Description: The characters from the story 'The Prince and the Raven' return to Gold Crown Town some two months after Fakir ended the story, but this time Mytho is not among them – he has vanished into thin air. Once again Duck must transform into Princess Tutu, and Rue into Princess Kraehe, to help stop their new enemy, a fierce and cunning young man who, mysteriously, has no name. Fakir accompanies them on their brave search for the noble Prince and helps them by writing stories - which sometimes become reality – whenever he can. But only when it is almost too late do they realise that the Raven has once again returned, and is too searching for Mytho. It seems that this time, the Prince has had his very soul shattered, and together, the band of three must recover the missing pieces and find out who committed this unthinkable crime. Time is running out, and it seems that the three will need the help of Drosselmeyer and Uzura, who have entered another story, one in which they have no control at all….

A Swan's Grace

Chapter One

The duck waddled gracefully towards the injured rabbit and…

"Quack!" Translation: "Stop that Fakir!"

Fakir sighed and put down the quill that he was using to write a new story of his, one that was becoming reality as soon as he wrote it down. He uncrossed his legs and stood up, stretching. Sometimes this power was quite a burden. He enjoyed to write stories, but not all of them he wished should come true. After all, no one should be able to choose another's fate for themselves. It was clear that Duck agreed with him - he had been writing for hours and Duck was beginning to object at every sentence, as Fakir's stories always seemed to be about her. She didn't enjoy having no free will, having to move around all day due to his story when all she wanted was to sleep.

Fakir glanced at his companion, Duck, and watched as she slowly waddled to the lake he had been sitting by and hopped in. She looked exhausted and he decided that it would be best if he left her alone to enjoy the peace and quiet she deserved. Her eyes immediately closed and Fakir sensed that she desperately needed to catch up on some sleep, so he turned to the small fluffy rabbit that he had just begun to write about.

"Come here, you poor little creature," Fakir called gently to the injured rabbit that had been sitting with one paw outstretched in front of the other, showing no evidence of the extreme pain that he must be in. The rabbit ignored him and looked about itself fearfully, only just realising that this was not his proper home.

Fakir quietly approached the rabbit, careful not to startle it, and pulled it into his arms despite the wriggling objections it caused. "You okay, little guy?" He received no reply from the rabbit, which was as he had expected. It seemed that the only creature that he could communicate with was Duck.

He quickly examined the rabbit's hind leg and saw that there was only a small scratch on it with a little bit of blood oozing out. Fakir sighed and carefully placed the rabbit back on the ground, before watching it slowly and hesitantly hop off. He decided that there was probably nothing he could do to help the injured rabbit. It would heal better if he didn't try to do anything – he'd most likely end up making the injury worse.

The sun was shining brightly that day, causing Fakir to become uncomfortable in the clothes that he was wearing. He removed his jacket and shirt, placing them on the small pier near his chair and writing materials. He also removed his shoes and socks but kept his pants on, before diving into the cold lake.

Duck didn't even stir as Fakir swam by her. By that time she was asleep and dreaming a dream that only she would ever know of. Fakir remained in the water for a few minutes before he grew bored of it and hopped out. His life was beginning to get extremely boring and he seemed to be getting pretty lazy lately.

He dried himself off with a towel and walked off deeper into the forest that surrounded the lake to continue one of his experiments that Duck knew nothing of.

Duck opened her eyes slowly and swam hesitantly towards the bank. Despite how much she searched with her large blue eyes, she couldn't see Fakir from the water, which was quite disconcerting for her. She'd have to go on land if she wanted to see him, and if something was wrong she may be injured. But then again, it would be better than being human and walking into a trap. A duck was way more inconspicuous.

She flapped her wings to rid them of some of the water they had soaked up and jumped out onto the bank, her wings helping her reach her destination. After a quick grooming session, Duck waddled towards the small log cabin that Fakir had made his home. It looked and sounded lifeless, which meant she wouldn't find Fakir anywhere inside. There was no point looking there.

As he had promised when they were in the Lake of Despair, Fakir had stayed with Duck for most of the two months that had passed since the story of the Prince and the Raven had been finished. No one knew that the two were living in a forest, but then again no one would've remembered them due to the story having been finished and their minds having been erased.

She looked up, confused, as she heard the sound of hesitant footsteps slowly approaching the grassy mound that she was standing on. She saw the glint of black boots and realised that the person approaching was Fakir. She relaxed and decided to lie down in a comfortable looking patch of grass, to rest her always weary legs. Moments after she had lied down Fakir appeared in front of her, having come out of the forest.

"Fakir." Duck quacked cheerfully. An ordinary human would just hear the sound of a small duck quacking, but Fakir, for some strange reason – probably due to the fact that he too had been a pawn of Drosselmeyer's and also could make reality come true – could understand what Duck was saying. It was probably due to the fact that he had inherited Drosselmeyer's power. "Where were you?"

She examined Fakir, seeing that he had his hands clasped together, and a faint red glow was escaping through the little cracks between his fingers. Fakir noticed her gaze and placed the object that had been in his hands in the pocket of his pants. He glanced to the pier where his shirt and jacket still remained, and then he bent down to pick up Duck, cuddling her close to his bare chest. He seemed to be in a very secretive mood, ignoring Duck's question and hiding the object from her. This wasn't good news, and Duck was quite shocked when he spoke next, changing the subject.

"It was exactly two months ago today that Mytho and Rue returned to the story." Fakir informed Duck, ignoring her question.

"That's right. I hadn't thought about those two for a while…" Duck whispered, remembering the brief pain she had felt when Mytho had chosen Rue instead of her. Her love for Mytho was not as strong as she had thought, and she had quickly gotten over the rejection, yet the pain was still there. He would always be in her heart, as her first real love.

