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Fuer Dich, Akt 4 (Princess Tutu)

Fandom: Princess Tutu
Title: Fuer Dich, Akt the Fourth
Author/Artist: Lucky_Ladybug/insaneladybug
Theme(s): #4 - Jewel
Characters: Autor, Edel, important mentions of Ahiru
Rating: T/PG-13
Warnings: Grieving
Disclaimer/claimer (if needed): The characters are not mine and the story is!
Summary (if needed): Autor continues to ponder and ends up recalling the two times he met Edel.

Cross-posted to http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6399986/4/

Notes: Thanks to Kaze for plot help with this segment! Also, the idea of Autor ever having met Edel must be credited to Poetoffire. This prompt jumped out at me and the idea of writing some short scenes of Autor talking with her began to take shape.

Akt the Fourth
Prompt: #4 – Jewel

At least once per day, but usually more frequently, Autor let his mind wander over all manner of subjects. He would review the day’s lessons, try to determine how to get the other students to be quiet in the library, and think on the past.

Sooner or later, every topic he could find seemed to turn to Ahiru.

If he thought about Rue and her grace and poise, inevitably he would also bring to mind Ahiru’s lack thereof, and how ever so slightly she had begun to improve in her ballet skills. Sometimes he would recall the times he had played the piano for the class and how he and Ahiru had quite unintentionally sown the seeds of their friendship during those meetings. In more recent times as he had played, he had observed how much better she had gotten—even if only by a margin.

And more recent still, she was not there at all. It made his heart ache to not see her or to hear her having an episode of klutziness. When she had been there, he had come to linger in the ballet room for a while after concluding his music. Without her, he only wanted to get out of the room as quickly as possible when his task was done. As much as he wanted to berate himself for such foolish and irrational feelings, the loss stabbed him too deeply. The ballet room had lost any appeal it had once had for him. It was no longer bright and worthwhile.

If he thought about Fakir and his building anger and frustration, it would be impossible not to think on the reason why. Before long Autor would be remembering Fakir and Ahiru’s feelings for each other and their immature arguments and how he had usually ended up involved even though he had tried to avoid it. In general it had not taken long until all was mended, but while the conflicts had lasted Autor had often served as a listening ear and adviser for both parties.

He still recalled Fakir’s exasperation with Ahiru and how he had wondered how Autor managed to stay so calm when Autor and Ahiru disagreed. Ahiru had rambled on about her frustrations with Fakir, ending with her comments on how sometimes she just could not stand him and how did Autor deal with him so well?

On some level it amused him that each had seemed to think he handled interaction with the other very shrewdly.

If he thought about the other students at the academy, he started to ponder on what they had thought of Ahiru and how they behaved now. Ahiru, in spite of her terrible grades and her clumsiness and her bursts of childish behavior, had been well liked on the campus. It was really impossible not to like her, with her cheeriness and friendliness and her desire to reach out to others. Even now, he heard students talk of how they missed seeing her around.

Once, an annoyed girl had asked him why, after spending so much with Ahiru, hadn’t some of her cheeriness rubbed off on him? He had responded just as annoyed that Fakir was not cheery either and why was she singling him out to ask? She had told him that the girls liked Fakir and his brooding nature, whereas they were not fond of Autor.

His patience had bent back extraordinarily far at that. “And yet you mourned my death,” he had told her. “I remember you at my funeral. If I’m not mistaken, you actually cried.”

Having been caught, she had stiffened in mortification. Autor was correct, and she had not been able to find a satisfactory answer.

Sometimes, another student had muttered as she had fled, it was really quite uncomfortable that Autor had died and come back to life. His memory was too good. And there was no telling exactly what he was aware of that they would not think he would know.

With his temper already stretched taut, Autor had asked if she wished he had stayed dead. She had gone red, stammering that of course she had not meant that.

Autor sighed to himself. He could not really make sense of the majority of the students’ behavior. They had thought more of him in death than in life. Part of him wondered whether some of them had thought that his fatal sacrifice made him into some kind of saint. If so, they were probably sorely disappointed that he was still the same unsociable musician as before. Perhaps they had also not thought someone such as he would even be capable of trying to save someone and dying for it.

