A/N: And hello again! Well, like I promised, I updated faster this time despite my pneumonia, so I hope you guys enjoy it. Thank you for all the lovely reviews as I truly enjoy reading them. Also, thank you for the favs and alerts. Now onto the story!
P.S. This takes off from the last chapter where Francis arrives home after the park.
April 16, 1997
Francis entered the townhouse, setting his keys down in a small porcelain bowl when vibrant sounds of Chopin trickled to his ears. Francis sighed, knowing this particular Chopin song was not played just for fun by Roderich. He followed the sound of music, coming to his sitting room where his grand piano was in the corner by the window. There was the musician himself as he sat poised on the piano bench. His long deft fingers ran along the ivory keys in a flash of fury. This was not good.
Francis remained silent as he walked in, sitting down on a baby blue love seat as he waited patiently for Roderich's song to end. When the last chords were played, coming to a resonating hum of momentary satisfaction, Roderich opened his violet eyes. There was fire blazing in the amethyst hues of his eyes. Francis only gave a light smile of amusement, but quelled his chuckle in fear of being spurned by those deadly eyes.
"You look happy, what happened?" Roderich questioned before starting another softer tune than before.
"I could ask you the same thing." Francis retorted, raising his blond brow in an inquiring manner.
Roderich sighed irritably in response, "Ja, you could, but let's start with you shall we? I wouldn't want to share with you what Prussia did to my home." Roderich struck the chord harder than necessary when he mentioned the word home. Francis's blue eyes only sparkled with mirth at this. Oh he would have to hear the story from his dear albino friend then if Roderich was not going to tell him.
"Hmm," Francis rose from his seat, "How long are you planning to stay?"
Roderich paused to this. "Why, do you have plans for later?"
The French nation shrugged, removing his blazer and draping it over the back of the couch, "For tomorrow, oui. I have guests coming over which is why I was wondering if you were planning to stay."
"Are you staying?" Francis brushed the question off, causing Roderich to turn away from his piano.
"And if I am?"
"Then I hope you like our company." Francis moved to the kitchen, getting ready to prepare dinner. On the counter was a small three layered chocolate cake Roderich must have made while he was gone. There was only a small sliver missing from it, suggesting Roderich had already had some. Francis shook his head at this. How that Austrian could eat so much cake and still have the figure he did would always baffle Francis to no end.
Roderich rose from the piano, following the elusive Frenchman into the kitchen. His violet eyes followed Francis's every move as he tried to read what was going on in that man's head. "Francis, what are you up to?"
Francis smirked at this as he looked at Roderich once more. He took notice of the other's appearance now that the piano did not hide him. The button up shirt hung a bit loosely upon his lithe figure as it looked to be two sizes too big. His pants were too big as well as Roderich had rolled up the end as cuffs around his ankles. Francis chuckled at this, causing the Austrian to send him a bewildered look.
"Are you wearing my clothes?" Roderich looked down sheepishly at the clothing. He always thought Francis's dressing was a bit too flashy, and this was one of the simplest things he could find in the Frenchman's extensive closet. His own clothes were ruined thanks to a certain Prussian.
"Ja…" Roderich's violet eyes met prying blue ones, sighing before he explained, "Gilbert wrote Prussia on my things, and I refuse to wear something that has his title on it. And don't even get me started on what he wrote on my pants. It will take numerous cycles in the wash for the ink to come off them if they ever do." He scoffed at the thought, crossing his arms over his chest as he tapped his foot irritably, "And besides, you're avoiding my question. What are you up to exactly?"
Francis only shook his head lightly as he could imagine his friend labeling Roderich's clothes with his once proud nation, Prussia. He did not want to know what he wrote on Roderich's pants. He gently gripped the other's chin to pull him into a chaste kiss. The taste of chocolate still lingered on the other's lips. Roderich was taken by surprised by the sudden kiss, but only protested when he felt Francis' thumb run over his overly sensitive beauty mark. He swiftly pulled away with his cheeks aflame.
