theothermanofsteel: (Artist)
[personal profile] theothermanofsteel
It's spring here at Milliways. Plants are growing. It's a good place to be; a relaxing place. Even if there aren't any tilled fields of crops, even if there are giant squid in the lake, it's a reminder of good things. (And the Mansion's grounds, after all, have no crops either.)

And there's very good light.

Piotr's set up an easel and is making good use of that light, currently. Even if he's not actually painting anything in this landscape, it makes a nice change to be outside.

Date: 2008-05-16 06:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Maya takes a deep breath as she steps out of the door; inhale and exhale, because this is tension-free, peaceful air. No one here is rushing about, worrying that they're going to be killed. No one here is griping about the food in the mess or the stiffness in the bunks. No all-encompassing sense of doom and gloom. Just the sun, trees, the lake, grass -- and Piotr Nikolievitch.

She smiles and she starts making her way toward him, the wind catching the tails of her coat.

Date: 2008-05-16 07:41 am (UTC)
steelartisan: (sketching under the sky (with Logan))
From: [personal profile] steelartisan
He doesn't notice her immediately. He's frowning a little at his canvas, pondering colors. Does it need a little more green in this spot? He's not sure.

The central figure is a woman's shape, a silhouette of mostly unpainted canvas at the moment. Around her are swirls and shapes, white and red and yellow, blending into each other and into the woman's body. It's hard to tell where she ends and they begin, though whether that's a deliberate effect or something that will become clearer as the painting's completed isn't entirely clear either. There are a couple of sketches taped to the easel, for reference.

Date: 2008-05-16 08:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It can't hurt that Piotr has her back to him, and Maya moves quietly. Still, the tread of her boots is not silent, and she speaks before she's too close.

"Looks nice, Piotr," she says, and she's smiling lightly, a warm expression. "Anyone I know?"

It's hasn't been so long since they last spoke, not really, but Maya's still going to go with easing her way into that conversation.

Date: 2008-05-16 08:40 am (UTC)
steelartisan: (Default)
From: [personal profile] steelartisan
"No." One corner of his mouth crooks up in greeting, as he glances over his shoulder at her. "Partly it is no one specific." Only partly, though.

"Hello, Maya."

Date: 2008-05-24 05:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Hi." She waves, just a little, as she comes in closer. She stops at a respectable distance to one side, so that she isn't leaning over his shoulder but she has a good view of the painting. "It's very beautiful," she says, honestly. "I didn't know that you painted."

Date: 2008-05-24 05:56 am (UTC)
steelartisan: (half smile)
From: [personal profile] steelartisan
He ducks his head a little, with the half-smile of someone who knows it's not polite to deny a compliment. "Thank you."

"It is not quite right yet. We will see how it ends."

"Yes," he adds with a less crooked smile, though this is stating the obvious. "For many years. Art is a hobby."

Date: 2008-05-24 06:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"That's quite a hobby," Maya says, and she smiles even as she raises good-natured eyebrows. "You don't know how it ends? Isn't that your decision?"

Date: 2008-05-24 06:22 am (UTC)
steelartisan: (Artist)
From: [personal profile] steelartisan
"Da, of course, I know the shape of it. But not what will work out, exactly."

He lifts a large (and liberally paint-smudged) hand, as if vague gestures will make this clear where words aren't. "It is the painting, you see? I am trying to capture it. To be true to the image. The thought of it."

"It is a discovery, and a plan. Both. For one like this, at least."

Date: 2008-05-24 07:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Her smile softens. "You're following your imagination instead of trying to make it follow you." One side of her smile may, in fact, turn a little crooked, as she says, "Da?" She doesn't say it with quite Piotr's inflection, but she makes a concerted effort at it, and with her natural accent -- it doesn't sound so bad.

Date: 2008-05-24 07:24 am (UTC)
steelartisan: (wry)
From: [personal profile] steelartisan
It doesn't.

But it's still not quite right -- just a hair off from a native speaker's, and that's still disconcerting, from someone who speaks English with an accent so like his.

"Yes," he says. "Da is yes, in Russian."

