Disclaimer: Princess Tutu does not belong to me. I am simply an admirer of the series and make no profit whatsoever from this.
A/N: This was written as a gift for the SS exchange the PTT community recently held on LJ. It is a one-shot and is not meant to be continued, so please don't ask. However, as this is my first try at writing fic for this fandom, please feel free to review and tell me what you think. I love constructive criticism (note: that does not mean flames). Enjoy!
"Wake up, wake up!" Fakir felt a small but decided tug on his shoulder. In his half asleep state he swatted in the approximate direction of the offender before rolling his head back into the pillow for a few more hours of peace.
Unfortunately his assailant had other ideas, pulling back the down comforter and allowing an icy draft of air to replace it. Twisting into a ball in an attempt to ward off the cold, he finally gave up and sat up. "What the hell are you trying to do, idiot?"
"Come look!" a petite, duck-like girl grabbed his hand, pulled him out of bed and dragged him to the window, seemingly oblivious to the discomfort her actions caused. With a swift drawing of the curtains, sunlight streamed into the small chamber, prompting Fakir to shield his eyes. After several blinks he lowered his arm and peeked out to see what had compelled Ahiru to drag him out of bed so early. He groaned. "Isn't it wonderful, Fakir?" Ahiru's face was plastered to the glass, her body bobbing up and down as if she were in water.
The landscape was covered in good foot of snow. Everything was obscured by it, Fakir could not even tell where the walkway leading to to front door was. "What a nuisance!" he muttered, turning away from the window.
"What?" Ahiru removed her face from the glass to look at him.
"You woke me up for this?"
"But-well I thought you'd like to see it, it's so pretty! Besides, we've never had snow in Kinakan before because of Drosselmeyer-san. Why, don't you like it?" Ahiru's face fell, the normal glow leaving it.
"T-That's not what I meant!" Fakir said quickly. "It's just going to be a pain to shovel out the walkway and everything. Plus, it will be almost impossible to get to town, and the pipes might be frozen, and th-"
"No!" Ahiru put her hand over Fakir's mouth, silencing his grumbling. "Don't be such a sourpuss! We have a week's worth of food, so we don't need to go to town; the water was running just fine this morning, and if it's such a big deal I can clear the pathway myself. Can we just enjoy this? Please Fakir?" she implored, letting her hand fall from his face.
Damn her, he thought. She looked so,what was the word, cute. Fakir almost choked just thinking that, words like that shouldn't be in a serious writer's vocabulary. But he really couldn't think of a better one, her eyes were so hopeful and her mouth twisted in a little pout. He just couldn't bring himself to say no to that adorable face. "Fine, let me get dressed," he pushed her towards the door.
"Okay! I'll make breakfast!" Ahiru skipped downstairs.
"You will do no such thing! I won't be able to get help if the house catches fire!"
"What do you mean?! I wouldn't-"
"What about last week's pie episode? You're lucky it was only rendered completly inedible. Wait five minutes." Fakir shut the door and prepared for a very long day.
After they finished their pancakes (made by Fakir, naturally), Ahiru opened the back door and ran outside. Or tried to. "Aren't you forgetting something?" Fakir pulled her back inside and slammed the door to keep snow from blowing in. He took a wool coat off one of the hooks mounted on the wall and threw it at her. "Take this. You're so careless."
"Oh, I guess I was looking forward to the snow so much that I forgot to bundle up. Thank you for being so concerned about me Fakir!" Ahiru smiled as she finished doing the last button.
"I wasn't- That is- I just don't want to have to take care of you if you get pneumonia or something!" Fakir shouted, his facing growing flushed with anger (or so thought Ahiru).
"Well sorry to be such a bother!" Ahiru rushed out of the house, the heavy door swinging back into place with a resounding thud.
