Mytho had been saved from the Rosemary of Giselle, but not from the crippling sadness that had to be returned to him. Princess Tutu ran off after returning the shard and Rue couldn't handle how the new piece of heart was affecting him. So Mytho had been left to stumble his own way back home. The tears hadn't stopped once since that piece of his heart was put back. Mytho didn't know why he was crying so much. He had no idea he had so much to be sad about. He was struggling up the stairs to their room when he stumbled, falling. "Fakir!" he cried, just letting his face fall into his arm. "Fakir!"
From the room, Fakir heard the muffled shouting emerging from the stairwell. He raised a brow, quickly putting down the book he was reading and bolting to his feet. He pulled open the door and ran down the dormitory hall, before ducking into the stairwell. He was greeted with the sight of Mytho collapsed on the stairs, crying into his arm. The dark-haired boy's eyes went wide when the other boy looked up, exposing the wet trails on his face. Mytho didn't cry. He'd never cried. That could only mean... "Mytho!" Fakir ran down the few steps separating him and the other boy, and crouched down next to him. "Mytho, what happened? Did you meet Tutu again?"
"What's wrong with me?" Mytho sobbed. He pushed up on his knees and grabbed the front of Fakir's shirt desperately. "She said I wouldn't like it, but I that I needed it. I don't like this! Fakir... Fakir..." the poor boy gasped, shaking. "Fakir, what's wrong with me? What happening? What is this?"
"Sadness..." Fakir murmured, taking his best guess at what the new emotion was. It didn't seem like it could be anything else. He put his hands on Mytho's shoulders, one venturing to rub his back a little in hopes of calming him. "It's sadness, Mytho. She gave you sadness."
Mytho sniffled loudly. "A-At first it was just because she gave me the heart shard back, and I always feel it a little at first. Then I... I st-started to think about Giselle and how she died before she could marry her l-lover. Then I started thinking about... about Don Quixote and that he'll never really be with Dulcinea. A-A-And then I thought about you, Fakir, and h-how you don't like me sometimes. All those things to-together they... they made me feel..." Mytho just broke down into sobs again, and buried his face in the other boy's chest.
Fakir sighed, nodding his head a little and continuing to rub Mytho's back. "The stories told in ballets are usually sad," he chose to say, ignoring Mytho's last reason for his sadness. "Not many of them end happily. Let it out, Mytho, and I'm sure you'll feel better after you have." Mytho's whole body was shaking as he sobbed and choked against the taller boy. It seemed like the tears would never stop, soaking his cheeks and Fakir's shirt. Finally, after minutes and minutes of letting the sorrow flow out of him, Mytho started to quiet down. A sniffle and a whimper were still slipping out, but mostly he was done. Fakir nodded his head when Mytho's cries finally began to quiet down. He carefully slid his arm under the other boy's leg, the other still braced against his back. He picked Mytho up, balancing on the step. He climbed the last few stairs and brought Mytho down the hall, shouldering open their dorm room's door.
"My heart hurts, Fakir," he whimpered. "My chest is so full of... of..." Mytho touched his face, feeling the wet trails there. "These..."
"Sadness will do that to you," Fakir murmured. He let the door close behind him and brought Mytho over to his bed, placing the boy down upon it. "Let it out, Mytho, and then get some rest. Sleeping is an easy cure for sadness... you'll feel better when you wake up."
"H-How do you know?" When Mytho was placed on the bed, he made a small desperate noise and at once climbed into Fakir's lap. Mytho's legs wrapped around Fakir's waist, his arms around his shoulders, and his face buried into his neck. "She gives me all the pieces of my heart back, but doesn't help me, Fakir..."
Fakir swallowed a bit when Mytho climbed into his lap. "It's not her job to help you. It's mine. Her job is to give you back the pieces of your heart... and as much as I don't agree with that, it's what she will inevitably do." He frowned a bit, gently raising a hand to rest it on Mytho's head. "And I know, because that is how I choose to cope with sadness much of the time."
"I... I don't think I can sl-sleep..." Mytho said, swallowing back a runny nose. "I hurt too much."
