Sophia was out of practice. Though she had been trying to practice once in a while, with everything that had happened since becoming a subnatural she hadn't really felt like it. Now, however, she had returned to the piano with hopes that it would help her relax and keep her from thinking too much.
𝕊𝕖𝕡𝕥. 𝟚𝟠, 𝟚𝟘𝟚𝟘 / / 𝔹𝕒𝕝𝕕 ℍ𝕖𝕒𝕕 𝕀𝕤𝕝𝕒𝕟𝕕 / / ℤ𝕙𝕒𝕟𝕘'𝕤 𝔼𝕤𝕥𝕒𝕥𝕖 / / 𝟙𝟙𝟘𝟘
Chris | Sophia
𝕊𝕖𝕡𝕥. 𝟚𝟠, 𝟚𝟘𝟚𝟘 / / 𝔹𝕒𝕝𝕕 ℍ𝕖𝕒𝕕 𝕀𝕤𝕝𝕒𝕟𝕕 / / ℤ𝕙𝕒𝕟𝕘'𝕤 𝔼𝕤𝕥𝕒𝕥𝕖 / / 𝟙𝟙𝟘𝟘
Without notes to look at, Sophia's playing was riddled with mistakes as she stumbled through different pieces, slowly recalling what she had learned. She tried to think just of the music, nothing else. Not of the conversations she had had the past weekend. Not of Wisford, not of D.C. Not of her newly found advances to her power. Not of death, and blood, and death.
Slowly, she did manage to relax, focusing on which note came next, recalling each movement from the back of her mind. After feeling sufficiently warmed up, she at last switched to a piece that she had finished learning just that August. Though she stumbled a few times, Sophia kept playing, swaying slightly on the bench as she kept her gaze fixed on the keys.
The white haired arbiter Chris entered the music room with the intentions of distraction through music. He had expected to play in privacy but to his dismay another fellow mage had already started on the grand instrument. He hadn't talked to her before, but that didn't dismay him.
"A bit sloppy there." Chris commented with his usual scowl as he observed the fingers that had been playing away on the ivory keys with their occassional stumble. "I suppose thats why you're practicing then." He had muttered to himself before standing away to the side, more so to wait his turn then to continue a conversation.
The last thing Sophia had been expecting was for someone to march in unannounced while she was playing and make some comment. The girl jolted on the bench, head snapping towards the door to see... uh, was it Chris? She hadn't talked to him, but names tended to get thrown around enough for a bystander to pick them up. The dragon, right? A flush rose quickly to her cheeks when she processed what he had said, turning a bit to face him. "Obviously." Stupid remark.
It's the first time you've spoken to him, and that's what you say? That's the first word you say to him? Her self consciousness came flooding in now that the shock had worn off, along with the dread. Another person. She had been seeing too many people. And he wasn't leaving. Which wasn't good. What had happened to being alone? But she needed to be polite. Couldn't leave a bad impression. "I'm sorry," she began quietly, cringing internally as the words left her mouth. She hated apologies, even if right now it wasn't a real apology. "You're waiting for the piano?" Impressive. That was how many words?
"Don't worry about it." He shook his head. "I'll take over whenever you feel like your ready to stop." He didn't show much malice but he certainly had to struggle a bit with being polite.
Right... so he was just going to stand there waiting until she was done? That was... uh, she didn't like it. Her jaw clenched slightly, a barely noticable action. There was no way that Sophia was going to be able to practice anything with him standing around there. She could ask him to leave, but that was rude, wasn't it? And this was a public space, after all. "Al--alright."
Sophia turned back to the piano, too aware of his precense to focus properly. Judging every note she was going to play. Still, she began the first few measures of the song again, but stopped just as the faster part was beginning. She couldn't play with him there. Facing Chris again, she frowned, hands gripping the bench. Nervous. "I..." What had she wanted to say? "How long... would you..."
He rolled his eyes. "Well if you are going to be a while I'll just go do something else." Standoffish as usual, the arbiter lowered his crossed arms into his pockets. Though he had really been in the mood to play the piano, with someone else occupying it there wasn't much else he could do. He wasn't going to force her off it.
Wait wait wait. No, she did want to be alone. She did. It was... nice of him to offer to go do something else. She should let him go. But one more sentence, because she couldn't mess up yet another encounter. Even if it was just a small little thing. Couldn't let yet another person walk away without any input from her. "Wait but... you are Chris, right?" The words were drawn out longer than they needed to be, as if she wasn't sure how to form each syllable.
