Disclaimer: I don't own South Park. Seriously.
Authors Note: I recommend searching youtube for "Yann Tiersen, Comptine d'un autre été, L'après midi". The Keywords "yann tiersen comptine" are enough. The first entry should be an animated old man playing the song. That one does nicely. It's the piece Kyle plays.
The second piece in the story is "Michael Nyman: The Heart asks Pleasure First", right before "Corpse Bride: Victor's Piano Solo". Those can be found on youtube, too. The best results are "The Sacrifice (Michael Nyman)" and "Victor's Piano Solo (w. ending of my own work)" (posted by a guy named warsteinertube)
(You can also find all the pieces I'm using in my youtube channel, where I play them, by the name of "JayEffW")
"Phew" Kyle sighed out as he finished the final chord of the new piano piece that he had been practicing. He was using the school's piano to practice for a week now, and for the first time, he had played the piece without any mistakes.
He prepared himself for his second attempt. This time he thought he should put a little more emotion into it.
He began with the left hand, timidly playing the theme that hand would be repeating throughout the whole piece. When the right hand started with the first melody theme, he played it gently the first time, adding more temperament in the second repetition. Kyle closed his eyes to enjoy the amazingly simple, yet beautiful second melodic theme. The theme started only audible at first and then became livelier when chords replaced the single notes.
When it came to the fast paced segment, he opened his eyes, concentrating on the right hand, smiling, pleased with himselfthat he was playing it without any problems. He took a small break, raising the tension, then the melody repeated itself one octave higher, which he played just as smoothly as before. He played the final chord of the piece with his eyes closed once again and let the harmony sound a good 15 seconds before he lifted the sustain pedal and let the chord die out.
He felt good about how the day was going so far. The project he was self-teaching was simple enough, as Kyle had found himself something akin to a prodigy when it came to the piano and he had managed it to obtain perfection within only a week, even though he hadn't played piano for more than two years.
When he left school, his mood sank a bit. The sky was ink black and a strong, cold wind forced him to close his eyes. Kyle found that the monster-wind was mandating the direction and force of icy needles and harsh rain that attacked him the moment he stepped out the door. He prepared himself, lowered his eyes and started running home.
Kyle thought he saw something bright in front of him, so he looked up, only to find it was nothing but a completely empty street. Then, after several seconds, he heard a distant thunder, sustaining even longer than his final chord that he had played just minutes ago. The deep, growling sound made him shiver, as he picked up speed, to get out of this soaking hell as fast as possible.
In between the watery scene in front of him, there was suddenly a dot of happier colors, and strangely enough, it seemed to wave and call his name... His mood changed once again, as he saw his friend Stan running towards him, smiling happily.
"Hey Kyle!" he yelled over the loud roaring of the storm. Stan spotted the flaming red of Kyle's hair through the grayish veil of rain when he was heading home. He had wanted to go on a date with Wendy, but the weather demanded they stay at Wendy's until they decided, there was no way that the weather would suggest they go out for ice cream any time soon.
"What are you doing out in this rain?" Stan inquired, seemingly completely unbothered by the terrible weather. "You're not a flower, you know? You don't exactly thrive in this kind of setting."
Kyle rolled his eyes. "Well, what does it look like? I was heading home, idiot. By the way, it's closer than your house, and this weekend I'm completely alone. My parents are chaperoning on Ike's school trip. What do you say, you wanna sleep over?"
"I don't know – I wanted to take Wendy on a date this weekend but obviously the weather doesn't want me to." He continued with a slightly peeved voice "But if the weather doesn't get any better, I might as well stay with you." Stan smiled viciously. "I can't let you become jealous of Wendy, right?"
"Whoa!" Kyle had reached out for Stan with his fist and Stan jumped back, then started running. Kyle chased him until they reached the front door of Kyle's house, exhausted, their grinning faces sopping wet with hair and clothes plastered uncomfortable to them.
Inside, Kyle decided to change his clothes almost immediately, "Your clothes don't seem very dry either..."
Stan shrugged. "Yeah, well, what am I gonna do."
"I can't let you catch a cold. You'll have to take some of mine – or do you just want a blanket?" Kyle suggested.
"Both options sound equally gay to me. I'll go for the one where I'm not being gay for you." He grinned.
