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Of Girls and Tea

Title: Of Girls and Tea
Author: iceprincessd
Rating: G
Prompt: Events (#8 Tea Party)
Characters/Pairing: Iroh + Lu Ten
Warnings: none, pre-show
Summary: Some things, Iroh thought with a sigh, were not hereditary.


The tea shop Iroh and his son sat at was a favorite of theirs. It had become tradition that every day after Lu Ten’s lessons, they would come and order a cup of jasmine tea and talk about the day.

Lu Ten was in the middle of complaining about complex mathematics when he stopped mid-sentence and grew as red as his tunic.

“What’s the matter, my boy?” Iroh asked, worried that his son’s tea had gone down the wrong pipe. He whacked at his back with a palm, making Lu Ten wheeze.

“Nothing,” Lu Ten managed to mumble, slinking down in his seat as a trio of girls walked by, two of them giggling madly. Iroh noticed that the third was just as red-faced as his son.

“Isn’t that General Cho’s niece?” he asked conversationally, taking a sip of his tea.

“Yes.”

“My, I haven’t seen her since she was a girl; her family only recently moved back from the colonies, haven’t they?”

“Yes.”

Iroh grinned. “And she certainly is a pretty one.”

“Yes.” Lu Ten sighed, then caught himself. “I guess,” he added lamely, running his finger over the wood of the table. “I mean, if somebody liked that type of girl.” If it was possible, his face got even redder.

“She certainly seemed to admire you.”

Lu Ten perked up. “Do you think so?”

Iroh laughed. “And why not? You’re a handsome young man. Why don’t you invite her over?”

“This isn’t a tea party,” Lu Ten hissed, shyly looking out of the corner of his eye towards the table the three girls had sat themselves at.

“It could be, if you wanted it to.” He knew that his presence would probably cramp his son’s style, so he elbowed him playfully. “Why don’t you ask her to take a walk? The capital’s gardens are lovely this time of year.”

“Do you think she’ll go with me?”

“You’ll never know unless you try.” And with that, he unceremoniously pushed his son to the wolves. Or girls, which was the case here.

Lu Ten nervously patted at his topknot and straightened his tunic before purposely walking towards the girls’ table. Before he could get there though, he bumped into a server.

“I’m sorry!” Lightning quick reflexes were the only things that saved Lu Ten from wearing five cups of tea, though he got an ugly look from the server. Iroh winced. “Hi,” he said, coming up to the table.

Two of the girls giggled into their cups. “Hello,” the third said, looking down at the table before looking back up at Lu Ten through her eyelashes.

He rubbed the back of his head. “You’re in my geography class.” There was an awkward silence where both teens looked away.

“So…” the girl asked, biting her lip.

“Yeah, so…” There was a rush of giggles from the two friends, but it seemed to galvanize Lu Ten. “Do you like to walk?” he asked, taking a large breath. “I mean, everybody walks, because how else would we get from place to place, but do you like walking?”

Iroh refrained from slapping his palm against his forehead. Obviously, he was going to have to sit his son down and explain to him the fine art of charming women. Iroh himself had never had a problem attracting women, but apparently charm was not hereditary.

“Are you asking me out?” the girl finally asked.

“Yes?” Lu Ten cleared his throat and straightened up. “There’s some new flowers in the gardens that were brought back from the southern colonies, I thought you might want to go look at them.”

The girl blushed. “I’d like that.”

Iroh watched as his son held out his arm and as the girl took it. Lu Ten gave his father a covert grin before walking out. Iroh watched them disappear down the path with an approving nod.

“Well. Perhaps he already knows all he needs to know.”

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