Roderich let out a soft hum as he listened to Liechtenstein explain that she knew a few melodies but not a real song. That was fine with him. Beginners really didn’t need to know songs and melodies worked well. Songs, however, have them a chance to learn how to read music better. Roderich preferred starting music reading early on so people would be better reading later in. Granted there was t many people he willingly taught how to play an instrument and continued to teach them. He tended to get annoyed with people easily and that ended their lessons early. Liechtenstein, thankfully, was hard to get mad out so Roderich doubted that he would be as mean as normal.
“We can start with some of the smaller pieces in here for today. It will give you a chance to practice reading music. If that goes well I can teach you how to play a simple song. I just have to think of one first. It’s been awhile,” he said as he reached over to the stand and flipped through the book. The music in the book seemed to follow a simple linear progression for beginners. Flipping back to the first few pages he glanced over the music. It was two easy lines and perfect for starting off with. The notes were simple and somewhat emulated the scales that she played but the notes were played double and it skipped a few notes.
Content with his choice Roderich turned to Liechtenstein. “This should be a good starting point. Can you identify the notes verbally to me first? Then we will piece it together to play.” He asked. Small steps first.
Bright eyes watched as Roderich moved over to the filing system and pulled out some sheet music before returning to his previous spot. It was actually a pretty nice system that was built by her brother just for her and was large enough that it could hold copious amounts of music. The shelves on the same wall were installed by Switzerland as well, holding various types of smaller instruments. Most were in their cases though a few were so old they simply lay on the shelves. She wanted to learn how to play those, too, but Vash suggested starting with the piano. That way she would learn how to read both clefs of music.
[+purple "I haven't learned a full song yet,"] Liechtenstein told him softly as she looked over at him. Hopefully he would have a suggestion for an easier piece to start out with. She heard stories of how strict he could be and she hoped he would go at least a little easy on her. So far he was pretty understanding. [+purple "Just a melody or two. Are you going to teach me a new song, Mr. Austria?"]
Roderich felt a twitch at the corner of his lips as Liechtenstein complimented his playing. There was no doubting that he was happy when he played. It was perhaps the only time he felt truly happy but that was just a depressing thought that he was going to push off to the side. “Thank you,” he simply replied as he watched Liechtenstein get ready to play.
She was pretty good for a beginner but Roderich noticed that she was getting caught up playing faster which was ending with a less accurate performance. Roderich, personally, preferred to be accurate in his notes played and not his speed if he had to choose. Normally when he learned a new song he focused on the notes before he focused on the elements of the song.
“You need to slow down a little bit. Focus on the notes and not the speed. Once you have the notes the speed will come to you,” Roderich softly told her. “Do the scale one more time, focusing on the correct notes, then we will move on,” he added. Her second play through was good enough that Roderich slipped off of the bench and went to grab the music he had seen earlier that he was sure Liechtenstein had been using to learn. He picked up a pencil as well Incase Liechtenstein wanted to make notations in the music.
Roderich padded back over to the bench and slid back in. He laid the music down in front of Liechtenstein. “Is there any specific song that you have learned and want to play?” He asked as he slowly flipped through the music
Just as always, Roderich's music was transcending. It was so easy to get lost in the notes when he played, the small girl allowing them to carry her away. When the Austrian gave life to the music it was almost as if the world around them didn't exist anymore and all that was left was the beautiful melodies. No one had as much talent as he did in music and perhaps no one ever will. He was truly one of a kind.
Once he had finished, Liechtenstien smiled up at the raven haired male. It was easy to see how much he loved having a piano again and how hard it was for him to stop when he did. She was fully aware of the fact that if she left him, he could play all night and into the early hours of the next morning. Roderich didn't belong in wars and battles, he belonged right here with his music and instruments. [+purple "It was beautiful, Mr. Austria,"] she told him softly, her eyes reflecting her cheerful smile. [+purple "I love it when you play; it's so beautiful and you seem so happy."]
She then nodded at his request, looking down at the keys and gently placing her fingers over them. It took her a minute to find the correct place to start and, when she did, attempted to play the scale as quickly as she did the time before. A few wrong notes sounded which made the small country do it again in the hopes of getting it right.
