Piano Man {B1A4 GongchanFanfic}

A young man plays his piano every night at an illegal bar during the roaring twenties. But something in his music is lacking and and enchanting songstress might just be the thing his performance needs.

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1. Hey Piano Man

His heels made light tapping sounds as he slowly walked down the sidewalk. Their sound was drowned out by the rush of cars driving past him and the laughter and chatter of people walking by. This time 20 years ago, everyone would have been tucked away in their beds and the streets would be bare. But the end of the Great War saw many changes. So many of the old unsaid word rules had been thrown away in favor of having a grand ol’ time. And good lord, didn’t they deserve it after all the tragedies?

And that was something Gongchan was more than happy to provide.

In this new age of change and pleasure seeking, there was many things for restless souls to occupy themselves with. Drinking, drugs, partying, all of those were readily available at every corner. Gongchan, however, prided himself on the simple service of playing a tune that could send your toes tapping.

He stopped at book store that had hours well past when people would think to buy printed words and entered the small shop. It was cramped and filled with the most old, dusty books this side of Harlem. Their binding were every color of the rainbow and they sported pictures with everything from a small flower to Dionysus turning disrespectful sailors to dolphins. Gongchan paid no heed to them, didn’t even glance at them, and walked straight to the front counter.

“It’s a fine night to dance holes in your shoes.” He smiled and winked charmingly at the lady behind the counter. She knew him and she knew what he did but they still ran through the formalities, just to be on the safe side. The last thing they wanted was a copper to catch them.

“If only we had music.” 

“If you could show me to the piano, I’d show you I’m the real McCoy.” 

“There’s one in the back room. It’s old but it’s a lively one.” She nodded, satisfied that he’d completed the code and walked over to a mirror hanging on the wall that went all the way to the floor. With a light shove, she pushed it to the side and revealed a staircase. Music and merriment could be heard from the room it lead to.

Tucked away in the old basement of the rundown shop was the real money maker of the establishment. The Solo, a small juice joint where everyone knew each other. When Gongchan ducked into the room, everyone cheered his name. A few girls abandoned their dates at the bar and ran over to him.

“Gongchan! Play that tune from the other night. You know the one. It sounds like a candy shop.”

“No, play a Christmas carol! It’s getting to be that time of year again.”

“Won’t you sing for us tonight? Your voice is the bee’s knees!”

He chuckled lightly and grinned. “I’ll see what I can do, ladies.” They giggled and turned to make their way back to their men. Gongchan nodded at the men and they nodded back.

“Hey Channie!” One of them called out to him. “Let me know if you want an edge tonight. I’m buying, just for you.”

“Sorry, Don, I can’t leave my dame alone. What would she do without me?”

“When’s the wedding? I wanna make sure the Saxophones are invited.” 

“We’re thinking two weeks from the day I preform at Carnegie Hall. I know it’s short notice but think you could make it?”

They laughed and Gongchan waved before heading over to his “dame”, the old piano that performed all the music at this joint. He sighed contently as he sat down at the bench. How he managed to get paid to play music all night, the job of his dreams, he’d never know. He counted his lucky stars everyday he got to sit down in front of the keys. It only took a few lively notes for Gongchan to get lost in his music. 

Around him, people left the bar and began to dance along, their shoes clacking along to the beat. But Gongchan didn’t notice. He didn’t notice the flapper hanging around his piano trying to catch his eye. He didn’t notice when two guys nearly got into a scuffle. He didn’t notice people’s laughter got louder and how their speech got slurred as the night went on. And he especially didn’t notice the beautiful woman in a long gold dress carrying a microphone toward him. He didn’t notice her lightly tapping the receiver to see if it was working. He didn’t see her take a deep breath before leaning close to the microphone.

He did, however, notice when she started sing.

Her voice was low and husky, perfectly complementing the self composed song Gongchan was playing. 

“We’re still not ripe enough to call each other Honey.” He hadn’t written any words for this song. Heck, he never wrote lyrics at all. Words weren't his forte. And yet what she sung seemed to be written for this song, like it was an old song that everyone could sing to. “My coffee chocolate, we’re just not about the sweetness.”

She sung the words to the story he’d tried to write in the melody.

The song came to an end and the woman glanced at Gongchan. He looked at her in wonder and confusion, not sure who she was or why she was singing along to his silly songs in this dank speakeasy when her voice belonged on broadway. After a minute, she gestured for him to play the next song and turned away from him with her hands on her hips.

Gongchan turned his attention back to the piano and started the next number. It was a slower, more sensual number, one that he thought would compliment her voice. The woman picked it up with ease and sang along. The patrons of the speakeasy looked over at Gongchan and the woman, eyeing them with interest. This unexpected performance was a pleasant change for the usual. Soon, the bar had been abandoned by all in favor of the dance floor.

The woman preformed the whole night, never stopping to rest or drink. She never responded to any of the men who tried to pick her up or spoke to Gongchan. She simply stood there and sang. When the night was over and Gongchan stood up to bow to his audience, she left. No one saw her go. She just vanished when no one was looking.

***

The next night when Gongchan entered the speakeasy, he was swarmed by the regulars.

“Who was that woman?”

“I thought you were joking about your piano being your dame. I didn’t know your girl was singing that night!”