Fakir sighed a little, worrying on his lip. "Then just... let it out and try to relax, Mytho," the boy murmured, petting back white hair. "You'll feel better eventually."
There was just a small noise at first, followed by another, and then there was a painful, "Aauuuugn..." before the pale boy broke down into terrible sobs. It was late when Mytho finally just exhausted himself. Huffs and sniffles made his body quiver against Fakir now and then, but he was out. Unable to put Mytho down for fear of waking him up, Fakir chose to just lean back against the headboard with the tired Mytho still cradled up against him. He frowned as he pet back the other boy's bangs. Damn that Tutu. Not only did she return another shard of Mytho's heart, but it was a painful and troublesome choice of shard, too.
Ahiru was feeling pretty good about giving Mytho another piece of his heart back. She was proud of herself for making such good progress, not even considering the type of emotions she was returning to him. That all changed when she saw Mytho and Fakir walk in to ballet class, though. The prince looked like a wreck, face pale, eyes red, even his hair looked unkempt. Was that because of the heart shard? Did Mytho really handle sorrow that badly? Mr. Cat set the class off again to practice their various parts. Mytho and Fakir were beginning a new duet. Not the final pas de deux, but a dance Don Quixote would share with one of Dulcinea's incarnations. It was clear Mytho's heart was still heavy with agony, too consumed by the pain of sorrow to feel the true benefits of joy yet.
Fakir had found it hard to concentrate, if only because Mytho was obviously having trouble, too. Mytho usually loved to dance, but this shard of sadness seemed to weigh down his bones and make his movements slow. It was impossible to practice the dance with Mytho acting this way. Fakir tried his best, but they often had to stop and let Mytho recollect himself before they could continue. Fakir found himself practicing his own part by himself on the barre a lot while he waited for Mytho to say he was ready to go again. Fakir briefly caught sight of Ahiru staring at one point, and decided to cast her a glare as he lifted his leg up into a nearly perfect straight line. Ahiru flinched, but then she swallowed back her nerves and approached the older boy. "Fakir, what's wrong with Mytho? He's not himself at all today," she said, casting the pale boy a glance as he tried to collect himself.
"You noticed," he snorted, continuing to stretch his legs without looking over at the girl. "He's feeling a little down, that's all. Learning pointe must be taking a lot out of him, wouldn't you agree?"
"Well, Mr. Cat hasn't allowed me to start learning yet," Ahiru answered, "but I've seen Rue dance pointe, and sometimes she struggles. I know it can't be easy just starting to learn like he is. Um..." She scratched her cheek nervously. "Has Mytho been, um... crying?"
Another glare was shot over the dark-haired boy's shoulder. "It's none of your business," he answered, closing his eyes and dipping back until his ponytail brushed the wooden floor. He then opened his eyes again, glaring up at the girl standing over him. "Why."
Her heart skipped a beat with fear and little bit of guilt. "He... He just looks like he has been." Ahiru jumped when she saw Mr. Cat walking towards her, so the girl immediately began her pliés. "Mytho looks really worn out and his eyes are all puffy, almost like they hurt. I'm just worried if he has been." And if she had been the cause of it.
"Maybe he has," Fakir answered, keeping himself arched backwards. "Your observations make sense, but it's still really none of your business. There isn't anything you can do to make him feel better."
"Why... Why is he so upset, though?" Please don't say it's because of a heart shard! Please don't say heart shard!
Even though heart shards were the truth, Fakir would have never just said it outright. "He doesn't like the sad ending to the ballet," Fakir murmured, straightening back up again.
Ahiru pouted. "Oh..."
"Fakir..." Mytho approached his friend, having pulled himself together once more. "I'm ready. Honest. I'll make it through the whole dance this time."
"You had better," Fakir sighed, releasing the barre to walk over to Mytho's side without a word of goodbye to Ahiru. "We haven't gotten through it once, and if we don't, we'll need to spend even more time than usual practicing after class."
The frustrated tone on the part of his friend made Mytho's bottom lip quiver and his eyes water. "I-I'm really, really trying, Fakir."
Fakir let out a breath, reminding himself that he had to be gentle. "I know, I know. Let's just... try it again, okay?" He extended his hand to Mytho, intending to lead the boy back to their area of the room to practice.
