XD New Story!!
Hopeless? Not quite! I'm going to update this one as regularly as Tantalize, never fear!!!
I know, I know... I should wait for the other three to be finished. I just can't though! It sticks in my head until I get it out, so it's a lost cause :(
This one is different from the others... well, they're all different from each other, but that's beside the point. This is kind of angsty with a slight mental "disorder" sort of feel to it, but only for one character. And that would be Roxas. :3 I can't help it. But, it migh start slow... this is just the prologue.
Warning: LOTS of references to MUSIC! And Yaoi. Don't like music or yaoi? Then don't read :3
Summary: A child prodigy by the age of 5. Able to create masterpieces in mere minutes, symphonies that could bring tears anyone's eyes. Roxas's life has been planned for him since his father first heard him pick up an instrument, and music has been that life. Pushed by his world famous mentor to succeed Roxas has been under his father's thumb since he was 5. At the age of 19 he's ready to take the title of world's greatest composer since Beethoven, but it doesn't feel right. All Roxas wanted to do was play, but suddenly he's tired of playing. And then he meets Axel. Axel, a simple violinist for his father's orchestra; Axel, a rough and ready upstart that loves to have fun and loves to live. Axel, the one person that's ever encouraged him to play for himself, and to break free from the boundaries his father set for him. Axel, the one person in the world that Roxas is scared to know, because Roxas is scared to love.
Disclaimer- Hmm... let me see... *glances around box cover* let's take a looksie... oh! Wait! Oh... no... nope. Can't find my name anywhere on this stupid Kingdom Hearts box. Well, guess it can't belong to me then :(I'll keep looking though!
Chapter Songs- Saylon Dola and Dalla: Caruso
The polished wooden piano stood proudly under the spotlight, center stage and turned at the slightest angle for a better view of the musician. The ivory keys gleamed from the fresh polish that a stage hand had administered and they shined with a pearl's luster. The instrument was a beautiful piece, a Bosendorfer grand piano crafted and shipped straight from Vienna that carried a tune to perfection with clarity and angelic style. Even an untrained hand that managed to touch a key could make a symphony with the beauty that the piano held.
But it was no untrained hand that pressed the keys so wonderfully.
Roxas Strife watched as his father made magic with music. He was hiding behind one of the many large and heavy stage curtains, peering inconspicuously onto the stage as he studied his mentor's movements with avid bright blue eyes. He was not old enough to understand the concept of looking both ways while crossing the street, and he did not understand the concept of mathematics. He did not understand his cousin's obsession with toy figurines, and he did not understand why he couldn't have dessert before dinner. No, Roxas did not understand many things, but he did understand the concept of music, and it was music he was drawn to. It was music he knew and music he loved.
Music was a part of him.
Another thing Roxas couldn't understand was the adults around him that argued whether they should keep him in the dressing room until after the performance. What did it matter if he was watching his father make magic? What did it matter if he was backstage? He was not like his cousin, Sora, who would have already ruined the concert with his excitement and eager disposition. He was not wild and unruly. Even when he tried to explain this, the stage manager laughed and said that he should go and wait in the dressing room, motioning him away with large, calloused hands from manual labor. Manual labor, not calluses from music.
Because of that man with the hard working hands, Roxas made sure that no one saw him watching his father avidly. He made sure that the stage manager didn't see him as he studied how his father's long and elegant fingers stroked each key reverently, coaxing the mystery from the very depths of the tool, his eyes half closed in humility and concentration.
Now that, Roxas could understand.
Roxas was no fool for his age. When he was younger he was not like the other five year old children that frolicked in the courtyard at his private school. When recess was going on you would find Roxas locked in the music room, small, child-like fingers pressing the keys of the piano with a similar humble reverence that his father had. If he was not at the piano he was slowly and carefully plucking the strings of a violin or running his hands through wind chimes. When the music teacher had rushed in to see who was invading her classroom one day, she had found Roxas sitting on the floor in the dark room, surrounded by a cello, a viola, a small percussion drum, a cymbal, and a recorder was pressed to his lips.
