A/N: Boo...someone beat me to the piano playing Wolfram image. Anyway...woo! Yuuram wave! Can anyone give me fic recs for good yuuram? I am still on the prowl...
One of the earliest memories Wolfram von Bielefield had about himself taking those silly piano forte lessons his mother had forced him into was that when his anorexic tutor had slammed the lid of the baby grand piano down his fingers.
That only happened once though, and it was because the selfish young prince, a mere fifteen mazoku years old or three in Earth years, had vehemently refused to practice the lessons they've been having for the past week. In addition, his piano tutor had been feeling terribly under the weather. To provoke and induce his otherwise dormant wrath received severe consequences...in Wolfram's case, throbbing, rather crushed, fingers.
The poor boy couldn't move them for two weeks straight, waiting for the Blood Pledge Castle's healers to return from being dispatched in some foreign land. Returning to the piano forte had taken longer.
But to be honest, his lessons hadn't been all bad because his teacher was a relatively kind and considerate man. He had often comended the young blonde for being a fast learner. They had good times, that's for sure; for some reason, Wolfram couldn't remember them.
That had been so long ago. Aside from fire-wielding, he could already play Demon Symphonies and concertos before he could even properly hold a sword. And no, unlike other things his mother forced him to do, he did not deem playing the piano forte as a useless skill practiced only by lily-livered wimps. It was the ideal emotional outlet, but that'd be more than he'd care to admit.
When Wolfram was so much younger, he had marveled at the vast space of the music room and had often complained about its distance from the rest of the castle, it being situated in the barely-inhabited South Wing. Now, however, everything felt so nostalgic. Besides, for some reason, establishing the music room in the South Wing allowed the sounds to be more effectively heard throughout the entirety of the castle.
Wolfram cautiously opened the huge double oak doors and quietly slipped inside. The afternoon sunlight was gaily streaming through huge ceiling-to-floor length windows on one side, dramatically illuminating the entire room, bouncing off airborne dust.
A lone, pristine white baby grand piano stood regally at the center of the room.
The blonde then remembered what he loved most of all about the large chamber. It was the view and the solitude and for once, he didn't care whether the rest of the castle would hear him or not. A bit of his pride told him that his brothers would never let him hear the end of it...
...then again, it was about time he played once more.
Pale, shaking fingers gently pried open the piano lid. Without bothering to dust the seat off, he sat down, hands ghosting over the black and white keys in anxious anticipation.
What could he play?
Ah. A piece the Great Sage had given him when he found out the prince could play the piano. At first, Wolfram had been surprised that the instrument also existed in the other world and was skeptical as to the quality of its music as he usually was toward other Earth things. When he first played it, however, he quickly fell in love.
By now, the blonde already knew the piece by heart as he did his older pieces. With all conviction and emotion riding inside him, he played the first note of the E-flat Major scale.
- - - -
Restaurant and bar owner Akira Yuuri walked in one of his most successful franchises in the busy Tokyo Red Light District, just to see how it was coming along.
The smell of alcohol and cigarette smoke met him full in the face and he knew business was going well. Wanting to be humored, he sauntered over to the bar where numerous patrons sat wasting themselves.
"Hey Muraken," the black-haired businessman greeted the bespectacled bartender and general manager.
"The usual beer, I suppose?"
"Make it a light tonight. I've still got two more meetings to attend to with the...clients."
Ken the bartender smirked and handed him a chilled bottle. "Clients, huh?" After watching Yuuri pop open his drink and take a long sip, he added. "We've got good entertainment tonight, Sir Akira."
The other man 'hmm?'-ed and followed the liquor connossieur's gaze. It made him do a full turn, eyes adjusting to the poorly lighted space further within the bar. At first, he scanned the numerous round tables teeming with customers and saw that almost all their attentions had been captivated by the stage.
Somewhat surprised, his midnight eyes shifted toward the elevated, orange-light illuminated surface and his jaw dropped slightly.
This stranger...a complete stranger, a first time customer, was playing on the dusty, untuned baby grand piano that had lain as an unwanted stage decoration since the beginning of the franchise's opening. Now this boy...man was beautifully giving it a new life.