Mytho sucked in his breath and wiped his eyes. Once sure he had himself composed, he took Fakir's hand and followed him to their own little section of the room. He began in the corner, positioned his arms, and began with the bourrée. They were quick, even movements done en pointe that made him look like he was gliding across the floor. He was playing the part of Kitri now, the inn-keeper's daughter who Quixote firsts mistakes for Dulcinea. At first Mytho danced around Fakir, trying to avoid his advances before his form changed. The first part of the dance for Fakir was mostly attempting to retake Mytho's hand, but having it pulled away from him in a quick flick and spin. Steadily, his movements were meant to become more frantic, his attempts to start their dance together more determined. Eventually, he would take Mytho's hand and the other boy would not pull away, and would rather be spun into Fakir. Mytho felt his throat constrict as he looked up into Fakir's eyes. The urge to cry was mounting, but he had to stop it. "Don Quixote's first dance with Dulcinea must have been special for him, right?" the boy asked softly. Mytho was then spun back out. He began a series of turns on alternating feet, progressing in a circle around Fakir, beckoning him to give chase.
"Yeah," Fakir agreed, nodding his head a bit. "It must have been. We'll need to portray that." He dragged the tip of his shoe across the floor in a small arc before he began to follow Mytho in the circle, coming up behind him and grabbing his waist when they hit what would be center stage, and proceeding to help him spin in a tight spin on one foot.
"He's dancing with his beloved for the first time," Mytho went on to say, mostly convincing himself of this. "Don Quixote must have been happy, right? He finally meets her and dances with her." When the spin stopped, he dropped down into a deep plié and then jumped, his legs escaping into second position. Mytho then landed in a demi-plié. The boy glanced over his shoulder and reached one hand towards the other.
Fakir didn't want to tell Mytho that technically, the two had not, and never would meet. He ignored that part of the boy's statement. "Yes, he must have been happy," Fakir answered, taking slow, pointed steps over towards the other boy and taking his hand.
Mytho managed a ghost of a smile as the shard's opposite began to creep in. Slowly, very slowly, joy was being felt in his heart. Mytho lifted himself into an arabesque, waiting for Fakir to turn him like a music box ballerina. "I'm glad..."
One of the corners of Fakir's mouth turned up, just a little. Hearing Mytho was glad was quite a good thing. Hearing Mytho cry and whine had hurt his heart enough that day. He began to walk a circle around Mytho, spinning him slowly on his toes.
"And... I am glad to be dancing with you, Fakir," he went on to say. "It's a new feeling, but it is one I always wanted. This... being happy. I didn't know sadness was a part of it, but..." Mytho's leg shook, but he remained strong. "I feel very happy when I dance with you, Fakir."
Fakir stared back at Mytho, listening closely to him as he spoke. He stepped closer, stilling the spin with a hand on Mytho's waist, holding up his other hand in the air. "I'm glad, Mytho," he responded quietly. "I enjoy dancing with you, too."
Mytho breathed in a gentle whisper, "Fakir..."
"Yes, Mytho?" Fakir asked, lifting Mytho up into the air.
"My heart... is beating fast again, Fakir," he said, looking down into dark eyes.
Fakir breathed inwards deeply. He wasn't quite sure what that meant, but it made his heart speed up a little, too. He placed Mytho down, stepping back and preparing for the last part of the dance.
Both of Mytho's hands were in Fakir's but they slipped away as he took steps backward. Each one was a passé, the foot being lifted tucked into the other knee and vice versa with each step. They shared a fleeting gaze before Dulcinea turned back into Kitri, sashaying off stage, running away with Basilio, her lover.
Fakir's part would continue into a dance with Ahiru, but he didn't care to practice it then. He fell back onto the heels of his feet, allowing his body to go from the rigidity it took on when they danced back to a more casual stance. "Good," he said, letting out a long breath and allowing a hand to linger on his chest as he caught his breath back. "That was good. I think you're getting the hang of this dance, Mytho. We can probably move on soon."
Mytho turned, his movements still soft and graceful even when he wasn't dancing. He nodded at Fakir's words in a silent thank you. Gold eyes then fell upon the hand there on Fakir's chest. Mytho stared for a time. Probably too long. "Is yours doing it too?"
