Kapitel von Schwan
AKT 1 [Idée Fixe]
~Symphonie fantastique: Szene in den Bereichen~
(Symphonie fantastique: Scene in the Fields)
Once upon a time, there was a happy ending. A Prince rescued his Princess. A Knight fulfilled his duty and defied his fate.
"That's great," whispered a small Duck."I'm so glad that everyone's happy now." Turning, the Duck walked away. Alone.
Blue light shifted through skeletal branches of trees that had long lost their leaves. The moon illuminated the large fountain that splashed effulgent droplets onto the lone silhouette of a young girl, sitting at the fountain's edge. She turned to face the moon, as if it were the only companion that hadn't yet deserted her, hadn't turned its stony face from her lonely form. She smiled like no one should, the sad smile that attempts to keep guilt from those who thoroughly deserve it.
You promised,the water whispered as it streamed from the stone beak of the swan in the center of the fountain.
You said you'd stay. You said you wouldn't leave me, ever. I thought that if you were there with me, then even when I was myself, it would be okay.
The water seemed to falter, making awful gurgling noises in the bird's throat. The stone swan shifted, bringing it's wings forward to embrace the girl who still knelt at the water's edge. She reached her arms out toward the bird.
But are you keeping your promise? The water's gurgle had surged into a desperate and rushing wail.
Is it really okay like this?
The girl started to pull away from the swan, but its stone had already started to fuse with her skin. She cried out as she was engulfed in the water that was now pouring from the statue's mouth.
Are you really protecting me? Am I really safe?
The wind was roaring now, carrying water from the fountain's pool in an upward spiral around the girl as she and the stone swan started to merge. The water rose and started to glow as it encased the girl-swan in a giant sphere. One that almost resembled a bird's egg...
The shell cracked.
Fakia lurched forward, panting. He scanned the room, his racing heartbeat calming as his vision cleared. He was in his own room on the third floor of the boy's dorm at Kinkan academy. Fakia glanced down and saw that he had his bed covers fisted in his hands, it took him a second to relax and release them. He looked over to see his roommate glaring menacingly at him. It wasn't a new expression to that face. Autor...Fakia only felt slightly bad for causing him to lose so much sleep. Payback for the Drosselmeyer training.
Fakia threw the covers back and stumbled out of bed.
"I'm going out."
"Glad to hear it." Autor immediately flopped back onto his pilfered pile of pillows. Fakia would have to remember to steal his back later.
I wonder if I was ever that much of a jerk, Fakia pondered wryly. He started to pull on his jacket then paused, No...I was worse, he slumped, Much worse.
Fully clothed, he headed out.
These about-four-in-the-morning-walks were becoming a lot more common than was good for him, but in spite of the chill and the undeniably eerie atmosphere of a sleeping Goldkröne town, Fakia was starting to feel slightly more peaceful just knowing what was at the end of his meander. Slightly.
The hush took on a subtly different tone as he entered the town's forest. The frosted leaves drifted to the forest floor where they crunched underfoot and seemed to stir the air. The trees were looking pretty bare, but not dead, not yet. Fakia shuddered, recalling his most recent nightmare. It might take some time before he could stand the sight of leafless trees again. But it would be fine, if he just knew-
Goosebumps raised on his arms and he started to jog.
This is ridiculous. It's okay. Of course it's okay. Apparently his body and mind didn't agree; he started to run.
Icy leaves were slipperier than he had realized. But he could wash the blood off his palms once he reached the lake.
Stumbling as he reached the shore, Fakia gained a few more minor wounds from the frozen stubs of dead reeds that rimmed the lake. Kneeling as he removed reed splinters from his already slightly maimed hands, he frantically scanned the banks.
Rustling among the bushes there approached the shivering form of a half grown duck.
Fakia immediately sat up and retorted with the only reply that came to mind.
The young duck was looking a little more ruffled and put out than something so petite and artless should.
Fakia felt guilty of course. She hadn't done anything directly to cause him to worry. Not recently.
"Sorry,"he muttered, casually turning his palms so the bloody sides faced away from her. No need to cause more concern, especially after rejecting it so vehemently. He glanced down. For non-concern-worthy scratches they stung pretty badly. He looked closer. The source probably isn't the scrapes themselves, maybe my hand just hasn't healed up as well as I'd figured.
He hadn't thought much about the consequences of stabbing his hand with a letter opener at the time, not even that there would be more pain that followed aside from that of the immediate action. It hadn't mattered at the time. As worth it as it was, he was paying for it now. Fakia sighed. I guess happiness just doesn't come as freely as you'd hope. I must not have compensated enough for it already.
