Title: Second Guessing
Summary: He wondered: did he make the right choice?
Pairing(s): Rue/Mytho/Ahiru triangle
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters associated with Princess Tutu. They belong to their original creators.
Author's Note: I know Mytho's real name is Siegfried, but he'll be referred to as Mytho because it flows better.
Raindrops, loud and persistent, pelted against the castle. After a while, lighting flashed and was followed by a roar of thunder. A young man had been writing, and the noise caught his attention. Setting the pen he was writing with down, he stood up and walked towards a large window. He parted the crimson curtains to peer outside. Another flash of lightning lightened the dark gray clouds. Below, trees swayed along with the harsh winds, appearing like gloomy dancers with their tilt to the side and branches outstretched. The young man placed his palm against the cold glass, the desire to ride his steed or walk among the garden so strong he thought of defying Mother Nature and going out anyways. But his queen would scold him for such foolish actions. He couldn't get sick, not when the arrival of King James to discuss trade would be when the storm cleared up.
And so, here he was, confined behind the walls of the castle he lived in. The castle itself was something grand, something pulled out straight of a storybook. Then again, he was from a story written by a madman. The young man, by the power of the author Drosselmeyer, was actually the Prince from "The Prince and the Raven". Drosselmeyer had died with the story unfinished, leaving the Prince and his foe, the Raven King, to battle for many years until the Raven escaped from the story, resulting in the Prince shattering his heart to seal the wretched demon away. Drosselmeyer had the gift—curse was more like it in all actuality—to make his stories become real. The Prince was stuck in a world where fantasy mingled with reality, becoming a puppet who lived but did not feel anything.
That is, until Princess Tutu came along.
There wasn't a day when he didn't think about her and all that she did for him. She helped him regain his broken heart with wanting nothing in return except to see him smile. She chose the path of pain, knowing full well she'll turn back into what she had always been from the beginning: a duck. That is, unless she confessed to him her love, which would have instead caused her to vanish in a speck of light.
His chest hurt when he thought about her. Not as physical as it felt when the Raven King's adopted daughter ripped his heart out; the ache was in his chest, sitting and pushing down on his internal organs, taunting him. The King placed a hand on his chest above where his heart resided.
Someone knocked on the door. He turned around. The door to his and the queen's sleeping chambers opened, and a man in a tuxedo stepped into the room. "Sire," he began, "your lady requests for you to meet her in the ballroom."
"Okay," he replied, "I'll meet her in a moment."
The butler bowed and shut the door behind him. The Prince, now a king, glanced out of the window once more before taking his hand off his chest and closed the curtain. He leaves his bedroom and walked through the castle. At first, the place was all but barren in his absence. Yet now, many people around him were bustling around with the soon-to-be arrival of the other king from the nearby kingdom. He could hardly move without accidentally bumping into someone or having to step aside.
When he reached the ballroom, he saw a young woman with her back to him. She was standing on the tip of her toes, moving to the side inch by inch while her arms slowly rose up and down. After she stopped, she placed a single foot on the ground and began to twirl with her arms locked close to her body, but stopped when she saw him. Her crimson eyes lit up as the pianist in the corner stopped playing.
"Oh, hello Mytho," she said, placing her other foot down to maintain balance.
Mytho was only a name given to him by an old friend due to him losing his memory; his real name in his kingdom was King Siegfried. She was the only one who called him that nowadays, and only when they weren't in public's eye.
"Hello Rue," Mytho replied and stepped closer. "What is it that you wanted to see me for?" He asked.
"Come dance with me, my King. There hasn't been much else to do, not with the kingdom in peace and the weather being abysmal for days. It does get pitifully boring practicing on my own. We haven't been able to do much together. Please," Rue held out her hand, "let's dance."
She doesn't know it, but the gesture causes the ache in his chest to intensify. Despite this, his face never wavers to show the sorrow he was feeling. He's been getting used to repressing the feelings he felt inside. "Okay," Mytho saunters to the woman he married. Rue turns her back towards him, and he placed his hands on her hips. "What would you like to dance?"
"The pas de deux of course." Rue turned towards the pianist and asked, "Can you play Swan Lake by Tchaikovsky*?"
He nodded. When the music started to play, they began to dance in the roles they learned since they were children. Rue was in bliss, feeling herself get lost in the hobby they shared. Mytho was lost too, but not in the way she was; he was soon consumed by memories of his past. The pale complexion of his wife changed to that of a light tan. Her hair, though dark brown, morphed into a peachy orange. The ache in his chest intensified, but he continued his part in the dance. They finish when he raised her in the air. She looked down at Mytho, and for a second he sees those blue eyes that belonged to Princess Tutu—to Ahiru. But they changed back to the dark red irises of Rue's.
