First Princess Tutu fic, though it's more a missing scene set at the end of the final act. My reasoning is that while Ahiru and Rue were having their goodbye moment I reckon the boys were doing something in the background. And really, they needed a sort of closure. There are some slight shonen ai themes in addition to the main het pairings, but mostly unrequited and can be glazed over if you're not that way inclined *decided to shut up on personal theory that they are all an OT4 anyway...*

Disclaimer: Don't own it.

Once Upon a Time, the End.

And so, finally, they'd come to the conclusion. No, more like the epilogue. In fact, it was probably the footnotes to the epilogue, in which all the loose ends were tied up and put to rest. Ducks became ducks. Knights became boys. And the prince and his princess prepared to depart for Happily Ever After, never to be seen again.

It was strange; the story had finished on a happy ending – his ending – but there was an odd ache in Fakir's chest which felt suspiciously like panic, and it refused to leave. He actually had to resist the urge to clutch Ahiru tighter to his chest when she waddled out of his arms and into Rue's, which was stupid, because he knew logically that she wasn't going anywhere. There was no place for ducks in the fairytale, after all. Or useless knights who hid behind paper and forced others to fight for them.

It wasn't that he regretted their decision to end the story. But he meant what he'd said to Ahiru – he was scared; scared about living in the real world and all the responsibilities that would entail; scared about being held accountable for the future of everyone in this town; terrified that she would forget him . . . that he would forget him . . .

"Fakir." Mytho's voice was soft like he remembered, but thrummed with a new undercurrent of strength that was purely Siegfried. Or so he assumed – it's not like he really knew Siegfried, after all.

"Prince," he replied, unsure which name would feel less appropriate. He then cast desperately around for something meaningful to say that would make this goodbye sad and bittersweet and glorious and all those things goodbyes were supposed to be, but the words refused to come.

Some writer he was.

The prince watched him struggle silently for a few moments, then smiled gently and stepped forward to embrace him.

Fakir's mind stuttered to a halt as he felt Mytho's arms slide around his neck and hold on tightly. It was an echo of Before, in the dark prologue of the story when his heartless companion had sought the physical comfort and warmth of his knight's arms, and later when he'd looked for solace in the midst of his confusing new feelings. But this hug was different – it was deliberate and genuine, and conveyed every word they could never speak, every emotion that had ever passed between them.

Slowly, tentatively, Fakir returned the embrace. He'd spent a long time telling himself he didn't need Mytho's affection, much less whatever else the prince couldn't give, heartless other otherwise. But being held like this satisfied a different kind of need; it somehow managed to put at least one of his fears at rest, and assure him that he would never be forgotten.

He closed his eyes and buried his face into Mytho's shoulder, savouring the faint, steady pressure of the prince's beating heart.

They pulled away from each other in the same moment, but before the contact was lost, Mytho brushed his lips past Fakir's cheek, feather light and chaste. "Thankyou," he whispered. The he was gone, and his knight was left blushing, one hand pressed to his face like a girl in a cheesy romance novel.

Then he realised that the girls had finished their cuddly moment and were staring at them, much to his embarrassment. Ahiru's eyes were twinkling in that 'aw, how cute' kind of way that made her look like a teenage girl again. Rue appraised him thoughtfully, but without the hostility he'd expected. Then again, it was probably hard to feel threatened by one tiny kiss when your prince had just pledged his undying love to you.

The brunette held his eyes as she handed Ahiru back to him (he automatically adjusted his grip to accommodate the little duck more comfortably), and he felt compelled to say something to her as well. Years of conflict could not be erased so quickly, but if there was one thing that would always connect them – even as it had divided them in the past – it was the prince. "Take care of him," he finally said.

She nodded, then cast a smiling glance over both him and the duck nestled comfortably in his arms. "Take care of each other."

This time when she and Mytho embraced, the smile on his face felt a little more genuine.

It still hurt when he flew away, like something essential was being ripped out of him, but it was the kind of wound he was sure would heal. Eventually.

Fakir absently tightened his hold on Ahiru. "I guess it's just you and me now," he murmured.

"Qua?" Are you sad?

"A little. But I'll be okay."

"Qua quack qua." You really loved him, didn't you?

He froze for a moment, but when she tilted her head up to look at him there was no judgement in her eyes, only empathetic understanding.

He sighed. "The prince is safe. He's happy, free and in love. That's all we – that's all I – can really ask for." He gave her a small smile. "Besides. I kinda like the way things turned out."

Her eyes smiled back at him. "Quack." I'm glad. "Qua, quack quack quack qua quack!" You and Mytho looked cute together, but I don't think you'd fit into Rue's dress.

Thanks for reading! Comments and concrit are welcome.

A.N. If you're wondering why Fakir and Ahiru are suddenly telepathic . . . well, he is a writer, whose job is to record everything his characters do (and sometimes change that) so it stands to reason that he'd be able to have some idea of what they are thinking; especially when it comes to Ahiru, since he writes about her the most and because of the connection they share.