The Sound of His Voice
Gui didn’t understand why he had done it.
He was a bard in Second Life; that hardly translated into actual experience in writing music. He understood the math behind music theory (theoretically) and didn’t think himself a bad judge of aesthetics, but the truth was he’d never written a note of music.
Prince had smiled when he volunteered to write the music.
There was no way he’d back down now.
He spent the next few days spending extra time at the University, checking out every book he could find on theory, starting from the elementary levels to old textbooks from the music department’s advanced courses. He read them during class, while he ate lunch, on the commute to and from his apartment, every chance he could get. If he couldn’t hold a book in his hands, then he listened to recordings for reference and inspiration.
There was a hallway in the basement of the building next to the music department that had been converted into practice rooms some years ago when the university remodeled its fine arts buildings. They were small, rundown, and didn’t quite qualify as soundproof. They were meant to be only temporary, but the school had never bothered to revert all the rooms back into storage.
Gui discovered that they were a good place to study music in peace after classes were over. He supposed he could log into Second Life, but he knew it was too early for Prince to be on anyway, and somehow, it just wasn’t as fun without him. A couple of the rooms still had old keyboards, and there were few students to bother him. Because he was a bard, there was a larger than average population of “Gui” fans among the music students to avoid.
Therefore, when he heard the voice singing, he was more surprised to find someone else using the rooms than to recognize the song as one of Infinite Band’s selected songs. It took a moment before realization set in, and the entire world dropped away except for the sound of that one voice.
The voice was muffled, but the cadence of the words, the feeling behind them was right. They’d practiced long enough together that Gui knew his voice and how he sang better than anyone else. He dared not breathe lest he miss a single note. It was he, his real voice, and he was really there, in the flesh, a mere two doors down.
Only one door away. His feet carried him automatically down the hall, until he stood just outside the singer’s door. The voice had stopped. Had his footsteps been detected?
His fist was halfway to the door before he stopped himself from knocking.
Gui knew that Prince was probably a student in real life. At the very least, Prince had known Gui’s real identity, so therefore, was likely to have been at the university at some point in time. However, he’d promised not to investigate Prince’s identity. Prince has seemed nervous and scared that Gui wouldn’t like him; Gui decided he didn’t want to know. It was enough that he could spend time with him in Second Life.
Now, after hearing that tantalizing sound, he wasn’t so sure. It was easier to say he didn’t care when he had no idea who Prince really was. Right now, he was only a door away from finding his heart’s desire, even if he refused to admit how much he desired it. His was able to listen to Prince’s real voice with his real own ears. Was it so wrong to want to see Prince with his own eyes? To hold him in his real arms?
Wicked knew Prince’s real voice. It was unfair that his rival could speak to Prince even when no one else could. Gui was certain that he knew Prince’s personality better than Wicked, but how could he compete with someone whom Prince trusted with his real identity? The very same identity he was scared to share with Gui?
But… what if Prince opened the door and found him listening? Would he think Gui had broken his promise not to investigate him? How could he ever hope to win his trust then?
The door to the practice room jiggled. Without a second thought, Gui ducked into the nearby room and hid out of sight. To his own surprise, he closed his eyes, not even risking a peek as he heard footsteps go down the hall and up the stairwell. When he was certain no one was there, only then did Gui cautiously emerge.
Prince’s room was empty. The bench next to the keyboard was pushed out a little. Gui sat down and smiled when he felt the seat was still warm. It wasn’t the same as holding him, but it would do.
His Prince had been here.