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25 June 2011 @ 05:40 pm
In Need Of Fine Tuning ~ Track Two  
In Need Of Fine Tuning [FF.NET]

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters in Axis Powers Hetalia, nor do I own Nodame Cantabile, from which this was inspired.

Summary: When Arthur woke in a room that was definitely not his own he was struck by two thoughts - one, that he’d never heard the flute solo from Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloe played quite like that before; and two, how on Earth could anyone live in such a pigsty?

| Prologue | Track One | Track Two | Track Three |

Track Two
In Which Arthur Isn't An Arsonist, But Not For A Lack Of Trying

When Gilbert heard the doorbell go off later that evening, he certainly hadn’t expected his visitor to be the Kirkland kid. Eyes flicking to the clock on his laptop where it was perched on the sofa’s arm rest – just gone five – he heaved himself up, nose still burrowed in the bound sheets he’d been reading as he meandered to the door. His free hand found the handle without much trouble, and as the door creaked open he glanced up.

“Wasn’t expecting to see you again quite so soon; what can I do for you Kaninchen?”

He didn’t realise that the way he lounged against the doorframe, one eye still on the music, brow raised and free elbow resting against brass hinges made the other wonder why he’d bothered to turn up at all – a question the blond had asked himself repeatedly before finally knocking on the door that he had been staring at for the past five minutes.

They just stared at each other for a moment – this was becoming a habit with them, wasn’t it? – before Kirkland finally broke the silence to exclaim, “What the hell does that mean?! And I have a name, you know; it’s Arthur.”

Gilbert just grinned sardonically at him, red eyes glinting through reading glasses. “Of course it is, Kaninchen.” Seeing Arthur open his mouth again, he added, “You have an internet connection right? Google translate isn’t the greatest but I don’t think even they can get this one wrong.”

Arthur glared at him, but Gilbert was only amused by it. “Look, I just- What on Earth is that smell?”

Gilbert shrugged. It could be anything, really; he’d been so busy trying to figure out what he was doing wrong that things like basic sanitation and hygiene hadn’t really been a top priority. He’d only added to the mess that had been strewn across the flat since the morning before when Arthur had awoken there.

He soon found himself being shoved out of the way by the slightly shorter blond, left to stare in the doorway as Arthur waded through the mess in disgusted fascination. He stopped next to the coffee table in front of the sofa in the front room, eyeing the bottle tower that he’d knocked over the previous morning in his haste; it had been painstakingly reassembled, and now that he was looking properly Arthur noted that there were actually cans there as well as bottles. “How long has it been since the last time you took recycling out?”

“A few weeks?”

Arthur sighed in despair. “At this rate you’re going to have insects all over the walls; and then if we happen to have our windows open at the same time they’ll be all over my walls too…” Crouching to the floor, he grabbed one of the tied carrier bags near his feet. “What’s in this?”


“Well, throw it away then!”

Gilbert caught the bag as it was tossed to him, looking slightly bemused. Arthur showed little sympathy, however, as he threw several other similar bags in the same direction, catching Gilbert in the stomach with one of the bigger ones. It took a few moments, but Gilbert collected them, and some others he knew needed to be thrown away and marched from the room down to the large communal bin.

By the time he’d made five or so trips of hauling full bin liners and crates of recycling down the stairs, the floor of the room could actually be seen and Arthur was looking through the last of the boxes that had been piled up in odd places. He began to open one, glancing up to address Gilbert. “It’s been weeks since everyone got back after Christmas, why is this still pa-”

“Don’t look dammit!”

Gilbert skidded into the room from where he had been in the hallway but it was too little too late; the damage was done. Arthur had already looked back down, his mouth slightly ajar as it hung open in surprise.

From the reaction, he’d expected to be staring down at a box full of porn or something. Instead, the sight that greeted him was decidedly more… innocent in nature. Indeed, the box was full of stuffed toys of varying animals, though there was more than one panda and Arthur got the distinct picture that Gilbert hoarded cuddly chicks every Easter.

Gilbert marched over, face stuck somewhere between pouting and scowling as he pushed the flaps of the box closed again and picked it up, not looking Arthur in the face. If he squinted, Arthur could make out a slight dusting of pink on those pale cheeks before the other spun on his heel and marched out of the room again. “I can handle the rest of this, you know. Why don’t you fix something to eat instead?”

Arthur rolled his eyes – he was hardly a maid servant. But still, he would admit to being a little peckish himself. Dusting his trousers off as he rose to his feet, he walked over to the kitchen and flicked the light switch. The layout seemed to be pretty much a mirror image of his own, and after a little rummaging in the fridge and a couple of cupboards he settled on a plan to make omelettes and baked beans.

Easier said than done.

He had started out okay; had managed to crack the eggs into a bowl with only the tiniest pieces of shell managing to make it into the mixture that he then added milk to. He may have whisked it a tad too much, but that would only make it fluffier, right? He’d poured half into a lightly greased frying pan which he’d set to heat over the stove, and set about finding a saucepan for the beans.

Soon the beans were bubbling away as the omelette cooked, and Arthur turned to the fridge to retrieve the cheese; you couldn’t have an omelette without cheese, after all.

It was from there that things went horribly awry.

The omelette sizzled, and he could see that a couple of the egg shell pieces weren’t quite as miniscule as he’d thought. No matter, he could pick them out with a fork! That hadn’t gone quite to plan, but it had only left a small tear. Time to flip the omelette.

That… hadn’t gone so well either. Instead of landing flat on the pan it bunched up, pockets of the egg left uncooked and sealed shut as the other parts around it were exposed to heat.