Fakir was quiet for a beat longer, looking over at Mytho and noting those eyes, trained on his hand. He quickly moved his hand away, busying it instead with collecting their things. "Doing what?" he asked flatly, as if that would deter his explaining himself.
Mytho was suddenly at Fakir's side, his slippers having moved him silently across the room. "Like mine," he said, grabbing the other boy's hand and pressing it to his own chest. "If your heart is beating quickly too, then maybe I'm not really sick."
Fakir faltered for a moment, swallowing quickly. "It's normal for it to be going fast after we exert ourselves. Like... like with dancing," he said, his eyes glancing away.
Gold eyes watched the dark-skinned boy for a short time before letting go. "I see." Mytho followed Fakir to the locker room after that. In his traditional innocent fashion, Mytho paused halfway through changing. That is, halfway between his dance clothes and his uniform, leaving him to stand there naked. "I don't want to get sad again, Fakir. What sort of things make you happy? I want to do them."
Fakir looked over his shoulder briefly, but quickly moved his dark eyes back to his locker. "You already do, Mytho," he said, shaking his head and not allowing himself to be deterred from changing, taking out his pristinely folded school uniform. "I enjoy reading and dancing, and you already do both of those things."
"Isn't there anything el-Ow!" A sudden snap was heard followed by Mytho's cry. His back was arching inwards, standing up on his toes, and hands on his rump.
Meanwhile, the iguana that often attended the advanced class with them was standing there with a now limp towel and chuckling loudly. "You can't just leave yourself unguarded like that, man." Mytho's bottom lip began to quiver as tears flooded his large golden eyes. He hadn't taken the joke well. At all.
Fakir again looked over his shoulder, eyes going wide again- this time, with protective anger. He stormed around to the other side of the bench, quickly buttoning up his shirt to hide the scars upon his chest. He grabbed the iguana by the back of his collar, fisting it in his hand. "Don't do that again," he hissed, emphasizing each word as if it was a sentence all its own.
The iguana boy hissed out his tongue. "H-Hey! It was just a joke!" he said, struggling to get out of the vice grip. Mytho was rubbing his eyes now, already whimpering and breaking down. "Jeez, you two need to chill out."
Fakir just made a displeased noise, letting go of the other boy's shirt. He chose not to answer that, instead stepping around the iguana and assuming he'd run off on his own after another sharp glare. He'd then grab Mytho's clothing and hold it out to him. "Get dressed. I'm taking you home."
Mytho sniffled against the back of his hand. "It stung, Fakir."
"Yeah," Fakir answered, letting out a sigh. "You're not hurt, though. I can get you some ice if it really stings that badly."
"It doesn't hurt," Mytho explained. "I just didn't like it." He cried a little again, but another sniffle had him reaching out to take the clothing Fakir was offering him.
"I understand," Fakir answered, not really sure what to say. Mytho didn't understand jokes and pranks, and Fakir had quickly found, when he was a child, at least, that trying to explain them was a lost cause. Maybe that would change with one of the heart shards... He grit his teeth, shaking his head free of the thought. No. No more heart shards. He tried to be patient as Mytho slowly took the pieces of clothing and started to dress himself, but he'd riled himself up too much. He put the rest of the clothes down on the bench and jumped over to finish dressing himself.
Mytho was silent as he dressed. A quick deep breath could be heard now and then as he tried to make the crying stop. He did better this time, left only with wet cheeks he didn't think to wipe dry. "Have you ever danced on the lake?" Mytho asked while fixing the yellow stone clasp on his collar.
Fakir brushed himself off, straightening his jacket before turning towards Mytho again. He let out an annoyed breath and grabbed his spare leotard, leaning over the bench and using it to wipe off Mytho's face. "No," he answered simply, balling the leotard up in his hands. Looks like he'd be washing both of them.
The pale boy didn't even wrinkle his nose when the other wiped his face dry. "We should. Maybe it will make us happy."
