Disclaimer – I do not own Avatar: The Last Airbender. The prequel to this is FOUR AVATARS: Banishment. That is more of a setting up of things more then anything else. I'll recap in the prolog here.

~Bumi at Tea~

Bumi sat cross-legged at a small table that was set up for five people all together. However, the aged kind was the only person sitting at the table that was living. All of the rest were different kinds of stuffed animals. They were arranged a certain way and could in no way have had any interest in what the man was saying.

The stuffed animals were ordered very carefully, their exact meaning behind them evident from what they were and where they were positioned. Also, identifying what they meant was a tea cup that was positioned in front of each of them, something Bumi had commissioned for each stuffed animals a long time ago.

To his right was a Badgermole stuffed animal that's eyes glowed with what Bumi considered mischievous. To the right of that was a white dragon, uncolored because there were so many different colors for dragons. Its cup was decorated with red inlay. To the right of the dragon was a very fluffy thin… only a select few could remember that this was a Flying Bison. This stuffed animal's cup was a plain yellow cup, except it was also a trick tea cup too. To the right of this was a sea turtle with a nice blue and white china tea cup.

Bumi sipped his tea very careful. He then turned to the sea turtle. "No… you can't have anymore tea. I don't even know you and you are rather a priss… or so I pictured you to be. Well, aren't you? Sis told me your name, but I didn't bother to remember it… nope."

Bumi then turned to the dragon and Badgermole. "Kuzon how long until you ask my sister to marry you?"

The old kind hadn't been serious and had been teasing the two stuffed animals, but he still tipped his ear to hear their make believe response, chuckling as he did so. "Ahh… you're both turning red. Oh… you don't get it Aang?"

The old king then turned to the fluffy thing. "Perhaps you need to wait a couple of months… I'm sure it will come soon… the understanding of liking a girl. Oh… what is that sis… don't tell Aang that he is the first circle of the Avatars. A bit late for that as you're frozen in your bed chamber, which I took the precautions to seal off… no one remembers where you are… hee hee…"

He suddenly sat up straighter. "Ohh… do I remember where that is?"

There was a sudden tap on the door and Bumi turned his head cocky many to the door. "What is it?"

A person opened the door, shuddering as he watched the king. "You're wanted in Omashu's Earth Temple… a package has arrived from an Earth Kingdom Temple in the Fire Nation territory."

"I see… I was expecting it to come sooner or later," Bumi moved out of the room with great speed.


Iroh was trying his best not to get angry with his nephew. No, angry was not the right word for it. More like, overly frustrated. It took a lot of trying, Iroh's patience, but Zuko had just reached his sixteenth birthday around a month ago… and the boy had yet to truly master Fire Bending.

The old man had planned on telling Zuko about the truth then, but due to prudence, he decided that it as best not to. On top of not mastering Fire Bending, the boy was showing signs of moving onto the Air Bending part of his training, much to Iroh's dismay. He had been able to explain away the little oddities that happened around the ship, but the crew kept growing more and more suspicious.

It did not help that Ozai pushed on Azula's genius ability while hindering Zuko's growth as a child. He always lectured and belittled the boy in ways that made the boy have very low self-esteem. Iroh finally decided to speak up, closing his eyes as he did so. "Zuko… I believe that it is time to stop for today."

"I feel fine Uncle Iroh," came Zuko's reply.

"More like frustrated about the fact that you're not getting this… so much so you'll push me until I die… again,"

Zuko frowned at this and then went and turned to his Uncle. "If you think I'm getting frustrated with this, I'm not."

Are you having fun? Or do you think you're actually mastering this Prince Zuko?" Iroh reprimanded.

"What does fun have to do with mastering Firebending," came the reply.

But so too did the voice in his head. "Nothing beyond being relaxing… unless you count giving into Bumi and setting his sisters underwear on fire… her not wearing them of course and them being on the clothes lone… bad idea no matter if Bumi found it quite funny…"

Zuko's eyes suddenly narrowed at this comment from the voice in his head, his mind slightly disturbed by what the voice told him. He had thought he had lost it a couple of years ago, but no, it was back and even more annoying.

"Relaxing, self control and self awareness," Iroh stated, not realizing that one of the items was already mentioned. "Sit… have some tea."

"Love tea…" came the inner voice.

"You know I hate tea Uncle," Zuko muttered, knowing that this was defiantly one place he and his inner voice varied… drastically too.

"Nuh uh…" came the voice, causing Zuko to want to mentally slap himself.

