AN: I blame Haleysings for introducing me to the 1 sentence community, in which I hesitantly picked up a Fakir/Ahiru pairing claim. This was quite a challenge for me, given that I usually take a given prompt anywhere from a thousand to eight thousand words in length on a normal basis, and this particular writing exercise forced me to limit myself to one sentence for each prompt.
But I must say that I enjoyed it immensely and it really was a lot of fun to do. I'm glad I went through with it and I hope it'll assist me on my way to writing more of my "Of Kisses and Quotes" prompts for the pairing, as well.
My apologies if any of these are difficult to read or understand, as I'm not used to limiting myself like this, but I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them. Any feedback is most welcome and appreciated!
Other notes: A few of these themes tie in with other ones (right in a row) and I hope that doesn't distract from the themes themselves too much. I liked sort of telling a little story out of it, in a way.
Disclaimer: Princess Tutu and all of its character do not belong to me.
:: 1sentence LJ writing challenge - Theme Set: Epsilon ::
#01 - Motion
Ahiru still practices awkwardly upon her webbed feet every day out on the bank of the lake by the watchful eye of the writer and promises herself that even if she slowly reverts to being 'just a duck' without the mind and memories of the human girl she once was, the last thing she will ever relinquish is what it feels like to dance.
#02 - Cool
Though not nearly as harsh as the frigid winter that has passed, spring brings with it a breeze that ruffles her feathers and makes her small body shudder - until she finds herself sheltered by simple cotton and held by the warmth of a familiar arm.
#03 - Young
The story has long since ended and time passes in a way that makes Fakir feel weary and aged beyond his true years; but with the sight of the duck frolicking and quacking happily in the water before him, he is reminded that their story has only just begun.
#04 - Last
He resolves that if he should ever dare to breach the barrier between them set in place by reality, it will be the final tale that he ever spins with his power.
#05 - Wrong
Fakir knows that anyone who spots them together will only see a boy and a duck - they cannot feel the close bond of two partners, taste the bittersweet triumph of fates denied, or understand why he treats the bird with a special kindness reserved for her alone.
#06 - Gentle
For a hand that once wielded a sword and now bears rough calluses from endless writing, Ahiru still sighs softly when that hand gently strokes the feathers upon her head.
#07 - One
He had always believed that duty and the desire not to be useless were what made him strive to reach his goals - but that changed with the realization that keeping his one promise to her was infinitely important not because of the bind of the promise itself, but because of how much he loved her.
#08 - Thousand
He reads for her his newest story as she perches attentively upon his left leg, soaking up every word with lucid awe shining in the depths of her blue eyes, and for a brief moment, Fakir is struck by the way her eyes sparkle like they were lit from within by a thousand tiny stars.
#09 - King
Fakir is not a prince, and Ahiru knows that better than anyone, but she finds that she cannot help but smile at the other birds' claim that the surly human glaring from his wicker chair on the dock is king of the lake.
#10 - Learn
When the time to migrate arrives and Ahiru merely quacks her confusion as the other ducks and birds depart, Fakir discovers with a measure of surprise (and a strange note of relief) that not even the most basic of her duck instincts exists.
#11 - Blur
The clock chimes and Fakir languidly rouses from a slumber he does not recall falling into, but his weary eyes instantly recognize the traces of the ache in his heart that stain and smear her name in the ink on the paper beneath him.
#12 - Wait
"Not today," he grumbles to himself with a glum shake of his head, and avoids glancing toward the sleeping form of the duck in the corner, instead staring almost longingly at the quill that seems to beckon him back to the half-written page on his desk.
#13 - Change
Neither of them had expected it - months had passed since he had even attempted to twist the threads of her reality - but in one moment to the next, the floating duck became a dazed and utterly shocked redheaded girl, and a new chapter had begun.
