He watched her dance- full of clumsy steps lacking any kind of grace, awkward positioning as she forgot what came next, spins that only succeeded in making her dizzy…

(He remembered his writing. Shallow plots, shallower characters- writer's block taunting him, brilliant words ever beyond his reach…)

…he thought of Princess Tutu's dance- the elegance in every move, the suppleness of her matured body, the perfection of her en pointe; never even breaking a sweat.

(…he thought of Fakir's stories and the ease with which they seemed to flow out of him.)

For a moment, he thought of joining her. Not in dance, but perhaps he could play the piano for her, to give her a rhythm to move to. It would not have been much, but she might have appreciated it anyway. She might have understood.

(He cursed himself as he remembered the desperation in her eyes when Fakir had been possessed by the oak tree; he remembered the tenderness with which Fakir had carried the sleeping girl home…)

He knew better- he knew what his role was. Without a sound, he lowered his head and walked out of the room.

She never even knew he had been there.