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Avant la Fin
by Edmondia Dantes
Disclaimer: They aren't mine.
AN: For the lovely Sailor Comet.
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"Wait," she says, and they both pause mid-step, turning to look at her. They're on a bridge in Kinkan Town, and the story has ended, and the little duck in Fakir's arms is the only one who knows why they've stopped.
When Rue holds out her hands in invitation, Ahiru gives a gentle nip to Fakir's fingers, and flies into her arms.
They stare, because Mytho is a prince from a story and Fakir a new-made world-shaper, but underneath all that magic they're just boys, and they can't understand.
A pas de deux is different with a girl, and even more different when that girl is a duck, but they've done this before, and it's easy to forget them, when her world is soft and edged in yellow feathers, bright and brilliant and full of joy and laughter.
When it's over, she covers Ahiru's tiny beak with kisses, and sends a sly glance over to the boys, still and quiet in their admiration. "I think Fakir likes you," she whispers, soft down tickling her nose, and laughs as Ahiru wiggles and fluffs in embarrassment, clutching her close to her chest. "He does too, haven't you been looking?"
"Qua," Ahiru says, and flaps a wing in their direction. "Quack qua qua qua."
Rue blinks over at them, a slow smile curling her lips. "...you think?"
"Quack," she replies definitively, and fluffs her feathers again before wiggling gently out of her grasp and flying back to the bridge, where she promptly chatters at them both while they stare at her in utter bewilderment.
"That means it's your turn," Rue says, and pulls herself up onto the railing beside her. Ahiru gives an agreeable sort of quack and hops back into her lap, fluttering her wings in happiness. "...so are you going to dance for us?"
Fakir's getting a bit pink around the ears, but Mytho's smile is luminous, and when he reaches for him, he doesn't pull away.
Rue nuzzles her cheek against soft sleek feathers and giggles when Ahiru nibbles gently on her hair, and their boys dance for themselves and for each other, a study in shadow and light.
It may not be perfect, and they'll all soon be parted, but theirs is a happy ending.
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