And I take my first flying leap (or rather, more like a meager and shaky step) into the fanfiction realm of Princess Tutu. I'm aware the fandom is small, despite how wonderful the story and characters are. And thus, I offer it my humble writer's love, however inadequate it may be.
Those of you who wish to flame me for unfinished works of other anime/manga, feel free. I write what I have the inspiration and motivation to write. And I don't force myself to do so unless those requirements are both present.
And now, to the story. I hope you enjoy it. And please leave a review if you have any comments or criticisms.
Notes: This is a one-shot. And the beginning starts in the present, but is soon reflected to things that happened months beforehand. I hope you can follow the changes.
Disclaimer: I don't own Princess Tutu or any of its characters.
Another day, another dispute.
Despite the height in voice ranges and anger evident in facial expressions, the redhead girl and scowling boy were always including physical contact with each other during these shouting matches. Pushing, pulling, hair-tugging...
The spectators found it "cute". One of the currently-onlooking duo in particular was positively gushing at the sight. The other, brushing a stray curly lock of violet-magenta hair aside, could only sigh with a short, "They really shouldn't flirt so often in public if they don't like the rumors."
"Oh, but it's just so adorable!" her blonde companion would squeal, nearly jumping up and down in uncontained excitement. "Just look at the way Ahiru's face flushes when she screams at him! So cute!"
Another sigh and a nonchalant shrug of arms. "Lillie, give it a rest. We're going to be late if we hang around here any longer."
"You're right, Pique!" the one called Lillie screeched happily. "I absolutely can't miss her getting scolded for being late to class again!"
And without another word, the blonde dashed off in the direction of the ballet academy, the amethyst-eyed girl following shortly after.
Fiery red hair bounced in an irritated fashion below the towering forest green.
"You always blame things on me!"
"It's certainly not my fault you're such an air-headed klutz."
"What did you say?"
"Don't tell me I actually have to repeat myself," the young man drawled in a condescending tone, narrowing his dark brows. "You can't be that slow, can you?"
"Why you-!" she growled out, lunging at his middle.
...And the heated exchange continued to erupt into the early morning air.
Onlookers giggled or shook their heads, far too used to the behavior of Fakir and Ahiru.
There was even an strange sense of deja-vu, for some of them. Inexplicable. Almost as though the odd duo had actually attended Kinkan Academy long before they showed up out of the blue just a few months prior.
In truth, years had gone since Kinkan town and all of its inhabitants had been freed of the confines of Drosselmeyer's story and control.
The first few of those many months passed peacefully and without incident. Fakir had left Kinkan and devoted himself to writing stories for the town's happy future, a content yellow duck residing with him near a secluded lake outside of the town.
And that duck was special. It had been her and the failed Knight's combined efforts and teamwork that released the little village from it's horrible and tragic tale-bound spell. Together they defied their set fates, overcame their fears, and developed a bond that no one else could even begin to comprehend.
That little duck's name was Ahiru. She was the clumsy, freckled and ballet-inept redhead girl and also the former prima donna, Princess Tutu. And though after the story's end she merely returned to duck form, she never lost her hope or her faith in Fakir's writing abilities for the stable "Happily Ever After" of Kinkan.
It was less evident, however, that she missed being human, missed ballet, missed being able to speak, and missed her friends.
As the months continued to pass and the seasons changed, the ex-Knight and writer became more and more aware of Ahiru's detachment and longing glances, despite how she struggled to carefully hide and mask them.
Fakir never outright questioned the little duck about such things, but could clearly see the concealed longing pooled in the depths of her wide blue eyes when she stared off into space or gazed woefully in the direction of the Academy's dorm steeples in the far distance.
That silent and hidden desire that grew in Ahiru's heart led the dark-haired young man to write another story for her, to provide the happy ending she should have had along with everyone else. And her feelings had worked themselves onto the parchment with quick and long strokes of the former Knight's duck-feathered quill, as if they were stemming from her mere feelings alone and only using his writing as the outlet.
He had smiled faintly at the time, remembering how easily the story he'd written to save her from Drosselmeyer's clutches had flew from the ink and quill to the waiting blank paper. Somehow her emotions gave him both the inspiration and motivation to write.
