Bad at Being Good

Disclaimer: I Don't Own Avatar: The Last Air Bender In Any Way.

Rating: Pg—Pg-13, Just To Be Safe.

A/N: Um…yeah, I've been really into Avatar lately and had a small idea for a fic :P This takes place during the newest episode of Avatar, The Western Air Temple. So, yeah, there are spoilers so, unless you've seen the episode, don't read!!! Unless you want to :P

Anyway, it starts off with when Toph goes off to see Zuko in the middle of the night. This fic is going to concentrate a lot on Zuko, by the way, because I've been really into him lately XD so, without any further a due, please read and I hope you enjoy ;)


Toph ran through the forested area around her, using her feet as her eyes of course. She quickly dodged a tree in her path and continued. She sensed a single encampment ahead; it was poorly built but provided enough shelter for one and there was a fire before it. Under the tarp of the area was the body of a certain 16-year-old fire bender. She continued, rustling a few bushes as she made her way to him. She used her feet and could sense him shift up into a sitting position.

"Who's there?" his alert yet tired voice called out. When he heard no response, he sat up more. "Stay back!" he demanded as he bended fire towards the sound of the noise.

"It's me!" replied Toph's nervous voice as she bended a rock shield in front of her to block the flame. It protected her until she took a step back, though, and burned her feet. She let out a small cry from the sudden pain and fell to the ground under her.

Zuko's eyes widened and he rubbed the tiredness away to recompose himself.

"You burned my feet!" Toph stated heatedly. Zuko was now on his own feet, nervous.

"I'm sorry!" his edgy voice apologized. "It was a mistake!" He then began running towards the young girl's position to help her. Toph, though, became stern.

"Get away from me!" she demanded as she threw a rock she had bended to him. He easily dodged it, though. She continued flinging bended earth to him but he darted away from them until he was standing right behind her.

"Let me help you!" Zuko pleaded but Toph simple threw another rock to him; it missed his left side by mere inches as he ducked away from it. "I'm sorry!" she flung another at him but, of course, Zuko missed it and put a hand on her shoulder.

"Get off me! Get off me!" Toph ordered as she pushed him off and landed on her back. She then clicked her hands together and shot them up, which caused a piece of earth to come out of the ground and hit Zuko in the side and back towards his camp site on his back. He then sat up once more.

"I didn't know it was you!" he edgily explained but then groaned in pain as he put a hand to his sore left side. It was then that he looked up to see Toph leaving him. "Come back!" he pleaded as he watched his seemingly only hope crawl away from him. When the Avatar sees what he did, all hope of helping him would be lost. Nevertheless, the onyx-haired girl crawled off, quickly, into the forested darkness.

"Gah!" Zuko's saddened voice complained as he lay down on his back, annoyed at himself. "Why am I so bad at being good!?" he demanded to nobody in particular as he put his hands to his head and sadly sulked, uneasily relaxing back onto the ground. He stared up into the star-filled sky above him. What had he done? He just injured one of Aang's friends and most likely ruined his chance at helping him.

"I'm such an idiot," he mumbled miserably as he closed his eyes and sighed. The teen's eyes trembled before he opened them once more, only to be met with the shining stars above. He reached a hand up towards the sky, hoping that he could grab one of the stars and that said star could help him. But hope never seemed to be in his favor, now was it? No; he always had to fight for what he wanted; nothing ever came easy to him, unlike his prodigy of a sister, Azula.

He clenched his raised hand into a fist before laying it on his chest. He looked behind him, into the burning flames flickering on the wood. He groaned and sat up, facing the flames and bringing up his knees to hug them. The yellow-eyed teen started into the flickering flames, thinking of what would happen now that he had injured one of the Avatar's friends. He figured he had just made himself a target for him. He supposed he deserved that; why should Aang understand that it was simply an accident?

His yellow eyes closed tight as he held his legs tighter.

Maybe I should just give up, he thought sadly. Everything I do is wrong; I can't be good and I can't be bad either, his mental voice sounded terrible. Finally, when he had figured out what his destiny was, everything blows up in his face; much like it always did. His father was right about him; his sister was born lucky whereas he was lucky to be born. He was alone now; no one cared for him and no one should. In the long run, he'd lost everything; his honor, his father, his uncle, and his mother…

The last two things made his heat ache.

Mom…Uncle…he clutched his chest and could feel a small tear roll down his left cheek. His mom always supported him when he was younger; she liked him best when his father liked Azula. His mother; his sweet mother who would always tell him to keep going even when others, such as his sister, teased him about his abilities. His uncle; his philosophical uncle…who was the closest thing he had to a father in his life. His mother was dead and his uncle…his uncle was locked up and hates him.

How could he make them proud of whom he had become? He hurt so many people in his search for honor. He no longer yearned for honor, though. All he wanted was to help the Avatar in defeating the Fire Lord and ending the war. He suddenly remembered all the things he and his uncle had gone through in the past. Perhaps his uncle didn't hate him. What if his uncle was simple angry at him? Angry at him for making all the wrong choices when he could've done the right thing?

And his mother? What if she was watching him now? Waiting that he take initiative and go back to Aang for a second chance? It was then that he realized that he may have a shimmer of something to fight for now. The fire bender's eyes became stern as he gazed into the dancing flames.

I will help the Avatar, he thought. He needs a fire bending teacher…whether he trusts me or not…I must help him, he thought determinedly. It's my destiny. He leaned back on his palms and looked up to sky once more. If you're watching me, Mom, his less nervous voice thought. I hope I can make you proud…you and uncle both.

He stood up and walked back under his red tarp. He lay himself down and pulled his red cover over him. He needed as much rest as he could get; he would have to wake up early tomorrow to go back to Aang and his group and apologize for what he did to Toph, and for what he's done to them. He knew it wouldn't be easy but what ever was? He would make his mother proud of whom he was now; and his uncle as well.


A/N: OK, so I'm done with this :) Just a quick one-shot to show that Zuko does have a reason to keep going and that he won't let one little thing get in his way. Anyway, really short but I hope you all enjoyed it ;D Please do me a favor and R&R, constructive criticism, no flames ;) thanks! Be kind with reviews, too; it's my first Avatar fic so, yeah :)