vixenmage: Tea: truly, the solution to all life's ills. (tea)
I wrote an Iroh ficlet! Uncut, it's fairly short. Also findable here.


The air hung heavy, and the sky was an unearthly tone. Though to be fair, Iroh reflected, it was only natural that the sky be the opposite of the earth - unless you were contrasting Earth with the Spirit World, 'unearthly' as a tone for the sky was right and proper. Nodding sagely, he revised his thought.

The air hung heavy, and the sky was an unnatural tone.

No, that didn't quite fit either. Unreal? Ah, he'd leave that to the poets. Right now, he just wanted to get through the gardens unseen, and find the shelter he'd built as a boy, down where the beautiful garden sloped into the forest. He'd hidden some things there, against just such a time-- important things, very important. The sort of things you'd want to retrieve on a day like today, when the end of balance and the world itself seemed to be at stake. It was ironic, he thought, that this fateful day brought so much wild energy to his spirit - but that was the problem, wasn't it? This energy which he felt coursing through his veins was the same spiritual boost that his brother was, at this very moment, harnessing in a last-ditch attempt to destroy the remnants of the Earth Kingdom, and with them, truly, the world.

The blossoms draped over the paths, thicker and wilder in these far paths, their fragrance permeating the air all around him. Nearby, on the other side of the hedge, a trickle of water added a musical touch, soft and fragile against the omnipresent thunderous backdrop of fire blasting in the distance. Iroh shook his head, remembering the beautiful lotus blossoms that had floated there in his youth, the quiet, hidden pond beneath the small waterfall. He remembered the stone pai sho board that had been overgrown with vines, until he'd carefully cleared it off one day, curious at the tiles. The feeling of peace that he'd felt once, meditating by that oasis. He remembered, with a thickness in his throat that seemed closer than usual today, the first time he had sat there with Lu Ten, showing his only son the game that he'd come to love so.

He shook his head once again to clear it, hurrying through the little trellis, nearly overgrown with climbing roses by now; the gardeners probably focused on the inner courtyards, these days, if they were still about at all. Under an elder tree that had, by now, become fully grown, he saw the shack, still standing, small and humble and, if he did say so himself, remarkably well-built for a teenager. He quickened his steps; with no knowledge of anything else going on in the Fire Nation capital, there was no way he'd enter the fray without first stopping here. The door creaked as he opened it; the light was slightly musty, as though it had aged with the shack, and his own mind. Smiling, Iroh stepped at long last into his first shelter.

The tea pot was exactly as he'd left it, though rather dustier. The lotus design on the side was bright beneath the dust, though, and as he brushed it away, he cast about for the pump handle - there, in the corner. He was glad, now, that he had slipped through the kitchens on his way through. For a moment, he fiddled with the fireplace, making sure there was a tinder there, and then he carefully cupped his hands and sparked the flame. It lit and held immediately - how could it not, on the return of Sozin's Comet? As it caught, he went to fill the pot with spring water - the same spring that bubbled into the pond, he knew; this caught in his mind, for a moment, and it took him longer than usual to realize there was someone standing behind him. This may also have been accounted for by the lack of footstep on the grassy path, or the silence of tread on the creaking stile. Iroh started for a moment, caught unawares by the stark - could you call it a face?

"Oh-- it's you," he said, after a moment. There was a brief pause. "Would you share a cup with me?"


The Dragon of the West smiled, pulling the little bundle from where he'd stowed it, beneath his robe. "You can never be too prepared, where tea is concerned," he explained.


vixenmage: St. Francis wiv a bird on 'is haid! (Default)

May 2013

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