lacewood: (Default)
Pei Yi ([personal profile] lacewood) wrote in [community profile] toxicskyremix2006-03-15 07:05 pm

princess tutu - better endings

Spoilers for the entire series.

-----

Living in a story was one thing. Writing an ending, Fakir realised, was another matter entirely.

But he'd promised Mytho, hadn't he? And even if he hadn't, he owed it to her. Because Ahiru deserved... she deserved a happy ending. Not that she didn't seem content now. Well, she deserved a happier ending.

Fakir just wasn't sure what that ending was supposed to be, or for that matter how to get there.

The days passed. They passed strangely easily, so he barely felt them slip away. And all that time, he wrote. And wrote. And wrote.

He just didn't get anywhere.

In the mornings, he went to school. Sometimes, she even went with him. In the afternoons, he came back and they went to the lake together. Now Drosselmeyer's spell was broken, now people were remembering that there was a world beyond Kinkan's walls, the lake itself was coming alive - birds were returning to it, there were fish in the waters now, and if Fakir had been inclined to diving in its waters, he would've probably found that he couldn't breathe in them anymore.

He settled for sitting on the jetty instead.

Sometimes Ahiru told him about the other birds - a pair of white swans at the eastern end were starting a family, and the family of geese at the west side that had found Kinkan when hunters at their old home had forced them to leave. Sometimes, he stopped and watched her, or watched the other birds.

Something wasn't quite right.

"Oi. Where are the other ducks?" he finally asked one evening when they were packing up to go home.

She looked at him. "Qua?"

He frowned at her, then looked around the lake. "There aren't any ducks here, are there? Didn't you use to live here? Where are your family?"

"Quack quack quack quack."

"You don't remember having a family?" he said, disbelieving. "But how could you -"

Ahiru fluffed her wings at him and looked wistful. "Quack. Quack quack."

He stopped, looking at her, and she waddled on past, apparently intent on not thinking any further on the subject. Damn Drosselmeyer. Even now he was gone... He sighed, then bent and picked her up. She was growing faster now, he thought, and wasn't sure if this was good or bad. How much did he know about ducks? Nothing.

"Idiot," he murmured when she nestled into his arms.





He spent a few afternoons after that in the library, this time in the natural history section instead of fiction. Not too many, though, because this time the information was much easier to find and because he knew she was waiting for him to bring her to the lake.

He spent less time writing, and more time watching the birds now.

"Qua?" Ahiru would sometimes say, swimming up to find him studying the local waterfowl with an intent look.

"It's nothing." he told her.

In the evenings, he went on writing, or read what he'd written. Ahiru made him read bits out loud, then complained when he balled them up and threw them away.

Maybe he was going about this wrong, he thought. People wrote stories about people being cursed into animals and then turning back. No one turned animals into humans and expected them to stay that way.

Anyway, you needed magic for that and what magic was there left now Drosselmeyer was gone?

Plenty, Ahiru would tell him with a nudge of her beak. It was there in his fingers, his words.

It was in her.

It was there. If he could just find the right shape for it... How did Drosslmeyer do it, he wondered, glowering at the empty pages.

A passage in a book he'd checked out of the library: One duck will be lonely, kept in captivity. It is best to breed two or more at any one time.

The wrong shape, he thought.

He had to be going about this all wrong.





Once upon a time, the ghost of a mad story teller turned a duck into a girl into a princess to save a prince. Once upon a time there was a boy who was a knight who was a writer and... really not very good at any of these things.

One upon a time, a boy loved a duck. Yes, that's simpler.

What happens next is the problem.





He wrote into the night, until a sleepy Ahiru flapped out of her basket to nudge at him.

"Quack, quack, quack quack," she said.

He nudged her off his page before she could smudge the ink.

"Don't, idiot," he muttered absently and went on writing. She frowned at him, then turned to read the words for herself - she could still read, albeit a little slowly and awkwardly.

"Quack?" she demanded. When he didn't answer, she tried again. When he still didn't answer, she stalked across the paper and stole his pen from his fingers.

"Oi!"

"KA," she said with her beak full of quill.

He glared at her, then tried to shake her off the pen. She wouldn't budge. "KA KA KA," she said, disapprovingly.

"I don't see why you're being so -" he said, annoyed.

"KA!"

He let out an exasperated sigh. "No one turns ducks into humans in stories. But humans turn into animals all the time. It must be easier for me to become a duck than for you to become a girl - OW what was that for?!"

She dropped the pen and flapped, unhappy and disapproving and clearly bent on not letting him continue. Ink smudged across his fresh-written pages.

"Will you stop tha -"

"QUACK QUACK QUACK QUACK QUACK," she said.

"I don't see why you're being so -"

"QUACK!"

"... I would make a terrible duck, would I," he said, frowning.

"QUA QUA QUACK."

He opened his mouth, shut it. Scowled at her. "It was just an idea," he said. "Will you stop -"

"Quack qua qua?"

He gave up. "All right. I won't. Not unless you say I can. Happy now?"

"Quack," she said, and nudged his fingers with her head. He was still frowning at her, but let her chase him into bed in the end. He did fold up what little he'd written and shove it into a drawer first though.





She caught him reading them the day after, sitting by the lake. She climbed on the jetty and watching him, head tip-tilted. "Qua," she said.

He looked up, then finally folded them and tore the sheaf in half. "They were terrible anyway," he said.

"Quack, she said. "Qua quack quack."

What was the hurry? They were happy, they were together. The ending would come in its time.

The right ending.

He spent the rest of the afternoon fishing, and watching her dive the bottom of the lake instead. Summer was coming, classes would be over soon, he thought, and looked at the forest, then up at the sky.

They'd spent so long living in a story, they'd forgotten what it was like to live not knowing when the ending was coming. If the ending was coming. They could go somewhere in the summer, he thought, far from Kinkan, just to see what the rest of the world was like, and who else wrote stories out there, and what those stories were. And how people lived without stories.

She'd probably like that better, he decided.

end

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