"I never thought Our first meeting after months will be like that." Mako smiled softly squeezing her hand. 

"Uhh...Me too...but somehow that made sense." Senna grinned with blushing. 

"It's good to see you again, Princess Senna." Mako just said what's in his mind but with the shine in her eyes, he easily comprehended that was what he was supposed to say. 

"It's good to see-"  Senna was about to answer when a fire whip wrapped her belly and pulled her back. 

Before she could grasp what was happening her hand unraveled from Mako's without even letting him resist. She was launched, couldn't find her balance that she harshly fell down from cliff harshly to the ground. 

"Senna!"

Senna was, now, lying to the ground with closed eyes and almost unconscious. She was hearing some voices but meant nothing particular for her. Hardly pulling her mind together, she slowly opened her eyes and saw the blood flowing away from her body. She felt the real death for herself again just like seven years ago and again towards him, inflicted pain to her. However, she sensed Ran and Shaw getting closer and hoped the Team Avatar could resist till they arrived, then viewed Noah as reaching her side with jet-propulsion. 

"I'm sorry princess, I'm sorry Senna." Noah said exactly the same words as seven years ago and again just before about to kill her. He rose upper, but this time Senna didn't close her eyes and just waited for him to look right in his eyes. Noah was about fire bent down to her before suddenly thrown away with a fire stream. 

"STAY AWAY FROM HER!" 

Mako furiously shouted at him; they began to fight again. Now all he could think of was to beat him and save the princess ready to do anything for it. 

With Noah's sudden disappearance from her sight and hearing familiar sounds, Senna thrashed about standing up. With holding on to one of the boulders, she got up, looked around, viewed Mako and Noah fighting with each other, and vainly tried to shout at Mako to stop. However, her shouting was too low and hurting her belly.

As sudden decision, she hardly lifted a boulder with fire whips and threw it to Noah. Not knowing and expecting this attack, Noah harshly fell to the ground with the boulder when Mako was about to counterstrike.  

Firstly thinking it was Korra, he confusedly looked around, saw the princess hardly able to stand up. He, shouting her name again, jetted down till reaching her. She followed him with her eyes exerted to stand still but couldn't work long. Fortunately, Mako was able to hold her before she collapsed to the ground. He pulled her in as her collapsing, knelt down with her. She was conscious but not looking good and about to close her eyes. 

Mako's hearts fluttered but not because of joy like in the morning. Now it was because of fear. Fear of the possibility of her... dying. Even thinking squeezed his heart harshly that he felt the strangest anguish for him. In a panic, he wrapped her up softly fondling her face leaned down on his left shoulder, trying to find the wound on her belly. 

"De-Detective..." Senna hardly muttered making him look at her. 

"Shhhh! Don't tire yourself and close your eyes...You're going to be fine, princess." He gradually stated what he believed, he desperately wished with endeavoring to smile. 

Now she was just looking into his eyes and even for a moment she believed him, hoped to see him more. With her hand trembling, she lifted and put it on his breast. With closed eyes for a few seconds, she felt his strong heartbeats that fill her heart in hope. She gave a look on her hand than his eyes again. 

"Your he-heartbeats...are y-you worried    about me?" Mako smiled in sorrow, he cleaned her face from the heaps of black hair. 

"Of course I'm worried." No, he wasn't. He was about to lose his mind. 

Senna hardly chuckled but shortly groaned in pain due to Mako now pressing the wound to stop bleeding. 

"I'm sorry!" Mako shouted in a panic thinking he hurt her, and Senna smiled seeing his panic, her eyes shined that even in that moment Mako relished them with never turning away his eyes. 

"D-don't be. It will b-be okay. I-I just..."

Before finishing, her face suddenly turned forward, and raised her hand from Mako's breast. Till then, he didn't realize that two dragons were coming here. Blue and red. The red dragon went to Noah just standing up and exhaled fire to him when the other one came down to the princess. It looked at him and Mako saw he was going to be burned, felt scarred but didn't care at that moment. He had no intention to leave her side as he held her more tightly. 

Senna hardly lifted herself and reached out her hand to it regardless of Mako's compassionate warnings not to move. Her smile faded, just left a sorrowful face of the princess. Dragon approached that Mako could kiss it without even moving. She touched somewhere between its eyes. 

"S-Save them." The dragon suddenly flew away as Mako just watched their relationship without any idea. 

Seeing tangerine eyes of him in pain, Senna harshly put her hand on his shoulder. Mako endorsed her with his hand now pressing the wound to stop the bleeding. Now, their faces were aligned with each other. She struggled to speak, her voice trembled which smashed her. 

I'm...dying. For real this time.   

"I-I couldn't fi-fight." Tears fell down and Mako softly picked them up one by one shaking his head. 

"Don't be ridiculous; you saved me." Senna hardly put the other hand on his hand still fondling her face. Mako felt the coldness of her body. Seeing one of the strongest woman just minutes ago suffering, he enraged, desperately wished to save her, to do something but there was nothing.

Fuck! 

"N-no I...Ma-Mako I'm scarred...I-I          just...just want to sleep." For once after a long time in her life, she lowered all her guards against someone, against him, freely let the tears go as accepting these might her last moments. 

With blood filling up his hand on her belly now he knew this wasn't good. However, he still endeavored to show no sad emotion to her, hide his pain. 

"No, no, no... I know it will be hard but there is no sleeping." Mako immediately opened up a conversation, regardless of her temperature  going down second by second, making him panic more. 

"You saved me? Why did you that?" Mako asked what he was actually wondering deep inside. 

"B- because..." 

I was worried about you.  

"C-Can you hug?" He first couldn't move but then slowly wrapped her up fondling her hair whispering it was going to be okay. 

It has to be.  

Men's screams were increased that Mako looked around to see what was happening. He viewed the opponent soldiers fighting with the dragons vainly and airships approaching the island.

Senna looked at the sky one last time, knowing she could close her eyes forever, but she didn't want that. She didn't want to die since pondering the anguish her family could feel but also wanted to die since knowing she could see Azula again...

The blood stopped, Mako felt heaviness on his shoulder.

He immediately pulled himself back. Grabbing her face, he lifted it desperately wishing to see a pair of amber eyes but they were already closed.

"Senna don't..." Mako wailfully muttered but it was too late...

Chapter Text

 

 

The crew immediately came to the side of Mako and Senna on the beach, after having handed down the fight to the dragons. Korra went after Noah with no idea about who he was. As Opal composed an air-shield just in case, Bolin knelt to their side, touched his brother's shoulder, worried like everyone.

"How is she?" He asked glancing at Senna and Mako regularly but met the catharsis of his brother's emotions.

"I don't know!" Bolin gave no sense his shouting but startled. 

Without even seeing the questioning face of his brother, Mako slowly lied her head down on his left shoulder, wrapped up her body tightly, and began breathing fire to increase her body temperature. He'd already given up waking her up, after a few more trying with calling her name and fondling her face. 

Korra furiously came back to their side. She couldn't find the man as if he flew away. As soon as viewing her, Mako instantly called Korra in panic, still in the same position. 

"Korra, she needs healing!" 

However, before Korra could even step forward, the last fully-equipped enemy ship arrived at the quay, began attacking them. Because Mako was holding the princess, Korra, Bolin, and Opal counterattacked them. 

Mako pulled her in as much as he could, just in case to protect her, checked her temperature once more but it was as cold as before that enraged Mako. He shouted to the crew. 

"We need to get out of from here! Now!" 

"We're trying Mako! Calm down!" Korra shouted back. They realized a red dragon with a person on it was coming to their side. Without seeing the rider, they thought it was the enemy's. 

"I knew that was gonna happen!" Bolin shouted in fear with widened eyes, glanced at others already taking a position to fight. He exhaled a deep fed-up breath, composed an earth ball. 

However, the dragon surrounded them by circling his body around the crew. They couldn't see the outside or move due to shock for a while but easily comprehended it was here to defend them, with the increasing screams of the opponents' soldiers. After burning everything about the last ship, the dragon opened the circle with rising to the sky, then landed again with leaning down to the crew's side. Lord Zuko shouted at them to hop on in hurry, viewing his granddaughter. 

"Mako come on." Bolin cautiously patted his shoulder again. Mako quickly lifted Senna, but all hesitantly got on to the ship since that was their first time riding a dragon.  The princess was still on his lap that Mako was holding her tightly with no intention to leave. He approached her ear with fondling his face. He smelled her scent freely, whispered without knowing Lord Zuko's regular glancing at them. 

"You're going to be fine Senna." 

Korra sat turning to Mako, immediately asked the places of the wounds. After Mako's having shown the place on her belly, she began using the water from the spirit world to heal the deep wound. 

They reached the palace much faster than General Iroh's ship. The royal family was already lined up, waiting for them with obvious concern on their faces. 

Taichi'd already predicted something went wrong since the radiotelephone talk, and seeing a slim body lied down on Mako's lap made him sure of that. He rapidly ran to the dragon's side, without letting Mako or Lord Zuko, he fragilely took Senna's body from Mako's lap and ran inside with Fire Lord. 

"Korra, what happened?" Iroh asked touching her shoulder softly but with obvious concern on his face. Korra calmly began explaining. 

"When we reached the beach, we had to fight the enemy alone, then she came to our side to help us..."  Bolin suddenly shouted with using his hands to express everything better. 

"She was so powerful. Her fire...it was colorful. She held a huge fireball, easily sent it back. She composed a huge fire-lava shield; I've never seen something like that before..." Bolin ceased talking till meeting the others' gaze. Opal continued with the same tone as Korra's. 

"With her plan we took the fight to the hills and then a guy with Phoenix mask came, I believe the leader of the group, then they fought each other." Iroh gave a surprised look at his grandfather, he nodded his head with closed eyes that took crew's attention. They easily comprehended there was something else. 

"That guy attacked Senna first, then us. She saved me, but suddenly, he threw her off the cliff." Mako said gloomily almost like muttering but enough to be heard, looking down. He couldn't protect her even if she was the one for him when she was severely injured. 

"Let's go inside." Lord Zuko broke the short silence turning back. The crew followed him and Iroh to the Princess's chamber with so many questions in their mind about her fire and the attack. 

Outside Princess Senna's room, The royal family and the crew stood in anxious silence waiting for the healer to come out and give the information about her state and the good news. No one said a word, as if breaking the silence would crush everything down. It was just the voice of their breathing which was even enough to make everyone more nervous. When the healer finally exited the room, the royal family stood, all eyes were on her.

"She is fine with several scratches but the wound in her right arm and her back are deep which will take some time for her to heal, but thanks to the Avatar's early intervention to the wound on the back, it doesn't cause severe damage for her moving her legs...However, she went too harsh on herself, so I can't say when or if she is going to wake up. It only depends on her inner fire. Now, all we can do is wait. I'll come and check on her every two hours." 

Lord Zuko thanked the healer, as now hugging his daughter about to cry, asked if they could see her. With approval, all walked inside. 

Senna was laid out on her back. Unconscious and unmoving with her sheets tucked up under her arm, and over her breast. She was wearing her typical nightclothes and even with the scratches on her arms and neck, she looked peaceful. Izumi and Taichi stepped up to the side of their daughter's bed while Zuko and Iroh stood at the foot of it, and the crew and staff stayed at a proper distance behind them. A silence fell over the area and no one has any intention to break it but finally, Lord Zuko spoke turning his body to the team Avatar. 

"You must be confused about this occasion. Let's go somewhere else and let me explain everything to you." He turned back and left the room with the crew following him.

Now the Royals were alone with Senna. Neither of them could talk. Taichi and the Fire Lord held her hand strongly hoping her to feel them. As Iroh, he was standing still with a squeezed fist because of thinking why she was now lying on the bed, struggling for her life. 

After Iroh's long effort to convince his parents, Taichi and the Fire Lord compulsorily left the room to take care of their business, join meetings after the attack. Now, Iroh became alone with his sister. He slowly walked to her bed, sat at the edge of it, and held her hand to hoping to give her some strength. He left a kiss on her forehead, fondled her hair with an automatic smile of how she could still look naive like in her childhood with large and small scratches all over her body. 

"Stay strong sister like always." He muttered hoping for her to hear him. 

The crew sat around the chairs alining in the parlor table, waiting for Lord Zuko to start the conversation. He reached the edge of the table, stood up, making eye contact with everyone. 

"First of all, you should know that the group she was fighting was Red Lotus."  Lord Zuko automatically touched on the main topic. 

"What?" They reacted all together,  shocked with open mouths and eyes. 

"I thought after destroying their headquarter they split up." Bolin stated looking at Lord Zuko with a questioning face. 

"Unfortunately no. After your fight with the main members and razing most of them, so many things have changed. Zaheer went into prison as you know, but his son became the leader of the group and changed its course. He wants to kill all the leaders like his father too but also wants to become the leader of the world. That's why he calls himself Phoenix or wears its mask, ironically like my father." Lord Zuko distinctly explicated with a short cynical smile at the end of his sentence. 

"What about Senna?" Mako asked curiously. 

"She has been fighting with them for three years." Korra joined the conversation by pounding her fisted right arm to her left palm, furiously thinking about her past experiences with Red Lotus. 

"We have to stop him." Lord Zuko put his hands on the table, leaned down a little. 

"Unfortunately, It's not that easy Avatar Korra. You'll need my granddaughter's bending and knowledge about them and this has to wait till her full recovery." 

"But Lord Zuko we're wasting time. What if they try to kill your daughter or other leaders again?" Korra courteously objected with still the furious tone in her voice. 

"I think, since Senna and you destroyed all their ammunition, it will take some time for them to compensate for all the damage and counterattack." He slowly erected, without letting any objections began talking calmly as walking to the door. "Now if you'll excuse me I'll go and check my granddaughter." He turned back and bowed to them and called a staff ordering him to show them their room. All stood and bowed him back still confused not knowing what to do.


Shortly after noon in Fire Nation with its usual sunny weather. The day after the blossoming of the fire lilies, the supposed beginning of the Fire Lily Festival. Fireworks, dragons' show, fire lilies in front of the all windows, on all bodies as a crown, necklace...

However, all around Fire Nation was buried in huge silence and grief. Instead of all nation, the entrance gate of the palace was filled up with fire lilies in quite a long sequence by all citizens to show their hopes, support, or somehow connect with the princess. The ancient dragons were in their caves, sadder than ever seen with slightly groaning in pain regularly, no one knew why but just guess to communicate with the princess.

It'd been two days since the sudden attack on the Sun Warrior Island and the princess's injury. The island was already repelled from the enemy by the princess, the crew, and dragons, that once the civil armies arrived, there was almost nothing to do. A great number of opponents' soldiers were caught but not Noah. He somehow achieved to flee and no one knew how.

Most of the injured Sun Warrior Island citizens and soldiers came back to their homes but the princess still didn't wake up. With increasing body temperature, she was still cold. Healers and Korra regularly visited her chamber, water bent on her wounds seemingly healing, but no one figured why she hadn't opened her eyes yet, concerning everyone especially the royal family madly if she...

As the team Avatar, now they were walking inside of the palace with staff in front of them thanks to Lord Zuko's strong insistence since none'd gone outside of their room in the last two days knowing there was nothing they could do and not causing any impediment. 

The staff showed them all around the palace and gave information about it and returned them to the corridor where all their room was. 

"The princess was supposed to show you city square but if you want to see now, I can escort you." Korra slightly smiled at the staff. 

"I think we'll wait for the princess. Thank you." He approved her and withdrew with bowing. 

As Mako, the last two days were like torture for him. He madly wondered the princes, wished to see her regardless of asking Korra about her state and receiving the same answer. However, he knew her side wasn't his place. He hardly restrained himself from everything about her even drawing but thinking. 

Mako barely listened to the informations staff gave to them. He was unable to stop thinking about the princess especially when he thought about how nice it would have been nice if she was the one showing them the palace. It just wasn't the same without her kind distinct tone of voice and bottomless knowledge about almost everything but especially the Fire Nation and with the shine in her eyes when she talked about something she loved. 

