Well, here it is, my first Princess Tutu fic! (Actually, it's my first non-Bleach fic. I'm finally branching out!) I hope you guys like this :)
Ahiru moved an awful lot in her sleep. Fakir had thought that she would have used up her exponentially high quantities of energy while she was awake, but no. Her capacity to be constantly on the go never ceased, even when she was no longer conscious.
Her first few weeks as a duck living in Fakir's home had been awkward to say the least. They had both been highly embarrassed at the prospect of sharing a bedroom, but there were no spare rooms in the house and Fakir couldn't bring himself to demean her so much as to have her sleep in the kitchen. So they had settled on a compromise and made her a little nest of blankets on the corner of Fakir's writing desk. She would curl up like a cat and place her head under her wing (Fakir adored it when she did that, although he would die before admitting it), and quickly fall into a sound slumber. That should have been that. But, as Fakir was soon to learn, Ahiru wasn't one to stay put. Nearly every night, he would be woken abruptly by the sound of wings as she tossed and turned and flopped around, sometimes going so far as to fall right out of her basket and land with a thud on the floor, to which she would respond with a stunned "Quack!" and Fakir would have to force down a laugh. Once, he even awoke in time to see her dancing ballet on his desk while still sound asleep. It was awkward and clumsy, just like Ahiru, but to Fakir, it was the most elegant dance he had ever seen.
On several occasions, her subconscious movements went beyond fitful slumber into outright flying, and instead of rustling, Fakir would be woken by the feel of feathers as she landed on his chest or brushed against his face. When that occurred, he would gently stroke her head until she had relaxed enough to curl up into another cat-ball at his side. He would smile softly and go back to sleep, only to be awoken several hours later by Ahiru's startled realization of her location and hurried apologizes that she had somehow managed to move into his bed. He would chuckle and call her a moron and she would give him a confused, pouty look that simply made Fakir's heart melt right then and there.
After this had happened several times, and their comfort level grew, they simply abandoned the basket on the desk altogether, Ahiru settling down for the night on Fakir's pillow instead. The first time had been an accident. Fakir had been reading before bed, and Ahiru was sneaking a peak over his shoulder until she got so tired that she couldn't be bothered to fly back across the room and simply passed out right where she was. Fakir had teased her about it in the morning, but secretly he was elated, and it became much easier after that.
Fakir made an awful lot of noise when he slept. It was only after she began sleeping inches away from his head that Ahiru realized it, but Fakir spent more time talking while he was asleep than he did when he was awake. Sometimes it was baseless ramblings, but more often than not, he would tell stories. Stories that were floating around in his head but that he was too afraid to actually write down, for fear of altering someone's fate accidentally. Ahiru spent many hours each night wide awake, just listening to the incredible tales that he wove. She was afraid to tell him of this little quirk of his, for fear that it might stop, (not that she could speak, but she had a feeling she could let him know if she wanted to,) but actually, it was her favorite part of the day. Fakir often wondered what it was exactly that she did when he went to school, but the truth was, she took naps so that she could spend more time awake at night listening to him talk. His voice was calming and soothing and brought her an inner peace that nothing else could. She felt so blessed that she was finally able to spend these precious hours with him, and was inwardly excited by the fact that she was able to see a side of Fakir that no one else knew about. Well, actually, she saw lots of sides of Fakir that he kept hidden from others; like the fact that he cried when he couldn't protect someone, or that he really did know how to smile, or that he had a burning, passionate love of chocolate covered strawberries that he was mortified to admit. But of all the parts of Fakir she was privy to, this was her favorite.
He told secrets too. Things that bothered him or worried him that he was too prideful to admit during the day came pouring out of him at night. Many of them were things Ahiru already knew, like his concern about Mytho or his fear of writing the wrong thing in a story, but others were things that she knew he would probably rather keep private, like the fact that he had stage fright when dancing in front of a large audience, or that he had recurring nightmares of the man from the used bookstore standing over him with an ax. It was at those moments that Ahiru felt she should at least pretend that he had some dignity and go back to sleep herself. Even Fakir had the right to have some secrets.
