I figured that I'd start small, as I am new to the Tutu fandom, so here's a piece of dribble I thought up while crocheting a scarf and thinking of all the other useless things I could be doing instead.
If this turns out okay, I might start writing a longer one. Oh well. We'll see.
It was only after Fakir had written her back to a girl when Ahiru begrudgingly admitted that she was truly, deeply, ridiculously head-over-heels in love with him.
In fact, she had been truly, deeply, ridiculously head-over-heels in love with him since he saved her from the depths of despair.
Ahiru didn't know why or how, but somehow, in the cold space between one moment and the next, Fakir became the most important person in the world to her.
He greeted others with a scowl that screamed, "You annoy me. Die." When he didn't look angry, he was sulking. When he wasn't either of the two, his eyebrows were pulled together in concentration while writing or dancing.
But sometimes, when it was just the two of them--and when they weren't getting on each other's nerves--he'd have this tender, soft look on his handsome, drop-dead gorgeous face. Ahiru loved it when he gazed at her like that. She felt beautiful and worthwhile, as if she was the only girl in the world.
Fakir even looked at her that way when she was just a duck, and that made all the difference.
She often found herself watching Fakir dance by the pond near his--now their--cottage when she was just a duck. A year later, she was no longer simply a witness, and Ahiru as a girl would be drawn into his (strong, gentle, warm) arms and whisked into a pas de deux that left her dancing in the clouds.
He would then (with a smile) state that a idiot like her desperately needed practice; she would then (with a blush) call him a big jerk.
He was also a bit of a jerk when he was writing, for that was the time when he was absolutely not to be disturbed. But when he was finished, it was worth seeing his pieces and Ahiru loved reading his stories. His characters were endearing, his plots were well-thought out, and there was always a happy ending for every character. Fakir's work never failed to showcase his creativity.
Ahiru never told him that she found his secret journal underneath his pillow. It was brimming with sonnets that depicted expressions that she knew were difficult for him to articulate. The poems were driven by pure emotion that seemed to spill out of the pages.
In the margins were doodles of a little duckling with a telltale feather on its head.
Seeing the drawings strengthened her resolve to finally ask him the question that was on her mind for the past year.
That morning, Ahiru found Fakir in front of the kitchen counter mixing some kind of batter. He sensed her presence behind him and turned to look at her. "Morning. I talked to the Headmaster of Kinkan Academy yesterday. You're enrolled for this fall. We start next month." He turned back to mixing the batter.
Ahiru swallowed. "Thanks," she murmured.
Fakir stopped and turned around. "Everything okay?"
"I…Fakir, I…" Ahiru stuttered. She couldn't bring herself to say it. All of the courage she built up crumbled and the words she planned to say flew right out of her mind.
His face reflected his annoyance. "Spit it out, idiot. I want to finish up making these damn pancakes for you."
Ahiru smiled and some of the tension on her shoulders eased. "Wow, thanks!"
"So what's wrong with you?"
"Mm, nothing!" she exclaimed as she bit her lip. She desperately scanned the kitchen for a distraction when a few items behind Fakir caught her eye. "Hey! You're making the peanut butter and banana flapjacks!"
Fakir cringed. "Yeah, and they're disgusting. I don't know why you like them so much."
"They're really good!"
"Well, you have horrible taste. Now stop trying to change the subject," he growled, irritation dripping from his voice, "Tell me what's going on."
"Nothing's going on! Stop being so paranoid! Do you need any help? I'll go oil the griddle for you!" She bustled around the kitchen quickly, her nervousness bubbling in the pit of her stomach. Fakir leaned his back against the counter, motionless, arms folded across his chest, his face blank, and followed her with his eyes. "Over medium heat, right? You know, Rachel told me once that you can tell the griddle is hot enough by flicking a drop or two of water on it. It's supposed to skitter around and evaporate if it's hot enough. What was I doing? Oh! Oiling the griddle! Fakir, you should add the dry ingredients now, right? I should learn to cook other things, too. And I really appreciate that you stopped eating eggs, Fakir. You didn't have to do that, you know. Have you seen the butter? Oh, never mind, I found--"
As Ahiru reached for the stick of butter next to Fakir, he snatched her wrist in his firm grip (the light calluses on his hand sent shivers down her spine) and yanked her around to look in his direction. His eyes shown with intense aggravation, but she knew him well enough to see the concern buried underneath. "Tell me what's wrong," he commanded.
"You're a horrible liar." He leaned down closer to her face so their noses were almost touching. He still had her hand in his grasp, but his eyes softened and he gazed at her in that way again. "What is it?" he whispered.
Her heart pounded and she felt the pulse in her ears. He was so close and if Ahiru just leaned forward a bit more…
The honest worry in Fakir's eyes was what drove her to force down her apprehension. "I…I wanted to…ask you a question…"
Fakir raised his eyebrow. "…A question."
He dropped her hand and leaned back against the counter. Ahiru still felt the tingle around her wrist and began to yearn for Fakir's warmth again.