After resting their rooms, at almost dawn all reached to the garden, saw Druk. Firstly, they excitedly tried to feed her or even touch it but with her gazing at them and exhaling fumes with slight groaning, they decided not to since she seemed to suffer. Then sitting around the pond, instead of the dragon they fed the turtle ducks. 

The deep silence fell over between them with none of them knowing how to start while desperately wishing to discuss everything. However, finally, Opal did as throwing small pieces of leaves on to the pond with a questioning tone. 

"Isn't that weird? I mean How did the princess get involved with this anyway?"  Mako was lying flat on the grass with closed eyes letting the last remnants of the beams hitting all his body. With Opal's question, he stood on his elbows looked at her.

"What do you mean?" Opal shrugged. 

"I don't know. She seems like a person always working or joining in the meetings and told us nothing about fighting with the Red Lotus in the letters." 

"Exactly!" Korra enthusiastically proclaimed with the summary of all her thoughts in her mind. She ceased feeding the turtles as ready to talk about it thoroughly. 

"I think it's weird too, but, in the fight, they obviously knew each other." Bolin added leaning on Opal's shoulder hopelessly. 

"I think we should listen to Lord Zuko and wait then we can ask anything we want to her." Mako recklessly stated and lied back. 

"What about her fire? Why or how was that colorful like that?" Korra vainly asked granting Mako right, and still knowing no one had no idea about it.

Mako couldn't stop thinking about the princess. He suddenly recalled one of the letters she had been sending, telling him how peaceful this garden was since it received sunlight in all hours of the day. He smiled slightly with agreeing her idea but didn't take long, also recalling her state right now. He wondered about her and couldn't stop the idea of just standing up and running to her room...

"Where are you going, bro?" Bolin asked immediately realizing his silent movements. Mako slowly stood up, gave his best aloof look. 

"To my chamber. I'm a little tired." Asami rose a brow with a shrewd smile. 

"Mako stop lying. You're going to see her right?" The answer immediately came in still the same tone. 

"No."

Yes.

"He's." Korra chuckled lying back on Asami's upper legs. Shortly others joined her. 

"What is it?" Mako asked, scowling, disturbed with their attitude. 

"Aren't you little too worried about her, Mako?" Korra asked. 

"It's not too much. She was severely injured and I just want her to be well." Mako objected as an answer. 

"Come on bro, we saw you in the battle. You know you become too protective and aggressive when it's come to the people you love." Bolin smiled at him. With this, Mako's aloof look suddenly changed.  

"People I love...I don't love her!" He protested. 

"I think we should let him go. He needs to give a good impression to the Fire Lord." Asami added, blinked an eye at him as fondling Korra's hair. 

"That's cute. He's trying to take care of her." Opal added. 

"You're ridiculous!" Mako rapidly turned back, he went into the palace without listening to them more. He walked to her chamber, but hardly curbed himself again. 

I shouldn't be doing this. 

Mako went to his chamber, immediately sat on the desk full of papers he'd asked from staff and the pencils he brought from home. He immediately began drawing her at lightning speed like a worker in a factory because of having been holding his whim for two days.

Fire Lord Izumi was now in the gate from the time she spared for herself with her son's insistence to sleep which she had no intention to do. As her daughter was fighting for her life, how could she even think of sleeping? 

She looked at the fire lilies with a slight smile on her face recalling Senna's childhood memories, but especially one of them rolled over in her mind again and again. 


(Eighteen years ago) 

Izumi was planning to have lunch after finishing the last file about the statistical computation of the annual economic income from all Fire Nation lands.

Suddenly the door was opened without even knocking. Izumi quickly looked up to see the person who dared to come inside like that, yet she saw Taichi. Before even questioning his arrival, a three-year-old baby voice spoke.

"Mummmmmm! You have to come with us!" 

With her daughter's voice Izumi slightly laughed looking at her husband, understanding the reason of his presence now. She stood up looked down at her, but her daughter's clothes and face were full of mud in a mess that panicked Izumi. Her laughing speedily withered, eyes widened. She briskly walked to the side of her daughter, quickly knelt before her. 

"Senna! What happened to you!?" Izumi attempted to clean up her face yet she turned her head with pushing didn't let her. 

"Senna..." 

"I guess our little daughter is happy with them." Taichi compassionately looked at his daughter and wife. 

"Believe me, I tried too." Both made prolonged eye contact, but they soon had to break it with her daughter shouting at them which was almost like a muttering. 

"Can you listen to me please?" Little Senna smiled now having all attention on herself. "You have to come with me." 

Izumi stood up held her little muddy hand just like her father.

"Then we're coming with you, fire lady." 

Together, Senna led them to somewhere, both attempted to ask questions wondered, but each Senna silenced them and just said one word: Surprise.

Reaching the garden, Senna asked them to close their eyes. With her slim hands, she directed them in the middle of the garden stood in front of them.

"Open your eyes, please." Taichi and Izumi opened their eyes, saw her standing in front of them. 

"So darling? Where is the surprise?" Taichi curiously asked.

"Here!" She enthusiastically answered moving beside with two arms pointing to the heap of the soil which all grass was moved and with a few bumps lined up in order surrounded by the stones from the turtleduck pond. 

"Why did you remove the grass, Senna and what are those lumps?" Izumi  softly asked fondling her face with confusion. 

"Because I planted fire lilies. Soon our garden would be full of them!" Senna enthusiastically stated with jumping due to not able to standstill. 

With this statement, both began laughing Taichi softly put his hand on her shoulder, knelt.

"But darling, you can't flourish Fire Lilies in here." 

"Why not?" Izumi sat down and talked this time. 

"Because this soil is not watery enough."  

"Then I will water them every day!" Senna rapidly turned back, kneeling. She began landscaping her small garden.  With this sudden supposedly harsh attitude, both first looked at each other giggling, already having talked their next movement with eyes. Then, together, they hugged her from back, pulling her in between them. 

"Are you striking an attitude toward your parents, fire lady?"  She didn't answer her mother, just pouted. 

"I guess we have no other choice." Taichi began tickling her, shortly Izumi joined too. 

Senna instantly forgot everything, now she was laughing with joy shortly the garden was filled up with their voice of joy.  Izumi and Taichi ceased when no one has the energy to laugh more. Senna's face suddenly became serious. 

"I will make this happen, dad." Taichi nodded fondling her hair, smiling with Izumi. Together they held her hands.

"We will."  


Fire Lord Izumi silently let the tears go, soon sobbed and collapsed on the ground. After probably years in her life, she didn't think of to seem well, which she had to be as the Fire Lord, and cried freely. 

Shortly with two hands on her shoulders, she startled, suddenly looked back, and attempted to pull herself together by picking up the tears. Lord Zuko knelt, softly turned her body to his.

"Darling, are you okay?"

She was relieved to see her father and with his hands on her face, she stopped trying to look strong. She looked up at him and endeavored to pick up the words with trembling voice. 

"I couldn't protect her, dad...I-I did everything I could to keep her away from these fights...pain, but It wasn't enough, I wasn't enough." Lord Zuko pulled her daughter into a hug.

"Don't say that, Izumi. You're one of the greatest, strongest mother in the world, and she knows that too." 

Izumi hardly pulled herself back as now Lord Zuko compassionately picking up her tears with a slight smile. 

"She has to wake up, dad. She has to see this, see how much she is loved, cherished by so many people and she wasn't alone in this world. She can't...she can't die, dad, she is too young...too good..."

A few tears already fell from Lord Zuko's eyes but achieved to hide them from his daughter. After everything, Senna never gave up on life and infect her people, everyone with happiness, and Lord Zuko desperately hoped that she wouldn't give up this time either. She was such a strong woman like her mother. He tightly pulled her. 

"She is the strongest, Izumi. She will be fine, with us again. Come on. You didn't want your daughter to see you like that hah?" Lord Zuko helped her stand up and accompanied her to her chamber. He helped her to lie down on the bed, didn't leave her side till she fully slept just like in her childhood. 

After sleeping just a few hours, Fire Lord Izumi went to Senna's chamber. She sent  Iroh to sleep promising she would go back to her chamber shortly after him, but she had no intention to do that. She sat on the edge of her bed and fondled her hair softly. 

"Hah...my little fire lady." 

When Mako was finished his drawings, it was late at night. He felt relieved from inside and wiped the drops of sweat. He realized he didn't have dinner but didn't consider as problem at all. He stood up from the chair and didn't curb his desperate intention this time, thinking nobody could be in the room at this hour. He went out and walked to her room, like a secret agent, trying his best not to be seen by anyone and silently sneaked in. He slowly closed the door and leaning its back with open little bent legs, exhaled his breath of relief. He stood in the same position till hearing the Fire Lord's voice calling his name. His eyes immediately opened, widened after meeting hers. In lightning speed, he straightened his stance, now looking at her with a forced smile, soon faded, finding ridiculous in these circumstances. 

The worst thing he could imagine just took place. 

"Fire Lord Izumi..." He bowed to her in panic, then stood steep like a soldier. She laid her eyes on him slowly, not knowing his increasing tension.

"What are you doing here?" She frigidly asked. 

"Uhh...I just wanted to check if the princess was okay." She looked at him blankly that Mako just wanted to get lost right at that moment. 

"As you see, she is still unconscious. The healer just came and checked her, said her heart beats better but still her body temperature is low." She distinctly recounted everything, still looking at him. 

"I-I get it." Mako unwillingly made eye contact with her, but he quickly broke as lunging to the door. 

"So Uhh...I should be going." She just nodded, turned back to his daughter, and began fondling her black straight hair. 

Mako instantly opened the door with his best effort of being silent. However, before even moving he bumped into the princess's father. 

This is getting worse! 

"You're Mako right? The pro-bender?" Instead of a frigid attitude like the Fire Lord, Taichi intimately smiled at him. After not seeing his wife in bed, he quickly came to the only place she could be at this hour.  

"Yes, sir." He formally answered with still like-a-soldier stance, hoping he could get over this night without any wrong conception and injury.

Taichi put his hand on his shoulder with a risen brow, his smile withered that frightened Mako. 

"I'm guessing you wanted to see my daughter?" 

"Yes." 

What am I doing? I shouldn't have said that. I have to get lost right now!  

Mako waited as ready to all kinds of reaction but probably not this since he just softly passed him moved throughout his wife. As reflexion, Mako touched all over his body to check if he was okay, and strangely he was. 

"Izumi, my dear you should sleep." Taichi hugged his wife from back putting his hands on hers which were strongly holding their daughter's. She subsequently shook her head. 

"No, I can't leave her Taichi." 

"But you're a Fire Lord and you have so many things to do tomorrow...please." Fire Lord turned to his husband as he is now grabbing his hands. 

"What if she wakes up?"  

"I can stay in case she wakes up." With this sudden foreign voice, they all turned to the source of it, having already forgotten Mako's presence there. 

"I'm so sorry if interrupted your conversation and disturbed you, but I think you're right sir and I believe I can help you get the rest you need, Fire Lord Izumi." He distinctly stated slightly bowing to them in the end. 

"I think it's a good idea. Thank you, Mako." 

Taichi said with obvious gratitude in his voice, just happy his wife would finally rest since all day she mentally and physically exhausted herself with political works not to think about their daughter. He took Fire Lord's hand helped her to stand up. Before walking away, she made and eye contact with Mako and put her hand on his shoulder compassionately, much more different than moments ago.

"Thank you." 

After ensuring their departure and closing the door, Mako exhaled a breath with relief again. He achieved to get over this night, but not because of his skills, surely. 

He first looked around him. The room was huge but exactly how he could have assumed. Simple, tidy, and with too much red. He walked to her desk to take the chair, viewed pencils and the papers some of which had short paragraphs on them. He pondered they might be manuscripts of the letters, she had been writing to them, or some political reports. Without reading them since knowing it might be out of line, he hauled the desk's chair close to her bed. 

Before sitting, Mako, firstly, leaned down at her. With the beauty sleeping in front of him regardless of the paleness of her skin, scratches, he couldn't move for a while and just viewed her face with smelling her scent spreading around. He checked her temperature which was still lower than usual, hardly pulling himself back, he sat and absentmindedly held her hand, softly fondled it.

Chapter Text

 

“Mako?" 

Having heard the voice he had been wishing for two days, Mako's about-to-sleep mood suddenly disappeared. He rapidly straightened his stance on the chair, with risen brows due to this unexpected sound, turned his face to the headboard of the bed. 

"Princess?" Viewing the slightly open amber eyes looking at him, Mako quickly went forward from his chair, sat on the bedside in pure happiness, absentmindedly inserted her left hand into his hands. 

"Are you okay? How do you feel?" Senna's eyes automatically slipped on the hands, then him fondling her hand with a compassionate smile and shining tangerine eyes. Having just waken up and feeling the warmth through her veins, she gulped to talk. 

"I'm fine...How long have I been unconscious?" 

"Two days..." As a result of shock, Senna rose her brows but shortly passed another question to clarify her mind. 

"Why are you here?" She curiously asked making a contact with his eyes but happy to see him. 

"I was trying to help your family rest Your Highness. They were thinking of staying up all night waiting by your side in case you woke up." Mako answered, shortly sensed the butterflies flying in his stomach, after receiving her grateful smile at himself. 

"That's very delicate of you, thank you." 

Senna kindly pulled her hand back, pressed both of her hands on the bed, attempted to get up. However, as soon as her hands touched and pushed herself up on the bed, she groaned in pain with a wry face due to her injured belly and arm and despairingly lied down before Mako could help. 

Senna firstly looked at her right arm, realized a bandage as her other hand trailing around her belly soon causing her to frown her face due to pain. As staying silent and watching her till that second, Mako attempted to attribute everything to clarify her mind. 

"You were deeply injured from your belly and right arm. The healer said..."

Senna didn't listen to him and pushed herself harder to get up but even her slight movement was causing severe pain in her belly, making her groan. Mako reacted. He held her from shoulder, slowly lied her down. 

"You need to rest." Senna harshly tore his arms away but quickly concluded she needed him. She unpleasantly exhaled a breath, turned her face left to the side the entrance of the balcony. 

"I want to go to the balcony. I need some air." Mako acted forward on the bed, leaned down to her. 

"Then let me help you." Senna nodded but shortly trembled due to feeling two hands on her back above her thin nightgown. He slowly pulled her close to his body, as she could easily kiss his neck. 

Senna put her hands on his breast and hardly pushed herself back, her nose rubbed to his cheek. As reflexes, Mako suddenly turned his face to her side. Now they were quite close with almost no space after weeks, their noses touching. Both couldn't move first. Their heartbeats and body temperature thrillingly increased. With short staring up each other, Mako's eyes slowly slipped down on her lips, then her eyes, and lips. Just like a loop. 

Senna could just follow his eyes with hands still on his breast sensing his increasing heartbeats as well as hers. She automatically questioned if she was looking good right now, hoping she was. She incredibly wished to take a look at the mirror and pick up her appearance.

Hardly restraining himself, Mako kindly turned his face, so did Senna soon after him. She silently exhaled a breath that she’d been holding as he helped her sat on the bed and reached out his hand. However, she just looked up at him nervously blushed, having just realized her almost showing breast under the red thin satin nightgown and felt diffident in front of him.

"Uhh...Can you bring the nightgown rope probably on the dressing room's seat please?" She murmured to him pointing at the entrance of the dressing room. Mako obediently nodded and briskly walked to that room. 

Leaning her left arm, Senna achieved to stand up regardless of the pain before Mako's coming back to her side. She stepped forward, but because of sleeping for two days, she couldn't find her balance first and toppled. She, in panic, attempted to reach forward to the corner of the chair, but before, her hands were already held by Mako. He gently turned her body to his. 

"You should have waited for me." Senna pulled her hands back, hastily closed the top of the dress, her breast, with a turning red face since having never stood in front of a man with these apparel before. 

Now, Mako could comprehend the reason for her asking her nightgown rope and the shy naive women in front of him that contented him. He rested his hands on her belly and pulled her closer to his body. 

"What are you doing?" She asked finding his eyes, trying to sound solid but her voice was nothing other than weakly muttering. 

"Just helping." Mako with regular glancing at her face, deliberately slow movements and soft touches, just to see the her reddish face more, first held her hands residing on her breast placed them down, kept holding one of them. Now all her body was shown in front of him, yet he just looked down at her face. 

