Make Your Intentions Clear
Notes: The characters are not mine and the story is! I was watching episode #21 for the umpteenth time and the idea came to me that I'd like to explore Fakir's thoughts from the time he learned about Autor to the time they met later that day. I always found Fakir's initial reaction to Autor at the piano intriguing and amusing. From his expression alone, it seems clear both that he recognizes Autor and that he never once considered him as a possible candidate for the mysterious stranger.
Who was Autor?
The question had been plaguing Fakir all morning and afternoon. After stopping at the library he had only had barely enough time to make it to his first class of the day, so there had not been time to interrogate Batson further on the mysterious student. But the subject had not left his mind.
Autor was German for "author." Did that have some significance? Was he a writer too? How strange that he would show up now, right after Raetsel had told Ahiru of the power that Fakir had tried to block from his mind.
The power that had taken his parents' lives.
Fakir had tried to push out the memories altogether, yet somewhere in his heart he had always known. When Ahiru had found him in the stable and had told him what Raetsel had said, all of the horror and fear and pain from that one terrible moment had come crashing on him in an instant.
He had wanted to free Raetsel of her pain. That was why he had finally picked up a quill and wrote again after all these years. But his Story for her had not come true. Or had it? She had found happiness, though not with the person Fakir had written for her to be with. Still, he had always known that only parts of his Stories came true. Sometimes it was the good parts . . . at other times, the bad.
His experience with Raetsel's Story had given him the peace and confidence to think that maybe he actually could write a Story for Mytho, if he tried. But he was still concerned that he would make a mistake and cause a tragedy.
And now, this unknown Autor had left him a book. Not only that; he had borrowed the same five books from the library that Fakir had got today. Why? Who in this academy was he?
The only other thing Fakir knew about him was that he was in the music division. Could he have been someone who had accompanied the ballet classes? Neko-Sensei sometimes called upon students in the music division to play when Mr. Penguin was absent, or even when he simply wanted to give budding talent a chance to shine. He might know who Autor was.
But did Fakir really want to ask? It would really be better to keep as low-key about this as possible, he thought as he practiced with the rest of the class that afternoon. If he asked, it would soon be over the entire school and everyone would wonder what he wanted with Autor. That was not what he wanted. If he could stay patient till the end of the day, he could go to the music building and find Autor for himself.
Even if Autor had accompanied the ballet students and knew of Fakir from that, however, why would he know what Fakir had been studying in the library? How would he know to leave the very book that Fakir might indeed be able to make use of? No one should know about Fakir's powers of writing.
Or did they? He did remember very vague, whispered comments that had gone around the town for some time after his parents' deaths. Obviously he had not been supposed to hear them, as the people had become quiet whenever he had arrived.
Except for that Mrs. Daecher, he thought in annoyance. She was an old bat, always spreading gossip around. Once he had heard her telling some other women that Fakir had written a Story that had caused his parents' deaths. He had screamed at her that it was not true before running away to the park. . . .
He did not want to think about that. The point was, apparently some people had known back then. And if the rumors had not died, maybe this Autor knew about them. Maybe leaving the book had been a smart-aleck, mocking gesture.
But that did not explain why Autor had checked the same books out of the library in the past.
He started back to the present. Ahiru was standing in front of him, looking confused and concerned.
"What is it?" he asked.
Suddenly he realized that everyone was leaving. Had he really been that deeply in thought, that he had completely missed the end of the class?
"Are you okay?" Ahiru shifted anxiously. "It's not because of what I said in the morning, is it?"
Fakir frowned. What she had said in the morning?
That's right, she came to see me in the library, he remembered. He had been so preoccupied all day with thoughts of Autor's identity that he had not recalled Ahiru's visit at first. She had ended up digging herself into a hole and mentioning Fakir's parents by accident when she had been trying to encourage him to write Mytho's Story.
"No," he said quickly. "It's not that at all."
Ahiru gave a sigh of relief. "I'm so glad!" she said.
He gave her a hard stare. "Were you worrying about that all this time?"
She looked down. "Yeah," she admitted. "I couldn't concentrate in class. . . ." She looked back up with a start. "Oh! But is something else wrong, Fakir? You've been acting really distant today."
"Nothing's wrong," Fakir said. He got to his feet. "I'll see you later."
As he departed for the boys' locker room, he could hear those two friends of Ahiru's squealing as they ran over to her.
"Ohh! You talked to the wonderful Fakir again!" the blonde one exclaimed. "You were trying to confess your feelings, weren't you, Ahiru? But he rejected you. Oh well, we knew that would happen!"
"No, that's really not it!" Ahiru tried to protest.
"You'll just have to try again later," said the one with the pink hair.
Fakir snorted to himself. They really were delusional. Ahiru was certainly not in love with him anyway; it was Mytho and only Mytho to whom her heart belonged.
And why did that thought bother him anyway?
Could he possibly . . .
He frowned, pushing open the door to the locker room. "That's ridiculous," he muttered to the thankfully empty space.
Or was it?
He did not have time to think about that now!
Instead he looked around in annoyance as he untied his blue shirt. He never had liked showering in the locker room, preferring instead to wait until returning to his and Mytho's room and their private bathroom. But he no longer shared that room with Mytho. He did not board at the academy at all now, instead commuting from the antique shop each day.
If he wanted to catch Autor, however, he would have to be quick about it. He certainly did not intend to walk home, shower there, and come back.
Within ten minutes he had showered and dressed in his uniform. He slipped out the back door, taking the fastest route he knew of that led to the yellow building hosting both the music and sculpture divisions.
His thoughts returned to Autor again. He had passed music students several times that day, most of them carrying their instruments on their way to class. Could any of them be Autor? That had been his question upon seeing them, and he had let his gaze linger on each as he had tried to determine the answer.
He had always ended up frustrated. A couple of them had given him odd looks, wondering what he was doing. If Autor had been among any of the groups throughout the day, he had either not seen Fakir or had chosen to play stupid.
Fakir gritted his teeth as he opened the door to the building and went inside. He would be furious if he learned he had been played for a fool. But on the other hand, what if somehow this person knew what Fakir was up to and wanted to help?
Then why couldn't he just come out and say so? Fakir thought in exasperation. Why all of this secrecy?
He frowned. The guy wanted to get Fakir's interest piqued. Maybe he wanted to have an advantage over Fakir.
But who? And why? It was driving him crazy.
Someone was playing the piano when he climbed the stairs to the music division's level. It was a piece he did not recognize; pretty much anything other than ballet music was lost on him. He crossed to the half-open door, pushing it open further. But then his mouth opened in disbelief.
The greeting was bizarre enough, but the familiar reflection of light off the musician's eyeglasses was far stranger. In all of his frustrated, desperate ponderings, Fakir had never once thought he would meet this person here—the student from the library and the bookstore who had always wanted quiet. Even after all of their encounters, Fakir had not given the other a second glance.
But come to think of it, why had he been at the bookstore anyway?
"It took you eighteen days, seven hours, and twenty-four minutes."
"What are you talking about?" Fakir frowned, stepping into the room.
"That's how long it took from the time you began researching your powers until you noticed me." The other boy got up from the piano with a smirk. "Fakir."
Fakir's eyes narrowed in understanding. "So you're Autor," he said.
One mystery was solved. But now several others had appeared.
I only watch the Japanese version, so I've used the dialogue from the official subs at the end. Also, I don't know if the time of day is correct. I've pictured them meeting in the afternoon, after school is over, but Autor's calculations would indicate early in the morning instead. Yet that would not correspond with other events already shown to have taken place at eight A.M. and afterwards. So I threw up my hands and decided to just keep it the way I wanted.