A Soldier's Love
Chapter information
Written by

Tree Climber

Release date

July 9, 2013

The Fire Nation ship Valiant plowed through the icy waters just south of the Patola Mountains, flying the great red and black flag of the Southern Raiders. Due to the cold most of those on board remained below deck, but a select few were chosen to stand watch out in the wind. One of these unlucky men was a solider named Nami. He stood at the prow, his eyes ever vigilant beneath the winged helmet, his hands clasped before his mouth as he blew fire gently over them to keep the frostbite away. He stood and watched as countless glaciers drifted by, his thoughts drifting along with them.

He thought of his warm bed back in the Fire Nation, his mother's smiling face; his little sister's sweet giggle, his fire ferret's wet kisses. These simple memories lit a fire in the young firebender's heart and sheltered him from the cold around him. After what felt like an eternity of solitude Nami finally heard footsteps from behind him. He turned to greet the approaching relief and suddenly his heart wasn't it warm, it was on fire. Coming toward him was a polished, young officer, his eyes dark as his rich black hair. He stood tall and slender and walked with grace, yet beneath his armor you could see toned muscles moving with each step. He commanded an aura of respect and authority, yet when he recognized the man at the prow his gaze softened and he smiled. Nami's heart melted.

"What are you doing out here Shiro?" Nami asked. "Lieutenants don't take watches."

"Do I hear some bitterness in that statement?" the officer jested, nudging his friend. "Or just downright jealousy?"

"No that's just the bitter cold affecting my voice," Nami retorted, nudging back.

"Well then I've got some good news for you my friend. Captain wants to talk with us up in his cabin," Shiro said, turning to head back inside.

"The captain wants to talk to me? What for?" the watchman replied frowning.

"I haven't got a clue, but whatever it is, it won't help by keeping him waiting!" and with that the Lieutenant grabbed Nami's hand and pulled him along, breaking the young soldier's resolve.

When the two young men entered the captain's chambers they found him pouring over a map and mutter angrily to himself. Shiro coughed politely to alert the captain of their presence.

"I know you're there! Don't just stand there like fools, take a seat!" the captain replied gruffly, his eyes never leaving the map. "And take off that helmet boy! Your head has to be sweltering in there!"

Relieved, Nami pulled off his helmet and let his dark hair fall. The captain finally looked up at the young man. He was about 18, with long brown hair and soft green eyes. His skin was pale, his body lean and youthful and his appearance pleasing.

"So Ninni, our good-" the old man began.

"Uh, it's Nami sir"

"Whatever. Lieutenant Shiro has been telling me how well you did on our last raid, and that you are a very skilled bender," He continued. "There are rumors of a possible uprising from the people of the Island Kyoshi. Because of your bunk mate's recommendation, I've chosen you to go as his companion to this island and report back to me if there is any truth behind these rumors."

Nami turned to his friend, stunned. The officer only beamed back at him and gave him a friendly wink. I'm honored sir," the solider began.

"And I'm not finished," snapped Captain Xio. "You two will leave tomorrow on one of the riverboats and head for the nearest communication tower. You will rest and restock there and the next morning head out on the war balloon they provide you."

"Excuse me sir, how will they know to give us the balloon?" Shiro asked.

"I have sent word ahead of your coming ya dimwit! Now, you will land the balloon here-" the gruff man continued indicating a spot on the map. "-in the cover of darkness. You will them scout the island and gather what news you can. Do whatever you must. Simple enough?"

The two young men sat in silence for a moment, unsure if they were really to respond. Finally the lieutenant spoke up, "Yes sir. We will not fail you!" More awkward silence.... "Just one question sir: How exactly does one steer a balloon?"

"Details, details! You figure it out!" the old man replied, waving them out. "Go on! You're dismissed!"

When the pair of firebender's reached their room deep in the iron bowls of the ship, safely away from prying ears Nami began to thank Shiro non-stop until finally he spoke up. "I wasn't for you!" the officer exclaimed, collapsing back onto his bed. The soldier's face fell is despair. Seeing his friend's expression the lieutenant quickly corrected himself. "What I mean is, I did it because: who else would I rather spend so much time with!" punching his buddy lightly on the shoulder in the bed next to his.

Nami couldn't help blushing and smiling goofishly. That is all he had ever wanted, all he had dreamed of! Time alone with Shiro.

The two of them packed, talking excitedly about the journey to come, until the young soldier's favorite time of the day came: bed time. The officer casually slipped out of his uniform and underclothes and went about hanging them up in nothing but small, tight shorts. Nami drank up the sight. He memorized the curves and rugged manliness of his body, the perfectly formed pecks, the rock hard abs, but also the subtle things like the strange prominence of his shoulder blades and the way his collarbones looked when he turned his head. He could stare at him for hours, yet only minutes later his roommate was safely concealed beneath his covers, breathing soundly in his sleep. This was the young soldier's favorite part of all. Listening and letting his breathing fall into rhythm with Shiro's. Falling asleep to the thought of his love.

The next morning Nami woke early, got dressed silently, and slipped out of the cabin to start getting the river boat prepared for their departure.

Still a work in progress

See more

For the collective works of the author, go here.