theothermanofsteel: (sketching under the sky (with Logan))
[personal profile] theothermanofsteel
Piotr is ensconced on a rock outside Milliways, with a large sketchpad in his lap and a pencil case sitting on his empty bag.

He's working with charcoal at the moment, and from memory. The image slowly taking shape is that of a woman, with long pale hair in a braid and a lopsided half-sad smile.

Date: 2008-07-27 07:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] joiningyousoon.livejournal.com
There is a woman with remarkably similar facial structure heading his way now. Her hair may be cut short, the ends waving against her jaw with the breeze, and her eyes may be a flat white, but the biggest difference -- between the live woman and the one on the page -- is the cast of her face. The woman in the drawing is full of quiet resignation and old sorrow. This woman is smiling quietly to herself, and there is no sadness in it.

Maya's hands are in her coat pockets. She still wears her old greatcoat, from time to time, though only at Milliways (there are too many old memories associated with the uniform, for many in the Citadel), and she has stripped all rank insignia from it. It's really too warm for the coat, she is thinking, just as she spots the familiar broad-shouldered figure sitting on a rock, and she detours in his direction.

(Her smile strengthens.)

Date: 2008-07-27 07:58 am (UTC)
steelartisan: (half smile)
From: [personal profile] steelartisan
She's close before he notices. Piotr's used to paying attention to his surroundings, but he's not on edge here, and he's focused on his drawing. The edge of the woman's jawline is being difficult, and he's a perfectionist.

But he does notice, and when he sees her he smiles.

Date: 2008-07-27 08:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] joiningyousoon.livejournal.com
She slips a hand out of her pocket to wave, and then figures that while that arm is out of the way, she might as well get rid of the coat; she shrugs it off as she walks closer.

"Privyet, Piotr," she says, and she tosses her coat at the foot of the rock. "Working on a new masterpiece today?"

Date: 2008-07-27 08:37 am (UTC)
steelartisan: (wry)
From: [personal profile] steelartisan
"Privyet, Maya."

His smile is more of a grin, for a moment, amused and self-deprecating both.

"It is sketching only. How are you today?"

He doesn't turn the sketchpad to show her, but neither does he make any effort to hide it.

Date: 2008-07-27 08:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] joiningyousoon.livejournal.com
"I'm fine, thank you," she says, with that smile, and she only considers it a half-second before continuing. "Do you mind if--?" She points at a spot on the rock beside him.

Date: 2008-07-27 08:56 am (UTC)
steelartisan: (half smile)
From: [personal profile] steelartisan
"Of course." He shifts a little, making room.

Date: 2008-07-27 09:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] joiningyousoon.livejournal.com
Maya is graceful and quick; two smooth movements and she's up beside him and settling in, sitting cross-legged.

(She's far enough that they both have personal space, but close enough that a lean would put her on his shoulder.)

She leans over (but not far enough), peering inquisitively at the sketchpad in his lap. "What are--



"Oh."

Her thumb brushes the edge of the page; she drinks in the figure's sad eyes, its half-smile.

Date: 2008-07-27 09:09 am (UTC)
steelartisan: (yeah well)
From: [personal profile] steelartisan
He's unsure, now, if he should have set it aside; unsure if it bothers her to see this drawing of her old self, and self-conscious of it now.

He swallows another disclaimer -- it's nothing, only a sketch, only a thought -- and looks at her, and waits for a clue.

Date: 2008-07-27 09:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] joiningyousoon.livejournal.com
It is the expression more than the physical changes, that gets Maya. She forgets that she looked like that. She never realizes that she looked like that, despite the strength and the humor that she can see in the figure's expression, too. Photographs are one thing; seeing herself filtered through someone else's gaze is something else entirely.

(She never thinks of herself as that beautiful, either, but Piotr apparently does.

The traitorous stray thought causes a dull flush to creep up the back of her neck, though it is swiftly stamped out by the second traitorous stray thought that she doesn't look like that any more.)

"It's beautiful, Piotr." Her voice is quiet, but firm in its surety. Her eyes flick up.

Date: 2008-07-27 09:43 am (UTC)
steelartisan: (yeah well)
From: [personal profile] steelartisan
Piotr -- doesn't flush, but the self-consciousness shows a bit more, for a moment, in the quirk of his smile.

"It is what I saw."

"Close," he amends. "Is not quite right." Because, as stated, he is a perfectionist. (No piece is ever quite right, for him. But some are closer than others.)

Date: 2008-07-27 09:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] joiningyousoon.livejournal.com
(A funny discovery Maya's been making, the past few months: she can still blush. It may not be as strongly as it was when she was a gawky teenager first dating a certain tall boy who loved poetry and her eyes, but with her skin tone, there's no hiding it when she colors.

She'd thought she grew out of it years ago.)

Maya colors nicely.

"It looks pretty damn right to me," she says, her only concession to the subtle compliment (besides the blush lingering high in her cheeks) a slight duck of her head.

"--The likeness, I mean." Not the 'beautiful' part; she is not anywhere near egocentric or vain enough to make that comment.

