|In All Seasons
Author: angelofplottwists PM
AU, 104. If Watanuki was oblivious to the world, the world was oblivious to him. But no music goes entirely unheard, despite the best efforts. Complete!Rated: Fiction K - English - Romance - K. Watanuki & S. Doumeki - Chapters: 7 - Words: 7,230 - Reviews: 44 - Favs: 59 - Follows: 14 - Updated: 01-03-08 - Published: 10-14-07 - Status: Complete - id: 3837140
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
It's another miniseries. The challenge was to pick a playlist and write a songfic for each song. These aren't precisely songfics, but they are inspired by songs. And they had to take place in San Francisco, yes.
First song: "The Atheist Christmas Carol" by Vienna Teng. I do realise it's a bit early in the season. But I don't really care.
Through the month he became a regular fixture there on weekday afternoons. Regardless of your success in your own busking, you always spared him at least a few coins. You weren't exactly sure why. His music was well played, true, but so was that of the fiddler a block away and all the other street musicians you passed. You generally didn't tip the others – it was an unwritten rule that buskers didn't need to give up their earnings to each other. But there was something about this man that inspired a previously latent generous streak. Perhaps it was that his glasses looked ever so slightly bent, or simply that he never opened the eyes behind them. It could have been the shabby but impeccably clean clothes that impressed you who knew the difficulties involved with such an appearance. Or something else entirely.
When the rainstorms began in earnest in November you stopped busking every day, but when you passed by his street on the way to work in the evenings he was still there, under an overhang instead of the now-bare tree but still playing to himself. It became a habit for you to carry what spare change you had to leave him. Still he never opened his eyes as you went by, but his music would follow you down the street and hang in your ears long after you stopped actually hearing it.
You began to wonder what he did at other times, how he could afford to live in the city where nothing was cheap. He must have had a job of some kind – as you too well knew, the meager earnings a street musician could expect were nowhere near sufficient to pay rent or buy more than a few meals. You never saw him anywhere else, and although you didn't frequent too many locations in San Francisco, this was still slightly odd to you. He wasn't a student that you knew of, although obviously you did not know every student at the university and did not expect you did. No one seemed to know him, and you sometimes wondered if anyone really noticed him but you.
In December the streets were lit up and cheerful, filled once again with charity workers and carolers. The tree near where your street musician played was strung with red and white lights, and he sported a faded red scarf. Sometimes you thought you recognized a tune, some obscure holiday melody that was not played often enough to be rooted in your memory but still was familiar. You left him larger tips on Fridays when the restaurant you worked at was likely to be full. You couldn't help but notice on the second week when the scarf became a darker, more vibrant shade of red and smiled slightly to yourself as you passed by.
On Christmas Eve you had the evening off, but went out anyway with a relatively substantial wad of money in your jacket pocket. Sure enough, your flutist was at his customary nook, eyes shut and playing another one of his slightly familiar carols. You stopped and left what you supposed was your equivalent of a Christmas gift, but didn't move on afterwards. With nothing better to do, you reasoned, you might as well stay and listen to his music.
But after a few moments his song ended, and to your surprise he opened his eyes and regarded your gift with surprise. But you were captivated by your first sight of his eyes, a more brilliant blue than you'd seen outside of the summer sky. Slowly he turned toward you and your eyes met for the first time.
"You're the one who left this?" he asked in a quiet voice. You nodded. "And the other times?" he continues. Again, you nodded. To your surprise, though, he looked irritated. "I don't need charity," he said. "It's one thing to leave a couple coins once in a while like you used to, but not every day! And that is completely unnecessary," he told you, gesturing at your gift.
"It's not charity," you replied – truth. For it to be charity would have involved pity or the means to be charitable. What you left were tokens of appreciation, appreciation you began to have the idea that no one else expressed.
He was taken aback. "It's – what?" he asked, a confused expression settling on his face. "What do you mean?"
"I can't afford to be charitable," you explained. "Consider it a gift."
"So you can't afford charity but you can afford to give gifts to strangers?" he demanded. "Where is the logic in that?"
"Merry Christmas," you offered by way of explanation.