2019-06-23 - Soul Of An Artist


Piotr picks up his sculpting again. Maybe it will stave off some of Limbos effects

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: June 23, 2019
Location: Limbo

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Limbo: Year 3

Keiko delivered a healthy baby girl several months ago. They named her Elena, after his great-grandmother, and there was a celebration in Limbo. They have the heir they wanted.

But Keiko was right. There was no going home. The child is their responsibility, they will need to raise it, and already K'nert is asking when they can do it again. He wants a whole line of Rasputins.

They have shared the bed since then, but not been intimate - the needs of the child were always first. And it sparked something in the large Russian. He's retreated a lot more to that secluded room that he made his art room.

Waking up early, he left Keiko and Elena to sleep, a brush of his fingers over both of their brows before he returned to the room. That's where Keiko will find him this morning.

She was right. He needed a spark. A flame. She was that spark - if the art is right. He's currently working on a large stone sculpture. And this time, she can make out the shape. It's not Illyana. Or Kitty.

It's her. And she's holding their child. And around her, her creatures are pulling from their tattoos, but instead of moving to leave her, they are moving to wrap around her. To protect her. To protect Elena.

It's a little while after Piotr has left them that Elena stirs and wakes Keiko. After seeing to Elena's needs, the small Peruvian heads to the find Piotr - she knows where he is.

Walking the corridors of the Citadel isn't overly safe for her now she's the child. The demons against them sometimes try out her defenses and with the babe strapped to her chest in a demonskin baby carrier, fighting is not as easy as it was.

Which is why she has Bella prowling beside her. The Wolf has has even more of a demonic look about her now and the half hour that she used to be active for has doubled.

Slipping into the room, Keiko watches silently for a moment, hand dropping to Bella's head to ruffle the ears. Small changes in the way she interacts with the creatures … ones she might not notice … have made a difference. The spirits she bound in her teens are with her willingly now.

"I told you you hadn't lost it." she says to the big man. It's amazing, what he's creating.

She's not alone. Piotr's own summon wanders with Keiko, the Russian bear dog at their sides as a second guardian - and to alert Piotr should Keiko fall into trouble.

He's busily working with a small shaping tool when he hears the soft coo of his child, and his consort's voice - was that affection? He can't really place it as he turns, setting down the tools. When he's working on the stone, he's only in his pants and boots - his torso bare and covered in a fine layer of stone dust as he steps back.

"I needed the inspiration. It only took me a year to realize she was by my side." he says to her with a glance towards the woman.

There's other stone statues. Demonic creatures - things they've seen in Limbo. And people. He's trying his best to hold on to that memory. There's a half-completed sculpture of Illyana that he just hasn't brought himself back to.

The sword on his back is glowing - more than normal. When he's at this, working on his art, his soul is at its strongest. Perhaps the sword is feeding off of that - giving him just enough to share. And she may not know it, but the glow is stronger in her and Elena's presence.

Is it affection? It's warmer at least. It's probably not unsurprising that Keiko has … mellowed a little. She'd never said anything to Piotr but she'd worried that she wouldn't be able to relate to the child when it was born.

That had been proven wrong the moment the babe was placed in her arms.

"Your daughter is not a year old, yet." Keiko actually teases, framed by the spirits that are her guard. Bella pushes her head into Keikos hand as Elena stirs at the sound of her fathers voice. Not that she can turn to see him, swaddled as she is in that carrier.

Keikos eyes fall on the sword, noting the colour and glow but not saying anything. At least not yet.

"You should try to finish ones of your friends. Keep them in your heart." Is what she does say.

"I will." Piotr responds to Keiko, dusting himself off, and leaning in to kiss Keiko lightly to the temple. "But this one spoke to me first." he points out to her as he steps back. "We have been here for over a year. I would like to have it done before Elena takes her first steps." Because that's the best guess that she's a year old, right?

"I know you are present, and it is easier to pull from you.." he shrugs his shoulders. "I will get to others when it's time." He's doing what he wants.

With them present now, Piotr gives his own large dog a ruffle, before breaking the summon. He still hasn't named the creature yet.

"My heart." he shakes his head, a small grunt. "My heart is …" he's not even sure what word to give it. His heart might as well be in that blade.

They've been in Limbo for well over a year now. It's closer to five but the only measure they have is that they have Elena. Piotr will know the developmental milestones better than Keiko.

For Keiko, Elena is a challenge and conundrum. But one that she is fiercely protective of.

His gesture of affection has her leaning in for that fraction of a moment. At least she doesn't pull away and is less reserved than she was. The bear dog is gone, which is fine. She knows he'll return it when they leave.

"Shall I stay then?" Piotrs put a couch in here where she can lounge and care for their daughter. Lately, it's not unusual for Bella or one of her spirits to sit with them.

Glancing in his direction for permission, Keiko moves around the sculpture he's been working on. "It is very life like, Piotr. I can feel … the energy coming from it."

It's the grunt that draws her attention again, cat slitted eyes narrowing at the look on Piotrs face. It's a few steps till she's in front of him, small hand splaying over his heart "Is right here and …" her hand drops to the precious bundle she carries "… here."