He hardened his resolve, slowly looking back up at the duck, not wanting to draw attention to his new addition of injuries. No regrets. He could easily deal with blood clots and slit tendons, it was a small price for what he had saved.
Fakia shook his head, his eyes had glazed over. Fixing his gaze once more on the duck, he saw that she would be concerned whether he wanted her to be or not. Time for a distraction.
"I made bread."
"KWEH," the duck quacked solemnly, as she reached out with her wings, managed to get the large roll in her grasp, and began to gnaw. Fakia offered to rip the bun for her when her blunt bill failed to break through the crust, but she indignantly quacked once again and promptly dunked the bread into the water.
Whoa, she's mad. She'd rather lose a meal than let me help her?
Fakia was slightly stunned until the duck, having finished soaking the loaf, began once again to gnaw and this time easily ripped off duck-sized mouthfuls. A little abashed for jumping to conclusions and not immediately recognizing the logic in the duck's actions, Fakia busied himself by fishing another bun out of his pocket and starting his own breakfast. Cold bread on a cold morning. At least it must beat what they serve in the pond, he reflected as he watched the duck tear viciously into the bread, making enthusiastic quack-grunts, then again she always seems pretty happy about anything I make.
"I saw that Canary yesterday."
"She's doing well." At least as far as I could tell, he thought, after all, I'm not a bird.
"Her kids have been flying around outside my window a lot since...then. They drive Autor insane."
"Kweh." The duck looked smug.
"I don't get along with him either."
Seeming satisfied, the duck hopped drowsily into Fakia's lap. He lifted her and made a small sling-like-pocket in his jacket for her to rest. She let out one more small, content quack, then nuzzled into his stomach and drifted to sleep.
Guess it was a little early even for her.
Closing his own eyes, Fakia fell into a dreamlike meditation, not stirring again until he sensed the pale gray of early sunrise seeping through his eyelids. The nightmares never haunted him here, not when he knew that what he needed to protect lay safely asleep in his arms.
Fakia fell forward in reaction to the sharp kick that had been delivered to his back .
"Morning Autor," he grunted, raising his damp-soil-be-grimed-face from the rough bank. Autor was so frequently in the habit of waking Fakia in this considerate manner, he no longer bothered to check behind him. Fakia wiped the dirt and gravel bits from his face, wondering what the score of mishaps would accumulate to before midday. He didn't much care about the slight abuse, however, she-
Fakia instantly sat up and started to scrabble desperately at his jacket.
"Ahiru wasn't hurt, she was up before you."
Fakia turned to face Autor, then glanced down to see that the duck had latched on to Autor's ankle in revenge for the face-plant he had caused Fakia.
Autor sniffed snobbishly.
"She bites really hard."
"Really? You wouldn't guess it with how chummy you two seem to be."
"We tried to kill each other before we were allies."
"She would attack you as a duck?"
"...I would try to kill her before we were allies."
"Huh, never would have thought that it wasn't always so warm and fuzzy between you two."
"She actually didn't really bite much til after we teamed up."
"So after you got over your homicidal inclinations she felt it was her turn, huh?"
"...Who knows. Maybe it could have done a little damage if she held on long enough."
"Seems you'd be more likely to keel over if she wasn't there at all. You can tell she likes you because she bites you instead of keeping her distance."
"What time is it?"
"You should work on your transitions, they're too obvious. Poor writing. Six-thirty. We'd better move it, maestro's testing soon, and I still need to perfect my mazurka."
Fakia knelt to unlatch Ahiru's bill from Autor's ankle.
"Hmm? No, that was 'The Flight of the Bumblebee', these are Chopin. Besides, mazurkas are Polish, not Russian."
"I can't tell the difference."
"They're extremely different. I thought you were a dancer, can't you tell the difference in music?"
"No- I mean, I could tell if I heard the songs. The names – you talk about all your music really late into the night. I tend to wake up around four to see Ahiru. I can't keep it straight at the moment." Fakia rubbed his eyes. Why did the sun have to be so bright?
Autor turned away from Fakia and started towards the town, scoffing about people of lesser intelligence as he went, and how the world was lucky that geniuses such as himself still existed. Fakia sighed and headed after him, taking long strides in order to reach Kinkan Academy in time for their separate classes. They would have to part ways once they reached the campus, the music school being a divergent building from the one that housed the ballet portion of the academy. Fakia wouldn't quite miss his company, although Autor was pretty much the only student he ever spoke too. Then again, Autor was the only other person who remembered-
"You taking her with you today?"
Fakia blinked and looked down into his arms discovering a large pair of deep blue eyes blinking back at him.
"I suppose you forgot to put her down when you 'rescued' my ankle."
"Ah, I should go bring her back-"
"No time. Just stick her in your locker or something."