Fakir let out a breath. "Just ask the damn question, then."
Ahiru stared at her feet. Now or never.
"Fakir…what do you think of me?"
She couldn't bring herself to look up, so her gaze shifted from her duck slippers to Fakir's black shoes.
Almost a whole minute passed before Fakir spoke. "W-What kind of idiot question is that?" he questioned almost nervously.
Looking up, she mumbled, "How do you feel about…what do you think of…me?"
Something strange flashed across his face. A mixture of fear, sadness and something else that she couldn't place settled on his countenance.
Ahiru's heart ached and all she wanted to do was take away everything that made him feel so anguished and hold him until he could smile again.
She blinked when his eyes met hers. In an instant all of his sorrow was overcome by a look of what Ahiru assumed was pure determination.
He spun around and began mixing furiously at the pancake mix. "You want to know just what I think of you." he stated firmly.
She was thoroughly confused by his sudden change in mood and grew more anxious. "Y-Yes."
Fakir added the dry ingredients to the mix gradually as he began to speak in a clear, straightforward voice, never looking at her and focusing on the batter.
"I think you're a clumsy idiot who can barely do the simplest ballet basics. Your cooking is horrible and the only thing you do well in the house is clean. Your voice still is very much like a quacking duck and when you ramble my head starts pounding. Sometimes, when you don't shut up, that pounding in my head develops into a full-blown migraine and I sometimes wonder why I put up with you. You're such a distraction."
She knew that if she made any sound, if she tried to yell, or tell him how hurt she was, or even say that she was fine with it, it would come out as a sob, and then the tears wouldn't stop.
Disappearing if she said her true feelings as Princess Tutu. Mytho choosing Rue as his princess. Being left behind at the end of the story as a duck.
Nothing compared to this.
Was this what it was truly like to be in love?
So she stood behind him as he continued mixing the batter, biting her lip, hugging herself while willing her tears to disappear, knowing that somewhere out there, Drosselmeyer must have been laughing hysterically.
Fakir stopped mixing, and turned to look at Ahiru. With all of her strength, she forced herself to meet his gaze, determined not to cry until she made it back to her room.
Much to her shock, he looked absolutely terrified.
His Adam's apple bobbed, and he took a deep breath. "Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if you could dance as well as Princess Tutu. But then, I wouldn't have an excuse to hold you closer so you don't fall." he muttered.
Ahiru stared up at Fakir in awe.
"If you could cook well, then I wouldn't be able to see you act so adorably clueless in the kitchen every day."
Her eyes watered again, only for a completely different reason. His head bowed and his eyes were obscured by his dark bangs.
"I don't even want to imagine life without that constant headache you give me. And the fact that I think you're the most beautiful girl in the world...I think you may be able to tell how distracting that is for me."
A sob escaped Ahiru's lips. "Fakir…" she whispered. His fists clenched tighter until his knuckles turned white.
"I have to say," his voice trembled, "that your persistent idiocy and annoyingly perky friendliness is like a disease and I can't get away from it because I love you so damn much that it hurts."
Fakir lifted his head so she could see his whole face again. "I don't mind if you don't feel the same way. I'm…no prince. And I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the most romantic person in the world." He paused to smile bitterly and lightly tug at Ahiru's braid. "But you wanted to know how I feel about you. And at least it's out in the open."
Ahiru stood speechless as Fakir turned back to the mix.
The whole time she had been keeping her feelings to herself, Fakir had been suffering just as much as, or perhaps more than, she did.
She couldn't keep the smile off her face.
"Come on, we have to finish your damn nasty pancakes. You have absolutely horrible taste in food."
"I have horrible taste in men, too."
He glanced over his shoulder, puzzled. "…What?"
"I mean," she stated as she shoved him over so she could reach the batter, "I have horrible taste in men if I fell in love with a self-centered jerk like you!"
Fakir turned bright red. "A-Ahiru, you…"
She gave him her best smile. "Fakir…" It took everything she had not to fling herself into his arms.
Fakir shifted his feet, obviously uncomfortable with the situation. So, he stuck to what he knew best.
"…How am I self-centered, you idiot?!" he growled, though still red in the face.
Ahiru blinked, then glared back at his scowl. "You were so stressed about how you felt about me that you didn't even notice that I practically asked for your stupid feelings! Why else would I want to know?!"
"Well, I devoted my life to you! Haven't you ever heard of the traditions of courtly love?! I swore I'd never leave your side! Don't you think that's enough of a hint?! You know what?! I'm the one with the horrible taste in women!"
"And that whole thing about you not being a romantic prince! That was so lame! I'm not attracted to romance. Maybe I am an idiot because I'm apparently attracted to jerks that make me want to throw something at their heads!"
As Fakir grabbed her arms and lurched her forward into a kiss, Ahiru felt a slight satisfaction that she still had the last word.
Wow. That was...bad. Everyone, forgive me.
(trips on a banana peel on way out)