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07 September 2010 @ 08:39 pm
MASTERPOST: Pianos are Made for Falling  
Title: Pianos are Made for Falling
Author: fishwrites
Pairing: Arthur/Merlin
Rating: M (see warnings)
Warnings: Descriptions of terminal illness, a little violence.(highlight to read)
Total Wordcount: 10,3900

Summary: Inspired by Nodame Cantabile. Arthur is a world class violinist, trapped in Sydney, Australia, by his fear of flying. In the wake of a mediocre concert, vicious critics and with barely a month to go before his next (hopefully reputation-saving) recital, Arthur is almost at breaking point. When his accompanist, Morgana, breaks her wrist in a car accident, Arthur is more or less doomed. And the story begins, when the Maestro at the conservatoire, Gaius Stresemann, recommends his protege Merlin Emrys to step in. Merlin, who plays by ear, as he pleases and really just wants to be a kindergarten teacher.

Well. The story really starts six months previously when Arthur passes out drunk outside Merlin's shoe-box apartment.

Quick Notes: this was written for paperlegends , Merlin bigbang 2010. Much thanks and love for my hard working beta lilith_lessfair , who had to put up with random ambushes of complaining, panic and a very rushed writing explosion near the deadline. She was absolutely amazing and provided so much feedback I nearly died from happiness (and panic :P). Also a big ♥ for piscaria  who was my cheerleader who helped me draw out the non-existant plot line and work out the entire most of the fic. She also made me the most awesome slide-show ever: it included Arthur, an apron and electric violins. That should tell you enough of its AWESOMENESS. Could not have written this without her enormous help. Also lunchy_munchy  was an absolute star, keeping me going with Nodame canon details and enthusiasm. This fic is partly a thank-you present for her podficcary and her putting up with me. XD

ARTIST: aqualilium who - WOW. She was so amazing to work with and I don't even have words to describe how much I lovelovelove the art she did for this fic and it totally does not do it justice. Please click here and be amazed, oggle, and drop her some well deserved praise! ♥_♥

note: the soundtrack in the fic has not been embedded yet. I will do that as soon as possible. The whole soundtrack, Albums and performances mentioned in the fic, are available in the soundtracks & album post.

Author's Notes: To be added.
a hurricane that keeps you there, safe: chiaki/nodame = loveampersandals on September 7th, 2010 09:32 am (UTC)
Just a heads-up, but I think the coda link leads to part 11b instead of the actual coda entry?

ANYWAY. This is going to take me forever and a day to read (or maybe not, depending on my *ahem* priorities), but I've really been looking forward to this AU so it's making me extremely happy to see it finished. I mean, I really really loved your The Piano fic, and I love Nodame Cantabile so I'm excited to see how this pans out~ Thank you and congratulations for writing it! ♥
fishwritesfishwrites on September 7th, 2010 09:39 am (UTC)
Thanks - I have fixed it up now. ♥

And...i wouldn't expect to much on the Nodame side of things. The fic is an entirely huge fail, all in all D: and I don't want you to be disappointed.
lilith_lessfair: Beardsley for Le Morte d'Arthurlilith_lessfair on September 7th, 2010 01:49 pm (UTC)
This is no fail here. Only win.
What? Oh, no, no, no, no!

Do you have any idea what an incredible accomplishment this fic is? You managed to write over 100k, to meld two sources of canon with very different material and make it work, to put up with a grumpy beta, and to craft a gorgeous story with some of the most marvelous and evocative passages I've read.

Girl, you are amazing and made of win.

Good luck with the rest of your exams. (Seriously, I have no idea how you did it and did it so very well.)

