A/N: Okay so this isn't exactly my normal genre of fan fiction. In fact I think this is as far removed from my normal writing as possible but in an attempt to avoid school work I found myself re-watching Princess Tutu which is an awesome little anime. And I was so inspired by the many, many different fan fictions I decided to attempt writing my own. Please be warned that there are SPOILERS ahead. I basically dove-tailed my ending to that of the anime since that is the only form of Princess Tutu I know. So here is my attempt. Please R & R gently as I am still a fledgling writer at Princess Tutu.

P.S. No sadly, Ahiru and Fakir and all other Princess Tutu characters within do not belong to me... I wish my brain was fantastic enough to be even a 1/10 responsible for their existence but alas I am only a student to the great minds of the world... o_o Wow that was an epic sentence! Anyway, ignore my prattling and read! Enjoy~!


It is true that her dance was not as beautiful as Princess Tutu's. But in the hearts of all who saw it something that felt like warming light stream into them with reassurance.

Ahiru fell to the ground. All over she hurt. Even as she stood again she felt as if at any moment she might simply fall apart. But she needed to stand. She needed to stand for Mytho, for Rue… for…

"Ahiru…" his voice rang clear in her head as she lay on the ground the pain so strong now she could hardly open her eyes. Yes for Fakir, he had worked so hard right along side her and his words had helped her wavering heart to allow the story to end.

"I will… not… give up. I can still go on… Fakir, I can still dance."

"Ahiru…"

"Fakir…"

Placing her feet unsteadily beneath her Ahiru raised herself up. Lifting en Pointe, she twirled and stretched. She danced with her whole soul, even as she was knocked down again and again. In her mind she could still hear him and she could hear the story he was spinning. It would have a happy ending… she knew it…

So she danced through the pain…

without ever losing hope. And a power came deep from within Ahiru's body and poured out boundlessly. And it was… hope. That light grasped the hearts of all those controlled by the raven monster and warmed them one after another until the streets were filled with light.

She felt the glow of warmth of familiarity and for a moment Ahiru stood as Princess Tutu once more. Stretching out her delicate hands and the rest of her limbs she gloried in the feel of her human body once more. And as the hope flowed from one villager to the next she silently tilted her body towards the sky arms wide. Asking for the moment to last a second longer, but as the wish left her heart the sky cleared and then from within the darkness the prince and princess came forth on their cloud of petals.

Ahiru seeing them smiled. That was the last moment, the story has ended… and I… am…

"Thank g-ood-ne-sss…" she murmured and slowly she sank to the floor and into oblivion. She never felt her body hit the ground or hear Fakir's voice as he raced down the street towards her.

****

Ahiru was falling, drifting sleepily from side to side, as she fell down and down. She didn't dare open her eyes because if she did she knew she would wake up from this dream. Or this nightmare. Around her the air felt cold, and thick like the waters of the Lake of Despair, but she couldn't still be there… That was where Fakir and she had decided. They were going to move forward and become their true selves.

The Raven had been defeated hadn't he? Unsure now Ahiru opened her eyes… but it wasn't the dark murky waters of the lake of despair that greeted her. Instead she found herself falling through… stars? At least they looked like stars. They shone and sparkled against the inky black space all around Ahiru, like snow falling upside down.

Where am I?

"A time between times. A space hidden in space."

She gasped; she didn't think anyone would answer her. "Who's there? Who said that?" as the words came out of her mouth she touched it in surprise. Stretching her hands before her she saw her hands not wings stretched before her. "What is this place? I shouldn't still be human. I promise Fakir that I would return to my true self. We promised that to each other… at the Lake of Despair…"

Ahiru covered her face. "How could I break that promise…?" she said tears welling up in her eyes.

"Ahiru… Little Duck…"

Hearing the voice again Ahiru slowly lifted her hands and stared. "Princess Tutu?"

"Yes," her blue eyes shimmered as she narrowed them in the familiar friendly smile Ahiru had shared with everyone. She stood before Ahiru in her familiar tutu, its white shining in the darkness like the stars themselves. The only thing missing was the shining necklace that was the prince's last heart shard. Everything about Tutu seemed more beautiful and graceful then she remembered… is that really how she looked to other people? It was so strange to be staring at one's self… or one's other self.

"Ahiru, do you know why we are here together?"

"No, one minute I was dancing and then I fell… I thought I fell… The Prince had beaten the Raven and Rue was with him and Fakir… Fakir…" at the mention of the prince Tutu looked saddened.

"You are here because you are still undecided in your heart."

"Ah… How did you know?"

"I have been a part of you this whole time. Everything you have done I have seen. Everything you have touched I have felt. Everything you have said I have heard, even that which you do not speak aloud. We are the same and yet two different beings."

"But I promised Fakir that I would return to my true self. Even if that true self was a duck. That we would be our true selves together in the world after the story had ended. I decided…didn't I?"

"You did… but part of your heart does not want that for you… I… do not want that for you…"

"Tutu?"