And that was when he remembered the beans.

Swearing colourfully, the blond turned his attention back to the saucepan he had left on full heat at the back of the stove; sauce had crusted onto the metal sides, beans stubbornly stuck to the bottom of the pan, browned in neglect. Trying to scrape it out with a wooden spoon didn’t seem to be doing much to help matters.

Just when he’d thought it couldn’t possibly get any worse, the smoke alarm had gone off. It was at this point that Gilbert raced out of his bed room, abandoning the last box from the living room in order to reach the commotion.

He took one look at the kitchen, horror far more evident than Arthur’s had been upon initially stepping into the flat a few hours prior, before ordering the blond out of the kitchen with the instructions to shut the lounge door and stop the smoke alarm before it set the whole building’s fire alarms off.

x X x

“So I’m guessing you don’t work part time as a cleaning fairy, and I hope you didn’t come here just to destroy my kitchen… By the way, what were you trying to make?”

They were now lounging on the sofa with a plate each of bangers and mash, with boiled peas and sweet corn on the side drizzled in onion gravy. Arthur was now the one sulking as he shoved forkfuls of it into his mouth, the plush toys he’d found earlier forgotten in his own shame. It certainly didn’t help his pride that the meal that Gilbert had whipped up in the half hour or so after tasted like it could have been served in an up market pub. “I was making omelettes.” Not that he could really blame the albino for not knowing – the blackened mess left in the frying pan could well have been anything, but that didn’t stop him from feeling bitter about it. “And I thought I’d return the clothing that you’d left out for me yesterday; it’s in a bag by the door. I don’t think I got to thank you for, uh, looking after me.”

They both knew that it was more like Arthur had ran away as fast as he possibly could, but Gilbert just waved off the thanks. Better late than never, after all. “Eh, it’s okay. You get to wash up, by the way.”

Arthur bit back his retorts of ‘I just singlehandedly cleaned your whole flat’ and ‘I didn’t ask you to take care of me or feed me’. Because Gilbert hadn’t asked for Arthur to barge in and take over either, even if he had been living in squalor. And also, Gilbert must have realised by now that he had been the source of all of the fire alarms going off in semester A, but he hadn’t commented on it. Yet.

He was pleasantly surprised to find that the things that Gilbert had used to make their dinner had actually already been cleaned and left on the side to dry; he’d only been left with the utensils they’d used to eat, the plates they’d eaten off of and the frying pan and sauce pan Arthur had been using earlier. Gilbert had stepped out of the front room to take a call, and Arthur could hear his voice rise and fall through the walls.

He hadn’t noticed when the conversation had ended as he focused on scrubbing the pans, but his concentration broke as the sweet tone of a flute pierced the air. It was the same piece Arthur had heard the first time he’d heard Gilbert play, and he felt as though the music permeated his skin, soaked into his very bones and thrummed in his veins.

There was just something very different about the way that Gilbert played… Now that he heard it with a clear mind, he could tell that it was haphazard too. Notes where they shouldn’t be, with others missed out all together; fortissimos and pianos ignored or even switched around, but rather than making it sound like a train wreck, the music just sounded different. As though it was just a completely different rendition of the same track.

“Stop!” Wiping his hands on a dish cloth, Arthur stepped back into the living room. “Play the last three bars again, exactly how you did just then.”

Gilbert blinked at him. “How did I play it just then?”

Throwing the cloth back into the kitchen behind him, Arthur peered around Gilbert to study the music on the stand, before tapping one section with his finger. “You’re adding notes in here where they aren’t written, see?”

Gilbert looked at him blankly.

“You don’t have a piano or keyboard here, do you? Come on, I’ll show you what I mean.”

“Huh? The practice rooms’ll all be booked up for tonight by now and I need to feed Gilbird.”

“You need to what?” But Gilbert was already charging past and into his bedroom, leaving the door open behind him for Arthur to peer around. There sat a small canary in a cage that looked akin to the bird’s equivalent of a playground; Gilbert was crouched next to it, pouring seeds into a dish and checking how much water was left in the one next to it.

Arthur rolled his eyes. Weren’t pets banned in the building? “Look, it’s not as though we’re going to be far away; we’ll just be next door.”

Gilbert looked at him incredulously. “You’re going to ninja into the piano student next door’s room?”

Arthur didn’t know whether to laugh, or beat his head into the wall at that. Instead, he settled for a cool reply of, “Why should I ‘ninja into’ my own flat when I have keys?”

“Say what?”


A/N: Brain! Stop making me write while I have revision to do! ;A; I’m literally just here at the LRC to post this, then I’m going back to the house and turning the laptop off because apparently it’s not just the internet that is damn distracting anymore ^^’ I hope the ending place here didn’t seem too abrupt; it’s where I’d meant to end but it seems like it’s in the middle of the scene when it’s actually the end of one XD

Anyway, this chapter had a couple of things from my personal experience in there which made it amusing to write; while my room has never got even near as bad as Gilbert’s, I’m messy in my bedroom. I tend to clean up after myself everywhere else but I have a floordrobe and such. Also, when I got back after the Easter holidays, I didn’t unpack until after my exams in May when everyone else was packing up to go home for summer XD

The other thing was, when we moved into the house in September, the first time I was making omelette I managed to set the smoke alarm off; I have no idea why it went off though as it hadn’t even cooked through and the filling that I’d made had already been prepared and taken off the hob! Oh wells.

I really can’t wait to get onto chapter four =3= I have loads of ideas for it already.

Anyway, hope you’ve enjoyed this part! Let me know what you liked about it, or what you think needs improving ^^b
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