Edited at 2010-09-07 01:50 pm (UTC)
fishwritesfishwrites on September 8th, 2010 08:06 am (UTC)
Re: This is no fail here. Only win.
XD You're hardly grumpy. I"m sorry I sort of trampled all over your suggestions a bit - mostly time and PANIC. Will go through and edit properly at a later date though. :P
polished to the nth degreecopperiisulfate on September 7th, 2010 09:42 am (UTC)
Nodame Cantabile Merlin AU! I am so looking forward to reading this! I'm wondering if you would happen to have a pdf by any chance because if I'm not misreading and this really is 103K words, that would certainly help me get to and through this faster. If not then no worries :D
fishwritesfishwrites on September 7th, 2010 09:53 am (UTC)
Um, I might get around to make a pdf because this *is* a monster fic (or i'll post it on dreamwidth) but i'm in the middle of exams at hte moment so I probably won't get around to it for a while. XD

Pilukita on September 7th, 2010 11:00 am (UTC)
I've been waiting for this one, but oh gods word count. O.o I might have to errr... totally be working while at work. =D
Shelly Websterrestless_jedi on September 7th, 2010 11:33 pm (UTC)
I'm about halfway through and liking this - I just hope you don't make me cry in the end.

I do hope you add links between the parts though; returning to the masterpost is kind of a pain. Especially since good fic makes me impatient - I was reading on my phone at work...
jkrm310jkrm310 on September 7th, 2010 11:39 pm (UTC)
Wow. This was fantastic.
Yang: &hearts Arthur and Merlinhzuki on September 8th, 2010 05:03 am (UTC)
I've finished reading most of it [except the second part of chapter 11 D: I think 11B is the same as 11a] and I have to say I love/ADORE Merlin's character growth
kaazeikaazei on September 8th, 2010 04:26 pm (UTC)
I have a bit of a thing for music!fics. I cannot tell you how excited I am for the soundtrack. BUTBUTBUT. Even WITHOUT that, this was fantastic. There was a continuous, melancholic pull through the whole piece that made me want to just keep going. I ended up power-reading through it in two hours or rather, 2 classes which I *technically* attended.
Your descriptions were clear and illustrative - I have such a clear image of Arthur's flats that I could probably draw a floor plan. You have a fantastic style of writing; it mixes a sort of artistic image with a natural stream of consciousness that I haven't quite seen before. It's lovely, really, to get to read a story that is so originally executed. Really, I quite adore it! In case you hadn't noticed that before.

On a more technical point, there were a few beta notes left in the body of the story. I don't know if that has been pointed out to you before, or if you mentioned it in the notes (really, I was very excited for this). But still. so good.
(Anonymous) on September 11th, 2010 02:08 pm (UTC)
Hi. I just started reading this this morning. I'm not even halfway through, but I noticed that there's quite a lot of your beta's comments left in the story - mostly in brackets, but some not. As regards the story, so far I find it interesting, even tho' I know nothing of the type of performance music here. I would never be interested in a violin or piano recital, so this is a new world to me, but I assume from the detail it's one you know well. Anyway, I hope you don't mind me mentioning the beta remarks error. I guess I'm a bit like this Arthur - anal retentive/OCD when I'm reading.
caliena on September 12th, 2010 06:45 pm (UTC)
I spent my sunday with this story.

And that is much, coming from me.
I HATE Stories playing in an alternated universe.
Really, I hate them.
But this one?
I just couldn't stop reading.

The characters were lovely, the scenery beautiful, I've got PICTURES in my head all the time, I can HEAR the music (I always wanted to play the violin or the piano, but well...) and I love how the relationship just built up until the end...
I loved Arthur's fear of flying, actually.
I don't suffer from it myself, I love flying, but I've spent some hours sitting besides someone who does and it was interesting to see her react during the flight.
And because of that I am very very proud of Arthur now :)

And the Plushies were made of epic win ;_;

I don't like your Will any more as I did the real one, though...

So, and all of this said...

I got acostumed to Merlin dying, and that would have been heartbreaking, but THIS?
Just... no!
It is wrong ;_;
There had to be some fluff in the end, at least...
This ending isn't nice at all ;_;

(But I still love the whole story, though...)
Reiko K.reikokatsura on September 14th, 2010 03:56 pm (UTC)
Haven't read it yet, but wanted to let you know that I am so extremely excited about starting this. Gosh, just thinking of a Nodame Cantabile-based Merthur fic makes me ecstatic! While I can definitely see Merlin as Noda and Arthur as Shinichi, I still can't wait to see how you went about characterizing them. And really, who doesn't love music fic?

