Proud of Your Boy

by WSJ

WSJ: ^_^; I AM working on my other fics. The next chapter of Like a Thief is almost done, I swear. Sophomore and Curse are currently stuck, and HSWA is moving along, although veeery sloooowly. So expect Like a Thief to be updated next. *gets chased around by Tales fans* Eeeee!

Disclaimer: I don't own YGO in any way, shape or form. I don't own this song either, though it has been stuck in my head for the past couple days. It's from the Disney version of Aladdin, and was cut from the finished movie. You can hear it if you have the new special edition DVD, though. ^_~ Tis a very good, very sad song.

This fic takes place after the events of my fic God Speed (Sweet Dreams), though you don't have to read it to understand this. Also, this is set just after Duelist Kingdom, while Pegasus is in a hospital recuperating from the loss of the Eye. Got it? Good, then go have fun, and please leave reviews! ^^

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Quote of the fic:

"It is never too late to be what you might have been."
~(George Eliot)

For Skyla Doragono,
Who got to this song before me,
and wrote the version I was planning on writing,
and did it so much better than I ever could.

The first thing he was aware of was her face.

It was hazy, and seemed to float in and out of focus, but it was her.

She looked sad, and strained, and he felt his heart clench in answering pain. She was... worried, he suddenly realized. Worried about him. She looked so sad... She was never supposed to be sad.

And he was the one who was doing this to her.

Tears welled up behind his closed eyes, stinging the stitches on the left side of his face. The sudden pain grounded him, waking him from the half-drugged slumber where he'd been drifting. Her face vanished as he was brought back to the world of consciousness, although his remaining eye was still shut.

For a long time he just lay there, his hands balled into fists around the bed sheets and his eyes tightly shut against tears. How could he have done all those things? Stealing souls, kidnapping, coming very close to murder... She would never have wanted that, even if it did give him the power to bring her and his love back. How could he have ever thought that path was the one to take?

"Oh mother...."

Proud of your boy.
I'll make you proud of your boy...

He had a sudden vision of what it would have been like had he succeeded. Yugi Moto would more than likely be dead, along with that pale boy, Ryou Bakura. He'd have brought his mother and his beloved Cynthia back, but in one flash of guilt-driven pain, he could see the horror-stricken looks on their faces. He would have brought them back, but he would have become a monster. They'd have left him again, by choice, to avoid what he had become...

Sniffling, Pegasus Crawford rolled over on his side, pulling the flimsy hospital blanket up around his shoulders. Maybe it was a good thing, then, that Yami no Bakura had taken the Eye. Maybe he was better off without it.

Believe me, bad as I've been, Ma
You're in for a pleasant surprise...

"What's happened to me...?" he whispered quietly into the darkness. "What was I these past couple years?"

He knew the answer to that, too. Insane, that's what. His grief after his mother's death had made him depressed. Cynthia's death had made him angry. The Eye had turned it into insanity. Insanity had driven him to obsession, and obsession into near-irreversible darkness.

Pegasus shuddered slightly, squeezing his remaining eye more tightly closed, as if to block out the horrible memories of all that he'd done.

"I'm sorry..." he whispered, curling in on himself. "Please don't hate me... Please still love me, mother..."

I've wasted time
I've wasted me
So say that I'm slow for my age
A late bloomer, okay, I agree...

Unbidden, another memory rose to the surface. One from so long ago, that at first, Pegasus didn't recognize it.

He'd been sixteen and a high school sophomore in America at the time. He'd delayed coming home as long as he could, but finally he'd trudged into the kitchen, sulking with his head tipped forward and his hair in his face. Of course, his mother had spotted the purple bruise through the silver hair almost immediately. Like almost any mother, she'd grabbed his chin and demanded to know where the heck he'd gotten a black eye.

And, of course, like almost any teenager, he'd fidgeted and dropped his eyes, and she'd had to shake the answers out of him. When the story came out, she'd just sighed and shook her head. He'd never forgotten what she said next.

"I suppose it had to happen sometime," she'd said. "Normal people are always so jealous of angels like you."

When he'd asked her what she meant, she'd just smiled and shook her head. Then, as punishment for getting into a fight in the first place, she'd made him sit down and right a letter of apology to the other boy who'd been involved, even though it had been his fault the fight started, not Pegasus's.

Remembering that, Pegasus let out a shuddering sob. He hoped his mother couldn't see him now. In high school he'd been a gentle artist, a pacifist. He'd held all life sacred, and had hated confrontation of any kind, from a simple argument all the way up to and including all major wars. Now...

Now he was no better than the bullies and jocks he'd hated so much back then.

That I've been one rotten kid
Some son, some pride and some joy
But I'll get over these lousin' up
Messin' up, screwin' up times...

