The Travellers (or: A Sad Sort of Melancholy Melody) A short story.
By V.K. Violette
WARNING: I dont own historical characters, and although I want to be, I am not George Sand. Everything in this story never happened. Also, this fic will contain love between individuals of the same gender. Just deal with it and move on.
A Sad Sort of Melancholy Melody
By: George Sand
Where should I start but here? I sit here alone, at Frederyks old piano which faces the window. I will not touch the keys and butcher their musicality with my non-ability to harmonize, or play music in general. Right now, there are tears running down my face, and words dying on my lips. However, these words shall live on paper. This short story is meant only for one pair of eyes: mine. But I should start with the background.
Chopin was my friend, and I did love him, more than I have ever loved a man- yet I had basically thrust him into the arms of another with my big mouth and my inability to take no for an answer, especially when it comes to the physical. I seduced him when he was weak, and he wouldnt forgive me- no need to permanently engrave the details in writing. I dont want to relive them anyway. But it was my fault why he had left me here at Nohant, why he had gone off with a certain Franz Liszt to Hungary for a small tour. I acted when I should have remained in the shadows. Besides, I could never compare to his long-term best friend.
They had a relationship. Im sure of it. Well, at least on Chopins side. Frederyk got a glassy look in his eyes when he thought of or saw Liszt. He was in love with the man, though he never realized it. He was so taken by him, that when Liszt offhandedly mentioned that he was going to Hungary, Chopin asked if he could go, and Liszt accepted without thought.
I knew Franz. I knew him much longer than I knew Frederyk. I could see the stormy self-hate in his eyes when he thought about Chopin like that. He was smitten as well. He had abandoned Marie dAgoult and his three children, he had abandoned Paris, and all of his friends. Just like that. There was most certainly romance, whether or not it was physical, I did not know. However, if anyone knows anything about Franz Liszt, there is no such thing as a non-physical relationship when it came to the Hungarian Heartthrob.
So this is my fictional theory brought out of waiting for Chopin to return. This is what I think happened. Something like this probably did. So I shall begin.
Frederyk! The coach is outside! Franz Liszt yelled impatiently from the front doorway of his downtown Paris flat. The mentioned was running about, frantically out of breath as he reached to grab everything in sight- gloves, hat, overcoat, piano wire, etc. Liszt rolled his eyes, and grabbed the smaller man by his wrist, dragging him gently into the luxurious black carriage.
For about seven hours, the two pianists were lost in their own world. Liszt was busy writing letters to his son, Daniel, and his daughter Blandine, making written small-talk about his travels. When he was done with these cordial notes, be began to write a letter to Niccolo Paganini, a friend of his, about some music he had deemed playable only by the demon violinist. When his letter writing ceased, Liszt entertained himself with a book, just a general history on Hungary, not really taking in the information- he was moreso lost in his thoughts.
Chopin spent most of his time just watching the scenery go by, and when he got bored of doing that, he began to read a book given to him by his friend Julian Fontana about music theory. When the light outside had dimmed to the point where reading began to strain his eyes, the Polish pianist decided that it was finally time to make small talk.
Chopin smiled at Liszt warmly. Ah, Franz! Im so excited about visiting Hungary! Are you going to show me where you grew up?
Liszt grinned, eager due to Chopins eagerness. Haha, yes of course! I will show you everything in Hungary, down to my parents graves and my barber if you so wish it!
Chopin let out a small laugh, covering his mouth, once more demonstrating his modesty. If we get there, dear friend. Its a week-long drive, isnt it?
I dont know. Its part of the adventure! Liszt said, winking at Chopin who began to blush. Besides, he continued, taking Chopins hand in his own, we have plenty of things to do and see. We dont want to miss the sights of Europe! We only have so long to live!
Chopin blushed at Liszts contact, even more so when the Hungarian slid Chopins gloves off his hands.
Chopinetto, you dont need to just see the world- you need to touch the world too! So many textures, from piano keys to the wild grass to Liszts voice sunk low the skin of another.
The Polish mans face felt like it was on fire, having realized already his feelings for the other man. For some reason, perhaps his passive nature, he had accepted it with no issue. It was not men it was only Franz. Only Franz made him feel like this, made him long so uncharacteristically for the warmth of another, for the feelings given only by ones lover
it was only this one person. Though what pained him, was the thought, the belief- that his love was unrequited.