Fakir paused for a moment. Though it sounded like a waste of time, he didn't want to deny a near-crying Mytho. That could only make matters worse. "Alright," he said, putting his leotard away and closing his locker. "We can dance on the lake. If we practice," he added sternly. "We can practice one of our dances for the show down at the lake."
Mytho nodded with a tiny grace of a smile on his lips. "We'll practice, then."
"Alright. Are you ready to go?" Fakir asked, looking the other boy up and down and peering into his locker to ensure nothing was being left behind. They'd had quite a few instances of Mytho forgetting things and needing to trudge back to the empty class building to retrieve them.
He nodded again. "Yes, Fakir." Once the usual grunt of approval was given, Mytho followed Fakir out of the building. Even as the pair walked through town, Mytho didn't take much interest in their surroundings. He wasn't quite at that level yet of wanting to know about the things around him. Soon cobblestone turned to grass and the buildings were replaced with trees. A fair mist in the air was a sign that they were close to the lake Mytho had a seeming fondness for.
"We spent a lot of time practicing in class today, so we shouldn't stay too long. Your feet are still healing," Fakir murmured to fill the silence. It was obvious he mostly just wanted to go back to the dorm, but he was willing to entertain Mytho's desire to dance on the lake. For a little while. They came to a stop at a tiny dock that jutted out into the mostly natural lake, allowing them to peer through the fronds that surrounded the banks. Fakir placed his belongings down on the solid wood, trusting it more than the wet grass.
Mytho paid no heed to the warning about his feet. If it hadn't been for Fakir checking them every night, no doubt they would have gotten much worse. Mytho insisted on dancing through the pain, despite the physical torture it placed on his feet. The boy had wandered to the edge of the dock, gazing out over the water. Through the fog he could see the small grotto he would sneak away to early in the mornings where he danced in his skin, away from spying eyes. Suddenly he was up on the pointes of his toes, arms circled out in front of his chest, bending back just slightly, and head angled back over his shoulder.
Fakir could tell that Mytho wasn't really listening. For once, he didn't snap at him for it. He just stood, putting his hands upon his hips, watching as Mytho bent back into an elegant position. The dark-skinned boy eventually took a few steps forward, and extended his hand over Mytho's head, taking one of his hands to slowly spin him around.
Mytho spun slowly, eventually coming to face Fakir. For a moment their stood there, chests pressed against one another, staring into each other's eyes... but then Mytho lept away. The gypsy princess had yet to become Dulcinea and had no desire to be swept up in Don Quixote's fantasy yet. Mytho would then begin to plié and pirouette his way through the many puppets that would be accompanying them on the stage.
Fakir flinched a little when Mytho leapt off the end of the dock and into the water. It seemed the pond was rather shallow, though, as only his feet were submerged. Why was there even a dock? Fakir sighed and let the thought go as he followed after Mytho, jumping off the edge of the dock as well and continuing the dance into the shallow water.
Sopping wet shoes and soaked pants hardly slowed Mytho down. Again Don Quixote had given chase to his delusion and she was running. Every leap and turn was an attempt to escape until finally, Dulcinea awakened. Mytho landed after a particularly extended jump, his feet perfectly in third position, and had his arms outstretched towards Fakir.
Fakir wasn't quite happy with dancing on the water, much more aware of the water seeping through his socks and into his shoes. Still, he'd persist with the dance. He took a few triumphant steps towards Mytho, before sweeping one leg, toes pointed, in front of him, and taking those outstretched hands in his own.
Mytho mirrored Fakir's moves so that they were standing only a few inches apart, gazing into each other's eyes. Mytho was supposed to go up into an arabesque so Fakir could gently turn him, but he didn't move. The boy's body gave a small twitch, though.
Fakir waited for a few moments for Mytho to do something, but soon noticed that Mytho was just standing and staring, and wasn't about to move. "Mytho?" he asked quietly, concern very briefly flashing across his face. "What's wrong?" Beneath the white shirt and blue jacket, Mytho's chest was heavy rapidly. His heart was so desperate to feel something that wasn't there yet and it caused the boy pain. Mytho's heart was beating so fast again, but he didn't know why. All it took was a simple touch from Fakir and this thing in his chest jumped to life. Mytho made a small strangled noise as he started to slump over. Fakir opened his mouth to ask again with a bit more edge to his voice, but didn't get the chance before Mytho started to fall. The darker boy gasped, quickly bending his knee to get lower and catch Mytho around the waist before he could collapse into the water. "Mytho? Mytho?"
