The evening was a hot and sticky one made worse by the crowds of people making their way, be it workers either going to or from shifts at the factories which never sleep, people heading to the Pro-Bending arena or other forms of entertainment. The masses showed the true demography of Republic with rich and destitute rubbing shoulder to shoulder, dotted among them were Triads, swindlers and pickpockets as the rats of the city awoke with the setting sun. When Tsuyoi had first come here he had found the mass of people both exciting and overwhelming, not even the great city of Ba Sing Se could match. Tǔ quickly learned you could not just walk in a straight line during these periods or you would never get anywhere, rather you would have to weave, duck and dodge your way around almost as if the whole city was preforming some intricate unspoken dance. The young fire bender carefully ducked around a group of triads one of the few groups whose fear could make the crowds part like a shark in a school of fish, he had made the mistake once of bumping into one once and though Tsuyoi had won the fight it had been a rather painful lesson in what to expect when you mess with them.
As Tǔ moved he could hear bits and pieces of conversation, apparently there had been another attack by Equalists some poor farming boy barely off the paddy fields had been set upon and was now hospitalized. Tsuyoi touched his scar his mind taken back earlier days, if it hadn't of been due to his bending skills and a lot of luck that could have been him. The whole city seemed to talk of nothing else except for tonight's match, which was meant to be one which will go down in the history books.
*Don't be an idiot dude* Tsuyoi thought to himself shaking his head *You Can't afford it*
Sighing he slide between two parked Cabbage trucks and headed down a smaller less crowded street, he wasn’t that far from the tea shop now so his mid turned to Ty. He couldn’t understand why he was s fixated with this girl, he had gone out with his fair share of woman in the past some of them maybe even a little better looking than her but there is just something about her with captives him. Maybe it’s her eyes or her hair or something but whatever it is when he is around her Tsuyoi can never express his feelings. He glanced at a flower stand remembering the last time he tried to give her a bunch; he had bottled at the last moment and said they were for someone else. The young bender couldn't even tell if he had hurt her cause she shows so little emotion.
By the time Tsuyoi reached the shop evening was properly setting, he had been working in the factory since 7am and looked it. Holding back a yawn Tǔ nervously tried to tidy himself up a bit, rubbing off the dirt on his hands and face on a equally dirty top then runiing his hands through his think shaggy hair in a desperate if futile attempt to neaten it.
"Come on Tsuyoi be cool, it's only Ty"
With that Tsuyoi entered the shop, though he came often to see Ty she wasn't the only reason he came. The tea shops owner an old lady called Miki while a strict old bag new how to cater to her customer, the inside was set up just like a traditional countryside tea shop of home right down to the soft smell of cherry oak burning on the fire. As usual the vast majority of those in there hailed from the fields and villages of the Earth Kingdom who had come to Republic and now who wanted a place to remind them of home. Not only could you get a good cup of traditional Asuma tea, they also made meals that every mans mother would have made him as a boy. Thus Tǔ has spent many an evening in here talking with others remembering home.
So wrapped up in thoughts of home and Ty, the homesick man did not notice Arrty instead heading for a table near to the wood burner and next to a window so he could watch the city rush past. Reaching into his pockets he pulled out a crumpled packet, then softly moaned when he realized it was empty. Leaning over he tapped an old man at the next table on the shoulder, "Could you spare a felling homesick man a cigarette?" to which the old man smiled a handed him one. Nodding his thanks he leaned back, as he did he clicked his fingers and a small flame appeared smaller than a candle flame to which he light the cigarette off. Inhaling deeply he waited for Ty to get round to him.
When she finally got to him, Tǔ could tell she wasn't happy which surprised him due to the fact that she usually shows so little emotion.
"Whoa whats wrong? Did someone kill your cat or something"
He immediately regretted saying something so stupid to her, his eyes going a little pink at the thought of embarrassing himself in front of her yet again. Luckily (or not Tsuyoi couldn't decide) Shen showed up, though only to make it worse by thinking it was Tǔ who had pissed off Ty. Ignoring Tsuyoi's attempts to explain that he wasn't the culprit Shen called over Hanna and Arrty who the fire bender had not even noticed, thus the gang was all here and Shen started talking about some crazy plan of his.
"Dude are you nuts?" laughed Tsuyoi as he took another drag on his cigarette "These ain't no Triad ganger, these are bloody psychopaths, last time I run into some of them they gave me this" He pointed at his scar for dramatic effect, Tsuyoi did not want to be labeled a coward by his friends but he knew the dangers and if Tǔ hadn't did what he did that would have been him in the hospital. Quickly he shut off his mind to the events of two years ago, what was in the past should stay there.
"They will capture us, turn us and put us into the hospital like that farmer kid, who knows what they will do with a armed bending sympathizer!"