"Ahiru, you know my story better than anyone. I am the tragic princess born into this world to love one who cannot love me in return. My role has always been to vanish into light," as she spoke Tutu danced, an elegant dance but one filled with sadness, "returning love but never receiving it. That is how I was written. But you… you are a little duck with a heart purer than the whitest snow and the human you became would not bend to my story."

Ahiru stood or floated now, she wasn't honestly sure which at this point, watching the tragic dance of Princess Tutu change. A smile crossed her face and Ahiru could see her story. She could see her love of dance, the quarrels she had fought with Rue, with Fakir… the love she had felt for Mytho… Then poised in the mime of love Tutu stopped her head tilted sideways. "You lived a life different from mine and uniquely your own. You lived every moment to the fullest, despite the tragedy that always loomed over your head, you embraced the time you were given. And when the time came for me to disappear, you fought to remain as both Ahiru and as myself…"

Tutu stopped her dance relaxing her arms to her side and opened her eyes, filled with sadness. "In that moment, I knew… you had changed, you had grown into your own self, a being separate from me. Drosselmeyer chose you because he thought you easiest to mold. My emotions would become totally yours because as a duck you did not understand emotions, but you embraced emotions… and your heart began to feel your own, even if you did not admit them yet."

"That is why…" Tutu's eyes filled with tears. "Ahiru… I can not be satisfied to simply let your ending end. I am the tragic princess, but you… you are not."

"Tutu, I don't understand…"

Tutu tilted her head sideways, a tear sliding down her face even as she smiled. "Of course…then…" she twirled her hands over her head in the mime of dance and held out her hand. "Will you dance with me, Ahiru?"

Ahiru stared at the small pale hand that stood before her. It glowed with a soft dim light as beautiful as the stars they stood within. It was a hand the same as her own and yet far more delicate and fragile. Slowly she reached out her own surprise filling her eyes as her school dress melted away becoming the soft white tulle dress that fell to below her knees. Her hair molded itself from her braid into the beautiful hairstyle that she had worn in her dream of dancing with the prince.

That dream which had been interrupted by her fear of losing Fakir…

Ahiru closed her eyes lifting herself completely en Pointe and following Tutu in he familiar dance she had danced a million times as Tutu… but this dance… she found that while her legs were sure of the movement, something about it felt less elegant than Tutu. She knew that she did not dance as well but still her heart begged for her to dance, Tutu begged for her to dance, as herself. And so she did. Into every step she made up for grace with herself and the dance became beautiful in its own right stunning in its emotions.

She remembered her time as Ahiru. The girl not as graceful as Tutu. The girl who had friends who cheered her to fail. The girl who longed to make the prince smile and to protect the broken knight and to befriend the elusive raven's daughter. She remembered every emotion she felt and in her dance she relived them again. The uncertainty. The fear. The final determination and unwavering hope that she would find an ending for everyone that was happy… with Fakir.

She paused a moment. When had she begun to think of him so much? Why was it Fakir who came to her mind so much? She thought fondly of Rue and of Mytho but it was not they she depended on. It was not their friendship, their understanding and their support she wanted…

"Tutu…?"

"You have begun to realize then… you are different from me. I was written to love the heartless prince. But you… you have begun to fall for someone else… someone only you were meant to love."

"Why didn't I realize it before?"

"You dance with so much love and heart. Only then are you aware of your own feelings… You fill others with emotions and allow them to come to terms with them. You do this even when you are not Princess Tutu because this is how you dance; this is how you are…" Tutu's words filled her head and as she turned she saw that Tutu had stopped dancing as well and that tears were running down her face. "That is why… I can not let your story fade into oblivion… I can not allow you to be the princess the world forgot…"

"Tutu, what are you saying?" Ahiru snapped from her revelation to turn and fully face Tutu.

"Ahiru… what do you want? You, the Ahiru that grew as the story moved, the Ahiru that learned and loved and never gave up… How do you want your story to end…?"

Ahiru stood shocked. My story… her mind raced back to reality… To the town of Kinkan, where the battle was over and Mytho and Rue were together at last. And Fakir was… Fakir stood over her body his green eyes filled with tears as he held the small yellow duck in his hands… How did she want it to end?

"Ahiru… Ahiru… You moron, open your eyes! We promised we would stay together… to live as our true selves! Ahiru!"

Tears welled in Ahiru's own eyes… "I want… I want to return to… Fakir… to be with him… He is the only one who has ever made me feel strong, even when heh… He was only one to make me feel stupid… I promised…"

"He promised to remain by your side always… and you promised to return as your true self… even if that true self was a duck. But look at you, Ahiru. This is your true self. Because being true to yourself is being true to whom you are not what you are…" Ahiru turned to face Tutu once more. "I am the princess destined to vanish from this world when I give myself wholly to the one I love… I thought I would vanish for Mytho."

"Tutu, you don't have vanish at all!" Ahiru said realizing at last what Tutu was saying.