See you at the end~!
fishwritesfishwrites on September 15th, 2010 12:48 am (UTC)
Geh - it's *inspired* by Nodame, so although the characters are recognisable, i think the plot is rather more original. :P

Hope you enjoy it anyhow. ♥
gwendolynflight: merlin srslygwendolynflight on September 14th, 2010 08:01 pm (UTC)
Argh, I really want to read this, but is it a death fic? I can't read death fics in the fall, for reasons. If it's a huge spoiler, could you maybe PM me or reply and then delete the reply real quick? I want to be spoiled if there is death, I'm saying, but I get that no one else wants to be.
fishwritesfishwrites on September 15th, 2010 12:47 am (UTC)
♥ It isn't a death fic.
gwendolynflight: merlin smilegwendolynflight on September 15th, 2010 08:29 pm (UTC)
Hurrah! ::rushes to read::
Muppetthe_muppet on September 21st, 2010 07:29 am (UTC)
Hi =)

I hope I'm not being a pain in the ass, but I'd really like to print this story out to read, but I'm having trouble copying and pasting it into a Word doc (too many weird spaces randomly!) so was wondering if it's at all possible for you to send me a Word doc link or something? I would really appreciate it if you could, but understand if not; thought I'd ask anyway =)

M x
fishwritesfishwrites on September 21st, 2010 07:35 am (UTC)
I haven't got it up anywhere yet, but I'm planning to post to AO3...sometime. I could put them into one word document for you, but I won't have time to get it done until the weekend. Email me a reminder? :P ♥
Muppetthe_muppet on September 21st, 2010 07:38 am (UTC)
Thanks =)
Muppetthe_muppet on September 28th, 2010 10:37 am (UTC)
Just a reminder (as requested) that if you now have a Word doc of your fic, I'd love a copy =)

tootpaste on November 23rd, 2014 12:01 am (UTC)
me too
I would love a word doc, that I could print or take the book machine in london and have bound,
arnaaarnaa on November 5th, 2010 06:00 pm (UTC)
G'day. Just read Pianos Are Made For Falling. No clue about the movie it's based on, but loved the way you described Merlin's playing. Could just feel and hear it while reading your words, and just adored your Merlin and loved the way Arthur was slowly getting his life taken over without realising until it was too late. ":^D

A little nitpick...I realise Merlin not being able to afford the operation he needed was a central plot point, but in Australia, a life saving operation like his would have been covered by the public health system. Yeah, there's health insurance and private hospitals, but if you don't have the insurance/money for that the public hospitals treat you for free. As soon as Merlin's doctor realised how serious his condition was, he'd have been on the surgery list.

Anyways, I'm pretending I don't know that little factoid, cos it's a brilliant story.
Lilylil_lollypop36 on January 8th, 2011 09:50 pm (UTC)
OOOH, I loved Nodame Cantabile! I can't wait to read this, when I have some time later!
Tessasongoffate on January 9th, 2011 02:54 am (UTC)
Oh my god! I loved this so, SO much! It was absolutely gorgeous and the MUSIC was just, GAH! I'm such a sucker for music fics of all kinds and this one sucked me in so fast. and omg the fucking PLUSHIES!! :DD

Just please don't tell me you're going to kill Merlin in one of the timestamps because after that entire time of biting my nails and threatening murder if he died I just don't think my poor heart could take it. O_O
forbearnan on May 19th, 2011 06:27 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
I just needed to tell you, thank you so much for introducing me to The Hush Sound! I really enjoyed listening to the soundtrack you put together here. :)
TheHipsterHatTrick: sam winchester is a sad puppyhipsterhattrick on November 30th, 2011 07:15 am (UTC)
So, basically, this killed me. I am slayed.

