A/N: Woot, chapter 3. You know what's funny? Chapter 1 and 2 had the EXACT same word count. I just noticed. XD That's funny. Anyway, I know it's been a long time since I updated...(cough) months (cough)...but I've just been really busy. JUST KNOW I NEVER ABANDON MY FICS. But here's chapter 3! Not many more chapters! Actually, I think only one more...unless I decide to split it.
Archangel Rhapsody: Hee hee. Thanks.
Ducklin: Aw, I'm so honored! Thank you!
Botan and Kurama lover: Thank you!
No No: Three days was long? Wow. That's fancy. Die if you didn't read it? Wow again. (blush) I thought the chapter was filler-ish. See, you may think that all these long paragraphs are intimidating, but they're repetitive sometimes. And you should join. Because yes. Sasuke/Naruto IS the best yaoi ever. XD Thanks for the review!
ILoveJoseph: Favorite author?! (uuber blush) Thanks! This chapter WILL be better! (determined pose)
the1koolkitty: Yes, bad habit. I hate to spoil, but I promise you this: he'll have a reason to stop by the end. AND I LOVE YOUR FIC BUT I NEED TO FINISH IT. IT REALLY, REALLY ROCKS. SO MUCH HARDER THAN THIS ONE. PEOPLE, READ THIS ONE'S STORY.
Mayukagurl: Thank you!
khgurl94: Aw, thanks!
ChibiVi3Kitsun3: That is SO Fakir. XD Poems. Hur Hur.
Disclaimer: I do not, nor will I ever, own Princess Tutu (or 'A Midsummer Night's Dream').
"Ah...I always felt calmer at this lake..." Ahiru sighed. She plopped down on the sandy bank, elbows on her knees, the dusk sky framing the azure color of the lake. Crickets began their monotonous chirp, accompaniment to the wind in the trees. "Since I'm not gonna be around much longer, I should enjoy this while I can..."
"Oi; there you are."
"Eh?" Ahiru craned her neck to find a familiar tall figure approach her. "Fakir...?"
"It's getting late," Fakir remarked. "What are you doing?"
Ahiru returned her head to her hands, gazing solemnly out at the lake. "Well, I like the lake a lot. I felt like coming. Is that strange?"
"Not really. But Charon is making a big meal for you."
What Fakir expected was a hearty response, since she mostly had had bread as a duck, and was a bit of a glutton when she was hungry. But she simply nodded her head and said in a drained voice, "That sounds good. I'll be there in a minute."
"Is something wrong?" Fakir asked.
"No, not really," Ahiru said.
He wasn't convinced. Fakir opened his mouth again, but decided against what he wanted to say. Instead, he said, "Ahiru," and tapped her on the shoulder. She turned slightly, and Fakir took her hand and hoisted her to a standing position.
"Let's dance," he said simply.
A soft grin creased Ahiru's lips. Her remaining hand intertwined with his. For now, the lake is their stage, and everything else is gone from their minds. The murmurs of fauna and insects are their orchestra; a slow, rhythmic tempo. Fakir leads the pas de deux, his movements of question and worry. Ahiru pivots in assurance, pirohuetting her slow adagio in contentment. Fakir's hesitant developpe en arriere still held worry, but Ahiru insists with her surprisingly fluid movements to calm down. There dance continues as the sun dipped lower and lower under the horizon. As the coda arrived, Fakir lifted Ahiru, their eyes locking.
I will protect you, his eyes said firmly.
Thank you, came her reply.
And the dance was over, the pair's dulled awareness returning. As Ahiru's toes hit the ground, she leaned toward Fakir's chest heavily. "I'm...sleepy..." she whispered, falling to her knees.
Fakir fell to his knees as well, curiously gazing down at her. He shook his head as he lifted her up bridal style, smiling a bit in spite of himself. "The idiot fell asleep..."
"No...Neko-sensei...I don't wanna marry you..."
Ahiru cracked a bleary eye opened. Fuzzily, she sat up, yawning. So it was a dream. Thank goodness... she sighed. Ahiru glanced down at the familiar bed. Fakir's. How did she...?
"Oh...Fakir must have brought me here..."