And speaking of the man and beautiful...well, he was a beautiful man, a thought that struck an uneasy chord in the pit of Yuuri's stomach. Short, wavy blonde hair occasionally escaped the upturned collar of his brown overcoat as he moved in time with his music. Fanstastic, well-shaped hands flew over the keys with such ease of an expert ballet dancer. His face, or rather parts that could be seen, was startlingly pale as the light gave him an unearthly glow. His eyes were hidden by a shadow of unintelligible, unreachable loneliness.
Yuuri blinked. Whoever he was, he was damned awesome and willing to be impromptu entertainment without pay. The music may be on the piano, sure, but the tunes seemed to heighten the usual heartrbroken countenances of his regular patrons. Their orders for drinks had tripled over the past hour...
...then he noticed that every head in the bar was now fixed on the mysterious blonde man. Talk had ceased to a barely audible minimum. Upturned faces made visible by the stage lights were shining and streaked with tears. The black-haired man knew why...every note played by the mystery pianist's pale fingers tugged at a longing and sorrow deep within his chest.
Slightly flustered, Yuuri wheeled about to face the bartender. "Who is this guy?"
Ken had an amiable expression plastered on his features. He raised his head at the business owner's query, glasses hitting feeble light and glinting mischievously.
- - - -
"Ssh! Greta!" Shibuya Yuuri hissed, scrambling after his exotic daughter who was running quite freely in the empty castle hallways.
"I didn't know Papa Wolfram could play the piano forte!" Greta told her father excitedly, twirling about to let him catch up. "He's amazing!" she added in awe, tilting her head somewhat to listen to the sound gently emanating from the music room.
"I know..." the double-black teen agreed with a grin. "But please keep your voice down. Greta! Our visit's supposed to be a surprise!"
The brown girl beamed and nodded enthusiastically, leaping over to grab her father's hand as they headed off to where Wolfram was at an increased pace.
The dull click of the door lock successfully went unheard. Greta's mouth opened in wonder at the sight of the immense white instrument and its player at the center of the large room. She excitedly turned to Yuuri for some form of parental consent but the young king merely smiled and pressed a finger to his lips. The pair then quietly settled themselves on two old dining chairs by the entrance and comfortably fell into the soothing melody of Wolfram's music.
Yuuri had woken up in extremely good spirits that morning and had mind to spend the entire day with his family since his duties did not need very pressing attention. As of late, Wolfram's fierce attitude toward their engagement had been rubbing off him more than he'd care to admit. Something in his gut was telling him that today would be the day when things would change. Whether for good, better or worse, he didn't know. How? When? He didn't know either.
But this insanely swelling bubble of anticipation he greeted the day with couldn't help but make him feel optimistic about things in general. Far from being bothered, he felt like kicking back, relaxing and accepting whatever would come his way.
He hadn't expected the blonde to be suddenly playing the piano in the middle of the day. That had been a pleasant surprise.
Wolfram's glass green eyes were half-lidded, deeply absorbed in the movement of his hands, the music in the room, the memories in his head and the dull, heavy ache in his chest. Lately, he'd been feeling very sentimental about his suspended pseudo-lovelife. Due to his fiance's obvious lack of affection and blatant ignorace of the pressing issue that was their engagement, the blonde felt himself pining away...losing hope that the one who had become his sole beloved would ever return the feeligs that had grown and deepened like wine inside him.
There was even this lingering suspicion that Yuuri could finally break the engagement, after holding onto it for so long.
He wondered why it had lasted as long as it did. It shouldn't have, because the wimp and all his authority as Maou could've ended it the day after it was established. Because that didn't, Wolfram had allowed himself to love...to hope.
Tears streamed down his cheeks as his music dwindled to that of a sad music box. A tinkling tune powerful enough to shake even the toughest war generals to their very core with unintelligible sorrow.
- - - -
After carrying the listening audience into reaching for something tantalizing, they floated back into the confines of the dark bar, buoyed by the piano's change of mood from powerful to gentle.
