||The McGann Library
A place to celebrate the works of British actor Paul McGann
Joined: 07 Feb 2006
Location: Lake Wisconsin, USA
|Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 9:03 am Post subject: Closer - For Catherine. :)
|Catherine mentioned on LJ once that she liked this fic that I wrote (YAY!) and that it got her listening to Josh Groban, LOL!!!
So here it is, sappy and all.
It’s not every day that one wakes to music.
Well, perhaps for some it is, but I don’t mean that irritating tinny FM radio music which emanates from a little black box on the bedside table.
I mean true, beautiful, living and breathing music, wafting in on gentle waves from a few rooms down. Or at least I thought it was a few rooms down. In this place, it could be from anywhere.
It started softly, with a mournful violin, played in the lower scales, then escalating in pitch and volume, and again resolving itself into a smooth, yet lilting group of phrases. The violin played for measures and measures, the music flipping over itself in multi-note trills, rapid-fire scales, and smoothing out into broad strokes. The music then culminated in two-string bowings, flowing once again into a single high note before it surrendered itself to silence.
This was no recording, I knew. I recognized the string work immediately. It was his. It was the same phrasing, the same lilt, the same weight of the bow across the strings. I’d know his playing anywhere.
Less for the technique, and more for the shivers it sent through my body every time I heard it.
I recognized the song. It was an Italian art song, sad and melancholy, about missing a lost lover and mourning over lost love. I loved those songs, ones I heard and learned as a child in my first language. Although I’d told him my admiration for this particular piece of music, he’d never played it before, at least to my knowledge.
But there it was. I could hear the melody in the violin, I could sing the words in my head. Unmistakable. I translated the words in my head into English for practice.
Mi mancherai se te ne vai. Mi mancherà la tua serenità.
I will miss you if you leave me. I will miss your serenity.
Hearing him play…that was pure and unadulterated serenity for me.
The rest in the music -- the silence -- hung for a moment, and I wondered if the song would continue. With the violin phrasing over, the voice should then take over the melody. I waited, wondered if he would try to sing it, practice it for me, stretch his range.
But the voice that came was not his. It was familiar and wonderful, but definitely not his.
My ears now perked, and I sat up sharply in bed, listening hard. The violin had apparently been put down in favor of a piano, to accompany the voice. That voice. The baritone was rich, thick, and full of luscious vibrato. The words were distinct, with impeccable pronunciation and accent, as if my grandfather were singing it to me again.
E l'amore che ora porti via.
There was the violin again. Joined, locked, with the deep voice and the gentle, twinkling piano, playing a following, almost mocking version of the melody just a measure or two behind the voice. But how was this possible? The music was definitely live, and while he could do many things, I found it impossible that the Doctor could play two instruments at one time.
The violin trilled sharply, and the voice rose to a crescendo, the singer pleading with his lost love…
I could hear the ache, sense the pain, feel the loss as the words flowed through me, all around me, the violin equally as pleading. Hearing that, I leapt out of bed, threw my hooded sweatshirt on, and dashed out the door, down the hallway, following the sounds like breadcrumbs for lost children.
Mi mancherai, amore mio.
I miss you, my love.
I found the music room only three doors down from my quarters. Normally, it was clear on the other side of the console room, but for some reason, it was moved here. Rooms moved around this place like furniture was rearranged in a house. This place, this TARDIS, it amazed me sometimes. No, it amazed me all the time.
He amazed me all the time.
This music I was hearing amazed me all the more.
Whenever we played in the music room together it was just the two of us. Me on piano, him on violin; him on piano, me singing, him playing guitar, saxophone, lute, Gallifreyan timbrel, you name it. We spent hours upon hours in the music room, teaching each other songs from our worlds. His, Gallifrey. Mine, Earth.
As I came to the door, the ending strains of the song began, the violin again twisting and turning in a final lavish crescendo, and the vocalist finishing the song with all of his heart and soul behind it, the piano and violin carrying him along like friends mourning with an injured comrade.
E l'allegria, amica mia, va via con te.
My joy, then, my friend, goes away with you.
Then, silence. He was alone in the room. I stood outside the half-open door, peering in at his back. The blue crushed velvet of his robe reflected the whispery bits of morning light trickling in through the open window over his shoulder. I wondered for a moment if the light was real, given that, for all intents and purposes we were housed inside a windowless blue police box. That reverie shoved aside, I watched him as he rearranged his sheet music on the stand before him.