"I'm sorry. It is habit."

Date: 2008-05-24 07:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"I got that," she says, and she smiles. "I was asking if I was right about the imagination."

Date: 2008-05-24 07:50 am (UTC)
steelartisan: (half smile)
From: [personal profile] steelartisan
Oh. Oops.

"Yes," he says, only a little sheepish. "Something like that."

Date: 2008-05-27 12:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Maya laughs, softly. She slips her hands into her coat pockets, and she takes another, closer (without actually stepping in) look at the painting. The wind rustles through the leaves. It's so peaceful here, Maya thinks.

It's pretty companionable, as far as silences go.

Date: 2008-05-27 04:28 am (UTC)
steelartisan: (half smile)
From: [personal profile] steelartisan
It is. And Piotr's never minded companionable silences.

If he'd known her for longer, he might keep painting. Maybe he will later anyway. But it seems a bit rude, as it is, and this isn't the kind of painting he can give half his attention to. So he sets brushes and palette down, carefully, and attempts idly to scrub some of the paint off his hands. It doesn't work terribly well.

After a minute or so, "Do you draw? Or write, anything like that?"

He's curious, is all; it's conversation.

Date: 2008-05-28 04:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"No, nothing like that." She gestures gracefully to the painting. "Please, don't let me stop you.

"I wanted to be a writer, when I was a girl." She half-smiles with the memory. "There weren't many career paths for writers in my country, though, especially for ones who wanted to write stories along the lines of the banned tales." Her smile turns wider, if more quietly rueful. "And when I showed an aptitude toward sorcery, well, that was that."

Date: 2008-06-19 12:37 am (UTC)
steelartisan: (seeing clearly in sunlight)
From: [personal profile] steelartisan
"Banned tales?"

Because this is Milliways, and not her country, he'll ask; because he grew up in the Soviet Union, he adds another subject a moment later, for an easy out. And he is curious about both, anyway. "You would have official training, yes. In school?"

Date: 2008-06-19 03:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Maya's smile is hard to quantify; small, tired, with touches of rue and understanding that this is going to sound bad on the part of the URRS.

"The old stories, fairy tales from before the republics came into being, our government doesn't approve of them. They've been banned for years and years, but I found a book when I was a girl. They were always my favorites." Maya still has that book.

"Yes." Her smile becomes more genuine; she pushes her bangs back with a light hand. "I trained at the academy; everyone who goes into the Army does."

Date: 2008-06-19 04:30 am (UTC)
steelartisan: (can't go home again)
From: [personal profile] steelartisan
Hard to quantify, maybe, but very familiar too. His own lopsided half-smile, however momentary, probably says so.

"All for sorceresses?"

Date: 2008-06-19 05:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"No," she says, shaking her head lightly. "There were branches for sorceresses, Guardsmen, naval and infantry officers, krawl crew--"

(Maya, Kyuzo, Urik, Marcus, and Alex)

"--Anyone dealing with specialized equipment or skills, or who's going through officer training, learns at the Academy."

Date: 2008-06-19 05:27 am (UTC)
steelartisan: (Default)
From: [personal profile] steelartisan

Absently, he picks up his brush again, though he doesn't start painting yet.

"It makes sense. Like army training in my world."

"From what I know of it, at least."

The X-Men's training is an ever-so-slightly different system.

Date: 2008-06-19 07:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"It does," she says. "It wouldn't make sense for sorceresses and Guardsmen to be educated separately. This way -- soldiers in different aspects of the Fleet come up through the ranks together."

It is, she doesn't say, one of the only smart things the USSR ever did.

Date: 2008-06-19 07:17 am (UTC)
steelartisan: (memories of the Rodina)
From: [personal profile] steelartisan
"You understand the collective purpose," he agrees.

It's a sound principle, after all.

"Everyone thinks of the Fleet."

Date: 2008-06-19 07:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"That's the party line," says Maya. "The practical one is that it lets soldiers get to know one other, get used to working together, and then they work together on the battlefield a hell of a lot more effectively." She smiles a little bit. "The friendships that come out of it aren't half bad, either."


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