Note: I just finished watching all of PT, and loved it, loved it, loved it. Except how it really ends. Something about that just bothered me, so I started writing this to make myself feel better.

The Story's Only Just Begun...


The voice seemed to be calling him from far away, and he tossed restlessly in his sleep as he dreamed.


"Who... who's calling me?"


"Fakir, I did it!"

The front door was abruptly thrown open, and Fakir sat upright with a gasp.


As his brain belatedly kicked into gear, he registered Autor's presence in the doorway, looking as wildly excited as he'd ever seen the other young man.

"Fakir, it worked! I didn't think it would, but it did!"

"What... are you talking about?" Fakir said in confusion, yawning and climbing out of bed, rubbing the sleep from his eyes.

"Now that Drosselmeyer's influence is gone, I decided to try it, and it worked!"

"What did you do?"

"I wrote a character back in!" Autor said with pride, his glasses practically gleaming from the light in his eyes.

Fakir was stunned. "You did what?"

Proudly, Autor turned back toward the doorway and flung out one hand dramatically. "See?"

Confused, Fakir looked at the doorway but didn't see anyone.


Then he looked down.

"Fakir!" piped a familiar voice, and suddenly a little pair of arms was thrown joyfully around the young man's legs in a hug.


"But... but how?"

Fakir could only stare as Uzura sat on the kitchen table, happily staring at him.

Autor grinned smugly and leaned back in his chair, putting his hands behind his head.

"A matter of proper research. Drosselmeyer may have abhorred the logical approach, but in the hands of someone like myself, it seems to have paid off quite nicely. You remember the Storytellers' Oak I told you about?"

Fakir nodded. "It was cut down years ago, and now its roots can only be accessed through that one stone in the field."

"Well, since most people considered it just a regular tree, legend notwithstanding, it was a tricky thing finding out exactly what had happened to it. But I finally was able to track down who had cut it down, and more importantly... what became of it."

Fakir was interested and impressed, in spite of himself. "That must have taken some doing."

The other student shrugged modestly, but the smug grin remained in place. "Not for someone with my determination."

"Anyway, you were saying... about the tree..."

"Yes, well, when the tree was cut down, it was cut down by a very specific person." Autor rested his elbows on the table and leaned forward to stare at Fakir meaningfully. "Someone who didn't want anyone else to know that true storytellers really existed."

"Drosselmeyer..." Fakir breathed. "But to waste something like that..."

"There's more," Autor went on. "At least he didn't use it for firewood or building his kitchen furniture, I'll give him that. But for someone as interested in playing with people's lives as he was, he turned it into something else."

Fakir looked confused. "I don't get it... what, did he use it for the paper for writing his stories or something?"

Autor shook his head. "Close... that's what I'd thought originally. But no. He chose to fashion it into something that would do what he wanted. Something whose strings he could also pull, in a way that he couldn't control the tree itself."

And suddenly all the pieces fell into place for Fakir.

"He... turned the tree into..."

His dark green eyes went straight to Uzura, who had been watching their whole conversation in fascination.


"That IDIOT!" Fakir was stamping up and down his living room, cursing and swearing at Drosselmeyer at the top of his lungs while Autor and Uzura watched wide-eyed.

"It wasn't bad enough that he destroyed something as alive and wonderful and mysterious as the Storyteller's Oak, but then he just threw Edel aside as though she were NOTHING! Who does that sanctimonious, megalomaniac bastard think he is?!"

"Calm down, Fakir," Autor said quietly. "I know you're angry, but we can't change the past. All we can do now is create the future."

Fakir whirled around on the young author. "And you wanted to be just like him!"

"You're saying you've never wanted power? Wanted to make sure that what you wanted actually happened?" Autor's voice was soft, but it stopped Fakir in mid-rant, and he dropped into a chair. "The only difference was, you went after it with a sword, while I went after it with a quill."

"What I wanted..." Fakir whispered. "I... I don't know what I want any more."

Autor frowned, rested his elbows on the table, and laced his fingers together. "That's not true, either. You know what you want..."

He turned to look outside, his eyes distant.

Fakir closed his eyes against a sudden rush of pain.

Uzura, however, followed Autor's glance toward a small, sparkling pond. "You mean Duck zura?"

"Yes, Uzura. What Fakir wants, more than anything else in the world, even more so than protecting people, is Duck... and Duck's happiness."

Fakir got up abruptly and turned away to face the fireplace, but Autor went on, his voice low.

"You see, Duck has only ever wanted things for other people. She wanted Rue to be happy... she wanted Mytho to be happy... she even wanted Fakir to be happy. She willingly spared others from Mytho's heart shards, giving up everything in the end. Their happiness... was her happiness."

Fakir gave a low groan and buried his face in his hands, and at last Autor turned to look at him.

"That's why you wrote that ending for her. You didn't know what you wanted, but you could give Duck what she wanted. She wanted a happy ending for everybody."

"Why Uzura?" Fakir asked later on, when he'd gotten his turbulent emotions back under control. Uzura, glad to be back, had escaped outside to go look for Duck. "Why not any of the others? Not that I'm complaining, mind you. I'm just as glad to not have Uzura under that bastard's control."

"Well, as a Storyteller, I felt a strong affinity with the tree," Autor replied, sipping at his tea and gazing implacably back at Fakir. "The prince and princess are enjoying their happily-ever-after. Uzura doesn't have any reason to be stuck in Drosselmeyer's world, other than to serve his whims."

He shrugged elegantly, and then stood up. "Besides... for what it's worth... I owed you one."

"Me?" Fakir said in amazement. "For what?"

"I knew that great things could be done with this power, but I had no idea as to the scale. You showed me just how much could be done with it, for better or for worse."

Autor strolled over to the door, then he glanced back over his shoulder at Fakir. "The question now, is... what are you going to do about it? Just sit and mope, and throw away all the training you went through?"

The other young man looked away, and Autor shook his head and sighed. "Pity... I'd have thought that besting Drosselmeyer would be proof enough for you that you can have what you want, but I guess I was wrong."

"Bastard." Fakir looked back at Autor, but the faint grin playing around his mouth told the other student that he wasn't really angry. "You really are a manipulative pain in the-"

"Such gratitude," Autor mocked, sweeping a bow. "Anyway, I'll leave you be... I have writing of my own to do. Good luck, Fakir."

To be continued...