Mako first clothed the rope on her right hand and moving closer to the princess to pass the rope to another side, clothed the left side with the same movements. He closed the front part of the rope and finally little loosely tied up the arch. 

It was just a few moments but for Senna, it lasted infinitely with her increasing heartbeats.

Holding her breath till the end, she watched his hands and when he moved closer, she just lowered her face then looked up, and blushed more with meeting the tangerines. 

Moving slightly back with joy, Mako reached out his hand but Senna speedily passed over him. 

"I'm injured from my belly and arm not my legs, detective."  

With Mako's speedily following her, Senna slowly sat on the couch with the assistance of her left hand but couldn't lean back since it was prevented by him putting his hands on her upper back. She rapidly made a look at him with a confused face. However, he didn't. He picked up a pillow and quickly put it behind, then carefully pulled his hand back not to keep her waiting more, shortly explained the reason for his movement. 

"Thought It would be more comfortable."  

Her stern face suddenly softened, smiled slightly, picked up her long forelocks till her checks closing her eyes. 

"Thanks." 

Senna peacefully stared up to the sky, took deep breaths, and without any drawback, Mako boldly watched her in this huge silence. He turned to her side leaning his back on the side of the couch, followed her every movement making sure she was okay. She seemed engrossed in the dark cloudy sky, pondering, and he didn't want her to realize him. 

Not comprehending how long they stayed in the same positions, Mako began gaping subsequently shortly his eyes automatically went down and his head fell on the upper side of the couch first, then slowly on Senna's shoulder. 

Senna flinched, having already realized he'd been watching her, but not assuming he would go this far. 

"Mako, I think you should move away." Receiving no response, Senna frowned, tensely pushed him.

"Mmmmm." Mako approached her more, buried his head on the gap of her neck, hugged, placed his injured arm on her tummy, wrapped her. 

Senna slightly shivered, not expecting this sudden maneuver, closure, and instantly comprehended his sleeping stance. She anticipated him to move away for some time, but his subsequent hot breaths now heating her body since having his head right under her face was proof that he wouldn't. However, she actually needed it, since feeling cold. She automatically stretched in each contact his breaths to her neck, but somehow contented this position, endeavoring to put no meaning on it regardless of her rapidly fast heartbeats. Her right hand hesitantly slipped to his soft untidy hair first, then his cheek in the open fondling it, ended on his injured arm. Her fingers trailed on arm with drawing basic figures and her eyes on his face now seemed peaceful. 

Sleeping a few hours on the princess's neck hugging, Mako opened his eyes at almost dawn with an incredible scent for him. Without moving his eyes, first, he looked around then up, met the amber eyes, and sensed the fingers on his injured arm. Staying contacted for a minute, he could achieve to comprehend everything. He rapidly moved himself and his arm away and prolonged his slaves to veil his scar. He shyly put his hand on the backside of his neck with a turning red face. Senna just kept looking at him as he, now, trying to put his words in order. 

"I-I'm sorry. I just overslept and I somehow hugged you." 

With no answer and a blank face, Senna leaned her head back, looked up at the sky again. She calmly answered him with a kind tone, but it was totally out of the point. 

"You shouldn't be ashamed of it. It belongs to you." Understanding what she'd implied, Mako automatically questioned. 

"Belongs to me?" She nodded. 

"Like my grandfather's scar. It's original and looks good on you." 

"Thanks." He hesitantly said. Senna calmly turned him sitting on the edge since waking up. 

"Would you mind me asking that how it happened? I've been wondering about it since we first met." Mako rose his brows surprised. 

 "Do you?" Senna nodded, never breaking eye contact with him. However, Mako did. He looked down at his injured arm answered her with obvious sorrow, she could sense. 

"You must have heard about the giant metal machine which Kuvira built to attack the Republic City. " Senna confirmed him. “We sneaked in and I used the electricity against spirit vines to shut it down and that was when it happened." Without any reaction, Senna turned to the sky again. She disliked seeing him sad, changed the subject, tittering. 

"There are so many clouds today. This is rare."

"What's going on?" Mako curiously asked, stared at the sky, glad that she didn't ask for more details. 

"I just remembered the game me and my niece are used to playing on nights like that." The appeasing tone of her voice relieved Mako even little, after his action. He cautiously approached her. 

"What kind of game is it?" 

"It's nothing special. You just look at the sky pick a heap of clouds and try to liken them into  something." Mako smiled compassionately. 

"Do you really play this game?" Senna giggled already aware of the absurdity of it for the Fire Nation Princess. 

"I know it's childish, but my niece, she is just nine and once you get used to it actually you like it." 

Mako lied back beside her, his shoulder was side by side to hers. However, as soon as the touch of their bodies, he met the amber eyes with a risen brow, then attempted to move back but Senna held his arm chuckling. 

"I think after sleeping on my neck, you shouldn't feel any shame for sitting next to me." She teased him with a cynical smile and look at him. Mako exhaled a breath but didn't answer, first pointed a heap of cloud, then turned her, still met the ambers quite close to him that making him nervous. 

"Then look at this one what do you see?" Senna rose her brows with the same face, whispered, not turning. 

"Are we playing?" Mako felt the butterflies again, yet tried his best to sound normal. 

"Why not?" She tittered. 

"Why, are you trying to comfort me, detective?"  

No, I just want to see you happy, meet the shine of your eyes. 

"Just spending the night." 

With this calm but confident muttering, Senna broke the contact, looked up the sky with shining eyes, and just spent the night with him. She continued his play, chatting subsequently with him. 

"A gigantic dragon." 

"Mmm...Let me see...Might be." 

"What about this one?" She pointed a heap of cloud from his side. 

"Uhh...I think it's The Air Temple Island." Senna frowned, strictly objected, and attempted to describe the shape. 

"No way! I think it's like a man and a woman kissing each other."  

Meeting the tangerine eyes with risen brows, confused, Senna proclaimed smoothly in a humorous tone, pointing the sky with both her hands. 

"Why are you looking at me? They're kissing each other not we!" Mako suddenly burst out laughing at her.

Senna glanced at him again with a pouting face. Is he joking around with her? She nipped his arm that flinched Mako. He struggled to curb himself, but the sullen face of her towards him was making harder everything. After a few minutes, he spasmodically could verbalize his thoughts still laughing. 

"If you're...playing like this...with your cousin, I...feel quiet sorry...for her." 

With his spontaneously intimate statement, Senna first laid her eyes on him, then automatically joined him, their laughing combined. However, it was triggering the wound on her belly and causing pain, shortly she had to stop with an instant wry face. She muttered to herself not to obstruct him from laughing, pleased to see him happy. 

"I guess I shouldn't do this for a while." 

They kept playing the game till there were no clouds left. Then, Senna slowly stood up. Mako instantly held her wrist with a curious face. 

"Where are you going?" Senna calmly answered, still teasing him. 

"Inside...Unlike you, I prefer to sleep in my bed not someone's shoulder." Mako blushed looking down, not leaving her hand. 

"I told you I'm sorry about that. I've rarely slept for two days so..." Mako stopped with turning red face due to sudden notice that he shouldn't have said the last sentence. He, regularly glancing at her, waited for her to answer but she gently loosened her hand and slowly walked inside with a wide grinning on her face right after passing him as an effect of his sentence.  

Mako went inside, after pulling himself together, he saw her already sleeping. He veiled her body with a quilt, sat the chair, struggled to avoid musing but it was almost impossible especially with her peacefully sleeping beside him. However, he continued to resist till hearing footsteps coming closer. He rapidly stood up and took a position. 

"Calm down young man. I'm just here to visit my granddaughter." Lord Zuko put his hands up, after viewing him waiting with a fire daggers, stated humorously with grinning. Mako quickly lowered the daggers, wiped out them, and bowed respectfully. 

"I'm sorry Lord Zuko. I just thought a stranger was coming." Lord Zuko didn't answer and sat on the side of the bed. 

"I guess I should leave you alone with your granddaughter." Mako silently recounted and lunged to the door, yet Lord Zuko's voice stopped him. 

"You can stay here young man. I wouldn't mind having a company while waiting for her." Mako obediently nodded, sat on the chair and gave him the good news. 

"Lord Zuko, I think you should know that she woke up a few hours  ago and fell asleep again." Lord Zuko slightly smiled, expecting it, grabbed his granddaughter's right hand, and made eye contact with Mako. 

"I hope you were a good company to her." Mako looked down at her. 

"I tried to be." Mako paused, with sudden decision, put the words together in his mind.

"Lord Zuko, can I ask you a question?"

"Only if I could ask you one." Mako confirmed him wondering what he could ask him. He regulated his voice and stance. 

"I didn't see any of the princess friends around here, she didn't mention any in her letters, and also General Iroh said she had none. Why is that?" Lord Zuko dotingly looked down at his granddaughter, pondering everything she'd been through. 

"My granddaughter is a strange person, Mako.  Even if she helps out everyone or has great communication with people, she finds it the hardest to trust people." 

"Strange person?" Lord Zuko shook his head. "It's my turn. All of the best guardians in the palace were all around her. We're her family her mother, father, grandfather and it's normal for us to stay here, but you have no reason to be here, yet you're here waiting for her or accompanying her. Why is that?" Lord Zuko just asked what he had been avoiding to think in the last two days and now. 

What was he doing here? Why did he desperately want to be her side? 

He couldn't answer quickly but seemingly Lord Zuko didn't mind waiting. He first contemplatively brooded the day she was injured and struggling for her life in his arms. The day he couldn't protect her. He remembered how he felt when she closed her eyes as if part of him was withering in front of him or when she cried as if his heart was tearing apart. He couldn't say they knew each other thoroughly, but they had many dialogs especially with the letters. Still, that didn't explain his emotions which he'd never fallen into for a long time and frightened him to accept... 

After picking up his words, Mako coughed to regulate his voice and show his intention to answer to him. 

"To be honest, I was worried about your granddaughter, Lord Zuko. She injured because of me, and till her last minutes, she kept protecting me. I think being her side till her full recovery should be at least what I can do for her, now." 

Lord Zuko attempted to respond but split by Fire Lord and her husband coming into the princess's room wondering their daughter. After Mako's notification of her waking up, a joyfully mundane conversation wandered on the area till hearing a strange voice. 

"You have no respect for a sleeping person, my dearest family." She weakly but humorously stated making all eyes turn to her. Izumi quickly sat at the edge of her bed and fondled her face.

"My darling...How are you? Are you well?" Senna smiled to appease her. 

"I feel great." An obvious lie but no one protested.

 Mako thought he should leave the family alone. "If you'll excuse me..." He mumbled, deliberately finding her eyes. They made short eye contact. He unwittingly made a slight smiled at her, reciprocated by her, bowed, and left the room. 

As if waiting this moment since waking up, the tears fell from Senna's eyes, sobbing made the only voice in the silence. She, after a long time, didn't attempt to hide them, began talking not caring if she was listened with a trembling voice. 

"I saw him... After seven years I saw him...I thought I was gonna able to kill him boldly but I-I couldn't move...couldn't fight. He mercilessly fire bent onto me, threw me out of the cliff, and I-" Her words were split when she sobbed. Fire Lord Izumi hugged her and wrapped her arms around her back fondling, sorrowing from inside as seeing her daughter like that. 

"Shhh...Senna, It's okay." Senna harshly pulled herself back, shouted regardless of the pain in her belly. 

"It's not okay mum! He's mercilessly agonized me for years, yet I just looked at his eyes. Just like seven years ago I couldn't kill him again and...He was going to kill me mum if the team Avatar hadn't shown up, if  Mako hadn't stopped him..." She sorrowfully exhaled a breath murmured with exclaiming, looking down at her hands. "I'm weak...I couldn't even kill my enemy and yet I'll become a Fire Lord one day." Lord Zuko moved right next to her, held her from shoulder with full of love.  

"You're not weak, darling. I'm not telling you to comfort you believe me. You're one of the strongest women I've ever seen." 

"Am I?" She miserably questioned, waited for support which a future Fire Lord absolutely shouldn't. 

"Of course you're." Taichi sat behind her mother and supported grabbing her left hand. "Killing your enemy is not something proving that you're strong or weak, Senna." She looked down, kept crying. 

Lord Zuko pulled her in as the only thing he could do for her, and she took the place on his breast hugging him tightly. With him fondling her face regularly, she cried till there were no tears left. 

"Senna!" The similar voice rebounding from the walls and approaching her room, Senna gently pushed her grandfather, picked up the tears till Iroh barged into the room. He cautiously approached the bedside seeing her red eyes, yet Senna opened her arms. 

"Didn't you miss your sister, you jerk?" Iroh chuckled, jumping on the bed. 

"Of course I didn't." Iroh hugged her tightly. Senna buried her head on his shoulder wrapping up his back. Regardless of the pain, he was inciting on her belly she let him hug. Iroh fondled her hair, then softly pulled her away and left a kiss on her forehead. 

"I'm just so happy to see you awake, Senna."

Knowing his brother too well, before he could ask the reason for her red eyes with giving his usual loving look, Senna changed the subject, enthusiastically proclaimed. 

"Let's go and have breakfast. I'm starving!" 

Senna went with them to the dining room, taking Iroh's arm, despite her parents' objections. She found the crew in there, waiting for breakfast as chatting with each other.

"Good morning." Senna smiled radiantly, shook her hand. 

Except Mako, The crew was shocked even seeing her. All stood up quickly reaching the royals' side, instantly asked about her health, and stated their happiness for seeing her well. 

The breakfast was just like nothing had happened. Vivacious chats, tactful jokes, and teasings. Everything was how it should've been as if she wasn't injured or Red Lotus'd never invaded the Sun Warrior Island. 

"I guess it's time for me to compensate in the last two days I couldn't work and help the Fire Lord." Senna slowly stood up after finishing her tea with an intimate smile, but Fire Lord's cold raising voice stopped her from walking away and made the crew slightly flinched. 

"No way young lady! You're going to your bed right ahead!” Senna turned to her mother, scowled. 

"Why?"  She hissed as cold and stern as her mother and received the same tone of answer. 

"First of all, you're injured. You woke up just hours ago and you need to rest, not to mention your belly and arm."  With the same face, Senna fumed. 

"I'm fine mum." Taichi felt needed to intervene in that tense conversation. 

"Senna darling, I think you should rest too. Iroh could deal with your works and help your mother till you fully recover." He added with a soft tone making eye contact with his daughter, yet didn’t work on her. Iroh intimately put his hand on hers to assure her. 

"Senna we were worried about you, please..." Senna didn't let him finish, rapidly took her hand back, sarcastically stated her last sentence with obvious anger. 

"Then at least I'm hoping I could walk to my room alone." 

Having lied in the middle of the bed, turned on the right side, Senna idly watched and fondled the bandage on her right hand. Sitting and doing nothing wasn't her usual activity. She was always busy with her daily haste: meetings, lessons, practice or reading books. Even on her most jobless day, she just found something to employ herself in. However, right now thinking was her only option but also what she wanted the least because it was all going to be about Noah. He couldn't have any place in her mind. He was her biggest enemy and focusing on him would only bring more rage. Rage at herself. 

Instead, Senna independently began to brood about Azula and automatically recalled the dream she saw while unconscious, thought the meaning of it: an animation of a possibility she always thought and wished.

What if nothing had happened? 

Everything would be different, she would be different, wouldn't be this person in loneliness. She could talk, see, hug, watch the sun rising, sundown, spend more time with her...

Tears fell from her eyes and Senna didn't pick them, just let them flow as the only releasing of her anguish for years. She wished to forget everything and just see her. Even once. She wished to tell that she was sorry that she couldn't protect her and just let her... She tightly closed her eyes to sleep not to go deeper into thoughts, since those were just fanciful ideas, nothing would probably occur just like in the last seven years, and she would just have to live with this anguish...

Chapter Text

Assuming not able to sleep, Senna exhaled a breath of weariness, opened her eyes. No sooner she did, she pouted her face since she wasn't in her room, as now lying on grass that with her usual clothes, first, she couldn't comprehend the situation. 