Ahiru was likely still the same. He could not imagine her sweet, caring nature ever changing. He hoped it would not. He would not be surprised, however, if she was feeling sorrow and helplessness because of his and Fakir’s inability to get over her departure from the mortal realm.

It was odd, sometimes—the thoughts that came to him. Now he was wondering whether Ahiru ever communicated with the spirit of Drosselmeyer’s puppet Edel. He had never been quite clear on whether Edel’s spirit lingered with Uzura at all times or if she was just able to communicate through Uzura whether or not she was directly present. Either way, it might be possible for Ahiru to talk with her.

Autor had passed Edel twice when she had been selling gems on street corners. He had never been sure what to make of her and the unsettling way she had of seeming to peer into people’s souls. Both times he had been left bewildered and uneasy, not sure whether she actually knew something of who he was or whether she just made several astute guesses. Now that he knew who she was, he was still not sure of the answer. But Drosselmeyer had likely spied on him as well as the rest of the townspeople, so Edel had surely witnessed him during at least some of those times.

“Would you like to buy a gem?” she queried the first time they met.

“And what would I do with one?” he sniffed in retort.

“A gift for a family member, perhaps, or a love interest?” She held one out to him. “This is The Author’s Convenience.”

“What kind of name is that?” he frowned, eying the object. It was attractive; he would not deny that. But its name was bizarre.

She just smiled and chuckled softly under her breath.

“I have no one to give such a thing to,” he said then, walking past her. “This meeting will only waste both our time. Good day.”

The second time he had seen her had likely been one of her final days. He had determined that after hearing a timeline of events from Ahiru and Fakir. He had passed her in the marketplace, across from the pizza parlor.

“So we meet again,” she greeted.

“It would seem so,” he said, pushing up his glasses. “But I still have no use for your jewels.”

“Are you sure there isn’t someone in your life who would like one?” she returned.

He frowned. It was a strange question. Of course, it was likely just a saleswoman ploy. Still, from the way she had said it, it almost sounded like she knew there was someone. And that disturbed him.

No one should know about his admiration of Rue. He had spoken of it to no one. He watched her from afar, certain that she would never give someone like him the time of day. She never seemed to notice him, which only furthered his beliefs.

The only other girl in his life was the clumsy redhead he had seen and interacted with during the two times he had played the piano for the ballet class. She would likely thrill at the sight of something so “pretty”, but there was no reason why he would buy such a thing for her. He did not intend that they would be encountering each other again. And they were completely incompatible; he had no interest in her.

“There is no one to whom I would be giving one,” he said. “You seem to be doing well enough for yourself; I see you have some different selections than before. Kindly leave me be.”

It was strange, he mused. Though he still had feelings for Rue, it was Ahiru to whom he had grown so close, in spite of their “incompatibility.” Their friendship had gone deeper than anything he had ever had with Rue.

He remembered how she had told him about Edel’s gems, including The Author’s Convenience. She had found the name as odd as he had, and he could not help wondering why Edel had chosen to show that one to him. From what Ahiru had said, Edel had tended to display gems that she felt suited the person and the situation. Perhaps Drosselmeyer himself had told her to show him that one, feeling it would be amusing considering Autor’s desire to write.

Maybe, he thought, he should have bought a jewel from her. Although he really had no idea what he would have done with it back then.

For that matter, he had no idea what he would do with one now. It would be highly inappropriate to give a personal gift like that to Rue, when she was betrothed to Mytho. However, if Ahiru were still here. . . .

He frowned. Yes, if Ahiru were still here, he might have at least considered giving one to her. He knew now more than ever how excited she would have been over receiving something so “pretty.” And she would have prized it and taken good care of it.

On the other hand, a gift such as a jewel would be more the kind of thing that Fakir should have given to her. Perhaps Fakir should have, when he had had the chance.

Autor sat up straight with a jerk. What on earth was he doing, spending time thinking of such ridiculous, inconsequential things? Edel and Ahiru were both gone. This train of thought was absolutely pointless.

Pushing himself out of the chair he crossed to the window, staring at the cold Kinkan night.

“I truly am hopeless,” he said aloud, bitterness clouding his tone.