"But I shall… already the town of Kinkan has forgotten the fairy tale they have lived in… and even if I go on existing as a myth in the background… soon the story will fade into oblivion completely… That is why I am before you. Ahiru… I…"

"Don't do it. You shouldn't accept the role Drosselmeyer made you have." Ahiru raced forward enfolding Tutu in her arms, her leg outstretched to balance herself. "Tutu… don't go…!"

Tutu smiled, her tears welling up as she placed her arms gracefully around Ahiru. "I have learned so much from you. I know now that love, is not a smooth path. And true love comes from the two people who can stand together, dancing, crying, smiling, and fighting together along the way. The love that I had wasn't strong enough… perhaps because it was written by a man who has forgotten what love itself can do…"

Tutu stepped back. "But do not cry for me… I will not vanish completely. A part of me will always remain with you…"

"But why, Tutu? Why are you doing this? Why are you giving me… so much? You have already given me so much just by allowing me to live as I have as Ahiru the girl for the time she was also Princess Tutu. So why…"

"Because… from the moment we met… I have loved you, Ahiru, and in the time we spent together that love grew as no love Drosselmeyer could ever have written could. And I will always love you, be you duck or human, but it is this love for you that makes me want for you to live as you truly are…" Tutu smiled and a red light glowed around her as she stepped one more step back. "And about that time at the Lake of Despair… I am sorry. I was not yet ready to let go of the fairy tale… and of you… It was only when I saw the love between you and Fakir I was able to let you go…Because I knew then, no matter what you would always be safe and loved. Goodbye… Ahiru… The little duck whose heart became a girl…"

"Tutu!" Tears welled from her eyes as Ahiru watched Tutu vanish into red light but as she did she felt herself encompassed in its warm glow and she fell again…

****

"Ahiru…" Fakir held her close to him as he examined her body. She was bruised from head to toe, each scar marking the impact of the ravens upon her little body. Of course she had not survived… A duck could not survive such a beating…But still she had promised… "Moron, open you eyes…! We promised we would stay together… to live as our true selves! Ahiru!"

Tears welled up in his eyes as she did not move in response and bowing his head he placed his cheek against her feathers. They were already becoming colder…Mytho and Rue stood beside him their eyes filled with worry. Finally Mytho spoke, "Fakir… she… she saved us all…"

"I know… then why? Why is she the only one to…?" Fakir stopped as he felt the small being in his arm move. Moving back he looked down and saw the small duck begin to glow with warm red light. "Ahiru…"

The duck lifted gently from his hands and moved into the sky overhead. Her wings opened and for a moment she stood the town of Kinkan glowing like a bright red beacon. Then the red light grew stronger. Suddenly her body began to grow and the little duck became a beautiful golden swan filling the sky with light. Her bill morphed into a nose and her lips formed like pale pink rose petals beneath it forming her face. Her hair began to grow to but instead of a braid it came out wild and free spread out like a pair of wings behind her back. Then one by one her golden feathers melted away from her finger tips and her wings morphed into arms. Her legs grew longer and her feathers wove themselves into a long golden ballet dress. Around her legs the stays of her ballet slippers wrapped themselves and with the last of the transformation the beautiful toe shoes as golden as her down encased her feet. And once more Ahiru was human.

"Ahiru…" Fakir said as the light began to die and Ahiru floated softly to the ground. Rushing forward he held out his arms as she settled down. "Ahiru?"

Slowly her eyes opened at the sound her name. "F-Fakir?"

She was still bruised and a small scratch graced the gentle curve of her cheek but she was alive… "Ahiru…Thank goodness… You moron, I was worried about you!"

She smiled at his words sliding her hand carefully up to his face. "That promise… that night in the Lake of Despair... I broke it… Can you ever forgive me?"

"Idiot, what you are doesn't matter to me. It's who you are that makes me…" he halted awkwardly looking around at Mytho, Rue and the expectant faces of the villagers who had enclosed a circle all around them… "…makes me… want to… s-stay with you…" he finally stuttered his face turning red.

Ahiru smiled and threw her arms around his neck causing him to turn redder and stutter incoherently. She wanted to be with him too, she knew… and she knew that when they were alone she would tell him what her heart had known all along.

true love comes from the two people who can stand together, dancing, crying, smiling, and fighting together along the way… Tutu's words echoed in her head.

And she and Fakir had done so much of that together already.

"Thank you… Princess Tutu. I loved you too and I will always treasure the memories that live inside me…" Ahiru whispered to no one in particular… or perhaps to her own heart.

Later she would tell the story to Fakir and ask him if he had written it for her. But he had not. The story had written itself from within the deepest part of her heart and another character from Drosselmeyer's tale had spun its own web without its creator's blessing. Perhaps… this is just the way of stories. Characters never do seem to want to do as they are told…

The End.


A/N: So did you enjoy it? Was it any good. Please let me know. The idea fought with me for three days before I finally got it written but now it is written... so... YAY!