But there was one night when he said something that she couldn't simply ignore. Right in the middle of an epic tale about a dragon and a cursed tiara, he paused and said plainly, "I love you Ahiru." It startled her so much that she quaked in surprise and Fakir jerked awake to ask her what was wrong. She shook her head and went back to sleep, but it was a long time before her heart stopped pounding.
It wasn't the last time he did it either. A week later, he said it again, and it was just as surprising as the first time, although she did somehow manage to suppress her quack. He began to say it more frequently, and with more emotion, or at least, with as much emotion as a sleep-talker could display. He began to say other things too. How he missed dancing with her. How he wished she was still able to talk so that they could communicate in some form beyond miming. How he loved the way she got excited every time he came home with a box of her favorite cookies or a flower to tie around her neck. Ahiru felt her heart flutter every time he said something like that. She would snuggle closer to him, carefully so as not to wake him, and bask in his warmth and his words. She knew he would never have the courage to say these things while awake, and part of her felt guilty for listening so intently, but his words were addictive and her love for him, strong as it was, grew to a point where she thought her heart would simply burst. Then she would remember that she was, after all, just a duck, at which point she would go back to bed, deciding that sleeping was better than depressing herself at the thought that, although they were as close as any two beings could possibly be, they could never truly be together.
And then there was the night that Fakir took a page out of Ahiru's book and started sleepwalking. Miraculously, Ahiru was asleep at the time, so neither of them noticed Fakir rise out of bed, write a hurried story on a loose sheet of paper, burn it in the slowly dying candle, and return to bed.
As long as Fakir lived, there were a few moments that he would never, ever forget. The day his parents died. Meeting Mytho for the first time. Receiving the acceptance letter from Kinkan Academy. But at the top of his list was waking up one morning to find a very human, very naked, Ahiru pressed up against him, her salmon hair splayed haphazardly across the pillow, and one arm draped unceremoniously around his waist, pinning him to her side. Even Fakir cried out in alarm every now and then, and that situation was definitely one of those times. Unfortunately, that not only woke Ahiru, but also Charon, who bolted into the room out of concern for Fakir's wellbeing, leading to a seriously uncomfortable couple of minutes while Fakir tried desperately to explain to his foster father exactly why he had a naked girl in his bed. Ahiru of course, was no help at all, seeing as she was entirely too stunned at suddenly finding herself human again and alternated between thanking him and asking him exactly what he had done, which only increased Charon's wariness of the situation.
Eventually however, things settled down, Ahiru was dressed, Charon was appeased, and, although no one could sufficiently explain what exactly had happened, they were thrilled nonetheless. Everything seemed perfect. Except of course, the sleeping arrangements. Sleeping together when she was a duck was one thing, but now that she was a girl, it was another matter entirely. When Ahiru went for a bath, Charon sat Fakir down and told him point blank that Ahiru was going to be surprisingly fragile for a while, and if he didn't want to lose her, he should maintain all the habits he had developed while she was a duck, including where they slept. So, with a severe blush and a shaky hand, Fakir led Ahiru to bed.
Despite her transformation, not all that much seemed to have changed in their nighttime activities. Ahiru still curled up in that cat-like ball that he adored so much, complete with tucking her face under her arm. Fakir would stroke her hair until she fell asleep, and would be woken in the middle of the night when she rolled over him or fell on the floor. He did wake up more than once to find her clutching him, something she couldn't have done as a duck, but which, he had to admit, he didn't really mind all that much. He blushed more often now, since the bed might have comfortably fit a boy and a duck, but wasn't quite large enough for a boy and a girl, but he was happier. And so was she.
