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Where Music Dwells

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They'd walked by the store a dozen times or more. Kaoru wasn't sure why the piano caught his attention this time when it hadn't all the others. But he couldn't help the small hitch in his step as they went by.

"Ichijou?" Godai asked, noticing as he always did.

"Nothing."

It only took Godai an instant to look around, then grab his hand and drag him into the music store. "Let's go look at it."

"No, I—" But argument was useless as always when Godai was involved and Kaoru found himself standing in front of a small upright piano that looked just like the one his mother still kept, while Godai bowed to the store's owner and asked permission.

"Go ahead," Godai said.

Kaoru looked at him.

"Play it." Godai smiled. "Please, I'd like to hear you."

With a sigh, he gave in to the inevitable and sat. Closing his eyes, he tried to remember back to his long-ago lessons, let his muscle memory take over. Godai waited patiently, as Kaoru knew he would, since he was getting his way. Finally he opened his eyes and put his hands above the keys. Although it was tempting to try something impressive and difficult, he decided on the dead easy Für Elise.

The A minor and E major arpeggios flowed more smoothly than he expected. He briefly lost his way in the switch to C major and G major, but recovered swiftly. Confidence growing, he managed to make it most of the way through by memory, although he was unable to remember how it ended and stopped as gracefully as he could.

His face felt warm and now that it was over he felt ridiculous and he took his hands off the keys and stuffed them in his lap.

"Ichijou."

"Mmm." He stared down at the keys.

"That was beautiful." Godai put a hand on his cheek and gently turned his face.

"I've forgotten a l—"

"I said it was beautiful," Godai said, not letting him look away, his smile even wider than usual. "Thank you for playing for me."

"You're welcome," he managed to say. He still felt ridiculous but the obvious happiness on Godai's face, well, he supposed it was okay.


After it was all over and Godai was gone, Kaoru went back to the store and bought the piano. It was, he thought with a sigh, an extravagance, especially since he'd have to pay to ship it back to Nagano soon.

But he practiced every night, leaving the window open a crack, until the night a sound made him turn and there was Godai climbing through the window.

Kaoru's fingers crashed on the keys and he couldn't move.

Smiling, Godai came toward him. "Keep playing. It was beautiful." He slid onto the bench next to him, his warm presence enough to break Kaoru from his frozen state.

The piece was much too easy now, but he began to play Für Elise, sneaking glances sideways to make sure he hadn't hallucinated.

Godai caught him looking and grinned.

It was difficult to make it all the way to the end of the piece, but he managed. When the last note was done, he took his hands off the piano keys and held the man sitting next to him instead.

They made music late into the night...but not all of it was suitable for public consumption. Which was just fine with Kaoru and Godai.

--end--