Hands down. There was no denying this mysterious blonde man on their ancient piano had truly incredible talent if he could reduce on of Akira Yuuri's most successful establishments to tears in one sitting. It wasn't like people didn't flock to them to get drunk anyway.
But still...something in the way he played conveyed something else. Something else that wasn't just the incredibility of his talent...the something that had actually driven him to come to the bar in the hopes of drowning in beer, but, upon spotting the piano, had told him to get up on that stage and play it instead and share a piece of his sadness to all the people who'd have their eyes on him.
What was it?
Yuuri could figure it out for the life of him but it was there. The feeling that the music was trapping them all in the pianist's emphatic little bubble...to make his feelings theirs because they were just so damned strong. It was in the air...in all the wet faces, snotty noses, choked hiccups and gleaming eyes fixed upon that stage.
The black-haired man looked at his barteneder for some sort of reassurance that he wasn't the only coherent one being gnawed at by this phenomenon. To his surprise, the bespectacled connossieur was staring ahead, past him, with a frown on his face.
Midnight eyes followed his gaze and widened. This was serious...the blonde man was crying.
- - - -
Yuuri frowned. He glanced at Greta and saw that her eyes were closed, drinking in the music her father made. Relieved, the young king returned his attention to the prince on the piano forte.
Wolfram was crying—hard—as he played. Onyx eyes gazed intently on the pale figure, hoping for some hole to burn into his flesh and reveal the inner workings of his brain. But, knowing the bratty blonde and his irrational emotional tendencies...
The Maou sighed. No. He wasn't stupid, blind, oblivious or remarkable dense (in some matters, and this was one of them). Denial wasn't just a river in Egypt and he had been it. That was different.
It seemed to hurt Wolfram just the same and he was ashamed of what he had done. He had a good hunch of what the blonde was probably thinking.
...wait a minute. Yuuri frowned again.
Had a hunch? He didn't just have one. In fact, he was damned sure of what Wolfram was thinking. He could feel it. He could...
Wave upon wave of strong emotions were pouring from the piano, overwhelming the room as the music escalated once more. Yuuri could feel the intensity of Wolfram's love, his anger and, the strongest of them all, a piercing sorrow. They permeated the black-haired boy's being, stirring something within his chest that kept tugging andtugging at his heart, as if fighting to get out.
It was clear. It was so clear that it was quite embarrassing to bear witness to the amazing outlet of such raw emotion, knowing that the pianist was more than just merely placing expression to his music because it indeed meant more to him than most people originally believed.
Wolfram was crying...so hard it was enough to drive Yuuri up the wall with guilt. His music and feelings were one and it was hard to tell whether he was feeling too much that tears escaped the pressure of his dancing fingers or it was the melody created by the pressure of his fingers that made him cry so.
Yuuri knew. He was drowning it it and...oh Wolfram! This wasn't how the day was supposed to commence at all!
The piece ended soon, with the promise of seemingly more to come but instead a broken chord after an arpeggiated rise. The last of the notes hung in the air like glittering crystal dew drops just out of reach and before Greta could bring her hands up to clap, her father beside her got out of his chair with a noisy wood-to-marble sound, strode across the room with renewed speed and engulfed her father on the piano in a tight embrace.
Wolfram still had his eyes closed. Tears were still streaming down his flushed cheeks as he had yet to emerge from within his misery. He would have screamed as strong arms all but grabbed him and held him so close to a warm chest had he not been so sad.
"Wolfram, please stop..." said a trembling voice somewhere above his head. It was...
Yuuri released his hold and sat down by his fiance, hugging him more properly. Red, puffy glass green eyes were still wide with shock at the contact but when the young Maou's comforting nothings made it through his head and warm hands began rubbing his back, he returned the hug with much vigor and unmasked himself, even for just a moment, sobbing for all his worth on Yuuri's shoulder.
"Papa...?" The question addressed to neither particular dad died on Greta's tongue when she saw both boys and she knew it would be greatly appreciated if she were to only watch on for now.
