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|Chaper 1: Jasmine Is Of Course, The Best of All Teas|
Chapter 1: Jasmine Is Of Course, The Best of All Teas
Iroh walked into the ballroom, as he glanced at his reflection in the glass door. His jet black hair parted its usual way; he wore his army suit, a red and gold jacket with the United Forces insignia emblazoned on it. His orange eyes stared back at him determinedly. He would go to this ball, dance with the appropriate partners, and then leave. He had no time for such petty occasions.
The ball was being held for some daughter of a man, as close to Fire Nation nobility as you could get now-a-days. He nodded towards the servant at the front and then cast his eyes out towards the room. The ballroom was expansive, the size of a pro-bending field. It had a marble floor, heavily polished, the lights from the ridiculous crystal chandeliers that hung from the ceiling illuminated the room. The walls were adorned with tapestries and the occasional painting, with golden molding decorated the tops of the walls.
The company was equally as glamorous, in looks rather than personality. Old Admirals and their socially hungry wives danced, fluttering around the sides of the room. A few noteworthy people were there, and Iroh stopped to talk to them.
A while later, he wandered over to the drinks table, he grabbed a small cup of jasmine tea. He was like his namesake when it came to tea, he liked it, a lot. This was of a decent blend, but was just a tad too cold for his taste.
His eyes searched through the crowd and laid to rest on a girl around his age. She had long brown hair and blue eyes. She wore a new style of dress, with a classic kimono bodice, which expanded out into a circular waterfall of blue fabric. It was a pure white colour at the top, but as you got lower down the dress it turned blue and ended in a dark navy colour at the bottom.
She was arguing with an admiral, whose back was facing Iroh, he sounded quite keen to dance with her.
"I am sorry Admiral, but I couldn't possibly dance with you! I am simply too tired and am in much need of a rest!" she said impatiently, she glanced around for an escape.
"You don't look tired," the admiral commented back, "and it is the Dance of the Firebenders next!" he looked quite insistent.
Iroh felt sorry for her. He gulped his drink down and walked swiftly over to her. "I am sorry to interrupt, but this young lady promised me the next dance. She was just letting you down gently Admiral Xing," he lied smoothly. And with seemingly perfect timing, the orchestra started playing, and Iroh bowed to the girl.
"This dance, my lady?" He asked formally, barely holding back a smile.
"Yes of course," she said while curtsying, slightly flustered but looked at him gratefully. Iroh swept her to the dance floor. "Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!" she whispered, as they circled around each other, hand raised, palms almost touching. "You saved me from another terrible dance with a stuffy old man, who talks of nothing but war plans and fleet movements! If I have to hear another word about the third fleets movements to the southern Earth Kingdom, I will murder someone!" she gazed seriously at him, and then smiled wickedly, like it would be the highlight of her evening to do just that.
They switched sides, now moving in the opposite direction.
"It was no problem, you looked troubled, and I thought I could help," Iroh replied, as he shrugged.
"I am Aya by the way," Aya said, "The one this ghastly ball is being held for." She shuddered delicately.
Iroh smiled at her, quite amused. "So what would you rather talk about?"
"The merits of metalbending? Which is the best tea?" she waved her right arm expansively, as if you show that anything in the world was up for discussion.
"Jasmine," They said together and Aya laughed delightedly. It was a pretty sound, Iroh thought to himself. The dance ended with a flourish, and Iroh walked her to the door.
"Well, tall, dark and handsome stranger, who has exceptional taste in teas," Aya said teasingly, "will I see you again?" she asked, looking at him imploringly, her blue eyes widened.
"Soon," Iroh agreed and bowed. "And while I enjoy the compliments 'tall, dark and handsome stranger' gives me, my name is Iroh. General Iroh." He lifted her hand and pressed her fingers to his lips.
"Goodnight, General Iroh," Aya said, watching as he turned, a smile playing on his lips. He weaved his way through the crowd, and exited out the door.
Before anyone complains, I know that the whole world of Avatar is based on Asian culture, and I know the ball and her dress probably don't fit that, but creative license? Anyway, I hope you enjoyed!
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