Disclaimer: I do not own Avatar: The Last Airbender.

A/N: This fan fiction basically centers on Zuko with a little side order of Iroh. There won't be any romance in here, even if it does hint at it. There are no fan girl obsessions. No 21st century drops into the Avatar world story line (though I am a big fan of those :3 ).

The story is pretty much summed up here in the introduction. I realize this introduction is short but it is just an introduction. Each chapter will be about 1,500 or so words so that I'll be able to update at a fairly regular schedule. I plan to update on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays of every week. So, by the end of next month, I should have twenty-five chapters.

Anyway, I've bored you enough.

Please read and review!

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Lighting the Fire
By: Cylisy

Introduction

The teashop had never been that fashionable amongst the impoverished Lower Ring of Ba Sing Se. It had served as a place for people to gather and nothing more. Regulars would spend hours, everyday, in the shabby café, but would only buy tea for sport and so that the manager would be able to keep the little shop in business. The tea itself had a weak taste, was bitter, and did not have the extra vigor that tea was supposed to have. It wasn't until a peculiar pair of refugees was hired, that the teashop became the highlight of Ba Sing Se.

Mushi was the eldest of the two and had been recently hailed the greatest tea maker in the Earth Kingdom. He was a pleasant, older man with wisdom that he would give to each customer, willingly accepted or not. His kindness brightened the day for each patron that came into the shop each day and the commoners seemed to be a little more content ever since Mushi arrived.

Lee was the young, teenage nephew of Mushi, but the relation is hard to tell, due to the polar opposites that were their personalities. He was a domineering and controlling fellow and avoided verbal confrontation whenever possible. Despite his hard front, it was evident that the young man was merely going through an awkward time and none of the customers paid his manner much mind. In fact they took it as a bit of humor in the otherwise doldrums that was their life.

Less than two days after their arrival, a roguish lad barged into the shop, literally pulling the door off its hinges. This lad had thrown accusations into the face of the respected tea makers and claimed that they were of the Fire Nation. Customers were offended by his rude manner and calmly, albeit aggravated, inquired him to leave. In the end, the boy charged Mushi and Lee in order to justify his theory. What had surprised them all was that Lee charged the lad with double blades, which he had taken—stolen—from a customer, and he had wielded them with ease. The Dai Li took the strange boy away in the end. Ever since that day, Lee has been bragged about, gawked over, and asked to be the mentor to many aspiring children. But if everyone were to know his secret, then they wouldn't be as awestruck and impressed as they were.

As it were, Lee was not this young man's name and nor was Mushi his uncle's. They were refeguees, like hundreds of the other citizens, but their reason of seeking sancutary is a little different than that of the others. They sought sanctuary from the Fire Nation because it wished to kill them, not because of the war, but because they were traitors of the Fire Nation. In fact, Lee was the banished Prince Zuko and Mushi was the traitorous retired General Iroh. Perhaps it was mere irony, an act of consecrated humor, that two prestige members of the Fire Nation, enemies of the Earth Kingdom and the world, were to end up hiding in the great city of Ba Sing Se as meager tea makers.

Had these two souls known of the many obstacles that they would face during their extended stay in the mighty city, they may have been much more reluctant in making it their home. Life of the average citizen does not come without ordinary problems, but when one lives life as royalty and is suddenly thrust into a prosaic life, ordinary troubles can bring one to one's knees. The past comes knocking at the door, dressed as the reaper. Strangers become friends, become lovers, become haters, and meet the reaper. The flame that one had extinguished for one's own interests becomes lit and grows brighter from its new life. But with this life will come more difficulties, more emotions, and a new sense of understanding. It is in this short memoir that the new lives of Zuko and Iroh, Lee and Mushi, will be written down in remembrance, an example that anyone can begin anew.