With increasing questions in her mind and tension about whats and hows, Senna speedily stood up, yet having felt no pain, before even viewing around she first looked down at her right arm, didn't see any bandage, then touched on her belly even slightly rapped there, still afraid of hurting, felt no pain either. That agitated her to ponder she had to be in a dream. 

Presuming to have slept and have a different dream after a long time, Senna hardly felt happy, curiously looked around, her eyes first found the sun resided at the beginning of the area, meaning it was dawn, then realized she was in a huge rapture with full of colorful flowers and kinds of birds flying around the sky, she had never seen in her life. Everything was seemingly realistic, like another world, indicating something was wrong, strange. 

Senna concluded just standing wouldn't have any benefit to her. She first rose on her tiptoes attempted to see the end of the rapture, but except the grassy soil the clouds inserted, she saw nothing. She hesitantly began to stroll around, deliberately taking her steps slow,  looked around to see a sign, still believing she was in a dream otherwise this place had no other explanation. 

"Are you lost, young lady?" Having heard a voice of a man behind her back not so far, Senna turned to him with a little panic, and still looking at his face, she attempted to answer. 

“I don’t know. I mean- Iroh! Uncle Iroh!” 

Seeing a familiar face from the drawn picture in the royal gallery, Senna couldn't finish her sentence, actually, she had nothing to express, looked at his face with shining eyes, enthusiastically proclaimed the first thing about him in her mind: his name. 

However, Uncle Iroh slightly scowled due to recalling no acquaintance with this lady somehow seemed from his nation and familiar. However, with alive suspicions tone, his face was still soft and even slightly smiling. 

"Your uncle? I think you made a mistake, young lady." Senna first just looked at him confused then could easily understand the reason for his attitude that enraged herself for not having thought of it. To appease him, she lifted her hands till her breast with open palms to him. 

"No, I'm sorry I didn't introduce myself. I'm Senna Lord Zuko's granddaughter." Senna bowed as he rose his brows with shock. 

"Izumi had a child?" Senna nodded. 

"Yes...actually she had two." Uncle Iroh's brows turned normal, and he put an intimate smile on his face with amazement, now comprehending why that lady's seemingly familiarity in the first encountering. He slowly approached her, put his hands on her both upper arms. 

"Then what are you doing here Senna?" With his questioning, Senna rose a brow, made eye contact, automatically answer him. 

"Here? Where am I?" Uncle Iroh quickly responded, giving no meaning. 

"You don't know? You're in the spirit world."

Senna couldn't react first and believe him. Her head automatically viewed around, gradually noticing this place was how she read in the books. As recalling the books, she also recalled one of the articles recounting that the bendings would be useless in here, she kindly pulled herself back, attempted to compose a fire stream first, then a flame, failed in both. She looked at Uncle Iroh's face and the only world she could say unwillingly fell into from her mouth. 

"Shit." Shortly coming from her senses and presuming that as disrespect, Senna suddenly closed her mouth with a hand, then apologized to him, with a humorous smile. Uncle Iroh began laughing with putting his hands on her stomach, which made her relieve. "I like you, Senna..." Receiving her reciprocal with a candid smile with slight blushing, he continued pointing the wicker basket left on the ground after him having to see her. "...I was looking for herbs to prepare tea for my cake. Would you like to help me? I could enjoy my niece's company." Senna nodded to him, deciding to go with the flow and just relish the time with her grand uncle she wished to meet due to her grandfather's mentioning it many times. 

"Of course." Uncle Iroh calmly turned back, walked deliberately slow, to the clouds as if he'd come here every day, letting her easily reach him. 

With his guidance and informing her about the Spirit World, they first passed over the clouds which was much easier and quicker than Senna'd expected and reached another rapture full of white flowers. He showed her how to pluck the flower without any damage, she carefully watched his movements. However, she couldn't help herself questioning the flower since having seen none just like the others. 

"Are these what we need for tea?" She asked pointing the flowers with a hesitant face. 

"Yes. We will make a white flower tea."  She scowled with his approval, unwillingly question the name. She was always open with new flavors and she would willingly taste it, of course, if she wasn't in the "Spirit World." 

Noticing her nerves, Uncle Iroh got up, approached her carefully with a few steps trying not to smash the flowers' branches, and put a hand on her shoulder, endeavoring to appease her. 

"Don't worry. You can drink or eat anything you would like here. Also, the White Flower Tea is one of the most delicate of all teas due to its connoisseurs, also holds complex recipe, but My friends here call me as the master of it because I've been doing this since coming here for special quests...like you." Senna gave a breath of relief and grinned at him, pointed the basket with her forefinger. 

"Then what are we waiting for?" Both rolled up their sleeves and start to work with continued chatting...

"You said Izumi had one more child too?" With an obvious but normal curious tone since receiving no news about his family for years, Uncle Iroh asked plucking another white flower. 

"Ah...Yes. I have a brother. His name is Iroh." 

With Senna's answer, he suddenly stopped moving, his eyes were widened as the result of astonishment. 

"Iroh?" He muttered. Senna put a few flowers on her hands on the basket, made eye contact with him with nodding her head, realized the excitement to be read from his face. 

"Yes. My grandfather put your name to him to live your memory, and I think your name carried your legacy to him, he became the youngest and greatest general just like you." 

His eyes shone with pride and the tears filled up. He unwittingly put a slight smile on his face, couldn't answer first, and just laid his eyes on a specific point brooding. Seeing his emotionally thoughtful seconds, Senna concluded she should leave him to himself. She leaned down, continued plucking the flowers till hearing an answer after a few moments. 

"It's good to hear...What about you?" Just like him seconds ago, she dove into the thoughts delaying to answer immediately, viewing the white flower on her hand and fondling its petals. 

What have I done?

As usual, Senna first remembered her first mission, to which others indirectly related, which was given without her permission, after her brother decided to follow his dream, her mother told her after coming back from the Sun Warrior Island and having found that she had the dragon's fire. 

"You will be the future Fire Lord, little flame."  

Without having any idea about the responsibility it brought, Senna recalled how she became the happiest in that day, her enthusiastically jumping up with clapping hands and repeating her mother's sentence and hugging her. 

Then she speedily thought of the Fire Nation citizen: all activities she'd participated with them, or the fights she'd stood up for them, against them... how they ended to be afraid of her after finding out her fire and Azula's death. Her fire...

"Senna?" With Uncle Iroh's voice she pulled herself together, yet contemplatively looked at him for a few seconds, then shortly the answer came. 

"Uhh...Mine is not that awesome. I'll become the Fire Lord after my mother so I'm trying my best to have a benefit for my citizens. I had the Dragon's Fire at the age of five and...that's all I guess." She calmly put the flower in the basket as him now chuckling with proud eyes, having already stopped plucking. 

"Not awesome? That is awesome! I knew there was something special about you." 

Senna found his eyes, wishing to believe him, slightly smiled blushing, thanked him, and felt needed to change the topic. 

"Are those enough for the tea, Uncle Iroh?"  

He lunged to the wicker basket, meaning yes for Senna. Together, they reached a white house with a green roof and a table with seats in front of it that she admired how they could pass the longest roads with just a few steps.

Senna suggested helping him but with his persistent request, she sat down, began waiting as he went inside. In that time Senna had a chance to stare around and ponder. She tried to understand why she came here in the middle of nowhere. She recalled what she was thinking before sleeping: Azula. However, that didn't help her to deduct a conclusion since instead of Azula, now she was with her grand uncle. 

Uncle Iroh first brought a huge fruited cake with plates, forks and a knife, asked her to allocate for both as going inside again. She obediently sliced the cake carefully, put a big piece into each plate, and shortly he came back with a tray with two cups and a teapot, sat next to her, poured the tea on each cup, and served them. 

Senna curiously took a sip. She unwittingly pouted her face due to suddenly noticing it was nothing like she'd ever tried but that didn't take long since she somehow liked this strangeness. She waited till him putting his cup on the saucer to verbalize her opinion looking down at the tea. 

"That's better than I expected." Iroh nodded, candidly smiled, asked a different question. 

"It is...So you don't know how you came here?" Senna first looked at him doubtfully with a slight smile as if he'd read her thoughts just now. 

"Yes. I was thinking of seeing someone before sleeping and then I was here." Iroh took a sip from the tea. 

"Someone? I'm hoping that person was me." With his humorous tone, Senna chuckled.

"I'm sorry but it wasn't... It was Azula, your niece." Uncle Iroh put the cup on the saucer, his face turned serious, and muttered. 

"Is she dead?" Senna nodded as him exhaling a breath of blues. 

"Hah...We didn't have the greatest relationship, even she once tried to kill me just to run away, but still, that made me sad." Senna grinned since recalling that day from Azula's recounting to her in her own bedroom. 

"She told me about that. I was just seven, thinking she was just telling a fanciful story, then found out it was real." Uncle Iroh took a fork from the cake, shrugged. 

"She was always weird...actually crazy." Senna kindly rose her forefinger to him, objected. 

"Yet she was healing..." He rose a brow, turned to her. 

"Really?" With his cynical tone of voice, Senna felt needed to convince him. 

"Yes. My grandfather always tells me it was because of me that I was somehow good for her." He chuckled, easily finding the reason. 

"It might be because you're just like her." Senna raged with scowling and shaking her head as hearing the words told her all over again by a great deal of people around. 

"I'm not!" Iroh put his hand on her shoulder to calm her. 

"Of course you're not, Senna. What I mean is that you look just like her. Her younger self. Another version that what she could have become. That might be the reason." Senna laid her eyes on the fumes of the tea and gloomily mumbled. 

"Maybe..." Uncle Iroh decided it was a good time to change changed the topic. 

"Why haven't you eaten the cake? If you're on a diet don't worry. You don't any gain in the spirit world..." He put his hand on his stomach laughed. "...and you won't lose any either." Senna laughed back to him. She stick the fork in the cake and took a piece, happily stated its tastefulness. 

Till finishing their tea and cakes they talked about mundane matters, generally about the Fire Nation and its people. Uncle Iroh asked after Izumi and Taichi and more details about her grandfather and Senna saw his eyes shining when hearing great news about the ones he loved just like all of her family members.

"...And depending on what my father told me, after my grandmother Mai's death, my mum and grandfather were devastated and the capital was in a big grief..." Uncle Iroh's happy mood suddenly changed. 

"Did she die too?" He murmured with a sad face. Senna approved. 

"A year before I was born. My grandfather always tells me that my birth was a new hope emerging from in the core of the palace...That's why he gave me this name, Senna since it means-" Iroh politely intervened.

"Brightness." Senna smiled blushing. 

"You really carry your name, Senna. I can see the brightness from your eyes, but your spirit..." Senna hesitantly contacted his eyes waiting for an answer.

"What about my spirit?" Uncle Iroh slowly turned to her on his chair, set his hand right on her heart with a sad face, worrying about her. 

"It's in darkness...pain. I can feel it." 

Her eyes slipped down his hand, she gradually exhaled a breath and recalled everything from inside. 

"I guess it is...I've been suffering for years and I don't know how to get over it." Senna united her hands, diffidently looked down at them playing.

"But you can't live with it all your life." He inserted his hands into hers with a slight smile. Senna pouted her face, shook her head, her eyes were still on their hands. 

"I have to till catching the one who is responsible for everything." Iroh slightly chuckled, having acquaintances with this attitude, yet kept it short not to sadden and enrage her more. 

"You remind me of Zuko's young self, Senna. He was so dedicated about catching the Avatar to please his father that he didn't even realize he dragged his spirit in darkness, just like you."

Senna didn't lift her head. She knew this story from her grandfather, but she wanted to listen to it from another point of view. 

"What did he do then?" Senna murmured. Uncle Iroh slightly smiled waiting for this question. One of his hands went on her chin, lifted till aligning her eyes to his. 

"He struggled and even darkened his spirit more. However, he went where everything was started and faced all darkness inside of him, achieved to realize his real purpose in life. Then everything came after easily and quickly with him following his way waiting for him. In the end, he found his truest way, the destiny which surely wasn't so easy for him."  Senna carefully listened to him from beginning till his last word, but looking down again, only one of his sentences stuck in her mind, made her unwittingly mutter from outside. 

"Where everything was started..." Iroh squeezed her hands. 

"Maybe you should begin there, then I'm sure the destiny will lead you to your truest way." Senna desperately closed her eyes letting a few tears go, recalling the starting place, that night. 

"I can't, Uncle Iroh. I don't think I can handle all the bad memories in there...In Ember Island." He gloomily smiled even not knowing what happened, he felt the deepness of her anguish. 

"Don't you have any friends, Senna? Maybe they could help you." Senna unwillingly sobbed with speedily closing her mouth and shook her head. 

"How come a beautiful lady like you doesn't have any friends?" With risen brows, Uncle Iroh asked, realizing she must have gotten the destiny of Zuko and Azula. 

"I don't think I could trust people again after even one of who I trusted most betrayed me, put me in this pain." Uncle Iroh lifted her chin again peacefully stated his words. 

"You should let your past go, Senna. I'm sure there are still countless people worthy of your trust." Senna cynically giggled, picking up a few tears left. 

"Azula used to tell me that trust is for the fools and I'm pretty experienced about this." He disapproved. 

"Azula said those because she didn't want a friend to trust or share good memories. She just wanted someone who insistently obeyed her and her rules that made her weaker day by day. However as you said before you're not like her, Senna. You're a strong woman. I'm sure you can do anything, even what you think is impossible. I can feel it." Senna desperately made eye contact with him, viewed the truthfulness of his words. 

You can do anything. 

"Then what am I supposed to do?" Senna regulated her stance as well as her voice.  

"Just take the first step. Then the rest will come." Senna slightly smiled with his statement and suddenly hugged him from his belly, placed her head on his breast. Now she found out the real purpose of her presence here. 

This meeting was exactly what she'd needed to begin recovering herself...her spirit. 

Uncle Iroh first couldn't comprehend, yet shortly reciprocated her gesture as now she was stating her thoughts gratefully. 

"Thank you, Uncle Iroh. My grandfather always tells me that talking with you always heals him and leads him correctly. Now I'm sure it does." He appeasingly fondled her back. 

"I think I have a way with words...Also when you're back tell him to visit me. I miss him." Senna sadly giggled at his partly emotional statement, tightened her arms around his waist. 

“I will.”

Chapter Text

Senna slowly opened her eyes assuming she was still in the Spirit World hugging Uncle Iroh. However viewing the powder color tulle right towards, she couldn't grasp where she was or if she'd come back. She lifted her right hand, tried to compose fire flames, which resulted in success. 

"I came back to the real world." She muttered still in confusion and increasing questions in her mind, looking at the sides of her hand. 

"Are you okay, princess?" Mako kindly asked, approaching the bedside little from his chair, with risen brows, endeavoring to understand her actions. 

Senna automatically turned her face to his side instantly lowered her hand. She pressed both hands on the bed and speedily pushed herself up, already forgetting her wounds, made her groan slightly, yet she didn't accept the failure or attempts by him to help her, she got up in and sat downturned at the edge of the bed and placed her hands on both sides of her body. 

"I-How long have I been sleeping?" She contemplatively asked to comprehend everything, eying the ground. 

"An hour probably." She rose her brows in shock. 

"An hour?" Her eyes blankly slipped up at her hands, composed tiny fire flame. "I'm sure I spent at least four hours in there." 

Mako questioned her sentence, still not able to give any meaning to anything she'd been doing or saying since waking up. "Four hours? What are you talking about?" They made eye contact  Senna exhaled breath or strangely feeling relieved to see him. However, Mako was still able to see the confusion in her eyes. She shook her head. 

"Nothing...What are you doing here?" Senna jumped into another question, not expecting him to understand something she'd almost no idea either. Mako stood up, cautiously sat down next to her. 

"Lord Zuko asked me to accompany you..." She didn't listen to the rest of the sentence as now absentmindedly muttering the name. 

"Lord Zuko..." Senna put her hands to her forehead and moved it back to the backside of her head, pulling her forelocks away from her face, repeated a few times since trying to pick and figure her thoughts.

