Aiden's been doing this thing for about a year and he's pretty sick of Southwalk, but. The tips are better here than anywhere else he's busked and the thing about being the part of a duo that plays a cardboard box and not the guitar is that when the other half of the duo decides to go off to sing songs about Hermione Granger with his band, the guy with the box is sort of... left out on a limb. At least here, Southwalk, he’s not the only madman.
So there’s one evening in late summer, and it’s getting a bit chilly and the sun’s going down, and everything looks a bit beautiful, and Aiden’s singing something that fits all that and he’s got his eyes closed, but he feels something over the music for a second and it’s not something he can explain, but he opens his eyes and looks right into a scruffy looking guy’s eyes as the guy drops a tenner into Aiden’s hat.
Aiden’s hands falter because that’s an insane amount of money and then the guy is blushing and shuffling away and Aiden thinks he’d’ve guessed he was homeless, but no.
The guy is gone before Aiden finishes his song (and it’s against his nature to stop, that’s not right, there are people who’ve stopped just to listen to him), so Aiden quietly pockets the tenner and carries on.
Next time, Aiden’s kept his eyes open and he sees the hat before he sees the guy, and then he gets a good look at him and he hits a note he hadn’t even been going for that makes some lady on his left clap appreciatively and the guy’s eyes go a little wide.
He stands and watches until Aiden finishes his song and Aiden can’t keep his eyes off him.
Then it’s the end of the song and Aiden keeps holding onto his box even though his feet are taking him to the strangely rich guy, and he asks, “Are you a, um, secret millionaire or something?” It just comes out of his mouth and he flushes and bites his lip because he really is an idiot.
The guy laughs, though, shuffles a bit, and then asks, “What’s with the box?”
Aiden shrugs. “My guitarist left me,” He says.
The guys nods, pulls a face that might be supposed to be sad (and Aiden knows stupid faces), and pulls out a twenty, putting it in Aiden’s box. Aiden gapes at him.
“I’m only a secret half-millionaire,” The guy says, “But, you know.”
Then he leaves, and Aiden feels a bit. Woah.
It’s getting cold. Aiden’s considering going somewhere for a cup of coffee in a bit, but right now he’s singing his favourite John Mayer song and his box doesn’t currently have any holes and it’s good, he feels into it, and he’s singing with his eyes closed again.
The guitar takes him by surprise.
“Sorry,” The half-millionaire guy says to Aiden’s look of what the fuck was that? “Say no.”
He’s standing where Louis had a couple of weeks ago and he’s got a guitar he’s still playing and he’s good at playing and Aiden. He stares for a minute.
“Normal people don’t give tips like you do, you know,” He says, “You won’t make your million like this.”
He gets a shrug and a smile, and Aiden thinks, okay then, because he’s a sucker for a pretty one of those. And it’s not even exactly a pretty smile but... it’s a right one.
“Aiden,” He tells him, holding out his hand. He gets a grin.
“Matt.” Matt shakes his hand and grins and it’s. There’s that.
When Aiden starts the John Mayer song from the beginning Matt joins in, not as flawlessly as Louis but perfect to Aiden’s ears after all this time of just him and his box, and then he starts singing and after a couple of bars Matt joins in with a careful look, like, is this okay?
And they harmonise perfectly. And Aiden thinks, yes. Yes, this is okay.