Dark fingers traced down the scars on his face. "Punishment or a double-bladed sword," Piandao said quietly.
Jeong Jeong closed his eyes, fighting back the fires that threatened to ignite under that simple, gentle touch. "One or the other."
Piandao undid the latches of his hauberk and stripped it from Jeong Jeong, then helped him out of his padded tunic. He paused, hands resting at his friend's belt, then the firebender felt his mouth against a knotted, dull red scar on his shoulder. "Barbed arrow at Jagedai."
"Yes." He'd almost lost the full movement of his arm. Catastrophic for a firebender, but he had listened to the surgeons when they told him how to take care of it. A year of following their advice, and he'd saved his abilities.
The surgeons still marveled when he told them that. Apparently people didn't listen to them very often.
Piandao's lips skimmed across his collar-bone and down his chest, tongue flicking out against a faded, almost-white burn scar. "Agni Kai?"
Jeong Jeong nodded. "When I was a boy. Over a girl."
His friend chuckled and nuzzled the scar. One hand rubbed against Jeong Jeong's hip, slid around to his back, and fingers traced back and forth across a stab scar there. "There's no mate on the front, so you didn't get run-through..."
Piandao dipped his head and pressed a kiss against a cut that ran over the burn scar. "Sword?"
"I'm surprised. You Navy boys usually don't fight earthbenders." Piandao's fingers paused on the stab-scar then pushed further up Jeong Jeong's back to rub against a wide, jagged slashing scar. "Did you fight Huoka?"
"Those flaming hook-swords leave distinctive scars," Jeong Jeong admitted, clenching his fists so his nails dug into his palms. Piandao didn't have any idea what these soft touches were doing to him, did he? How it made the fires in him hungry? "But he needed to learn humility, and I was the best one to teach it to him."
"Mhm." Piandao leaned over to press a kiss against a small burn scar on his right bicep. "Another Agni Kai?"
"Training accident." Jeong Jeong smiled wryly. "Zhao startled Torao at a bad moment, and one of his white-fire darts skimmed me."
He felt Piandao smile against his skin. The lamps in the cabin leapt with his inner fires.
His friend's fingers dug into his back. "Are you going to send me away again tonight, Admiral?"
Jeong Jeong nodded, not daring to speak and let out the steam in his mouth.
Piandao sighed. "I'm not afraid to burn, you know."
But I'm afraid to burn you, he thought but did not say. His friend would only take it as a challenge, and his fires wanted to consume the other man already-
"Go," he commanded.
Piandao went, and the lamps in the room went out.