She suddenly remember his friendship with Avatar Aang, who was supposedly a bridge between the real world and spirit world, that she assumed the Avatar must have told even a piece of information to her grandfather that could be useful for her to understand her state.

"I have to see him." She pressed her palms on the bed and hastily attempted to stand up regardless of the pain. On the other hand, instantly noticing her movements, Mako speedily placed his hands on her shoulders, made her sit. 

"Princess I think you shouldn't-" Senna pushed away his hands with hers, didn't let him finish. 

"Don't touch me!" Her shouting made Mako astonished, since not able to reason her sudden sharp attitude. He just watched her, waited till she got up, walked to the edge of the bed with holding its side, and then one of its columns erected each corner; her hands grabbed it firmly become even lighter.

Despite her warning, Mako approached her side in case she could black out, held both of her still-cold hands and turned her body to him to convince the princess to stop and rest. "You should stay here. Your wounds are still not fully recovered, and you could see Lord-" Senna didn't let him finish, harshly torn her hands away from his, lifted his forefinger as the other hand was now grabbing and pulling from his collar to find her balance. Mako confusedly looked at her with widened eyes, saw the obvious fire in her eyes just like his first day of guarding her in Republic City. 

"Listen to me carefully, detective. You have no idea about my potential, yet you never avoid standing against me or crossing my boundaries all the time. I can tolerate that for a while but if you force me too much, you will have to encounter the consequences that I'm sure you won't like." Senna pushed him away, enough to make him stagger back a few steps even if she was injured as shouting. "Now get out of my sight!" 

With her frigid thick tone emphasizing words one by one and frowned face, Mako easily sensed the capacity that she could burn him anytime she wished regardless her current state and knowing he wasn't wanted now with her clear point. Therefore, he didn't react or follow her but just watched her, still ready to run if she staggered. 

Even after he wasn’t able to see her anymore, he kept standing in the same position for a few minutes, not knowing what to do. He suddenly recalled the picture which he drew last night before deciding to come there and see her and took it off from his pocket. He laid his eyes on it, recalled he took it to give her after the nervous-ended breakfast to moralize her. He slightly smiled. As he wrote her in his first letter, he wanted this journey full of happy memories, her laughing, but now it seemed far away, even impossible.

Mako put it on her bedside table and put her buckle on it to stop it from flowing and silently left the room. 


"Grandpa!" Senna briskly ran to her grandfather's office regardless of the pain in her belly with trembling body getting support from her hand leaning to the wall. 

With his granddaughter's concerned voice, Lord Zuko easily surmised there was a problem. He speedily walked outside, then to her side, softly grabbed her hands. “Senna, what's going on? Where is Mako? Are you okay?" She looked up at his concerned face. 

"Grandpa...I-I went to the Spirit W-World." She stated spasmodically. "I-I saw U-uncle Iroh." He instantly reacted, shocked with widened eyes. 

"You...how?" Senna tore her hands from his and tried to explain the situation by using them. 

"I don't know. I was lying down on my bed thinking about Azula, then lounged and...Bam! I woke up in there." He pondered for a few seconds but decided not to share the thoughts inside of his mind before understanding the situation thoroughly.

"Let's go inside so that you can tell me everything." 

With Lord Zuko's leading and help, Senna sat down on the couch, speedily drank a glass of water, struggle to regulate her breath since having run there from her room. He patiently waited with slowly fondling her back to calm her down, then attentively listened about her journey to the Spirit World...

"Hah...Uncle..." After hearing all the story, he muttered right after but didn't continue. He put his thumb and forefinger on his chin, cogitated what he just heard with his granddaughter, now impatiently waiting for his answer as viewing the scratches on her hands, moving her fingers in harmony on her knees. 

Lord Zuko protected his silence for a few minutes because he had almost no idea about Spirit World except what he heard from his friend Aang or read from books. However, one thing he was sure of was that there had to be a reason for this journey...What if his sister was there? He assumed it the seemingly impossible since if someone’s spirit is not fully cleansed he or she had no place in there except in The Fog of Lost Souls and it was impossible to go outside or call someone from there. Also if she'd been, then she was supposed to see her not his uncle. There had to be a reason... 

"Maybe you should listen to him and have a trip to the Ember Island." With her grandfather's sudden conclusion, she instantly shook her head.

"I don't think I can face it." Senna just looked up at him with undecided eyes that Lord Zuko concluded before anything, first he must convince her. He held his hands, fondled softly with eye contact. 

"Senna I know this is hard enough for you. Believe me, I do but I know he is right about this, also..." 

"Also what?" She asked stiffly knowing nothing good could come after this. 

"Today, I received a letter from Tommy conveying that Zoe was really worried about you after your injury." Senna speedily squeezed his hands concerned with widened eyes awaiting his answer.  

"Nothing's happened to her right?" He shook his head with an appeasing smile. 

"Don't worry, darling. She is fine but just sleeping and eating too little." She exhaled a breath of relief as he continued to his speech. "Also, you should take the Team Avatar with you too. You know they came here for vacation and so far they've seen nowhere except inside of the palace." Senna broke the contact with his eyes the same color as hers and stood up with a stiff face even admitting she already lost her chance to look strong. 

"I'll think about it...Thank you, grandpa." Lord Zuko moved up right after her, didn't answer first, but hugged compassionately and carefully not to hurt her. 

"Always, darling." 

Senna reached the room by herself regardless of his grandfather's insistence to accompany her. Taking the necessary equipments to change her bandages on her back and arm, she walked to the dressing room right beside the bathroom, to change her clothes to see Druk. She reckoned her to have a use in helping her decide depending on her past chats with her. She brooded her as taking off her rape of nightgown, then the bandages with slow movements. 

Druk'd always had a special place in Senna's heart. Since her childhood, she'd been used to sitting towards her and sharing about her life or nuisances for hours, with a sense from inside that Druk was carefully listening to her with her eyes and the emotions she felt from her not knowing how or why at that time. However, If an outsider'd seen her, he or she would have certainly theorized she was crazy, speaking with a dragon surely wasn't an ordinary thing, yet this was their communication style with her breaths, heartbeats and emotions she felt from her, and slight roarings as an answer. 

This relationship was easily noticed by everyone but especially and firstly by her grandfather, which led her to discover the Dragon's Fire flowing inside of her veins, enough to explicate the reason for her connection with dragons, yet how they understood her or reach her was still in darkness, mystery. Still, right now, Senna was up to receive her support, approval about the journey Uncle Iroh'd advised since especially after Azula's death she had no one to open herself freely without being afraid of being judged, except Druk and the ancient dragons.

Leaving just a clean bra and knickers on her body, she walked through the full-length mirror at the right corner of the room, firstly viewed her wounds from belly and arm, then light skin with full of scratches, and checked them if they were open. 

Her eyes easily filled with tears. It wasn't  because of her messy look, she knew that most of the scratches would wipe out in just a few days, but because of the feeling that all she'd achieved was in vain. All the fights she gave for her nation, for her life, against Red Lotus, her people...Physically or mentally all concluded with nothing when she lost towards Noah...again. She didn't want to go deeply into the reason why she couldn’t fight properly, maybe afraid of confessing. She just stood against the mirror for a while, viewed the tears moving down to her cheek and her light-skinned body. Again and Again. She badly wished to remember this woman. No! She had to remember her. A woman with wounds, scratches, suffering for years so that next time, she could find him, not stand weak against him, beat him, and finally kill him...

Senna felt the squeezing fire through her veins and rising temperature that she knew she should stop brooding more if she didn't want to burn the palace. Also, it wasn't mentally healthy for her to regain her normal body temperature with pain or anger. It should be because of love, happiness that she had no idea how and where to find. 

Hardly achieving to close her wounds firmly with bandages and wearing a short-sleeved red long satin dress, Senna walked to her bedside table to take her gold buckle, planning to tie up part of her hair, yet saw the painting on her bedside table. Forgetting about the buckle, she grabbed the picture and lifted little to see clean. 

The backside was full of tones of dark yellow and brown, and right in the middle of it, a knelt man was holding a woman tightly in his arms. The blood was flowing from his hand on the woman's belly, from her back and arm, enough for Senna to understand the woman was her and the man was Mako. She hardly achieved to recall before closing eyes in the Sun Warrior Island, their conversation, all these emotions, everything. He was with her till the last second endeavoring to help her in every way he could, in obvious concern that she would die. Her heartbeats increased in pure content, confessing she should be thankful to him, whereas she shouted to him disdainfully. Even still assuming he deserved it since crossing her boundaries countless times, she still believed she should apologize from him. However, first, she had to find him. 

Since she couldn't lift her right arm due to injury, she left her hair open, on her back, put on a slight and quick make-up just to hide the scratches on her face, and colored her lips with a light red tone. Then, she first walked the corridor where the Team Avatar's room was supposed to reside, asked one of the guardians from the entrance about the detective, and received the answer that he took some papers and pencils, walked to the garden.

Reaching there, Senna saw him sitting alone in the garden behind Druk's back and drawing. She absentmindedly rose her brows, surprised to see Druk's letting a stranger sit with her alone. She silently walked to Druk first, touched between her eyes and closed hers for a second to feel her throughly, tell her that she was okay. Then, her eyes slipped down on Mako. It was the first time she’d ever seen him drawing and wasn't exactly what she'd imagined. His movements were fast as if exactly conscious of what or how to use his pencils, as well as his speedily breathes and heartbeats, she could feel, but still, he achieved to put a normal face contrasting everything he was showing with other behaviors. She admired his zest, likening it to the times when she fire-bent and wondered what he could be possibly painting right now. However, before even she could see it, Mako heard the dragon's breath of relief and concluded somebody was on the front side of Druk. He speedily hid the paper he was working on and put out a plain paper. 

Senna looked at the papers on his legs beforehand, but they were all empty, white that she realized he sensed she was there. 

"May I sit?" She asked as approached his side. Mako slowly laid his eyes to the right side, on her that enticed him in a matter of seconds, but since realizing her questioning face, with eyes still on him, he answered, stammering. 

"O-Of course." Senna slowly knelt then putting her legs up leaned back to Druk with a wry face due to her pain and inanely waiting for help from him contrasting with the morning. She turned her face to make eye contact with him, yet he was just looking down playing with the red pencil. 

"I guess you gave up offering help." She voiced desperately smiling. "I must have frightened you." However, what she felt was telling her the opposite that made her smile shortly wither.

With her gloomy voice, Mako instantly turned to her side, met the ambers, needed to explain himself. "No, I just-" Senna looked up to the sky, the obvious confusion easily appeared from her voice didn’t let him finish. 

"I had a bad dream... actually not a dream...a reality or..." She exhaled her breath with a small fire flame. "Whatever, I got tense and took it out from you. I'm sorry."

Just like her, Mako turned his face to the sky. "Sounded familiar." Mako smiled to soften the area. "I guess I was a little persistent too." She didn’t answer right after, yet then it was out of the topic. 

"How did Druk let you in to her zone?" Mako first couldn't grasp that it didn't take long.

"I don't know. I attempted to feed her before drawing and although she hissed yesterday in our first trying, today she easily let me." Senna just nodded making no contact to test him, comprehending from his intimately honest tone that he was telling the truth. 

A silence fell over the garden and Senna closed her eyes, waiting for Druk to understand her thoughts and answer her. However, suddenly remembering his drawing, she rapidly took the drawing out and put it between them. With her movements, Mako turned to her side with a questioning face soon softened, he slightly smiled.

"You saw." She reciprocated his gesture with the same face, making eye contact with him, but took it short and looked down at the picture. 

"I didn't know I looked that beautiful when injured. I thought I looked like shit." She pointed the woman in the man's arms made him giggle. He fully turned to her, crossed his legs. 

"I might have added some changes to make my piece more precious." Senna sarcastically laughed back at him. 

"Your arrogance always stays alive detective." 

"Always."  Senna coughed to regulate her voice with a desire to continue their conversation. 

"As you offered in the letters I thought maybe you could show me some basics about drawing and when my belly gets better, I could show some tricks in fire bending as I offered." He didn't answer first, just put his papers and pencils between them. 

"With a pleasure..." He took a paper, placed it on a rectangular piece of the wooden smooth file, he'd bought to draw a picture from Republic City, reached it out to her. "First let's see your capacity. Tell me what you want to draw. It could be anything." She nodded obediently, her eyes strolled all around the garden, ended on him. She shrugged.

"The only thing I could draw is you right now." Mako rose a brow with acrimonious titter on his lips. 

"Me? You're playing too high, Your Highness. Depending on what I read in the letters are you sure you can?" Senna pouted just as a little kid. 

"You said you wanted to see my capacity. On this occasion, I think this is the best way to do it." Mako rolled his eyes in joy approved her. 

Senna turned her body to him and positioned her legs just like his. She took the file and started drawing him trying her best to make it beautiful. However,  his eyes carefully watching her movements was enough to increase her heartbeats just like his and as well as her tension. 

"I shouldn't have said that." She muttered, thinking she wasn't heard, but it wasn't the case. 

Mako slightly smirked, now hardly holding himself from drawing her face right now. It was changing due to the parts of the painting. In some parts she beamed, Mako assumed they were probably the parts that became easy to her but generally frowned likely because of the hard parts. She sometimes stopped, analyzing the picture carefully for a minute and then quickly continued. 

She looked nothing alike that woman who was about to burn him before. Now, she was like a little kid. Once again Mako acknowledged that she was surely a volatile person which could cause a great amount of trouble in her in life and actually for him and people around her, but still, it didn't cease his drawing zest against her which actually made no sense, much he experienced, since generally the whim revealed when he looked at the objects or the scenery, generally related to his emotions or past, then he found himself against the paper. However, now, he desired to draw each of her smallest movements till impossibly nothing left to do it. He kept carefully looking at her face like memorizing, probably to draw her later at night. 

"Now close your eyes, detective to see my masterpiece." Mako nodded, obeyed her request with the same smile since the beginning. 

Senna blissfully turned the file to him and put it on his legs. As soon as she did, he automatically opened his eyes and examined so-called himself on the paper. He hardly saw the body of a man, hair or tangerine eyes, and it was hardly looking like him or even a human. He struggled to hold himself but couldn't, that he burst out laughing.

"I was hesitant at first, but now I should thank you for choosing to draw me because you're a lost cause." Senna rose her brows with this unexpected answer, wrinkled lips in disappointment and soft anger. 

"Why? I tried so hard for this." Viewing her face Mako's laughter widened hardly enabled him to speak. 

"Are you sure you looked at me? Because...this man doesn't even look like me and...even doesn't...look like a man." He kept mocking that enraged Senna. She harshly pushed all pencils to the side of the garden like a spoiled kid but left a pencil in her hand. Moving closer to his side, she began narrating by pointing each body part with the pencil. 

"Why not? Here is your body slim but muscular, your tangerine eyes generally seem to be in deep thoughts, black hair like coal, original eyebrows, your jawline, and the part I worked the most: your arm with a scar like a tattoo." Mako watched and listened to her with a grin smile on his face, pleased to notice she did study in him in their interactions and still remember. 

However, his feature annoyed her more to ignite her to bet with him. "I saw you drawing something before. If you're that talented, then show me." Senna made eye contact with him trying to stump him. He again saw the fires but it didn't scare him. His laughing turned into cynical giggling. 

"I believe you know how skillful I'm with the two drawings I've given to you so far." However, he was one step forward from her; Senna figured she was outwitted. She rolled her eyes but with no intention to give up. 

"Then I'm ordering you as the princess. Show me the picture." Senna crossed her arms, voiced with a strict tone. 

"Sorry, princess, but I don't have to obey your orders," Mako stated in joy, for a few moments forgetting she was the princess, which made her frown and raise her anger. She pointed down with her forefingers. 

"You're in my palace, in my garden, sitting beside my dragon. Of course, you have to obey my orders." Now Senna was sure to have baffled him, soon he showed she was wrong. 

"Then as you told me, I'm really fond of breaking them." Her mouth unwillingly opened little since no one could be able to talk to her like this, yet shortly closed, recalling that was what he usually surpassed. 

"You surely are." She looked away, unsatisfied. "Whatever, I don't care anyway." She harshly reached the file to him, but with the pouting face, Mako easily grasped she was lying. 