"Do not worry about it, mon cher," Francis lightly chuckled from the Austrian's reaction, "stay with me, and you will find out what exactly I'm up to."
Roderich only glared in response to Francis. At times the man's cryptic words angered Roderich as he sighed in exasperation and decided to return to his piano, the one thing he truly understood in life. Francis returned to his cooking, humming along to the music that came from the piano. Different scenarios of the next day played through his mind as he hoped Roderich would be fine with meeting Tamaki's mother.
His knife froze in mid-air at the thought. Would Roderich be able to get along with Anne-Sophie? Would he be envious of her? Well jealousy was inevitable as Francis himself envied Anne-Sophie. She had the privilege to raise Tamaki while he could not. Tamaki looked up to her as his mother as he wondered if Roderich be able to handle such a thing. Could he sit there as Tamaki looked upon a visitor to him as his mother, and look at him as a mere stranger while he shared his flesh and blood? Francis quickly shook the thoughts away as he went back to cooking. He would find out tomorrow how Roderich would truly react.
April 17, 1997
The bell rang, freeing the students after a long day of school. Francis sat calmly outside the school, watching as children of various ages walked by. He sat on a bench, waiting to see Tamaki leave from school like he always did before he would head home himself to start dinner for later that day. A smile graced his lips when he saw a familiar blond head come springing out the doors. That laughter that tumbled out of the young boy was pure music that feed his old heart. He watched as Tamaki headed home with his friend like he normally did. Francis did not know her name, but he could tell she made Tamaki happy by the way his violet eyes glistened when he looked at her and that was all that mattered.
His blue eyes followed them until they were out of sight. When he could no longer see them, he made his way to leave.
"Bonjour, Francis." Francis stilled his movements once he heard that familiar voice he thought he'd never hear again. A bitter smile replaced the smile he adorned before as he turned to face the approaching mortal.
"Yuzuru, I did not know you were in Paris." Francis sat back down, letting the other sit down beside him.
"Hai, I'm only here for a short time."
"And what is the special occasion?"
Yuzuru gave a small chuckle to this, "Nothing, I just wanted to talk."
"You could have called."
"You didn't answer." Yuzuru bit back. Francis nonchalantly nodded his head as he knew perfectly well Yuzuru had called, but he did not decide to pick up. After eight years of never hearing from this man, Francis did not answer out of spite. If what Yuzuru had to say was important, he could leave it on the answering machine.
Yuzuru sighed wearily as he had yet to have any rest, "Do you do this every day?"
"What importance does that hold to you?"
"I might not share his blood, but I am still considered his father." Yuzuru was starting to lose his patience.
"Yes, you're his adoptive father, now may I ask where you have been." Francis retorted his blue eyes lost their usual warmth, turning to bitter cold ice.
"Tamaki is not one of you, Francis. He is growing up at a normal rate, and will one day grow up to take over the Suoh business."
"Ah, so that is all you think of him? You think of him as some kind of profit?" Francis rose from the bench, deciding he had humored the other long enough, "He might not know that I'm his father, but at least I am here for him as one should for a son. I do not sit out here every day just because I'm waiting until the day he becomes a nation or province, I wait here so I can make sure my son is happy because that's what matters. If he wants to take over the Suoh industry, than who am I to stop him, but if you stop him from becoming who he truly is, you better pray for some higher being to help your soul from me."
Yuzuru rose to meet Francis, "I'm not stopping Tamaki from anything, but getting hurt. You may have your fantasies, but do not drag Tamaki into them. You gave him up, the day you gave him to me. He is only your son by blood, but he is not a nation; he is just a boy. If you try to get closer to him, he will only grow older as you stay the same. What happens when he grows to look like you and you haven't even a silver hair? Let him go Francis, before you know it we will surpass you through time, and be nothing but another distant memory that haunts you."
Francis fell silent to this. He did not want to think what he would do if Tamaki were to one day pass away while he lived on as the personified nation of France. Yuzuru saw the blue of Francis's eyes lose their fire, meaning he had made his point.