"The blanket, then." Kyle said, as he left the room to get said cover.
When he came back, Stan had gotten rid of most of his clothes: he was wearing only a T-shirt and his boxers.
"It's no good. The shirt's wet, too" he complained, as he pulledthe damp shirt over his head. Kyle admired the athletic body of his best friend. He could see what Wendy saw in him – Stan was not only stunningly handsome but also very strong.
He approached his friend slowly and placed a hand on his chest. "What ... K... Kyle?"
He ignored Stan's confusion and moved his hand towards the pink circle of nerves and then rested his lips against the other, pleased with the slight gasp he had forced his friend to make. He then moved his head to face Stan, grabbed the other boy's neck and slowly closed the gap between their lips ...
"What are you looking at, do I have a stab wound somewhere?" Stan asked jokingly as Kyle realized, he stared a bit too long at his friend.
Whoa. What the hell was that?! Did I just have a daydream of me and Stan making out?!
He shook his head. "I was .. ah, never mind, here you go." He handed Stan the blanket who made a thankful noise and told him,
"Good. I feel much better now. Hey, you haven't changed your clothes yet…"
"Yeah, I was gonna. Why don't you go ahead and heat up the console?" Kyle requested and left for his room.
When Kyle returned, he had two cups of hot cocoa in his hands. Stan was sitting on the couch, with the blanket wrapped around him, a Wii controller in his hand. His mouth spread into an eager grin when he saw the steaming cocoa, paused the game and threw the controller on the couch.
"That one's yours, Stan. It's got actual sugar in it." Kyle announced, as he gave one of the cups to Stan.
"We're playing Smash Bros. I take it?" Kyle sighed.
He knew he was about to get his ass kicked. The game was one of both Stan and Kyle's favorite, but Stan was simply better.
"Aw, poor little Ginger is afraid ... ? Don't you worry, I'll make it quick and painless." Stan teased while the last three words were in a harsh and deep voice, as if some undead monster was speaking right out of its tomb.
"You just wait, I'll show you." Kyle defended; he was always up for the challenge, although it was hopeless.
But it was not long until they switched to Guitar Hero III. After beating each others' scores for several hours, there was suddenly an incredibly bright flash of light and a loud, deafening thunder crack. At the same moment the TV went black and the only thing they could hear was the stormy rain beating against the windows.
"What the..." Stan begun, but stopped, looking around puzzled. Kyle went to the window and looked out at the street, spotting light in the neighbors' houses. "I guess the lightning blew a fuse..."
Stan frowned under his blanket. "I just hope the console is ok..."
"I think the fuse box is in the basement, somewhere..." Kyle shivered, inevitably resulting in a sneering comment of Stan about whether daywalkers were afraid in the dark. Kyle glared at Stan angrily by the insult Cartman had brought up back in the forth grade, but sighed when Stan smiled at him.
"You know, you're the coolest daywalker alive." He backed up, patting Kyle's shoulder. "Let's just take care of the power tomorrow. You know I'd never laugh at you."
Kyle patted Stan on the back thankfully. "What do you saywe light up that fireplace?"
Soon they had a nice, warming fire burning in the tiled fireplace with a glass door in the front protecting the surroundings from flying sparks and smoke. They sat in front of the fire and talked about everything that came to their minds such as characters from Smash Bros., the school, girls, and eventually Stan asked "Why haven't I ever heard of you dating some girl, you never even showed interest in anyone besides that ... what was her name again? Back in forth grade?"
Kyle shrugged "I dunno... I just don't see myself with any of the girls around me."
Stan grinned and joked "That's okay, Kyle, I have no problems with gays."
Kyle laughed but didn't answer. He was thinking about what Stan had said and wondered if those words were more truthful than either of them realized.
They didn't speak for a while; both just listening to the crackling of the fire and the drum solo the rain seemed to play against the windows. After a while Kyle felt tired and as he wanted to ask his friend if they should go to bed now, he felt Stan resting his head heavily against his shoulder, his eyes closed. "Stan ... ?" he whispered, blushing slightly. "Stan, are you sleeping?"