He hadn't noticed her entrance, and as the teacher made her way over to scold him, she found that her steps faltered as she stopped to listen to what he was doing. Instead of banging on everything and ruining her priceless tools, the teacher had been surprised to see that he was creating a beat with the drum, a hissing back drop with the cymbal, and a beautiful tune with the rest of the instruments. His eyes were lowered and his breath was soft as he played, the song continuing for the duration of five minutes before Roxas suddenly stilled and looked up, glowing blue eyes unfocused as he met her shocked stare.
"I'm sorry," He said in an innocent voice, standing up and setting the viola off of his lap and onto the floor. "I'll put it all back right now." As he made a move to break the beauty he'd just created, the teacher grabbed his hand softly and crouched down to his height, her tired eyes probing.
"Where did you learn to play like that, child?" She asked in soft, coaxing tones. In her prime, she'd been an opera singer for the finest musical halls of Europe, and the lilt in her voice gave it away. She could carry a tune flawlessly, she could hold out a note for many stanzas without growing tired, and the theater life had taken her talent and run with it. At the age of 35 she was drawn and felt old with the pangs of decade old running and traveling and performing until she could perform no longer. But music was still her passion, and she could tell the good from the bad instantly.
"I didn't learn it." Roxas replied quietly, poking out his bottom lip.
"You must have learned that somewhere… did your father teach you? Did you hear it on the radio?" The teacher was persistent but Roxas was firm.
"I didn't learn that; I made it just now." He said defensively, disliking the way she looked at him.
"You made it up, just like that?" She asked, face still twisted in shock. Roxas nodded slowly, unsure if he was doing the right thing or not. She seemed to cling to his words like they were magic, and he didn't like it.
"It's still in the air now." Roxas pointed upwards, his tone still firm and sure of himself. Glancing up at the ceiling and then back down, the teacher looked at him curiously. "I can still hear it… can't you hear it?" He frowned at her befuddled stare. Was he really the only one who heard it?
"You… can hear music?" Her eyes brightened at the thought.
"Yes… it's everywhere. I want to play it, to get it out of my head" He pressed a fist to his temple and his frown deepened. "It hurts my heart sometimes, to not play. It stays there and keeps playing until I get rid of it." Nodding slowly, he was scared to look up at the teacher. Now she'd know he was a weirdo, a freak according to his classmates. He heard things no one else heard.
But instead of telling him he was a freak, she took his hand gently and then walked over to the piano, setting him on the large stool and motioning him to play. A little worried about what she would do, he pressed his fingers to the keys softly, and when she didn't scold him he began to play the things that whispered in his ears.
As he did so, the teacher grabbed the class phone and called his father, her face twisted into wonder as the secretary picked up and asked who was speaking.
"Yes, this is Ms. Olette, Roxas Strife's music teacher. I need to speak with his father as soon as possible, please." She paused as the woman asked snidely if the message was impertinent for Mr. Strife to get that day. Glancing over at Roxas, Olette nodded slowly as he played innocently.
"Yes, yes… this is about his son. It's extremely important." With a soft sigh the secretary patched her through the line and within moments a cold and soft voice answered.
"Ms. Olette?" His tone was cool and distanced.
"Yes, Mr. Strife, it's an honor to speak with you… I hope I'm not interrupting anything."
"Preparations for the upcoming recital; I'm in a bit of a hurry though, may I ask what my son has done that requires you calling me?" His words were biting and calculative, and Olette was a bit put off by his harsh words. It was like speaking to a cold and ruthless snake.
"Have you been giving your son lessons with music?" She asked as she watched Roxas work his fingers across the keys.
"No, lessons were going to start in a year or so with the masters…why?" Again, the brusque tone.
"I can't… explain it. Here; just listen." Holding the phone to the piano she smiled as Roxas bent his frame over the piano, stroking his fingers along the keys with a passion that no normal five year old should have. She stood behind him, making sure that he didn't see her, making sure that he would continue the beauty that made her own heart ache at.