Roderich let out a soft hum as he contemplated what he wanted to play. So many options and so little time. His fingers ghosted over the keys for a few more seconds as he contemplated the song or, at minimum, the composer that he wanted to play. Roderich’s fingers stopped moving and his back straightened more as he made his decision. The last song he had learned before the war had popped into his head. Hommage a ravel. It was a part of Honegger’s Trois Pièces and was the last concert Roderich had gone to outside of his lands or Germany. After that concert he had been so busy he couldn’t find time to leave and it was also the last piece that he made the effort to learn.
Shifting his hand into position he took a deep breath and began to play. Since he only chose one song out of three to play it didn’t take long for him to finish. Those three minutes, however, were some of the greatest three minutes in a long time. Roderich felt relaxed as his fingers glided across the keys. Every single one of his worries and concern were gone. All that was left was the music.
When the last note was played Roderich blinked a few times as he forced himself to return to the present. His disassociation with the world when playing music was perhaps one of the biggest problems with him playing. Once he started a piece he wanted to go on and play another and another. Next thing he would know it was three in the morning and he had done nothing but play. Even now Roderich’s fingers twitched to glide over the keys again and play another piece. The only reason why he didn’t give in was because it would be rude and he did have some paperwork he wanted to look at. By wanting he really meant needed to but that was small details.
Removing his hands from the keys and resting them on his lap he turn his attention over to Liechtenstein. “That was by Arthur Honegger, a Swiss composer, but don’t tell your brother that I know any music from Swiss composers. I have to keep up the illusion that Austrian composers are far superior. Which they are,” He lightly, and somewhat jokingly, told her. Austria was pretty sure the other countries thought that he only played Austrian composers. Elizabeta had even made a comment about it once but it was far from the truth. While his people did have a large amount of famous composers there were other composers out there that were brilliant and worthy of his time. A secret that not many really knew either.
“Shall we warm up with your scales first?” He asked her, ready to start teaching her.
Vash glanced over at the two as they made their way inside, the blonde staying to carry the cases into the house. Even though he received some nice compliments on his firearm skills, he could easily see where Roderich would rather be. He wasn't one for these "barbaric practices" as he often called them and was a man of music and art. Even though they didn't appeal to Vash very much, he knew his sister liked that kind of stuff. At least there was someone here to teach her that. Quietly he hefted the cases up, carrying them into the house and into weapon holding.
The small country followed Roderich to the music room, remaining at his side. She was surprised to see how easily he remembered where it was, her big brother made the remark that he couldn't find his way out of a wet paper bag. She smiled as she sat down beside him, watching as he fondly touched the keys in front of him. He seemed to love having a piano again. [+purple "I'd love to hear whatever you decide to play, Mr. Austria,"] she answered him happily, smiling up at him. [+purple "You play the best music out of all the other countries."]
Roderich could see how a gun was easier to use versus a bow. Bows were nice and useful in the past but that was well before guns were even considered. They, also, took a whole lot more skill than a gun and were a whole lot slower if his memory serves to be correct. Roderich was also horrible with both of them though with a bow he was less likely to kill someone with it but those were small details.
He perked up when he heard Vash’s suggestion to go play for Liechtenstein and teach her some more. That sounded like a brilliant idea. “Is there anything you want to hear first?” Roderich asked as his mind went through the vast number of song he could play from memory. He knew how to play anything from songs that he had composed but never published, the obscured, to the well known. Roderich’s favorite were the obscured but he couldn’t deny the fact that he enjoyed playing the popular composer’s pieces. Well he enjoyed playing anything really. Roderich wasn’t too picky.
Once he got to stretch his fingers he was considering on what to teach Liechtenstein. He was considering testing out her ability to read simple pieces of music to ingrain the scales into her mind. There were way too many options.
Roderich didn’t even notice that he had made it up into the music room, without getting lost, until his eyes fell on the piano. Sweet sweet heaven. This would be the first time he actually played since the war ended. When he left Ludwig’s home he returned to his own destroyed home. His poor, and beloved, piano had been beyond repair and Roderich had been busy. He couldn’t wait to play.
Sitting down at the bench his hands hovered over the keys. Long and pale fingers stroke the keys for a moment before turning his attention to Liechtenstein. “Come. Sit with me. After I play a little bit I was thinking of testing your ability to read music,” he informed her.