As his friend didn't react to his name, he looked back into the fire, unsure what he should do now. It felt good, having Stan so close to him he realized, but he wondered why his heart was beating so fast. He stared into the fire a while with his mind racing as quickly as his heart was beating. What was he so nervous about? He had been close to Stan frequently. Whenever Stan slept over at Kyle's, they didn't bother to get a futon into the room. There was simply no need for that kind of thing, since they would sleep together in one bed. So what was he nervous about right now? His eyes wandered towards Stan's unconscious body again. He slowly moved his arm around him and put his hand on Stan's side. He didn't know why, but he just felt plain happy about the situation. He turned his head back towards the fire and closed his eyes, enjoying the warmth from both the fire and his friend. He imagined himself resting his cheek against Stan's head and blushed furiously from the thought...
What are you doing, Kyle...?
"Stan... I really can't carry you to the bed..."
Kyle, why don't you enjoy this a little longer??
"Stan ... ?"
So what if it's gay!
"Uh.. oh.. did I fall asleep?"
Good job, idiot.
When Stan lifted his head off Kyle's shoulder, he blushed, even though the golden light from the fire made it invisible. It made the charcoal haired boy look like a supreme being, completely made of the most precious metals, radiating some sort of holy light upon the mortal Kyle Broflovski, who was blessed with his presence... God, he's cute... Kyle smiled. "Don't worry. I'm pretty sleepy, too. Let's go to bed."
When they were both in bed, Kyle turned around to face Stan. He was able to hear his friend breathing over the noise of thestorm, which had thankfully calmed down a bit since it blew the fuse. He looked at the back of Stan's head for a while, when Stan suddenly turned around in his sleep.
Kyle found himself staring at Stan's beautiful face and he just couldn't look away, didn't want to... Was he in love with his best friend? Sure thing. The answer came naturally to him, but Kyle didn't feel so bad about it. Somehow, he wasn't terrified by the realization; maybe it was Stan's face that kept him calm. That peaceful, perfect, beautiful face... it made him sleepy again. He slowly touched Stan's face with the back of his fingers, smiled and then fell back to sleep.
When Stan woke up the next morning, he found the bed empty beside him. There was nothing unusual about that, except Kyle would wake him up at 9:00 am if he wasn't up yet. But when he looked at the alarm clock beside Kyle's bed, it flashed 12:00 at him. He realized two things: The power was back on, and the alarm clock hasn't been set yet. He looked at his watch. 9:39.
Kyle's a bit late, huh?
He set Kyle's clock to the correct time and got up.
He went downstairs and found Kyle where he thought he would be; at the kitchen table, with a bowl of cereal in front of him, his head rested on the palm of his hand.
Stan had never been a morning person. Stan stretched in a long yawn and took a bowl out of a shelf for himself, when, with a thud, Kyle's head fell into his bowl of cereal.
He looked at the hilarious scene for a good 5 seconds until he realized, Kyle wasn't about to take his head out of the bowl by himself. Adrenaline flushed his body as he rushed towards his friend to raise his head. Kyle's eyes were closed and his skin felt hot, when he put his hand on Kyle's cheek. His friend was clearly ill.
"Aw... shit ..." Stan sighed in relief, when he saw Kyle slowly opening his eyes.
"Kyle! Are you alright? How do you feel?"
"Why, splendid, can't you tell... ?" Kyle retorted.
"You're joking. Good. You're not about to die, then." Stan grinned at his best friend and hugged him closely.
"Stan ... You're right I'm not dying but you can change that if you want, just keep choking me..."
Stan broke away and blushed slightly. "Sorry. But you really had me worried, there. Let's get you back to bed, now."
Kyle agreed and Stan helped him to the bed. "Let's get your face clean, shall we?" he suggested and pointed at the milk and cereal which remained from Kyle's diving adventure in the wonderful world of nutritious breakfast.
He went into the bathroom and brought back a washcloth. Kyle felt the heat in his cheeks get stronger, when Stan cleaned up his face. He had put warm water on the cloth andbrought a towel to dry the water afterwards.
Stan smiled "Don't mention it. You'd do the same for me."
"I guess I should have changed into dry clothes faster... Sorry."
Stan looked up to Kyle. He was sitting on the ground with his back resting on the side of the bed. "For what?"
Kyle sighed. "I think I should sleep a bit longer... that's not how I had planned this weekend for you. It must be boring ..."