A connection he would never take for granted.
Story completed, Ahiru's pendant was returned. Her inner wishes of still being able to transform back to a duck allowed the pendant to function basically as it had before Drosselmeyer's story had ended, though would be noticeably lacking the ability to transform her to graceful Princess Tutu.
However, Ahiru's reaction to the change was not at all what Fakir had expected.
Mere minutes after the tale was complete, there was a loud bang as his cottage door was haphazardly thrown open, revealing a sopping wet, furious-faced young girl, completely devoid of any clothing or covering.
Immediately detaching his stunned eyes and overheated face from the display, Fakir gazed down at the ending to her story, her strained shouts echoing through his head.
"Is this some kind of joke, Fakir?" she had yelled, enraged. "What's the meaning of turning me back into a girl again?"
His eyes were unfocused, one hand gripping the quill tightly, almost enough pressure to snap the fragile writing utensil.
He must have misread her feelings. She obviously wasn't even remotely happy with the outcome of his story. Why had the words come so easily and flown from the guide of his hand as though she were willing it to be written? It didn't make sense.
"-and it was you who said we should go back to our true selves!" she was still shouting to his back. "Then you go and...and...I never know what you're thinking!"
Fakir could almost see the tears shining in her bright blue eyes, even facing away from her. Yes, he had said such a thing, but hadn't stopped to realize the truth of it.
What they really were, wasn't the important thing. Who they were, was all that really mattered. And that had nothing to do outer appearance at all.
There was a period of silence, filled with a heavy tension that blanketed the air. He could hear the clear, soft noise of water droplets hitting the wooden floor. Whether it were due to her drenched state or her tears, he wasn't sure.
Obviously, she was waiting for him to say something, but what could he reply?
Fakir parted his lips, willing words to come forth. Some explanation, an apology, anything would do at this point.
Before he could coax his voice to speak, there was a rush of jumbled sounds from behind him: a strong breeze, a muffled sob, and the second slamming of a door. He reacted immediately with a sharp turn, half-lifting himself from his seated position. And his eyes confirmed what his mind already knew.
Ahiru was gone.
Slowly, he quelled his urge to sprint after her, lowering back into the chair. Guilt rose like a dark shadow that was languidly creeping over his shoulders, wrapping him securely around the neck and tightening. Suffocating.
What could he do for her now? Apologize? Write another story to turn her back?
The hand tightly clenched to a fist around the quill loosened and dropped the object with a soft clatter, rising to rest against the young man's forehead.
Fakir had been so sure that this was what she wanted. Where could he have gone wrong?
And then it hit him, with the force of a brick to the face.
Had this been his desire and not hers? Had he somehow twisted it into being her wish, as some pathetic attempt to hide his intentions?
Wide emerald green eyes wandered over the dried black ink, line by line.
Whose words were they really? His or Ahiru's...?
He could admit he missed the companionship, the sound of her voice, even the bright luster of her eyes and uplifting nature of her smile.
Was he really selfish enough to abuse his power to bring those back?
His shaking hand found the quill again, drawing it from its resting place on the desk and poising it over the written words on the paper. His hand twitched once, a sudden urge to violently streak and scratch out the entire story bubbling up inside of him. But he calmed himself before the desire could manifest, and instead tore the story out completely, tossing it over his shoulder.
The dark-haired former Knight dipped the quill back into the ink well and positioned his writing hand over the fresh page. A few lines and he could undo his mistake.
Hopefully Ahiru would be able to forgive him one day.
And it was at that moment his quill touched the blank parchment that the door opened again, though considerably quieter than the first time. Fakir froze, watching the black substance drain from the quill tip and onto the paper, spreading into spiderweb patterns as it leaked across the page.
He knew Ahiru had returned, but his throat was still dry and devoid of speech. He could say nothing.
A rustling came from just beyond the door, followed by a long pause. He held his breath as soft footsteps padded over the floor until he could feel the slight warmth radiating from directly behind him.
If she was going to hit him, she had good reason. He wasn't going to stop her.
