Grant Me This

Songfic to 'Bring Him Home' from 'Les Miserables'. Zuko watches Aang sleep the night before the final battle. Cannon pairings stand, though only in passing mention.

Disclaimer; I own nothing. 'Bring Him Home' and the entire 'Les Miserables' play belongs to Victor Hugo, and Zuko and Aang go to Mike and Bryan.

God on high,
Hear my prayer.
In my need,
You have always been there.

He was sleeping. Zuko supposed that was best, after all. The kid would need all his strength if he was to stand even a snowball's chance in hell of defeating the Fire Lord.

Even though all that could be seen was the bright moon, Zuko still sent up a prayer for Aang's safety – for everyone's safety.

Agni, let him win. He's so young.

It was not the first time that Aang's youth had slapped Zuko across the face, nor would it be the last, spirits willing. But now was the most poignant time. Tomorrow, Aang would face Fire Lord Ozai, the most ruthless Fire Lord since Sozin himself.

The coming battle weighed heavily on the so-young Avatar, Zuko knew.

And yet, in sleep, he looked so peaceful and innocent. When Aang was asleep, Zuko saw the boy who had told him of his Fire Nation friend, Kuzon, and had wondered if he and Zuko could be friends, too?

Though the firebender would never admit it, even now, it had been a touching suggestion. Possibly what had started him on the road to defying his father and joining the Avatar.

He is young,
He's afraid.
Let him rest,
Heaven blessed.

He deserves to have a normal life, Zuko thought to himself, smiling slightly as Aang shuffled in his sleep and mumbled something about fruit pies.

"You should have at least let him have a life before he had to save the world!" Zuko hissed at the heavens. "He may never get to have a life..."

Bring him home
Bring him home
Bring him home.

Zuko's eyes turned toward Katara, never far from her little hope-symbol. Honestly, she had practically attached herself to Aang.

But Zuko knew why it was allowed.

Aang loved her. The firebender could see it in his eyes, that intense feeling that made you want to protect them, and help them to the height of their potential at the same time.

It was what he felt whenever he looked at Mai.

He's like the son I might have known,
If God had granted me a son.
The summers die,
One by one.
How soon they fly!
On and on.

"If I ever have a son," Zuko whispered to the sleeping Air Nomad, "I hope he'll be like you. Fun-loving and free. That's how every child ought to live."

The firebender watched his young student for a moment, imagining shimmering gray eyes, just like Aang's, staring up at him with all the love and admiration of a child.

"And if you die tomorrow, I'll name him Aang."

And I am old
And will be gone.
Bring him peace,
Bring him joy.
He is young,
He is only a boy.

Please, Agni, any spirit that will listen, he's too young for this. He deserves a life with his friends, he deserves to know love, and have a family.

"He deserves to grow up..."

You can take,
You can give.
Let him be,
Let him live.
If I die,
Let me die.
Let him live.

"I know someone will have to die tomorrow, but please, please," Zuko whispered, staring at the stars, "if it must be someone, not him. Let it be me, instead. He's too young to die in battle. Don't take him from us.

"I'll gladly pay the blood price, if you'll let him live."

Bring him home,
Bring him home,

Aang turned completely over in his sleep, and the expression of innocent happiness on his round face made Zuko smile.

Tenderly, as a brother or father would, he slid the fallen blanket back up the boy's shoulders, still small and thin despite months of training.

What else would he be but small? He's just a child.

"Agni, protect him," Zuko whispered into the night, turning away and slipping into his own bedroll.

Let him return victorious from this war...

Bring him home.


Aw, Zuko's a softie!

chibi-Zuko; rrr...

Don't be embarrassed, Zuko. You're cute when you're nice.

Review, please!