Pairing: Long Feng, Azula
Word Count: 587
Genre: A/U, General
Warnings (including spoilers): Implied spoilers for the second season finale of Avatar: The Last Airbender, subtext
Synopsis: Drabble set in the same universe as A Compass That Doesn't Point North dealing with Long Feng's new wardrobe. Seriously.
Ever since his arrival in the Fire Nation, he had taken to wearing brown pretty much constantly. Back during his first years in the Dai Li, he had been the one appointed to watch over the most headstrong of the former Earth King's daughters when she had insisted on going out into the city proper and her father didn't have the heart to refuse her, and had changed into the more subdued color on one of his superior's orders in an effort to be circumspect. That had been the only time he had been privy to the other gender's expertise since he had left his mother's household when he was seven, and all he had gotten out of that was the princess's opinion that brown didn't suit him.
It might very well have been true; Long Feng himself had no experience when it came to such things. There was no point in cultivating an eye for fashion when uniforms dictated one's wardrobe. But even if he did refuse to let himself care about the opinions of Fire Nation nobility—whether it be about appropriate attire or otherwise—or let go of his heritage entirely, green attracted far too much in the way of negative attentions, and he received enough of that already, with his too-dark skin and strangely worn hair.
The Fire Nation Princess—who was exactly nothing like the princess of some fifteen, twenty years ago except in the tendency she had of always getting her way—refrained from her usual biting commentary until after the tailor had left, and even then all she said was that she would be sure to keep him in mind if she wanted someone murdered in close quarters. "The blood wouldn't show too much after it dried, anyway."
Long Feng frowned, though he kept his gaze directed at the fabric samples the tailor had left behind and his hands occupied with retying the sash around his waist in the way one of the servants had told him was appropriate for securing this style of tunic. "I doubt that will ever be necessary. Earth Bending lends itself best to fighting at a distance." They were alone, Azula having sent her retinue away some time prior with a faux tantrum that had caused even her handmaidens, supposedly accustomed to such displays of temper, to back away as quickly as they were able without fear of giving offense. It was the only reason Long Feng allowed himself the slip. Fire Nation citizenry, he had quickly learned, did not much like being reminded of the fact that their enemies possessed powers they did not.
Azula, leaning against the door frame as she had been for the past hour—making the tailor understandably nervous in the process, even if Long Feng didn't much feeling like being understanding of the plethora of needle marks now dotting his skin—let her eyelids lower. On anyone else, the expression would have been evocative of pity. "How optimistic of you to think anyone will take your preferences into consideration. Please try to make it less obvious you've just gotten off the boat," she smiled at his reflexive wince, "When it actually matters, will you?"
The robes, when they were finally finished, felt much the same quality as the finest clothing back in Ba Sing Se, but it was weeks before the scent of the dye—made from a plant, the tailor said, native only to the Fire Nation—no longer pervaded his nose every time he took a breath.