So much emotion, so much music. It was just purely heartbreaking and utterly, painfully beautiful. Thank you <3.
fidelityrunsfidelityruns on December 1st, 2011 09:47 pm (UTC)
HI I HAVEN'T READ THIS YET, BUT I'M VERY EXCITED TO (SEE THE CAPS! IT! MEANS! EXCITEMENT!) because of all the recs i've been getting for this fic on tumblr and NODAME CATABILE! i just read the first few lines and I had to comment on the genius of bringing just the concept of 2 awesome things together. Even though you'll probably not pursue the nodame thing to the fullest (uh, a bit difficult to?),i died imagining arthur as chiaki, because it fits! mean, talented but affectionate to merlin/nodame ultimately. okay i'll go read now.
lazy crazy lemons and daises: Shameless-Mick n Ianunsernameinuse on May 23rd, 2012 04:15 pm (UTC)
MERLIN's smiiile :D i could SEE it every time, and how Arthur responded to it.
and THE PLUSHIES. ouwrouhrwouh.

I can just HEAR the music, TASTE the food (I'm hungry now actually), see Merlin's strange blue eyes and Arthur's sharp clear ones.

But what I love the most is Arthur's love. It's not that we see him fall in love so much as we see him REALIZE he's in love, and then he has to do something about it.

I had to real paper keymash with this one, and scribble all everywhere.

As for chapter 11?

YOU BETTER BE GLAD YOU LIVE IN AUSTRALIA! Because if you were ANYWHERE near me I would park myself in your line of vision and just ugly sob EVERYWHERE.

so you could SEE WHAT YOU CAUSED!!!

When he left Arthur Plushie behind I CRIIIIIIED.
Eveandriss: merlin | arthur does not hugeternal_vows on May 31st, 2012 02:52 am (UTC)
So I think a left a comment elsewhere on this massive fic somewhere, but just wanted to drop a line to ask if you've got a PDF or a Word doc? I know a lot of people have been asking for it (sorry!), but I'd love to be able to have it to read, what with my truly unreliable Internet. (Worst thing in the world: Getting to a cliffhanger, and then finding out that the Internet has crashed, and waiting three days to find out what happens next.)
tukeihnwtukeihnw on November 14th, 2012 11:17 pm (UTC)
really well done...
Argh! This is such a beautiful and sad piece! And it is well put together (at least from an outside perspective). I'm just going to pretend Merl got the right treatment to live at least as long as Dinu Lipatti. Fa la la, imagination makes it so.

Also, I grew up playing Chopin so I have an enormous fondness for his work. But Merlin's fondness for Liszt has me going through all of his work as well... it's been a great introduction. :)
Blostma: bashful gwenblostma on January 3rd, 2013 05:12 pm (UTC)
I am in awe. Your writing style is so, so beautiful and the plot is amazing. I loved mulling over every word of your masterpiece.

Best Regards,

felicememoriafelicememoria on January 14th, 2013 10:17 pm (UTC)
I. I think I spent about 9 hours of my day (skipping school even, whoops) reading all of this in one go. I- I just couldn't stop. And god.
It made me flail and squeal and turn into a fuzzy puddle of goo. And… and then you went and made an OPEN ENDING AND WHAT AND MERLIN BE OKAY AND AHHH. THAT. Was unnecessarily cruel. Well, at least they reunited but… still ok. ;_;
You also made my day consist of a wee bit of Liszt and then Chopin's Nocturnes. Over and over and over. And when I got home, I went to my piano and tried (failed) to play one of the movements myself.
………I just love musician!AUs so much it hurts, urgh. And the plushies. And EVERYTHING really. Let me just hug and cherish this forever, as well as put it on my all-time-favourites rec list. Okay? Okay.
tootpaste on November 22nd, 2014 11:58 pm (UTC)
Open endings are better then definite deaths though, but more would be nice, you know like a 20 years later thing would be really cool, I agree with all you said,
philosophy_jewphilosophy_jew on May 26th, 2013 03:29 am (UTC)
This wonderful thing I just read
I have never cried so much during a fanfiction.

