A Princess Tutu fanfic by Klondike Aura

Touch had never been a pleasure.

For as long as Rue could remember, touch was something to be avoided at best and endured at worst. The first thing she ever learned was to conceal the bristles of disgust that came with the itch of her "father's" feathers. Even the memory of his embrace caused a strange sensory indigestion: a tactile discomfort and an inexplicable nausea.

Mytho's touch was comfort, but only in comparison. His hands guiding her in the steps of the dance, both in her youth and in class, offered nothing. It was dancing with the wind, support yet insubstantial to her skin. No matter how often or how tightly she clung to his arm, it was as effective as grasping at clouds.

The first time she remembered feeling anything else was Duck. Of all the people to awaken the joy of feeling, Rue never guessed the awkward redhead would be it. And yet the slight tremble in her lithe form as they danced gave the more experienced ballerina an unexpected but not unwanted warmth. Despite Duck's lack of grace or skill, every brush with her made it a dance Rue didn't want to finish.

Rue examines her hand while she stands in the bathroom. It was so long ago but the phantom tingle of that warmth remains.

"You look pensive," Mytho comments from behind her.

"A bit," she replies, looking up to meet his eyes in the mirror.

He gives her a warm smile as he approaches, one hand going to her shoulder and the other wrapping around her waist, pulling her close. Rue presses to him, sparks flying across her nerves at the now heartfelt touch.

"Would you be jealous if I said I was thinking about Duck?" she murmurs, tucking her head against his neck.

"Jealous? That you were thinking of one of our dearest friends?" he asks back, stroking some of her hair away in a gentle caress she instinctively leans into. "Without her, we would be missing so much."

"Mmm," Rue hums in agreement before she places her hand over Mytho's, her thumb stroking over his knuckles and the back. Her hand trails up to his wrist and, thinking she wants him to hold her tighter, Mytho moves his hands until she's wrapped completely in his arms. She tilts her head up to brush her nose against the line of his jaw and faintly brushes her lips on his chin, prompting him to give her a laughing sort of sigh. Rue lets him feel the upward curve of her lips, a smile at the knowledge that her delight in the sensation is shared, before lingering for another kiss and barely pulling back.

"Don't let go, all right?" she requests quietly and directly to his ear.

"Furthest thing from my mind," he obliges, his fingers rubbing up and down her shoulder. "But what about Duck?"

"I'll be sure to thank her later."


Author's Notes: Touch is by no means an overlooked sense but it's one that can linger longer than we expect. For Rue, who didn't really know a loving touch or a touch of one who knows love until much later, touch is significant in ways others can't imagine. And the mind is surprisingly good at calling up the sensation long after it's passed.