AN: This is a crossover fic and pretty much my first attempt at one. I doubt that there are too many people out there who even know about/have played Mother 3 (though I bet some of you know Lucas from Smash Bros. Brawl - he's an important character from Mother 3 and also in this fic), but after seeing how similar the two series were in a lot of ways and having some interesting ideas that spawned from it, I couldn't resist trying to write a story connecting the two. The timeline for this is after the end of both PT and Mother 3, about two and a half to three years later. As for the plot and how they all come together, you'll have to wait and see. :D

Summary: The truth isn't always what we expect or what we can easily accept, but a story's birth is a new beginning. Accept your role? Defy it? A choice must be made, for the phoenix has risen, but darkness looms on the horizon. - Princess Tutu/Mother 3 Crossover

Disclaimer: I do not own anything from Princess Tutu or Mother 3. All rights to their wonderful creators. I am merely borrowing them to weave a story.

The Pillars of Light

[ Prologue: Changes and Visions ]

It was early in the morning and dawn had not quite settled in yet, but Fakir was wide awake and dressing quickly, his features more chiseled and serious than they had been in quite some time since the story was put to its end. Once his shoes were on his feet, he stood from his bed, eyes straying to an old box that laid at the bottom of his bookshelf in the corner.

There, his green eyes locked on the object and narrowed. That box was a container of materials that he swore he would never touch again. He had no need to use that duck-feathered quill or that special ink. It was put to rest.

And now, he could feel that things were changing once more. The lid of that box might have to be opened...

Fakir's thoughts enveloped him as he considered what happened since Drosselmeyer's tale was finished.

It didn't seem like that much of importance really occurred in the two and a half years since. The changes were subtle at first.

And change was to be expected after what this town had been through, of course. The story that had once controlled Kinkan Town had finally ceased and the machine was broken. People were no longer forced to believe what their lives were and had been as dictated by the will of another - a will of words. Now, they were able to forge the roads themselves. With the gates opened, the world beyond the secluded little town awaited.

...Or so it seemed.

Perhaps the people of Kinkan had become so used to their roles that they no longer strove for anything more, even when the doors had plainly opened before them. The theories of why could go on and on.

Until recently, Fakir hadn't even considered it, himself. He was content with the simple and quiet life now, staying by Ahiru's side just as he promised. He didn't feel the desire to explore further - he treasured what he had. There was no need for swords and no need for written words anymore, either. He put his powers to use the first year after the end of the story, just enough to give the people of Kinkan their freedoms to create their own stories. Then, he spent the next few months or so afterward repressing his powers with the help of the Bookmen, so he could finally write in peace without having to worry about his words coming to life or changing something that shouldn't be changed.

However, something... wasn't right. No one new from the outside world ever seemed to come to Kinkan Town, even now that the magic had faded and the boundaries were gone. Fakir never even spotted a single stranger out in the woods or by the lake. The wildlife didn't seem to expand, either. Everything seemed... too limited.

At first, he ignored the strange feelings that tugged on the edge of his mind with the knowledge of those oddities. It had to be because of his story-spinning abilities, he thought. He couldn't get rid of it completely, but he definitely hadn't mastered suffocating the power out, either. It was an annoyance, that was all. That uneasy tingle was nothing more than residue of magic that was merely clinging to him and giving him goddamn headaches.

And it wasn't until she was visibly affected that Fakir felt the stirrings of worry take root.

In truth, ever since the story's end, and when the fall of the magic that secluded Kinkan was lifted, the little duck never seemed as at ease with everything as the once-knight and writer had become. Fakir figured that she was having trouble reverting back to her life as a duck, which was more than understandable. He had even toyed once or twice with the idea of asking her if she wanted to be human again, but...

No, normalcy and reality was important. One thing he had never grown to like or accept was unneeded change. Things were as they should be now - as they were meant to be. He had no right to toy with reality and fantasy like Drosselmeyer had once done. He despised what his ancestor had weaved through abuse of his power and he would never play with people's lives like that old lunatic.

Ahiru was a duck. She had to stay as a duck. That was just the way that things had to be.

Fakir's bud of worry blossomed quickly, though. Despite having accepted to turn back into what she truly was and remain that way, Ahiru did not embrace life as a duck. He remembered she had been somewhat of a social girl, when she was in the story. Even so, she did not go to frolic with the other few waterfowl on the lake and she spent most of her time with him, listening to his stories with wide and clear blue eyes and eating the bread he brought while enjoying his otherwise quiet company.

It worried him, yes, but Fakir was also selfish. Though he wasn't about to turn her back into a girl, he was more than glad that she didn't fly off and leave him or seek other companionship. And he made sure that he came to the lake every day, without fail, and even brought her back to his cabin home many times when the weather turned aggressive.

