Author: SoSaysL PM
"Our story may seem typical at first." Drosselmeyer murmured, "but soon it shall become dark, dangerous, and devastatingly gorgeous." His tragedy would be a perfect one, filled with something for every taste: romance and drama, undercurrents of mystery and intrigue, subtle horror and heartwrenching sacrifice. The only question is, do the characters have other plans? AURated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Tragedy - Fakir & Ahiru - Chapters: 43 - Words: 91,445 - Reviews: 151 - Favs: 35 - Follows: 34 - Updated: 06-04-13 - Published: 08-04-12 - id: 8391952
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"A greater power than we can contradict hath thwarted our intents." Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
Chapter 25: Fakir, Mysteriously Absent
"Aw! Look at him! He just wants to be loved!" Ahiru hummed, petting the raven as it nestled in her slender arms. "Isn't he adorable, Fakir?"
The juxtaposition of something as evil as the raven and a girl as bright and lovely as Ahiru…was almost inconceivable to Fakir. He blinked at Ahiru as she cuddled the feathered raven, stroking its dark glossy wings. She was seemingly oblivious to everything.
The raven tilted its monstrous head at Fakir, its red eyes glinting dangerously. Horrendous memories whirled through his head at the raven's gaze.
Suddenly, Fakir felt very, very stupid. You overreacted. Not everything's about heroics and saving the day. Not deserving of a man card stamp at all.
Yet, his lips tightened into a grimace. Ahiru looked up, suddenly remembering about Fakir. "Fakir! Come over! I promise he won't peck you! He's really, really nice! I'm calling him Fluffy! Why don't you try to pet him?"
At the revolted look on Fakir's face, Ahiru knelt and gently released the crow from her embrace. "I love you!" She sang, petting the top of its head affectionately. "Go, little Fluffy! Fly and be free!"
Fakir could have sworn the crow gave him the evil eye before taking to the air, wings beating in harsh, jagged strides, to join its brethren on the roof.
"What are you doing!?" Fakir snarled, having reluctantly re-sheathed his sword. "That thing could have killed you!"
"But it didn't!" Ahiru said innocently, hands clasped over her chest in the picture of naiveté. "He's adorable! And guess what? Fluffy wouldn't have killed me! I know it!"
Fakir rubbed his temple, at a loss for words. "You're putting yourself in danger. It doesn't work that way. There only needs to be one murderous raven for you to lose your life."
"Well, maybe you're the one who's too paranoid!" Ahiru said indignantly. "Just look at how Fluffy turned out!"
"You IDIOT!" Fakir scowled. "Calling a raven FLUFFY? Ravens aren't fluffy, you moron! They have feathers!"
"I know, but, well, feathers can be fluffy!" Ahiru returned.
"You know what, you moron? Forget it. Next time I won't overreact." Fakir said. Instantly, he regretted that he had said such a thing.
Ahiru seemed taken aback, but she was too stubborn to concede. "Fine then."
"Fine." Fakir returned.
For a moment, the two simply stood there, arms crossed, hoping the other would compromise. Ahiru didn't understand why Fakir was so upset about Fluffy. Why couldn't he just move on? These were nice ravens, not the kind that wanted to kill people!
Fakir, for his part, didn't see how Ahiru could be such an idiot. Ravens were vicious. They could kill, and they already had killed...his parents. Maybe that particular raven... Fluffy... could have not sliced her body to shreds with cold, black talons, but the rest? All set for murder. He hadn't liked the look in Fluffy's red eyes, either.
Maybe all ravens like her. Maybe you're the one who's an idiot. A voice whispered, and Fakir shook his head.
"I'll see you at our lessons today, then." Fakir said, somewhat distant. The image of Ahiru, bright-haired and angelic, cuddling the evil raven seemed to be stuck in his mind. That tender look in her eyes usually reserved for Fakir for that raven, of all creatures, belonging to the foul fowl who had murdered his parents...What had she said? I love you... her sweet voice had whispered to the monstrous black bird. I love you...
Am I so pathetic that I'm getting jealous of a bird? Named Fluffy? Fakir asked himself.
"Bye. I'm going to go dance now." Ahiru replied, and with that she turned and left.
Fakir was left, doubting himself, the ravens, and even Ahiru. Had those ravens meant murder? Was Fluffy actually a friendly raven? Or was Fakir simply dramatizing everything in order to get man card stamps?
The murder of ravens perched on the roof of the studio fixed him under their unyielding red-eyed gazes, and Fakir could not pretend that he didn't feel terror gathering in his heart.
Ahiru was alone, stretching in the splits, when she heard a knock at the door.
"Come in!" she called. Rue entered, her wine-red eyes searching Ahiru's instantly. Ahiru stopped what she was doing and went to Rue at once. "Hi Rue! How are you doing?"
