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Sometimes, Rue thinks that Duck might have the potential within her to be- maybe not great, but good, at the very least. She’s determined, focused- she trips, but she gets back up, and she practices. It’s so very different from the way Duck is as Princess Tutu- but Princess Tutu is only a facet of Duck, one that will go away when her task is done.

Duck tries to be her friend- touches her, tugs her over to exclaim over baubles, asks if Rue will watch her and make corrections, watches Rue in turn with eager eyes. Duck is flawed, a duck-turned-human, human as any of them, anyone caught up in Goldkröne and the stories all twisted up inside, and Rue envies her ability to accept her task and the way she simply goes for what she needs to do, regardless of how it hurts her.

Rue cannot forget the beaks and talons that will attack her if she fails her father, does not live up to the raven’s blood in her veins. She has little time for fantasies, and she would not admit the focus of most of them, no matter how obvious it is to anyone else that she longs for Mytho’s love, but sometimes, her mind slips and she imagines Duck reaching out for her, taking her hand and sweeping her into a pas de deux, white wings enveloping and holding her.

It must be a fantasy- Princess Tutu has little description, but there are certainly no wings of any sort mentioned, and Duck looks more like herself than Tutu, a little awkward and still determined- but her wings offer safety, and Rue relaxes against Duck, lets her lead the dance, even as they move from ballet into something else. Duck smiles at her, and Rue closes her eyes, letting soft feathers cushion her, and holds Duck tight as she’ll never be able to do in person.