The Pianist and the Student (Ione & Blue)

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Bluemoon.xx, Aug 25, 2014.

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  1. The term for the first semester of the new school year was only a few days away in Paris and the students were flocking, most having already moved in to the student housing and apartments available over small businesses and tall buildings. Among the hustle and the bustle of everything sat a small bar at the corner of the street. The bar was the hip place to be among the students that called the city there home. It was so popular that some nights people had to be turned away or sit outside and drink along the road if no seats were available. This was the bar that Jo's best friend Miranda dragged her out to on a humid August evening.

    Miranda had dragged her friend there early enough to get a spot in the back near the bar. The two women dressed in short dresses and heels with there hair all done up sat with two wine glasses and a bottle between them. "Hey!" Miranda leaned over and poked Jo lightly. "Have you thought about asking one of the gents over there who keeps ogling you to come over and join us?" Miranda wiggled her light brows and winked at Jo. Jo snorted and peered over to the men who were eyeing her. She rolled her eyes and shook her head. "Miranda... I'm not looking for a quick drink and then have some random guy coerce me into a bed for the night. Even if he is French." She added as an afterthought. "Well your loss." Miranda shrugged. She had already bedded three different Frenchman since they had arrived a week ago. Jo let her eyes roam over the crowd and then they stopped at a small stage with a large black grand piano. It took up most of the stage, the other half being home to a stool and a microphone. She vaguely wondered if someone was going to play this evening and went back to sipping her wine.
  2. A young man shifted in the narrow seat of the coach. As the road became bumpy, he moaned at the pain. His dark hair was slightly curled, and scattered every time he moved. The coachman knuckled at the young man.

    "Noel. Did you sleep late again? The bar must have already opened."

    "Ahaha.. Yes, uncle Sam. I wasn't paying much attention to the clock last night. So I fell asleep late."

    With a slight worry in his eyes, Noel jumped out of the coach as it turned the corner. Sam clucked his tongue. That young man was fragile, but was quite fearless as to jump out of moving coach. But just as Sam thought, Noel stumbled and fell on his knees. Fortunately, he got up and ran toward the bar, waving his hands at the old coachman.

    "Noel! You sleepyhead! Come on, and hurry up the stage! The bar is already full, you idiot!"

    When Noel stumbled into the bustling kitchen through the backdoor, Polly, the chef and owner of this bar, slapped his back with a dipper. Luckily, it was clean, so he didn't have to go up the stage with his back stinking of mushroom soup.

    "I'm sorry, Polly. I was composing another song last night."

    Polly couldn't say anything more to his somewhat stupid smile. This man infront of her was the celebrity of this bar. His excellent piano skill and handsome face attracted many customers to the bar. Most of all, Polly never saw him getting angry at anything. All he showed was some embarassment or depression. He was always smiling and open to everyone. Polly couldn't possibly hate this guy.

    "Hmph. You'd better be prepared if the song is not good."

    Crossing her arms, Polly pushed him to the hall. The kitchen mates all giggled at Polly. This fat and virile woman in her 40s thought of Noel as her son. Even when his song is a complete failure (although the chance was slim), Polly would be more worried about him than to scold him.

    "Hey, Noel! Late as usual?"

    "Polly's gonna be mad!"

    When Noel entered the stage, people drunken with alcohol and atmosphere greeted him loudly. Responding to some people he knew, Noel sat on the piano stool. As he sat down, the bar suddenly fell silence. Regular customers stopped what they were doing and focused on the piano, and other new customers glanced at the stage to see what was going on.

    Then Noel began playing.
  3. A hush echoed across the bar and Jo looked up to see that on the stage was now a young man sitting at the piano. Her eyes were wide as she took in his appearance. He was handsome and looked kind, laugh lines seemingly etched into the corners of his mouth. She sipped at the wine glass in front of her and smiled.

    Then the young man began playing.