Dio mio, he was beautiful. Molto bello. The light that shone off his robe also captured bits of blonde and red in his otherwise brown mop of hair. Like a halo, it seemed to grab hold of the sunlight, refine it, and reflect it back with a fiery lightshow.
I had to stifle a slight giggle at the sight of it, though. His normally wayward and unruly mane was rather hastily tied at the nape of his neck with a piece of my pink ribbon in a half-hearted queue, likely to keep it out from between the bow and strings of the violin. I imagine that mine was the only hair tie he could find, since he rarely, if ever, used them.
He must have sensed me staring, or heard me laughing, one or the other.
“Come in, Teodora,” I could hear the smile in his voice, “we were just finishing up here.”
I curled myself out from behind the door only to see his blue eyes staring back at me. Every time he looked at me that way, that ever so alien way, it gave me the shivers, as if he were looking through me not at me -- through me to my very soul, which he had touched like no other.
“We?” I asked, looking around. The room was empty save for the Doctor. “Who’s we?”
“You mean to tell me you didn’t hear that?” His eyes flashed like a little boy’s with something special hidden behind his back, ready to surprise an unsuspecting little girl. “I’m shocked.” The slightest crooked smile played on his lips. “I was most certain that I played loud enough.”
I couldn’t help but grin. “That song, Mi mancherai, ma chi era che cantando?” I asked, unknowingly falling back into my native language.
“Before I tell you who was singing, my dear,” the Doctor lifted a finger at me and peered at me with lowered eyes, “you must ask me in English. How, Teddy, are you ever going to learn English if you keep speaking Italian?”
I spoke again, purposefully in Italian, simply to annoy him. “Dottore mio, conoscete esattamente che cosa sto dicendo.” I crossed my arms in a defiant gesture, trying desperately not to burst out in peals of laughter.
Attempting to purposefully irritate the Doctor is a futile effort, and I should have known it. “Of course I know what you’re saying. I’ll just choose to ignore you until you decide to act reasonably and in accordance with our agreement.”
With that, he turned so that I again faced his back, lifted his bow, and began to inspect it, plucking at broken bits of airy string from the top and bottom.
Ignore me, will he? Turn his back on me? I adored a challenge. A challenge he would get.
I crossed into the room, stepping to where he sat in the white baroque music chair. I gingerly placed my hand on his shoulder, my other hand pulling at the pink ribbon binding his hair. I pulled it free, the cascade of morning frizzes flowing over my hands. Così delicatamente, I thought. So soft. Che capelli molli. I could feel his body bristle ever so slightly under my touch, a hitch in his breath, a lapse in his focus, a skip in the beat of his hearts.
Ignore me, will he?
I pulled his hair back and bent low so that my lips brushed the back of his ear. “E che accordo era quello?” I whispered, “what agreement was that? Parli siempre Inglese?” I let my breath float over the word, Inglese, pushing it out with a hiss of air to tickle the inside of the Doctor’s ear.
Instead of answering, he dropped his violin, rather unceremoniously, and turned in his chair, his eyes playful, yet fierce at the same time, looking up at me. He caught my face in his hands, his skin cool against my flushed cheeks, his long fingers intertwined in my hair, and… ah!
He kissed me.
He kissed me true and kissed me passionately, rising from the chair in the process and standing face to face, body to body with me. My arms went limp, unfolding slowly and heavily, dropping to my sides, as all my focus, all my being, became absorbed in his lips, his touch. I wanted to feel nothing else, to hear nothing, see nothing, taste nothing, and smell nothing but him -- all velvet, curls, skin, cinnamon toast, Earl Grey tea, sleep, laundered satin, and jasmine-scented soap.
Dio mio, how I loved this man. All eight lives of him, I loved. I loved all of him, from his two hearts, frizzy hair, and blue eyes, to his sentimentality, talent, penchant for name-dropping, stupid trivia spouting, anachronistic style, fierce loyalty, and capacity to love.
Love. Was that what this was? Perhaps it was…
He gently broke away from our kiss… much to my chagrin. I opened my eyes and watched him pull back, smiling, his eyes still focused on mine. He licked at his lips, that little pink tongue peeking out ever so slightly.
I found that so, so…oh, merda, what is the word? Sessuale, sessuale… sexy. Without saying another word, he merely turned, gathered up his violin and bow, and sat down again, pushing the tails of his robe out behind him, exposing his maroon satin PJ’s.