Liechtenstein smiled as she carefully set the rifle back into its case, closing it carefully and standing back up. She always enjoyed watching Vash when he practiced, he was so graceful. It was strange to say about someone shooting a gun but that's exactly what it was. Every movement the Swiss made was fluid, his body loose enough to move quickly but stiff enough to withstand the kick of the weapon he fired. Vash was stunning any time he practiced though she couldn't wait to watch him with the harder targets.
Emerald eyes of the male flickered over to Roderich as he complimented the male's skills. This was much easier to use than a bow was, not to mention the improvement of range and fire rate. His once-friend was right, Vash was astounding when he used a bow in those days. The blonde was faster and stealthier than most of the countries around them and could easily hold his own. The introduction of the firearm, however, only seemed to improve his skill. Endless practice ensured his skills over the others, able to outshoot any of them. There really was no safer place for Roderich to be than with the two blondes.
[+green "The faster reload time helps,"] he answered quietly, his arm falling to his side. [+green "It's not as cumbersome, either. I'll clean up out here, why don't you take Liechtenstein inside and play her something. She'd like to learn from you."]
Roderich choked the moment that Vash said Ludwig watched way too much porn. While that was a known thing among all the countries Roderich didn’t think anyone would say it out loud. “I stopped doing the laundry because there were way too many crunchy socks,” he said, his voice barely above a whisper. Roderich’s purple eyes were glazed over for the moment going back to that horrible time. He didn’t even connect two and two together until he walked into Ludwig going at it. Now Roderich was no Virgin Mary but there were some things people should not be subject to see. After what he had seen he took Feliciano to the side and explained BDSM to the poor and innocent soul. Roderich had cried after that in the shower because he felt dirty but at least Italy knew what he was getting himself into.
Shaking his head he forced the memory away. He hoped to never think about those horrible days again. Settling off to the back he crossed his arms against his chest and watched as Vash got ready. It was obviously his element. He looked so comfortable with the gun in his hand. If he had to guess then it would be that he had a similar look when he was with and instrument.
As always Vash blew him away once he began to shoot. With more precision and grace than Roderich thought possible Vash shot every target around him rapidly. “Wow,” Roderich quietly said as he looked at every single target. All of them had a perfectly center hole through them. “I think that was better than when you shot with a bow,” he added in amazement. Vash had always been good at shooting but that was better than good. That was amazing. Roderich was glad that he decided to stay outside and watch. While awing the demonstration also helped make Roderich feel safer. He hadn’t thought about his safety at great lengths and hadn’t thought about the fact that he hadn’t felt truly safe. Well until now.
[+green "Well, Ludwig watches too much porn,"] Vash responded, carefully taking the weapon away from Roderich and rolling his shoulders. He knew that the German was a pretty good shot, he was better than a lot of the other countries. His shots hit almost every time. Still, he could get sloppy when he rushed or became overly agitated. [+green "Maybe if he didn't spend so much time jerking off he could learn a thing or two."]
Vash raised his weapon as another loud bang sounded from his sister's direction, the small country having fired another shot. This one was off a little bit but still very close to the center. It was a wonderfully good effort for such a small girl and a gigantic gun. Vash smiled faintly at this before checking the clip again and looking over at Roderich. The brunette had suggested he take a few rounds of practice, wanting to see his skills again. It was such a strange thing since the Austrian had a distaste for such barbaric practices. He couldn't help but wonder if it had grown a bit on him from the war or if he were simply being polite. Either way, Vash wasn't about to pass it up. It had been such a long time since Roderich had seen him use any type of weapon, Vash having traded his impeccable aim of a bow for an even better one with a gun.
He observed his surroundings, deciding in which direction he wished to fire in and pulled the safety back. As quick as lighting his arm shot out, Vash emptying the entire chamber in a matter of seconds while sweeping to his left. It only took him moments to reload the firearm, continuing his sweep until he hit all the targets that were within range. Each shot went cleanly through the center, a difficult task with the speed he shot at, and even earned a soft giggle from his sister. It appeared she was spectating as well.
[+purple "I like watching you shoot like that, big brother,"] she said with a happy smile, shouldering the large weapon again. [+purple "It's graceful."]