#14 - Command
"Put some clothes on, dammit!" he explodes, face red with embarrassment as he fumbles right down out of his chair and onto the wood of the dock, completely ignorant of the fact that the closest piece of extra clothing was all the back at his cabin.
#15 - Hold
It's strange to feel warm skin instead of the soft feathers he had grown accustomed to, but she fits so perfectly into his embrace now that he would wish for nothing else.
#16 - Need
Ahiru proclaims with a pout that she doesn't want help and swats at him with the spatula in her hand, but Fakir only spares one silent glance to the charred remains of he supposed was dinner before he meets her indignant glare with a roll of his eyes and retorts, "That's irrelevant, as you obviously need it."
#17 - Vision
"It's weird," she says with a giggle, bending down to take a closer look at the bed of wildflowers in front of them, "I'm so used to looking up at everything."
#18 - Attention
His eyebrow twitches with irritation as she shifts restlessly from side to side to peer over his shoulder while he writes, and he abruptly realizes just how much more of a distraction she had become and how much more difficult it was to ignore her.
#19 - Soul
Following the sound of soft sobs, he finds her sitting on the floor in the attic one morning with tears streaming in rivulets down her cheeks as she proceeds to blubber endlessly about princesses, ducks, stories, and truths - and with a hand extended to help her up, he assures her that she will always be the same inside no matter what form she takes.
#20 - Picture
She looks up from the picture book in her lap and grins at the grumpy young man with a hidden mirth as she brightly states, "You've already got the horse, so just get some nicer clothes and a little crown, and you could pass as prince not-charming!"
#21 - Fool
They say only fools fall in love, Fakir muses as he watches the redhead slumber peacefully against the tree; but what of the man who gives his heart to a duck and succumbs to the need for her to be a girl?
#22 - Mad
"Don't do that," he chastises roughly and she immediately stops with a guilty nod, not knowing that his discomfort with her whistling was not the shrill off-key noise, but the crazy desire to kiss her puckered lips.
#23 - Child
At times, caring for her was like dealing with an unruly toddler, but despite that, Fakir was all too aware of the beautiful young woman she was blossoming into.
#24 - Now
"Not yet," she insists with a light huff, brushing off of his demand in a deliberately nonchalant manner and cupping a hand over her mouth to fake a yawn and keep from laughing as his features twist with mute aggravation at her refusal to come back inside immediately and change out of her nightgown.
#25 - Shadow
She notices his shadow crawl into hers before she even hears him approach - something about his presence was still commanding of her attention even when he was removed from plain sight.
#26 - Goodbye
"If I'm such a problem, then let me just get out of your way for good!" she shouts at his turned back, fists balled at her sides and angry tears rolling down her flushed cheeks; and the door shuts with a final slam to cement the word that went unspoken.
#27 - Hide
All that mattered was getting away from the cold green fire that burned in his eyes and it wasn't until she found herself lost in the deep thicket of trees and foliage that Ahiru remembered she had nowhere else to go in the first place.
#28 - Fortune
She slipped one time too many, and lost her balance right over the edge of a cliff she hadn't seen - but the imminent fall was prevented with a firm grab of her flailing wrist from behind, and Ahiru never questioned her good fortune again.
#29 - Safe
"You're such an idiot," he growls at her with unmasked anger - but the bite of his insult was then betrayed by the crushing force of his arms wrapping protectively around her as his voice cracked out, "don't scare me like that again."
#30 - Ghost
Ahiru only agrees to fetch a box of inkwells (given by Autor) from the dark and dingy cellar after Fakir assures her for the hundredth time that the creaking is due to the wind and there were no evil spirits inhabiting the worn wooden cupboards.
#31 - Book
There is not much he openly enjoys, but sharing a story with her while huddled together by the heat of a fire on a frigid night is something that always brings a smile to Fakir's lips.
#32 - Eye
It's not that she never noticed Fakir (it was impossible not to), but in the past, she only had those eyes for Mytho - and now... now she saw every bit of the ruggishly handsome young man she had been blinded to for so long.