Fakia exchanged a glance with Ahiru, who vehemently shook her head. She apparently hadn't enjoyed the short time she had spent there when delivering a letter to Mytho. Of course she probably had unsavory memories associated with how he had been acting back then; he hadn't exactly behaved kindly towards her...
Ahiru nudged Fakia's hand and hopped out of his arms, flapping her wings clumsily all the way to the ground. She turned to him, quacked, then waddled off towards the fountain in the middle of the courtyard. Fakia took an involuntary step after her, he really didn't want her to go near any bird shaped fountains for a while, but Autor caught his sleeve.
"As touching as your overly obsessed and infatuated concern towards a member of another species happens to be, I don't think she's going to be in any danger. After all, the school no longer enrolls predatory animals."
Fakia had been quite humbled lately, but somehow admitting that he was wrong still didn't come easily. Especially if it also meant that Autor was the one who was right. He began a probably-not-very-well-thought-out retort, but the school clock got in a word first.
Fakia walked hurriedly towards the main building with the swarm of slightly frantic students that had all been waiting til last minute to appear under the critical, and usually uncomfortable, gazes of their respective teachers. Fakia paused at the steps, the crowd parting around him as he stared up at the figures dancing in front of the clock. A man and a woman, a knight, and...a swan. What-?
"Oh, Pique! If we're late again, Lehrer's gonna scooooold us! HOW CUTE!"
Fakia's attention snapped back to the mob of students as a fluffy blonde skipping backwards passed him, continuously gushing nonsense to a more serious girl whose raspberry hair was pulled back in a bun that would have been stern if it had managed to keep her bangs from escaping. Weren't they in the ballet division?
As Fakia hurried down the hall towards the locker room he reflected on the two girls. Younger than him, about thirteen...hadn't he seen them around Ahiru? They were the ones that had always been pushing her down hills and into bushes and such. He paused, arms halfway through the sleeves of his blue outer shirt. Was it possible that they were bullies? They had seemed to torture Ahiru quite a bit. Had she ever mentioned them anyways? What were their names...a flower and a fish...but not really...
Fakia's head was spinning. With the amount of sleep he got, he didn't have the energy to waste on these kinds of things. In any case, Ahiru was safe now...probably...
As the students filed into the studio Fakia glanced over at the pair of girls from earlier. The blonde one seemed engrossed in some perverse fantasy of her own, but the raspberry one was staring right at him with an intent expression. Scary...Fakia quickly turned his attention back to the front of the room, pretending to observe Herr Pinguin as he flapped out his coattails and seated himself at the practice room's orchestrion. Did she suspect that he had some part in Ahiru's disappearance? But almost everyone had forgotten nearly everything that had to do with Drosselmeyer's interference...Ahiru had worn that same face whenever he acted unkindly...had he offended this kid? Probably. He was on decidedly unfriendly terms with a lot of people. Fakia glanced back once more, and as their eyes met, the raspberry girl's cheeks flushed to match her hair. Oh. I see.
Fakia quickly turned back again, just in time to see the Ballett-Lehrer sweep into the room.
The new instructor was...different. The class had been slacking off a lot since that cat teacher had left. Of course none of the other students remembered that the previous teacher had been a cat, they only recalled his strict nature and his threatening habits. Fakia still occasionally spotted him around the pizzeria, along with his flourishing family. The previous Ballett-Lehrer was definitely better off that way, even though his students suffered for it. During stretching and warm-ups the new lehrer was very tentative in both correction and instruction. Some of the students took advantage of this, but many of the lower level students struggled quite a bit with having a soft teacher; they were used to being pushed.
Bringing his leg up to the bar and sliding into the splits, Fakia happened to look out the large window that stood across from the bar. Ahiru wasn't at the fountain. She was there at the window, solemnly pressing her self to the glass, quietly watching the morning class's activity. Watching, but no longer participating.
The class may have lost a good instructor, however they still had the ability to dance. Ahiru could only watch. She couldn't dance with them.
(A/N: This isn't a made-to-depress-you-one-shot. This is the first chapter and I promise the overall ending WILL be happy. I was originally planning for several cameos from our favorite side characters((cough Femio cough)), but recently realized that it would take away too much focus from the plot. The purpose is not to entertain((well, not completely for entertainment, anyway)), but to ensure the happiness of Fakia and Ahiru. Not to say this will always be serious, just that I take it very seriously((most of the time)). In case you're wondering, I spell it "Fakia" and not "Fakir" because that's how it's pronounced and "Fakir" looks and sounds stupid. Thank you very much for reading the first chapter of my first FanFic, I promise there is a lot more to come. Unless I die first. I really hope that's not the case.)