"You are always welcome to stay, Keiko." As much for her company as her and Elena's security. When it appears she's about to move to the couch, he's about to move - and then the Peruvian is in front of him. And her hand touches his chest, and he feels that race in his heart for a moment before he pushes it aside - and smiles down at the woman and then their child.

"When she's asleep, would you like to learn?" he hasn't asked her that since the incident in the courtyard. "I will not make you break it this time. We can work together, to make something that you would like to express." comes his offer.

It's a sign of that old teacher - the one he said he was before this happened. And it's a way to have them together. "I would like to see what comes from your hands, solnyshko."

"Then I will." Those cats eyes meet his as he looks down at her, her hand trailing across his chest again as she turns to the couch.

Bella gets there ahead of her and leaps up, sitting and waiting for the tattooed woman to settle. She does eventually once she sets Elena on a mat on the floor. It does the babe good to be able to kick and to move.

When Keiko settles on the end of the couch, Bella stretches out and puts her head in the womans lap. That earns a ruffle of the demonic wolfs ears.

"I … don't know what I would create." Keiko answers quietly. Another admission of weakness that she shouldn't let show. "How … do you choose?" It's not a 'no' and he can see the light in her eyes that says she wants to say 'yes'.

"You would create what you want. It does not have to be a person. If it is, I would understand. The demons here. They are achorado." He says the Peruvian curse, which may surprise Keiko as Piotr touches Keiko's shoulder as she heads off to the couch.

"If I recall, before here.. you worked on handywork, right? It is not much different. It requires a certain use of hands. But mainly, your imagination." comes the response.

"I have been doing this since youth. Used to carve shapes in coal from mine. It kept me distracted from what my life was." It's the first time he's mentioned what things were like before he came to America.

A person? Keiko's dark eyes settle on Piotr, combined with the slits, there's a quite feline regard to her.

"I did. I was, am, good with my hands. My imagination? I don't know… but maybe …" Piotr might not like what she ends up creating. He says he understands but she saw his response the last time.

Bella's ears are scritched as Keiko sits there, Elena rolls from her back to her tummy and starts to move towards Piotr. She's at that age, where she doesn't remain where she was put.

"We have to start somewhere. I used to do the same. Not think I had inspiration. Ended up burning more than keeping." Which is easy to do when you make objects from coal.

"If you want to try, I am willing to help." It will give them something to do. And if he ends up regretting it - he'll never show it, because that's weakness.

When Elena starts to move towards him, Piotr stops his work and moves over to pick up his daughter. "Privyet, zvyozdochka." he offers to her in affection as he kisses the crown of her dark hair as he moves to sit down next to Keiko. "Did you have hobbies?" he asks her curiously./

Bella shifts as Piotr approaches the couch, hopping to the floor before he can sit on her. She settles, happily enough on the floor just in front of them, head on her paws as she watches.

Elena burbles happily as she's lifted, small fists batting at Piotr as he pays her attention to her.

"I did not, no. In the compound, we were always training, working or sleeping. If we had time to ourselves, we meditated." she sighs "After I ran, it took me time to make the US and then … I needed to eat and somewhere to live."

It's probably a good bet that the habits she'd been trained had stuck as well. Which is one reason she's not gone mental stuck in Limbo as they are. "Do you include watching TV and Netflix in that?"

It might surprise Piotr when she shifts, moving herself to lean against him.

There's a blink, but Piotr moves his arm, looping it lightly around Keiko as she leans into him, the other hand holding their daughter in the crook of his arm so easily. "Then we will have to find something for you to focus your attention towards. Besides our daughter and home." he offers to Keiko thoughtfully as he she leans against him and then he chuckles.

"I do miss television." he admits. "I wonder what movies have come out while we have been here.." There's a glance towards her, and he arches his brow. "If we ever.. would you consider going to watch them with me?" he asks her curiously.

Did he just ask the mother of his child.. and the woman he's been with for the last year.. out on a date?

Cat. Keiko is just like a cat. A free spirit so to speak.

Wrapping an arm about Piotrs, Keiko settles in. "What do you mean, focus my attention on our home?" She's picked up on that. Elena now goes without saying.

It's her turn to chuckle as her fingers draw circles up and down his arm "It depends what they are. Not all of them, but some, you might be able to convince me to. If we ever get out of here. If we don't …"

Well it doesn't matter, does it?

"I mean.. we're doing the best we can with what we have here." Piotr frowns for a moment, and then glances down at Elena. "It is not ideal for us. But we can make it better for her." he shrugs his shoulders. He's not gathered all of his thoughts on the matter yet.

As she draws on his arm, he smiles, closing his eyes in a moment of relaxation beneath her touch. "Do I have to take you to dinner first?" he asks her playfully.

His hand brushes along his daughter's side as he draws in a breath. "We have to keep strong for her, Keiko." There's no doubt in his voice. He believes in her. He knows himself. He has yet to break under the duresses of being the King. That soul-steel just seems to glow brighter when he speaks on his heart.