Even if feeling hesitant, he took the unfinished picture of her watching the sky yesterday the night when she woke up, slipped her body closer to hers, yet hearing Bolin's voice enthusiastically calling the princess, he had to give up on his intention and hid the paper between the others. 

Senna slowly stood up, not interacting with him in any way, walked to the crew, as Mako followed after picking up his stuff. 

They started chatting about their short tour to the palace and Senna's waited till Mako's arrival to ask their opinions.

"It is beautiful and amazing that it contains the history of almost all Fire Nation," Asami stated in delight in her voice. "Though, the Hall of Fire Lords is a little intimidating." Senna chuckled at her statement.

"Fire Lords can be intimidating." The group laughed softly at that Senna slightly coughed to continue. "Today I planned to take you to the capital square where all shops and restaurants are located. I want to give you a good taste of life in the Fire Nation and especially in festivals." 

"But you're injured." Bolin subsequently objected that others agreed with him. 

"It would be just strolling around, nothing much or including danger for my wounds." Senna paused. "Also because of me, you've been stuck inside of the palace and you must be bored. So from now on, I must treat my guests well till the end of their journey just as I've planned." 

As the Team Avatar was attempting to object again, stating they could go out later, and advised her to rest, Senna heard Druk’s slight roaring, comprehended she confirmed Uncle Iroh’s advice. However, she wasn’t sure, needed time to think. 

Senna kindly rejected all objections of the crew and request them to get ready and meet up with her at the gates of the palace in thirty minutes to create some time for herself to ponder. 

Chapter Text

Fire lilies. Vibrant, big red petals, green spoon-shaped leaves, grew in the meadows of the Fire Nation's grassy fields, bloomed just a few weeks every year around the middle of summer, and were typically shredded once they dried out. A subject of many poets and artists in the Fire Nation, a symbol of fiery purity and passion. The princess's favorite flower. The aroma of her perfume, combined with her scent in harmony.

The princess first discovered them at the age of three as she could remember as walking down on the capital's streets with her parents, in her father's arms to enjoy the festival with the citizens as her mother's idea. Her eyes shone in happiness, just like in that day, now, viewing them lined all over at the entrance of the palace without any seen ending, till the capital's gates. She couldn't comprehend the situation that for a while, forgot about Druk and endeavored to remember if there was any tradition like this at all. However, she was sure there wasn't. 

"They aren't supposed to be here, are they?" Putting down her thoughts in a short sentence, Senna stiffly asked, frowned, to one of the guardians, as waiting for the team Avatar to meet her, still kept looking at flowers. 

"You're right princess but after your injury was heard, all of the citizens left those to show their concern and connect with you." With this answer, she quickly turned to the guardian with risen brows and slightly widened eyes, showing she didn't fully understand it. She felt strange since, after all those years and her efforts, she still believed deeply her citizens still hated or scared of her, but just put a fake smile and attitudes towards her due to her rank and their life. 

The crew excitedly came to her side with making assumptions about the capital, unwillingly split her brooding, made her delay to think later that she didn't mind even was okay with that; all she wished, right now, was just to enjoy the day. 

As walking to the city center, the joy of the crew turned into astonishment since what they were expecting certainly wasn't this. 

The entrance of the city wasn't really an entrance and started shortly after leaving the palace with shops under personal houses. As continuing to walk, their astonishment turned into foreignness. As if arriving in a different world, time...

The streets of the capital were thinner than the Republic City with blocks of red, brown, gold, and cream-colored stores and restaurants with a crowd of people bustling around, the buildings weren't as tall as those in Republic City, at most with two floored and everywhere you turned was just full of new stuff to discover with a mixture of shops, boutiques and pop up stands, which somehow seemed to be lined in order. Despite the abundance of the Fire Lilies at the entrance of the palace, still, they were all around the streets: the edge of the windows, columns, people's necks, heads or on dresses mostly with red fabrics, dancing, laughing, shopping, eating all over the streets of the capital...

All were nothing alike what any of them were used to or ever met, yet it somehow held an old and homey feeling to it.

"From the astonished faces I'm seeing, which I can't blame you, here is obviously much different from Republic City." All could just approve her, still wandering their eyes wondered, as though if they just looked away even for a second, they would miss a century. Senna didn't continue to speak as waiting for their shock to lessen and them to ask questions with a grin smile on her face prying around all the reddish streets she grew up in. 

"How about transportation?" Asami suddenly questioned first, as an industrialist; Senna turned her with giggling with this expected statement from her. 

"Unlike Republic again, cars don't really work here. Plus, most people don't have a place to store them and most citizens have no problems walking from place to place." All nodded insightfully as Opal continued with another notification as walking beside Bolin, their hands tied. 

"I knew it was going to be the same as the city from what you'd told me in the letters, but I certainly didn't wait this amount of match. It's like we're in a different time."

Senna pointed the forward, beaming. 

"You haven't seen the square, yet." She glanced at the others as still viewing around as she move on with her speech. "We intend to stick to our traditions and keep them alive much more than other nations. Our traditions and our past mean a lot to us." 

They kept walking down the streets, as Senna explicating about traditional festival celebration, but it was split a few times by native people or children stating their happiness to see her alive, giving her gifts, rapidly running to her then hugging. Senna endeavored to reciprocate all of them with the same intimate gestures and mimics, although it usually hurt her back. She smiled back all faces that smiling at her, hugged, took all the flowers, shook everyone's hands.

She acknowledged something was confusing her mind, crashing her long-lasted conception, same as Fire Lilies at the entrance of the palace she saw. However, even in this confusion, she was happy and her attention slipped on around from the Team Avatar, chatting and shopping, since, now, all the attention was on her. She heard talks, but couldn't recognize the owner because of the crowd. 

"Look at the princess." 

"You look as beautiful as usual, Your Highness." 

"We're so grateful that you're alive." 

"You saved our life." 

"We love you." 

As the team Avatar went into one of the boutiques to choose a local dress for Opal and Asami, Senna kept walking to the center where the big main stage was constructed and just a few steps far from the boutique. She viewed an old florist woman with a stand of Fire Lilies. The stand was full of it, meaning not even one was sold, but still, she realized that wasn't what the woman was trying to do. She was just watching the show, enjoying the festival, delaying to care about mundane matters. 

As if feeling the princess's eyes, the old woman suddenly turned her face to her side and they made eye contact. Senna instantly remembered their interaction as Senna's helping her to carry her luggage a few times or endeavoring to sell her flowers to make money for the day. Senna walked to her, with an intimate smile and she was welcomed by the florist with the same feature as hers. She asked her to give a few fire lily necklaces and crowns, that woman enthusiastically chose the best products of hers. After receiving the accessories, Senna reached out the money, attempted to pay but the woman held her hand with money, closed her palms. 

"Count it as my gratefulness to you, princess. Actually not just mine, everyone's." Senna knitted her eyebrows with this unexpected jest, that made her put everything in her mind into an intimate sentence. 

"Don't all of you hate me? I mean-" An old woman pulled her in from the hand, made her lean down, and hugged her.

"You've been through and done more than enough, Princess." Senna first couldn't grasp either her gesture or saying, but shortly hugged back and didn't break it even that hurt her belly incredibly. 

They stayed like that for a moment, and then the woman broke the hug, placed her hands on her shoulders and turned her to the side of the stage.

"Today everything was organized just for you, Your Highness. You should go and have some fun with your friends. You deserve this.” Looking back, Senna thanked her and approached the stage, now with local singers singing her favorite song. 

Her eyes filled with tears for the third time in one day, surely unusual for her, but this time it was due to pure happiness. Happiness that realizing actually she'd achieved what she'd exerted for years: her citizen's love, trust and company.

"Senna?" With her name's announced, Senna's turned the source and saw Opal kindly touching her shoulder. "If you're not feeling well, we could go back." She softly stated as Senna viewed the team Avatar standing beside Opal's side. 

Senna smiled shaking her head, recalling the accessories she bought for them. She fastened the crowns on women's heads and necklaces on men's necks. 

"Thought you guys need some red." She added as all thanked her for the gentle jest, then all adapted to the song on the scene till the end of it. 

"Have the best Fire Lily Festival!" The singer began her speech. "I hope you’ll all spend the greatest festival for the two weeks!” Everyone clapped her that its sound could be heard on the farthest island of the Fire Nation. "However, today we are also celebrating that Princess Senna thankfully woke up and with us right now!" The singer pointed at her and suddenly feeling all eyes on her she blushed in diffidence, trying her best to look normal. "Princess Senna gave her best fight to protect the Sun Warrior Island with the Team Avatar and when the time came, she was more than ready to sacrifice her life for the Fire Nation that we should be thankful of. So today in here, in the name of everyone, I intend to thank. Thank you Princess Senna for everything you've done for us for years...Long live the princess!" After her last sentence, all citizens began repeating the same clause again and again.

"Long live the princess!" Senna let go of the tears with a compassionate smile as making eye contact with each person, recalling the day that changed everything upside down between her and her citizens of the Fire Nation.


(Six months after Azula's death / Almost seven years ago) 

Senna woke up screaming just like in every morning in the last six months, as if her clamor brought back everything, made her forget about all the blood of people on her hands or took all her fire out without any harm. She, again, felt extreme pressure inside from her veins by the Dragon’s Fire to reach outside. To destroy everything. 

Having already sat down on the bed, Senna pulled her legs to herself, buried her head between them and her breast, and she wrapped her body with her arms. She didn't open her eyes, even closed more tightly that prevented her from crying even the tears were, right now, begging to flow down. 

All she'd ever been doing was just trusting people. Loving, Believing and helping them unconditionally that led her to her apocalypse. As if they held her hand ensuring everything was going to be perfect, then they just brought her  to the edge of the cliff, but in the end, they left her behind that  been standing there in the last six months waiting for her downfall, or just her company to come back and push or end her without any idea about what to do and that was the worst part of it all...

"Senna, release yourself! Senna, look at me!" Fire Lord grabbed her arms in panic, trying to open them. 

Till that moment, Senna didn't even feel the pain, squeezing or making herself physically suffer beside her spiritual anguish. She let her mother open her arms, yet still kept her eyes closed and her head down. 

"Senna, darling?" Just like in the last six months, at the same time around each day, Izumi and Taichi stopped by their daughter’s room to get her out from these four walls and actually to check her. They forecasted she'd seen the same dream again, that was the reason why she woke up screaming, echoing from the walls of the palace at dawn, instead of the voice of laughter which just six months ago, each morning used to begin with. 

"Darling, we're here for you. Please talk to us." Taichi handed down the conversation as fondling her hair in grief since watching her daughter weakening, which he either couldn’t endure, or do anything as desperately wanting to share her pain, appease her. However, she was as deep as well, no one could open her. She never told anything about the attack or that day six months ago. As the result what they comprehended was just limited information by what the citizens’ had seen or witnessed.  

"Look, today your niece sent you a letter. Kiyi said Zoe made her write since she misses you a lot." Fire Lord used her only card she had, to bring her back to real life, for i t'd been more than six months since Azula's death, and except Zoe who was just a two-year-old kid, she hadn't talked to anyone or let inside of her inner world but just chock herself again and again in the lake of darkness, pain. 

"The one who got her mother killed," Senna murmured; no one heard her that Izumi continued. 

"We are planning to visit them soon. You should come with us." The answer immediately came in a decisively harsh tone. 

"No." Taichi softly put his hand on her shoulder, interjected. 

"Senna, I know you're suffering and what you've got through is surely difficult to accept, but you can't do this to yourself. Since the funeral, you've closed yourself to your room and you are not going out, eating or talking to anyone except Zoe." 

Senna lifted her head and slightly opened her eyes. As though waiting that moment, tears fell subsequently.She looked up at her dad, her voiced trembled. 

"Got Through? I haven't got through anything dad." Taichi first put his hand on the other side of her shoulder, caged her as the other one began softly cleaning the tears. 

"Because you're not letting yourself. If you just go outside-" Senna rapidly pushed him back with the fear of hurting him due to the exceeding squeezing, got up shouting. 

"You want me to go out!? Then answer me how could I hah!? Everywhere around this palace is full of her! Everywhere outside is full of her! Her memories! Our memories!” Taichi approached her by lifting his hands little with open palms to appease her. 

"I know but here all you do is to anguish yourself more and just avoid. Avoid facing, getting used to living without her." Taichi continued to force her hands since that was the first time she'd ever shared more than two words with them in the last six months. 

"Because I killed her! I killed my aunt, my truest best friend! Then attempted to destroy an island! Full of people, lives! From my own nation! I'm the strongest fire bender, but I wasn’t strong enough to stop the fire inside of me, dad! I don't have the courage or power to face or get over anything or anyone!" Izumi stood up.

"Darling..." 

"Get out." She pointed to the door shouted with stiff face with tears. "I said get out!" Pointing the door with his brows to his wife, Taichi walked slowly, exhaling a breath of sadness due to failure again but even part of him was glad she'd shared this much. 

"Don't do this to yourself, Senna. Don't do this to us." Fire Lord hardly voiced just before closing the door, turning her side, curbing her tears.

As soon as hearing the doors'd closed, she ran to the bed. She positioned herself the same in the morning, as her inner fire never smoothed but just tightened her veins more. “Please, please stay inside. Please...I don't want to kill anyone...Please." That was how her days passed after Azula's death. With begging all they. Of course, so many occasions'd enraged her for all her life such as losing a match, a guardian standing beside her all the time, or even her own family and she’d always felt her fire moving in rapid speed in those times. However, she'd never felt in this way. This much velocity and pressure that she had no idea how to stop, actually wasn't able to stop. Her family didn't know that. Didn't know this was another reason for her staying inside. They were the only loving ones towards her, much she could surmise now all citizens hated to her, she didn't want to lose them, assuming if they knew, they would be scared of her just like everyone, maybe send her away or even kill her.  

Senna didn't forecast how long she'd stayed in the same position, but she recalled what her mother said. The letter from her niece. She sat at the edge of the bed, with trembling hands she took the letter, yet didn't open instantly, just looked down at it. 

For two years, her all life, Zoe always adored her, loved her for anything she had. Good or bad. Smooth or scary. She had no idea about the world, about that Senna had caused her mother's death. However, Senna was sure that even if she'd known what took place, she would still love her, be her side or do anything. She couldn't give it a sense, yet couldn't reject it either. She let her inside of the room, touch or hug, talked to her, not many words, since, even for a few days, Zoe always achieved to release her, her inner fire and she desperately hoped her words might receive the same effect. 

Senna opened the envelope and first met the dried fire lilies, probably because it must be a few days after the Fire Lily Festival. For a second, she couldn't believe how she desired to celebrate it, but shortly she smiled cynically since that made no sense just like everything else. She took out a paper, opened it, viewed well-typed words, and began reading


Dear Senna, 

First of all, I want you to know that I'm sorry that I couldn't come to visit you this week. My father had some business to deal with all week, so he didn't have time to bring me to the capital, but I promise I'll do anything to visit you next week. I missed you a lot. You used to come here every weekend and play with me in the backyard but now you don't. 

I know it's because you're sad, yet I'm sad too. I barely remember my mum, yet still, I miss her every day. You said she went on a journey far away from here and my father agreed with that, but his eyes filled with tears. I don't understand why, but I hope she is not cold but happy because I'm trying my best to be happy.

Yesterday with granny we went to one of the parties and enjoyed the area a little bit. It was the last day of the festival and I bought some fire lilies. I know it is your favorite flower so I put those in the letter too. Hope you love it.

I asked about you and granny said you're well and happy, but I know she was lying. Senna, please be well. Please don't go far just like mum and  Grand Aunt Azula. Please stay alive for me and be my side. I need you. You're my everything and I don't want to lose you too. 

You deserve all the Fire Lilies and the world. 

I love you 

-Zoe- 

Senna looked down at the paper with blurry eyes in tears now wetting it with increasing heartbeats, brooded Zoe.

"It was never one-sided." Senna could mutter, reaching a conclusion. As much as she needed her, also Zoe needed her too. Both had to live and Zoe had been trying quite hard to live even having lost the biggest part of her, she would probably realize at older ages. Regardless of her slim body, she was strong. Stronger than her.  