    Jo could not explain the feeling she got when he began to play. She felt as though she was being wrapped up in the music, lost in it. His hands flew across the keys in such a graceful manner that they looked as though they were flying. Jo finally blinked when she felt a tap on her shoulder. Miranda was smirking at her and bit her bottom lip mouthing, 'you like him.' Jo flushed a light red but did not deny the fact that this pianist was intriguing her.

    Handsome, a musician and french. Her heart fluttered lightly in her chest and the feeling scared her a bit. She didn't even know his name but he was making her feel like a little girl with a crush. She looked back to Miranda and whispered, "Did you hear anyone mention his name when he came out here?" Her brown eyes were wide as she asked hoping that Miranda had at least heard something about him. But she shook her head. Jo watched as Miranda leaned over and tapped a man next to her lightly on the shoulder. "Who is he?" She asked curiously and tilted her head to the side. Jo rolled her eyes. If this was an effective way for Miranda to give Jo what she wanted then fine. She would let her bat her eyes and work her magic. "His name is Noel." The man replied and then offered to but the two women another bottle of wine. Miranda accepted and the man called the bartender over asking for another bottle of wine that was quickly delivered. Jo poured herself some more and looked back at the man on stage.
  4. Midway through the song, Noel noticed a strong gaze. He peaked from the corner of his eyes to see who was staring him. Then he noticed a brunette girl with her friend. Shifting his attention to the piano smoothly, the song went allegro. His fingers glided the black and white keyboards with fluency, and at the climax-


    His whole body shook with the impact. After a little pause, he pressed the keys in andante. Slow beats of piano filled the bar. In his life filled of deceit and lies, the melody of piano and his burning love toward France were the only things that supported him. It was also one of the reason that he chose to be a shaddy pianist in a small bar as an undercover job rather than prominent and better-off jobs in the high society of Paris. Noel's slender fingers slowed down and finally stopped as the music sobbed down somewhat sorrowfully.

    "As good as ever, Noel."

    People clapped and some familiar faces raised their glasses to cheer on him. A man approached Noel and put arms around his shoulders. Noel tottered at the man's weight. Although he was officially trained as spy, 'Noel' was a weak and poor pianist, who was genius, but wasn't able to become a proper pianist with lack of fund. The man, Marc, was drunk and his nose was bright red. He sent a dissatisfying glance at Noel.

    "You should eat more, Noel. A man should be always strong, and proud! Like a soldat(soldier in French) facing those German brats!"

    Marc was quite a man, meaning very macho. He always discussed about the wars and mascularity, especillly when he's drunk. So Noel didn't pay attention to him as he dragged Noel to a table near back of the bar. Noel had to response to every faces that acknowledged him, and was quite tired when they finally arrived.

    "Why, isn't this the virtuoso of Paris, Noel? The ladies here were very interested in you, boy."

    Another friend of Marc greeted Noel. Taking a seat, Noel looked up to see who are the ladies. Then he raised his eyebrows in a small surprise. That was the girl who was staring at him a while ago. This brunette had quite foreign face and colors. American? Noel eyed her and judged quickly. Paris was multicultural city, and it wasn't rare to see foreigners.

    "Bonjour. I'm Noel Beaumont. Please call me Noel."

    Making a good-natured smile, Noel gave the two girls a hand for handshake.
  5. Miranda, being the more daring of the two, leaned forward and shook Noel's hand. "Bonjour Noel. You play very well." A small smile crossed her bright red lips and she looked to the men sitting across from them. Jo being the more timid one in the friendship waited until his hand was free. "Pleased to meet you Noel." She murmured politely. Her hand stayed in his a bit longer than it should have and when she noticed she took it back and clasped her hands together in her lap.

