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triskaidekaphobia \tris-ky-dek-uh-FOH-bee-uh\, noun:
A morbid fear of the number 13 or the date Friday the 13th.


1//

Ozai courted ten different girls, danced with seven of them, kissed only three, but fell in love with one.

Her name was Ursa.

2//

He fell in love with her laugh, during one of those boring old parties and during one of those days when he still looked up to his older brother, and during those times when talk of the crown did not mean a single thing.

Ozai heard her laugh for the first time, when Iroh pushed him into the turtleduck pond, where all the other children were playing during those monthly parties for adults.

Her laughter was the first thing he heard, that was, until he turned his attention to his brother which he quickly chased around the garden to make him pay, because mother was going to kill him for ruining the new clothes he promised he wouldn't.

3//

Ursa met him through her cousin, Jeong Jeong, who happened to be friends with Iroh. Of course, it was her aunt who forced her to join her cousin on those play dates, and where she would spend time playing with the turtleducks while the boys practiced their firebending.

When her mother would be forcing dresses on her, which she loathed, and telling her to go play with those nice boys of the Fire Palace, she would just sigh and know all the reason why.

Something about marriage for when she's older.

But she was just ten years old, and she really didn't pay attention to it much.

Yet.

4//

Ozai accidentally hurt a turtleduck when he was just eleven, with his firebending.

It was the first time he ever hurt a poor animal.

It was also the first time a girl punched him when she found out.

5//

For three years he tried to forget about her laugh, her eyes, and her beauty.

Ozai hadn't talk to her after that little incident with the turtleduck, and he only regretted it once. Just once.

During another one of those boring parties, he saw her, but this time was different. He was older.

And so was she.

A dress of red and gold flattered her young body, as he stood across the palace room with wide eyes and a red face that matched the dress that she wore. She blended perfectly with the other girls in the room, and even if more beautiful girls surrounded her, he still noticed her first.

Just like last time, it was her laugh that caught his attention, and kept it there.

6//

In a span of three weeks, Ursa rejected his offer of courtship eight times, and it wasn't until she ran out of room to put the roses he kept sending her when she finally accepted.

7//

It was only in the darkness of the night during their third date when she fell in love with him.

He smiled.

And she swore that she wanted to see him do that more often.

8//

They married at a young age, and suddenly she found herself with a crown on her head, and husband to love.

Their first child was the hardest to give birth to, and in the faint of the night, she heard her husband raise his son in the air and only his pride shone through the dark room. Something in the gut of her stomach churned, but Ursa believed the doctors of the after pain, and worry about leaving her son alone with Ozai were pushed to the back of her head.

She would do the same thing for the rest of her life.

9//

Ursa saw him smile for the last time when he said they would one day rule the world.

And she would have everything she ever wanted, he told her.

She didn't ask how or why, but she was a smart girl, and kept her face blank as she kissed him goodnight.

But Ursa believed the papers with his fake father's signature that were hidden in his desk had something to do with it.

10//

It was raining the night she left her son and daughter sleeping, with a knife slipped under her sleeve, and the words of her husband honor chanting in her mind.

Suddenly, that throne that was just an arms reach away in his eyes, was all he ever desired.

And if it meant safety for their family, from him, then the blood on her hands didn't matter as she locked the door behind her as the sound of guards ran into the Fire Lord's bedroom, which was right across the hall.

Ursa did not attend the funeral of the Fire Lord the next day.

11//

On that very same night, she cried to him, she screamed at him, but most of all, she hated him.

"Why? Why Ozai?! Look what I have done! For you!"

He said nothing.

With tears running down her cheeks like trails of pain, she slapped him right across the face, and all he did was turn around to look away from her.

She was the only person in the world he could not let out his legendary temper on.

He loved and hated her for it.

12//

The day a crown was placed on his head, is the same day he last saw her.

Kneeling before a crowd of his people, there is a face in the crowd that he cannot forget, and there is the same disappointed frown on her face as the one from the last night she stepped out of their bedroom.

It's the last time he whispers her name, and it is the last time he will ever whisper such a woman's name with so much wanted love, as she walks away from the crowd leaving him to want her back just like when they were young.

Except, this time, there is no second chance.

Not anymore.

13//

Ozai sits on his throne, with a crown and power on his head, which he once so dearly desired.

Her last words ring through his head, as he commands another guard to close the curtain which displays the whole view of the garden pond so beautifully.

Like her.

"When you sit on that throne, don't you dare think of me, don't you even dare."

The sound of her footsteps echoing down the hall is the last he ever heard from her, and it will be the last he hears until he steps foot out of this cruel world.

He broke his promise.

For Ursa is the only thing he thinks about, and she is the only one he can remember so much, and he is the only person he ever loved. As his empty and broken heart becomes stronger and stronger each and every lonely day, it begins to stab his thoughts of power and war, and it is the first time he ever cries.

In the end, he hides his face like a mask from the world, because the only person that could see through it is gone, and isn't coming back.

His desire for power began to fade away, when he realized so did the laughter that belonged to her.

It's the second thing he ever regretted in his life.