Summary: Tea-making is an inherent trait in Zuko's line. Tea-loving is a Beifong one.
Character: Lin, Iroh
"I've heard you've had a rough couple of days."
Iroh turned to see Lin regarding him casually. He smiled at her, able to see that she was bone-tired, but this was Toph Beifong's daughter; unless you knew, you wouldn't see it past all the stoic.
"And I've heard you have had a rough couple of months. Next time, don't wait so long to call."
Uninvited but not unwelcome, Lin wandered into the room and sat down across from him.
"I didn't call you this time. If it'd been up to me -"
" - then you would have done the smart thing and called yourself."
Lin rolled her eyes and muttered something like 'know-it-all'.
"Would you like some tea?" he asked.
She shrugged, completely straight-faced. "If it's no trouble..."
Iroh stood to make it because he knew that the rest of that sentence was, "even if it is, do it anyway." One characteristic Toph had forever lacked that Lin mastered was the art of subtlety and what she left unsaid.
"Tell me, general," Lin said once she held a steaming cup of honey-ginger tea in her hands. "Will you open a tea shop when you retire?"
"Depends whether you beat me to it or re-join the police force."
Instead of answer, she sipped her tea.
"Unless things are different than I remember, bending isn't strictly required to be a cop. Bumi would be the first to tell you that not being a bender isn't the end of the world."
Lin snorted inelegantly and incredulously.
"I could go get him to tell you him -"
"Sit. Down," the ex-chief commanded the general who'd half-risen from his chair.
Smirking, he did. She shot him an exasperated look. He cooled his tea slightly before taking a drink.
"So how is Honora?"
One characteristic Toph had definitely given her daughter was her gift of abruptness and deliberate subject changes.
"Mother is well. She has complained that you haven't visited in too long, and none of the courtiers can hold their whiskey quite as well. In fact, the last time I saw her, I was ordered on behalf of the Crown to ensure your promise to visit."
"You have it. After we see Katara, my next destination will be the Caldera."