A switch.

Rain fell against the window like a rapid paced dance. Like wise a hand flew across a paper. The dark haired boy wrote on for a while before setting the pen down and lifting the paper to survey his work. Fakir groaned and tossed onto the paper back to the desk.

"Quack?" said a little yellow duck from her spot on the bed.

"It's no use! I just don't know what to write anymore!" Fakir sighed in exasperation. The little duck fluttered up on to the desk. She gently placed a wing over the dark haired boy's right hand. Fakir smiled at the comforting gesture, remembering the good old days. He was jolted from his memory by a sudden faint knock at the door.

"Who could that be at this time of night? And in the middle of a storm none the less." Fakir questioned as he made his way towards the door. He opened it a crack to see a small thin figur collapsed at his threshold. He opened the door farther to get a better look. Duck had flown to his side and was perched on the table next to the door.

"Quack qua quack? Qua quack?" said the duck confused and curious. If she had been human she would have said "What is it? A person?" But alas she is a duck so all Fakir heard was quacking, the sound every common duck makes. "Though she," Fakir thought to himself, "is no mere duck."

Indeed the little yellow duck had once been human. Not just any human though, she had been Ahiru, Fakir's love, and the brave Princess Tutu. She had wanted to remain human but she willingly gave up her human form to return the final heart shard to her beloved Prince Siegfried. The final heart shard was the pendant given to her by Drosselmeyer that allowed her to be human. Even though she had only been a duck during the final battle between the Prince and the Raven, she was a beacon of hope that helped defeat the monster Raven and set the town free. Through it all Fakir had been by herside and she by his. Once the battle was over and Prince Siegfried and Princess Rue had returned to the story Fakir had continued to write his stories in hopes of giving Ahiru her human form once more. He had practically given up all hope until the knock on the door very one stormy night.

Fakir began to close the door on the figure when Ahiru began to quack in an outraged manner.

"Qua qua quack?! Quack qua qua quack qua quack quack quack quack qua?" or in human "What are you doing?! Your not just going to leave them out in the rain are you?"

Fakir gave her a long look which Ahiru returned stubbornly. She gestured to the cloaked figure with her wing. Fakir smiled at the humanist gesture butfor owned when he looked back at the figure.

"Your right Ahiru, I can't just leave them out in the rain." Fakir said reluctantly after a long moment. He gently lifted the figure in to his arms and closed the door with his foot as he turned around. Ahiru flew after him as he set the girl, as they had discovered when her cloak's hood had fallen back to reveal her long brown hair and pretty face, to a soft warm wool rug in front of the fire place. Fakir backed away and picked up Ahiru from the floor. He sat down on the bed and strocked Ahiru's soft feathers. It wasn't long before the girl stirred. She seemed confused at first then panicked as she looked around the small cabin. Her eyes finally found Fakir, who had stood up and moved closer to her with Ahiru still in his hands. The girl coward away from his approach. Ahiru flew from Fakir's hands on to the girl's lap.

"Qua." Ahiru said in a cheerful manner. "Hi."

"Hi. Where am I?" the girl responded slowly.

"You are in my home, a cabin near the lake." Fakir told her. He was eyeing the girl carefully. Making sure she wasn't about to try and hurt Ahiru.

"Oh. All I remember is getting lost in the woods during the storm." the girl spoke after a moment, timidly stroking Ahiru's feathers. Fakir nodded his head. It made sense that she had gotten lost in the thick woods that surrounded the cabin. Ahiru hopped down from the girl's lap and waddled back over to Fakir.

"Quack?" Ahiru said after a long pause in which Fakur and the girl had locked gazes. "Who's hungry?"

"I am a bit thank you." the girl replies with a nod to Ahiru. Ahiru's bill dropped open and she stared at the girl. Fakir was staring at her aswell only in confusion more than shock.

"You can understand her?" Fakir questioned.

"Yes, can't you?" the girl asked timidly. She backed away a bit as though fearful she had done something wrong.

"No." Fakir said flatly then in a calmer voice he said, "We have bread and a bit of soup. It's not much but at least it's still warm."

"That would be fine thank you." she said with a small smile. As Fakir gathered a bowl of soup and a piece of bread for the girl he wondered about her. About how she could understand Ahiru, how she seemed shy of him, and how she would back away at his approach. He placed the bowl and bread in front the girl, who shyly took it and began to eat. Fakir judged from the way she was trying not to gobble it all up that she hadn't eaten in a long time. She finished the soup and was eating a bit of the bread when she stopped and looked at the door. She jumped up and hid under the bed.

"What in the world?" Fakir said when suddenly there was a loud crash of thunder and the door flew inward, allowing wind and rain to storm the room. Before Fakir could move a step towards the door, the girl had scrambled out from under the bed and closed the door tight. She then walked back to the fireplace and sat down in a ball.

