Fandom: Princess Tutu
Characters: Fakir, Duck, Autor
Notes: Written for the "Water Spirits" prompt of the genprompt_bingo card.
Summary: Post series. After finding out he wasn't a Story Spinner, Autor needed a new calling. Fakir accidentally gets him one.
"According to my research," Autor said, "the best characters do come from real life. Although, yes," he conceded with a sigh, "most books I've consulted on the matter don't mean it like that."
"It's not like the majority of authors out there have my problem after all," Fakir replied.
Autor pointed a finger at him. "Don't go around calling it a problem! It's a gift!"
You can say that because you don't have it, Fakir thought, but kept quiet. Autor wouldn't accept it, ever since he realized he wasn't a Story Spinner as Drosselmeyer and Fakir, he had been lost. To have one's dreams and ambitions shattered hurt, specially after so much time of weaving them on the clouds. Although it could also open doors to new worlds and new possibilities. Fakir's shift from knight to writer was a testament of both. But it was for Autor to discover for himself in his own time.
Meanwhile, Fakir's own power kept growing. Whether by virtue of time alone or the constant use, he didn't know. In any case, it was why he called for Autor that day.
At first, Fakir did base his characters on the people he knew. After all, reality-influencing powers only worked when he wrote about Duck. So it was safe... for a while. One day, however, while buying vegetables in the market, he heard a woman reciting the exact sequence of events from a short story he drafted the night before—as something that happened to her. Panicked and forgetting his change, Fakir hurried back home.
"Should I burn it?" he mumbled to the paper full of inkblots. The curse of Gold Crown Town should not start over, not even by accident, but maybe fire by his hand wasn't the best idea. He put the story deep inside a trunk until he could ask Autor.
After that, Fakir made up all his characters. Yes, he took one trait from here and another from there, but he mixed them until they were unrecognizable. This strategy worked—for another while.
Then, as he waited to buy some milk, he heard about a family moving to a new house in the outskirts. There, a leak ruined the father's best wig. He got so mad he stepped on the cat's tail. The cat, scared and upset, ran all over the house until he dropped the statue of one of the man's ancestors. It turned out that the statue was filled with gold coins, so the man and his family were now rich. Exactly what Fakir wrote about earlier that day before breakfast.
"That's it. I'm only writing stories about forest creatures from now on," he said when the shock wore off. However, part of him felt grateful because that was one of his silliest stories. He didn't have a shortage of those, but he had started to add more drama and conflict to them lately.
After listening to Fakir's plight, Autor accepted to keep the offending stories. "I'll keep them safe," he said as he placed them in a pocket of his coat next to his music sheets. "And I'll look a way for you to activate and deactivate your powers at will. Writing exclusively about animals for the rest of your life would be a waste."
A small smile showed in Fakir's lips. "Thank you."
Autor took of his glasses and rubbed his eyes. "You can show me your appreciation by letting me take a nap. I spent all night working on a new piece for the piano, and I'm not sure I can go back home without falling on my face."
"Go for it," Fakir answered and gestured toward his room.
Once Autor was asleep, Fakir kept watching the lake. Duck floated there in happiness, unaware of his problems. With some luck, she'd remain like that.
He went back to the desk. "Animals, animals..." he murmured as he readied his pen.
Duck herself was the obvious first choice, but she'd been so peaceful all day. Even the otter that picked up fights with her hadn't shown up. Fakir would hate to ruin it. Thus, instead he kept away from the lake and began describing the forest itself, looking for something to focus on. However, before long, he caught himself describing the reflection of the sun over the water. He stopped and went back to name the shade of green of the grass... the same grass licked by the waves in a windy day...
Fakir dropped the pen and pressed the bridge of his nose. He may not be able to activate his powers at will, but his powers knew when they wanted to show up and take over his words. He guessed he could stop writing then, but he didn't want to.
He would fight back. If there truly was a way to control them, he'd find it.
Fakir grabbed the pen once more and retook his description. He went lengths and lengths about the water itself until it become his character. There was no way to go wrong about that one. Soon, eyes as dark as the deepest part of the lake appeared, and a regal head raised over the surface, up and up, until a slender, long-haired and transparent figure appeared—
Loud quacking came through the window, followed by a small bird, startling him. Duck flapped her wings fast and desperate, not caring if anything in the room got wet as a result.
