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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 
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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