"How the…? What the…?" Fakir said stunned. He looked to Ahiru who simply cocked her head and shrugged her wings.

"Sorry. I'm sorry." the girl whispered. She began to cry. Ahiru waddled up to the girl and gently placed a wing on her leg.

"It's ok." Fakir said softly. He grabed a blanket abd placed it comfortingly around her shoulders. He didn't know what it was about this girl but he wanted to help her now. He shook his head. Just a moment ago he was going to shut the door and leave her out in the rain.

The girl smiled at him.

"It's late, we should go to sleep." Fakir said standing up.

"Quaaa." Ahiru yawned in agreement. Fakir pick her up and set her on her bed. Fakir offered the girl the bed but she declined saythth what she preferred the floor. She spread out the blanket on the floor in front of the fire and Fakir gave her a pillow. Once they were settled down in their beds Fakir blew out the candle.

"What's your name?" the girl asked as she began to drift off.

"Fakir."

"Thank you, Fakir." she said and driffted off into sleep.

The next day Fakir invited the girl to come with him and Ahiru to the lake. She accepted. Though she still cringed slightly whenever Fakir got close she was warming up to him.

While at the lake, the girl soaked her feet in the water, watching Ahiru swim and listening to Fakir write.

"It's so nice here." she said to Ahiru.

"Yeah, this is our favorite spot." Ahiru said, thought to Fakir it only sounded like quacking.

"Do you have a name?"

"Yes, it's Ahiru."

"That's a nice name."

"What's yours?"

"I don't really have one."

"You don't have a name?" Fakir asked suddenly.

"No." the girl said timidly.

"Well lets fix that." Ahiru said cheerfully.

"What did she just say?" Fakir asked.

"Well lets fix that." the girl translated.

"How about Ren, it means Lotus." Fakir suggested. Both Ahiru and the girl, who was now named Ren, agreed.

"where did you come from?" Ahiru asked.

"I ran away from a mean man. He wanted me to be a mean person and hurt people. But I don't like to hurt people." Answered Ren. Fakir stopped writting.

"Sorry I asked." Ahiru said.

"It's ok." Ren said with a smile, "how do you to know each other?"

Ahiru looked at Fakir and he nodded his consent, so she told Ren their story.

"So you two have stayed together ever since even though you're a duck?" Ren asked in disbelief.

"Yes." Ahiru said proudly. Even though Fakir couldn't understand her he understood the tone she had used. It caused him to smile.

"You know Ahiru, if I could then I would trade you places. I think I would rather be an animal then a human." Ren said after a minutes thought. Fakir's pencil snapped.

"Would you really?" Ahiru asked a few tears in her eyes.

"Yes I would." Ren said. Fakir stood up and took off towards the cabin. He knew what he could do now. He could bring back Ahiru.

"Fakir?" Ren called after him but he just kept running. Ren picked Ahiru up out if the lake and followed. When they found him at the cabin he was writeing feverishly with a duck feather quill.

"Fakir?" Ren asked "What are you doing?"

He paused in his writing. "Did you honestly mean what you said when you said you would trade places with Ahiru?" He asked her with hope shining in his eyes.

Ren understood now. He was going to use his gift to switch places with them.

With all her heart she answered him, "Yes."

With a smile of gratitude, Fakir began to write once more.

'Though it had been years since she was human, Ahiru still longed to be inher human form once more. Her wish was granted when a girl from the forest came to her door. The girl had been mistreated through her life but was still kind and took pity on the duck's sad story. So she offered Ahiru her heart in exchange for a life free fromother pains she had suffered. Ahiru accepted with gratitude.

And so the girl gave her heart to the duck. The duck became human and the girl became the animal that was in her soul. As thanks Ahiru took care of the girl who was named Ren. They both spent their days happily together. And were friends forever.'

Fakir finished writing. A hand rested on his shoulder. The hand if a human girl. Fakir leaped from his seat and caught Ahiru in his arms, twirling her around the room. She laughed and hugged him in return. He set her down and gazed at her. She was as beautiful as he remembered her. Only she was wearing a beautiful, yet simple, golden yellow dress. He leaned forward and kissed her. They broke apart after a strange rumbling noise filled the room. They looked down to see a sleek brown cat curled up next to the fire place watching them.

"Thank you, Ren." Ahiru said.

The cat just purred.

And so Fakir married Ahiru. Ren stayed with them and protected their home from mice. Fakir and Ahiru's children all loved the stories their mother and father would tell them. The cat always seemed to be listening to the stories too. Sometines a few of the children wouldn't believe the stories but all it took was a look from the cat that seemed so human at times to get them to believe once more. True to the story Ahiru and Fakir took care of Ren, until the day she died. They were sad when she died but even DI they could still feel her around them. Always there, forever thier friend.