They both have to acknowledge that Elena has been affected already. Born to parents who were affected by Limbo, one who's soul is locked in a sword, the other who had a chunk missing and had channeled a heap of infernal not too long before she was taken.

There's small physical effects - but the rest, remain to be seen.

"You mean here …" that's what Keiko was trying to understand. "I could learn to sew as a hobby. I have enough skins to do that with." There's a cruel streak to the tattooed woman. She demands the skins of any demon who challenges her or Piotr.

"It is mandatory to feed me. I eat a lot." Has she realised he's asking to date? Probably not - her experiences of that side of things is incredibly lacking.

"Nothing will hurt her, Piotr. She has you and I." It's that simple for Keiko. "Together, we make a good team."

It's something they'll have to deal with when it comes. But for now, all they can do is be there for her. "You do seem to have leatherworking down." he admits, absently glancing at the leather piece that he wears. And she made most of his clothes. Or had help in it.

"We've been together.. for a while now, solnyshko." he points out to her with a small smirk. "I am aware of your eating habits. Do I not look like I eat much? I do not have to eat when metal. More for you."

That was an admission a while in the making.

It was kind of necessary for Keiko to make their clothing. The demons … have an interesting take on her requests. "I need to make more tools. Needles from bone, thread from innards plus the material itself."

She's done all that in the time they've been here. The only thing they send K'nert to get is food. Because food in Limbo is dreadful.

"You eat a lot, but it is expected. People look at me and think 'tiny', no appetite." She frowns though as he mentions turning to metal. "Do not give up food for me, Piotr. I know you are strong and I want you to stay that way."

Her fingers run down his arm to the piece of leather that wraps his wrist. "I will make you a new one." Maybe she does have a hobby after all.

Torturing demons. Her hobby is torturing demons.

But that's not here or there. As he listens to Keiko, he frowns and shakes his head. "Only if we need to." he reminds her. "We are strong enough to put down a revolt. But we do not need one of our own making." It's that gentle reminder that while he will not show mercy if provoked - he is still that same soul beneath - even if that soul is out of reach at the moment.

"I can go for a long time in metal without ill effect." he points out to her. The reason why he stopped? Because he didn't want her to be alone. He continues to gently rock their daughter as he talks to Keiko and he considers her, and that touch to his wrist. "You do not have to. This one means much to me. It was the first gift you gave." he points out.

"It is the only gift I have given you and I can do better." Keiko murmurs. It's not the only gift she's given him, but she doesn't seem to consider that.

Torturing demons might be a hobby - Keiko has cruel and unsual punishments. Maybe that's what stopped the demons trying so often for her until now. The risks outweighed the benefits. Now though, she's more vulnerable and will be … for a very long time.

In Piotrs arm, Elena starts to doze off. She recognises her father even at such young age. "Why do you not stay as metal except when we needed …. " she doesn't finish. He knows what she means.

"You have given me a better gift." For once, Piotr is going to make Keiko figure out what that means herself. As Elena starts to drift off, he gives a small barritone hum, a little lullaby he remembers from his youth, before he returns his attention to his consort.

"Because, I know what this place can do. And while it would be prudent to have remained metal? It would have been weakness. I adjust. As you have. Because we cannot let Limbo control us. We control it." he responds to her as his arm squeezes her closer for a moment.

"And .. I wanted to be there. With you. Not just for making our child. Or our next one, if we decide to do so. You are not alone. You never were."

They don't control the effects of Limbo, it's corruption is absolute but they can hold for a while longer. "I have?" Given him a better gift. She might not need to think too much given how he is with his daughter.

When he squeezes, she leans more heavily against him. The cat seems to want the attention today.

She's silent when he explains, shaking her head. "I was alone until I met Koa and then you …" beat "I'm not alone now, though." No thank you. Not here, this isn't their chambers. The demons are always watching it seems.

There's a nod to that, before Piotr moves to release Keiko, for the moment at least,. "Our little spark is asleep. Let's take her back to bed." he says to Keiko as he rises to his feet and offers his hand to the woman.

Unless she stops him, he'll release it once she's on her feet. He's gotten used to her not wanting affection - or initating it as he glances down and then steadies himself. There's no reason given for it.

"She will be hungry when she wakes…" Keiko makes a slightly unhappy sound as Piotr lets her go but then his hand is there and she takes it.

"We need a … what's the word? A bed? in here for her. If you're to teach me, she'll have to be near." Because Keiko is not leaving their child alone for a moment.

She does let him release her hand, after a long moments pause and a squeeze. Bella rises and takes up her position beside Keiko.

"Let us go …"

"A basinet." Piotr says, feeling Keiko's hand in his own - her squeeze is returned. "And then when she is old enough, we can teach her as well." Is he really considering that they may be here that long?

It's not a pleasant thought, but it's the one that the two of them have to consider.

She leads, in this case, he follows, closing and latching the door after they leave. It is a room for him to be within his thoughts - and as they get further away from the room, she may notice the glow of the blade on his back dims just slightly.

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