Build a fortress around your heart, high as the sky and walls thicker than Ba Sing Se, but it won't do a bit of good if you forget to lock the doors.
Most people don't recognize Piandao until he introduces himself, and then they usually respond by trying to challenge him to a fight (the Idiots) or backing away slowly (the Smart Ones) but June just offered to buy him a drink.
Although it was nearing dark, but they decided that no, they'd rather take the chance of being attacked by highway bandits than spend the night in Chin Village.
June had never seen an eclipse before, and while it was very impressive, she still didn't understand why Piandao had been intent on visiting the Fire Nation capital the day of.
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw June take up his sword, experimenting with the weight and feel of it, and Piandao felt a little spark of something.
She'd long since found the sword and boomerang he'd hired her to find, and she was pretty sure he was just making stuff up at this point so he'd have an excuse - because honestly who ever heard of just a bear?
Sometimes, he swears they're having two different conversations with each other.
Every night, she stripped off her make-up, and every morning, she painted it back on while Piandao watched impatiently and wondered why she wasted her time with it.
There's something with them, but neither one is too eager to find out what exactly it is.
June's never really loved a man quite like this before, and it's really beginning to freak her out.
She thinks it hilarious that he promises forever and explains the joke's that he'll probably drop dead from old age in about ten years; he doesn't think it's funny, and she pouts because he has no sense of humor.
"Of course I find your fighting skills impressive; the way you punch and kick people so well simply astounds me."
Her laugh is dark and husky, and why does her amusement always come at his expense?
It isn't fair what the woman can do to him with just a look.
"The one place I never wanted to go," June grumbles, "and you decide that you absolutely have to go to the North Pole."
They visited the Tavern before he went back to the Fire Nation for one final hurrah, but then the next day he woke up on the ship in his cabin, and she was still here.
"So, apparently, hippo-cows are holy things in this village, and eating one is blasphemy of the worst kind - so no wonder everybody looks so hungry, right? - but Nyla didn't really care, and I told the people that you're a priest and I'm your apprentice and Nyla is your familiar because they wanted to kill us so try and act priest-like."
For an older guy, he has an incredibly nice body, and she ogles him enough to let him know that she appreciates it.
"Do I really have to remind you not to call me Panda?"
She was knocked flat on her back by the rather ugly individual when Piandao very calmly, very literally disarmed him then turned to ask her if she was all right.
There was a stand full of colorful painted masks, some with flowy, delicate designs; he bought her one of a dragon.
Smirking, Piandao flexed his hand and asked, "Care for a rematch?"
It's not a cliche, but a pun; Fire Men are hot.
They have no idea where they're going.
Piandao flinches when she suddenly goes quiet because he knows it preludes her insane tirades.
She loves all the things he can do with his hands.
June didn't have a dream guy; her dreams had always been filled living in the lap of luxury in her own castle with shiny, expensive things.
"I'll stop calling you Panda, if you stop calling me June Bug."
There are several reasons burned across his arms as to why he always wears long sleeves, and they all look like they were very painful.
The ignorant would call the way he fought an opponent as a dance, but she knew better than to insult him like that.
The first time she'd heard about the lesser known deserter, June had raised a toast to him saying, "Good for ol' Panda!"
When a man sees something shiny on the ground and kneels to see what it is, any woman who just happens to be with him should not mistake the situation for anything else and start laughing uncontrolably.
Instead of looking her in the eye, he had this habit of watching her lips when she spoke.
Piandao took in the situation and couldn't help but ask when she decided that Nyla should have a birthday cake complete with candles.
At first she thought he was just a swordsman, but he quotes haikus, goes on tangents about stupid war strategies, teases her, and does this magic trick with a coin for orphan kids so she's given up trying to label him.
If he had to describe her in one word, she'd be unforgettable.
Sometimes, he really had no clue if he were pursuing her or whether it was the other way around.
Piandao would forever swear that he did not fall in love (because that was for over-dramatic damsels), no, he decided to love her and then tried to get her to fall in love with him.
Her life had been simple, structured chaos before, but here he was, flipping the entire thing on its head.
June had odd tattoos in the most interesting places.
"The only reason," June said, deliberately dusting the obliterated snowball from her hair, "I'm not going to kill is you because corpses don't have body heat."
June hated when people talked about cliches, but damn, if being with him didn't leave her floating on air.
People are dead, but at least it's not them, and he still cannot believe that she just did that in the state she's in, swaying on her feet and looking smug and says, "And you say that my drinking is a bad thing, but that never would have worked if I'd been sober!"
He doesn't even like parties like this, neither does she, and they really don't even have to go, but he likes when she wears those dresses that have a split there and the neck drops to here.
There is a haiku he knows that describes her perfectly –
"Night's hair, Moon's pale skin
"Yet her tongue a sweet poison
"Hind lips cherry ripe."
Although June was a physical person - her hand on his arm, his shoulder, brushing against him as they walked, dragging him around by the hand - and all that could be considered normal and innocent, they both knew she wasn't innocent.
"How can you even see with your hair in your eyes like that?"
"I was wondering; did you really use to sing bass with the Rough Rhinos?"
There is no space between them, and his teeth are on her neck, each breath a shuddering gasp.
She was not a lady, with painted fans and fancy robes, and she wasn't delicate and refined but Piandao much preferred a real woman anyway.