"Well, thank you." Rue replied.
"Did you hear the suspicious disembodied voice again?" Ahiru asked, suddenly remembering with the ditziness that was her trademark characteristic.
"Oh, no. I might have been just dreaming."
Rue had seemed so urgent on that day. It was highly unlikely. Ahiru bit her lip, debating on whether she should tell Rue about the night she had found herself in the form of Odette. It seemed so long ago, and now it hardly even mattered. Maybe she had simply been hallucinating. She decided against it.
"Okay..." For a moment there was silence.
"What did you think of rehearsal today?" Rue asked.
Ahiru tried to appear nonchalant. "I don't think Autor should choreograph the ballet with both the prince and princess leaping to their death. Even though their love lives eternally and all that stuff, I'd rather have them embrace in real life on the stage."
"Why does it matter so much to you?"
Ahiru looked at Rue hesitantly.
"Does it have to do with Fakir?"
Ahiru's breath caught in her throat. Suddenly, it all came spilling out. "I know it's just a story, but I can't help but feel that all endings should be happy... Fakir, he..." Ahiru looked up, and Rue could read what she was feeling.
"Fakir? I don't think he's that keen on them. Didn't you notice he just said that Rothbart should die? He's more interested in justice."
Ahiru's eyebrows furrowed slightly.
"And besides, he's incredible at dancing. I've also heard that he's a swordmaster; can you believe it? He probably thinks that his 'happy ending' involves someone just as talented as he is. Hell, can you imagine being that good at everything? No wonder half the girls in the school belong to his fanclub." Rue tried to hide her smirk. The damage was just beginning.
Ahiru stammered, "but...but I..."
"Don't get alarmed! I'm sure he has a brotherly love for you. After all, you're so cute when you trip over nothing. Your dancing is also adorable, especially with your ducklike movements and turned-in feet. It might even be pity that keeps him next to you, but your personalities...and talents... are as different as night and day. I'm certain that you're happy, though. Just don't blame me for not warning you when it all goes wrong."
"Prophetic words...you'd do well to listen, little duck!" Drosselmeyer said, an evil scheme clearly dancing in his eyes.
All pretense of composure lost, Ahiru stared at Rue in total alarm. He did seem very upset with me about the ravens...
"Well, I'll leave you to your practicing. See you tomorrow!" The door swung behind Rue.
Ahiru was left alone with unsettling thoughts despite the fact she knew they weren't true. It took all the strength of her optimistic character to push Rue's words out of her mind.
Ahiru had been waiting for ten minutes, and Fakir hadn't arrived. Where was he? Dutifully, she practiced ballet with a calm expression. Tendu. Stretch the leg completely. Plie. Don't sit in that position. Tendu. Plie. Steady flow of motion into develope, on the ground. Place the leg carefully. Develope, extended off the ground. Point the foot, make sure it's properly placed. Balance, en releve, for four counts. Hold the core together, keep the gaze straight ahead, lock the arches to balance without wobbling. Repeat to front, back, and side. Now, for the left. Once more.
She imagined Fakir standing next to her, scowling at the limpness of her arms or the spaghetti-ness of her legs.
He was so inspirational, even though his words were nothing short of insulting. But there was one thing Ahiru had learned about Fakir, it was that he really wanted the best for her in spite of what he said.
After twenty minutes had passed, Ahiru shrugged slightly to herself and tried to explain it away.
Maybe he's sick. Maybe he forgot. Maybe he has a dance class. Maybe there's a special rehearsal just for him that he can't miss. Maybe he's actually a ninja and he got called away to steal a precious treasure from a vaulted fortress.
Wouldn't be that surprising, what with his ninja skills and all.
Or maybe he's so angry with me about Fluffy that he's skipping the lesson. But Fakir's always been reasonable, even though he is an idiot sometimes! How did I manage to fall for a moron like him? A sexy, kick-ass moron who is adored by all the fangirls, but a moron nonetheless. Anyway, I'm sure he'll tell me tomorrow.
It wasn't in her nature to dwell on other, more sinister reasons. Instead, she chuckled to herself lightly at the image of Fakir leaping from building to building, sending silver ninja stars in every direction.
Two hours had passed. Darkness spilled from the windows onto the floor like ink. The black silhouettes of ravens perching on the trees outside were barely visible against the deep black-blue of the night sky.
Ahiru couldn't help a glance behind her to check if Fakir was there in the studio, even though she knew he couldn't be.
Silently, Ahiru left the building as her footsteps quietly pattered against the sidewalk. The dark, moonless sky provided only faint white contours of objects around her in the darkness of the night, making it difficult to find her way. Ahiru hardly noticed, as her head was bowed and her brow furrowed.
Her mind was troubled, Rue's words echoing in her ears and Fakir's stricken expression haunting her thoughts.
Fakir...where are you?