"It hurts..." Mytho gasped, gripping Fakir's arm and shoulder. "Fakir, why? Why doesn't it hurt so much?"
"I... I don't know," Fakir breathed, trying to stand the two of them back up. "We're going back, Mytho."
Mytho stumbled along with Fakir's support, but then his heart gave a powerful beat. It was a strong pounding that he could physically feel inside and wracked his frail chest. "Ah... Ah!" Mytho fell in the tall grass along the bank, hand clutching his chest. "Nnh! Nnh... nh... nh... nh..." Fakir started to panic a little then. He couldn't tell if something was seriously going bad, or if Mytho was just overreacting to a feeling he hadn't felt before. Regardless, they weren't staying by this lake. He attempted to get down on one knee and pick Mytho up in his arms. At once Mytho grabbed on. Being in such close contact with Fakir only felt like it was making the pain worse, but Mytho didn't care. He knew Fakir was the only one who could help him. Fakir was the only one who could take care of him. Mytho might have had hope for Princess Tutu, but she wasn't here. The frail boy was in pain and she wasn't around. So Mytho did his best to hold on as Fakir ran back to the school. Fakir wasn't sure what to do. Was this some heart shard problem he'd want to keep hidden away, or should he bring Mytho to the infirmary? He found himself running all the way back to the school, only to hesitate in the courtyard. He bit his lip, looking between the school building and the dorm. "Mytho... Do you think you need to see the nurse?" he asked.
"I don't know..." Mytho whimpered, sounding lost and sad again. "I just want to go home, Fakir. I want to go back home." Fakir frowned, but started to nod. He liked that answer. He headed in towards the dorms, carrying Mytho up the stairs towards their room. He'd put Mytho to sleep and the next day, everything would be resolved. He decided this before he even got inside, and once he shouldered his way in, he made a beeline for the bed, to place Mytho down. Mytho whimpered again as he sank into the pillow and blankets. There were new tears in his eyes as he looked up at the other boy. "I can hear it in my ears," he cried. "It feels like it's going to come out. Fakir, what do I do? Please... Please help me..."
"I don't know what to do," Fakir admitted quietly, brushing back Mytho's white hair with a strangely tender hand. "I don't know if there's anything we can do." He sat down on the bed next to Mytho, continuing to brush back his hair in hopes that would do something to help.
"Why d-does my heart have to be such a... t-terrible thing?" Mytho asked, choking on a quiet sob.
Fakir had a million practiced responses to that. He'd always told Mytho that his heart was something wretched, something he didn't want back. But something about Mytho's voice made him hesitant to spout one. Perhaps it was the emotion that was soaking it. "...Everyone's heart is," he chose to say instead.
Mytho actually shook his head. "That... That can't be true, F-Fakir. Your heart..." He was interrupted by another sob, one that forced his eyes closed and his lips to tremble.
"My heart can be just a cruel. I just don't show it," Fakir answered, again wiping Mytho's face, this time only having the back of his hand to use.
"Y-Your heart is brave a-and strong and protective," Mytho insisted. "E-Ever... Ever since you were little and fuh-found me."
Fakir let out a long breath, slowly shaking his head. "I'm not brave."
Mytho tried to wipe his eyes. "You st-stand up to people for me," he said. "You aren't scuh-scared of... of things other p-p-people are."
"That doesn't mean that I'm brave," Fakir murmured. "It just means that I'm abrasive. Standing up to others is nothing. They aren't... dangerous."
"I..." the pale boy sniffled, "I think you're b-brave, Fakir..."