The writer was no where to be found, though. She looked around the room she was in. As a duck, she'd often sleep in Fakir's room in a basket by the corner. Moonlight streamed in through the east-side window. Noiselessly, she padded out of bed and to the window. The large clock tower read 10:28 P.M. A large gibbous of the glowing moon was present paired with innumberable glittering diamonds in the sky.
I wish... Ahiru found herself thinking, that I don't have to disappear tomorrow...
Ahiru turned to come face to face with Fakir. Although she was barely able to make him out, she saw him holding a tray of food. Oh yeah...I didn't eat today. Ahiru could feel a gnawing hunger in the pit of her abdomen.
"Awake, huh? Are you hungry?" Fakir asked.
"Yeah, I am..." Ahiru replied. "Thanks a lot!"
"Don't enjoy it for too long, Ahiru-chan!" Drosselmeyer laughed. "Mere hours from now, you'll be gone like that!" He snapped his fingers, chuckling.
"Love-love-love-love-zura!" Uzura sang, pounding her drum as she strolled through Kinkan. "Love-love..."
As she played her drum and sang, she found herself walking by a familiar library. She halted abruptly, cooing, "Ooh!!" as she saw a squirrel running. She chased the little creature, stopping when it did, then running again. The squirrel suddenly bounded up a tree, and Uzura cursed her luck, banging her drum again.
Her focus lost, she wandered a bit on the large lawn of the library. A familiar grave came into view, and from it--
"Ah, Uzura-chan. Your work here is complete. Come back!"
"Morning, morning! At Kinkan Academy, it is morning! And I'm EARLY!!"
"Do you have to sing?"
"I happen to think I have a wonderful singing voice."
"You sound like a duck."
"Didn't I mention I like the sounds of ducks quacking?"
"That explains it."
Ahiru grinned widely, despite Fakir a.k.a. Mr. Grouchy Pants. If this was her last day, she would enjoy it. She was glad to spend it dancing and with Fakir. If she could, she'd want to see Rue and Mytho again, but they were busy with their dance troupe, which was understandable. But that was okay.
"Ne, Fakir! It's Valentine's Day!"
"So happy Valentine's Day!"
"Well, you too."
"I remember last Valentine's Day with Pique and Lillie!" Ahiru grin just grew, though her cheeks tinted red. "They made a fake letter to you with my name on it. Remember?"
Fakir instantly went completely red. "N-No."
"You have to remember! They went the whole bit! They sprinkled with perfume, wrote the sappiest poem and forged my handwriting..."
"I-I said I didn't remember!"
"Come on! They actually tried to draw a picture of you and me; though they got some parts of your anatomy wrong that I had to fix--"
"WHAT PARTS?!" Fakir burst out, red as an apple. What did Ahiru do to his anatomy?!
Fakir sighed in relief, his color returning. He thought what she meant was--
"And your BUTT!!!" Ahiru laughed, running ahead of him.
"Wha-WHAT?!! WHAT DID YOU DO TO MY BUTT???!!!" Fakir called in absolute mortification, chasing her, earning him a few...curious glances.
"Class, we have a new student to introduce today...Ahiru-san," Neko-sensei introduced. Ahiru bowed. Whispers flooded the students. Ahiru grinned sheepishly.
"I hope you make Ahiru feel welcome. Just take a seat, Ahiru."
Ahiru scrambled and sat next to Pique and Lillie. Even though they did not remember her, she just wanted to be by her old friends.
"Ahiru, right?" Pique whispered to Ahiru, who nodded. "People think you're Fakir's girlfriend! It isn't true, is it?"
"E-Eh?! No!! Of course not!!" Ahiru yelped, standing and drawing attention to herself.
"...What is it, Ahiru-san?" Neko-sensei asked.
"A-Aah! Gomen nasai, Neko-sensei!" Ahiru blurted, bowing repeatedly.
"I will let it slide this time, since you're new here...but if you interrupt class again..." His faced turned grave. "YOU WILL HAVE TO MARRY ME!!!!!"
"Ah!! I'm sorry!! Please no!!" Ahiru yelled, frantically bowing.
Neko-sensei hurriedly lit a cigarette.
"It's Valentine's Day!"
"You already told me."
"I know," Ahiru said, "but let's enjoy ourselves!"
"I don't know! Let's just go out!"
Fakir blushed heavily, and Ahiru realized how she must've sounded. She laughed, a little too loud, blushing.
