Rated K, no warnings. Written for an LJ challenge some months ago, a character study.

A Princess's Vow

...maybe I can put a smile back on the Prince's face...

...that's all I could ever ask for...

Her own words, then another's.

Let's go back to being our true selves.

A final voice, that loved to hear itself speak.

You're only a duck, just a mere duck.

This was what she had to be. It was just as well that she was mute now, or she might have let slip that her vow did not prevent her missing the life she had lived. There was no point in anyone knowing, not even a writer whose words came true, for he had strict bounds. Truth could be revealed, events directed as they unfolded, perception and memory so easily guided so that truth was palatable; but changing a real thing, a duck into a girl, separating her nature from her form– that should never be. As well change every human into a duck. The power could try to backfire like that, killing him.

He knew all that.

She knew he would give anything to change her back.

Therefore a dumb beast she must stay, alone even in company. None of the other birds understood a duck who had been human, and no human could understand a duck, no matter how they felt.

But when she slept, she dreamed; the same dream, once again. Wings, yes, but her human body. Pointe shoes on her feet, veil waiting above her head, arms and hands miming her feelings for him to know; and smiling.

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