With a sympathetic sigh, Yuzuru patted Francis's shoulder as a small attempt at reassurance, "I'm sorry things had to be this way Francis, but it is for the better. Now, I must catch my flight back to Japan. Remember what I said; I know you'll do the right thing for Tamaki."
Francis silently watched as the other departed. He could not shake the previous conversation from him. If Tamaki never becomes a nation, or even a province, Tamaki's time on the Earth would be limited. His life would flash by just like all the other humans. In Francis's life time, he had lost many humans he had grown attached to; he couldn't lose Tamaki too.
Francis walked home with heavy footsteps, his head filled with burdening thoughts. He reached his red brick townhouse, opening the door and shutting it as he shuffled inside. Roderich came into the hallway to see the lifeless expression that seemed to consume Francis.
"What's wrong?" the Austrian inquired, slowly approaching the other. A tender hand caressed the Frenchman's cheek, raising his head as sapphire eyes met amethyst. Francis only shook his head in response, as Roderich slightly frowned at this though he did not press him further. Instead, with times like these, he knew sometimes it was better to not force the information. Francis would tell him when he was ready. With this in mind, Roderich pulled the other into his arms and held him close. He rocked the other soothingly, whispering words of comfort while Francis silently cried on his shoulder.
The two stayed in the same position for a few moments, before Roderich pulled away smiling. "Why don't I help make dinner tonight? We have guests coming, ja?"
Francis weakly nodded, "C'est vrai, and I still haven't told him who was coming.'
"Good," Roderich intertwined his fingers in Francis's, and gently led him to the kitchen in which they started to cook dinner. Roderich focused on dessert as it was his specialty. Francis took care of the rest, finding comfort as he was able to distract himself.
Time passed as it was not long before their guests were due to arrive. Roderich placed the pan in the oven, and removed his apron. He then left to get ready while Francis was already dressed to greet the guests. He placed out something for Roderich to wear since the other lacked clothing at the moment. Hungary was trying to get the ink out of Roderich's clothes while at the same time, keeping the Prussian away from the Austrian's home while he was away.
There was a small knock on the door as Francis went to answer the door. He took a deep breath before grasping the doorknob. On the other side of the door was Tamaki's beaming face as he waved happily at Francis.
"Bonjour, monsieur Francis."
"Oui, Bonjour," Anne-Sophie smiled, "I hope we're not late."
Francis only shook his head, "No, not at all. Please, come in." He opened the door wider for them. Tamaki walked in, followed by Anne-Sophie. The young boy wore beige khakis and a simple violet sweater that brought out the brilliance of his unusual violet eyes. Anne-Sophie wore a conservative light blue dress that matched her eyes as she took off her light jacket.
"Please feel at home." He smiled at them while he took Anne-Sophie's coat from her to hang up. Tamaki nodded as he looked around curiously. The walls were painted of a creamy vanilla as the wood was of a warm honey. He walked down the hall a bit, peering into the first room which was the sitting room. He brightened up at the large piano he spotted in the corner.
"Is that the piano you were talking about?" he asked animatedly.
Francis nodded, "Oui, you may play it if you like?"
"Oui." Francis confirmed, softly chuckling as he watched Tamaki swiftly make his way to the grand piano. He plopped himself down on the bench, arching his fingers over the ivory keys before he began to play. He struck the first cord, sending a pleasant sound to echo through the house. Roderich froze to the sound of this.
'Who is playing the piano? Could it be one of Francis's guests?' Roderich finished getting ready, making his way down the stairs. Anne-Sophie looked up when she heard Roderich come down the steps. She smiled and gave him a light wave.
"Bonjour, Monsieur, thank you for having us over."
Roderich nodded in acknowledgment to this, his own smile gracing his lips, "It is a pleasure to have you. I'm Roderich, and you are?"
"Oh excuse moi, I'm Anne-Sophie." She extended her hand as Roderich gently kissed the back of it.