"NO!! I DON'T MEAN--!! I MEAN!!! WELL YEAH!! AS IN I DON'T!!! AH HAH HAH..." Ahiru sputtered awkwardly and loudly.
"I-I don't care..." Fakir muttered as he regained some of his vocabulary and coherency.
"WELL!!! YES!!" Ahiru yelled again, her control of her vocal volume impaired.
Fakir chuckled a bit, his regular color returning. "Moron. Listen..." He pointed to a poster on the wall. "They're doing a ballet on 'A Midsummer Night's Dream.' Why don't we go see that?"
"Okay! Cool!" Ahiru chirped.
"Uzura, please, go away!" Drosselmeyer pleaded to the puppet.
Uzura, who happened to think she was doing a wonderful drum solo, pouted. "Fine-zura." Still beating her drum, she stomped away.
Drosselmeyer sighed. "Ah well. At least she's entertaining." He grinned. "Oh, Ahiru. Poor Ahiru. Your time is winding down!"
"I still don't get it."
Fakir sighed for the umpteenth time. "Because you're a MORON."
"I am not!" Ahiru insisted. "WHY is it a good thing that Demetrius' heart was changed?"
Fakir kneaded his temples. "Because Hermia was able to stay with Lysander without prosecution, and Helena was able to stay with the one she loved at last."
"But...but that's so wrong!" she insisted. "I like the outcome, but it's mean to do that to a person's heart! What if they used the flower to...I dunno...break people up? Like with the mix up with Demetrius and Lysander?"
"For your information, Ahiru, there is NO REAL MAGIC FLOWER. There is NO 'Love Idleness' in this world."
"Well, what if there was?"
Fakir was exasperated. "I don't know!"
"Well...at least it turned out okay." Ahiru beamed. "It was a good idea to see the play. I liked it. Did you know the dancers who played Hermia and Lysander are actually named Hermia and Lysander?"
Fakir cocked an eyebrow. "You know them?"
"Oh yeah. Mytho...when he was still trying to steal hearts...he tried to get Hermia's. But Hermia remembered her love for Lysander." Ahiru sighed dreamily. "And now they're together. Ne, Fakir, what time is it?"
"Um..." Fakir glanced up at the huge clock tower. "A little after eleven."
"ELEVEN?!" Ahiru shouted.
"Yes..." Fakir said, curious about her outburst. "Why?"
"I..." Ahiru sighed sadly. "When we get to Charon-san's house...I need to tell you something."
"Drosselmeyer-zura!" Uzura said. "What are you doing to Ahiru-zura?"
"Why, she's just going to disappear, as she should have in the first place."
"Wh-What?!" Uzura exclaimed, shocked. "B...But..."
"Uzura, this is the course of the story. Accept it."
Thick tears formed in the puppet's eyes, and she was painfully reminded of her "Other Uzura's" words: "You do have a heart."
"Can't let her disappear-zura..." Uzura muttered to herself. She ran. She needed to do something. Anything to stop the story. But...how?
"What is it that you want this late?" Fakir complained, sitting next to the girl who was gazing solemnly at the lake. But her serious look silenced him.
"Fakir...after I say this...something's...going to happen." Ahiru drew a shaky sigh. Was she...trying not to cry? "And... And I know you. You're going to blame yourself. But just know that...that it isn't your fault." She suddenly grabbed his hand, forcing him to look at her. "It ISN'T. No matter how much you think it is, it ISN'T."
"Ahiru, what is it? You're scaring me, you moron!! Why have you been acting like this?" Fakir demanded.
She closed her eyes. "Fakir..." Ahiru grabbed his shoulders, and, sitting as tall as she could to meet his height, brushed her lips against his as a single tear fell down her face.
"...I love you."
A/N: ...I am a bitch.
Don't hurt me. Please don't. I know I haven't updated in FOREVER, and then I leave you with the cliffhanger of all cliffhangers, but...don't hurt me. Pwease. (puppy eyes)
AGH! THIS CHAPTER WAS JUST...JUST...UGH! I had a hard time getting this down, and I'm STILL not satisfied. But you've all been waiting long enough. So here it is. (holds shield)
MY HAND UP TO GOD, THE NEXT UPDATE WILL NOT TAKE THIS LONG. I swear. You'll probably see it within the week because I feel bad. So...review!