Title Chapter 4

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"You have no authority to take him!" Zuko yelled as he got in Zhao's face. "I am the crown Prince of the Fire nation! You are just an admiral in the navy that serves my nation! Indyira is not in the navy, you have no power over him." Zhao made a face, banished or not Zuko had more rank than him. Especially over someone in his private employ. Iroh had tried to keep things from blowing up like this when Indyira told him what happened but when he told Zuko he became enraged over the things Zhao had said to him. "You ever come near him again and I'll make sure you're stripped of your rank. My valet is never to be a concern of yours again. Am I clear?"


"Maybe you'd like to have another Agni Kai over this."

"No, Prince Zuko." Zhao said. He could hear his soldiers snickering over how badly he lost the last time he underestimated Zuko.

"Good. We're done here. Leave my ship at once." Zuko said. Zhao dismissed his men before following them down the plank. Indyira smiled at Zuko but he kept his 'game face' on as he went to tell the Captain they were leaving. Iroh could almost see Indyira's infatuation with Zuko grow stronger. He was even starting to understand it. The older boy had been treated badly for so long that when Zuko showed him kindness he fell in love. Zuko craved the positive attention as well. Iroh wanted to believe he wasn't just going along with it to make Indyira happy – that he actually liked the other boy. His fervent defense of Indyira just now was proof of that. He patted Indyira on the back to get his attention.

"You lucked out this time but you can't behave like that. Either don't pick fights or make sure you 'finish' the job." Iroh said. Indyira's eyebrows went up at the suggestion – did Iroh just tell him to kill a person to keep them from following him? "Don't hide behind Zuko's power, it won't always help you. You want to be by his side you need to show that you deserve to be there by owning up to your mistakes and being mature enough to learn from them."

"Yes sir." Indyira said. "I will."

They were underway before nightfall. Zuko sequestered himself in his room like he normally did on music night. Indyira stayed out on deck with the others for a while before he headed for Zuko's cabin. He found the boy sitting at his meditation table and was about to back out when Zuko called to him. "Did you need something?" he asked.

"I wanted to thank you. That's twice now you've save me." Indyira said as he closed the door and locked it. He didn't want their conversation to be interrupted. "I'm sorry. That man... he freaked me out – he's creepy. And the things he said about you."

"It's all right. I'm honored you'd risk life in prison for attacking an admiral." Zuko said as he stood up.

"I wouldn't do it for just anyone." Indyira shrugged. He smiled a little when Zuko came to him. He put his arms around his waist and pressed their foreheads together. "Now I want to do something for you."

"The song?" Zuko asked hopefully. Indyira chuckled before he walked Zuko backwards towards his futon.

"Better." He assured Zuko.

Zuko found himself underneath Indyira, clinging to the sleeves of his banbi and trying to remember to breathe through his nose as they kissed. Indyira didn't hold back and neither did he. It had been weeks since they kissed. There were no distractions this time, no one would be interrupting. And as promised they took things slow which made this time alone much deserved.

"Mm..." Indyira moaned into his mouth when Zuko arched up into him. Zuko let out an odd sound before he pulled away.

"Sorry." He said before he flattened his back against the mattress. He bit his bottom lip when Indyira slid his hand up the inside of his thigh. He could feel the warmth of his palm through his pants, more so when it came to rest over his confined erection. Zuko grabbed his wrist.

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