Disclaimer: Neither the song nor the characters in this story belong to me. No copyright infringement intended.

Author's Note: After an EXTREMELY long hiatus (I'm sorry to all of my wonderful readers out there, you have been very patient with me), I've started writing again! Another chapter is almost finished for Palace Politics, and will be followed (hopefully) shortly by one for Temptation Revisited. Please enjoy this tidbit in the meantime, it's a bit different from my usual style. Thank you for reading!

You, Always You

Just gonna stand there
And watch me burn
But that's alright
Because I like
The way it hurts
Just gonna stand there
And hear me cry
But that's alright
Because I love
The way you lie

I love the way you lie

I love you. I never got to tell you, because the day I came in prepared to admit it you were with her. Never mind that I had come in every morning at the same time and I was late that day; I had been struggling to come to grips with the fact that I wasn't who everyone wanted to me. I wasn't, as some maudlin actor once insisted, "The Avatar's Girl." I wasn't meant to be with him that way, I had known for some time, because I had abruptly and unexpectedly fallen in love with someone else. It was you, of course, but how could I have told you then? Even when I tried the Spirits conspired against me, and so that night I trailed my fingers in the pond by your wing of the palace as Yue stared sympathetically down at me. The silence was deafening, and for my first time in the Fire Nation I felt as though I was burning alive, I had to get out, there was nothing for me – not anymore. And so I went.

I can't tell you what it really is
I can only tell you what it feels like
And right now there's a steel knife
In my windpipe
I can't breathe
But I still fight
While I can fight
As long as the wrong feels right
It's like I'm in flight
High off a love
Drunk from the hate
It's like I'm huffing paint
And I love it the more that I suffer

I suffocate

I watched you that night as you trailed your fingers in my turtle-duck pond. I don't know how you got to it, the guards weren't supposed to let anyone in, but I'm glad they did that time – after all, who could resist whatever you ask? You didn't come for me that morning, I wondered where you went, and the rest of the day I could have sworn you avoided me. It was my coronation, it was a happy ending, but as I watched you that night by the pond, I knew you weren't happy. Neither was I, but how could I have told you then? I didn't love her, I don't love her now; it was you, always you, but the silence was deafening and I couldn't make my voice heard. The next morning you left, and I couldn't explain what was, only what it felt like, I squeezed out some polite words but the fewer tender things I could say before all, the more the Fire Nation air suffocated me, but if you had stayed I'd have suffered it gladly for a single moment with you. You left.

Pin 'em
So lost in the moments
When you're in 'em
It's the rage that took over
It controls you both
So they say it's best
To go your separate ways
Guess that they don't know ya
Cause today
That was yesterday
Yesterday is over
It's a different day

How could you have followed me? I went back to avoid you, avoid your people, the color red, onyx, fire, anything that could possibly have reminded me of you I was running away from, and I thought I had succeeded until I saw your spirits-forsaken ship in the harbor. I hated you, I hated you, I tried to run away from you, how could you have come for me? I didn't ask you to, and when you showed up at my door everything I had lost and everything I never had took over me, I turned into a different person entirely. I let it take me, because you had the gall to come for me, even when you returned to her, and I wasn't about to be your second pickings. You stood by and let me rage, you took my pain, and once I had finished and we were stepping in shards of pottery and ripped skins and feathers you put your hand on the curve of my cheek and whispered to me. You redirected me like you redirect lightning, but I know that I left my hate inside you, and I know that it planted a desperate and angry seed that grows little by little. Some days are better and some days are worse. That day was a better day.

Now I know we said things
Did things
That we didn't mean
And we fall back
Into the same patterns
Same routine
But your temper's just as bad
As mine is
You're the same as me
But when it comes to love
You're just as blinded
Baby please come back
It wasn't you
Baby it was me
Maybe our relationship
Isn't as crazy as it seems
Maybe that's what happens
When a tornado meets a volcano

Maybe I shouldn't have come for you, but spending another eternity without you wasn't an option, I didn't love her and I needed you, yearned for you, craved you like a starving man craves food and a leper craves company, and so I came for you that day and I let you rage. Maybe we shouldn't have done what we did and maybe we should have, we love and hate with an intensity that rivals that of the elements, and when I came for you in the night we fell into a routine that couldn't have been healthy. But spirits, I craved you, I kept my appearances and kept coming back to you, I know it had to hurt you, I kept saying I would leave her, but my country wouldn't let me, that's what I needed to believe, I didn't mean it. I didn't mean to hurt you, you're as blind now as you were then, and I don't mean to hurt you but it happens again.

Just gonna stand there
And watch me burn
But that's alright
Because I like
The way it hurts
Just gonna stand there
And hear me cry
But that's alright
Because I love
The way you lie

I love the way you lie

I know you'll never leave her and I'll never ask you to, I hate you but I love you, and all I can do is look out of my red silk bed hangings and hope you'll come to me that night, like you do every night, and tell me pretty little lies. You'll hold our children by the cradle and you'll love me like a cyclone, when all is said and done you'll break your fast with her, and I'll be another evening's memory. I'm standing by the cradle and I'm holding one of ours, and you come in tense and ready. I let you in, let you love me, let you love us, because even when morning comes and your lies have evaporated with the sun, I know that it was not the perfect way, but it was the only way. I can't help who I am and what they think, but against my better sense I wait expectantly and prepare myself for you, because I know that when you arrive it will be into a world of love and lies, and like your father, your grandfather, and your people, you were born to lie.

I love the way you lie.