Guilty acceptance turned to shock when a pale hand, nestled in light blue cloth came to rest on his shoulder and gripped gently, offering one solitary squeeze.
"Thank you, Fakir," came her almost soundless whisper.
And somehow, those simple words lifted the burdens of guilt and regret from him, like birds unclamping their claws from his shoulders, spreading their wings, and fluttering out the window.
The quill dropped, forgotten, as he turned to face her, green eyes growing even wider at the sight that greeted him.
Draped effectively in a light blue blanket that complimented her serene eyes, she smiled at him. The vision he had longed to see somewhere within the deep recesses of his heart, now graced his presence. And a slightly older version of his treasured image of her, he noted, eyes roving over the elongated curve of her face. He then realized, with unmasked surprise, that her left hand was clasped around a familiar sheet of parchment.
Startled emeralds darted from the paper to her face and back again. "You...?"
She nodded in reply to his silent question, removing the hand from his shoulder to accompany the other in holding the inked paper. "Will you let me keep this one, Fakir?"
He felt his own lips twitch and curve as he allowed a rare smile in return.
Shortly after that night, both had made the firm decision to return to Kinkan.
Another small story was written by Fakir's hand, and the two were allowed to re-embrace the life they had left behind.
However, life back at the Academy turned their relationship very awkward.
The link between them, though strong as ever, still had no name. And it seemed that both teens were unwilling to give it one, or even dare to dwell on what it could mean.
Instead, they argued incessantly and often over stupid things. Not in a necessarily hostile or hateful manner, but enough to give the feeling that there was something between them that both were stubbornly trying to ignore. To keep silence from weighing on them, they would continue to banter. It was a constant occurance. Any time Fakir would cross Ahiru's path, he found a way to set her off, whether it were an ill-timed comment, baseless insult, or unwelcome tug at the end of her long braid. Likewise, Ahiru would accidently swing her books into his side or step on his foot as he was passing.
It was almost like a game between them.
The first time someone had openly dared to comment on that so-called game, referring to their behavior as "shamelessly flirting", Fakir had instinctively hit the offending young man and hastily denied any such interest in Ahiru. Likewise, she would comment that she'd never be interested in such a rude and ill-manner guy.
Verbal war would ensue once more. Never-ending.
Just how long could they go about fooling each other?
...Or was it perhaps themselves they were really trying to fool?
"Late again today, Miss Ahiru?" The voice was clearly impatient in tone.
The red-headed girl bowed hastily. "I'm so sorry, Sensei! I got caught up in something!"
"Or someone!" Lillie giggled behind her hand, bright green eyes alight with laughter. A few of the other chattering girls joined in her silent chuckling.
Ahiru ignored them, despite the tell-tale blush that painted her cheeks. "It won't happen again!" she assured the instructor, trying her best to appear sincere.
"Oh, I'm sure it won't, Miss Ahiru," the teacher continued, tapping one of his feet on the floor. "I'm afraid you'll have to do a little something extra for failing to make it on time to class for the past four days straight."
The freckled girl swallowed, a wave of dread washing over her. "Something extra, Sir?"
The young instructor grinned innocently. "The intermediate and advanced classes for our few male students are in need of practice partners, Ahiru. I'm sure you're plenty aware of this."
She nodded, getting a distinctly bad feeling where this was headed.
"One of the intermediate in particular, Mr. Femio, I believe, has had a very hard time finding a willing female dance practice partner," the teacher continued, still grinning.
The duck-like girl felt a bile rise in her throat. He couldn't be suggesting that she...Oh, God. This was the worst punishment ever.
"B-But you know how terrible I am at dancing!" she protested immediately, swinging her arms around in frantic distress. "And the pas de deux are really difficult! I would only cause problems for Femio-san!"
"Not to worry, Miss Ahiru," he assured. "You won't be doing much in the way of dancing. Mr. Femio need only practice the various types of lifts. And I think you'd be perfect for the job, considering your small size."
Ahiru felt like crawling under a carpet somewhere. Could the day get any worse?
Definitely not the right question to ask, even in your head.
