a u t h o r ' s.note. Written for 1sentence at LJ.

Skin Deep

1 – Walking

They went on strolls often, when she was still pregnant with Zuko, and he would hold her hand, wondering why there was a terrified smile on her face.

2 – Waltz

Waltzing was formal; she was not.

3 – Wishes

The best of the best for their children (best quality, no ten-piece silver, no tin) and for her: the world.

4 – Wonder

In wonder, they lived, fed off each other and grew, flourished, and there always remained the barest vestiges of unhealthy and wrong.

5 – Worry

The days grew long, and her stomach grew large, and she grew worried because her second child was coming (and they weren't prepared).

6 – Whimsy

Mercurial and fun, his older brother was enchanting, while Ozai was frightening.

7 – Wasteland

In this wasteland she called marriage, there could never be happiness, just contents and discontents.

8 – Whiskey and rum

Ozai drank whiskey well into the night, drowned sorrows and guilts (and horrors he's seen and done), but Ursa preferred rum—harsher and raw, more brutal.

9 – War

Of war, of the animus and savagery, there was no end, not while people existed and killed, but Ursa knew deep down that it was all his fault.

10 – Weddings

She cried on her wedding day, thought back to her sister's and how happy the other had been and why she was so unhappy (unlucky).

11 – Birthday

The winter of Azula's third birthday was ruthlessly cold, snow swam in the skies and the sun could not penetrate through, and so, Ozai shivered alone while his wife was silently cheering.

12 – Blessing

A blessing was no more than a pretty lie, a falsehood undiluted and poignant, like her kisses on his lips.

13 – Bias

There was no bias; it was simple—she loved Zuko the best.

14 – Burning

Love burns, love fades, love cannot stretch more than a decade (not for her).

15 – Breathing

Her breathing grew rapid, churned, hoarse and guttural, like there was something at her throat.

16 – Breaking

The arrow split in midair, blew across the four winds and one found place in her heart.

17 – Belief

Beliefs were difficult to extirpate, difficult to extricate, and difficult to forfeit—like he wanted her to.

18 – Balloon

Ozai felt his heart burst and soar: she agreed to marry him.

19 – Balcony

Over the balcony and over the roof, someone fell, someone died.

20 – Bane

Her afflictions were great, and she was his anathema (his Princess Bete Noire).

21 - Quiet

"Hush," she says, "you'll feel better in the morning, like nothing has happened, like it was always just you and me."

22 – Quirks

Everyone has a peculiarity, and hers was the talent of turning to stone, like a marble statue chiseled and noble, nobly sad.

23 – Question

"Ask me something, anything you like, except if I love you truly or not."

24 – Quarrel

Two had a fight, an altercation, a scream resonating, and in the morning, there was only one.

25 – Quitting

Ursa thought the royal affair was getting old, and so she left, just like that.

26 – Jump

Look before you jump (unless you intentionally want to fall, like she did).

27 – Jester

Everyone knew he was the court fool, but it was so unfair, so awful that his pretty little wife must suffer too.

28 – Jousting

When chivalry's all but dead, there would be no more challenges for the lady's heart, she'd just become a harlot for anyone to steal.

29 – Jewel

A diamond sparkled like none other, better than any ruby or opal; Ursa was the diamond left in the dust, after the finer ones have been cut, polished, and sold.

30 – Just

What is fair?—not this, she replied.

31 – Smirk

His infamous smirk taunted her, and so, she threw retorts and daggers right back.

32 - Sorrow

Grief is a power weapon, he knew, and used.

33 – Stupidity

Ozai was a fool, for believing she loved him, for suspecting she did not.

34 – Serenade

She used to question why he never sang for her, and then inquired, and that became fire and that became dire.

35 – Sarcasm

"My heart weeps for you, the Everything."

36 – Sordid

A tryst was sordid, an open declaration was even more horrid.

37 – Soliloquy

Banished, she learned to speak with birds and insects, told them her story, told them of the man she vowed to forget.

38 – Sojourn

A delegation partied arrived one day, urgently proclaimed where his mother was hidden, and Zuko nearly died from shock and jubilation—nearly.

39 – Share

"Care to share?" she said, "No, I don't think so," he answered (not with you, her).

40 – Solitary

Loneliness is a state of mind, because she never complained.

41 – Nowhere

Nowhere ends here: the pebbles are beaten and her shoes are scuffed, and her son is waiting around the bend.

42 – Neutral

Ozai chose a side, and so did she, and when the war was over, there was no winner—just the number of deaths, the casualties.

43 – Nuance

Subtlety and subterfuge, never let him see a smile, never reveal a thought.

44 – Near

Near and far, she feared when he was furious, like a sword unsheathed and ringing in the air.

45 – Natural

Act natural, after all, they were husband-and-wife.

46 – Horizon

Beyond the horizon and the moon and stars, Ursa can see him coming, come to take her home and brush the hundred

years' tears away.

47 – Valiant

Valiant and vainglorious both started with v, and so did vexation (with him).

48 – Virtuous

Ursa was a virtuous woman, never sinned, was so righteously righteous that she was martyred.

49 – Victory

Victory was worse than defeat, out of his triumphs, she was lost and never found.

50 – Defeat

Defeated and fatigued, Ozai settled in for the night, embraced his wife and thought if only things were different—but they weren't and that was reality.