Authors Note: I was so saddened to hear about it I just had to write a tribute of some kind. If you don't know Mako, who plays the voice of Uncle Iroh, passed away recently. A fantastic actor and someone who brought Iroh to life, he will be grately missed. This is for him.

Disclaimer: I do not own Avatar...I don't...really.

Tea...and More Tea

"Uncle...is this really necessary."

Despite his nephew's constant protests, the calm and purposeful hands of the General did not relinquish the tea pot.

"Prince Zuko, you must learn to have patience...that in itself, is very important."

The Prince had been waiting to leave the makeshift campsite for almost an hour. Unfortunately his uncle had chosen now as the perfect time to set about his personal fixation. All of course, under the guise of a lesson in patience.

"I have plenty of patience...now lets go!"

Iroh completely ignored the now raging Prince. A serene expression washing over his face as he examined his steaming hot cup of perfection personified.

"You should try some...I always find it calming."

The Prince was actually blowing steam out his nose, not only was his uncle wasting time but then had the nerve to imply that he was being anything other than ridiculously patient. Which he was!

"I...am calm...now can you finish up so we can go...if we stay here any longer we'll run into Earth Kingdom patrols."

Iroh took another sip of his Jasmine tea, letting out a deep satisfied breath before looking around the campsite almost childishly.

"I don't see any soldiers...are you sure?"

Sometimes Zuko had to wonder just how this man ever breached Ba Sing Sei. It was perplexing beyond measure, when he could just sit there completely unaware of the danger they where in.

"Fine...we'll just sit here...waiting to be caught...like idiots...while you finish your tea..."

The reply he got was surprising to say the least.

"Excellent..."

Zuko just gave up and collapsed into a cross legged position beside the bags. One hand very unceremonially placed under his chin while his eyes continued scanning the tree line for movement.

A half an hour later and Iroh still hadn't moved. Zuko counted what must have been his tenth cup and third pot. It was bordering on insane how the man could continually down, cup after cup after cup.

A rumble from Zuko's stomach interupted his impatient cup counting and deciding to eat something under the mental heading of "Why the hell not..." he started rooting around in the supply bags.

"Uncle...?"

His one word question got no reply. He tried again, a little more force put behind it.

"UNCLE...?"

The old man tentatively put his present cup down and turned with a rather odd smile and an innocent look of "Did you say something?"

"Uncle...where are our supplies?"

The old man put on a rather shocked expression and pointed to the supply bags.

"Uncle...these aren't our supplies..."

The ageing General put one finger to his temple.

"Are you sure...I mean you bought the supplies yourself."

Zuko snapped,

"I know I bought them...I bought them because when you bought them last time you spent all our money on tea!"

Iroh put on an almost patronizing expression,

"Those bags seemed awefully heavy to be empty...If they are not our supplies...then what are they?"

Zuko pulled out a sachel rolling it around, examining the exterior.

His face fell and his jaw clamped down so hard he could have sworn he chipped teeth.

Seeing his face, his uncle became unusually serious.

"What is it?"

Zuko whispered something unintelligible followed immediately by the phrase "I must have done something in a past life"

"Sorry...my hearing is not what it used to be...you'll have to speak louder."

Zuko let all his anger slide out in one large breath.

"It's tea, Uncle..."

His Uncle's smile was so bright it could have blinded armies.

"Good...because I've just run out!"