After a few moments she raised the mouth piece to her lips and stepped a little out of the classroom to keep the conversation from her student's ears.
"I walked in on him playing my other instruments with equally wonderful talent, Mr. Strife. He said that no one taught him, and you also say no one has taught him." She shook her head slowly in amazement. There was silence on the other end, a soft breath of air, and then he spoke.
"And you have not been teaching him?"
"No sir, the year one class gets the wooden blocks and the small bells until they're older." Again, the muted silence on his end, a silence that she took as one of surprise and slight wonderment. It was not hard to picture the musician leaned back in his chair, eyes wide with shock.
And yet when he spoke, his tone indicated none of this.
"I will send someone by to pick him up soon, and I would like you to give me the extension number with the office. I am going to take Roxas out of school immediately." Olette gasped in surprise and could only stare, Roxas's music still playing in the air.
"Sir, are you sure that's wise? Music like this should be nourished and fed to help grow and school would certainly-"
"Stamp it down and mold it to what is considered right for this day and age. I won't have his talent wasted on that, Ms. Olette. What is the extension number?" His tone was hard and ungiving, and Olette knew deep down that he wouldn't change his mind even if she fought his decision. Quickly rattling it off the number, Olette numbly hung up and walked back into the room to stare at Roxas playing, her mouth opening and closing like a fish out of water. Slowly, he stopped playing, his eyes on the piano keys.
"My father's sending someone for me, isn't he?" Roxas asked quietly, his fingers still on the keys.
"Yes." Olette whispered, moving to stand near him. He turned, his small and angelic face twisted towards hers with a knowledge that broke her heart.
"And I'm not going to this school after today." It wasn't a question, and that hit her worst of all.
"Yes." She whispered again. Roxas sighed and clamored off of the stool, face too haunted for his age of five years.
"You shouldn't have called him. Now he knows I hear things. Now he'll make me go away." Slowly and carefully he put the instruments away and then grabbed his book bag from near the door. Grabbing the handle, he looked up with shiny blue eyes and gave her a wistful stare.
"Now I'm going to go away and never come back." He informed her, his tone child-like and firm. Olette could only stare numbly, her shock still written all over her face.
"Yes." She whispered again as he opened the door and gave her a small wave before leaving. Sinking into her chair she stared at the door he had just left, feeling like she'd just missed something dreadfully important. That boy… Roxas…was a lot sharper than his peers. There was something about him, something grave and solemn that most children didn't have. It was like he was much older than his five years, his soul aged and tired.
Olette suddenly wished that she hadn't called his father.
That was a year ago.
Roxas watched as his father pranced his fingers along the canvas of music, the tone ringing loud and true and pure. Roxas hadn't been back to his old private school since that day, and he had been enrolled into another school, a private college that had also listened to his music with looks of awe on their faces. When he had finished playing the music that made his heart hurt, the administrators had watched him carefully, words like, "amazing," "can hardly believe," and, "child prodigy," falling from their lips in hushed tones. Roxas had seen this as he had stood up from the piano and taken his place next to his father, a heavy hand falling onto his shoulder in a way that could be interpreted as paternal comfort.
He'd been accepted that very day, the youngest student to attend the school since it had been created.
The song ended much sooner than Roxas could have wanted, the last ringing note haunting and crossing his mind with a million others that grasped for his attention. His father stood up from the bench, ice blue eyes sweeping over the crowd as the audience stood up and applauded profusely, their calls of, "brava!" and, "encore!" echoing around the grand performance hall like waves of cheering that made Roxas's head ache. Flowers were tossed onto the stage as he bowed deeply and let a small smile warm his chilling gaze as his fingers brushed the piano behind him.
Something in his stare shook Roxas to the core as he straightened his back and then reached for the microphone that had been set up near the piano.