Fakir rubbed his face with his hand at the same time Autor came in from the room, his hair a mess and his glasses askew.
"What is it?" he asked looking from Fakir to the agitated Duck. "Has the giant crow returned? Is Drosselmeyer back?"
Fakir spread out his hands. "Silence!" he exclaimed. It worked. He then sighed and turned to Duck. "Let me guess," he growled. "You saw a human-like figure made of water."
Duck resumed bouncing to one foot to the other as she nodded.
"A what?" Autor looked out through the window and then to Fakir's words on the table. "What exactly is that out there?"
"An undine," Fakir sighed. "They're a kind of fairy. It was supposed to be safe."
"Well, there you go," Autor replied, eyes glued to the undine.
"Thank you," Fakir said. He next looked at Duck. Her eyes sent a clear message.
What are you going to do about it, then?
Well, I am going to take the responsibility, he answered to himself as he grabbed new sheets of paper to start writing again.
"What—?" Autor began, but Fakir interrupted him.
"I need to find out why she's here. What's her story."
"I see." Autor nodded, a smug smile on his face. "It will be easier if she explains it to someone unfamiliar with it, won't it?" He took his coat offered his arm to Duck. "Are you coming?"
Duck looked from Fakir to Autor before jumping to that arm. Then, they both left.
Fakir thought of stopping them, but it would be pointless. Besides, now he could work without interruptions.
Her name was Sylvia, and she was the handmaiden of the Queen of the Sea. An evil warlock trapped her inside a crystal, and Sylvia now looked for a way to set her free.
"It sounds straightforward enough," Autor commented at Duck's general direction.
Shut up, Fakir thought.
"A strange butterfly sent me this way," Sylvia continued. "He said—or at least, I think he said—that magic still existed in this part of the human world."
"It does," Autor replied as he brushed with his fingertips the top of Fakir's stories. However, as he removed his hand, he inadvertently pushed down his music sheet. Before it touched the ground, a gust of wind carried it all the way to Sylvia's hand.
"Wait, don't make it all wet!" Autor said but stopped when he noticed two things. One, that the music sheet was intact, and two, that a smile of hope dawned on the undine's face.
"This is it!" she said. "This is the language the warlock uses for all his spells!" She looked at Autor. "You must come with me and save the Queen!"
"FAKIR!" Autor called back to the house.
"I'm just writing this!" came the answer. "It's up to you to decide anyway!"
Autor fixed his glasses over his nose and looked back to Sylvia and then at Duck. Both of them had an identical pleading expression. It was unfair.
"Please!" Sylvia said, clasping the music sheet against his chest. "Now I know only you can do it! You are the savior I was sent to find."
The savior. Someone who could make a difference and make a name for himself with a unique skill—as long as no one told her about the music academy.
"I have to pick up something before we go," Autor said and he went back to the house. "I'm going to need your sword," he said to Fakir, who was already packing up some food.
"Under the bed," Fakir said. "Although I think a dagger would suit you better. Make sure to carry some iron with you at all times, too. Fairies are weak to it."
"I'm taking the sword." Autor replied. "Make it a happy ending."
"I'll do my best."
"I can't believe it," Autor grumbled as he marched into Fakir's room for the second time that day.
Fakir shook his head and placed some cheese next to the bread in the backpack. That had been... interesting. Callings had a way to find people, after all. Autor needed a direction and there it was. Maybe even happiness would follow. Fakir would find out about it in the next few days. In any case, it would be a good story. The best characters came from real life after all, didn't they?
Soon, Fakir and Duck said their goodbyes to Autor and Sylvia. They were out of hearing range when Fakir noticed something. He turned to Duck, who was busy fluffing herself up; her least noisy way to express concern.
"Hey," he said. "Is it me or Sylvia looks a little like Rue?"
Duck stopped to put her wings over her eyes and squint at the couple. Then, she turned to Fakir again and nodded slowly.
"That's what I thought," he said. "I'll go back to writing."
Duck sighed and went after him. She was just as curious to know what would happen. Luckily for her, he was in the mood to indulge her.