813 Month Day 29 - Violin (Word Prompt from Anon)
Insert any one of these songs 8D 1 2 3 4 5 6
PLEASE LISTEN TO LINK 3 AS YOU READ THIS. PUT IT ON REPEAT IF NEED BE.
PLEASE, PLEASE LISTEN TO NIJUUKOO’S LINK 3 AS YOU READ THIS!!!!!
The coffee nearly dropped out of his hand when the sound of a sweet vibrato met his ears. Pausing mid step, blond spikes swiveled to the right, icy eyes glancing wide over a shoulder at the sound of the noise. His newspaper, once tucked nicely under his arm, slipped, and he had to think quickly in order to catch it and not spill burning liquid all over himself in the process.
Still, the music played on.
The violinist looked… scroungy, but not in a bad way. Pinstriped blazer rolled at the elbows, yellow thermal beneath, and a grey beanie covering the wildest of ginger manes. He had… tattoos… on his… face. Roxas stared incredulously, the sound emitted from the strangers violin washing over him in an all too familiar wave. Soft grey-blue jeans and another tattoo on his wrist. He couldn’t quite get a glimpse to see what it was, as the tall man was too invested in his melody to stand still, and was actually swaying as he played, face moving against the chin rest as best it could. His eyes were closed, as if in prayer, and Roxas watched from a few feet away the man’s deft fingers made love to the neck and strings. The case was open by his feet, but he seemed oblivious to the surprising number of passersby who tossed coins and wrinkled bills into the velvet lining. He was lost – long gone, in another part of their world, perhaps. An island with a crooked tree and bitter fruit, or a clock tower, sharing salty blue ice-cream with friends.
Roxas found himself backtracking, reversing his last few steps until a stranger darted around him, grumbling something about idiots in the middle of the sidewalk. His words went unheard, because the blond was staring at the redhead somewhat startlingly, intensely enough to throw another stranger off with the thought that a fight would soon occur. Still, the taller man played his melody, swaying, eyes closed to the rest of the world. Roxas had never seen the man before, but he was drawn like a moth to flame, awed into silence, the bustling world around them fading away. For a medium tempo song, the other seemed to play almost frantically, bow flying. He could barely keep up with the man’s long, lean fingers on the strings, and thankfully, he didn’t need to keep watch of them. His eyes fluttered closed of their own accord, another sweet melody filling his ears – this one imagined. Bending, Roxas sat both the coffee and the newspaper at his feet, book bag swinging against his back, filled with loose papers that were most dear to him. He straightened, still unseeing, and lifted his own fingers, watching in his mind as they flew across weighted ivory and black keys. He had heard this song many, many times before, but never from this particular instrument. It had always been by piano, always played by his own masterful fingers. He knew, somewhere in his mind, that he must have looked bonkers standing on the sidewalk in front of who knows how many strangers and playing his imaginary song beside a man whom he had never once seen.
All the while Roxas was picturing his baby grand beneath his hands, the redheaded stranger finally opened almond shaped malachite to look at his audience. There was a lull in his playing as he glanced around, a small smile flirting with his lips. A slower point in the song, sadder, softer. His smile faded as eyes landed on the short blond teen slightly to his right, fingers deftly twitching this way and that over what must have been an invisible keyboard in his mind’s eye. Although he never stopped playing, Axel watched the boy carefully, scrutinizing his fingers. They were long, considering how short his stature was, and it was quite obvious that the boy knew how to play, and well to boot. He had known there was something missing in this melody, and the soft sound of a piano melded with his own violin, dancing around the ballroom of his brain. It was perfect, but he couldn’t stop in the middle of his song. He had a crowd before him, impressed but giving the odd blond boy a wide berth.
They swayed together, heads nodding this way and that, sharing a song that the others heard only one half of, and when Axel’s fingers finally died, the music fading into silence, he could not bring himself to look away from the boy. The other faceless strangers clapped or simply continued on their previous courses. Some tossed spare money into the case at his feet. The blond continued for a moment, eyes closed and face down turned yet peaceful - finishing their piece with care - a gentle lull, slow pressing of keys. When he was finished, he slowly dropped his hands and opened his eyes to meet the Christmas colors of the stranger.
There was a moment of silent understanding and blank curiosity. They had never met, surely, because to one another, the opposite face was unforgettable. And yet… there was something so strangely familiar about the set of eyes staring back – green to blue, water to earth. The taller offered a quick smile to the strange young man who seemed to know this song, and said strange young man took a step closer, forgetting his coffee and paper on the ground, where they were both promptly stepped on by blank passersby trying to get to work or school. The first words he ever spoke to Axel were “how do you know that song?”
His expression grew more curious at the question, and with a quick chuckle, Axel looked down at his case, bow and violin held in one hand. He sat himself on the pavement, chancing a quick glance at the other, and scooped his earnings into the end of the case, making room for his slightly scratched but obviously loved instrument. “Came to me in a dream one night.”He set his affairs straight by laying the violin and bow into the case and pulling his wallet out of a hidden pocket, meticulously ordering the money so that the bills all faced the same direction, lined up in ascending order of monetary value. “What about you, Mr. Pianist?” He hummed, bright eyes focused on the task at hand. He missed the expression with which Roxas was watching him. “You seem to know my song pretty well yourself.”