    There was a short silence in which Jo looked back up at the piano, wishing that Noel would play another song for them. Part of her wanted to go up and play the piano herself though she was terrible. It was such a beautiful instrument. Her trance was broken by the sound of Miranda who had broken the silence. Jo was thankful for this. "So Noel, how long have you been playing the piano? You are really quite something." Jo wanted to gag at the sweetness behind Miranda's voice. The other woman was such a shameless flirt and some days it made Jo smile but some it made her scoff. She listened intently for an answer.
  6. The bolder girl shook his hands first. As Noel's personality, he blushed a little at the girl's tempting smile. Her friend shook his hands with less bold tone. He was amused at how soft the woman's hands were in his slender, but large hand. Noel felt a bit of loss when the second girl pulled her hands away. He didn't know why.
    For a while, an awkward silence continued between them. Noel was wondering if he should go back to stage before Polly comes to smash him when the first girl asked him a question.

    "I have been playing piano since I was 5."

    Actually, 'Adrien' started playing it when he was 10. But in the faked identity of 'Noel Beaumont', his mother was a prostitute with special affection to piano. So the story was that Noel started playing piano after his mother.

    "According to my mother, my father was a pianist. She would teach me how to play the instrument whenever there was time."

    Thinking that faked past is uselessly detailed, Noel made a smile reminiscing about his past. People around would see a young man recalling precious memory with his deceased mother, but Noel was actually thinking about the governess whose hair was ridiculously curly.

    "I've got to go. Polly would be mad if I don't play the piano sooner."

    "That woman-!"

    Marc complained how Polly is such a stingy boss who drives people so hard. It wasn't convincing when his pronounciation was barely understandable and he is just minutes away from collasping on table.


    Noel hesitated a bit before standing up from the table. He frowned in his mind. 'Noel Beaumont' may show this kind of indecisiveness, but 'Adrien Delacroix', this was strange. Noel couldn't stop peaking at the girl. He reluctantly asked.

    "Are.. you free tonight? I would like you to hear some of my performances."
    That brunette seems harmless. But there is always 'if', right? So this request is purely business.

    Not noticing his red ears, Noel concluded.
  7. Jo was extremely embarrassed when she realized that she had forgotten to tell him her name of all things! "Forgive me but I forgot to give you my name. I'm Jo." She squeaked and her cheeks flamed a light pink. "I was not planning on leaving. Now that I know you're staying and playing more I will certainly stay to hear more." She nodded almost too energetically causing her cheeks to flare again. Jesus Jo.

    She peered over at Miranda who was getting comfortable with Marc now it would seem. The two were talking and he was teaching her some French words using different objects on the table. Miranda had her arm draped around his shoulders and was rosy in the cheeks due to all the wine she had drank.

    Jo remembered the bet that Miranda had wanted to make earlier that night as they had walked over. "Whoever brings home a man to sleep with tonight will not have to pay for the drinks, okay?" She asked as the two had walked along the road, heels clicking. Jo did not agree to it and actaully tried to disagree but Miranda took the silence as an invitation to make the game happen. There was no way that Jo would win a game like that. She was not fast. She did not sleep around with any guy. Just thinking about Miranda taking Marc home made her eyes roll. Jo would pay for the wine regardless which made her sad because the two had drunk quite a lot. Yet she was still sober. Oh well.
  8. Noel mumbled the girl's name with his tongue. Jo. It didn't sound feminine, but quite suited the girl's silent yet sheepish look.


    From the kitchen, a loud woman's voice rang the bar. At her angered voice, Noel hurried to the piano (not forgetting to be tripped twice on the way), and the drunkards all laughed at the usual scene. Polly was fuming with rage, and Noel turned his head before the frying pan she was holding flew the air. He sat on the stool and lightly massaged his hands. The bar wasn't as hushed as the first time he played, but fell quieter, with sober people whispering to each other, and drunkard people being silenced by sober ones.

    "I guess this is the first time I'm presenting it."

    Mumbling to himself, Noel started to play. Actually, Noel didn't sleep much despite all his tardiness. His life as 'Adrien' was quite busy, and that was why he usually came in so late. But for today, Noel was indeed true when he said to Polly that he was late because he composed a song.