At that precise moment, the practice room's main doors burst open, revealing the eccentric Femio (thankfully clad in uniform instead of some bizarre outfit). Ahiru blanched and impulsively tried to run, but the teacher firmly clamped a hand to her shoulder, preventing her intended escape.
"Great news, Mr. Femio!" he greeted jubilantly, drawing the young man closer with a wave of his hand. "This lovely young lady here has volunteered to help you with your practice," he stated, patting Ahiru's petite shoulder for emphasis.
The brunette's smile widened considerably, amethyst eyes sparkling as he took hold of Ahiru's hand. "The pleasure is mine, mademoiselle," he declared in a very over-dramatic and deep voice. "You must have been watching me intensely from afar, so afraid to come forward! But fear not, maiden! I will humbly accept your desire to partner with me. Your efforts have not gone unnoticed!"
Before the stunned redhead could even begin to form a coherent reply, Femio conjured a perfect red rose from the sleeve of his uniform, placing it in the pale girl's hands. "I shall see you later this evening, my goddess."
Then, as spontaneously out-of-the-blue as he came, he was gone.
Ahiru, all energy suddenly depleted, sunk to the floor.
Femio was almost exactly as she remembered. Perhaps even... a bit worse with age.
"Class dismissed," the instructor announced, clapping his hands.
The petite salmon-haired girl languidly rose back to her feet, only to be nearly pummeled by a blonde and violet hurricane. "Ahiruuuuu!" squealed the two familiar voices in unison. "We saw it all!"
Not in the mood for her friends' antics, the blue-eyed girl detached herself from them, sulking toward the door. Unwavering from the brush off, Lillie and Pique quickly pursued her retreating figure, the blonde of the duo poking her cheek.
"What will you do now, Ahiru?" Lillie questioned with unrestrained curiosity and excitement. "What will Fakir-senpai think if you get together with Femio? Ohhh, I sense a battle coming!"
"Are you going to give up on Fakir-senpai now?" Pique grinned, her tone almost reflecting a slight bit of hope.
"I don't like either of them!" Ahiru protested vehemently, shrugging out of the space between them and dashing out the double doors as fast as her feet would carry her.
Long after she figured she'd finally lost them, her pace slowed considerably. Walking through the outdoor corridors was a little refreshing. She sighed and breathed in the spring air, glancing at the flower in her hand.
Today was just not her day. She'd nearly fallen out the window this morning when the bird barrage came in, literally ran into Fakir and caused his books to fall on the ground, which they argued and fought about until the bell rang to inform her that she was late for class, and now the whole deal with her punishment and Femio...
What she wouldn't give to just get a brand new start to the whole morning...
Her sluggish footsteps grew shorter and shorter in length as she continued her aimless promenade. And then the distinct clack of shoes on the hallway reached her ears, provoking her to raise her head from its drooping position.
The noise came to an abrupt stop as her eyes met twin emeralds.
Fakir was standing a mere few feet away her, looking as grouchy as ever.
Luck was really not in her favor.
She stood, waiting for him to make some kind of comment or insult, but noticed his gaze was no longer focused on her face, but on something else. Following it, she looked to the rose still held in her hand. Her sapphires rose to his face again, full of curiosity.
He was glaring at the flower as though it should wither and die beneath the intensity of his gaze alone.
Before she could contemplate his strange behavior any further, he abruptly switched the hard stare back to her. "I heard an interesting rumor," he started, taking a few steps closer to her as he spoke. "About some poor intermediate boy who ended up getting stuck paired with a graceless redhead."
She scowled darkly at the indirect insult and he smirked back, satisfied. Ahiru never did figure out why he liked getting such a rise out of her at every turn. What happened to the kind-hearted boy who helped her save Kinkan town? Why had he reverted to something similar to his former self?
"So what?" she countered, her foot itching to kick him in the shin. "It's not like I wanted to. It's punishment for being late to class due to some arrogant jerk making a big deal out of some dropped books."
The smirk fell very quickly from his features, brows drawing together. "You ran into me," he explained. "And probably on purpose."
"I apologized," she retorted immediately.