“Your song?” Emphasis on the first word, as though the man had the rights to a melody that seemingly floated on through dreams. “I’ve been working on that song for most of my college career.”
Now, it was Axel’s turn to watch the other in disbelief.
Each had been so sure that this song was their own creation – theirs and theirs only to give to the world. And, to give each musician credit, Axel’s version was slightly different than Roxas’. Not only in the type of sound each respective instrument made, but the notes and melodies themselves… Almost like Axel had created a perfect harmony for Roxas’ melody. “What’s your major, kid?” Axel found himself asking, locking up the case and swinging the self-sewn shoulder strap over his head. He was intrigued by this boy who claimed to have created his masterpiece.
“Double in piano performance and psych.” Well, he just kept on getting more and more interesting as the seconds ticked by. “Wanna be a music therapist.” Roxas was hesitant to ask if the redhead was in school. He seemed like the right age, but… why would he be playing in the street in the middle of Boston, case ready for dirty quarters, if that were so?
Thankfully, Axel was quick to catch onto the heavy breath that clung to Roxas’ lips.
“Huh. I myself am a Music Ed major. You obviously don’t go to Berklee, right? I mean, I’d have probably seen you by now if you were on campus.” Plus, they definitely didn’t offer a Psychology major at Berklee College of Music. He started walking, and just like he had hoped, the blond stranger followed him, toe and heel, toe and heel, longer strides so his shorter legs could keep up.
“No… BC.” Roxas tugged at the straps around his own shoulders, making sure his sheet music wasn’t going to fall out into the road. “Uh, I’m Roxas, by the way.” Very intelligent. Very eloquently stated as he scratched the back of his head, blond spikes poking out every which way.
“Axel. Wanna hit Dunks? I hear pumpkin spice is just coming back out.”
“No, it’s not spice this year. It’s white chocolate.” A flash of pearl teeth signified that yes, Roxas would like to accompany Axel.
The house felt crowded, though the lights were so bright there was no way he could see past the front of the stage. This was it. His tails were pristine, dry cleaned until there was literally no more dust that could possibly be removed. Glancing around, he wondered… In just a few minutes, it would be his turn. His debut. Cracking long fingers, the young man took a deep breath and counted to five. Then to ten. Then back down to five and back up to ten, losing himself right around seven. The theater had stilled, quieted, and he swore he was about to lose the water he had forced himself to drink not but seven (nine? Six?) minutes ago. There was one booming call, one sound, muffled although he knew it was his own name being announced, and then applause.
He had to force his feet to work – to propel him from backstage and… to center.
With a flick of his tails, the trek was over as it started, feet lying against metal foot pedals, ivory and darkest night keys below his fingertips. Not once did he look up, nor out at the hundreds of strangers there to see his performance.
The sound was soft as first, one pluck after another, all melting into one quiet melody. The tone was melancholy, fingers pressing keys all too gently.
The moment the sweet vibrato hit his ears, Roxas broke out into a smile.
He could look up now, eyes meeting Axel’s serious green over the gap of the grand and the length of the sweet, slightly battered violin. The young man offered a smile and turned, the music fading for a moment on both of their parts, tails swinging around Axel’s calves. There was sweet silence but for a second before Roxas broke it, trilling into deeper notes, hands finding their groove, both males falling into a comfort learned from years of playing. They were each so sure, so confident, and the acoustics toyed with the audience, the sound of the duet magnifying to sound like so many more instruments than were present. Each young man swayed where he was positioned, Roxas all but banging the keys as Axel shook his fingers, bow leading his soul in that hopeful, heart wrenching harmony.
There were dips and lulls, pianos and fortes, and each young man left his heart on the stage, right beside the other. The song ended in pianissimo, Roxas’ fingers barely striking ivory and black, Axel silenced, violin at rest, watching the golden colored boy below the spotlight with soft, fond eyes. Just as the last note faded into nothing, the crowd exploded, and Roxas looked up, locking eyes with Axel.
He swore he could see the streets of Boston behind the boy, strangers stepping in his puddle of spilled coffee. Eyes the color of an ocean somewhere far, far away from the Charles river. His stomach turned and he felt like the world was tipping on it’s side. Deja vu of the strongest kind, each puzzle piece falling into line.
After the theater cleared and the stars were alone, blissfully alone in their shared studio overlooking the Boston Common, Axel would reveal his dream – the one in which their song swam into his mind and took hold. He would weave a grand story of blue ice cream and golden sunsets, and most importantly, he would lie his head back on a pillow too squished to offer support, and he would relay his account of a theater filled with loved ones and strangers alike. The tale of a boy who liked coffee too much and whose fingers were abnormally long for his body. Black hoods and royal purple that broke the time-space continuum. A past life bleeding into the present one – fading into a blank face and yellow hair behind a glossed black grand piano. He would kiss the younger of the pair gently on the forehead and attest that now, his dream was complete. There was a face to the boy he had fallen for before ever having seen.
And Roxas would laugh breathlessly, never to reveal that he, too, had a face to connect to the blank body of the violinist who so beautifully played a harmony to his melody in a dream he had had many, many moons ago.
Another very nice thing for that AkuRoku day. Art’s gorgeous as always, but the story is really pretty, really accurate. Even best when read while listening to the wonderful musical piece linked up there ;)