Through A Sister's Eyes, A La Corda d'Oro- Primo Passo fanfic

Disclaimer : The series isn't mine…though I wish the boys were, sigh…

Pairings: Yunoki/Hino in a later chapter/s if you squint a bit..

Note: names are in the Japanese order (ie last name first), mainly because Miyabi's name sounds better to me that way.

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She was probably the only person in the house who remembered a time, quite long ago now, when Azuma onii-sama's hair had been shorter and his smile had resembled Hihara-san's expression more than their grandmother's. Miyabi's own involvement in music had never extended past the compulsory harp lessons that had been required of her as the youngest daughter of the house (after onii-sama's experience, she had been barred from the piano which would otherwise have been the default choice of instrument for her to play), but it had still been hard to watch her youngest brother give up his greatest source of happiness in deference to their grandmother's orders.

It might even have been possible to bear it, had she - and Azuma, more than her- not known that it was symbolic of what was to come: their grandmother's strict control over every single aspect of their lives, including (though they weren't quite aware of that when Azuma was forced to give up the piano) who they were to spend those lives with. Disobedience would have been no less than sacrilege, so it was easier to just go along with what obaa-sama wanted- whether it was for Miyabi to attend her old school, or for Azuma to give up music after he graduated from Seisou.

There was little room for negotiation, and none at all for argument- she had known, even as she teased him about not getting a girlfriend in high school, that he wouldn't get one- obaa-sama would never approve of anyone at Seisou, and Azuma onii-sama wasn't likely to allow himself to fall in love once again, only to have to give it up. Especially not with the way he was now, as the perfect prince of Seisou (also, one glimpse of his fan club on a morning trip to drop her brother to school had convinced her that no girl would risk her neck to face that particular potential lynch mob).

Which might have explained why Miyabi was both taken aback and yet completely unsurprised at what was to come, after Takashina Ayano announced (in school, no less) her intentions of convincing her brother to choose her as his future wife, over all the other omiai candidates who'd already been lined up for his possible approval.

"Azuma onii-sama?"

"Yes, princess?"

"I have a feeling Ayano-san is going to start getting a little more insistent that you promise to marry her…."

Her brother smiled, laying one perfect hand over the other on his desk. "And what leads you to say that, hmm?"

Miyabi grimaced a little. "Onii-sama, I hardly think a promise to woo you over the course of a formal visit while everyone in the house is out tomorrow counts as anything but being insistent."

He leaned back a little in his chair. "That would be insistent, yes. And also troublesome."

She rolled her eyes a little at his preternatural calmness. "Onii-sama, you know perfectly well she's going to come here and cause a scene, and the only reason she hasn't done it yet is because you were busy with the concours. Is there anything at all you can do about this?"

His smile- the one he'd acquired over the years since he stopped playing the piano- never wavered. "Miyabi, it would be terribly rude of me to tell her I didn't want her coming here, you know."

"You don't intend to accept whatever she's about to say, do you?"

"I don't."

Miyabi frowned a little. "Then how are you going to fend her off? Given her persistence, nothing short of you already being married will work, you know."

He tapped one long finger against the wood of the desk. "But I can't reject her outright, you know. She's still a prospective fiancée, and I'll have to choose one of the omiai candidates to marry later, won't I? But obaa-sama likes that Ohkawahara girl better than Ayano-san, and for once I must say I agree with her."

"That isn't going to stop Ayano-san, 'nii-sama!"

"But a real live girlfriend might, mightn't it?"

Miyabi's eyes widened in surprise. Her brother was smiling as serenely as he had been at the beginning of their conversation. "You don't mean you have one?"

"I will for tomorrow, I think." The smile widened a little, and for a moment Miyabi glimpsed something beneath it that reminded her of her brother's old smile but had a hint of something that wasn't quite the perfect Azuma the world knew…like it was deeper somehow.

"A pretend girlfriend? Onii-sama, you don't intend to make one of your Fan Club play the role, do you?"

" I think not, princess." He was contemplative now. "No, definitely not one of the Fan Club.." He mused a bit more. "And she does owe me a favour, after all…"

"Onii-sama, who are you talking about?"

He turned his attention back to her. "I think I'm borrowing a concours participant for tomorrow. She owes me, so I think she'll do it. "

Miyabi pondered the fate of this unlucky girl and the fact that payback, for her, would doubtless include having to meet –and endure- Ayano. Not to mention, with the way Azuma onii-sama looked right now, she had a strong suspicion that tomorrow's pretend girlfriend wasn't going to be given much of a choice in the matter.

"I suppose it'd be believable if it was a concours participant, and I'm sure you're going to force her into this…but what did you say her name was, again?"

His hand rested on his flute case for a moment.

"Hino. Hino Kahoko."

Miyabi had an impression of soft red hair and gentle music from a violin, but not much else. "The violinist, wasn't she?"

"Yes, that very one. And I think she'll agree to help me, too." The smile was back, along with an expression that told Miyabi it was soon going to be practice time and that he needed to be left alone with his flute.

She slipped out, closing the door behind her as she heard the first, oddly lonely-sounding notes of Albinoni's Adagio in G Minor drifting through the night air, wondering all the while about what the first girl her brother had voluntarily brought up in conversation all these years, was really like.

Translation notes:

Author's note: there are shockingly few La Corda fics, and even fewer for Hino/Yunoki, which drives me to the desperate step of writing my own. I owe an eternal debt of gratitude to Amekou, midorihimesama and all the other lovely fic writers who love this pairing as much as I do, and who gave me my Yunoki fix when Koei/Yuki Kure weren't giving me enough. And Azuma's character is shockingly difficult to pin down (you smiley scoundrel, you!)- I'm hoping the fact that I had Adagio in G Minor on repeat the whole time I was writing this might have helped to get him right.