For the Love of a Duck
Chapter of Swan
Act 8- End Duet
The elder man who'd come to think of Fakir as a dearest son was in awe as he saw the young girl coming with him down the stairs.
"Ahiru?" He questioned, almost certain his old eyes were playing tricks with him.
She nodded, "I'm back, Charon. Fakir…Fakir…he wrote me a story."
His eyes widened at that, and he gave a questioning gaze towards the young man. He'd known from the beginning that the boy he'd taken in had scars that bore a striking resemblance to the knight from the tale of the Prince and the Raven and after that, things just seemed to keep falling into place.
They'd found a young boy who seemed to be without a heart. His role clearly that of the Prince from the tale.
And then there was Ahiru. The small duck who could not only turn into a girl, but was also the character Princess Tutu. She would be the one who would sacrifice it all to save the Prince, and in the end- that's what she did.
But even Charon hadn't truly known the extent of Fakir's powers as a story spinner when he'd first taken him in. For who would suspect that one of the characters in Drosselmeyer's story would also be the story spinner to break the curse?
In the end though, his writing was what saved the town from the tragedy of the ravens that Drosselmeyer so desired. He could write stories that became real- but those stories had to be about Ahiru.
Sometimes the old man had thought to himself that Fakir should write himself and Ahiru an ending they deserved. He could see it in both of them- the longing to return to the way things were before. And now, now it looked as if that wish of his had indeed come true.
A warm smile on his face, he gently embraced the young girl. "Ahiru, I'm glad I'll finally get to know you better as the girl my Fakir has come to love."
Both of the youngsters started at that, but aside from a light blush- they said nothing.
They would be a happy family together now. And that was something they were all grateful for.
It seemed like they had an entire lifetime to catch up on, but finally Charon knew if the two were to attend school the next day he'd best let them both sleep.
He made sure to pull out the trunk of Ahiru's belongings they'd kept after she'd returned to her form as a duck. The man always hoping that someday they'd be needed by the girl again.
She gathered up her armful of clothing and headed upstairs, haphazardly piling them in the corner of Fakir's room when they got there.
They each changed into their nightclothes and stood in the doorway, Ahiru curious as to why Fakir had paused so abruptly.
"Um…Ahiru?" The boy said slowly.
"Neh, Fakir?" She questioned in return, wondering what could possibly be the problem.
"I…only have one bed."
The orange-haired girl blinked as she processed that, her face blushing bright red as the implications sank in.
"Don't worry I can sleep on the floor. I don't mind sleeping on the floor, I am a duck at heart after all- the floor won't bother me at all. Nope- not at all so don't you worry about me!" She laughed nervously.
He shook his head, "I'll sleep on the floor."
"It won't kill me. Sheesh, come on now- we need to sleep, Neko-sensei will probably expect you to demonstrate your dancing when we get there. You don't want to make an idiot out of yourself, do you?"
She pouted, "Hey! I'm not that bad!"
He picked up a blanket and laid it out on the floor.
"Fakir- really, I don't mind sleeping on the floor…"Ahiru continued, hugging her duck-shaped pillow close.
"Neither do I, so just take the bed…"
"It's your bed, Fakir!" She protested as if that made all the difference.
"And I said you could use it," He shot back as he pulled the blanket up over his head.
"Are you sure?"
"Are you…really sure?"
"Are you really really really…"
"Yes, I am!" Fakir exclaimed glaring at her. His mind remarking that despite its annoyance, it was nice to have things back to…well, his kind of normal.
Glad that she finally relented, he tugged the blanket back over his head.
The soft footsteps headed towards the direction of the bed though, paused.
"What is that idiot doing now?" He thought to himself, quirking and eyebrow up.
There was a rustling of the blanket from the bed and then, he felt the presence beside him.
"Ahiru- what are you doing?"
She blinked at him innocently; her large blue eyes inches from his face.
"If you're gonna sleep on the floor then so will I!"
Fakir sighed, and decided that if he wasn't so exhausted from the day he'd just been through that he'd slap his forehead in irritation.
"This is rather unnecessary."
But this time, Ahiru had him beaten.
Leaning forward against him and resting her head beneath his, she muttered her reply, "I know. I'm always doing unnecessary things. That's just the way I am."
He couldn't withhold the slight smile that tugged at the corner of his lips, and before he knew it, he was reaching out to wrap an arm around her.
"You'll get cold, idiot."
"No I won't," Ahiru replied, her face flushed at how close they were.