"I'm sorry..." he whispered again. "I wish..."

But it was over now. Yugi had triumphed, Mokuba was back with his brother, the elder Moto was fine. The Eye was gone, everything had ended for the better, and Pegasus was still alive. Maybe... Maybe it was time for a second chance.

Kaiba would never trust him again. In fact, the majority of Japan probably hated his guts now, depending on what Yugi and Seto had told the media, but Pegasus could live with that. He could go back to America, that was where Industrial Illusions had its main branch anyway. He could start over again, so to speak.

Pegasus opened his eye and sat up in the darkened hospital room, reaching over to flip on the lamp that sat beside his bed. Yes, he could go far away, where no one he'd hurt would have to remember him, and he could start again. But first...

You'll see, Ma, now comes the better part
Someone's gonna make good
Cross his stupid heart

Rummaging through the drawers of the bedside table, Pegasus pulled out a piece of the hospital stationery and a pen. After a few minutes of struggling and a brief dizzy spell he managed to pull the rolling table over to his bed, and settled back against the pillows to write.

He owed this to them, at least, after all the trouble he'd caused. To himself. To his mother.

Make good and finally make you
Proud of your boy...

By the time he'd finished, it was nearing six a.m. and he was exhausted. Weakly pushing the table away from him, Pegasus sank down into the covers, a letter several pages long resting protected under one hand.

This was how the nurse found him when she came to check on him later. At her gentle touch he woke up, blinking (or was it winking?) at her in slight disorientation. After a moment he finally recollected where he was and asked her for an envelope and stamp. She nodded and left, and a moment later returned with the requested items. Pegasus folded the letter and slipped it inside, quickly addressing it and adding the stamp.

"Please make sure this gets mailed," he told the nurse, leaning back against the pillows again and holding the letter out to her. "It's very important."

She bobbed something halfway between a curtsy and a nod. "Of course, Mr. Pegasus."

Tell me that I've been a louse and a loafer
You won't get a fight here, no ma'am
Say I'm a goldbrick, a goof-off, no good
But that couldn't be all that I am...

"Mother once told me that a man is only as good as his apologies. I haven't had much practice at them, but I hope this will suffice.

"Tell Wheeler that I truly hope his sister will be all right. I know what it is to lose one's sight, and I hope she never does. I saw great things from him at Duelist Kingdom, and I look forward to watching the rest of his dueling career - from a long distance, of course.

Water flows under the bridge
Let it pass, let it go
There's no good reason you should believe me
Not yet, I know, but...

"Kaiba-boy can go to hell for all I care, he's a stuck-up pig with no fashion sense or manners. I am glad, however, that Mokuba doesn't seem to carry any ill effects from his time in my pocket. Please give him my sincerest apologies, I was not myself. I know it will be hard for him to believe, but in the beginning I had no intention of harming anyone or anything. My selfishness got far too far out of hand.

Someday and soon
I'll make you proud of your boy

"I send you a warning, too. Watch out for the new holder of the Eye. Good riddance, he can have it, but something tells me you won't like it very much. Though you'll probably like its new holder better than you like me.

"Tell little Ryou I harbor him no hard feelings, and that I actually want to thank him. He'll know what you mean.

Though I can't make myself taller
Or smarter or handsome or wise...

"Oh, and before I forget. You seem to attract strange people and things, so I suppose I should give you a heads up. If a dice-toting duelist by the name of Otogi shows up, go easy on him. I have every intention of getting back to him once I'm finished finalizing my move.

"Hai, I'm moving. All the way to America. So you have nothing more to fear from me, Yugi-boy. Doesn't that make you happy?

I'll do my best, what else can I do?
Since I wasn't born perfect like Dad or you...

"One last thing, Yugi-boy, and your Spirit too.

"I'm sorry."

Mom, I will try to...

Yugi smiled at the letter, putting it down and turning to look out the window at the bright blue sky. Who would have ever expected Pegasus to send a formal apology? It seemed he'd really changed for the better now, although his hints that he knew who had the Eye now had Yugi a bit worried. But that was all right. Together he and the Spirit could tackle anything.

Try hard to make you...

Pegasus glanced out the plane window as Japan faded behind the clouds, and then reached up to fidget with his eye patch. Damn thing was going to take a lot of getting used to...

Settling back in his seat, he let out a little sigh and closed his eye, deciding to try and nap on the long ride to America. He smiled a little as a fuzzy, half-seen figure darted across the back of his closed eyelid, and the warmth of arms and angels' wings surrounded him.

"I love you Pegga. You are my son, and I will always forgive you. I'm proud you had the strength of heart to write that, my Little Winged One..."

Proud of your boy...

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God bless minna-san!