"And as a final performance, my son, Roxas Strife, will be making his debut with a piece he's written on his own." The crowd's applause staggered for a moment, shock probably echoing through all of them before it picked up with renewed vigor, excitement clear in the whistles and calls for Roxas. Roxas stayed in his place in the wings though, frozen in fear and surprise. No one had told him he'd be performing. He didn't know what he was going to do, scared out of his wits at the idea of so many eyes on him. The music around him shuddered along with him, playing a solemn tune along his heart.
Roxas's father turned and his cold, ungiving eyes peered through the curtains until he found Roxas, his eyes narrowing and a small flick of the wrist signaling that Roxas should join him. Half frozen in shock and fear, Roxas felt his legs jerk towards his father, obedience instilled in him since he could understand the words, "Yes, sir." Against his will he went to stand under the bright, hot lights next to the man who made magic.
"Roxas Strife, ladies and gentlemen." His father swept an arm over his shoulder and steered him to the piano, setting the microphone back in the stand easily. As Roxas sat on the leather bench, his father adjusted the silly coat tails on his jacket and smoothed his sleeves. He smelled of the sharp scent of an herb Roxas couldn't name, underlying the light twist of sweat under the stage lights. Roxas breathed it in for comfort.
"Play what you hear, Roxas." His father whispered in his ear, his tone businesslike and cold. It was a tone that meant no playing around. "Play what you hear, and forget them. They mean nothing to you, or your music." Standing up, he swept an arm to Roxas, and they crowd applauded again, eager.
As silence descended over the area, Roxas felt his heart in his throat. He heard his father's custom made leather shoes carry him into the wings, and he knew that he was alone, and very, very scared on stage. Everyone was watching, and everyone was waiting. He could feel the hunch in his back as he hunkered over the keys, and he could feel the heat on his neck from the lights. Must it be so hot on stage? He felt his blood burning under the heat and he realized that he couldn't hear the music. He couldn't hear anything anymore, the burning in his head taking away the noise and leaving him helpless. The silence pressed in close to him, making his heart hurt and his lungs squeeze tightly and it hurt to feel so much pressure that was building, and-
His hands slammed down on the keys, making a jarring, teeth grinding noise.
The crash of notes struck the air and echoed around the stage, circling round and round as the audience stared agape at the boy. Was this what they paid to hear? They leaned in and looked at one another, whispering in confusion. Roxas wasn't paying attention to them anymore though because suddenly he could hear the music, the sweet, blessed music that his noise made, and as his heart burned he pressed his fingers to the keys and let the sweet sound of freedom burst from the hand crafted wood and circulate the shocked room.
Roxas stood up from the stool, his cheeks flushed with blood from the heat. All around him the echoing of clapping and cheering pressed against his ears and hurt his head while soothing his heart at the same time. He peered into the shadows of the concert hall and could see vague faces, ecstatic and happy faces that seemed to all be looking at him as they shouted his name and suddenly roses and flowers fell onto the stage from happy viewers who believed him worthy. He just stood there though, breathing in the yells and swallowing them whole, his heart glowing happily at their praise.
Above the cheering though he could also hear the steady thudding of his father's custom made shoes as he walked onto stage and took his side next to Roxas, a hand on his shoulder like it had been when he'd presented his music to the board of director's of his private school. It was meant to be comforting, but it merely took some of the pride away from him and put it on his father's shoulders. Now that he was away from the piano, the magic faded from his father and made him seem merely human.
"My son, ladies and gentlemen." Roxas's dad announced, dropping his hand to the small of Roxas's back as he bowed, pushing his son to bow as well. Roxas dropped, his head barely turning to see his father looking at him with unfathomable eyes. The cheering swelled and grew, washing over them and just when Roxas was feeling the glow of their appreciation again his father straightened up and lifted a hand, motioning for Roxas to follow. Turning abruptly he began to make his way off stage as the curtains began to fall, his custom made leather shoes hitting the ground with purposeful thud's. Roxas hurried after him, his softer, smaller shoes echoing his father's footsteps with lighter, softer thwak's.
"Get the limo ready, I don't want to fight my way to the airport." His father said the moment they hit backstage. Roxas dodged around the bustling people and reached Mr. Strife's long legged strides with his shorter ones.