Date: 2008-07-27 10:04 am (UTC)
steelartisan: (yeah well)
From: [personal profile] steelartisan
The thing is -- he drew her as he saw her, it's true. And it's a good likeness, even if the jawline's not perfect and the sweep of the hair's a little wrong and the eyes need something but he's not sure what. But he knows that when he drew her as he saw her -- as she was, simple fact -- it's strong, and sad, and beautiful.

Which is to say, she's blushing, and Piotr's light-skinned enough to have the faintest start of one in response. Which he ignores determinedly, in hopes that it isn't actually there.

"It's yours," he offers. "If you want it."

If she doesn't, that's fine too.

She doesn't look like that any more. Sometimes it's nice to have a reminder, and sometimes it's the last thing you want.

Date: 2008-07-27 10:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] joiningyousoon.livejournal.com
Maya would really rather have a portrait of him -- or someone else she cares about -- than one of herself. But Piotr drew it and it's very beautiful, and she says, "Only if you sign it," a smile teasing at her lips.

Date: 2008-07-27 10:25 am (UTC)
steelartisan: (wry)
From: [personal profile] steelartisan
Piotr slants a glance at her, a little bemused but mostly amused.

And does so -- not the usual P (for Piotr in English, for Распутин in Russian) he puts in the corner of paintings, but his first name Пётр in a quick Cyrillic scrawl.

Date: 2008-07-27 10:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] joiningyousoon.livejournal.com
Her only response to the amused glance is a sideways look, and a quirk of one side of her mouth.

She leans over, watching him sign the corner; she touches the edge of the paper just below it, her fingers careful. "What does it say?"

(She has a pretty good start of an idea, but he has multiple names. It is a valid question.)

Date: 2008-07-27 10:36 am (UTC)
steelartisan: (Artist)
From: [personal profile] steelartisan
"Piotr." He hovers one broad, liberally charcoal-smudged finger over the letters, and sounds them out for her, one by one.

"In Russian letters. It would be different in English."

Date: 2008-07-27 08:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] joiningyousoon.livejournal.com
She pulls her hand back and shakes her head, slowly.

"It's so strange; the lettering style looks so much like ours, but I can't read it."

Her voice is absent; she's watching his finger.

Date: 2008-07-28 03:00 am (UTC)
steelartisan: (seeing clearly in sunlight)
From: [personal profile] steelartisan
"English letters were like that for me once. Before I learned it."

Telepathic infodumps for the win!

"How would you write it?" There's another, smaller sketchbook on his bag in the grass, underneath the pencil case. Or there are other pages in this pad. (Or, of course, just sketching with a finger in the air.)

Date: 2008-07-28 03:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] joiningyousoon.livejournal.com
Maya follows his slight gesture, and she slides down to pick up the smaller sketchpad, and a pencil from the case. Setting the art supplies on the flat top of the rock, she clambers back up beside him.

She flips up the pad's cover; it opens to a blank page. She prints 'Piotr Rasputin' in neat, economical letters; no flowing script or loopy cursive here. Maya was an officer far too long for that.

(The lettering looks loosely Cyrillic-inspired; the 'N' is backward.)

"Like this," she says, and she holds the pad up. "Piotr Rasputin."

Date: 2008-07-28 03:42 am (UTC)
steelartisan: (Artist)
From: [personal profile] steelartisan
Piotr cocks his head, studying the letters as they take shape.

"Strange," he says. "It is almost between -- may I?"

He wipes his hands on his jeans, slightly sheepishly, before he takes the pencil and pad; all the same there's enough charcoal left to leave a few faint smudges. He prints his name twice, more carefully and tidily than he signed the other picture: Piotr Nikolaievitch Rasputin, Пётр Николаевич Распутин.

Date: 2008-07-28 03:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] joiningyousoon.livejournal.com
"--It's a cross," says Maya, studying the two (after readily handing over the paper and pencil). She shakes her head. "The similarities just keep piling up. I think our worlds were secretly separated at birth."

Her mouth turns upward; her eyes flick from the paper to Piotr. "Can you write my name like that?"

Date: 2008-07-28 04:13 am (UTC)
steelartisan: (half smile)
From: [personal profile] steelartisan
"Da," he says, with a half-smile that says of course, and his pencil adds Майя Антарэс an inch or so below his names.

Date: 2008-07-28 04:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] joiningyousoon.livejournal.com
She squints at it, blonde hair tumbling out from behind her ear and fanning across her cheek.

"It's so close," she says, wonderingly, and then she takes the pencil back, but doesn't bother moving the sketchpad from where it is balanced on Piotr's thigh. She leans over and writes, just below his version of her name: MAYA AИTAЯES.

She studies the two for an appraising moment, her hand resting on the warm rock beside his leg, and then she says, "I like yours." There's a strength to it -- and the mystery of being unable to read it -- that draws her attention.

Date: 2008-07-28 04:49 am (UTC)
steelartisan: (maybe possibly smirking)
From: [personal profile] steelartisan
The corner of Piotr's mouth quirks up.

He steals the pencil back for a moment, and silently adds the English he'd forgotten to: Maya Antares, and after a moment's thought MAYA ANTARES in block capitals next to it.

Date: 2008-07-28 05:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] joiningyousoon.livejournal.com
"You just flipped--" She looks at her name; looks at Piotr. "Is that another language?"

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