The Piano Hall

I

It's the same as always, the lull, the lift, the aching, quiet crescendo as he loses himself in the soft ivory. It's an empty hall, an empty theater, an empty palace. His princess watches from the window with her pale hand resting against the glass as rain slides down the pane.

His fingers stray to black to white to black, seeking, resting, finding, a careful dance with the calculated fall and lazy certainty of thunder.

"Play that again," she says.

He plays while the sky comes down around him in soft rain, plastering his dark hair to his eyes, running in cool rivers down the keys. A million waterfalls in each measure, a million gleaming tributaries sliding down his wrists.

"The ceiling is gone," she says.

Marble cries around them, fine paintings melting in a colored flood to pool around his feet. Beethoven sounds from the dark wood like stones thrown in water; clear and distant, clear and drowned.

His princess remains by the window, tracing her name in the fog.

The water fades away and they are back in winter. He shivers as his fingers slow, his clothes freezing to him. Her breath mists on the glass in frail spider webs of frost. Snow falls around the pianist.

Snow falls.

Snow falls and it's blues and greys and white white white white white. Crystal song. Delicate fall of a minor key.

"Look, Jaime, its snowing," says the girl. "Play a song for snow."

II

There is black and there is white and there is rain falling on the keys in a hall that changes with the seasons, ever open, ever open, ever open.

The girl named Luke leans against the aching windows, watching her breath fog the glass. Outside there is rain and it slides down the pane in silver sheets, blurring the grass and trees and lake beyond the stones.

She is facing away from the boy behind her, the boy whose fingers made the rain and made the walls and made the lake. She is facing away because when he looks at her he does not see her and his distant eyes mock her purpose. She is facing away from him because her fingers are cold and his are colder, and her fingers cannot make mountains.

It's the same as always, the lull, the lift, the aching, quiet crescendo as he loses himself in the soft ivory. It's an empty hall, an empty theater, an empty palace. His princess watches from the window with her pale hand resting against the glass as rain slides down the pane.

Luke finds his incessant playing, this ceaseless commentary, rather like a cold she cannot shake. Always the piano, always her brother's cascading notes following her like the wind that used to blow through the trees in the forest where they used to play.

She turns away form the window. It is raining on this side of the glass now too; the player brings the rain and the ceiling melts in pools of painted gardens.

"Jaime," she whispers.

The boy plays on, his head bent over his keys and his dark hair now plastered to his face. Rain runs down his wrists in gleaming tributaries to pool in tiny rapids amongst the ivory notes.

"Jaime, come home."

As always he does not see her, does not hear her, does not cease his endless playing. Luke cannot remember how many times she has come now and how many thousands of years have passed since he first made the hall with his haunted eyes and nervous hands. She wonders if he ignores her because it hurts him to see her or if he really is just too far gone.

Rain drenches her hair and drips off her lashes. The music changes and the rain turns to snow. This is familiar. He will give her ice and storms and all of nature's demons in the hope that she will leave.

"Jaime."

Her voice is cracking as the words fall around her in white shadows.

"Jaimeā€¦"

They are alone in a pine forest filled with snow. He will play for his pain and she will sing for her supper but the singing will not kill her. Her mother says he plays to heal himself. Her mother says a lot of things to ease her burdened mind, and if there is truth in this then he plays to kill his sister too for that is all that can come of this healing.

Snow has gathered on his shoulders and his lips are blue.

She will leave now, as she always does. He knows she cannot stand to watch him slowly push himself to hell for her time and time repeated in a bitter, endless cycle.

"Jaime, I shall not come again."

It snows and he plays and the girl named Luke leaves.


A/N Teeechnically this should be in two chapters, but i didn't like it enough to be bothered to fix that, In other words, I am far too lazy, and I'd really rather put something else up.