He was silent for a moment, then his emerald gaze landed on the rose again, eyes narrowing. "Where did you get the flower from?"
Why was he so interested in the stupid flower? Ahiru snorted, turning away from him. "None of your business," she said simply.
"Oh, so you took it from the school gardens then?"
She whirled around angrily. "I did not! It was a gift!"
Turning on heel, she moved to stalk away, but was halted with a sudden grip on her arm. Pure electricity assaulted her system at the unexpected contact.
"From who?" he demanded quietly.
"I said it's none of your business, Fakir!" she yanked her arm, attempting to free it from his grip.
He yanked her back toward him, pulling her around to face him. "Who gave you the rose, Ahiru?"
She avoided his gaze. "What do you care? Why should I tell you who-"
Another untimely appearance came literally skipping down the hallway, and Ahiru felt a chill run down her spine.
"My goddess of dance, the Fates have granted us another meeting so soon!"
Before either Fakir or Ahiru could utter a word (perhaps due to the unwanted surprise), Femio came to a stop before Ahiru and bent to one knee as he took her free hand and placed a chaste kiss to the back of her fingers.
The ex-Knight's left eyebrow twitched at the shameless display. Who the hell did this guy think he was...?
The blue-eyed redhead was frozen in place, eyes wide in a permanent state of horrified shock.
"Ah, such a shy one!" the brunette boy beamed. "So touched by my gentlemanly acts that she can't even bring herself to speak!"
Fakir felt a sudden surge of pity for Ahiru, though he didn't dare show it on the surface. This boy was nothing short of a crackpot.
"Would my lady like another as compliment to her unrivaled beauty?" Femio offered, sweeping her hand up to his waiting lips again.
The former Knight and writer reacted quickly, pulling Ahiru behind him just before the boy's accursed lips could reach her skin again, and effectively detaching his hold beneath her hand.
Femio blinked in surprise, turning his amethyst eyes in the dark-haired young man's direction for the first time as he rose elegantly back to his feet. "And who might you be, monsieur?"
Emerald-colored eyes narrowed on the younger boy. "How are you acquainted with Ahiru?"
The eccentric brunette blinked again and then grinned knowingly in his senior's direction. "Ah, a jealous lover?"
"L-Lover?" Fakir's face flushed a vibrant red, which he quickly shook off. "Don't babble such nonsense!"
Femio ignored him. "I understand your feelings completely! Your one and only, stolen by her desire for my perfect being!" He began to caress his own arms and the dark-haired writer took a step back, repulsed. "Oh, how you must suffer! My sins are so great! I could never begin to atone for the pain I cause!"
Finally coming back to her senses, Ahiru poked her head out from behind Fakir. "Er, Femio-san, I really must be going now. I will see you later tonight." And hopefully not until then, her mind added hopefully.
The green-eyed ex-Knight blinked at the revelation. She would see this crazy guy later? Then he must be...
"Until then, my shy and beautiful little goddess!" Femio tossed another rose in Ahiru's direction, which to her immediate surprise, Fakir intercepted, and thoughtlessly tossed out the corridor window like a piece of trash.
"Now, now, Senior," Femio chided while waving one finger. "Your acts of jealousy are quite petty."
"A word, if you please," Fakir requested of the brunette politely, though a less-than-kind expression graced his features.
Ahiru blinked her cerulean orbs quizzically, watching the two of them walk down the hall. She was confused, to say the least. Why would Fakir care if Femio gave her a flower? Did he think she didn't deserve to get flowers or something?
But he was certainly acting strange...
Shrugging her shoulders, she continued back to the girl's dormitory.
And somehow she could still feel a tingling sensation where Fakir had held her arm.
Dusk settled into the sky outside her room's solitary window and Ahiru sighed, glancing at the clock. She couldn't put off this meeting much longer, as much as she really wanted to. And if she didn't show up at all, she'd have hell to pay courtesy of her instructor.
She knew Femio wasn't a bad person, despite how incredibly weird he was. And yet she couldn't deny the overwhelming dread and horror that flooded through her system at the thought of having to dance with him.
"It's just for tonight, right?" she said aloud. "Only have to bear it for one night."