"Yuuri, I..." Wolfram began but cut himself off, ashamed at the thickness and shakiness of his voice. He couldn't stop the blush that leapt to his cheeks as Yuuri pulled back just enough to rest their foreheads against each other's.
"Ssh..." said Yuuri and gently wiped the rest of the blonde's tears away with the pad of his thumb before tenderly cupping the flushed face. "I'm sorry."
Wolfram nodded. It was all he could do until Yuuri claimed his lips in a searing kiss.
- - - -
"Sir Akira? Where...?" Ken the bartender's voice sounded far away.
Before the thought of what Yuuri was about to do could sit and marinate into nothingness in his head, his feet got the better of his heart's interest and wound their way past the scattered tables, taking the rest of his body with them.
Patrons and first time customers alike straightened up in their seats as their attention was finally removed from the stage and transferred to the familiar face of the restaurant and bar proprietor rapidly making his way toward the stage as the mysterious performer's entrancing playing ended with a quiet broken chord after an arpeggiated rise, the last of the notes prolonged in a sad ring.
The spell within the bar seemed to lift and the noise gradually made its way back to the scene as hushed and excited murmurs. Most of the people were surprised at their shed tears and found it hard to admit their subconscious reasons for them. Others who noted Akira Yuuri's urgent movements felt a twinge of pity for the blonde man on stage but could only look the other way and mutter a collective, "He's in for it..."
You could only imagine their shock when the black-haired man hugged the musically inclined stranger with such ferocity to rival two seasoned wrestlers in a heated match. The blonde man looked familiar with the touch and turned around to properly cry his heart out on Yuuri's corporate attire.
- - - -
"Wolfram?" the young Maou began as the small family made their way out of the music room with Greta in between, holding both her fathers hands and swinging them.
"Hm?" His fiance had calmed a great deal but remained oddly quiet.
"What's the title of the piece you played?"
"It's ah...a piece His Excellency gave. He said it's entitled 'Gone' by Jim Chappel."
'Gone'? Figures it was so dramatic. Yuuri opened his mouth and closed it again, choosing his next words with care.
"Hey..." he began again, not looking to see whether the other boy acknowledged him or not. "As much as your playing is amazing, and I never knew you could play and would sure as hell love to hear you again, don't...play that piece again feeling that way. Because..."
Wolfram looked at Yuuri as he struggled with what he wanted to say and felt that ridiculous sting behind his eyes once more. The hand that gripped Greta's trembled slightly.
Midnight black met glass green ones with gleaming determination and sincerity. "...because from now on you won't have a reason to feel that way again. Ever."
Yuuri made a mental note to catalogue the expressions he didn't usually see on the blonde's face. This rare 'bonafide surprise' one was quickly becoming one of his favorites.
A smirk returned to Wolfram's face. "And who are you to tell me what I should and shouldn't feel in the future, wimp?" he asked snappishly, but there was no hiding the humor in his tone. "In fact, from now on I'm free to emote in any way I want because I could always count on you to make me feel better."
- - - -
"You could..." Akira Yuuri told the crying blonde man in his arms.
"Wh-what?" It was the first word the beautiful stranger spoke since he first came to the bar.
The other man pulled back and traced and tear-soaked angular jawline with a finger. "Count on me," he answered and added after some thought. "Please sir, if you'd like to come to this establishment again, don't play that piece."
Anyone who went to Akira Yuuri's most famous bar that night would call it a once in a lifetime experience. After all, where else would give you great bear, great ambiance, great company, an awesome mini-concert and a steamy live show of two grown men sharing a passionate kiss when all you were expecting was to get severly drunk?
Indeed, in the bars and restaurants Yuuri owned, they were never short of surprises. Muraken the bartender wouldn't give up his day job for the world.
A/N: Ah-hum. Hope that wasn't too confusing. I'm way too used to having an omniscient point of view so ah...anyway. ...enjoy!xD and ciAo...
PS. If you're wondering about the piece, it's real hard to play at first but quite fun. The tune really is dramatic. An amazing piano piece. I suggest you guys so check it out somewhere. Gone by Jim Chappel. Considered a contemporary. Hope I got the spelling right...