Parenthood

By Hayai Akurei

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Author's Notes: I adore "Princess Tutu." It's such a good anime. Mild Fakir/Ahiru. They are so friggin' adorable.

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Fakir drummed his fingers on the table impatiently. The paper was taunting him. Taunting him because it was blank and he couldn't figure out what to write and they both knew it.

Damn paper.

If only his eyes could just burn a nice, neat, little flaming hole through that innocent square of white he would be happy.

But no…

Sighing, he ran a hand through his dark hair and got up to fix a warm cup of chocolate. He didn't care whatever the hell Drosselmeyer drank to help him write, whether it was some foul-smelling tea or a long draught of whiskey, he was gonna drink chocolate, dammit. Like Ahiru would say, Fakir was Fakir, and that was that.

Speaking of which, he mused, looking around…where was the little pipsqueak anyway? Normally, she'd be asleep in her little bed that was situated at the foot of the stove, but it was a rather nice day out. She was probably out and about, either talking with some of her avian friends or out for a swim.

Fakir sighed, stirring the spoon around. He really hoped that she wasn't getting into trouble. Once, she'd run into a pair of cats and their eight kittens. That certainly had been a memorable experience. He still sported a few light scars from when he had had to chase the feline family out of his house.

There was a rustling noise coming from the other room. Curious, Fakir poked his head in.

A cheery quack greeted him as his brightly feathered friend waddled into view from in front of her bed basket. She looked like her normal cheery self, big blue eyes (such a strange feature in ducks, but something he fondly remembered about her) gazing up at him.

"Where have you been?" he asked, "I hope that you've – "

Suddenly, he stopped, his face turning a bright red as he looked past her.

"A-Ahiru?"

There were eggs sitting in her basket. Three of them.

Three eggs.

Spinning around, he turned to face his little yellow companion.

"For the love of heaven, Ahiru! Eggs? Eggs? You should've – why didn't you…?"

He sputtered, his mind a cluttered mess of thoughts. How long had she been expecting? Was Ahiru even old enough to have children? Ducklings? Whatever!

Dark eyes narrowed. If he ever got his hands on the wretched foul that dared to sire Ahiru's children, there would be hell to pay. No one got near Ahiru without getting past him first!

But Ahiru had every right to start a family if she so chose to. He smacked himself upside the head. Who was he to interfere with her life? It wasn't like he could keep her from seeing her fellow feathered friends. And Ahiru was honest and loyal! If she was expecting, she would have told him or at least made some sign!

There was a quack at his feet and Fakir sighed, kneeling down on the floor and picking her up gently, trying to stay calm.

"I mean, Ahiru, you could've at least tried to hint that you were expecting! I could've helped you out and maybe I wouldn't have been so snappy with you these past few weeks but I haven't been able to write and all I'm hearing is Aotoa going 'Well, Drosselmeyer-san did this…' and – OW!"

He grabbed his fingers, which she had bitten rather hard. Huffing, Ahiru waddled over to her basket, stood resolutely next to one and turned around to face him. Sucking on his abused fingers, his eyes widened in realization. The egg was almost half as tall as she was. Those weren't her eggs. There was no way she could've had one that size, much less three.

"Are you some sort of egg thief?" he asked sarcastically. She snapped her beak in warning with a vicious-sounding quack.

"Okay, okay! So, what happened to their mother?"

His heart sunk as her head drooped, blue eyes creased in sadness.

"Oh, I see," he said, gently scooping her up again. "What kind of eggs are they?"

She shrugged. Fakir felt his heart sink at her drooped expression. She never did look good like that. Unfailingly chipper was an attitude that suited her much better.

"Well, I guess you can keep them, but they're your responsibility. Do I make myself clear? I still need to write, and having three babies underfoot isn't going to help me any."

She quacked excitedly, utterly delighted as she actually nuzzled his chest with her head. Fighting back an oncoming blush, Fakir set her down gently and bent down to inspect the eggs.

"Well," he said, scratching the back of his head, "I guess you're going to need some extra blankets, huh?"

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For the next few days, Ahiru busied herself with her new "babies," constantly checking up on the eggs to make sure they weren't too hot or too cold. She hardly left the house anymore to a point where Fakir had to shoo her outside so that she'd get some air, reassuring her that he'd keep an eye on things.

Really, what did she have to worry about so much?

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It was late. Either that or very early in the morning. Groaning, Fakir rubbed his eyes with a yawn, trying to see the clock in the darkness of his room. Why in the world was he awake at this hour?

Suddenly, he heard frenzied quacking from the kitchen, and his senses were suddenly on high alert. Bolting out of bed, he grabbed the small sword he kept on his wall just in case of emergencies and tore out of his room. With the cool winter months approaching, it wasn't uncommon for some reptiles, mainly snakes, to seek shelter inside houses. If Ahiru died he'd never be able to forgive himself…

Fearing for his friend's life, he ran into the kitchen, only to find her running around in circles about her basket, where the three eggs were making noises and twitching about.

Turning, Ahiru quacked at him, then cried out in surprise when she saw the sword. Panicked, she started quacking louder. Fakir chuckled at his over-emotional display, setting the sword aside and crouching on the floor next to her.

"So, it's time, hmm?"

Then, fine cracks began to appear on the shells, slowly spiderwebbing before giving way to the life that lay inside.

Cheep cheep!

Three fuzzy gray chicks tumbled from their eggshells, exhausted from hours of pecking away at their round white prisons. Ahiru quacked, looking on with sparkling eyes. Three pairs of beady little eyes rested on her and the chicks moved closer, snuggling up against her.

Fakir stared. That gray fluff was almost unmistakable. "They're cygnets, Ahiru. They're baby swans."

Ahiru beamed as wide as a duck possibly could, radiating motherly pride and adoration. Carefully, Fakir did away with the discarded shells, lining the basket with some clean blankets. Sitting down in a chair, he gazed down at his new family, realization settling in.

He was a father.

And it didn't matter that his children weren't even the same species as he. The warm feeling in his chest was swelling up, tingling every part of his body. It was something entirely new, and yet he unconsciously knew what it was.

Ahiru crooned softly, adjusting the blankets around her new children, and for a moment, Fakir thought he had seen her as she had been before, a small human girl, as she tucked the young ones into bed. He wondered briefly what she would have looked like had she been able to have children then. But it didn't matter. He would take care of them, all of them, as he had promised.

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Author's Notes: Total crack and sap. Since Fakir and Ahiru can't technically get together anymore, they can adopt! I might have a series of drabbles as a sort of sequel. That would just be fun. Poor Fakir. Writer's block sucks.