He was staring at this duck that was nestling up to the crotch of his pants and he really, really didn’t know what to do. Fairytale town he could handle. Emotionally unstable prince with a shattered heart, sure. But there was a tiny yellow duck getting feathers on his pants and sort of headbutting at his zipper and what the hell.
He said as such and she looked up at him in that play-innocent way only Duck could manage.
“What are you doing,” he said at her, picking her up and setting her a bit away from him. She quacked — like that explained anything — and tried to waddle back across the grass to between his legs. He just held up a hand and let her walk into it. “Seriously.”
She finally gave up and plopped down into the grass with a puff of feathers, humphing best she could.
The problem with Duck was that sometimes, well, she was a duck. And it didn’t make for the greatest conversation, even if she was making all these sounds and gestures that kind of connected into feelings and sentences. But she kept glancing up at him with her eyes wide, crossing her wings over her soft chest in an echo of pantomime, and he guess he got it.
“Idiot,” he said, and she squeaked and went all ruffled. He dropped his palm on her head and messed her feathers up even more. “I don’t want any of that, Duck. Not from you, not from anyone.”
She cocked her little head, and he scooped her up and held her close. Duck nuzzled into his chest but still made a quack that turned up at the end, a question.
“Now shush,” Fakir told her, “I have writing to do.”