It seemed so serious.
They seemed so serious.
Sitting on the piano bench, feet tucked under neatly, Ludwig scratched his chin in thought as he narrowed his eyes at the page in front of him. He'd been fixated on it for hours, mesmerized by the oddly familiar markings.
He'd plucked the musical anthology from the shelf earlier that afternoon, drawn in by its title.
Great Masterworks for Piano he'd murmured as he thumbed the well worn spine. Raining heavily that day, he'd decided to peruse the library in hopes of finding inspiration indoors. Perhaps fate had brought him here. Perhaps it was what lead him to this book. He flipped through the many yellowed pages, brushing past sonatas, etudes and adagios - nothing of note. Nothing exceptional.
Nothing except this one.
This one called to him immediately.
An idea presented in a single continuous movement. Exquisitely written, deserving of inclusion in said anthology. Its printing on the first inset page was no error. Compared to some of the other works, this one was rather dark. It's sombreness was quite possibly what drew him to it in the first place - or perhaps it was the composer.
Nevertheless, it now had his attention.
Such a rare emotion - so, uncharacteristic.
At first glance, the exposition was simple. Twelve bars of lilting arpeggios, arching over the middle keys. Approachable enough for a pianist of even modest skill. The faded pencil markings were signs that such a student had once attempted to learn this piece, however the who and when were indeterminable.
Though seemingly simple, there was something that was deeply troubling about it. Something crushingly heavy. Ludwig felt it instantly. He could see it - even through the sparseness of the rhythms scratched onto the page, the pitiful torment was as obvious to him as the notation itself.
Minor - D minor.
He folded his arms across his chest with a soft hum.
The Requiem, of course.
The opening bars were waves rising and falling. Pensively listless. Sorrow expressed in troubled thirds, followed by a hauntingly melancholic waltz.
Then, suddenly, a grand pause.
There was music there in silence too. In the space between the notes.
If you cared to listen.
An amateur's study perhaps, with the true fire only capably unearthed under the hands of an artist.
The right hand impatiently crashing through the silence with its driving pulse, the left sending the melody crashing downwards in a stormy chromatic spiral, finally tapering softly, almost apologetically.
Excusing itself from the sudden emotional outburst.
Ludwig smirked a little at the thought, You're excused he muttered under his breath, raking his fingers over the page as he scanned to the second section. Of course, another cry, this time spanning four octaves of rapid scales marked Presto.
He raised an eyebrow at the numbers scratched above the notes - suggested fingerings from a teacher perhaps? A frustrated student trying desperately to master the black whirl of stems and accidentals? It wouldn't be the first time Mozart had frustrated somebody.
He chuckled inwardly.
Just as you're about to give up hope - he returns you home to safety. Tempo Primo, the return of the earlier theme. An restful oasis in a blurry sea of sharps and flats, Thank You the weary fingers would sigh, delighted in the sudden turn of events. It's haunting simplicity a welcome respite.
It truly was a masterwork - Mozart's Fantasy in D minor.
Turning back to the first page with a deep breath, he played it. Stumbling, if only just a bit, over the trickier sections. Sighing with the instrument as he resolved the final cadence with gentle resolution.
Readable - with a few little surprises of course. He grinned with deep satisfaction, chewing his bottom lip as he released the pedal on the last of the resonance. His hands finally lowered to the bench, twitching soundlessly against the edge of the wood. Unable to calm from their work.
In the ensuing silence his customary sternness returned as he folded the book closed, leaving it proudly displayed on the keyboard. A bright, giddy laugh echoed in from the next room breaking his thought. He turned towards the din of the distant raucous conversation. Wolf.
Great Masterworks for Piano he repeated to himself with a smirk, hearing Mozart's cackle over the irritated groans of their housemates from afar.
Shaking his head, he stood, pausing for a final glance at the tired manuscript. He tugged his jacket lightly and brushed himself off before marching into the next room with little care for the inhabitants or the silly board game that Wolf was clearly manipulating in his own favour.
He strode seriously towards the giggling man who'd not yet noticed his arrival.
His laughter slowing eventually to notice everyone's confused stares as Ludwig planted an arm on either side of the chair the silly man was occupying.
"Huh?" Wolf squirmed upright in sudden fear, scooting further back against the chair when he realized Ludwig's serious glare and imposing position as he glowered down at him.
He dark green eyes searched the soft blue for a moment, there is genius there he mused silently.
Holding the soft, reddened cheeks in his hands, he pulled the wide eyed composer into a kiss.
In that moment the room fell shockingly silent.
The muted sound of plastic dice hitting the floor, of cards being dropped - it was all deafened by the feel of the soft lips that parted every so welcomingly.
When he finally pulled away, he saw a flash of it in those gentle eyes.
A fleeting cloud in a clear sky.
Wolf blinked slowly, cocking his head to one side. Ludwig frowned as he studied him silently for a moment. Just like in the notes - the momentary clouds had cleared, and once again, the blue sparkled with mirth. There you are he noted to himself, glad to see the familiar merry face return.
Ludwig finally turned to the captive audience, their jaws slackened in disbelief. Thinking briefly of an explanation for his actions, he found none. He instead shrugged indifferently towards their blank stares and strode out as confidently as he'd come.
There were no words to explain.
His music was enough.