Once upon a time, he wrote, enjoying the feel of the wind through is hair, there was a -boy- -man- a boy who was not quite a man yet. He had been many things in his life: a friend, a knight, the character in a story. He had gone through many adventures during his short time in life, and had learned about himself and others in the process.

It had been a month since he had last seen his best friend, but that time was not spent doing nothing. He had taken a bit of time to himself to recover from the injuries he had sustained during the battle, as well as taking care of the small yellow duck that swam next to him. Glancing down at her, he found himself smiling fondly. Dipping in his quill into the ink next to him he continued to write. While on his latest adventure he had found himself facing many problems, one of which was still unsolved even after evil had been defeated.

He had worked with a mysterious princess to help restore the shattered pieces of heart to a prince. However her power had been controlled by the final piece, and when she returned it she had reverted into her original form, unable to live among the people she had come to love. However she had accepted her face, cruel as it was, and the not quite man felt that wasn't fair to her. He thought about it while he was nursing her back to health. Then, when it seemed like there would be no hope, he came upon an idea.

He kept silent about it, in case his plan didn't work. Still, each night he would work on it, testing one of the powers he had found during the battle. Fakir paused for a moment, remembering the joy that had flooded through him the first time he had been successful. When the small flower had bloomed before his eyes he wanted to shout for joy. He supposed it would be easier to manipulate reality to his own liking now that Drosselmeyer's contraption was no longer controlling the fate of the town. After that he had made his projects bigger and bigger. He had eventually asked his step father for one last test to see if he was finally ready and able to do what needed to be done.

Grinning down at the small duck next to him, he set the quill in the ink for a second. "Ahiru?" He called, bitting his lips in an attempt not to laugh when she dropped under the water in shock.

When she resurface she quacked at him, eyes reproachful for startling her like that. "I'm sorry. You know I didn't mean to," he said to her, smiling kindly. At first he had felt a fool for talking to a duck, but after a while he had just gotten used to it. He assumed he had guessed what she thought as she gave him one last squawk before folding her wings back to her side. "Ahiru, would you mind coming up here next to me for a little bit. I have a bit of a surprise for you."

She looked at him for a moment before launching into the air, landing on the pier next to him. He set a piece of bread down for her to eat while he went back to writing, knowing what the results would be. Finally his talents were trained enough that he felt ready to help the princess in the way she had helped him. His heart swelled with a love he had been shocked to discover at the thought that he would finally be able to speak with her again. Working quickly he used his power over words to described her as he had loved her the most: A small girl with a flame of long hair, which she usually held away from her face in a braid. Her pale cream skin and long limbs made her perfect for her favorite form of dancing -- ballet. And he would have been the first to admit that she wasn't the best in the beginning, but by the end she had been as great as any of the others in her class, with an ability to be a great as she had desired. He could see in his minds eye as he worked his power how she would look, dressed in a simple yellow sun dress, blue eyes sparkling with the joy that effected everyone around her. He was filled with joy at the thought of being able to see her as she was before, knowing that he would never have to lose her again. His only fear was that she wouldn't want his present.

As he finished his spell he asked her if she wanted his gift, knowing that if she did the results would be instantaneous. "Ahiru," he said again, looking down at her. "What would you do if I told you that you could go back to being a girl?"

As she looked up at him, he grinned, seeing his skills start to work. As he watched the small duck seemed to be enveloped in a bright light, similar to the one he had seen many times before. A few seconds later it disappeared, leaving the not quite women he had remembered.

"Fakir?" She asked, blinking up in confusion. "What did you mean? Of course I-" She stopped, he assumed because she had just realized the change that had happened.

"What? I'm-I'm- I'm not a duck anymore!" She stood up, spinning around to try and get a better look at herself.

When he could take it no longer he stood, setting his papers to the side. "Ahiru," he said quietly, holding out his arms to her. She ran to him, squeezing him with all her strength.

"Oh, thank you thank you thank you!" She gasped, tears of joy streaming down her face.

"I took a little bit of liberty with your description. I doubt you'll never need to worry about being in the apprentice class again," he said, wrapping his own arms around her. The stood like that for a bit of time, his heart both swelling and breaking at the same time. Finally, when he felt he could no longer stand the raging war of emotions in his heart he said, "I have something I'd like to tell you."

She looked up at him from his arms, eyes displaying her confusion. He shifted his eyes, staring out at the water instead. "I, well, I think -- no, I know --. Er, what I mean is," he looked down at her again, and felt his heart skip a beat. Sighing, he decided that while he might be able to write a story without a problem, speaking was a completely different matter.

Deciding to explain in a more direct matter he leaned down and captured her mouth with his own in a short kiss. Pulling back, face in flames, he keep his eyes on the water as he said, "I, I- well, I know you were always looking after Siegfried, and I'm pretty sure that you loved him. But, well, you know he went back to his kingdom with Rue. Sorry, I shouldn't have mentioned that, huh? Anyway, I just thought you should know how I feel about you."

With that he dropped his arms from around her, trying to pull away. However Ahiru continued to cling to him, her face pressed to her chest. "I- I think I do too," she said, face burning.

Wrapping his arms back around her shoulders he whispered, "Welcome back my little swan."

--

Okay, so I just thought it wasn't fair that they would be seperated. Plus, it so was obvious that he was in love with her by the end of it. As for her reconizing it, I wasn't exactly positive, but I felt that it was possiable that either she did, or else she came to realize it during that month.