“Now, Signorina Beneditte, sit down please.” He motioned with his bow to a chair about four yards away, in the audience area of the recital room. “Right there. I have another piece I’ve been working on that I’d like to play.”
“Other than Mi Mancherai?” I asked, “who was that singing anyway? It was not you.”
“No, it wasn’t,” he replied. “I may be many things, but a vocalist like that I am not.”
“Then…” my question was cut off.
“Teddy, Teddy, Teddy, Teddy,” he repeated my name rapid-fire, his voice trailing off at the end. He grinned again. “Watch.”
Before I knew it, music had filled the room again. It was the discordant, yet harmonious sounds of musicians warming up their instruments, as if it were the minutes before a concert. But, music was not the only new presence there. There was a pianist, a drummer, a cellist, a guitar player, and a keyboard player – a full set of musicians -- all readied behind or at their respective instruments.
Then, behind the Doctor, a young man appeared, like his band mates, seemingly out of nowhere. He was no more than twenty five years old. Moreover, he was tall, with clean, fair skin, and a dark brown mass of long curls only to rival that of the Doctor. His eyes were soulful, deep, and brown with long eyelashes, framed by thick, dark eyebrows. His smile, setting off his soft features, was darling -- bottom-heavy in a closed-mouth, child-like, almost, what’s the word…erudite manner.
I knew instantly who it was.
“Il Grobano?” I asked, utterly flummoxed. “But how did you…how did he…”
“No,” said the Doctor, breaking my reverie, “he’s a hologram. They’re all holograms. Holograms with physical shape and form, but holograms nonetheless.”
I blinked, not quite knowing what to say, or at least for the moment, how to say what I was thinking in English.
“Well, Teddy, don’t just stand there. Come and meet the man.”
“Meet…?” I was still in shock. I knew the TARDIS could do many things, but create an entire physical band from nowhere, complete with this famous singer? I was, for once in my life, speechless.
“Oh, must I do everything?” the Doctor joked. “Teodora Beneditte, this is Josh Groban.”
The hologram with Il Grobano’s face reached out a hand. “Pleasure,” it said. I took its hand tentatively, quite unsure of what I would feel there, if anything.
Dio mio, it felt like flesh, bone and blood -- warm, slightly calloused, youthful skin. I shook it’s – no, his – hand. “And you,” I said. Despite myself, I could hear my voice shake in perfect tune with what was happening in my body. I felt a mass of nerves and fear...
…which the Doctor must have sensed.
“Teddy,” he said in a calming tone, his hands rubbing my arms. “I’m sorry. I didn’t realize how strange this all would be for you,” he smiled reassuringly. “I met Josh -- well, the real Josh -- about five years ago, through David Foster, an old friend of mine, while Josh was on tour. We got to talking, I showed Josh the TARDIS, and this very room. He was impressed, and agreed to do a holoprojection for me.” He shrugged innocently. “You know how I am with famous people…we get along, well… famously.” There was that grin again. “Name drop, name drop, name drop, that’s me.” He rolled his eyes and cocked his head in self-mockery.
“Yes, but why haven’t you brought it – him -- out before?”
“I wasn’t ready to show you. And, Teddy, quite honestly, I had no songs for him to sing for quite a while… until now.” He sighed. “You see, the TARDIS creates this projection, and as I told you, I’m psychically linked to the TARDIS. Therefore, the projection sings what I feel…it’s as if, this hologram of Josh Groban here is channeling my emotions, does that make sense?”
No, it didn’t, not at that moment. But I wasn’t about to admit it. “But, Mi Mancherai…it’s about…” I stuttered, knowing the pure sadness and ache evoked by that song, wondering – worrying -- if that’s what he was feeling now.
“Loss?” His eyebrows quirked up under the fringe of his disheveled hair. “Loss of love? Hmm? Yes, I know. Don’t worry, Teddy. It’s nothing more than emotional memory for me. That song, I did need it once upon a time. But now…” his voice trailed off.
“It’s simply a warm up. I… we,” he gestured to the musicians, including Josh Groban, who now were locked in a still tableau, as if someone had pressed a “pause” button, “until this morning, we hadn’t played it in a long time. We’ve been working on another of late.”
“But why haven’t I heard it yet?”
“Because, the rehearsal room used to be all the way on the other side of the TARDIS.”
“But… what… why?” My confusion grew exponentially.