"Enchante, Madame." Francis arched an inquiring eyebrow towards Roderich. He knew the other spoke French fluently, but he did not expect him to greet her in French. Roderich then turned to face the sitting room to see who was playing. He noted the way the melody rose and fell easily, admiring the skill of the pianist. His violet eyes froze at the image before him. There sat Tamaki behind the piano with his fingers dancing along the keys.
'You should see him play the piano, mon amour. He is a virtuoso, a musical prodigy which he gets from you.' Francis's words rang true in his mind. He did not expect Tamaki to be so gifted with the piano already. It took years for Roderich himself to be able to play the way he did now.
"He's beautiful." Roderich found himself saying.
"Oui, ever since he was small, he had an ear for music. I don't know where he got it from." Anne-Sophie commented as she watched her son play. Roderich gave her a quizzical look in turn. Who was she? He had never seen her before nor did Francis tell him anything about their guests. Francis looked over to see Roderich's bewildered expression.
He quickly stepped in to clear the air of confusion, "Um, Anne-Sophie is Tamaki's mother, Roderich." Blue eyes watched violets flicker with something he had never seen before. There was some fire, but mostly it was pain, heart ache.
"I see," Roderich replied evenly, "your son plays very well, Madame."
"Merci." Anne-Sophie nodded in comprehension.
"You know, Roderich is a concert pianist. He could probably show some things to Tamaki if he wished." Francis tried to keep the mood light, though the way Roderich stoically stood, he knew he had ruined the man's night.
"Oh really?" Anne-Sophie turned to the Austrian, "I bet Tamaki would love that."
"Very well." Roderich said nothing more as he entered the room. He approached Tamaki as he watched the young boy's fingers move most eloquently across the keys. Tamaki stopped momentarily to look up at Roderich.
"Oh, bonjour, it's nice to see you again." Tamaki beamed up at the Austrian, causing Roderich to feel like he had finally fallen from the cliff. Evens so, he was able to stay calm, his composure never wavering.
"May I join you?" The Austrian inquired.
Tamaki looked down, fingering the keys a bit nervously, "I'm sorry, but I'm afraid I don't know any duet pieces."
"That's quite alright, we'll just improvise." Roderich sat down while Tamaki scooted over. "Just follow me and let the music flow from your soul to the keys."
Tamaki nodded to this. Roderich took a deep breath. His fingers arched over his beloved keys. When he was in front of the piano, nothing else mattered in the materialistic world. The only thing that existed at the moment was the music. He began by playing a small tune with his right hand as he heard a melodic melody played by his partner. He turned to look at the young boy who only smiled back. Roderich's heart ache seemed to melt, the pain seeping away just by that one smile that seemed to light up his dim world.
The music continued as Tamaki tried to play along with Roderich, keeping along with the set rhythm and tempo. Two pairs of hands flew across the keys, coaxing music from the single instrument like none has ever heard before. Francis watched the two, never thinking he would ever see the two play together as Anne-Sophie stood there speechless at the sight.
When the last notes were played, dragging out in a soft hum, a smile graced both of the musician's features. Francis and Anne-Sophie applauded them both, still a bit taken back by the music.
"You play quite well, Tamaki." Roderich complimented, looking over at the small boy beside him.
Tamaki's grin only grew from the praise, "Merci monsieur."
"You're very welcome," Roderich stood for the bench, "Shall we sit down for dinner?"
A/N: And there you have it! Well I'm contemplating on whether or not I want to keep the next chapter serious, or add some humor from unwanted visitors to lighten up the story...Oh well, I'll figure it out, or if you have a say, feel free to say so in a review or PM. Until next time, take care and thanks for reading!
P.P.S: I wanted to warn you that the next chapter might change the rating from k+ to T due to mild language from the guests I have in mind. Also, I hope you guys aren't mad at how I portrayed Yuzuru. I'm not trying to make him as a bad character, and quite honestly, I didn't read the manga of OHSHC. I just watched the show which didn't show Yuzuru too much, so if you're unhappy, please let me know and I'll see what I can do. Thanks for reading if you got this far!