"Drink… tea does the body, mind and spirit good, Zuko,"

"Are you going to have another one of those stupid music nights?" Zuko picked up a cup and made the tea go swirling around.

"Of course Zuko… you know it does the crew good,"

"The only reason that I allow it is because of that reason," Zuko thought to himself, to which the voice popped up. "Deep down you want to join in, but you are such a stick in the mud you are unable."

"Why is it that we can't fine the Avatar?" Zuko suddenly spoke aloud. He waited for the infernal voice to speak up, but this time it didn't.

"Well… that's why we've sailed this far south…" Iroh sighed.

"The men don't like that we're sailing so close to the Southern Water Tribe… though no one is there," Jee suddenly spoke up.

"No thanks to our barbaric nation," came the annoying voice.

"I have a headache," Zuko suddenly stated, tapping his Uncle's table.

"No doubt you do… considering all the over training you've done today,"

"Nah… his headache isn't real… it's just a lie to cover that I am trying to have a serious discussion with him here," Zuko's eyes suddenly flared at the voice, then stormed over to the edge of the ship, dumping the cup of tea into the ocean. "Hey! That wasn't nice!"

Iroh went over and shook Zuko, not happy with his actions. "Zuko… are you purposely trying to disrespect me?"

"Sorry Uncle Iroh… Zuko was trying to disrespect Kuzon there… he knows Kuzon likes tea…" the boy suddenly sighed so that Iroh only could hear him.

"Ahh… I haven't spoke to you in a long time… are you trying to tell me that you've been trying to break through to Zuko?"

"Sort of… yes… but he's as hard headed as you old man… but then that is who I am…"

"I see… what have you tried talking to him about?"

"His hard headedness and to start liking tea… oh… and that Bumi got me to burn his sister's… well, he got me to burn her underwear while it was still on the clothes line."

"Tell me… was that when Zuko made that weird face?"


Iroh then laughed suddenly. "Oh my… if you had come out when Azula picked on Zuko, she wouldn't know what hit her."

"I don't hit girls… if I can help it. Kuzon almost hi Bumi's sister when she tried to light Kuzon's underwear on fire… with Kuzon still in them," the boy muttered.

"With a candle stick… lantern?"

"Firebending… before you ask, she's the third cycle and learned from Avatar Ruku's scrolls that he left her before he left… not to mention for a bit he instructed her Earthbending teachers how to teach her Firebending."

"So… you met Avatar Ruku?"

"Yes… we both did, before we knew that we were part of this confounded cycle,"

"Why is it confounded to you?" Iroh asked, suddenly concerned.

"Shouldn't I have been in the Spirit World already… but no… the cycle had to be placed of kilter… if it weren't for the fact we aren't allowed to overlap majorly, I would be there you know. I and Zuko would not be the same person… it's really crazy,"

"Do you regret it?"

"Father… Azula… defiantly… momma… defiantly not… and my Uncle Iroh… let's just say, I lost my mentor when I was only three,"

"Avatar Ruko?" Iroh asked.

The boy nodded his head. He then suddenly jumped his senses startling. "Tell the captain to change our course and head further South… Aang is there… and it's time… I get this odd feeling…"

"Are you going to find him?"

Kuzon suddenly spoke up, his eyes drained. "To bring peace… One must die… To bring the fire… Past the lie… The fire shall find… The air outside the ice… With the same soul… But a different spice… That's the prophesy… isn't it… that is tied to me and Zuko, about the first Avatar? I'd ask for another cup of tea, but Zuko would worry about it."

"Worry about what?"

"Uncle Iroh… were we having a conversation?" Zuko suddenly stated.

"I… you were telling me the reason why you dumped out the good tea on me," came his Uncle's reply.

"I don't think you poisoned it, if that's what you're worried about,

"You think all tea is poison,"

"Zuko…" Iroh started in that he wouldn't have thought that was what was on the boys mind, however, he was interrupted.

"Shut up," Zuko suddenly shoved the cup into his Uncle's hands. He then realized what he had done and what it seemed like and profusely apologized to his Uncle; the hurried off to go sulk in his cabin… and try to get away from that voice.

"Can't take it as an insult when I know it wasn't me, but Kuzon you were telling to shut up," Iroh chuckled. Jee raised an eyebrow, wondering how the old general could be so calm after having his nephew disrespect him.

Author's note – Bumi is not serious about Kuzon and Fumi getting married. He just gets a major kick about driving those two nuts. He gets a kick from driving everyone nuts in fact.