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Welcome to the Jasmine Dragon! 
26th-Oct-2008 10:38 pm
"Miao," whined the small cat curled comfortably around Iroh's feet.  It was an ugly thing, with a smushed-in face that made it look perpetually frustrated and random patches of smooth black fur interrupting the coarse white hair that covered the rest of its body.  And it was missing an eye.

"Hush, Shiri, it's not dinner time just yet," muttered Iroh as he pruned the unruly branches of a bonsai tree.  He had found the stray rummaging fervently through his garbage and decided putting some milk out now and again would be more proper than leaving the thing to starve.  Unfortunately, it seemed as if the cat had run away from a crude owner--it only responded to Shiri, or Ass.  He never spoke to the cat when there were customers around.

It wasn't quite closing time yet, but Iroh had officially closed the shop for today.  He was expecting a different sort of visitor, in fact, the Fire Lord himself had deigned to visit this lowly tea shop in Ba Sing Se.  His nephew would be arriving soon enough.

"Miaooo," Shiri complained loudly as Iroh stood up and put the tiny decorative tree on one table as a centerpiece.

"What is it now?" he sighed, then realized he heard sounds out from the street.  Smiling broadly, he opened the door to the Jasmine Dragon.
Comments 
27th-Oct-2008 03:43 am (UTC)
There was a smile on Zuko's face, once rare, but steadily becoming a more common occurrence. He looked younger than he had in years, standing there in his old tea server's outfit, hair in his eyes, but free of the weight of desperation and hopelessness that had carried the last time he was in the city.

"Hello, Uncle."
29th-Oct-2008 10:25 pm (UTC)
Toph grinned. There really wasn't much else to do at the moment, and for some reason she was just so happy (excited?). Sure, she wanted to talk the old guy's ear off, share some tea, and just hang out. But it was Zuko's moment... his chance to spend time with his uncle. Stepping off to the side, she waved in Iroh's direction and laughed.

They were going to be there for a while--she'd have time later.
29th-Oct-2008 10:55 pm (UTC)
Yet another yawn spilling from her lips, Katara smiled softly at the scene before her. The Jasmine Dragon was so calming... and Iroh, standing there with such a content and happy look, made it all the more inviting. Zuko must have been so happy... and she was glad he could see his uncle again. Family shouldn't live so far apart, she thought.

With a happy sigh, she closed her eyes and leaned against Aang.
30th-Oct-2008 09:06 pm (UTC)
Mai hung back as she watched Zuko greet his uncle. She felt out of place, again, like when she had first started joining Zuko when he hung out with the group. She'd never talked to Iroh much. But she knew how important Iroh was to Zuko. Even though she didn't know the details, she knew that he had watched over Zuko and been like a father to him. She didn't want to intrude on that. Especially when Zuko was smiling like that again. He had managed to leave all the worries and frustration back at the palace, and was just Zuko again. She liked to think that she had helped him do that, last night, but she knew how much he missed Iroh and how nice it must be getting away from the palace. So she swallowed her discomfort and followed everyone else as they moved off to the side. She was still looking forward to a relaxing vacation.
31st-Oct-2008 08:16 pm (UTC)
A strange feeling of contentment spread through Aang as he walked into the tea shop; it was as if all his worries for the future had been lifted from him. Aang smiled as Zuko went to greet Iroh; there was a lightness in Zuko that he had never seen before.
1st-Nov-2008 06:20 pm (UTC) - I will breathe life into this thread!
The sight of his nephew, in good health and good spirits, made tears prick at his eyes. Iroh swept him into a great hug to hide them. Of all the things that had happened in the past year--in the past month--well, it was good to see Zuko taking it so well. In his younger days, Iroh would have been fraught with worry and insecurity, but Zuko was stronger than he had been, than he was. He would make an excellent Fire Lord.

After a dear moment he pulled away and stepped aside from the doorway. "Welcome to the Jasmine Dragon," he said. "It's not much, there is still a lot of remodeling to do. But I get so many customers I can hardly kick them out long enough to make any changes. You should have heard the complaints when I told them I was closing it today."

Leading them into the room, he set the most comfortable chairs around a small round table. "Please, make yourselves at home. Oh, but please leave your shoes at the door," he added, gesturing to the mat beside the door and cordial sign above it. There was only one pair of shoes there now, but there were several pairs of soft slippers to be worn indoors.

Iroh made his way to the back of the store to prepare his famous tea for his guests. "I hope your journey here was not too difficult?" he called, chuckling. "I have heard stories of the guards giving travelers a hard time. My good friend Ping tells me his shipment was kept two days while the guards sampled all of his rare fruits to 'make sure they were good enough for the people of Ba Sing Se.'"

(Yes, stolen right from Mulan)
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