Fanfictions are, as a rule, typically full of OOC, bad plot line, and poor writing techniques. However, you've really taken my breath away with this fic. The character development, the foreshadowing, and certainly the depth of the story in general was absolutely incredible. The fluff in the beginning was phenomenal, and I loved Merlin's character. It stayed true to Nodame Cantabile, but still held Merlin and Arthur's relationship from the show. It was heart-wrenching watching them develop their feelings for each other. And all that Merlin sacrificed... It broke my heart.

The fact that you incorporated music into it made it so much more special. Music is something that connects with everyone, but it's nice to get those composer metaphors out of someone other than your maestro! Not enough people understand the beauty of orchestral music, and the fact that you incorporated it so well made this piece particularly amazing.

You have a gift. Seriously, I know you wrote this 3 years ago. And I know _I_ typically hate my writing from past years, but this is truly breath-taking. Thank you for writing this fic, and I look forward to reading more of your stories.
saki_to_arukisaki_to_aruki on July 7th, 2013 10:40 pm (UTC)
You're beautiful. This is beautiful. Your descriptions are like imagination porn and I don't know if I'll ever read something as amazing as this. The way you integrated bits of philosophy like stream of consciousness is stunning, and my heart broke at least three times in the last few chapters. That one line in chapter 11b, "In the mirror, a thousand Merlins turned their backs.", was so...you kept describing the mirror, and it helped with emphasizing Merlin's mental state, but then you pulled out that sentence and I died.

Keep writing. Please. This is fantastic.
Clémentine Gernot on May 31st, 2014 06:50 pm (UTC)
Hi !

I just found how to write a comment in here, and yes I feel retarded just now. I’ve read your story about three or for times, and I guess I owe you that at least ! I found it a year ago or so, never could forget it. It is so well written, so beautiful, so… Hell I loved it ! So here I am, thanking you for writing this magical piece, telling you I’ll probably read it all over again in the weeks coming… THANK YOU VERY MUCH, and I wish you well for the futur !

Sorry if my english is wrong, I’m french.

I’ll probably look for your other stories now that I think of it, but just so you know, this is probably the best fanfiction about Merlin as an AU I ever read. And I approve of the pieces you chose for the music !

tootpaste on November 22nd, 2014 11:55 pm (UTC)
I'm still crying
You let us fall in love, with both of them, slowly and then suddenly.
And then you made us cry,
I made an account and every thing to tell you your an amazing author
You should look into professional publishing really
any one that can make me cry long enough to make an account should be professional, I'd buy every book you ever wrote, and read them very quickly that evening and then I'd get that look from my mum as she sees a book open on my lap and me sobbing into sleeve and tears all over the book knowing I got too involved again.
Also Thank you, for not comfirmidly killing any characters, It means a lot to me when authors leave hope at the end of their work instead of crushing my soul into a million peaces. I don't like having my soul crushed into a million pieces. It really hurts.
Please write more, please,
I loved the existence of the Pushies, especially later when there was too, and the inclusive nature of how I can't think of any one you've left out from the Merlin cast apart from Percival, but I may be mistaken.
And I absolutely love your depiction of Will. Will was amazing.
Thank you
Thank you

I need a tissue, and my touch pad on my laptop is now damp.
fishwritesfishwrites on November 23rd, 2014 10:29 am (UTC)
Re: I'm still crying
Hey lovely - i'm so glad you enjoyed the fic and it had such an emotional impact on you haha <3 honestly I actually cringe when i read this because I wrote it in highschool and I feel like it was...fills all the cliche and trope boxes haha! But i'm glad people are enjoying it.

I'm not sure if i'll write professionally but do feel free to hop over to my Ao3 account where i post all my recent stuff! or follow my tumblr for ficlets :) everything is under the same name (fishwrites)