However, what about Senna? What had she been doing all these months except closing herself into the bedroom? She recalled the first time she met Azula and desperately realized right now, she was just like her. Inside of the room staying in the same position. She recalled how Senna convince her to go outside that she rose her brows realizing the parallelism between now and the past. She didn't put much meaning into this, yet it led her to come with an acknowledgment that she didn't want to be like Azula. She, actually, never had, She sensed the raw desire indiada of her to live. To make her dreams real, share more memories with her family, fall in love. 

"I have to move on," Senna muttered again and for the first time after Azula's death, she timidly composed a colorful fire flame in her palms, with her best effort not to lose control. She viewed it. She knew her fire was special, called "The Dragon's Fire", always enabled her to achieve what was seemingly impossible. Melting metal, controlling lava...However, after Azula's death, she tragically faced there was a dark side of this power causing destruction. She recalled the days from in the library right after learning how to read thoroughly, trying to find information about her fire, and found nothing particular.

At that age, she wasn't allowed to go to the Capital's Prison where also a secret library with all dark books full of secrets about not only The Fire Nation also the other nations were resided on the base floor, known only by the royals, and she might not have permission to get in right now either, yet she had to. To move on, she had to learn clearly about the power she possessed. 

Senna briskly reached the dressing room and just wore whatever she could grab, but her moves slowed when she reached the outside door and opened it with trembling hands. Inhaling a deep breath, she began walking, feeling as if in each step she was causing another catastrophe. She passed the corridor, but ceased at the end of it since there was two ways. The left side led to the gates of the palace straight ahead and forward directly to Azula's room. She moved one step forward with courage.

You can't face her...

Her inner voice spoke.

Not right now. Not before learning about your fire. 

Senna passed the capital’s gates since, from the palace, she had to pass the square straight to reach the prison that she desperately wished to wear a cape with all eyes on her full of condemnation. However, she tried her best not to see them, as looking down and kept walking fast to reach her destination. 

Passing in streets, the eyes never diminished, but increased even most of the citizens began talking disdainfully about her and even some threw her some of the vegetables, thrashes, but none could touch her since having heard or seen her capacity. 

"How could you come here hah!?" 

"You monster!" 

"Everyone hates you!"

"You're a shame for this nation!"

"You're the worst ever!" 

She struggled to ignore all sayings. She didn't expect them to understand, but that wasn't what she deserved. She was just a kid, but a royal one that differed her somehow that she never grasped. She just made mistakes just like any normal kid, but now she admitted she had no right to do that. 

Senna reached the capital square, heard one last saying that it was crossing the border for her.  "You'll never become the Fire Lord and just rot inside of the Capital City Prison, you monster!"

She turned around to see the owner of the voice and viewed a man on the stage with a microphone that with eye contact she knew he was the one. She briskly walked over there, the man strangely waited for her. However, the fear in his eyes was obvious that getting on to the stage, he automatically stepped back. 

Senna didn't even made a contact with him and harshly pulled back the microphone. She began to shout with her utmost potential to be heard. As if to clean all the darkness, anger, affliction inside of her.

"I endured all your opinions and listened them all! Now it's your turn to listen to me!" Senna paused, waiting till the people approached the stage enough or walked outside from the shops. "I’m aware of what I did or was about to do! I'm so regretful for it but not ashamed of it! Just like any of you could, I lost someone I loved!... Yes, I loved Azula..." Some attempted to protest, yet Senna didn't let. "...And I know she was crazy!... but I still loved her! I was betrayed! Azula was killed because of me and I couldn't control my fire!" She easily composed long colorful flame reaching the sky after six months, continued. "I know you're feeling betrayed too, but I never meant to burn the part of the Ember Island, destroy there, kill any of you! You're my citizens! You're part of me! How could you even think that I want to hurt you!?" She exhaled the breath she'd been holding and let go of the tears. "I can see the hatred and fear in your eyes and that breaks me, and as the worst part, I can't blame you for that. However, all you need not to forget is that you're my citizen and I'm the future Fire Lord and I already admitted my responsibilities. From now on, I'll commit myself to you to protect you, prove we’re on the same side and gain your trust and love again. I'll never give up." With a sudden feeling of pins and needles through her body, Senna firmly held the boom pole, hardly able to speak with trembling body and voice weakened each second.

"Please...Just give me a chance." Then all her world was buried in darkness. The princess collapsed on the stage’s ground.


 Senna came back to her senses as the children touches on her dress to convince her to make a speech. She looked down at them now laughing at her with full of life. Then, all held her hands and led her to the stage, that Senna didn't object but just followed them carefully, endeavoring not to step on their feet. As also having taught to be a politician, She was used to automatically composing an effective speech in a matter of minutes in every situation. However, today, she had no words in mind, even wasn't sure she could speak, feeling as if a newborn baby. 

Senna climbed the stairs and walked in the middle of the stage, to the microphone, as the claps of the people enthusiastically increased. She coughed to regulate her voice, actually gain some time, that with this gesture all around the capital was instantly buried in silence carefully listening to her. 

"I think I should begin with informing you that I'm fine. I can sense that The Ancient Dragons are fine which means The Sun Warrior Island is still Fire Nation territory." Senna, for once, cleaned her tears without any shame of crying in front of everyone, but couldn't help her trembling voice. 

"Honestly, for once I don't know what to say. I've always hoped that I've done enough for you, and after today I'm quite glad that I've. Also glad that I achieved to gain your trust and love. You're all my citizens, a part of me, who I am and my responsibility. However, I know I will always be asked more and I can assure you I'm willing to do more, anything for you." She licked her dry lips and widely smiled. "Also I would like to highlight that I saw all the Fire Lilies outside of the palace and heard about your grief during my injury, and I'm quite thankful for that. However, from now on, all should enjoy yourselves and this beautiful time of the weather." She took the Fire Lily behind her ears which one of the children attached just before stepping up to the  stage and lifted it with her uninjured hand. "And now let's celebrate!" She slowly walked away from the middle of the stage to the edge, the stairs, but stopped scowlingly with the pain pressing her belly because of lifting her hand. 

As waiting with the crew on the corner of the stage, downside, Mako listened to all her speech carefully, admiringly and in little shock since it might be the first time  he’d ever seen her fully open just like in his arms in the Sun Warrior Island.After the speech he, right away, noticed her pouting face, speedily stepped forward to the other corner, reached her side and closed her passage from stairs. 

"Let me help you." He softly placed his hands on the two sides of her waist, before she attempted to object, detesting how even this could increase her heartbeats. 

"No I could use stair-" However, she didn't know it wasn't a question. 

Mako lifted her little and together they turned back from the stage. He slowly lowered her, with enough closure, their noises made touch with each other's, making both of their eyes met, as they'd been deliberately avoiding. Mako laid her down, without breaking the contact, yet Senna shortly did. She automatically moved a few step back with haste, walked to the others, putting on an intimate smile to hide her tension. 

"I was planning on showing you one of the dragon shows, then treating you Jasmine tea. I'm sure-" Bolin split her saying with risen brows. 

"Wait a minute a dragon show? You mean real dragons, right?"  Senna nodded with slight tittering as approached his side. 

"Yes but baby ones. I'm sure you will like it." 

They reached an open area held a decent crowd with a much smaller stage from the square with a firebender doing all kinds of tricks and fancy moves with baby dragons. The crew watched the show with widened eyes, shining in astonishment and admiration with the fire bender's according movements with the dragons. 

Since spending more than the planned time watching the show, they didn't have time to drink Jasmine tea, which Senna promised them to treat in one of the most famous traditional cafes later on. 

As walking back to the palace, passing the streets they'd passed before, Senna had a chance to ponder her grandfather's and grand uncle's suggestion. She recalled what her inner voice told her as the memory she animated through her mind.

You can't face her...Not right now. Not before learning about your fire.

Since Senna figured almost everything about her fire's potential and how to control it, she assumed this flashback as a sign. With this notification, she suddenly stopped, in the middle of the street, looking down, she composed colorful fire flame to prove she had the fully control on her and she felt it. 

The crew shortly stopped after her, thinking she wasn't feeling well. Courteously calling her name, Asami quickly approached her side and asked her state. Senna slightly heard her but didn't answer, since now slowly comprehending the right time had come and what to do. Asami cautiously touched her left shoulder, and with this Senna speedily came back to her senses. Asami repeated her question with a worried face as others reached her side and Mako stood right beside her just in case she could blackout. 

Senna made contact with each pair of eyes, calmly voiced everything was okay with holding the hand on her shoulder. 

"Uh...I just...Shall we go to the Ember Island tomorrow?"

 

Chapter Text

After Senna's making up her mind and the Team Avatar's enthusiastic approval, the dinner was quite unexpected for the royal family. Actually in the beginning it was normal, even funny with Bolin's enthusiastic narrating about their day and others' subsequently adding details and thanking the royal members for inviting them at this time of the festival. However, later at night, the tea was served, and Senna explicated her decision without making any contact with any eyes of her family, just watching the fumes of the tea. Her voice wasn't even loud, like whispering, still probably not certain about if she should listen her grandfather or Uncle Iroh, yet for the royal family, it was like echoing through the walls in the clamor.Except Lord Zuko predicting this, all royal members were surprised with her attempt, because that island was the place where she'd never actually talk about; as if it was removed from the map with Azula's death in there.

The tea choked on her father’s throat; he hastily began coughing that shortly the Fire Lord calmed him down. Iroh sitting right beside her on the left side, frowned shortly, then held his sister's hand, approached to her ears asked about the reason for her sudden decision, yet she promised to explain to him later on and continued her saying with explicating the plan of the Team Avatar’s journey to the Ember Island. All hesitantly nodded, even Izumi asked a few times more that if she was sure, and each time she received her approval, Iroh suggested her to take his ship as a jest, that she blissfully accepted. 

After her declaration, the conversation continued just like before, yet with the contemplative faces of the royal members regularly glancing to the princess, for the Team Avatar, it was easy to surmise there was something about that island. 

As standing as the edge of the prow with the crew, holding the irons, Senna viewed her cousin Tommy, shook her hand enthusiastically, instantly reciprocated by him with a wide smile, yet the confusion in his eyes and through the movements of his fire was penetrable. 

Tommy was the youngest son of Aunt Kiyi and Tom-Tom, twelve years older than Senna, two years younger than his brother Lee and a few years than her brother Iroh. With bright skin, brown slightly wavy hair, amber eyes, and long height, equal with Iroh, he seemed a regular Fire Nation citizen and his fire bending was the proof of that. Moreover, just how Senna taught her right after finding out how to control, he was the second one achieving to control lava with fire. He was a worldwide merchant, selling red vine producing from the dark grapes growing in his farm on another island, not so far away. 

Both Tommy and Lee were more amusing ones comparing to his brother and separating from him, always joking around, made people laugh, attract women and sometimes irritate with their being people-person attitude just like Senna, yet Tommy was a way more logical and gentle than his brother thanks to mostly his job and also a meek person especially against his loved ones, towards his daughter. 

Tommy speedily ran to the doors of the ship as it'd stopped, helped his cousin to get off, and gave her a warm hug. "I knew you couldn't die easily, cousin." Senna giggled with his regular attitude. 

"Seems you're not so glad about that." Now, he was the one giggling. 

"You, princess, just read my mind." Senna with her left hand pushed him back.

"Jerk." He ignored her saying and reached to the side of the team Avatar.

After a short introduction and greetings, Tommy and Senna walked in front to lead the crew to the house. At that time they found a chance to talk. "You’re okay right?" He asked with obvious worry in his tone, held her hand, squeezed little. 

"Now that jerk is worried about me?" She asked with a risen brow and a cynical smile to avoid the serious chat.  

"You knew I was joking..." He helped her to pass the bump. "When Uncle Zuko radio-phoned me that you were coming, I couldn't believe, Senna." However, she grasped she didn’t have another choice. 

"I decided to face everything and move on. Also meeting Uncle Iroh in the spirit world and his advice added a great encouragement too." Tommy didn't answer for a while due to shock, then smiled shrewdly.

"Seems there is so much we need to talk but before that just tell me one thing:" Senna looked at him wondering face. 

"Is he more handsome than our little Iroh?" She nipped his arm with frowning that he slightly moved back. Due to their a few years of an age difference, Lee, Tommy, and Iroh grew up altogether, and as all narrated to her, their relationship was about Tommy and Lee’s mocking him all the time and his enduring as she could interpret and experience. On the other hand, except that, Senna’d already concluded they were like three close friends, doing anything and caring each other deeply, and as the youngest member of this cousin-ship, each of the men treated her as a delicate human being, as if their child, yet at the same time never stop making jokes with her too.

"Who you call little is forty-year-old man, Tommy!" With her seemingly angry answer, Tommy shrugged chuckling. 

"Maybe, but please answer so that I could insult him in the capital." Senna slightly smiled at him but couldn't have chance to answer since they reached the house. She turned to the Team Avatar and shortly introduced the house as Tommy unlocked the door. All walked inside and after a few steps, a huge frame of the picture took firstly Bolin and Korra's attention that they couldn't help themselves giggling loudly, that others took a look at the picture. 

Senna automatically pouted since it was a picture from the place's garden taken a month ago when Zoe came to the capital to visit her. Everything was seemingly normal, their dresses, the background even Zoe…However, the problem was that the photographer took multiple pictures in a sequence of them and the organizer of this joke must have deliberately chosen the worst one that Senna was about the change her stance as frowning with one open eye and wrinkled mouth. 

"Welcome to the Ember Island, kids." Aunt Kiyi declared as walking to them from the kitchen with a wide smile. Senna rolled her eyes, still viewing the picture, hissed.

"In all those pictures, you had to choose the worst one right?" Aunt Kiyi laughed. 

"I missed you too princess." Senna turned her head to her side with a risen brows and pointed the picture with her left forefinger.

"You have no right to call me ‘Princess’ especially when you have this huge framed picture of me like this in your entrance Kiyi." Emphasizing the word Aunt Kiyi’d used, she slowly walked to her, putting an intimate smile, and they hugged each other.

"I'm seeing you're doing pretty well." She exhaled a breath, evaluating her physical health in a few seconds in her aunt’s arms.

"Except the pain on my back every time I try to sit or lean down, I feel great." Senna introduced her to the crew that they all greeted Aunt Kiyi with bowing; and she reciprocated with them with the same gesture, shortly asked after their health and their journey. After their answers, she turned to the princess.  

"Sorry to disappoint you, princess, but this picture wasn't my idea." Kiyi voiced while passing up the stairs to show the crew's rooms. 

"Then..." She shrunk her eyes, looking around, ending on her cousin having already stepped back behind the crew, whistling as if he wasn’t there. "...Tommy?" He looked at her with risen brows.

"Yes, my little cousin? Is there a problem?” With his fake worried sound,  Senna’s voice thickened with anger. 

"You.." She slowly exhaled a breath to calm herself down and as if she’d never seen the picture, she turned to the crew with a warm smile. "Let me guide you till your rooms then the backyard." The crew obediently nodded as seemingly best option as she walked to the front, cautiously climbing the stairs with holding the side. However, after a few stairs she suddenly turned back, frowning, since feeling her cousin coming closer from his fire, which made all the crew jump out of fear. "Tommy back off!" He raised his hands as walking back from the stairs with his sweetest tone.

"Okay…”

First, Senna showed Team Avatar’s rooms organized, depending on the couples as she specifically requested because intending to cause no discomfort. Finishing settling, the crew walked to the backyard with her leading as she was now telling the history of this house.

"This house is almost two hundred years old. My grand grandfather Ozai used to come here with his family for vacation, but after becoming the Fire Lord, all he could think of was conquering the world. Therefore, he left this house empty..." 

"Then what happened?" Korra asked wondered as they reached the entrance of the backyard.

"Till Aunt Kiyi and Uncle Tom married, this house stayed empty. Then restored carefully not to ruin its original structure."

"It's huge." Opal voiced as all stepped into the backyard. 

