Disclaimer: Okay, now I'm all sad.


Character: Ty Lee

Beta; Mistress of Sarcasm, who gave me some awesome lines and made this fic not a complete wreck. What would I do without you?

Author's note: I write a Mai one-shot like this and Mistress of Sarcasm has an amazing Azula series. (demand you read and review) So I thought we can't just leave Ty Lee out so here it is. It was probably the hardest thing I've ever written.

Azula's aura (a fierce, savage blue) is quickly turning deadly and Mai is drawing one of her many daggers and all you can do is stand there with your arms protecting your chest.

(please go away, just go away)

Because your best friends are fighting, are going to kill each other over pride, over decisions, over a love that surpasses fear.

This is friendship, this is camaraderie but it is not normal, not usual.

(because you are the elite)

And there is nothing you can do, unless you choose, unless you pick, unless you love one more than the other.

(but you love them both for they are a piece of you)

So when Azula (perfect, awkward, poised, powerful Azula) gathers her lightning, you move without thought.

(listen to your heart for it is the center)

Mai is strong and Mai is tough and Mai is brave.

(able to look Azula in the eye and not falter in the slightest)

You are none of these things because you are afraid.

(of Azula, of red, of pain, of being like your mother, of dying, of falling)

You hide it behind an easy smile but you think everyone can tell.

(are you the only one scared of what might be)

Mai's aura is gray and silver when she's happy.

(like steel swords and metal daggers and storm clouds)

The things that matter in this strange, tragic, wonderful world.

Your aura is pink.

(like a cherry blossom on the tree that lasts only for a day)

A thing that doesn't matter but should.

(Beauty should matter, you think)

Something you tell Mai, her eyes distant (searching for someone that cannot be found). But you knew she understood and knew she agreed.

(And maybe Azula wants your help and maybe Azula needs you to save her but Mai listens when you speak and Mai hears you when you cry.)

And maybe that's why you picked Mai.

Because maybe you need to be heard.

(not laughed at, not pushed but heard)

And you really don't think that is too much to ask for.

(know your mind so you can know yourself)

You are the third daughter.

(lucky number three, your mother said, eyes bright.)

You've got six sisters that all look like you with their brown hair and brown eyes. The exact same button nose.

The seven Tuan sisters all in a row.

(a match set, your father said, eyes smiling)

Except you don't want that. You don't want a pretty house that's a cage. You don't want a husband that does not feel. You don't want to be a shadow of nobility.

(you want freedom; you want love; you want for people to know your name)

So you announce that your true calling is the circus.

And your mother, eternally sad and internally conflicted, was the only one who didn't laugh.

(do what you want for you may never get the chance)

Acrobatics is an art.

(of the body, of the soul)

Nobody taught how to walk on your hands, to stand on your hands, to do a cartwheel. You just did.

(it was in your muscle and bones, this knowledge as old as time)

You learned how to paralyze enemies in the Academy. With nothing more than a hits in the right places, you could take down a man twice your size. With just a few taps, you could take away a person's bending. Their sense of self.

(take away, get rid of, steal. Thief, thief, they call out after you, and your pride just barely pushes down your guilt)

Your teacher called them pressure points and you a natural.

(the word rolls off your tongue and fits)

You love fighting because it feels like dancing. Because there is always movement, always steps that must be performed.

(and the adrenaline in your blood soars)

Sometimes when you jump, sometimes when you push off the ground, sometimes when you are so close to touching the clouds, you feel like you can fly.

(and if you could bend anything more than your body, it would be air)

That way you could truly ascend to the sky.

(bend, don't break)