The room fell silent and the emerald-haired man felt her snuggle up closer against him.
The next morning was full of a new kind of chaos- namely one human girl named Ahiru waking up.
First, she ended up practically punching Fakir on having forgotten their rather close positioning from the night before. Then, she spent a few minutes running around trying to figure out how it was she'd been changed back into a girl. Fakir was learning quickly- Ahiru always woke up with a bang.
"Ahiru- calm down. You weren't dreaming, okay? Now we need to get ready for school."
"School?!" She practically squeaked, "Oh no, I'm making you late aren't I? Argh…now we're both going to be late and Neko-sensei will get mad and…"
She paused as Fakir placed a finger over her lips.
"Ahiru. It's all right. We've got time."
Taking a deep breath, she broke into a smile.
"I know- but it felt good to do that again."
Fakir blinked in surprise before registering what she was up to.
"Idiot…" He muttered.
After that fiasco, they both managed to get into their uniforms and headed out the door.
The school grounds were just coming to life as the time for classes slowly neared; people bustling between buildings and chatting with friends.
Many of the girls stopped on seeing Fakir coming in with a new girl beside him. They could tell from the way they acted, that the two were close and some of them slowly chalked it up as yet another guy lost to another girl.
"So Edel's back?" Ahiru asked excitedly as Fakir was telling her of some of the troubles he'd gone through the day before.
"Yeah, she's got a small jewelry shop. She seemed happy. We'll have to visit after school."
She nodded happily, her long orange-braid bobbing up and down with the motion.
"Well whatdya know…" The smug voice intoned from behind them; both recognizing it right away.
"Aotoa-sempai!" Ahiru exclaimed as she rushed over to hug the young musician.
He started at the sudden contact, and caught his glasses just in time before they fell off and shattered on the ground. Once in two days was quite enough.
"I see it worked out, eh Fakir-kun?" The older boy asked as he pried himself free of Ahiru's grip.
"Not a word, Aotoa," Fakir warned with a glare.
The three stood there, talking like old friends and gaining the attention of many of the other students wondering who the new girl was and how she'd caught the interest of two boys so quickly. But as suddenly as they began, the two drifted away. Aotoa headed towards the music building and Fakir and Ahiru headed towards the ballet one.
"Now…I just have to convince Neko-sensei that Ahiru has the talent to dance." He thought to himself nearing the building.
Stepping through the door, Fakir lurched as he felt a sharp tug on his arm dragging him in.
"Fakir-san, thank goodness you're here early!" The purple-haired teacher said, pushing him towards the main room.
"Neko-sensei?" He stammered, not the least bit surprised by Ahiru's current facial expression.
"He's…not a cat?!" She questioned, a bit caught off guard by the man in the cat's stead.
Walking into the room, Fakir noticed that the intermediate class was seated by the bars waiting for their missing teacher to return.
"Freya twisted her ankle this morning; we need to find you another partner before the performance and fast!" He exclaimed, not yet noticing the young girl who trailed behind Fakir.
"I think…I have someone…" Fakir spoke up, moving aside to reveal Ahiru standing behind him, "This is Ahiru, we've…danced together before. Trust me, she'll be okay as long as I lead."
Ahiru shot him an irritated glare at the implication she was less than perfect, but let the matter slide.
Neko-sensei just smiled, "Is she- the one?"
Fakir blushed, his eyes quickly looking away, "…yeah."
The teacher tapped his chin thoughtfully, before excitedly replying, "Well then, this dance shall merely be one step forward towards your loving future and ma-ma-marriage!"
They shifted uncomfortably at how open he was speaking of their relationship, the stares of several of the other students falling on them both.
Clapping his hands together, Neko-sensei cleared the floor, "Class- please step aside a moment so our leads might practice. Ahiru-san will be stepping in to dance opposite Fakir-san. He's already assured me of her talents, plus I'm certain that their deep feelings towards one another will only reflect positively in their dancing."
The two sighed, while a few of the girls pouted in disappointment that Fakir was indeed taken.
As the music began, the room fell quiet though- all eyes watching the couple move out to the center of the floor.
The music swelled and slowly, the two began their dance. Each movement, each step- was perfect. Fakir supported Ahiru easily and she moved eloquently, like a swan gliding across the water's surface.
A silent sense of awe befell the classroom as the two continued their dance. Their sentiments were floating in the air with the notes of the music. It was the purest of emotions, and they'd finally captured it at last.
It was as if the two were made to dance in each other's arms.
And so they did, forevermore.
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