[Misc] Teahouse Fun

In all the weeks spent serving tea, Fuu can honestly say this is the first time she’s found herself sprawled across a young lady’s lap, tea spilled all over the floor, and ceramic dishes in a shattered mess.

Oh, she’s dealt with the everyday lechers with grubby hands and toothless leers. They are usually the ones to blame and Fuu bears it with her usual grace and patience. But Fuu’s never found herself the focus of flirtation from a giggling young woman in pink, while her dour-faced friends watch with a mixture of curiosity and apathy.

“Umm,” Fuu says, ever intelligible, as she tries to wriggle herself free from her ungainly sprawl in Pink Girl’s lap. “I’m sorry about that. I’ll get you a fresh pot on the house.” Though, Fuu’s pretty sure she’d only fallen because she’d been purposefully tripped. Fuu’s too graceful to stumble on thin air.

Fuu tries to get up and the girl in pink helps by letting her hands roam over inappropriate places. Fuu blushes, but at least her first reaction isn’t to strike out and break her customer’s nose. That sort of thing is bad for business.

“Come on, Ty Lee,” one of the friends say in a bored tone, giving name to face, “let our waitress go. I’m thirsty.”

Ty Lee giggles again but lifts her hands, holding them up in the air and wriggling her fingers. “I’m not doing anything,” she says with sing-song innocence that Fuu doesn’t believe for a single moment.

And judging by the eye roll, neither does Ty Lee’s friend. “We don’t have time for your usual flirtations,” she continues as Fuu manages to scramble to her feet, only to crouch and attend to picking up the dropped tray and dishware. Incisive brown eyes glance at Fuu. “Even if you are finally showing some taste.”

The third woman, looking increasingly bored, starts toying with a throwing knife. “It depends on your definition of taste,” she drawls.

Ty Lee pouts cheerfully, if such a thing were even possible. “You guys are no fun at all,” she says, crossing her arms over her chest.

Fuu decides that now is the time to wisely make her departure, pretending that she hadn’t heard their conversation, fighting the heat that’s staining her cheeks. She scoops up broken pottery, and clutches her tray to her chest.

“I’ll be back with a new pot and a mop,” Fuu says, giving them a polite bow before hurriedly scurrying away, aware of three pairs of eyes watching her go. Geez, Mugen and Jin aren’t going to believe this.

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[AtLA] Dangerous and Beautiful

Ty Lee was not like other girls.

She was exactly like her sisters in many ways. In appearance and attitude and expectations.

But Ty Lee was curious and never took ‘no’ for an answer. She believed in things her eyes could see and her hands could touch.

Her mama said, “Don’t touch the fire, it’s hot.”

Ty Lee burned her hand. They had to wrap it and cover it in a gross-smelling sticky paste for two weeks. But she learned. Fire equaled heat and pain and misery and her mama yelling every time she had to apply the poultice.

“You can’t fly,” her papa warned.

Ty Lee broke her ankle leaping off the roof with a pair of paper sun umbrellas, one in each hand. And then she had to pay for the umbrellas she’d broken with her own pocket money while her oldest sister refused to talk to her for months in punishment. But Ty Lee learned.

Humans couldn’t fly. At least, not the non-Benders anyway.

She swore someday she’d see an Airbender for herself. Even if everyone said they were dead and gone.

And then, her schoolmates warned her about Azula. Like everything else, Ty Lee took their concerns at face value.

Azula was vicious. Azula was cruel. Azula was stronger than everyone else.

The last was pretty easy to believe.

Ty Lee had watched Azula in practice sessions. She was elegant and ruthless and she never lost. She was power personified and Ty Lee envied talent and her confidence and her individuality. Azula was a natural at everything. She hardly needed to practice.

Azula was beautiful, too. Her bending was an art into itself and her martial arts was like a dance. A dangerous one.

She could be vicious sometimes, when she wanted to win, because Azula despised losing. It wasn’t a bad thing, Ty Lee reasoned. Azula was the Fire Lord’s daughter. Defeat wasn’t an option.

And even Azula’s cruelty was only truth. She spoke bluntly. She didn’t mince words. Ty Lee envied that, too.

“Stay away,” everyone warned her. But Ty Lee never liked listening to other people. She wanted to find out for herself because Azula was fascinating.

A smidgen terrifying but still fascinating.

Ty Lee wouldn’t believe the fire was hot until she touched it for herself. So the day she walked up to Princess Azula, smiled and stuck out her hand and said,

“Hi! I’m Ty Lee! Nice to meet you.”

Well, that day would change the rest of her life.

[AtLA] Induction

“Have I mentioned how adorable you look in your new uniform?” Ty Lee says in what she probably thinks is a whisper but Sokka is sure that everyone in the dedication room, along with the entire Earth Kingdom, heard her anyway.

He resists the urge to facepalm, folds his hands behind his back, and thinks very mature and responsible thoughts. Thoughts that do not include whispering compliments to his fellow inductee in the middle of their induction ceremony.

“So I noticed how you didn’t come with Suki today…”

Sokka grits his teeth. That is a matter which is still a point of contention for him.

“Does that mean you’re single?”

“No,” Sokka says through a clenched jaw, a low hiss that he hopes goes no further than the two of them. “For your information, we are on a break.”

Ty Lee tilts her head to the side, lips forming into a moue of confusion. “Does that mean you’re free to see other people?”

Sokka wants to shout a definitive negative, but he distinctly remember Suki saying that the point of the break is to see if they would be more interested in someone else.

“Because, you know, I’ll bet Suki is seeing other guys,” Ty Lee says, and with her hands clasped behind her back, she swings her body toward him, her smile bright and sparkling.

He opens his mouth, ready for another snarky retort, when a shadow falls over both young adults. Sokka looks up, reddens, realizing he hasn’t paid the slightest bit of attention to the ceremony. For that matter, neither has Ty Lee.

Sokka looks up at Iroh and grins uneasily. “Umm… yes?” he says, both a statement and a question, hoping that they are all looking at him because they want an answer.

Someone in the background giggles. Sokka’s sure that it was Katara.

Iroh, instead of looking thunderously angry, just grins in that amused way of his and winks at Sokka. “The perfect answer,” he says, and lifts his arms, encouraging everyone to clap.

Sokka breathes a sigh of relief, and for once, not even Ty Lee’s giggling annoys him. In fact, there’s something just a bit charming about that sparkle in her eyes.

Suki, eat your heart out.