Finding her resolve, she rose from floor and changed into her leotard, slipping on ballet shoes shortly afterward.
By the time she set foot outside the dorm, it had grown considerably darker. Feeling the night's frigid chill graze against her skin, she crossed her arms in a feeble attempt to keep warm and hurried toward the ballet building.
Once safely inside and where it was considerably warmer, she made a beeline for the practice room.
Get this over with, she told herself silently as she pulled the waiting door open.
The interior was completely shrouded in darkness, save for the soft streams of moonlight pouring from the west-side windows. Ahiru squinted inside. This was the right place, wasn't it?
For once, she seemed to arrive earlier than someone else. It was almost comical.
Her musings were cut short when her peripheral vision caught sight of a shadow leaning against the barre on the opposite end of the room. She couldn't see too well due to the distance of the figure, but made the most obvious conclusion. "Femio...san?"
The shadowed figure straightened and stepped closer to her. And once the moonlight hit the figure, Ahiru felt an eyebrow raise in surprise and confusion.
"Fakir?" she questioned, puzzled. And then she frowned at the first conclusion her mind jumped to. "Came to watch me fall on my face or something, didn't you?"
"The other one isn't coming," Fakir's deep voice stated simply.
Ahiru's blue eyes blinked back at him. "Eh? Femio-san won't be here?"
His dark bangs hung over his face, obscuring his expression from her view . "I persuaded him to find a new partner."
The cerulean orbs widened. "You did, Fakir? Why?"
He came to a stop before her, and instead of answering her question, the ex-Knight reached out and took her hand, pulling her into a spin and then a dip. All the redhead could manage was a sputtered, "Fakir, what are you-?"
"I requested your assistance in his place," he interrupted casually, pulling her up and outward into another twirl. "Do you mind?"
Ahiru inwardly noted with slight surprise that his voice seemed a bit softer in tone than usual. "I-I don't really mind," she mumbled, glad that he could not see her flushed face in the darkness of the room. "But you know I'm a horrible dancer, so why would you...?"
"You'll get better," he assured her, voice slightly husky from loss of breath as they continued the pas de deux. "I'll help you."
Her eyebrows drew together. "Why are you being so nice?" she blurted suddenly, bringing the dance to an abrupt halt when he paused. "I didn't mean that in a bad way!" the former Princess Tutu added hastily.
He still held her firmly in his grip, pulling her just a little closer. "Ahiru," he spoke, brushing a stray lock of her flaming hair aside. "I didn't really mean for things to turn out like they did, after we returned to the Academy."
She was rendered speechless at the sincerity of his tone and the gentle luster in the depths of his green eyes.
"I suppose I tried to push you away for my own reasons," he continued, shifting his gaze away from her eyes. "And yet a part of me still wanted to see you and talk with you, no matter how much I tried to deny it. And therefore I was rude about it and said things I knew would hurt you." He paused, turning his eyes back upon hers. "I'm sorry."
They stared at each other in silence amidst the darkness for a few short moments, and then Ahiru spontaneously threw her arms around his neck, hugging the startled young man to her. "I'm sorry too, Fakir," she confessed softly. "I did mean things to you as well and refused to be honest with myself. I was really happy that I got to be a girl again and returned to the ballet school with you. And yet my actions toward you were anything but thankful."
"Idiot," he mumbled into her hair, causing her to smile against his shoulder.
She pulled back, still grinning and gripping his hand tightly in her smaller one. "Shall we continue?"
He managed a small smile back, emerald eyes glinting. "Only if you can refrain from stepping on my feet this time."
"Fakir! That wasn't very nice." She playfully hit his shoulder with her free hand.
"Concentrate," he chastised lightly, lifting her petite form into the air effortlessly.
They continued through the lifting and all the steps inbetween, amazingly synchronized with each other. Finally the pas de deux came to a close, their faces mere inches apart in the last position.
"Brings back memories, doesn't it?" Ahiru smiled softly up at him, moonlight pouring over her features and making her seem to almost glow.
He knew she was referring to their underwater pas de deux, bittersweet as it was. The final position in that dance had been remarkably similar to the one they now formed. And he couldn't deny that she looked almost ethereal with the moonlight curving around her form.
