The water was warm and inviting that day. As it was everyday. But for some reason, the sun shone brighter, there were fewer clouds in the sky, and the ripples across her – no... their – pond lapped kindly at my sides. It was just like before. Before she got in over her head, before her dreams took control of her life, and ended up ruining it.

Except now Ahiru had someone. Someone other than... him. Even now, she still couldn't think his name. It's a difficult blow to handle.

She hopped onto the wooden dock. She looked up to the rocking chair that was constantly there, and saw her most cherished companion. He was slouched, his head lolling lazily to the side, his quill propped up in case sudden inspiration came to write. Inspiration from his dreams that is. The fool was sleeping, as he often did when he wrote the sun to be this warm. He rarely used his inherited powers any more, except when he felt that he was strong enough to resist the urge to write tragedy. Which he often was, he just never gave himself the credit. Idiot.

'Fakir...' She thought lazily. 'How could something so terrible end up with me feeling so... warm? And happy?' Ahiru could feel the blush on her face. Which then became even more red when his quill began writing. Oh no! She didn't mean to think it like that...!

"Ahiru?" The boy said dreamily, as if he was loathe to be woken up so quickly. Well, he was asleep for a good four hours. Stupid. Then he looked down, and smiled softly.

They had discovered this connection to his writing abilities a few weeks after they were free from Drosselmeyer's story town. Mytho and Rue, Prince and Princess, had bade the two farewell, and went off in search of a city in which they could raise a family. Fakir chose to stay with Ahiru, but since Mytho was no longer there to convey her feelings (to which he was attuned, it would seem), he could no longer understand Ahiru's frantic flailing and quacking. Fakir had sighed exasperatedly and flopped into his rocking chair.

"If only you could write them for me. Or better yet, I could just immediately understand you."

And then his hand went flying across the pages in his notebook, as all of what she had been trying to say to him was written down. It took quite a struggle to get his hand to stop. But at the very beginning of this newly written "chat log", was the sentence; "And then, as if by magic, the man's hand suddenly knew the thoughts of the duck with whom the man was so attached. And from that day forward, every thought that entered the duck's head was immediately transferred to the pages of the man's notebook."

And it was so. Whenever Ahiru thought something that was directed at Fakir meant for dialogue, he would write it down.

"I don't know Ahiru. After such tragedy, after such life to have lived, I don't know how we can come to have been so lucky." He looked up into the now cloudless blue sky, tossing his growing black hair over his shoulder. "I feel warm and happy being here with you too."

Uh oh! So he did pick up the undertone in that.

After being through so much with Fakir, so much pain, and loss, but triumph and gain as well, it was difficult for Ahiru not to develop... these types of feelings for him. Especially after staying with her, even though she was now just a duck. And she was a duck. She was originally, and it seemed that it would remain that way forever. A duck was not supposed to have the feelings of a human, for a human.

But that was what Drosselmeyer miscalculated. He thought he could turn the poor Ahiru into a human, play out his unfinished story, and return her to normal. He didn't expect the characters in the story to take control, nor did he expect Ahiru's mind to keep all the memories of being a human. True, most of it seemed like a dream to her, but Fakir there beside her was proof enough.

Because she...

If only she could become the real Ahiru. Just one more time. It'd be strange to ask for a kiss as a duck. Even as the clumsy Ahiru... But surely, Princess Tutu...!

She promised herself that she would find a way to become a human. For Fakir. Because... he looked so lonely. All the time, whenever he retreated to his cottage on the side of the pond, whenever she would follow him... he'd hold his head in his hands and sigh, all heavy and upset.

'Fakir...' She thought. 'Do you get lonely? I know you do... But do you ever wish I was Princess Tutu again?'

The boy smiled. Soft, again, like all his smiles were. He'd definitely changed from how he was back in that town. "I won't lie to you, Ahiru. I do get lonely. I do sometimes wish you were more than a duck. But not Princess Tutu. No." He shook his head here, and scooped Ahiru the duck up in his hands. "You're not Princess Tutu. That's not your true identity, that's not who you are in here." He poked the point on her chest where her small heart was beating rapidly. "It wasn't Princess Tutu who was closest to me, though her powers did help so much. It was Ahiru, the clumsy ballerina, who tried her best anyway. And I wish I could... I wish..."

She didn't need him to finish that sentence. 'Fakir... I do too...' This thought, was not thought as something that would be written down.

Said boy bowed his head, and placed the tiny duck back in the water. "It's getting late. I'm going inside now."

She watched him go, upset. 'Fakir...'

At that moment, a voice rang in her head. "Ahiru..." It said. "I cannot be here for long, but just long enough to give you this. Take it, put it on, and live your life as you should with that boy. Show me your happy ending. Because Drosselmeyer's tragedy is over."