Liszt entangled his long fingers between the other mans smaller ones, peering at him with his soulful, azure eyes.
We are free, Chopinetto, he said, clutching Chopins naked hands fervently, a look of rapture and revelation and something anonymous (at least to Chopin) in his eyes. Free of old lovers- Marie, George, even your pretty fiancee- free of all Parisian speculation, free of rumors- in Hungary, the people are quite conservative- its just us! You and I and music, oh the music we shall make Chopinetto! Liszts eyes sparkled as these thoughts bombarded his estatic mind, relayed to his companion through a trademark dramatic Lisztian monologue.
Chopin looked at Liszt sadly. Not all love, I cannot be free from that.
The younger man caught on to the melancholy in the others eyes, and pulled the slight man into a soft embrace- Liszt always was the touchy-feely type. He was a hugger, and when he was mad, he was a hitter- it was as if he thrived on physical contact. Chopin felt himself involuntarily swoon as he smelled Liszts musky scent- the scent of cigars and the smell of home.
What is bothering you, Chopinetto? Liszt asked gently, practically purring into Chopins ear. The Hungarian couldnt resist his temptations any longer- he was alone for a good long while with the smaller man- the newest, yet strangely always present, object of his amorous advances. He had spent months agonizing about the wrong-ness of loving another man in the way he loved his Chopinetto. Was it the femininity of the man? Even now, Liszt wasnt quite sure. But he loved the smaller man being in his arms, he loved holding him possesively, watching the blush across his face. And now there were no more George Sand or Marie dAgoult to start rumors about it, he noted wryly.
Chopin shivered, feeling Liszts cool breath against the inside of his ear. He involuntarily leaned into the others touch. Outside of the carriage, the sun had gone down completely, leaving the two pianists in the dark. Chopin whispered Liszts name under his breath, feeling faint.
Liszt had waited so long- almost two years- to get up his normally overstocked courage in order to confess to the man in his arms, the man who upon his face was a look that was involuntarily sensual- sensual because it was involuntary.
Frederyk, he breathed. Do you know the meaning of the word alone?
Of course I do, the soft-spoken man replied distantly, his mind elsewhere.
Right now, we are alone- a state in which we havent been in for a while. And I have wanted to wait until we were alone in order to tell you this. I was going to wait until we arrived, but seeing you, being close to you, my friend I cannot hold back anymore.
Franz, I must confess something to you-
I must say something Ive kept within me-
-love you. They said at the same time.
Surprise was etched upon the two mens faces, and this sweet confession uttered by the Polish man had set the little trigger in Liszt off, and he crashed his lips roughly to those belonging to the small man in his arms. Chopin groaned when Liszt shamelessly ravished his mouth, tangling his long, talented fingers in his Chopinettos hair. Said man whimpered, intimidated by the Hungarians animalistic hunger for him, and it took him great strength to push the other man away, noticing the hurt, yet hazy look on the youngers face.
Im sorry, Chopinsky, Liszt said with regret.
No, Franz its not whatever youre thinking! We have plenty of time together on this trip of ours- lets not spoil it so quickly.
Liszt grinned. My, Frederyk, he smirked, was that flirtation, or was that my mind making tricks?
Chopins face turned scarlet, and he looked down at his feet. Liszt tipped his chin upward, peering into the other mans eyes, raw emotion reflected in both.
Chopins eyes fluttered shut as he leaned into Liszt for a soft, chaste kiss. The Hungarian caressed his now-lovers face, his lips dancing about the elders face, his neck, and his collarbone, eliciting soft sounds from the untouched man in his arms.
Franz, he whispered in a paradoxically innocent yet sensual voice I dont want to go home.
Overcome by the emotions the Hungarian had locked within him for so long, Liszt crashed his lips to Chopins again, and this time- Chopin did not stop him.
I cannot go on. I have tried, and although these sort of scenes always come to me, I just cant write a love scene depicting my Frederyk in someone elses arms. So I shall end it here- it seems a just ending. Someone is knocking on my door, and something within me suspects it is Eugene, whose comfort I need at this moment. He seems to take care of me during my emotional times. The paper is stained with tears, and it isnt worth it to rewrite it- as the falling of tears occuring while rereading it will be bitter, and for many times after that. It is just a waste of ink and paper. Romance between men was never my specialty, and for good reason. I am no better than a man myself, and men most certainly do not write such things about each other. So I end. What a waste of an eloquent prologue.
-George Sand, 1838