“She’s a beau, Channie.”

“Is she coming again tonight?”

They all clamored at him, talking over each other until Gongchan couldn’t hear himself think. He tried to speak up, to tell them no, she wasn’t his girl, in fact he didn’t even know who she was, but they never gave him the chance. 

Suddenly, an arm linked its self with Gongchan’s and everyone got very, very quiet.

The woman had arrived.

She lead to him over to the piano and sat him down. Her microphone was already set up and she gently wrapped her hands around it’s stand before glancing at him and nodding that she was ready. Gongchan didn’t even pause to think before throwing himself into the music.

Weeks went by like this.

Gongchan would play every song he knew for her and she’d sing along with ease. An oldie, the latest hits, a self composition, it didn’t matter what it was, she knew the words to it even if there never had been words before. She sang about love, about heartbreak, death, immortality, and rebirth. She sung about the world and Gongchan couldn’t help but realize she was slowly becoming his. He felt the most alive when he was at the piano with her by his side. Everyday was a blur of going through the motions of what he had to do and daydreaming about her. He began to compose new things, better things, and they were all love songs for her. But he never played them at the speakeasy. The timing wasn’t right and, well, he was much to bashful. He was so sure that the mysterious woman was much too good for him, that she laugh at his new songs and never come back to sing with him again.

He was much too unsure to do anything but write his love for her and tuck them away in a folder to never be played for who they were written for.

But slowly he grew curious. Where was the woman from? Who was she? Why did she sing with him? Gongchan began to try to follow her when the night ended, to try to talk to her, but she always gave him the slip and vanish somewhere between the fog and city alleys. He had tried to talk to her in between songs but she never opened her mouth unless it was to sing. It was beginning to feel like he had fallen in love with a mirage.

***

It was Friday and the speakeasy was more crowded than normal. Gongchan took a deep breath as he stood in the doorway, slightly hidden by the shadows. The last few days had caused his slow descent into sure madness. The woman had changed up her performance a bit. Her microphone was set up close to his bench and she would gently touch his shoulder as she sang. Once, her fingers brushed his neck just barely and the electric shock he seemed to feel made him shiver and his hairs stand on end. He glanced at her before ducking his head away from her, sure that his face was bright red. This couldn’t be healthy and Gongchan knew that one way or another their strange almost relationship would have to end.

“What’s eatin’ you, Channie?” A man put his arm around the pianist and pulled him away from the safety of the shadows and into the danger of the limelight. The bar grew lively at his appearance and people moved to the dance floor to have the first dance. “You’ve been standin’ there a while, you sap. The gang’s been waiting.” The man looked over his shoulder quickly before leaning close and murmuring under his breath. “Think you could really put on the Ritz tonight? I brought a dame I’ve had my eye on for a while and I wanna show her a good time.”

“Of course,” Gongchan smiled uneasily. “Tonight will be a night you won’t forget.”

She was waiting for him. The woman sat on the piano bench and watched him as he came closer to her. Every night she wore a different and magnificent dress. She obvious came from money (old or new though, he couldn't tell). Tonight, however, Gongchan recognized the dress she was wearing. The fabric looked like pressed gold that had shimmering tear drops sewn on it that dripped all the way down to were it caressed the ground.

It was the dress she wore when they first met.

She stood up when he drew close to her and touched his shoulder with a coy smile that made his heart flutter pathetically. He sat down as she went to her mic and their torturous night routine began again.

 A few songs went by and that was all well and good, but Gongchan was getting bored. He had played all these songs before. Normally he composed new things so he’d never have to play the songs and a rotation but all his new compositions had been written for the woman. After a few more songs, he began to look at his bag from the corner of his eye with longing.

She’d never know they were written for her, Right? There was no way she could tell. They didn’t even have words to them. It wouldn’t hurt to play just one… Right?

Gongchan reached into his briefcase and hesitantly pulled out one of his new compositions. He propped it up on the stand and hand his hand across it as if to smooth out wrinkles that weren’t there. The woman eyed him curiously and he took a breath to brace himself as he slowly lowered his hands to the keys and began to play. A spark of recognition played in her eyes and she seemed to relax to the soft melody. She held the mic close to her ruby lips and began to sing in sweet perfection beyond what she had ever sung before.

“My thoughts go back to a heavenly dance

A moment of bliss we spent

Our hearts were filled with a song of romance

As into the night we went

And sang to our hearts' content.

The song is ended

But the melody lingers on

You and the song are gone

But the melody lingers on

The night was splendid

And the melody seemed to say

"Summer will pass away

Take your happiness while you may"

There 'neath the light of the moon

We sang a love song that ended too soon

The moon descended

And I found with the break of dawn

You and the song had gone

But the melody lingers on.”

The last note seemed to linger in the air and Gongchan’s fingers didn’t move from the keys. She had said what he wanted to say again, just as she always did. He looked to her with awe and adoration and she smiled at him. She reached out and cupped his cheek in her hand. She brought him close to her and pressed a kiss to his lips. It was soft and sweet and promising.

While the song told of how they parted each night, the kiss was telling of how they’d see each other come morning from then on.

Songs are Peppermint Chocolate by K. Will and Mamamoo and The Song is Ending Ended by Irving Berlin.

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