"Yes Mr. Strife-"
"And get me the number for my lawyer, I want contracts drawn up for the next concert and I want my son's name added to it."
"They'll be asking for more money for you adding him to this one, Mr. Strife-"
"I don't care; they want money? I can afford their prices."
"Of course, Mr. Strife."
"And get me the number for Roxas's personal tutor, I want to update him on the current situation we're in."
"Should I call or do you want to call, Mr. Strife?"
"I'll call; I don't want you messing up the information with your forgetfulness."
"Naturally, Mr. Strife."
"And while you're at it, get Roxas's mother on the phone; I'd like her to stop touring with her fashion industry and visit her son for once."
"Of course, Mr. Strife."
Roxas struggled to keep up with the fast paced conversation that his father was having with his newest secretary. As they reached the dressing room he stepped in after them and made his way to the small couch that had his spare change of clothes and a portable cd player for the plane ride home.
"And Yuna?" His father turned to stare her down. A little taken aback, she stepped back and frowned.
"Yes, Mr. Strife?" She asked hesitantly.
"Can you get out of the dressing room so that my son and I may change?" He asked snidely. Startled, she jumped back and fumbled for her PDA that held their schedule on it as she turned and opened the door.
"Oh! Of course, of course Mr. Strife!" She exclaimed, stepping out and closing the door behind her. As she left, Roxas's father swept a hand through his soft blonde hair and took his performance jacket off. Turning to face the mirror, he looked at his son through the reflection and took in his humble, solemn expression. He did not look like his heart was drinking in the compliments of thousands of people, and he did not look like a child that had just preformed for millions on live TV and in front of men who took in 8 digits minimum on their salary.
He looked much, much older than his six years of age.
"You froze up." His father commented as he took a napkin and wiped off the stage makeup that had circled his eyes to make them stand out. Nodding slowly, Roxas agreed.
"The music- it stopped playing in my ears; everything was so, so quiet." Roxas replied in his soft, firm voice. His father wiped the sweat from his forehead and began undoing the cumber bun and bowtie so that he could grab his regular somber black business suit and plain silver tie.
"It was quiet so that you could hear it." His father replied without any pity in his voice. Nodding slowly, Roxas watched the floor as his foot swung idly, legs not quite long enough to touch the ground.
"Do… dad, do you hear the music?" Roxas asked, uncertain of himself. His father let out a soft bark of laughter and turned to view his child with raised eyebrows.
"No. I do not hear the music in the air, son. I make the music in the air." He raised an eyebrow and coldly looked Roxas up and down. "You have a gift that many people would want, and it is my job to show you how to utilize it."
"But where did my gift-"
"Roxas, enough questions." His father snapped sternly. Cutting his words off, Roxas nodded with a soft, "Yes, sir." Under his breath.
"Your little display at the beginning played into the piece, but that was luck. You do not show them that you're hassled. You do not bang the keys, you do not slam your hands onto the keys. You make them think you're in control. You make them think that you are everything, and remind them who they came to see. I do not care if you do not hear the music; from now on you will be the music." Swiftly changing, his father made each word harsh and solid, each inflection hitting home in Roxas's ears. He could be the music? He could be the thing that drifts on the currents of the air and caresses the thoughts so beautifully? The idea was absolutely wonderful.
He followed his father out through the door where there was chaos once again, everyone rushing about and shouting. The music pressed against Roxas as he heard the taps of feet, the rustle of clothing, the buzz of phones, and the breath of the frantic. Yuna stepped up and walked with them, her voice carrying over the din as she brought Mr. Strife up to speed. Reaching the back door, Roxas felt his heart warm and glow as the sounds of more cheering met his ears. There were thick, red velvet ropes that blocked people from pushing him, and as they walked out he was surprised that people called his name, and his father's name. "Cloud!" and, "Roxas!" merged with one another, and Roxas's heart glowed. Yuna kept him in the middle of the walkway so that no one could touch him, but their voices made music in his soul as he smiled to everyone, a hesitant and nervous smile.