"I know of a better ending."
Sapphire blue orbs gazed back up at him, a silent question swimming in their depths.
His hand around her waist tightened and lifted her small form slightly, eliciting a small gasp. "...Fakir?"
"Shh, don't talk," he commanded quietly.
And before she could register what was about to happen, he bent his head to hers and closed the remaining distance, molding his lips securely over her own. Ahiru's eyes fluttered shut, marveling at the new and very pleasant feelings his touch awakened in her. The redhead's arms instinctively tightened around the former Knight's neck and he deepened the kiss in response, free hand rising to cup the side of her face where the pad of his thumb brushed over the smooth surface of her moonlit skin.
Finally, they pulled apart. Breathless and strangely elated inside.
"Idiot," he spoke first, voice hoarse. "Your face is all red."
"So is yours," she countered, poking his cheek with one slim finger.
"Hey, stop that," he said, grabbing the offending hand.
She giggled. "It's so rare to see you embarrassed, Fakir."
He frowned. "I'm not embarrassed."
Before she could decide to poke any more fun at him, he lifted her lithe figure from the floor and cradled her into his strong arms.
"Fakir!" she wiggled in resistance, startled. "What are you doing? I can stand on my own!"
"It's cold outside, moron," he informed her simply, pulling her a little closer to him. "I'll keep you warm."
She hid her newly-formed blush, complying as she settled more comfortably into his protection.
They set back off for the dormitories, bathing in the warmth of companionship and something deeper, unspoken.
Ahiru couldn't help but think that perhaps the day hadn't been so bad after all.
Her voice was hesitant, timid, "You really don't mind...?"
"No," he said for what felt like the millionth time. "Why would I ask you if I was worried about it?"
"You know they're going to say something," the nervous voice continued. "And probably tease us."
He smiled wryly. "That won't be anything new."
"I suppose you're right..." she trailed off, worry still reflecting in the blue pools. "And it's better than trying to hide it all the time. I'm not ashamed or anything..."
He squeezed the hand tightly nestled in his own, and she turned her head to gaze up at him. "Stop dwelling on it, idiot," he tapped the tip of her nose with the index finger of his free hand.
And when he treated her to that rare and soft smile, reserved just for her, she couldn't help but grin back, doubt momentarily lifted from her consciousness.
Finally reaching their destination, the male of the duo pulled the large door open with his free hand.
Upon spying the two entering, the chatter within the ballet practice room ceased completely. All eyes were on the odd pair, some of the students whispering amongst each other as they stared.
Ahiru swallowed nervously, suddenly feeling an urge to hide behind Fakir's significantly taller figure. As if sensing her re-ignited distress, he gave their entwined hands another small squeeze, and she calmed.
A familiar person made their way over to the entrance doors, eyes drifting from the locked hands to the faces of their owners.
Fakir recognized him as the one he'd punched for the ill-placed "shamelessly flirting" comment and immediately fixed the boy with a dangerous glare. "If you have something to say, spit it out."
The boy nodded with newfound confidence. "I do have something to say," he stated. "It's about bloody time." And the ballet classroom's occupants chorused their immediate agreement.
Fakir and Ahiru turned to look at one another simultaneously, their expressions perfectly mirroring confusion.
And that's it. My first try at a fanfiction for this category. And yes, I hope you can obviously tell that I've seen the whole series from start to finish.
I apologize for anything that might be considered OOC. I tried to give sufficient reasons for their behavior changes, but if that didn't bode well with the readers, don't hesitate to let me know. This is a first, so I want to improve.
And I do have another one in the making, at least, plan-wise. I haven't actually written the first chapter yet, but I've got a general basis set for it. I think it has a little more of a plot than this one did.
I'm also going to ask that you overlook various spelling and grammar mistakes. I work with wordpad, and just wordpad. I have nothing better to use and no beta. But I read through my works many times and hopefully catch the majority of mistakes in that process.
Anyway, please drop me a review if you can spare the time. Feedback is extremely helpful and greatly appreciated.
Thank you for reading.