Stan got up and walked over to the book shelf. "Don't worry about it. I'll keep myself busy reading ..."
He moved his hand across the spines of some of the books, reading the author and title. "Shakespeare - Romeo and Juliet?! Kyle, since when did you become a lame lovesick nerd?"
He shot a laugh over his shoulder and continued. "Patrick S.. s.. how the hell do you even pronounce that? Suskind? Soace-kiend ... whatever. Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. That one sounds interesting..."
"It's about a mad genius, creating the perfect perfume ... It's really good, they even made a movie of it just recently, itshould be in the movies this month... Stan, what are you doing, you hate books."
Stan had opened the book and started reading. "That's not true! ...Yeah, well, a bit. But I can change! I can become a nerdy geek, too, just like you!" he said jokingly.
"If you really read more than 5 pages, I'll buy you a ticket for the movie." The fatigue in Kyle's voice was clearly audible.
"You just rest, I'll keep myself from getting bored somehow." Kyle smiled thankfully and closed his eyes, thinking about him and Stan in the movies, a dark room, practically alone since everyone's attention was directed to the movie, slowly drifting away into sleep.
When he woke up, he expected Stan to be playing some video game downstairs, but instead, he still sat at the same place, staring into the book. "Stan, am I asleep or are you actually still reading??"
Kyle looked from him to the clock and back again, unable to believe that it was already the afternoon, 5:21 pm to be precise. "What do you mean by still, I've just read like - "
He looked down to his watch, his eyes becoming saucers. Then, suddenly, realizing the time, he held the book as far away from him as possible.
"Holy shit! Those are addictive!" He laughed. "Are you feeling better, already?"
He got up and put his hand on Kyle's forehead making him blush slightly at the touch. Flabbergasted, Kyle didn't reply at once. "Your fever seems to have gotten better." Stan announced, removing his hand.
"What page are you on?"
Stan looked down on the book again. The little number on the bottom of the page read 79. "Just put some piece of paper into it as a bookmark and take the book with you when you leave."
Stan found a post-it and put it in.
"Handle with care! It's one of my favorites!"
Nodding positively, Stan took the book with both hands and carried it, slowly and ceremonially as if it was the Most Holy Book itself, downstairs where he put it down on a pillow on the couch.
Turning around, he found that Kyle had followed him, grinning at his exaggerated behavior. When he spotted Kyle, with his hair messy from the bed, still a bit sleepy but obviously happy, he couldn't help but smile as well. He felt strangely drawn towards Kyle and, on a whim, followed the urge to hug his friend.
"What.. " Kyle blushed furiously and slowly put his arms around the boy.
"Sorry, Kyle, I just felt like it." Stan laughed and broke away. "You're great."
Kyle grinned; the compliment hadn't helped to remove the red from his cheeks. "Well, so are you."
"Yeah, I know, I didn't mean you're greater than me, but you're pretty close." Kyle nodded with a smirk, knowing his friend wasn't narcissistic at all.
Suddenly, something started vibrating in Stan's pocket. When he reached for his phone and looked at the display, his smile froze. "Kyle, you'll probably hate me, now."
Smiling guiltily, he answered the call; "Hey, Wendy. ... Yeah, of course I thought of you, once the weather got better! I was just about to call you. ... Nah, not really. ... 6 sounds fine. ... Alright, see ya then!" He sighed after he puthis phone back into his pocket. "Kye ..."
"Stan... I wouldn't be so fast and call it 'hate', but ..." Kyle glared at his supposedly best friend.
"I'm sorry Kye... I didn't expect this... But then again, we spent every weekend together since ... God, I don't even know..."
Kyle knew what was happening. Stan was 14 now, and the need of a best friend yielded to the need for a girlfriend. This was probably the last time, they would spend so much time together...
Oh, shut up, Kyle, you'll never lose your friend to a girl, stop getting so worked up.
"Kye. She can never replace you. You know that."
He's reading my mind again...
"I know. I'm just..." jealous. "... it's ok Stan. Have a good time. And don't forget the book!"
He stood in the door, until he couldn't see him anymore. He knew he wasn't gonna lose Stan. Then what was that frustrated thing in his throat, he just couldn't get rid of? He turned around to grab his jacket and checked if the key was still in his pocket.