    Starting from a light tone, the melody gradually accelerated. Noel was reminded of afternoon a while ago. He was in the Central Building of the French military to report on his mission. Noel was passing near the window beside the park of Paris. He could see the riches with their carriages and middle-class walking on foot. He was practicing piano when he spotted a girl with red hair like that of leaves in the fall. He didn't get to see her face, but she seemed asleep. Lights patterned irregularly by the shades of leaves miraged her dark sweater. That scene was so peaceful that he had to compose a song on the spot. He spent the whole afternoon doing the work, and was even late for the bar. But he didn't regret, because the bar's atmosphere became even more comfortable and cozy. People had smiles as they conversed or drunk. Even Polly's lip was pulled up a little. He continued with other songs.

    It was already 2am when Polly finally dismissed Noel. The bar had much fewer people, about 2/3 of them unconscious with alcohol. Getting up from the piano, he looked around to spot Jo.
  9. Jo was now sitting alone at her table with two empty glasses of wine and just one wine glass because the waiter had taken the other. She thought this looked like some silly joke because she surely did not drink two entire bottles of wine. Her partner in crime or rather, slight whore of a best friend had ditched her because Marc wanted to, 'show her something.' Jo wasn't surprised Miranda had accepted and after a few minutes of trying to get her to stay because she wasn't sure about Marc Miranda left with him anyway. Whatever.

    The clock struck 2 bringing two small tolls with it. Some of the bar like Marc and Miranda had cleared out to go home. But there were still quite a few people still inside and drinking. They were probably just waiting to get kicked out by the large woman who threw things. Jo kind of liked her and giggled when the pan was thrown at Noel. She was happy that it had just missed him but she enjoyed antics such as those.

    Thinking of the incident brought her mind back to Noel. He had played beautifully again and she had been swept up in the music completely, letting herself go as the melody overtook her body. When it was over and he stood up she did the same and pulled on her coat, tying it round the middle to cinch it. The pianist was looking for someone and Jo's heart fluttered. Was he looking for her in the crowd? How silly, of course he wasn't looking for her. She cursed herself for not being bold. Spurred on by a moment of boldness Jo approached the stage and smiled faintly up at Noel. "You were wonderful again. When will you be playing next?" She asked with her hands now slipped into the pockets of her coat.
  10. Noel just noticed the brunette girl approaching him. She was smiling shyly, and Noel responded with same smile.

    "I'm playing again tomorrow evening."

    After his answer, awkward pause of silence filled the air. He wiggled his fingers. What are you doing? Adrien! The undercover job is done! Return to base, right now! A voice shouted in him. Well, it's harmless to flirt with girls? She's cute and something feels good with her? Another one coerced him. Noel decided. He opened his mouth.

    "Would it be okay if I escorted you? It's 2am already and I can't just leave a lady alone."

    His lips made a fine arc and his black eyes shone bewitchingly. He didn't seem like naive Noel, but more like seducing yet arrogant Adrien for a minute. Thankfully, people were drunk and didn't notice this change.

    Noel wanted to get rid of this burdensome feeling bothering him. He has never felt this in his whole life. It wasn't that he had no experience with women. As Adrien, he was able to meet a lot of women either in business or private, and many of them fell for his ability, appearance or background. But this time, something was different.

    'Maybe I will return to my normal self if I finish with this woman sooner.'

    The faster way was to bid goodbye, but Noel was ignoring that choice. He also didn't notice that he was showing her his true selves bit by bit.
  11. Jo would certainly be making a return trip to the bar the next evening for his next show. She listened carefully and rose a brow at Noel when he offered to walk her home. "I... I would like that." She nodded and took a step away from the stage so that he could come down and join her. She did prefer having an escort home. It was dark and who knew what kinds of characters would be around at this time of night and she still was not very confident in her abilities to navigate in the city.

    She walked with him towards the door and out into the night. It was a cool night and the stars were out and shining brightly along with the moon which was almost full. It was surprisingly bright out and there were still plenty of pedestrians out and about. Most of them probably prostitutes which made Jo move a bit closer to Noel. "Are you originally from Paris?" She asked curiously, wanting to strike up a conversation so they were not standing in an awkward silence together.

    She turned down a street she felt was right and her heels clicked lightly against the ground.
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