Aneko: The purpose of this fic isn't really to give you the warm and fluffies…

…Okay, maybe just a little. But the real purpose is to stick it to all those Shoujo manga that make everything look like bubbles and flowers. So it is deliberately not flowery.

Disclaimer: I don't own Princess Tutu.


"And then, Neko-sen—I mean, sensei, told me I need more practice! After all that work I did."


"Hey, wait—Fakir, are you actually listening to me?!"

There was a beat, and then, "No."

"Fakir! You're so mean!"

Fakir glared at the blue-eyed girl across from him. Her cheeks were rounded with the food she was still chewing. She looked like a chipmunk, but the imagery of a cute little forest animal didn't seem exactly accurate. "First of all, we're eating a meal, so stop talking with food in your mouth. It's disgusting."

"Disgusting? Well excuse—"

Fakir shoved his napkin over her mouth. "Chewed up food is not attractive to look at when talking to someone."

"Mn…" Ahiru worked around the napkin, swallowing the food in her mouth. "Well, at least you're a good cook, Fakir."

"Fine, I believe you. But I'd rather just hear it from you than see it in your mouth."

"It's a fever," Fakir said as he read the thermometer.

Ahiru gave a loud, wet sniff. He refrained from telling her that she looked awful. Her face was red, and her hair was all over the place, in her face, stringing out over the bed. Her face shone with sweat, but she still shivered with an intensity that surprised him.

She gave an enormous sneeze, and Fakir looked away, grabbing the tissue box. "Your nose is running."

She took a tissue, blowing her nose with a soggy sound, then throwing it in the trash can with a pile of others.

"Fakir, I'm cold," she mumbled.

"Still?" He could already barely make out the shape of her body beneath the small hill of blankets that covered her. "Hold on, I'll go get the blankets from my room."

When he returned from his room, he found the bed empty, and followed the string of unpleasant sounds to the bathroom. At least she had made it to the toilet this time. Last night at four A.M, when she had woken him up, she hadn't been so lucky (and neither had he, as he had cleaned it up).

When he sat on the tub beside her, she grabbed his hand, he fingers clammy and weak. He reached forward and pulled her hair out of her face, so that she couldn't dirty it. It was already matted and tangled from her day of bed rest. She heaved the contents of her stomach into the toilet bowl, though since she hadn't eaten much all day, all that really came up was liquid.

He murmured soothingly to her until she stopped, leaning her forehead against the wall for support. Fakir gathered her in his arms.

"You should sleep."

"Okay." She already sounded halfway there. "But 'm still cold," she slurred.

"We're almost there."

He laid her in bed, which was difficult since her arms were clasped around his neck. He hovered over her awkwardly when she didn't let go.

"Come on, Ahiru—"

But it was no use. She was fast asleep. Rolling his eyes, Fakir squeezed onto the bed beside her, pulling the blankets over her side with some difficulty.

The next day, Ahiru was completely healthy again.

Fakir, on the other hand, ended up with a nasty cold.

For the fifth time that night, Ahiru started awake. She suppressed an irritated groan. She wished there hadn't been a thunderstorm outside earlier, or she wouldn't be in this predicament. As it was, she was stuck between him and the wall, and she didn't want to shimmy out of the warmth of the covers as well as climb over him to get out. It just couldn't be worth the trouble.

Fakir gave a loud snore, and she pulled her pillow over her head. It worked for a little while, and she started to doze off, when—

He gave another voluminous snore, and she couldn't help it. Lifting the pillow, she reached over and jabbed her finger in his side.

He didn't wake up, but the sound cut off immediately.

Relaxing into sleepiness, Ahiru settled back down to sleep.

—Only for her to pull the pillow over her head a short time later.

She vowed to buy a pair of ear plugs first thing tomorrow.

Fakir sat at his desk, a candle lighting the paper before him. Outside, thunder grumbled vaguely in the distance. Ahiru had gone to bed earlier, but he preferred to stay up later, to write when it was quiet.

He had been writing for a while, when his room was suddenly flooded with the bight, static light of lightning, and an explosion of thunder rattled the window.

He didn't pay much attention to it, but as he still sat at his desk, he heard the quick patter of bare feet running down the hall, and only realized what it meant when his door slammed open. Ahiru stood in her nightgown, a pillow clutched in her arms. Fakir sighed, pushing away from his desk. It was already pretty late anyways.

"Okay, come on."

She practically dove onto his bed, and he followed more slowly. When he sat down, she attached herself to his arm.

Fakir stroked her hair. "Aren't you a little old to be afraid of thunder?"

"Shut u—" Ahiru's words ended on a squeak as another peal of thunder cracked.

Fakir winced. "Hey, you're cutting off the circulation to my arm."

She didn't respond, her face buried in his shoulder. Fakir shook his head and sighed.

"It's going to be fine, okay? Just ignore it and try to sleep."

She gave a tiny nod. Fakir looked ruefully at his desk, wishing he had brought some of his paper and a quill with him, or a book to read. He still felt wide awake, and it would be a while until she settled down, what with how loud the thunder was.

The time passed slowly. After a while, Fakir glanced down at her, and saw that her eyes were shut, and she seemed to be breathing evenly. He shifted a little, only to discover that he was trapped in her iron grip.

"Again?" He muttered. This pattern was becoming so frequent that he should have seen it coming. As small as she was, she kept an iron grip even in sleep.

He could have tried to pry her arms off of himself, but he didn't dare wake her up while the storm still raged outside. It would just take that much longer for her to fall asleep again.

He tried to wiggle into a more comfortable position, but the more he moved, the more uncomfortable he got. He had already lost the feeling in the arm she clutched. He moved the best he could until he was almost laying down. It would just have to do until she either woke up, or morning came.

Fakir closed his eyes. It was going to be a very long night.

When Ahiru woke up and began to frolic about the house, Fakir merely grumbled and went back to bed, hoping to relieve his stiff muscles and the crick in his neck.