"Hey, you're not still upset that he didn't choose you, are you?" Fakir asked curiously, kindness sparkling in his deep green eyes as he correctly read Duck's soft feathery expression.

"No!" Duck cried. "It's just… for so long I thought he might have loved me back… I made myself believe that, you know?"

"You know he did. He loves everyone, and you know that. It just wasn't destined for you two to be together. After all, you made yourself believe that you loved him more than you actually did. He loves Rue the most, though, and she will love him until the death of both of them." Fakir told her kindly.

"That's right." Duck whispered, tears filling her large blue eyes. "I'm just a duck. I was foolish to think that anyone would ever love a duck like me in that way."Despite the kindness in Fakir's voice, in his face, Duck felt the need to be bitter towards him. Though the wound had healed, it hadn't been brought up since the day that it happened. He was currently undoing the stitches that held her together.

"Idiot." Fakir whispered to her before putting his hand into his pocket.

When Fakir pulled his hand out of his pocket, a glowing red stone came grasped in the centre of it. He paused for only a second before pressing it softly against Duck's feathery chest. He carefully placed her on the ground and took a step back from her, the stone still pushed against her chest, attached as if by superglue.

Suddenly there was a bright flash of light and Duck began to transform back into a human girl, the stone lying on a beautiful silver chain. Fakir averted his gaze for a few moments but returned it as he watched with wonder. She grew bigger and bigger until she stood just above Fakir's shoulder. She had grown quite a bit since she had last been a girl. She looked at herself amazedly and then her gaze shifted to look into his eyes, a grin lighting up her face. He stared back calmly, unable to resist smiling back at her bright face.

"What… did you do?" She asked wondrously.

"It's just like with your amulet from before. I used my skills to extract a small shard of my heart instead of shattering the whole thing like Mytho did, so you could live a normal life as a girl. The amulet necklace will never come off, unless I'm the one to take it off. It is my gift to you." Fakir explained quietly.

"Really? For me?" Duck cried, throwing her arms around Fakir. "Thank you!" She squeezed him tight for a few moments and then pulled away, smiling at him.

"No proble–" Fakir said as he looked down at her body. His face turned bright red and he swirled around so that he could not see her. "Put some clothes on." He whispered.

Only then did Duck notice that she was naked, and her face too turned bright red. She placed her hands over her body, despite the fact that Fakir had turned away. She felt utterly exposed standing naked in the middle of a large clearing in the forest. "You saw?" She grumbled.

Fakir shook his head slowly, not trusting his voice.

She wasn't very satisfied with this answer and burned bright red with embarrassment. She tried to forget about it and looked instead for somewhere she would find something to wear. For now, she'd probably have to wear a spare pair of Fakir's clothes. But as she gazed towards the forest she saw two piles of clothes. It seemed quite suspicious but she headed over there anyway, feeling that she had nothing at all to lose.

When she reached the clothes she realised that both of the piles had little pieces of paper on top of them, and one piece said 'Duck', the other said 'Fakir'. They were the uniforms for the academy that they had attended during the story. Duck picked up the piece of paper with her name on it and turned it over, reading the words on the back aloud. "Duck, you will need these."

She shrugged her shoulders, decided it was better than nothing, and dressed herself in the uniform. The thought that lingered in her mind was that someone had remembered her, and that they had left her and Fakir a school uniform each. When she was done she called Fakir over, and he examined his pile of clothes with a slight frown on his face.

"Something's going on." He told Duck as he turned to face her. "Maybe we must return to Gold Crown Town. This is a sign that we are needed. But I wonder if Drosselmeyer is involved in this…."

"Will I become Princess Tutu once again?" Duck asked. Her amulet flashed brightly and she took that as a yes. When she was Princess Tutu she felt like she was incredibly powerful and graceful, like a swan. She loved that feeling, and it cheered her up. For now she ignored that part of her mind that reminded her that she'd have to risk her life once again.

"Turn around." Fakir instructed the girl as he picked up his pile of clothes.

"Why?" Duck asked stubbornly, placing her hands upon her hips.

"Because I need to get dressed." Fakir pointed out.

"Oh." Duck whispered, blushing. She turned around and stared out at the lake she had been living in since the story had ended two months ago. It was time to say goodbye and move out. She would miss the sereneness of this place. "I wonder if anyone will remember us."

"I don't know." Fakir told her truthfully. "But we'll have to go see anyway. Come on Duck, no time to waste."

"Don't you want to get your stuff?" Duck wondered as he turned his back on the lake.

"I'll get it another time." Fakir said to her as he began to walk into the forest.

"Um, Fakir?" Duck muttered as she followed him.

"Yes, Duck?" Fakir asked.

"Will you still be by my side? You won't abandon me, will you?" Duck asked sadly, examining her small feet.

Fakir stopped and turned to the orange haired female he was walking with. Her hair was long, and for once it wasn't tied up. It trailed down to her back, and it looked quite like Rue's, except prettier. Fakir liked it better that way than when it was in a plait. He pushed a stray strand of hair behind her ear as he whispered, "Always, always will I be by your side."

"Thank you." Duck whispered as she looked affectionately into Fakir's green eyes. He had changed a lot since the time when they had first met.

"Come on, let's go." He whispered, and grabbing hold of her left hand, pulled her along the path towards Gold Crown Town which they hadn't seen for exactly two months.

I just finished watching Princess Tutu for the third time. I love this show so much. Well, I guess I shouldn't write too long of a thingy here, because otherwise I'll never get chapter two done. Hope you enjoyed!

Love Kirst…