The limo pulled up and Mr. Strife got inside, his phone suddenly to his ear and his face cold. Yuna motioned for Roxas to get in as well, but as Roxas moved to get in, a small hand tugged his and he looked back, curious. A boy a few years older than he stood there, hand in his and a bright, shining smile on his face. His skin was pale like Roxas's, but what startled Roxas the most was his flaming red hair that stood out in crazy spikes off of his head. Roxas blinked, and then he was staring into lovely green eyes that made his heart glow even more and the music pressed against his ears, demanding that he play.
"Here… I liked your music." The boy's voice was soft and welcoming as he pushed something thin and long into Roxas's free hand. It's hard and some parts were pointy with a soft, blooming top that felt like velvet as Roxas touched it and something in his head said that it's a rose, that someone liked his music and had given him a rose. Looking back at the boy with the bright green eyes, Roxas was half aware that the boy still had his hand and was staring at him with something like awe in his eyes.
"You… like my song?" Roxas asked softly, eyes wide. Someone had liked his song, and someone had given him a rose. His heart grew jumpy and hot and the music played louder in his ears. The boy's smile widened and he nodded eagerly, so full of hot energy that notes began erupting in Roxas's ears with his smile alone.
"It was awesome. The bang at first and then the soft build up… it was cool. My mom says that I should give you a rose for sounding good, so I did." His grin grew brighter and white hot light fell in Roxas's eyes from his smile because it was just so pure and just so happy that it made Roxas dizzy to think about it as he felt his lips tug up and he couldn't help but move the rose up to his lips to feel the velvet softness against his skin.
"Th- thank you." He managed to say, and it hits him that the boy's hand is still holding his and that the music is building and that he wants to make a song about the boy because he was sure that if he didn't it would hurt his heart not to. He moves closer to the boy who's proud and happy and he can't help but feel wonderful for being so close to the person who's making the music in his ears so happy.
"It's no problem! I'm taking violin and piano lessons so that one day I can sound like you. I'm older than you though so I'll have to play catch up." Roxas doesn't understand catch up but he does like how the boy wants to sound like him and how he's older and wants to be like him.
"How old are you?" He asks in that same soft voice, the rose still pressed to his skin.
"I'm ten." The boy said proudly, jabbing his chest. Roxas leaned in closer, entranced by this ten year old that gave him a rose and made the music loving and kind against his ears.
"And… are you-"
"Come on Roxas, your father's waiting and might I add very impatiently?" Yuna grabbed the crook of Roxas's arm and pulled, yanking the boy's hand from his and making him stumble back to the limo. Roxas managed to catch himself and as he did he chanced a glance back to see the boy with the smooth, pale skin, fiery hair, and bright, shiny green eyes staring at him with a smile, a genuine smile that makes the glowing in his chest burn brighter as he pressed the oh so soft rose against his cheek and managed to smile back before Yuna closed the door, cutting off his first real meeting with someone who made the music better.
Yes, Roxas did not understand many things. He didn't understand the concept of business, and he did not understand the concept of money. He did not understand the concept of literature and he did not understand the concept of recess. He did not understand the concept of making friends and he did not understand the idea of big, fancy limos and jet planes. What he did understand though was music, and music was his life. Music was his passion, and as he pressed the rose to his lips again he felt the glow of the music around him and he felt the corners of his lips rise up a little.
His father said that he had to become music. Roxas thinks that meeting that boy was the first step.
Hit or miss? Let me know in a review!
It hit me just now that this could be a one-shot... but I already have the next few chapters lined up so this is going to be a multi-chapter whether you like it or not!
And I warned you, right? This is going to be a very musically oriented story with classical songs and what not. It's not going to all be concerts but you get what I mean...
I know, it sounds boring at first, right? But, it's going to pick up around ch. 3 so please bare with me! And please review because that'll give me some idea with how to work... please and thanks!
I'll update soon!