The duck was clearly discontent, though. No matter how much time he spent with her and what little he could do to try to communicate with her, Ahiru seemed unnaturally troubled and more and more despondent as the months went by. He had even taken her into town to have her condition checked upon, but no conclusions were drawn. She seemed to be in fine health, aside from a lack of energy and tiredness.

Fakir fed her more bread, encouraged her to swim on the lake and get exercise, and even tried to coax her into taking flight, but even under his strict and constant care, she didn't appear to be improving. Finally, he had even taken her from the lake and into his cabin just a few weeks ago, to keep a better eye on her behavior as he tended to her.

And that was when something became startlingly apparent: Not only did the bird seem to be having fitful and short bouts of sleep at the most, but she would wake very suddenly and become instantly alert, looking frantically around her in a manner that suggested she didn't know where she was. She even started to wander off aimlessly in the middle of the night at times, straining Fakir's already tight nerves when she went missing and he had to track her down. She never went far from the cabin or the lake on her short webbed feet, but it was making the uneasiness in Fakir start to balloon into fear.

This wasn't normal.

The ex-knight probably could have tried to write it off as merely dreams and perhaps Ahiru wanting to just get out more and explore the world at last. Ducks could dream and have nightmares and things, couldn't they? And she could suddenly want to embrace her duck life and the outdoors more now that he had shut her up in his cabin. He didn't see any reason why either wasn't possible.

However, Fakir didn't believe in coincidences and he had always been suspicious of change. This had been going on for too long and Ahiru's disappearances were becoming more frequent - nearly on a daily basis in the last week, she wound up missing when he woke. And whenever he found her, she seemed to be almost delirious - as though she was confused as to where she was going, how she even got to where she was, or what she was doing there. His headaches were steadily growing worse, too. And if that wasn't strange enough already, he had his own unsettling dream just the prior night. There were only brief flashes of things that he could even make out, but they filled him with a sense of deep foreboding.

Two islands...

An enormous dark dragon flying overhead...

Ancient trees that could speak to his mind, always repeating the same phrases to his conscious: "The time is near", "Nowhere is the beginning", "Reborn from the ashes, given new life by words", "Disruption of balance", "Traitor", "The end of all things"...

Fakir knew that the dream was not something he could ignore. One of the voices had been that of the Oak Tree - he recognized it.

And somehow, the writer knew that Ahiru must have been having similar visions. He had to speak with her about them. She could still understand him as a bird, even if they couldn't talk directly. Maybe if this was all connected...

He didn't want to face the possibility, but he had to. Another story could be looming overhead now - or perhaps something even more sinister than that. Whatever it was, he had a responsibility to protect Kinkan Town. He took the role of the writer when Drosselmeyer's story ended. Running away was not an option for Fakir anymore. He was done with being a coward and fearing Fate.

Fate remained as something that could be changed - he was living proof of that. And those visions...

What he needed now, was more information and to know whether or not these visions had truth to them. Unleashing his powers anew again and writing carelessly would not bring about anything pleasant, he was sure. He needed guidance and to know what the hell was going on before he tried anything.

And he knew just where to go for it. Barely a few moments after he awoke, he knew who he had to speak with.

Turning away from where his eyes had been glued to the box during his lapse into this thoughts, he exhaled heavily through his nose. First things first, he had to go and find that idiot again. He wasn't surprised to see her basket empty this morning - this happened far too often in the last few days for him to fret about it as much as he used to. But she was connected to this, too. If he was going to visit the Oak Tree for answers, then he needed to bring her with. Perhaps the tree could understand her, as well, or give him some clue as to what was going on or about to happen.

Inwardly hoping that the moron hadn't gone too far or gotten herself into trouble, he swiftly headed for the door. She must have left by squeezing out through the window again. He thought he had closed it last night, but just a glance was all it took to note that it was definitely lifted open part-way (sometimes, it amazed him how human-like she still behaved). However, just short of pulling the handle of the door to head out, he paused, eyes blinking and brows furrowing.

Just now, he had felt an inexplicable warmth inside of him - small, unmistakable, and yet gone as quick as it had come. He might have even imagined it.

Fakir shook his head, the frown on his lips deepening. He sure as hell didn't have time to wonder about anything silly like that - and there was no telling how much time he did have, for that matter. The time is near, as one of the voices had said in the dream. If there was any truth to that, then...

Releasing a gruff noise under his breath, he pushed the heavy wooden door open without another thought and headed straight in the direction of the lake, eyes pealed for any glimpse of familiar feathers.

AN: That's it for the prologue. I hope you enjoyed it. I haven't delved much into the Mother 3 part of it yet, but that's coming.

If you have any feedback, I would really love to hear it. Even if you know nothing of either one series or the other, I'd love to know what you think of this so far. This will likely be a big chapter story and I'm really inspired to keep writing it. Also, expect a slow-building Fakir/Ahiru relationship to take root in this (like you didn't see THAT one coming).

Anyway, thank you for reading! Have a great day.