Proud of Your Boy
By Requiem of Solance
Disclaimer: I Do not own anything but my ideas! The song Proud of Your boy Belongs to Disney and is sung by Clay Aiken.
An: This idea comes from me begin high on my medication cough I have a head cold paired with an chest cold and upper respiratory inflammation. Go ME! Note to self that wasn't a good idea. Also this isn't really song fic as this is the only time there will be song lyrics within the story plot. Beside this song fits Zuko so well it hurts!
Summary: Post day of the black sun and The Firebending masters. Zuko sits alone thinking about the choices he's made and his less that warm reception from most of the Gaang. He wonders if he made the right decision and wonders above all else if his mother, Ursa, would be proud of his decision to betray all he's known to help the Avatar. The Gaang listens as he sings to himself. In the process learning a little bit more about the boy they judged so quickly.
Waring: if you hate song fics or Au then this is not for you. Any review I get (if i get any) complaining on how Zuko can't sing or his mother wasn't this or that I will ignore.
AN: in this story Zuko can sing It is my belief that the firenation is a very musically inclined nation as they seem to be modeled after ancient Japanese culture. Plus it was deemed proper in many cultures for the children of royal families to take extensive lessons in music. Which can inculde Vocal training as it helps with pronunciation and annunciation. I Also think the water tribe is modeled after the ancient Inuit tribes. I also think that the airbenders are modeled after the buddist/Shaolin monks and I think the earthbenders are modeled after ancient Chinese or Korean culture. I like to study ancient civilizations and those are the ones that stuck. Yes I have to much time on my hands and yes I'm a geek .
Zuko sighed softly as he sat in the stone commons(1) of the Western air temple. That could have gone Better he thought sadly. He and the avatar had just returned from the sun warriors temple and as some as she had him alone the water tribe girl Katara his memories supplied had threatened him again. He had stupidly shown them the Improvement in his Firebending capabilities. Not only was he stronger that before but his flames once a deep red burned a now whitish orange a huge sign it their increase in power. Zuko sighed softly it was always one step forward and three steps back with that girl what's worse she influenced two thirds of the group and now only Toph and Aang would give him the time of day. Well, he though sardonically Sokka would too, amidst his endless malicious teasing. But Zuko though bitterly I would prefer the silent treatment I'm getting from the girl in place of his teasing any day. Zuko sighed softly again murmuring sadly:
"Well I suppose it is partly my fault; they have no idea why I've done what I've done. Why i had no real choice..." He sighs softly. They known nothing of the Firenation laws, nothing of the cruelty of the Firenation council the cruelty of his father. They never wondered why the Firenation armies would do anything for victory why they would rather Die than admit failure to their lord. In the Firenation the Firelord's word was Absolute. To Fail him meant death. To disobey him is Death. How could any other nation understand that without experiencing it themselves? He was one of the lucky one's he had dared to challenge the word of his Lord. He had dared to disobey him and only the fact that his father loved to watch him suffer more than he loved the thought of his death had spared him death. Zuko sighed softly depressed; he had known for a long time that his father didn't love him Who would name their child, their own flesh and blood, Failure(2)?
He sighed again thinking of his mother, wondering if she was proud of her boy? She had told him that her people the Airnomads(3) had valued family and balance above all. Zuko had all but forsaken his family including his uncle Iroh the only one other than Lu-ten and her that had loved him. He wondered despite all his mistakes would she be proud of her failure of a son? He sigh once again pushing his depressing thoughts away for now as he pulled out his Pipa. Music was also a large part of the Firenation culture they lived for music. In the time before his grandfather Azulong there had always been music playing in the streets of the capital city. But his grandfather and his father hated music. They hated it with such passion that it had been forbidden within the confines of the capital for the last one hundred years. It didn't keep his mother from teaching her son the wonders of music. She had managed to pass her love of music on to her son who would in turn pass it to his children if he lived long enough to have children that is. He held the flute up to his lips and played a soft lilting bar that inadvertently woke the person in the room closet to the commons Katara.