Roderich was honestly surprised by the fact that Vash said it was good . In fact he had to actually take a double take when he looked at Vash. Never, in the history of Vash teaching him about weapons, did he remember Vash saying something was good when it came to him. Roderich could only remember exasperation and annoyance from Vash. Maybe Liechtenstein had mellowed him out a bit... Either way he wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth. Roderich was going to accept this small victory even if it was tiny. After all Vash probably had some things he would like to fix.
Roderich arched an eyebrow as Vash said he had been watching other countries shoot for too long. “Ludwig would take great offense to that comment,” he replied. Ludwig always seemed pleased with himself when ever he would go out shooting and drag Roderich along. Even though Ludwig was a good shot Roderich secretly knew that Vash was better. Vash would probably always be better but Roderich wasn’t going to tell him that. He didn’t need to tell Vash something he already knew.
Not saying much else he followed Vash’s instructions. While this was not his forte at all Roderich was out there so he might as well learn. He didn’t anticipate his country ever going into war again as it was forced into a neutral state but with how the Soviet Union was acting the world would never know. Besides Ivan being a threat he also didn’t want to waste Vash’s time. For the first time in forever Roderich knew that everything wasn’t about him. Vash was helping him get back on his feet while protecting him from Ivan. So the least he could do was not waste Vash’s time and effort.
By the time Vash said his posture was better Roderich was getting tired. The gun wasn’t heavy at all but the fact that he was just holding it away from him made his arms hurt. Thankfully Vash had stopped the lessons before his arms could quiver from exertion. Handing over the weapon Vash contemplated making a run for it. He could go to the music room and play a little or he could remain outside with his host. Music was tempting for sure. His fingers itched to cross the smooth keys of the piano again but he felt like he should be outside at least watching. With no mind made up he took a step back and gestured for Vash to start shooting. “It’s been awhile since I really got to see you shoot. I think the last time I did was when guns started to become a thing. Before... you know,” he finished off awkwardly. By the time guns had taken the place of bows Vash and him had already splintered off and went their separate ways. Roderich tried to maintain some resemblance of civility but after the whole nearly shooting Vash incident they officially parted ways. There was the occasional bump into each other but that had been it until now.
Vash carefully observed as he handed Roderich the weapon, noticing the way he shook in nervousness. This was clearly something he hadn't practiced recently or even in his long lifetime as he seemed unsure of what to do with it. What exactly did the brunette do with the others during the war? Handling firearms clearly wasn't one of those things. He kept focused as he watched his once friend prepare his stance, folding his own arms loosely over his chest as he did so, before the gun was lowered again and Vash was asked to judge.
[+green "Good for a beginner,"] he answered after a moment. It was at this point that he wondered if the other male had really observed anyone shoot or chose to tune it out. If that was what occurred, he knew why: Roderich was more of an artsy person. This wasn't something he was the least bit interested in but more than likely pretended to care a bit in order to keep a roof over his head. Vash was well aware that attempting to teach the Austrian any of this was like teaching a goldfish how to climb a tree but he wanted to try one more time.
His arms unfolded themselves and he took a step closer to his old friend. [+green "You must've been watching those idiot countries use firearms for too long; they're incredibly sloppy,"] he mused quietly. [+green "Just relearn how to hold the gun correctly and I'll leave you alone for today."] One hand moved down and carefully wrapped around his wrist that was holding the weapon and pulled it up. Once Roderich held it out straight and his hand was positioned correctly, Vash moved his other hand with his own and positioned the Austrian's palm against the bottom of the magazine in a cradle-like motion. Once his hands were correct, he positioned his form and stance until it was one that Roderich could handle and would stable him for this particular weapon.
[+green "The shoulders were good, you just needed a bit more grounding,"] Vash explained as he allowed Roderich to hold the position for a few minutes then let him relax again. [+green "With your inexperience, a shot would cause you to lose balance. That position keeps you from falling over; your hand on the bottom keeps the gun steady and stabilizes the kickback a bit. You're lesson's over, I guess. Relax if you want."]
Roderich eyes shifted over to Liechtenstein who took up her stance and got ready to shoot. Within seconds she pulled the trigger and instead of being blasted away she remained steady as if it was nothing. Roderich had expected her to fly away with the shear size of the weapon but obviously he was wrong.