'Edel!?' She called her former friend's name mentally, knowing full well Edel couldn't hear her. But she hoped... She hoped she wasn't just dreaming. On the dock, her red pendant fell from the sky. But it was in a different shape than before. In stead of an egg shape, or Princess Tutu's swan, it was perfect circle, with a silver arm hooked around one side, a steel arm hooked around the other, creating the shape of a heart perfectly.

"Silver, for coming second best, but shining just as brilliantly as the one who came first. And steel, the metal used in swords forged for the greatest of knights. You and Fakir, Ahiru. Put it on, and show Uzura and I your happiness." The voice echoed, and she knew that her friend was gone.

How could a chance come this easily? Was Drosselmeyer trying to pull something again? Ahiru decided she wouldn't know until she tried, so she floated toward the dock, and flitted to where the pendant rested. She flipped the chain over her neck with her bill, and felt her body glow and heat up immediately

A light shone from the pendant, engulfing her duck body. She could feel her feathers disappearing, her wings growing long, with individual fingers, her feet unwebbing themselves, and growing as well.

After the transformation, she knew something was different. Her legs felt stronger, she was taller, her chest... well... bigger. It appeared that her pendant grew with her. And her hair... Her hair was no longer in it's haphazard braid, but still just as long. It was beautiful. She was wearing a dress, fortunately, that fell to her ankles, rather than her old school uniform.

Ecstatic, Ahiru began running to Fakir's cottage, but tripped over her own two feet and fell. Still as clumsy as always, it would seem. She laughed happily, and in her laughing, she began crying. She was just so happy. She couldn't contain it. She sat there in the dirt for a while, crying and laughing, before she got up and made her way carefully to Fakir's cottage.

She pulled open the door, tears running down her face which was cut in half by her smile. "Fakir!" She cried, her voice breaking from lack of use and emotion. He whipped his head up from his hands, eyes wide with disbelief, as his outstretched arms caught her from where she tripped while running to him. He pulled her close, burying his head in her hair.

"Ahiru. Is it really you? Could it really be...? How? Why?" He asked, pulling her away to look at her properly, then pulling her so close she thought he would crush her. And she would be happy with that. He pulled her away, and looked into her eyes. "Ahiru?"

She was crying again. "Edel... She visited me... And gave me this pendant. She asked me to show here my happy ending, since Drosselmeyer's tragedy was over... Fakir! I love you! You've stayed by my side this entire time, and written me stories, and even endured the pain of loneliness, just to stay with me! Even before we escaped Drosselmeyer's story, you helped me save Mytho, and suffered my pesky clumsiness. I thought I loved Mytho... But... I realize now I only ever loved that he was human, something I so wished to be. But whenever I'm with you..." She looked up into his eyes, and felt her face heat up.

"Whenever I'm with you, my face gets all warm and red, and my heart beats faster and faster." She grabbed his hand from where it was holding her shoulder, and pressed it to where her heart was bursting from her rib cage. "I love you Fakir. Really I do."

And then he did what she had been hoping he would. He wrapped his arms around her waist, pulled her body flush against his, leaned his head in close, both of their eyes slipping closed before...

- - - - - -

"Ewwwww!! Mum!" Cried the orange-haired boy from where he was hiding under the covers, throwing them off in disgust. He looked to be about seven, and his hair had an adorable duck-butt tousle to it, freckles dotting his face. "That's gross! I don't want to hear about how they got cooties."

"Shut up, Mateo! I think it's an adorable and romantic story!" Enthused the girl in the other bed, her black hair hanging over her shoulder in a thick braid. She seemed to be about ten, and she had a huge beam on her face.

"Cooties are not romantic, Belle." Muttered Mateo.

"Says the seven year old who knows nothing of love and romance." Said his sister.

Their mother laughed. "Oh, I haven't told that story since you were six and three." She smiled happily, just as the door to the small bedroom opened.

"Sorry for the wait. Who wants a story?" Their father asked, before looking over and noticing his wife in the rocking chair. "Oh. You did the telling this time?"

"Yes. Eliza-Belle asked me to tell Ahiru's story again." The orange-haired woman said, standing. She walked over to where her son was lying, and kissed his forehead. She made her way over to her daughter, and did the same. "Good night, my little fledglings." She said affectionately, as she closed the door quietly.

Her husband wrapped an arm around her waist. "Is it right? To deceive them like this?" He asked, looking at her carefully.

His wife thought for a bit. "Yes. We're finally as happy as we can be, and all of that is in our past. I think taking new names was the only way to put it behind us."

"I love you, Ahiru. My Odette."

"I love you too, Fakir. My Derek."


A/N: Ooooooooooooooooooo boy. Was that a ride. So, I've finished both Princess Tutu and Peach Girl in the same week. That's what happens when exams are over, and you've got EFF all to do.

I know I used the name of the prince from "The Swan Princess", the Nest Learning film, and not Siegfried as it was in the original Swan Lake. But Derek, to me, suited Fakir much more than Siegfried, don't you? Ahh, what ever. Hope you enjoyed. Reviews pleaase!