Disclaimer: I do not own Princess Tutu...um, yeah...let's just leave it at that...too tired from staying up late to come up with something witty...oh! I...uh, no...stupid brain...oh! I do own a brain that just started quoting a TV show I loath...-_-...carry on...
I sincerely thank all past readers, those of you who took the time to comment in the past, and any of you who came by to read this. I hope you will continue to read and enjoy!
Chapter 9: Relevance
Roxanne opened her eyes slowly as she awoke, finding her father watching her with his concerned amber eyes. Veronica noticed the movement, and she touched Alphonse's shoulder to catch his attention. He'd been lying on his bed, irritated and bored, but he sat up quickly when he realized what was going on.
"Wha...where..." she looked around, trying to remember. Then her eyes widened as it came back to her and she shot up in her bed, "Where is he?"
"Roxanne?" Mytho asked, confused, "Where is who?"
"Fakir-" she froze, a sudden blush storming across her face.
"Oh, Fakir is with your mother," Mytho said, "They stayed behind in the conference hall."
"I..." Roxanne was clearly flustered, "...um...will I get to see him again?"
"Of course," Mytho smiled, "But for now you need to rest. It's been a long day for you."
"B-but I feel fine, really!" she hopped out of bed, only to trip clumsily and fall on her face with an awkward, duck-like squawk.
"Roxi!" Alphonse exclaimed.
"Roxanne!" her father and sister cried in concern at the same time.
"Oww..." she held her nose as Mytho helped her up, "Stupid gravity..."
"Are you alright?" her father asked, inspecting her for all injuries worriedly.
"Y-yeah..." she mumbled.
Her now red nose was sore from the fall, and she had a small bruise on her elbow, but she was otherwise perfectly fine.
"You have good luck in disguise, dear sister," Veronica sighed, secretly wondering, for the millionth time, how her twin could be such a clutz.
"That's what you get for thinking about some stupid prince..." Alphonse grumbled.
"Stupid...prince?" Mytho blinked, not understanding what he was talking about.
"I told you not to call him that!" Roxanne glared at her brother, blushing furiously with her tiny fists clenched at her sides, "Besides, he's not stupid! And he told you he's not a prince!"
"Then what's so special about him?!" Alphonse demanded.
"Obviously he was close to Father," Veronica told him off, "And are you not close to ordinary servants yourself? I don't see where you have the place to question this matter."
Alphonse blushed angrily, "This and that are two different matters!"
"Hardly," Veronica said.
Mytho sighed, knowing who the subject was without a doubt now, "My children...let me tell you about my dear friend, Fakir."
In an instant he had their full attention. Not just because they loved their father, but also because they were brimming with curiosity. Albet none of them would outright admit to it, for each their own reason.
"It is a very long, complicated story, that I'd hoped to tell you when you were older, but I will tell you a small part of it now...I once mentioned that I battled a horrid plague of ravens before your births, did I not?" he asked. When they all nodded, he continued, "You see, when I first faced the Monster Raven that led them, my most faithful and trusted knight gave up his life to protect me."
He paused at the gasps of two his daughters, nodding at the sorrow of that fact, but he continued, "However, that was not the last I saw of my knight. He was reborn into another life, and we found each other again.
"He was...like me?" Roxanne, in her surprise, interrupted without realizing it.
"That could be where your mother came up with the idea," Mytho admitted, "The circumstances were different, but yes, you do have that in common now."
"Please, continue, Father," Veronica urged politely.
"Right," he nodded, "As I was saying, I met the reincarnate of my fallen knight, and he was a young orphan boy named Fakir-"
Roxanne gasped loudest, torn at this knowledge "O-orphan?! Why was he...?"
Mytho winced, regretting that he'd mentioned that, but then gave her a gentle smile, "Charon raised him. Rachel too."
All eyes were wide, recognizing the names.
"In fact, that is how I met them. Through Fakir. All three of them helped me when I was...in need of assistance," he said, "Fakir stood by me as if he were still my knight...he protected me with all he had. He...well, we had our differences at times, I will not lie, but in the end he was always there for me. If not for his part in the final battle against the Monster Raven, we would not have won."
Fakir stood silent at the door, staring at them with a sort of stunned expression, as if he didn't know how to react. Rue smiled knowingly off to the side, waiting for him to step in of his own accord. Autor was a bit huffy at his part in the final battle being left out, but he held his silence: probably because he didn't want to make a fool of himself in front of the Queen.
Alphonse groaned, and flopped back on a bed, "So he's a hero...whatever, he still didn't apologize for knocking Roxi over...and he called her a moron!"
Fakir could feel the sharp cold of Rue's glare at his back, though he showed no sign that he was aware. Rue was very tempted to drag him away somewhere, by his ear possibly, where her children would not hear what she wanted to yell in his face. She wasn't about to tolerate him treating her daughter like that; she expected better from him, even if he had started out a total jerk. Autor seemed a bit amused by this little turn of events.
Roxanne had been about to retort on part of Alphonse's statement, but at the end of it she recounted the happening and remained silent. Veronica was about to state her disbelief, but when she saw the sour look on Roxanne's face she realized it was true.
"...he called you a moron? Why? What did you do?" she asked.
"I-it wasn't my fault! H-he just..." Roxanne looked down with a pout. Then she blushed as she remembered the way he'd said it when he'd saved her from falling down the stairs, "W-well...I don't think I deserve to be called a moron, but...he...he's not a bad person..."
Mytho smiled at her, "He's a bit harsh at times, but he means well."
By this time Fakir was more than a little red, and he began to back away. Unfortunately, this movement caught Alphonse's attention.
"Well look and see who's been eavesdropping," the small be-freckled boy grinned triumphantly.
