Favorite Poison

Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar: The Last Airbender. Sadly enough.

Warnings: AU-ish, General Spoilers

AN: For AtLA Land's bingo card writing challenge. Prompt was "Garden."

Set in the same universe as A Silence in Winter where Piandao is a secret!airbender.

It's a warm spring night. The alcohol is free-flowing, and the company is sublime. The cricket-mice chirp in the background, and the scent of Piandao's garden fills the air around them. A soft breeze tugs at his clothes and begs him to come play. Piandao just smiles behind his cup and makes promises for later, when he's alone and there's no one around to see.

The candles around their little alcove flicker in the breeze. So tantalizing. So tempting. Just begging him to snuff them out. Piandao feels his fingers twitch and covers the motion by downing the rest of his cup. The stirring in his belly is replaced by blossoming warmth, and he lets out a laugh that earns him a sly grin in return.

Jeong Jeong pours them more, and Piandao begins to forget why he shouldn't listen to the wind. He can't quite remember why it's such a bad idea to be caught bending and why he should hide this from even his closest friend. He's still puzzling that out as he finishes another cup and starts on what might be his sixth. Or possible his seventh.

He can't remember. He's lost count. His head is spinning and spinning, and the garden is like a kaleidoscope of color. The scent of flowers is intoxicating as the alcohol, and the wind tugs at him again. Perhaps they were a bit too generous with their drinks.

"Come play with me," the breeze says without words.

Piandao isn't sure anymore why he shouldn't.

Then, Jeong Jeong turns to reach for another bottle, and Piandao just can't resist. All it takes is a flick of his fingers, and the eager air snuffs out the candle his friend just so recently lit.

Jeong Jeong whips around so fast that Piandao's head spins. He stares at his candle, and the look on his face is enough to make Piandao fight to stifle his laughter. Were he sober, he'd probably be nervous and sweating, but right now, he's too drunk to care. Too drunk to recall that Jeong Jeong has always been excellent at holding his liquor. Too drunk to remember that a bender's flame can't be put out by something as simple as an idle breeze.

Of course, if he were sober, this never would've been a problem.

Jeong Jeong, however, says nothing. He just stares at the candle, eyes flickering to Piandao for a split second before darting away. He straightens then and moves to pour them more like nothing even happened.

Piandao offers an innocent smile as he reaches for his cup.

Jeong Jeong doesn't look convinced.

Ever Hopeful,