Fakir just frowned and shook his head. "You're wrong," he answered. "I'm not brave." He let out another long breath, moving his hand away and folding it with the other in his lap. Mytho didn't understand why Fakir wouldn't believe him. Why he wasn't allowed to think Fakir was a brave person. Fakir protected Mytho from danger. He stood up to those who picked on Mytho. He wasn't afraid of the dark. He wasn't afraid of spiders. He fought with swords. He did everything Mytho thought a brave person did. So... Why was Fakir insisting otherwise? Mytho watched the other boy, reigning back his tears for only a few short moments before he turned his head into the pillow and started sobbing all over again. Fakir exhaled again. He could hear Mytho crying. He hated it. He slowly rose from the side of the bed and started about the room. Getting undressed. Changing into his pajamas and exchanging his hair tie to one meant for sleeping. He'd then return to Mytho's bed and gently push the other boy over, sitting down next to him and curling his arm around his shoulder. "Let it out," he sighed.
The prince suffered through endless tears. His golden eyes were red now, swollen and tender. His breathing was wet, unable to inhale through a runny nose and teeth sticky with spit. It was an unattractive kind of crying, but genuine, gut wrenching sadness usually was. Mytho's body would tremble with each sob. He'd choke despairingly into Fakir's shirt and moan against the ache in his chest. The dark-skinned boy could feel his shirt becomes disgusting and wet with tears and whatever else, but he just lay his head back and tried to ignore it. Mytho letting it out was a good thing. He gently rubbed his hand along the boy's back and shoulders, trying to calm him, if only a little.
Mytho thought about Rue and how disappointed she was in his feelings. Things weren't the same between them. When she asked if he loved her, Mytho couldn't give her an empty answer anymore. He couldn't just say what she wanted to hear. Mytho could tell it was hurting Rue and he felt bad for it. Mytho thought about Princess Tutu and how wonderful it had been the first time she came to see him. Finally, Mytho was going to get his heart back. Only she delivered to him nothing but pain and misery. Princess Tutu didn't give Mytho any part of his heart he truly wanted. Mytho wanted a heart that would make him feel warm and allow him to laugh, but so far he was only miserable. She would give him another piece of despair and run away, leaving him to suffer alone. Mytho thought about Fakir. He thought about this boy who spent his whole life protecting the prince. Fakir had only ever wanted one thing, but Mytho was slowly taking that away. Fakir just wanted Mytho to stay free from the burden of a heart. Mytho wished he had listened. Fakir was right about hearts. They were nothing but trouble, and now Fakir had to listen to Mytho fall apart. "I'm sorry," the pale boy whined. "I'm sorry, Fakir…"
"Don't apologize," Fakir huffed, still rubbing Mytho's shoulders. "This was... your choice, right? You wanted this. Now you need to learn to deal with it. And... just..." He bit his lip, unsure if it was wise to suggest this, but there wasn't much else he could do. "Maybe Tutu will give you a few shards soon that will give you good feelings. But you can stop before all of the shards are fully assembled." He nodded his head, becoming more sure of the plan as he said it aloud. What else could they do? "It'll be incomplete, but... better. And if you don't take the last shard, whatever it may be, then nothing bad will happen."
"Muh-Maybe I should just get rid of it," Mytho cried. "You t-told me a heart would... would be noth-nothing but trouble. I should j-just listen to you and d-destroy it."
The boy was quiet for a moment, but then he nodded. "That's the other option," he said with a frown. "But... if you go back to the way you were, you might just take another shard from Tutu anyway. It could become an endless cycle of different shards and emotions."
Mytho let out a shuddering sigh. "That s-sounds exhausting..."
"Don't think about it now, Mytho," Fakir murmured. "Get some rest for now." Mytho nodded. He was becoming increasingly worn out as the minutes passed. They'd worked hard in ballet class today. Honestly, he was still tired from all the crying he'd done the night before. Now with this break down on top of everything else, it was a surprise that they boy hadn't just collapsed where he stood hours ago. In a way, Mytho almost felt too tired to go to sleep. Luckily, the ache in his chest was dulling down. Both the ache from this new sorrow, and the unfamiliar one that stemmed from his contact with Fakir. If Mytho was going to get a new heart shard any time soon, he prayed that it would be a good one. Mytho wished and hoped and prayed it would be an emotion that finally put his fluttering heart to rest. He wanted to know why the sight of Fakir put butterflies in his stomach. He wanted to know how to make Fakir feel the same way. So if Mytho had to have a new heart shard, let it be one he could use.