Katara stirred silently in her bed as the bar of a sad song floated through her consciousness. Confused she sat up wondering if she had imagined the music. No one in the temple to her knowledge could play an instrument. She knew for a Fact Sokka and Aang couldn't. Haru she wasn't so sure and she knew the duke was to young to be that skilled with an instrument. Plus she thought as soft humming joined the music in-between the bars that voice is older than he could ever manage. She listened closely the voice was definitely male which ruled out Toph. besides Toph could sing about as well as a drunken hogmonkey in heat so she was sure it wasn't her. she had already ruled out Haru, Sokka, Aang, and The Duke. So that left Teo and Zuko. She issued softly at the though of Zuko singing but reasoned with her self that the voice was to old to be Teo. Angry she got up to silence the Firebender and return to sleep when the beginning of a song reached her ears.
"Proud of your boy, I'll make you proud of your boy, Believe me, bad as I've been ma, You're in for a pleasant surprise..."
She stopped outside her door and was greeted by the sight of the others crowded around the entrance of the commons. "What's going..." Toph cut her of with a quick 'shut up sugar queen'. Oh how she hated that name. As she was about to voice her indignation Zuko's continued his song unawares of his silent audience.
"I've wasted time, I've wasted me, So say I'm slow for my age, a late bloomer, Okay, I agree..."
She watched as Zuko seem to laugh at himself bitterly as he said softly "More that a late bloomer, I could never do any thing in my father's eyes nothing I ever did was ever enough to make him love me... to make him proud of his boy." He laughed bitterly again the sound chilling her despite of herself "only my mother was proud of her failure of a son. I wonder would she be proud of me?" he murmured before continuing his song.
"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..."
Zuko laughed again startling them all with the heartbreaking sound "I remember when we where little Azula would always laugh and say: Father's gonna kill you Zuzu and I'll be an only child not that you much competition! and she would laugh and run away before m you would catch her mother." He laughed "Azula has always been such a liar father would never kill me..." he voice took on a solemn tone "He's always preferred watching me suffer instead. it's funny I wonder why I try so hard to make the people around me see me as me. To love or accept me when my own family treats me the same way?" the Gaang flinched slightly because Toph had not disputed any of his statements as lies. Zuko's voice took on a more self-depreciating tone as he continued his song. His last promise to his mother.
"You'll see ma, now comes the better part, Someone's gonna make good, Cross his stupid heart, Make good and finally make you, Proud of your boy!"
"I'm haven't forgot what you said to me the night you disappeared the night grandfather Azulong died." He spoke up suddenly startling the Gaang. "I may have forgotten myself for a long time but I remember now I and won't forget again" he said determinedly "And I'll teach the others of the Firenation teach them what their Gaang up against make them ready for the truth." He spoke softly and sadly as if the truth of his nation's secret hurt him more that any wound could.
"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, Well that couldn't be all that I am! Water flows under the bridge, Let it pass, let it go, There's no good reason that you should believe me, not yet, I know, but..."
"Even if they refuse to believe me at first I did inherit one thing from the Airnomads!" Aang gasped softly "if not Their Airbending, I at least inherited Their patience!" Zuko spoke up firmly steel interlaced in his words. "One day they will had to believe and I shall await that day even if it never comes within my life time!"
"Someday and soon, I'll make you proud of your boy, Though I can't make myself taller, Or smarter or handsome or wise"
"One day maybe after this war the Firenation will no longer live in fear of it's leader." He murmured to the disbelief of the watching Gaang. "The Firenation afraid of their leader Ya right." Sokka scoffed quietly. "He's telling the truth Snuzzles..." Toph murmured quietly from behind him. "no way..." Teo murmured softly falling quite as Zuko sang the last verse of his song.
"I'll do my best what else can I do?, Since I wasn't born perfect, Like Uncle or you, Mom I will try to, Try hard to make you, Proud of your boy..."
Zuko trailed of quietly playing his Pipa feeling better that he had in a long time. He had need this, needed to be alone to sort out his feeling on his decision. He felt as if he had made the right choice and where ever she was he knew in his heart that his mother would indeed be. Proud of her boy.
TBC? I was going to make this a one shot but I want your opipons.
(1) It is a temple so it stand that it has a common area. In this story it where they usually meet by the large fountain.
(2) I read in a story (Dragons of the west By FireChild slytherin) that Zuko means Failure and Beloved in two different languages.
(3) Au: in my Avatarverse His Great-Grandmother was an airnomad as was his mother. In the cannon verse his mother was a nonbender and that leaves her a blank slate of the inmaginative author.