A/N: This is in a Pokemon universe for those who care, though it actually plays nothing into the actual story. This was a fanfic gift for one of my dear friends off of a roleplay we are doing, which is set in the pokemon universe, and that is the only relevance. Other than that, you can ignore it, it is of no use to the plot.
Jaidee was doing his chores on the reservation the morning Roderich found the thing. It had been sitting on an ornamental shelf, quite dusty (as was most of the house, the man really didn't have guests much did he?) and as he went about his habits of cleaning for the man, he found it. Normally, upon finding such nice looking things in Jaidee's house, he left them be. The man apparently didn't have very many nice things and he didn't want to break them, but this one was different. This strange thing had strings. This strange thing was an instrument.
He wasn't very strong, so he was incredibly careful as he took the instrument down and placed it on the table to look at. It looked strung a little like a guitar, though, after he thought about it, it also reminded him incredibly of the inside of a piano. Taking the rag he was using for cleaning, he gently wiped the object clean of the grime and dirt. He smiled as the dark wood shined happily under his care. Then he went about the idea of figuring out how to play it.
It didn't take him long before finding a pair of little hammers tucked away in a crevice in the body of the instrument, and after a failed experiment of plucking the strings and finding the noise unsatisfactory, he decided they were supposed to be used to play the instrument with. He discovered that a very exotic sound could be found within the strings capabilities, and instead of finishing his cleaning, Roderich continued to play with the instrument, recognizing vaguely the sound being produced but not being able to replicate what he heard in his mind.
When Jai returned from his morning routine about the Donphan reservation, he did not expect to hear music coming from the open windows. Much more, he didn't expect to hear the khim being played; rather clumsily, he must admit, but he didn't expect to hear that sound at all. Dismounting from Pakpao, he gave the large Donphan a Pokeblock and a goodbye, then slowly walking into the house. He wasn't particularly sure if he was surprised or not with what he found there.
Sitting at the kitchen table was his wan chai, Roderich, staring intently at the string instrument Jai inherited from his family. He didn't even look up upon him coming in, his normally observant nature overrode with the need to make music. Jai stood in the doorway and watched, not minding the sweat drying on his back nor the cool breeze, simply enjoying the scene for it was very rarely that he saw the other so relaxed.
After a few moments, he finally remarked on the other's progression.
"You seem to have some idea of what you're doing, have you ever played one of these?" He took a step into the bright and airy kitchen, noting that all the clutter that was on the counter earlier that morning was gone, and the last of the dishes were in the strainer drying. The other jumped and looked up when he heard Jai's voice, surprised but smiling.
"Ah, you are back! Did you have a nice morning?" He looked down at the instrument he was messing with for most of the morning, scolding himself mentally as he recalled he left the room half cleaned when he found the thing. "And nein, I have never played it, but I believe I recognize it from somewhere… what is this?"
Jaidee chuckled lightly. This man really did have a way with instruments if he could just pick one up and mimic a sound he recognized in his head. Walking over, he took the hammers from the other. As Roderich stood up for the other, he slid into the chair and began to experiment with it, playing a rather simple song he remembered his parents teaching him when he was young.
"It's called a khim." His voice took on a slight accent when he spoke, but he was sure to cast it to the wayside once he realized he slipped into it. "It's something my parents gave me a long time ago, a way of passing on tradition." He smiled as he grew into the habit of playing again, not noticing how the other studied the way he used the instrument intently.
"It has a very amazing sound," Roderich commented idly, and the evening went on that way. After Jai took a shower, they cooked dinner and Jai taught him the basics of using the instrument, his rough hands gently guiding Roderich's more delicate ones in the movements, and they had a lovely time together; however, the Asian did not expect what happened weeks later.
Roderich invited him to a concert, of course, so he asked his sister once again to watch his reservation for the day while he was in the city. Despite gaining his sister's teasing for it, he didn't really mind – he hated being in the city, but only visiting for a short amount of time was bearable if it meant hearing Roderich play.
Like always, he met Roderich at his dressing room, where he stayed until the concert was to start. Roderich assured him that tonight's performance was to be special, and grand beyond any of his others, despite the crowd being much smaller than normal and the event much less advertised.
His expectations were filled as the curtain went up. There was no introduction; Roderich simply bowed deeply before taking a step back, introducing a young lady dressed in traditional clothes Jai recognized instantly. The two bowed one last time before they situated themselves behind their instruments, Roderich at the piano and the woman behind...a khim.
Soon the piano began to sing, and the oh-so familiar sound of his home filled the air. The two instruments, so different in origins, mixed together happily, accompanying each other through a story of happiness, sadness, and love. Of old times, and new times and of most of all, times together, and as he listened he couldn't believe that the other had taken the time to learn a completely new instrument and do this.
The concert of an hour and a half seemed to end in minutes. The many songs that were played melded into one grand story, and at the end, the applause was thunderous as it normally was. That was when Roderich stood up, graciously introduced his accompaniment, and bowed once again, thanking the audience and the young woman before leaving the stage.
Jaidee rushed to Roderich's dressing room quickly after the show, not receiving any hassle from the security that recognized him now. Walking in, he couldn't help but quickly babble about how great the performance was, and how he never would have guessed…
"It was truly stunning… and you wrote that all? In three weeks?" All he got in response was a small nod and a distant look. Jaidee was taken aback and, worried, asked if anything was wrong.
"Did something happen that I missed?"
Roderich looked at Jaidee and sighed, a gentle knowing smile crossing his face. Standing, he closed the space between them and took one of the other's hands, pressing it between both of his.
"You do know…. It was all for you. You know that right?" Two violet eyes were fixed on Jaidee's brown ones so intensely, the other couldn't look away.
"W-What?" He was shocked by the other's seriousness and blushed hard. He wasn't expecting this at all, and what he would normally take smoothly shook him into embarrassment. "For me?"
Roderich nodded slowly, growing distant again and letting go his hand.
He looked almost disappointed that the other didn't know, and in reality he was. He poured so much energy, emotion, and especially time into composing the performance. He hadn't been to the Donphan reservation in days as he tried to perfect every part, as he tried to put two very different instruments together to play in harmony, a harmony that he hoped they could achieve when melding their two very different lives.
Jaidee was touched, and felt terrible though he didn't understand why. He placed his other hand on top of theirs.
"Th-Thank you. That's such a great gift… really…" He moved in closer, smiling at the delicate man with sincerity. "I've never had anything like this at all."
This broke Roderich from his thoughts and brought a small smile to his face.
"Danke." He sighed a breath of relief. "I worked hard for you. I wanted to do something for you." He himself leaned in closer, a blush blossoming on his own cheeks.
"You never had too…"
"But I wanted too." And Roderich carefully and gently closed the space between them with a kiss.