As he set her down, he noticed she was studying him with quizzical eyes. "Is there something wrong? It looked like you were thinking of something else."
"Yes. This weather has given me time to reflect on our past, I suppose. It has me thinking a lot about Ahiru… and Fakir," The King added quickly, hoping she wouldn't notice the pause. "I wish there was a way we could meet them again, even if for only a day."
Thankfully she didn't. Her expression changed to that of remembrance. "I miss them too. Without them, who knows what would have happened to our tale. If Ahiru hadn't accepted the pendent, we would still be trapped in Drosselmeyer's clutches, and Fakir helped change our ending from becoming a tragedy with his power he inherited from Drosselmeyer. We owe them a lot." Rue placed a delicate hand on his cheek. "I don't think that without them, I wouldn't have you truly, my King," she wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled his lips into her own. The kiss was chaste, barely lasting a few seconds. When Rue pulled apart from him, her face was flushed, and she hugged him.
Mytho knew something was very wrong when he didn't feel the same tug at his heart for Rue as he did for Tutu.
Why did I marry Rue?
The question plagued Mytho's mind, so much he had to sneak out of the castle to stand out on the balcony. The harsh storm had finally cleared, revealing the star-filled sky as well as the white, crescent moon that matched the color of his hair. He gripped his hands on the railing. The raindrops from the storm trailed down his arms and all the way to his elbows, but all he was focused on was his mind, questioning all of the decisions he's made in his life: specifically his marriage.
There was no doubt that Rue loved him. She cared for him ever since she was a young girl. Her love for him was innocent, blossoming from a school girl crush. She claimed the happiest moments she had was when they were together, despite him not having his emotions. Mytho decided he wanted her to be his princess after she sacrificed herself to the wretched Raven King for him. He wanted to protect that fragile love she felt for him, thinking he could learn to love her. But… he didn't. Mytho did care for her, but he on his part didn't feel the sparks one would expect from love. The kiss, like many others before them, felt more like childhood friends giving pecks on the cheek.
Mytho tried. He tried to find the passion in him when they kissed. He thought of the happy moments they shared, her love for him, yet they didn't do anything. If he had to guess why he chose Rue over Ahiru, it had to have been the heat of the moment when her words of love caused the darkness of the Raven King's blood in him to stop. He felt—dare he say—obligated. He wanted to make her happy after helping him overcome from becoming completely corrupted and the abuse she received from being raised by the Raven King. And now, she was happy; Mytho could see the sparkle in her eyes when they were together. However, he couldn't say the same for himself, not like the way she felt for him.
And he didn't know why.
Ahiru… what are you doing? Mytho wondered.
Weeks after they entered into his world, he learned from Rue that Princess Tutu was actually Ahiru. He had to admit he felt a bit foolish after learning this news; looking back, the magical ballerina and the quirky underclassman held the same longing and sadness in her sapphire eyes. On the other hand, their contrasting personalities of Princess Tutu's confident and wise nature to Ahiru's active yet clumsy nature would make anyone believe they could not be the same person. But alas, Princess Tutu was really Ahiru.
She was fated to never be with him. Looking up in the sky, he realized it was because of his choice. He chose Rue to honor her selflessness near the end. Mytho was always like that: thinking of others over himself. But since they left Gold Crown Town, his mind always wandered back to Ahiru, the little duck that helped him and asked so little in return. He wondered: did he make the right choice? He had completely dismissed everything she did for him.
Is this feeling in my chest guilt? Or… is it something else?
Mytho placed his hand on his chest like he did earlier and closed his eyes. He saw her smile, bright yet sad; her over animated body movements when he was around; her pas de duex done alone to prove to him her love. Thinking about her caused the longing in his chest to strengthen. He thought of Fakir and Rue, but the feeling wasn't there anymore. The feeling caused him to want to dance with Ahiru to show her the sorrow he felt. The idea of pulling her into a kiss like Rue did cause butterflies to flutter in his stomach.
Is this… love?
He smiled bitterly. Mytho knows he could never know if it actually was love, especially since they could never see each other again. A part of him wanted to turn back time and stay in Gold Crown Town if only to find a way to change her back and spend time reflecting on his feelings. But there wasn't anything he could do. He made his choice, and he was going to stand by the commitment he made. Mytho would do his best to make Rue happy, because her happiness made him happy too, if only a small bit.
I'll never forget you, Ahiru. Maybe in another life we'll see each other again, and our fates would be connected this time. If not, I promise you I will find a way.
The King turned his heels and entered back into the castle. He had a big day to prepare for tomorrow.
*Tchaikovsky: A Russian composer with works featured in Princess Tutu.