His attention shifted back over to Vash who agreed to the safety lesson. Silently he listened to Vash explain everything, twice if needed. His frown deepened as he continued to listen to each detail that Vash decided was needed. What little confidence that Roderich had was slowly starting to vanish as shooting a gun started to become more complicated then playing an instrument. There were so many things that could go wrong and all of it ending in injury and, not as likely, death.
He was not ready for this at all. Taking in Vash’s stance and movement he did his best to memorize every little thing. It wasn’t enough time though because soon Vash was emptying out the gun and handing it over to him. Roderich took a deep breath as he shakily took the weapon from Vash. The weight was unusual to Roderich. He was use to lifting up, at best, a violin but this was heavier. It wasn’t so heavy that he couldn’t hold it up or hold it up for long periods of time. It was just unusual for him. Testing the heft of the weapon he carefully and slowly moved it between his hands, keeping it pointed away from the other two people in the area.
Glancing back at Vash once he was told to show him how to hold the gun. Roderich thought back to all the times he had seen someone hold a pistol. From Vash to the SS all the stances were different but similar. Slowly he squared his shoulders and lifted the weapon up, his other hand wrapping around the pistol grip, and finger out of the trigger well. For a few second he held the position before lowering the gun and looking at Vash again. “Good or bad?” He asked.
Vash glanced over to his sister as she brought the rifle up, aiming carefully and firing. The shot was loud, echoing throughout the property and into the alps, but it didn't phase either blonde in the least. The small country's stance was solid, the kick from the weapon not rocking her form at all, and she slowly lowered it to see if she had hit her target. It was a bit off center but a few more practice sessions with her brother should fix that.
He turned his attention towards Roderich and sighed quietly, studying the brunette for a moment. Getting him to participate willingly in this activity would be more difficult than he anticipated but he did receive a faint, somewhat approval. Firearm safety was probably a good place to start, Roderich could get careless and accidentally put a bullet in someone's leg. Vash removed the bullets from the chamber, putting them in his pocket, and carefully went over each step and precaution with his once-friend. If it looked like Roderich was a little confused, he went over it again until it seemed like it sunk in. Once their safety lesson was over, Vash showed him how to load the chamber and prepare the gun for firing. He then shot a few rounds at some nearby targets, not missing a single bullseye, and handed the unloaded weapon over to Roderich.
[+green "First things first, show me how you would hold it to fire,"] Vash told him quietly. This wasn't a safety issue necessarily but more of a "I'd like to see what you do so you don't do something stupid" issue.
Roderich knew Vash was cheap but not that cheap where he was waiting on replacing the splinters he called targets. Then again Roderich shouldn’t really judge. While he was willing to indulge on some things, food and musical instruments, he could be somewhat thrifty on other things for example underwear. A tiny hole was no issue and Roderich was willing to patch it in a heart beat. In fact he found it appalling when people were willing to throw away good clothing all because there was a slight hole! Though too be fair these targets had more than a tiny hole that could be easily patched. A whole new target would be better in Roderich’s opinion but it was Vash’s choice, not Roderich’s.
There were more pressing matters, however, like the huge ass gun that Vash just handed over to Liechtenstein. His eyes bugged out a little bit as he took in the size of the weapon. It was the size of her! How the hell did she manage to shoot that? From the way she was handling it would suggest that she had shot this particular gun quite a few times. How? Roderich wasn’t too sure and he wasn’t going to ask either.
Turning away from Liechtenstein and her over sized weapon he looked back to Vash who decided to give him the worse news possible. He wanted Roderich to shoot. A look of distaste crossed Roderich’s face for a few seconds after that comment before returning to its normally composed state. He should have ran when he had the chance. There was no chance in him getting out of this. “You have a lot of confidence in me. One successful shot would be asking a lot from me,” Roderich replied. Roderich truly did lack confidence in his ability to shoot and doubted that he would feel confident just by successfully shooting. Maybe baby steps were needed if he was going to shoot.
“Maybe we should start from the beginning; like firearm safety or something,” he suggested to Vash.
All posts are either in parody or to be taken as literature. This is a roleplay site. Sexual content is forbidden.