Strike two for being a complete ass today. Fakir grumbled, lacing up his boots and putting on his cloak. He went outside, the snow crunching under his feet. He had gone only a few steps before losing his balance and nearly falling, saved only by gripping a nearby tree branch. He needed to find Ahiru, if he could almost slip with all his ballet and sword training there was no telling what could happen to that clumsy girl. He scanned the area but didn't see any trace her. Fakir then saw a set of tiny footprints leading away from the property. Not even she would be that senseless. Would she? Fakir followed the footprints, which took him further and further away from the town. He finally got to the lake, once called Despair, where the prints ended. It was frozen over, or seemed that way. Fakir seriously doubted a large body of water could freeze completely in one day. He hoped Ahiru hadn't been fooled. No, not even she would-
"AAHH!" a high pitched scream broke the still winter morning, followed by the sound of something splashing into the water. Out of the corner of his eye Fakir discerned a large crack in the ice, and a familiar red head submerged in the void.
"AHIRU!" Fakir panicked, not sure of what to do. He ran along the lakeshore to the spot closest to where she was. He looked around for something, anything that could be used to pull her out. Behind him was a branch that must have broken off the tree due to the weight of the snow, but it appeared sturdy enough. He snatched it and gingerly made his way onto the ice.
"Fakir!" Ahiru's head bobbed up again.
"Stay there! I'm coming to get you out," Fakir got down on his hands and knees so as to not cause the ice to split anymore than it had already. Luckily she wasn't too far from the lake edge, and he was able to get there fairly quickly. But she had already spent several minutes in the freezing water, Fakir knew he had to get her out as soon as possible. "Ahiru, grab the branch, I'm going to pull you out!" He put the end of the log in the water, and sure enough soon felt a weight on it. Ahiru's face appeared, and she grasped the branch more securely. "Are you ready?" She nodded, her eyes enlarged with fear. Fakir began to tug, pulling the branch out little by little as if it were a rope in a game of tug-a-war. However this was a game he could not afford to lose. He got most of it out, Ahiru was almost to the edge of the crack. Then all of the sudden the branch gave out, snapping in two and sending Ahiru back underwater.
"Fakir! Help m-" her face became submerged before she could finish.
Fakir slid over to the edge of the break just in time to grab her hand. He grasped it tightly and pulled, not caring if it was the last thing he ever did as long as she was safe. Soon Ahiru's head and shoulders came up, and Fakir repositioned his hands underneath her arms and around her back. Ahiru put her arms around his neck and Fakir straightened his body, causing Ahiru to come out of the water.
She was soaked, her normally protruding hair plastered to her face and she was shivering uncontrollably. "Than-Thank-" Fakir wrapped his cloak around her and then his arms.
"Shh, it's okay. It's my fault that this happened. I shouldn't have let you go off by yourself, even if you were angry with me. I'm sorry. If anything ever happened to you, I don't know what I-" Fakir felt her go limp in his embrace. Realizing she wasn't out of danger yet, he carefully made his way back to land and carried her home as quickly as the weather permitted.
After he got her in bed he removed her outer layers of clothing, knowing she needed to get as dry as possible as soon as possible. He was hoping that her normal clothes would be dry or at least not very wet, but they were as drenched as her coat. He pulled a long flannel night gown out of her drawer and, determinedly looking only at her back, pulled off her sweater and putting on the nightdress. Gently lying Ahiru back down and pulling the blankets up, Fakir removed her pants and socks, pulling the flannel down when he was finished.
Ahiru put to bed and still unconscious, Fakir went to the kitchen to heat a pan of coal to warm her feet, as well as some soup for when she woke up. Taking the pan to her bedroom, Fakir saw that his patient had already woken up.
"Are you feeling alright? This will warm you up," Fakir put the pan (already wrapped in sheets) underneath her feet.
"I'm okay. Thank you for taking such good care of me," Ahiru smiled.
"It's not a problem. Are you hungry?"
"Yes, but first I have a question for you," Ahiru sat up and patted the empty spot on the bed beside her.
"Oh, uh, if you're wondering about your clothes, I didn't see anything, I swear! I just thought it would be best for you to be out of those wet things as soon as possible," Fakir blushed as he sat down.
"That's the furthest thing from my mind, I remember how embarrassed you got whenever I changed from a duck to a girl. My question is, are you sorry having to take care of me?"
Before Fakir could answer Ahiru leaned over and kissed him. Fakir's last intelligent thought for quite some time was that he would happily take care of her for the rest of his days.