"Normally, we don't hand out those keys to students, but since you're such a responsible boy and it's because of your piano practice, we'll make this an exception." The principle had said. "You can use the piano whenever you like to, but there are others who practice here. First come, first serve!"
He made sure the front door was shut and left for the school. This weekend wasn't exactly what I had planned. First the storm, then my fever, and now Wendy. He sighed. At least there's some time to play piano.
But when he arrived at the front door of the school, he found it unlocked. He entered and went to the room with the piano, only to find it occupied. A fast-paced melody came out of the open door. He invited himself in and took a seat in the back, quietly, to make sure he wouldn't interrupt the player. A man sat in front of the piano crookedly, he had long, dark brown hair, bound together to a curled pony tail. He wore a black sweater and black jeans, which made him look as if he was grieving for someone. He isn't wearing any black make-up, though. Kyle grinned at the thought.
Soon, Kyle was entangled with the piece. Even though both hands continued playing fast notes with unchanging speed and pattern, a melody emerged from the low-pitched background. It started out with a somewhat sad theme, then it became happier, going down deeperat first, then rising again. After a theme which seemed as if someone was longing for something he could never reach, the piece repeated the first, sad theme, this time a lot slower and more quietly and went over to the somewhat happy one, still slow but louder. Then, becoming louder, the piece finished with a chord consisting of only 2 notes.
The player let this chord sustain for a few seconds before lifting the pedal. He smiled at Kyle and steadied his posture before he started playing another piece.
It started with some high-pitched, seemingly random notes which lead to an octave – then the left hand kicked in, playing a slow, deep, sad, four-note theme. The melody started soon after, as a light, somewhat sad but hopeful theme. It danced playfully between slow and fast, high and low pitched notes, sometimes as a wonderful harmony, sometimes raising the tension with a disharmony, as it concluded into a deeply moving final theme with the left hand racing up and down the lower part of the keyboard, finishing with a peaceful, quiet chord.
Kyle, awestruck, applauded weakly as the player rose from his chair. "It's yours."
Kyle didn't move until the stranger had packed his sheets and was about to leave. "Wait!" Kyle followed him to the door. "I... What's the name of the last piece?" He asked, still moved by the beauty of it. The man searched in his bag and brought forth a piece of paper, saying 'Corpse Bride: Victor's Piano Solo'.
"It's from this movie. Take it, I can print it whenever I need it."
Kyle took the paper.
"It's fairly easy, there are some inhuman parts, though. Hey, why don't you watch me playing, once again, I think that could help, especially at the really hard parts."
Andwith that, he returned to the piano, followed by Kyle. "Try to follow me on the sheet." He said and started playing.
Once again, the melody entangled the listener, but he forced himself to concentrate on the notes.
I can't wait to play this... He could see why the man had called the difficult parts "inhuman", fortunately there were only a few of them.
"Thank you very much, Mr. ... ?" Kyle asked politely.
"Jan. Just call me Jan." The name sounded foreign, as it was pronounced "Yann" rather than the female, English name. "It's a German name." Jan explained, as he saw Kyle's puzzled expression. "And you are...?"
"I'm Kyle!" He said hastily, after hesitating while thinking of what he just had learned. "So.. you're... from Germany ... ?" He asked uneasily. Jan smiled and winked, as he said "Not all Germans are Nazis, ya know?"
Kyle blushed and looked to the ground. "I'm sorry..."
Jan had just bestowed him with not only a beautiful melody but also the sheet to it, and all he could do was offend the man. "Don't worry about it, Kyle, seriously." He said, grinning.
"I ... didn't mean to offend you..." Kyle knew better than judging people by where they came from.
"I said don't worry!" He laughed, and when Kyle smiled shyly, he patted him on the shoulder.
"What do you think, let's meet here in a week and see if you can play it by then, and if not, I'll help you with it." Kyle's smile widened, but as he thought about ithis features froze.
Stan will be with Wendy, anyway.
He nodded positively, hoping his expression was still convincing. Fortunately, Jan rose from the chair again and held out his hand. "Until next week then, same time, same place, huh?" Kyle took the hand and shook it. "Yeah, 'til then! Bye!"
After his new friend had left, Kyle took the seat and searched for the first, seemingly random keys. But then he sighed, thinking of Stan. I wonder what he's doing right now...