The Overture (Part II)
Rating: PG
Warnings: Er... none. Unless male-male relationships or even the hint thereof bother you. ^_^

Flashback to several hours ago...

Joshu milled by the door of the theater's backstage area, nervously watching the famous composer make his way through the room, shaking hands and accepting and proffering compliments with aplomb. He had just headlined a performance of his newest symphony, leading the Philharmonic from his piano bench on a journey through darkness into light.

Or maybe that was just the young violinist's imagination getting away with him, but... The melodies had reached him in a way that few other pieces ever had. Especially when he had heard Renard playing the piano, the way the music was meant to be played, from the hands of its creator. He had almost missed several cues because he had been listening so intently.

Renard was slowly making his way towards the door. Though he showed no impoliteness or impatience to those who stopped him, he was clearly trying to leave, and as he drew closer to the exit, people seemed to sense his wish to simply get out of there, and he was intercepted a bit less often. Now Joshu felt increasingly nervous about trying to talk to the composer; what did he really have to say, anyway? Gee, Mr. Renard, your music is really awesome! He should probably just let the man go home, as he had to be tired after such an impassioned performance...

Something loomed in his peripheral vision; he glanced up quickly, distracted from his thoughts, right into the eyes of Renard himself. The man's lips quirked up in a gently amused smile. "I'm sorry, were you waiting to speak to me...?"

Joshu felt his face growing hot as a moment passed and he failed to form a sensible reply. "No I just your music it was an incredible performance," he finally managed to say. "It was really an honor."

Renard regarded him thoughtfully for a moment. "Ah! You're the violin soloist, aren't you?" He smiled warmly, offering his hand.

"Yes! Er, yes, I am. Joshu Laurent, it's such an honor to meet you, Mr. Renard..." He shook the man's hand somewhat tentatively, and was surprised by the strength with which Renard returned the gesture. Well, a firm handshake meant sincerity, didn't it?

"Please, call me Daniel," the composer laughed. "I was rather taken with your interpretation of the allegro in the first movement; your staccato work is very sharp..."

The compliment caught Joshu so off-guard that he mentally floundered for a moment like a landed fish. "Er, thank you... I was just.. you know, trying to evoke the melody..." He trailed off, feeling rather stupid. How did you discuss interpretation of a piece with the person who wrote it?

Daniel seemed to sense his discomfort, and smiled disarmingly. "You know, this promises to be an interesting conversation... Would you like to continue it elsewhere?" He gestured at the exit with a nod of his head.

"Um..." Joshu hedged, his mind whirling furiously. Was it just an innocuous request for a quiet conversation over coffee or the like, or something else entirely? "Like where?" he said as nonchalantly as he could manage.

The older man shrugged and grinned. "Doesn't matter. If you're hungry, we can go grab a bite to eat..."

well, he was kind of hungry he never ate before a performance and a restaurant was a pretty neutral, safe place...

Safe? Why did he feel like he needed "safe"? Daniel didn't seem even remotely dangerous. Maybe he just wanted a chance to talk to another musician on an equal footing. After all, he had been a well-known pianist even before breaking out as a composer. Judging by his own sense of awe about the man, Joshu wondered if it was difficult for him to just have a chat-among-peers with people of his own age. How many musicians under the age of 30 were headliners? Let alone celebrated composers...

And he just seemed so nice. So transparently nice and kind and... sort of fascinating. The violinist gave himself a mental shake. Where was that coming from? Last time he checked, he was pretty straight... And hey, going out for food was just that; it wasn't a date or anything, right? Even if the composer was... well, kinda hot.

He wanted to smack himself. What on earth was he thinking? Meanwhile, Daniel was looking at him with a politely curious smile, waking for an answer. "Um, sure, something to eat sounds good," he finally managed to say, "just let me grab my violin..."

Five minutes later, with a sort of squirmy, adolescent sense of excited dread, Joshu found himself walking down the sidewalk with the Daniel Renard, chatting blithely about how strictly one should interpret dynamics on a written score. He hadn't felt this nervous since his first date with his last girlfriend, and he wasn't entirely comfortable with that comparison. What was it about Daniel that made him feel so... fluttery?

Maybe, just maybe, by the end of the evening, he'd have figured it out...

6/15/2005: A flashback scene, as cleverly noted in the first line of text. I shouldn't write that way, I don't keep track of "who should have known what when" very well, haha.