#33 - Never
"I'll never leave your side," she echoes his promise from long ago and places a hand over his heart as if to seal her vow.
#34 - Sing
"It's a good thing you weren't meant to be any type of melodic bird," he supplies with mild amusement as he musses her red hair with his fingers, "You can't even carry a simple tune without sounding like a squwaking banshee."
#35 - Sudden
He leans in unusually close to her face, their noses almost touching, and then darts away from her swiftly and averts his gaze to hide the stain of red to his cheeks - but nothing prepares him for that shock that results from her innocent questioning of if he had just tried to kiss her, and he tumbles back into the fountain with a splash.
#36 - Stop
The moment he said he loved her, Ahiru thought her heart had ceased beating - that is, until it fluttered and pounded with an intensity that she feared would break the bones of her ribcage in the process of trying to keep it from bursting.
#37 - Time
Ahiru sputters through her blush and flurried rush of words that his confession was too sudden and she never even considered he could think of her that way, but her jaw goes slack when he mumbles out that he just hadn't possessed enough courage to tell her how he felt for years.
#38 - Wash
He lets her clean the dishes more than he allows her near the woodstove to cook, since broken glass was much easier to replace than a house going up in flames.
#39 - Torn
"You ripped another one!?" she near-shrieks at the sight of his brand new white shirt, which now sported a diagonal tear a few inches bottom right side, and he merely shrugs, though his eyes appraise the torn fabric in an almost pleased way.
#40 - History
No one would be able to guess just how much the short redheaded girl and surly dark-haired boy who walk contently hand-in-hand had gone through to be as they were now.
#41 - Power
Fakir hears the whispered rumors from the students around the courtyard about the clumsy redhead having cast a spell on him to win his heart and can't help but smirk to himself, knowing she did indeed had him wrapped around her little finger, but magic had nothing to do with it.
#42 - Bother
"I said I don't mind," he speaks, voice laced with irritation as he glowers at her, and when she opens her mouth to retort, he tugs her forward and silences her with his lips.
#43 - God
"That's giving that crazy bastard too much credit," Fakir scoffs at Ahiru's comment about a certain old man's prior control over Kinkan town, "Drosselmeyer was no deity."
#44 - Wall
Ahiru didn't think much had visibly changed about the ever-stoic Fakir at all, but she could see that the remaining edges of frost around his eyes had melted completely away and allowed the most tender warmth to shine through to her unbarred.
#45 - Naked
Ahiru knows that she's not really naked right now - she even glanced down to make sure - but the intense way he's staring at her causes a strange shiver to run down the length of her spine as she squirms under his gaze, feeling as though she was open and bared to him by something far deeper than a lack of clothes.
#46 - Drive
Once upon a time, being a worthy knight and protecting a prince was all that mattered to him - but he had never felt a deeper determination than the one he harnessed deep within his heart now: to forever keep a smile brightening Ahiru's face.
#47 - Harm
The dull pain is still throbbing within her and she clings to him with wild fingers as she struggles to adjust, but the tender, apologetic kisses he presses to the base of her throat assure her that he would never intentionally harm her - and like magic, his touch turns the ache into something wonderful.
#48 - Precious
"I'm not fragile," she disputes his statement with a pout as she kicks the back of his left leg, but a blush creeps across the freckles dotting over the bridge of her nose when he adds that he wants to keep her safe, because she is the most important part of his life.
#49 - Hunger
Many hours after Fakir successfully intervenes on another of Ahiru's cooking attempts, she stubbornly curls her hands on her hips and declares that she's still not hungry and won't eat whatever he made - but her stomach is quick to contradict her with a loud, almost grotesque-sounding rumble, and Fakir fails to hold in his laughter upon seeing the embarrassed expression on her face.
#50 - Believe
Even when all hope seems lost, they will always believe in each other more than anything - because the strength of courage can only be made with two gems - two hearts - that become one.