Fakir still told stories in his sleep, but it was becoming increasing harder for Ahiru to stay awake to listen to them. She couldn't nap during the day anymore, not now that she was reenrolled at Kinkan Academy, but she still tried to wake up at least a few nights a week, if for nothing else than to bask in the sound of Fakir's voice. He hadn't stopped saying he loved her either, and Ahiru found that the real reason she stayed up was for those few words. He had yet to say them while he was awake, and although she could feel it with every look, every touch, every dance, it was nice to actually hear him say it once in a while. And she was content.
Until one night when he said something he had never said before and Ahiru, in her shock, couldn't stay quiet any longer.
"Fakir," she whispered as she shook him awake. "Fakir, did you mean that?"
"Huh?" he groaned. "What time is it?"
"Fakir wake up!" she insisted. He cracked open an emerald eye and glared at her.
"What are you waking me up for moron?" he grumbled. "I was having a good dream."
"I know," Ahiru said with a small blush and Fakir raised an eyebrow. "I was um…listening I guess."
"You were what?" he asked in annoyance. "How can you possibly listen to someone else's dreams?" Ahiru wrung her hands nervously, afraid to tell him about his habit, but this was just too important.
"Did you know you talk in your sleep? A lot. Like, every night. I always know what you're dreaming about." Fakir flushed a rich shade of magenta.
"Ahiru!" he gasped. "What do you mean you know what I'm dreaming about? You actually listen? That's…that's…that's dirty!"
"Well, it's not my fault you're such a chatterbox! I can't help it if I can hear you. Anyway, that's not the point."
"What do you mean it's not the point?! If I talk in my sleep, than you…"
"Did you mean it?" Ahiru interrupted, a blush forming again. Fakir glowered at her, still embarrassed by his newfound knowledge.
"When you…um…well, you know. In…in the dream you were just having, you asked me…" she trailed off, and Fakir turned so red, it was a wonder there was any blood left in any other part of his body. He knew exactly what he had been dreaming about, but the fact that Ahiru had heard every word…was he ready for that?
He gazed into Ahiru's eyes. Those eyes that were identical to the ones she had had as a duck. Those eyes that had learned to express so many things when they were her major form of communication. Those eyes that he had fallen head over heels in love with. And he saw, reflected in those eyes, a hope, a longing, and an affection that made his heart catch in his throat. And he knew that there was no point avoiding it any longer. She knew, he knew she knew, and he knew that she knew that he knew that she knew, and he knew that if he didn't do something about it right now, he might hurt her beyond repair. So, mustering up every ounce of courage he possessed, he nodded.
"I meant it Ahiru," he said seriously. "I meant every word." Ahiru looked up at him expectantly as he took her hand in his. He took a deep breath.
"I love you Ahiru," he said aloud for what must have been the hundredth time, but, as far as he was aware, was the first. "I want…I want you to stay by my side. Always. Ahiru, will you marry me?"
Eyes brimming with tears, Ahiru nodded, for once in her life at a loss for words. Fakir felt like he was floating. The whole thing seemed surreal, as if he was still dreaming and he squeezed her hand for reassurance that he was really awake and had actually just proposed to the love of his life. Sure, he had thought about it before, but, even if he had tried to picture the moment, he would have thought they would be by the lake or in the park, or somewhere else with as romantic an atmosphere as his unromantic mind could conjure. He certainly wouldn't have believed it would be in his bed in the dead of night, unrehearsed and spontaneous and subject to the whims of his dreams. But, he decided quickly, he couldn't have engineered a more perfect moment.
Fakir raised a hand to cup her cheek and tilted her face towards his as he leaned in. His kiss was sweet and strong and everything Ahiru associated with him. They curled up together, arms snaked around each other in a protective embrace as they drifted back to sleep. And for the rest of the night, Ahiru lay still and Fakir was silent. The next night, and the next, and the next, they would return to their old habits. But, for just this once, they slept soundly, at peace in each other's arms.
Yeah, I know, it's cheesy and sappy and all those other things, but I just really wanted to write a Princess Tutu fic, so there it is. Please let me know what you think, since it's my first time writing for this fandom and I'm not sure I did such a good job :P