"Let's compose our own ending of the story. Not just for Muyto's sake, but for our sakes as well." Fakir gazed deep into Duck's eyes as the two danced slowly in Despair. So close...
Duck couldn't help but think about what Fakir had told her earlier-about staying beside her forever, even though she was really only a duck. It filled her heart with a warm, soft light when she thought about being with Fakir-but the way he was looking at her now, holding her tenderly in his arms scared her, and made her feel a little guilty.
Shouldn't she want to still be with Muyto, even though he had always had Rue by his side? Deeply confused and conflicted with emotions, Duck tore her gaze away from Fakir's calm, reassuring eyes to the lake bottom.
"Now this is something, little duck!" That voice...! Duck's eyes shot up in a flash, and found the source of that oh-so-familiar voice to be the person she was now dancing with. "Mr.Drosselmeyer!" Duck blanched, a "quack" stuck like a lump in her throat. "That's right, little duck." The two began dancing faster, swirling like dervishes along this underwater stage. Although Duck did not particularly want to be dancing with the story-weaver (who was supposed to be dead, by the way), she found she could not wrench herself free from his grasp. "I came here to congratulate you for turning my glorious tragedy into a happy ending," Drosselmeyer said, slowing the dance to a jilting waltz. That's right, Duck thought. The story was over, the Raven had been defeated. Then this must be a dream...? Drosselmeyer continued on, unaware of Duck's pensive thoughts. "The Prince is now off safely, free to live happily with his Princess, because of you."
"It wasn't just me!" Duck interjected. "After all, Fakir is the one who-" Drosselmeyer cut her off abruptly. "Ah, you seem to be quite smitten with him after all!" Duck reddened, awkwardly teetering away from their slow dance. "W-what!?" she stammered, face steaming as she flexed her index fingers together sporadically. A peevish grin leapt onto the old man's face, all at once changing it's mind and turning to a sarcastic, disappointed frown. "And here I thought you'd be heartbroken at having just lost the young prince."
Duck sobered immediately, returning her now somber gaze to the lake bottom. "I should feel worse than I do, shouldn't I?" Duck demanded, tears springing to her eyes as she continued to neglect meeting Drosselmeyer's eyes.
After a brief moment of silence, Drosselmeyer turned his back-seemingly avoiding her question. "First love is often delicate, and like all love, precious. We never really forget the person who first taught us to love, because they've given us a power that cannot be forgotten. But is it not enough to simply wish them happiness after you've both moved on to new levels of understanding just what true love is?" Duck stood in reflection, unanswering. "Little duck." Drosselmeyer turned on his heel, sighing curtly.
"What I'm saying is you will never forget the Prince, and he will never forget the kindness he owes you. But true love is not measured by recognizing only the good in other people and admiring it, but seeing all aspects of a person and still wanting to be with them forever. To live life for that person, throughout all the good times and the bad. There is an unexplainable and inexhaustible power that flows from this love: a strength that reminds you because this person existed in your life you will never be separate from them-their love will live in you, guiding your way even in darkness, so to speak. Do you remember after Fakir had fallen, fighting the crows? And then again when the Prince fought with the Raven? It was Fakir that inspired your dance when you were faltering, he was your reason you could dance-your source of inspiration and confidence. He feels the same way about you: you are his object of desire: his heart's true purpose."
"But I'm...I'm just..." Duck's mind flashed back to the night the Raven was destroyed, the night she danced with Fakir that last time. "When that time comes, I'll go back to being just a bird. I'll never get to study dance with everyone again..."
Duck's words haunted her. What she had really meant to say was: I'll never get to dance with you again. Or talk to you. Or hold you safe in my arms. Or...kiss you. Fakir had said he was happy with Duck just being herself. "He didn't want me to have to change for him," Duck murmured, resounding her thoughts aloud. "I only wish he didn't feel like he had to take care of me. As a duck I can't take care of him, too." Drosselmeyer smiled wide. "Dreams have the power to change the world. And so does love. If you're looking for clues as to how this happens, I usually find it helpful to retrace my steps. Farewell, little duck."
Duck's ears resounded in Drosselmeyer's wild, sprite-like laughter as her mind went black.