Disclaimer: I announce to the whole world that I, sadly, do not own the anime series St

Disclaimer: I do not own Princess Tutu. And yes, in my dreams, I'd like to pretend I do.

Summary: (Series of drabbles) Once upon a time, there lived a girl and a boy who gave up on Happily Ever Afters long before the story started. For she was just a clumsy duck pretending to be a princess, and he was a knight-in-rusty-armor who could only wield a pen. This is their fairytale. ( Fakir x Ahiru )

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Masquerade

Act 05 : Heart, Part II
by makka na yuki

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What is it that defines the success of love, Ahiru wonders.

If she wasn't sure of it being true, should she still fight for it with all her heart?

I'm tired.

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"Say Rue, what do you think of me?"

The dark-haired suddenly looked up. The two of them were having tea outside her new home, and though there was nothing unusual with Ahiru visiting, the question was unexpected. "Why the long face Ahiru?"

She shook her head. "It's nothing. Just that…"

Rue understood immediately what was wrong. Ahiru had always seeked her companionship whenever there were problems between her and Fakir. This time, it looked serious. "Oh dear, it's him isn't it?"

The red-haired girl placed her cup down gently, trying to keep the tears at bay. Ahiru could feel the relationship between her and Fakir was crumbling apart. He rarely went home anymore, and she was too uncomfortable to start a conversation for fear that she might blurt out something too demanding.

She didn't know what to do anymore.

"Is there something wrong with me Rue?"

The older girl quickly wrapped her hands around small trembling girl.

"This isn't like you at all, Ahiru.

"Why couldn't he love me?" she whispered, pained.

That occurred a couple of days ago, and Rue could still not get it out of her mind. She was more surprised to find a dejected Ahiru knocking at her house in the middle of the night, with large bags in both hand. The dark-haired girl didn't need to ask what was wrong – their conversation before explained everything.

"Do you remember Rue, the day I turned back to my human form?"

"Yes, of course. Everyone was so happy back then." Rue replied, confused. She remembered the day Fakir finally discovered how to bring Ahiru back to her true self. It was only a matter of using the right words to make the story real, to make their dreams come alive.

Back then… Ahiru smiled. It seemed so long ago, but back then, she was happy too.

"Before I fully transformed, I saw a dream."

"A dream, Ahiru?"

The red-haired girl's eyes were becoming blurry. Tears. "In it, someone told me that I only had to wish hard enough for my dreams to come true. That I simply needed to want to come back, and I would become human again."

Rue took a step towards the girl in front of her. The sadness in the young girl's expression was evident. "Ahiru? What are you saying?"

"And so I closed my eyes and prayed. Wishing and hoping that I could be together with everyone again, that I could be with him. And then everything was going to be alright." Ahiru seemed to be in a daze. She couldn't stop talking, and the tears just continued to flow.

"Ahiru, stop it! You're in pain… please."

"It's almost gone, Rue. My desire to stay this way, its slowly disappearing and I could hear the voices calling me back."

No one could save her now.

-


-

She was back in the market - a place where she shouldn't be, especially after telling him that she would be going away.

Ahiru thinks that habits really do die oh so hard.

She had been staying in Rue and Mytho's home for the past few days, with the couple hiding her existence from anyone who would pass by or ask. Though it's not like anyone even came to look for her, Ahiru thought dejectedly. Not even a certain green-haired writer. The red-haired girl almost wished that he would find out about her hiding place and convince her to come back. Afterall, she didn't want to extend her stay in the couple's home, no matter how welcoming they are.

But seeing as how nothing has happened…

Who could blame her for seeking him out? She'd stay hidden in the usual spot, and watch him pass by with a basket in his hand. Ahiru is surprised at how he still buys the same amount of meat and vegetables, considering he has one less mouth to feed.

"Fakir!" a voice abruptly called, surprising Ahiru that she almost stumbled into the sunlight, "you dropped your moneybag at home!"

Oh.

Her. The nameless girl that Ahiru had been worrying about since before. Looking at her now, the duck princess could not find any feelings of hate or animosity towards the stranger. Afterall, I was the one who left, Ahiru thought. It was easy to replace her. Fakir seemed to think so as well.

Ahiru watched as her hands touched his elbow, and Fakir looking down at the young girl with gentle eyes. How long had she wished he looked at her like that? The couple started to move down the marketplace, leaving Ahiru's line of vision. The young girl leaned weakly against the wall, and closed her eyes.

It seems as if she's always the one who is left behind.

This love is a fickle thing.

Maybe it wasn't meant for her at all.

-


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Even with his heart back, he still rarely spoke. It was difficult sometimes, seeing that she was such a girl full of talk and energy, but she found some sort of understanding in their time together in silence.

After all, it was this silence that made her fall in love with him before.

At times, he surprises her with his words. This moment was no different.

"No one is controlling the story anymore. Our lives are what we make of it."

Ahiru grins back at him. "You know, even after helping save this village, I think that's just too much of a responsibility for me to take."

"So you are running away"

She couldn't deny it. Not in front of the person who could always read her so clearly.

"Yes"

"And so?"

"And so… I think he'll be able to find true happiness without me acting as a disturbance."

Mytho looked straight into her eyes, "I meant to ask about you."

"Huh?" She blinked, confused.

"Rue has spoken about your troubles."

"She thought that you could comfort me."

"She believes I could understand you better."

"And she understands you best huh? Oh my, the joys of being a couple." Ahiru laughed, but it seemed forced even to her.

The silence envelops them once again, the question left unanswered. But they both understood.

"We are all here for you, Ahiru. Believe in us, believe in him."

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Author's Notes: Part II of the Heart installment. Maybe a couple more chapters to go.