“Don’t you see, Teddy? I moved it here. The room. Just this morning. I wanted to bring you here. To have the music wake you from your sleep and lead you here. I knew how much you loved that song, sad as it is, and I knew that if you heard it, you would come. You would come here, to me. To this place.” As he spoke, his words and gestures became quicker, more frantic, as if he grew more and more desperate to get to his point.
“So you could…”
“Yes, Teddy,” he smiled. “So I could show you all this. So you could see, you could hear what I’ve been working on,” his voice cracked ever so slightly and he paused, sighing, “working on for you.”
“For me?” I felt saline tears well up in my eyes. In my entire life, no one had ever specifically planned a piece of music just for me and me alone. As much as my family and friends knew I was drawn to it, to listening and playing, no one ever gave me this gift.
And what a gift it was.
The Doctor brushed at my cheek with his thumb, shooing away an escaped tear. “For you, and only you.”
“But, why?” He pushed another tear aside.
“Because, Teddy. It represents the way you make me feel.”
I was again speechless. For that moment it seemed all I could physically do was blink and stare.
And then, cry.
The Doctor pulled me to him and hugged me – held me with a might and fierceness that I’d never felt before. “Don’t you understand, Teddy,” he whispered into my hair. “Don’t you understand what you to do me?”
With a sudden pounce, the Doctor kissed me on the cheek, turned, and bounded toward his spot among the musicians. He picked up his violin, and the holograms sprung again to life. “Gentlemen,” he said, raising his violin to his chin, “All’Improvviso Amore.”
The song began as before with a single violin, played by the Doctor. It was then joined by another, and another, then a cello and a bass to bring a full, rich melody to life.
Suddenly then, percussion and a guitar bounded in with a forceful, syncopated rhythm, carrying the tune under the Doctor's flying violin strains for a number of measures and then to an abrupt halt. The music quieted again as the Josh Groban hologram began singing, his rich baritone filling every empty gap in the rehearsal hall.
The hologram sang of love’s soft winds blowing into his life and changing his destiny, of his life now making sense since love flowed in like the sea and flooded his heart, saving his soul, and becoming as natural as breathing.
I turned my focus away from the Groban hologram to the Doctor, who was now bowing furiously on his Stradavarius, rocking his upper body in time with his right arm, pushing and pulling his entire body along with each push and pull of the bow.
Although his eyes were closed, and his lips pursed in furtive concentration, the pure, raw emotion expressed in the music welled up and coated his regal features.
He meant every word that was sung and every note played.
As the second verse began, the words told of love lighting him up like the moon, and his lover’s eyes being like two stars in the darkness of the universe. The drums and guitars kept up the quick rhythm, strumming and crashing in the appropriate places. The music from the Doctor's violin danced hand-in-hand with Groban’s voice, like a pair of lovers running in tandem.
Hearing the rise and fall of the music, the passion in the voice, and listening to the amazingly beautiful words in Italian, written just for me, I knew right then and there how the Doctor felt... and it made me cry anew with pure joy.
I knew then and I understood what the Doctor was saying. It wasn’t Josh Groban singing to me. No, it was the TARDIS, and the TARDIS, he said, was inexorably connected to his own mind.
As the music and song carried to the end, I realized. This voice, these words, this passion I was hearing, I was experiencing – this love -- it was entirely his. The Doctor’s.
This was his way, his grandiose and peculiar, but wonderful way of telling me he loved me.
And I loved him in return for it.
All'improvviso amore, come il mare
M'invade il cuore e l'anima e mi salverà
E sarà naturale come respirare
L'aria in me, mi parlerà di te.
E sarà vero amore, che guarisce il cuore
Luce dentro me.....nascerà.
And the true love healing my heart – will raise the light inside of me.
Joined: 25 Mar 2006
Location: in the 8th doctor's 4-poster
|Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 12:09 pm Post subject:
Thanks Jenn! Sappy-nawwwww! I think the story is very
sweet and romantic! Maybe I'm just being sappy!
My Italian is improving, I keep getting the lyrics going through
my mind-in Italian! Especially "All Improvviso Amore".
Joined: 07 Feb 2006
Location: Lake Wisconsin, USA
|Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 1:10 pm Post subject:
|I'm so glad you like it!!!! Maybe I need to come up with a French character so that I can use Hymne L'amour as well!!! No, All'Improvviso is by far my favorite Groban song. By WAY far.
Thanks for encouraging me to repost it, Cath!
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