"You can use it to practice like we usually do till the end of our staying." She paused to give them some time to observe the place. "Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go to the music school. I was planning to show you there tomorrow, but if you're not worn out, I can now." Bolin clapped his hands in enthusiasm and answered instead of the crew. 

"Let's go." 

As walking to the center, encountering people with similar clothes to the ones in capital, and celebration ceremonies, they also came across a great number of people singing and dancing.

"Why are there so many people singing?" Asami curiously asked the princess, wrapping Korra's arm. 

"Because this island is also called the Songu Island. After the opening of the music school here, singing and dancing became most people's usual and most precious activity that even except the days of the festivals, they had special parties almost every night just to dance and sing." 

"Really? That's exciting!" Opal proclaimed that Senna smiled at her as respond and continued.  

"Then this will surely gladden you: I'll take you one of them in our staying."

They kept walking in pure excitement till saw a great amount of crowd watching two men singing on the square’s stage. 

"What's happening there ?" Korra asked pointing to the crowd. Senna laid her eyes on the stage and chuckled in joy. 

"I wasn't joking when telling you that singing was the most precious activity in the people of Ember Island’s lives. With singing, they even duel for a woman, and that is what you're witnessing right now." All suddenly looked at the crowd in confusion that Senna fastened her movements. "Come on. I don't want you to miss this."  

In a short amount of time, they approached the stage, standing behind the crowd and watched two men singing as if they were fighting with each other. 

"Should we stop them? I think they were about to punch each other." Korra hesitantly questioned as Senna put her hand on her shoulder to appease her with smirking. 

"Don't worry they won't. They just sing-Uhh... little intensely." She pointed a black-haired woman right in front of the stage. "And the woman dueled for chooses the best one depending on the claps of the crowd and go on a date with that man." Mako objected with a frowned face. 

"But this is nonsense. You can't just choose whoever you're going to be with just depending on singing." Senna rolled her eyes, expecting that statement especially from him and made eye contact. 

"They're not marrying detective. They just go on a date to get to know each other. If they don't like each other then they can easily find someone else." Everyone carefully listened to her. 

"What should we do then?" Opal curiously asked as the princess shrugged. 

"What they do. Forget all worries, thoughts, anxieties and just stay in the moment with dancing and singing, enjoy  ourselves." She answered with slowly moving her body and hands compatibly with the music, and Opal accorded her while others preferred still watching...

After experiencing that competition and the mere joy of the winner, they reached a big iron door and saw the plaque attached to the roof and walked inside. 

SCHOOL OF SONGU  

Almost all staff and students gathered together to meet the princess. Senna smiled and greeted all of them one by one, yet easily noticed some faces with counterfeit smiles that probably not to be contented with her presence, yet trying her best not to care them, she coolly introduced The Team Avatar, then asked a woman attendant about Zoe's class and followed her there. 

Zoe was on the stage with closed eyes and about to sing a song she didn't study this week since receiving the news of Senna's injury, all she could think of was her that she couldn't concentrate on anything even after receiving the news that she was fine. She had no courage to face the teacher or tell him the truth because this was the last interview for receiving the invitation to become the next year's student of the music school. 

As watching them behind, Senna easily noticed her trembling body and sensed her anxiety. One of the teachers harshly told her to start that enraged Senna that how he wasn't able to see her state right now. 

Zoe nodded with still tightly closed eyes, opened her mouth a few more times but closed again. “Kid, if you don't pull up your confidence and start in ten seconds you will be dismissed." 

Senna's eyes widened with the continuous attitude of the teacher, his cruelty. Each of the students in this school was supposed to do anything with their own will, not force. She rolled her eyes, denoting into her mind to review the staff of teachers after going back to the capital. However, now she had to help her niece. She regulated her vocal cords and voiced the beginning of her niece’s favorite song and walked a few steps closer. 

Nobody expected that. Neither the crew since having no idea about her singing skill, Zoe or everyone else in the room since not aware of her presence.

Zoe opened her amber eyes, just like Senna's, they made eye contact; Senna gave her a compassionate smile to encourage her. She couldn't believe she was there, now in music school singing with her. Her eyes shined due to finding what she needed, yet still contemplatively kept looking at her eyes, until Senna stood in the middle of the class and slowly nodded her head to indicating it was her turn. 

Zoe continued the next part alone herself, and in chorus, Senna accompanied her and together they ended the song. Everyone enthusiastically clapped them and commented on Zoe’s performance, yet she didn't even listen them.

"Senna!” Calling her name in pure excitement, she rapidly jumped off from the stage ran to the princess and hugged her tightly with her tiny arms that even made the princess put a wry face due to her pain. Not able to lean down, Senna wrapped her arm around her upper back and her left hand found her wavy black hair softly fondled them. 

"Are you okay Senna? I was so worried when I heard you were badly injured, I couldn't even sleep." Zoe asked in panic with a few tears, due to the catharsis of her emotions in the last few days and present moments, looking up not breaking eye contact. Senna smiled at her, cleared her tears fondling her cheeks.

"I'm fine kid, just a few scratches that's all." However, feeling the cold fingers on her face, Zoe immediately held her hand, squeezed it. 

"Senna, you're freezing!" With her proclaim, Mako speedily reached her side, asked if she was okay, but Senna, with sudden stiff face, glimpsed at Mako not finding any explanation of his attitude, frigidly muttered to him she was fine, and with an instantly softened tone, she turned to Zoe. 

"It's probably because of the accident but I'm fine." Zoe nodded since her attention slipped into someone else. 

"Who is this handsome guy Senna ?" Zoe laid her eyes on Mako, yet still didn't leave her hand. Senna giggled with her admiring glances at him. 

"My quests: The Avatar Korra and her friends: He is Mako and there is Bolin, Asami, Opal and this little dragon is Zoe, my niece." After introduction, Zoe calmly bowed to them, yet the tone of her voice was nowhere closer to calmness. 

"Team Avatar! It's an honor to meet you!" She briskly walked to their side as the princess followed her slowly behind as the crew responded to her with similar gestures and words. Zoe stopped in front of the Avatar. "I read so many things about you. I'm a big fan of your fire bending." Korra patted her shoulder with an intimate smile the same as hers. She quickly turned to the princess calling her name. "You should make a match with the Avatar when you get well." Senna rose a brow. 

"Why would I do that?" Zoe first pointed at Korra then her. 

"Because she is the Avatar and you're the strongest fire-bender!" Senna felt diffident and needed to change the topic since she never liked to be exalted about her fire by someone without any idea of what it could cause, bring… 

"Would you like to show them around? Because I thought you could enjoy it." Zoe clapped her hands, proving Senna'd reached her purpose. 

"Of course! Come on." Zoe passed the crew, enthusiastically leading the way as explicating them the structure of the school.

As listening to Zoe, Mako pondered he'd met a child version of the princess. Physically, except the color of their hair, eyes, and skin, they weren’t much similar, yet it wasn't the reason for his observation. It was because of the kid’s behaviors. Just like the princess, he viewed the shining eyes as bringing up something she loved or fragile movements against the ones she cared about...

Mako deliberately walked slowly to stay behind. He caught up with the princess, pursuing them after greeting the teachers having never seen before. "I didn't know you could sing." He voiced, as Senna noticed his presence beside her. She turned her face with a questioning face, shortly softened with tittering. 

"Since I was in her height." She pointed to Zoe, as she was narrating her idol that Senna speedily reached her side, rolling her eyes with her usual behavior. 

"Before you ask, I'll tell you Senna was one of the best students in this school. Even still Teach-" As putting her hands on Zoe's shoulders with red cheeks and shy smile, Senna interjected to cut down the conversation about herself. 

"As you can easily understand, She really loves to talk about me, praise me." Zoe pouted, looked up. 

"I do because you deserve that." Senna protected her mimics, telling her with her eyes and brows to stop, answered her. 

"And today I've had enough." Zoe tore her body away in harsh move which made Senna rise a brow and her smile instantly withered since she’d rarely seen her with this attitude against her, she surmise that there had to be a problem bothering her. 

"These are the pictures of people who had honored our school." After a few steps, Zoe continued showing a series of framed pictures on the wall of the hall.

"Did Avatar Aang come here?" Opal asked in amazement. 

"Actually almost forty years ago he and my grandfather opened this school thinking after the A Hundred Year War, Fire Nation people needed some fun and relaxing…And it surely worked: In its first year, this school had students almost half of the Capital's population today." Senna calmly highlighted, delaying to think about her niece.

"That's awesome." Korra voiced, looking into the picture of Avatar Aang and Lord Zuko at the entrance, Zoe continued with an informative tone.

"Uncle Zuko always says being the Avatar doesn't mean only fighting in the battles. You also have to do somethings to raise people's welfare." A nine-year-old kid’s statement buried the area in silence that all pondered her words thoroughly, especially the Avatar. 

"Zoe, can you show them the garden? I'll catch you up later." After a few moments, Senna broke the silence, concluding they might wish to see the rest of the school, and Zoe unwillingly approved her, believing she shouldn't be alone but knowing she wouldn't listen to her either. She continued her introduction of the school by leading the crew in one of the corridors. 

Senna preferred to stay in the hall, in front of the framed pictures showing her past to her eyes and mind but specifically one of them leaked through her mind, took her attention: A photo of her and Azula at the entrance of the school. That was from the last time they came together. Shortly before her death…Although usually known with her agile temperament, in that day she was strangely cheerful, always smiled radiantly, rarely ceased talking, as if feeling what was coming for her, which felt like yesterday. 

Senna smiled gloomily, her eyes easily filled with tears, but she didn't let them go. Her mind had been upside down since her injury, resulting with tears of joy or pain, but she couldn’t be like this. Emotional. Weak. She was the Future Fire Lord, who had to look stiff and strong as if no one or a thing could crash her even if inside of her was shredded. 

Even after short strolling around in music school with everyone, Mako was indifferent around him because of his curiosity about the princess, which led to his boredom. Why didn't she come with them anyway? Or what if her wounds were opened, or she blacked out? He shook his head, secretly stepping back, and as a police officer easily achieved to be unrealized, and walked back to the to find her. 

Viewing her in front of the photographs they had just looked at, he kept enough distance from her not to be seen, yet he was able to notice her teary eyes and a slight smile on her face. He concluded she must have been anguishing that, he madly wondered the possible reason for it. What could make the Princess of the Fire Nation sad, cry when she had everything? He moved to her back, saw the picture she was looking and a photo of her that he didn't notice at their first view. She was a teenager in it, probably at the age of 10's. 

Senna felt his fire and his shade covered  her body, yet didn't speak, having No idea or word for how to start. “How old are you in that photo?" Mako initiated the conversation, curiously pointing her in the photo with a woman. She didn't make any specific movements just answered him calmly. 

"Fifteen...Aren't you supposed to be with the others?" Mako shrugged, openly explicated his reason.

"I wondered you." As she felt contented,  he walked beside her and pointed the woman with her in the photo. 

"And she..." The tone of her voice didn't change, yet he still sensed her slightly trembling voice. 

"Azula. My grand aunt." 

"Lord Zuko's legendary sister." She nodded. 

"I heard so many things about her..." As approached the picture more, he rose his brows in admiration and automatically verbalized his thoughts. 

"Wow! You look just like her." Senna nodded again, but this time couldn't stop a tear falling that Mako immediately realized after her sniffing; it increased his panic. He hastily got ahead of her, but regardless of his rush, he kindly put his hands on her shoulder. 

"I'm sorry-I just- " Senna looked up at him with a slight smile, pleased with his manner.  

"It's okay, detective. It's just...She died seven years ago and we were kind of close..." Mako looked down. 

"I didn't know." With the sudden decision, Senna held one of his hands on her shoulder, putting down she united with hers, laying her eyes on their bright skin almost at the same tone. 

"Come with me." She led him to one of the empty music rooms full of instruments of all kinds, some of which Mako'd even never seen. They sat down at the bench in front of the piano. 

"Can you play it?" Senna asked that Mako shook his head. “Can you sing then?" He shook his head again.

"I don't think I can." She rose a brow. 

"Have you ever tried?" 

"No, but..." Senna suddenly began giggling. He achieved to change her mood again, before she could grasp. 

"Then how are you even so sure about that? Let me hear your voice." She approached his face with expectation. His heartbeats increased that Mako was sure even he had the greatest voice, he couldn't possibly say a thing right now. 

"P-Princess maybe we should just-" She cut his saying still protecting the closure and eye contact. 

"Wait for them? The school is gigantic. Therefore, we have plenty of time and I don't want to waste it with just standing in here instead I could teach you to sing." Mako shrugged, yet he felt the heat on his cheeks. 

"I've never tried actually never wondered it." 

"Such a loss." She instantly voiced teasingly that Mako crossed his arms in annoyance first pointed her and the piano. 

“Then, let’s hear your voice and playing it." Senna smiled cynically. 

"I think you must know about my voice, just having heard me singing." She outwitted him with the copy of his words from the garden. Recalling the conversation from yesterday, Mako rolled his eyes, pouting face in tension. 

“Okay, you won this time princess. What do you want me to sing?” Senna pulled herself back not insisting and not to discomfort him. 

“Just because of your acceptance, I’m letting it go this time, detective. However, next time I assure you I won’t.” She told a name of a song and asked if he’d ever been acquainted with it as trying to silence her inner voice telling her that his cuteness when he was nervous. 

"No, I've never heard of it." He muttered in shame. Senna patted his shoulder. 

"Relax tough guy, it's probably because it's one of the Fire Nation's traditional songs." 

"Ohh..” He voiced which made her chuckle.

"While I was playing you should think of a song for yourself because the next one will be yours." Senna slowly press a button on the piano, the thin voice echoed through the room. Then, she put all her fingers on the buttons of the instrument and began playing and shortly singing the song with just engrossing the buttons, forgetting a man sitting beside her. 

Mako watched all her movements closely. How her face slightly changed with the song. How she felt it deep inside of her heart. How her voice magnificently fitted with the instrument's, or her closed eyes tightened or loosened depending on the song’s lyrics... 

"That was...awesome." He verbalized at the end of the song, that he really meant. The song…she was awesome. Senna slightly blushed with his tangerines right on her. 

"Did you pick any?" She asked to distract him and her mind. 

"I think so." He told the only song name he recalled that made her react enthusiastically. 

"It's one of my favorite songs and also I know how to play it!" Senna quickly started playing again, then singing, but this time she regularly glanced at him to encourage him to accompany her. Mako rolled his eyes comprehending at this stage he had no escape. Trying his best tone not to ruin her performance, he sang some parts he recalled with her. 

"I was hesitant at first, but now I should thank you for singing with me because you're a lost cause." She imitated exactly what he'd said in the garden to her after seeing her drawing. Mako first rose his brows due to shock of her memory, shortly pouted his face. 

"You never forget my words, do you?" Senna beamed like a little kid as shaking her head and patting his shoulder again. 

"Unlike you, I'm just kidding. It's not as bad as my drawing skills...but how do you know this Fire Nation's traditional song?" Reaching her eyes, Mako intimately explicated as they were still sitting at the same position. 

"My mother was from the Fire Nation and it was the song she used to sing when I couldn't sleep." Senna rose her brows in amazement.  

"So your mother was a singer?” She questioned. 

"Not like you. Not professional, but she had a great voice too." Senna tittered. 

"So you have the genes. That's good. We can work on it." He was about to reject her statement, this time ready to compete her intelligence yet split by the others finishing their strolling around the school. 

"Mako I’ve never heard you singing," Asami stated teasingly with a cynical tone that Mako caught what she was indicating. He frowned at her regardless her face with cunning smile and defended himself grumpily.

"No, it's not like that I was singing, she did." Viewing his face up close, Senna chuckled because of his tension and turned to the group. 

"He could if he believes himself." She teased him, blinking an eye to Asami that both chuckled in joy. 

"Oh my god! Are you going to be a singer bro?" Bolin joined them with fake shock on his face. 

"No way!" With his answer with widened eyes and irritated tone, Opal decided to alleviate him with defense. 

"Stop teasing him. " Three of them giggled in joy, shortly the princess asked their ideas about the school. InAs they were narrating the parts they loved the most they walked to the exit and then back to the house.