A pause. He really wasn't in the mood for socializing, but the last thing he needed was to make enemies. "Yeah...and you are?" His hands retreated from his pockets to allow his arms to return into a cross. He wasn't sure if she was shy or just wasn't familiar with the language, but regardless he tried to keep his patience.
Of course he didn't know her name, did he? Hah. As if. She should have included her name with her last remark. But at least he had asked. That was a good thing, right? "Sophia." It was so awkward, him standing there with arms crossed and straight face, as if silently evaluating her every move. Swallowing hard, her fingers tightened even more as she forced out the next words with an equally forced grin. "You probably haven't-- haven't seen me around much, huh?" Brilliant remark. Point out how antisocial she was. Calm down.
"I don't exactly get around much, i guess." Chris stated as he slowly loosened up his posture. "I only know a handful of my classmates anyway....But I guess its a pleasure knowing another one." Having decided to make himself comfortable, Chris took a chair to sit on, but made sure to keep some distance.
Same here. Still, she guessed he went out and about more than she did. His next remark caused her eyebrows to shoot upwards, unable to disguise her surprise. Suddenly, she felt like laughing. Don't laugh don't laugh. She didn't laugh, but... her grin grew a bit wider and she turned her face away for a moment before she could drag it down. Perhaps it wasn't really that funny, but seriously? A pleasure? Knowing her? Knowing another person? Time to return the phrase.
"Glad we finally get to aquaint ourselves properly." A slight, flat smile to replace the grin that had been there earlier. Was it just her, or had that sentence sounded strange? Time to say something else. Because he now looked like he was planning to spend some time to talk, meaning that she had to say something. Something, something, what? "Uh..."
He shrugged. "Is this your first time playing or have you had some experience in the past?" He proceeded to make some small talk. While not his biggest hobby talking to a stranger wasn't the worse thing to waste his time with.
If she could more or less play that song correctly, she obviously had been playing for some time. But at least now Chris was helping to add to the conversation, so she didn't let herself be annoyed. How long had she been playing? Mind flew back to think about all those years past, settling on a number. "I've actually been playing for... five-- five years, I think?" A pause. "You?"
He nodded once to acknowledge her experience. "I started when I was little but I never got much chance to play until recently." He said, avoiding as much details as he could. "You're not bad at it, but I noticed there were some mistakes in your playing...." A pause. "A word of advice, when I stumble over what keys to press I found that stressing over perfection made me play worse then letting myself flow with the music." He was terrible at giving advice, much less helping others. Still he tried to give his best support he could.
Chris's answer wasn't very clear, but Sophia nodded as well anyway. Did that mean he was less advanced, or more? Depending on how much effort he had put in... she now wanted to hear him play. Especially since his criticism still had her feeling somewhat defensive. He's trying to be nice. He's trying to give advice. What Chris was saying was sort of true, but it was hard to let yourself 'flow' when you could barely remember all the notes. "Yeah. It's just... a newer piece? So..." So you don't have to defend yourself. "What do you like to play?" Sophia shifted on the bench, looking like she wanted to get up but not quite sure if she should. Show me.
Was that challenge, or did she want to see someone with possibly better talents play? He wasn't sure, but he took her offer after some hesitation. The best song he knew how to play was piano man, the same music he played in the hotel. WIth no better ideas Chris began to play the melody, the somber tone of the notes synced with his growing meloncholy expression. Like spreading butter over bread Chris recited every note in perfect rythmn and sync as he had done times before.
Sophia listened closely to Chris play, standing with a slight frown on her face. His playing wasn't bad, he was pretty good at playing the piece. Less mistakes than I made, huh? But... perhaps the song he played wasn't as complicated. She didn't think it was. When he was done, she stood silent for a moment before speaking. "Nice." So that was the kind of music he liked, she assumed. It was quite different from what she had been trying to play, wasn't it? "Thanks for... agreeing to play."
He nodded once. "Right well I won't hog the seat, you may continue." He excused himself from the piano and returned to his chair, though he didn't bother to sit this time. "Take that practice to heart and you'll be better at it soon enough." He ensured as he made his exit. "Thanks for the chat."
"Mhmm. You too." For once Sophia responded quickly, before Chris could get out of hearing. He left so suddenly she was surprised. Had she said something wrong? But he didn't seem upset, not that she could tell, so he was just being... she didn't know. Giving her space, like she had wanted. Like she had wanted. Drawing in a deep breath, she let it out slowly. At least that hadn't been too bad, though the way he phrased his comments wasn't her favorite.
Shaking her head slightly, she got back on the bench and began to practice some more.