Fakir froze as all eyes immediately turned on him. At the present moment, the little prince had Autor beat in the "mess with Fakir" button pushers...a fact that Autor didn't seem to mind at the moment.
"F-F-F-F-Fak-k-k-kir?" Roxanne flushed from head to toe, "H-how l-l-long ha-have you...been...l-listen-ning?"
Wide blue met frozen emerald for two moments at least, but Fakir failed to say anything.
"Long enough, I believe," Rue said, silently amused at Fakir's expression, "He wanted to see how you were doing, my dear. Are you feeling better now?"
"Ah, y-yes, Mother..." the embarrassed auburnette nodded.
"Good," her mother smiled, "Well, I believe Fakir has something he would like to say to you...but if he continues to stand there like a statue I may have to call upon the servants to place him in the garden..."
Fakir narrowed his eyes at the instigating Queen, but she replied with an icy glare of her own. She intently mouthed two words. Apology. NOW.
His brow furrowed, "For what?"
Rue raised her perfect brows in astonishment, her open mouth about to curve to form a terrible tirade of insults - some of which no proper woman should say.
Autor face-palmed, "Are you an idiot, Fakir? You called a princess a moron!"
Fakir's eye twitched in irritation.
Alphonse was about to add to that, but his ever so wise violet-eyed sister quickly covered his mouth with a pillow, least he spout something troublesome. Somehow no one seemed to take notice of the muffled tussle that ensued.
"You really should apologize, Fakir," Mytho added, worried about the current conflict, "I know you used to call her that before, but...for now, you should apologize. Please."
Mytho's eyes still retained the quality of earnest innocence that used to make teenage girls swoon, though he remained unaware they ever did. On top of that, little Roxanne was staring at him, though she seemed to think her bangs concealed the action.
Fakir took a breath, looked off to the side, and said, "I'm...sorry."
Before anyone could say more, he left. However, he looked a bit more embarrassed than irritated as he went down the hallway. He stopped by a window, looking out at a city he had seen a few times before. The city hadn't changed all that much, not that he could tell from a distance, so he tried to take comfort from the sight while he worked at organizing his thoughts.
After a few minutes, Mytho came to stand beside him.
"What am I supposed to do?" Fakir asked, some vulnerability leaking through.
"I wish I could tell you, my friend," Mytho said, placing his hand on the younger man's shoulder, "This wasn't meant to happen this way...if Roxanne hadn't found you so soon, I might have had something ready to say...as it is, all I can say is that you have us to help you through this.
"And Roxanne may not remember everything, but she is still the same in every way...well, ther e are a few obvious exceptions, but in the end she is still herself."
Fakir sighed, "...of all the names you could choose...why Roxanne...?"
Mytho smiled, "It was my mother's name. It was fitting, since she does look like her...and she seems very happy to have it."
Fakir nodded, understanding now.
"...don't...worry too much about her name," Mytho said, "We've all had moments when we've almost called her "Ahiru"...don't tell Rue I told you, but she has. We both have."
Fakir considered that piece of information, "...was it...strange knowing your daughter was...?"
"I was...surprised, at first," Mytho said, "I think having Veronica there at the same time helped clarify things for me, though I'm sure it wouldn't have taken long to accept. She was such an adorable baby; 5 pounds and 2 1/5 ounces, with a little wisp of auburn hair and those tiny whittle hands-o-oh, sorry, I didn't mean to get distracted. Where was I...?"
Fakir was too mortified at the "Daddy talk" he'd just heard Mytho use to answer. Hearing Mytho utter "whittle" in that "baby talk" tone was more shocking than...well, a lot of things. He'd once thought there was nothing more Mytho could do that would surprise him, not after all the heart shard scenarios they'd gone through.
Any doubts he'd had about this being some sort of unnaturally realistic dream were shattered beyond repair. There was absolutely no way he could dream up something this disturbing.
"...I imagine you won't be making that face after you're the one who talks like that," Mytho said. He rarely sought vengeance, but as a father who'd been through three "toddler's early rebellion" stages, he somehow felt inclined.
It took a couple of minutes for the rare "Mytho just insinuated something" to sink in. When it finally did, Fakir blushed furiously, and half glared, half gaped, at his friend/guy he'd spent over half his life protecting/official, but not agreed to yet, future father-in-law.
"Oh, right, I remember now," Mytho smiled, ignoring Fakir's reaction, "After the surprise wore off, I knew without a doubt that Roxanne was truly my daughter, no matter who she'd been in her past life. Occasionally she'll remind me of Ahiru, and I will be happy that she lives on, but I think of her fully as my daughter now."
"...I think I need another few years rest, after all of this..." Fakir pinched the bridge of his nose as he leaned back, using the wall for support.
Mytho blinked, "...you do?"
Fakir gave him a look, "Wouldn't you?"
"Oh, no, that's not what meant," Mytho shook his head, "What I meant to ask was...do you want to go back into an enchanted sleep?"
Till The Next Chapter...
Author's Note to Readers: I said it in the update of My Heart Will Sing, but I'll say it again. I'm very sorry I failed your expectations. I wasn't strong enough to handle what life threw at me, and I had nothing in me to do what I had set out to...and I am sorry. I hope you will forgive me, and continue to read my meager fanfictions. Comments will really help motivate me to update faster...even if you're venting out how ticked off your are, I'll know that you still care...so far only my sister has given me a comment on my recent update...and while I won't let it affect my work, and I know I fully deserve the silent treatment...I still really want to know you care...one little review will make my day. Just a little smile, or a one-word statement will do it...so if you can forgive me, please review...
A serious question has been asked, what will happen next?! (I am aware that makes me sound like I don't know...but it's rolling! It's rolling!)