Much Ado About Nothing

January 12, 2018:

Rachel mercy-kills an awkward first date with Piotr.

Unnamed Gallery in NYC


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Illyana Rasputin, Scott Summers


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Piotr Rasputin knew full well that even considering getting romantically involved with a teammate was fraught with peril. He's had relationships in the past and inevitably they are either the cause or the victim of friction in the field. To further complicate this, he's now found himself interested in a Summers / Grey, which means every activity now has at least 5 more family members under one roof interested in it. His original plan was to take it slow, maybe a cup of coffee, just some time alone to talk before news spread and things got complicated. Well, it's a little late for that Ruskie.

Change of plans.

Piotr arranged with Rachel to meet him out in the city, his outline of the night was vague but he mentioned a gallery opening for a friend and then dinner afterwards. Illyana may have needled him about this, but she did at least do him a solid in letting him know Rachel was planning to 'dress to kill' so he decided to go all in. If he's already getting flak from Scott about it, might as well make it a proper date.

Dressed in a white oxford shirt that was either custom made or tailored to fit his large frame and a pair of deep navy pants, Piotr is already at the gallery. Somehow it seemed more weird to go together? It's strange as an adult to date someone you live with, on top of all the complications of 'working' together, etc. And so Piotr is mingling among the crowd at a gallery showing some modern sculptures and mixed media art that is interesting and attractive, if at times confusing. He is sure to keep an eye on the door though, an easy feat since he towers over most of the crowd.


For Rachel, dressing to kill is something that she enjoys doing. After all, she did wear nothing but red leather for a lot of her time across the pond! And Illyana may have also been stretching things to tease Piotr, for her and Rachel's shopping trip produced a great deal many outfits, not just something to make individuals swallow their collective tongues.

Yet, for Rachel, this little sojourn is something she has pondered, a great deal in fact. Just how awkward is it going to be? In truth, she barely knows this particular Piotr, and first dates are always such a sticky wicket. She's had. None. Honest. None. Difficult to have a first date in a world where you have less to worry about what you're wearing, as you have to fear for your very survival.

A gallery opening was pondered, what /do/ you wear for such a thing? In truth, coffee and conversation would have been a bit preferred. As it is, Rachel is fashionably late, as at the last moment she decided to change her entire outfit.

For her - classy and elegant is the style of the afternoon, as the red-head makes her way through the doors. It's a simple dark red dress that skims along Rachel's curves ending - respectably above her knees. The sleeves are flowing and long, with cuffs about her wrists, and a high mock neckline. Her long legs are bare and end in a pair of matching red stilettos that make distinct *clink* sounds as she makes her way through the doors and into the interior of the gallery.

Cosmetics? Not an ounce. Rachel just wears her scars with pride, gaze sweeping across the crowd and catching sight of Piotr easily enough, her steps drawing towards the tall Russian, offering a, "You clean up nice." To the brother of her best friend.


Piotr thought a lot about logistics. The timing of the opening, the location for dinner, noise levels and distractions to hopefully fill any possible awkward silences until they hopefully find a groove. Sadly, he realizes he may taken the wrong approach of planning it more like a mission than a fun time. It's just about the time that he actually has to greet Rachel that it becomes abundantly clear he was focusing on the wrong thing. Do they hug? Kiss on the cheek? Handshake? No. Not handshake.

Piotr greets her much like he would all the other women at the event, he kisses her on the cheek and says "I was forwarned you would look this good. Illyana did not exaggerate, you look wonderful." Agh, is it weird that he's already brought up his sister?

Trying his best to mentally push away doubts and keep the awkwardness of this evening far from his thoughts, he says "I hope you don't mind the gallery opening. I thought it might be a nice start. Though I confess I do not have many good dates to draw experience from." Most of his 'dates' have been stolen moments between people trying to kill him or all mutants or everyone on the planet, etc.


Lets be honest, the peck on the cheek is met with a slightly awkward smile and pat on Piotr's shoulder. The compliment, however, is met with a bit more cocky self assurance, as Rachel's smile twists into a self satisfied smirk. "Oh, what? This old thing. I've had for all of a week."

The fact Illyana 'forewarned' Piotr, does have Rachel's brows slightly arching upwards. What else has the blonde sorceress told her brother? A little peak into the thoughts - but no. No. Rachel swore she wouldn't be nosy, nor less than moral today. As really, this is Piotr, the like major moral compass for everyone, right up there next to Rachel's mom.

Trying to relax and just take this as a kind of friendly encounter, versus the awkwardness of a 'date', Rachel latches onto the idea of 'good date experience', with a wry. "You're not alone in that." Not that she elaborates, but she does, at the very least, express her own inexperience with such matters.

Rachel's gaze soon flickers around the gallery. "I'm afraid I'm not that knowledgeable when it comes to art. Is this… ah. Well received … artistic … ah. Works?" There! That's conversation. Granted, it is extremely stuttered, as Rachel attempts to find the right words without sounding completely ignorant on the subject.


Of course Piotr is trying to be ultra aware if he's making her uncomfortable or not. He's the guy who proverbially is so used to smashing things he tiptoes at all times. He smiles at her downplaying of the outfit and says "Then I am glad to give you an occasion to wear it."

Leading Rachel through the crowd he ever so breifly puts his hand on her side to guide her through and even that feels too weird. He glances away so she can't see him color at the cheeks. Gah. This shouldn't be this weird, he never would have thought twice about that before.

"Do not worry about being knowledgeable. Merely, consider if it impacts you. If it does nothing for you, this is fine." He glances around the crowd, trying to find the artist. "Personally. Most of it falls flat for me. But sshhh, Sasha is an old friend. I come to all her openings. I maybe lie about loving it. A little." Here he at least finds something comfortable to chat about. His eyes even glimmer a bit with mischief at his confession about lying. Most people wouldn't even consider it a lie, but it's Pete, so that's what passes for being naughty.


Being lead through the crowd isn't so weird, so Rachel misses Piotr's flush, instead, she's trying her best to be -good-, and not telepathically control the crowd to get out of her way. She even pauses here and there, as annoying individuals stop suddenly, to ooh or aaah at a particular piece - always right where Rachel and Piotr have to go. She could gently persuade them into moving the hell out of her way - but no. No. She has to be _good_ today.

"Hn." Is all Rachel can get out, the fact Piotr of all people tells 'little white lies' in order to make someone happy does NOT surprise Rachel. The man is a freaking white knight. Pausing before one particular confusing bit of art, Rachel's brows furrow together, to her..? It looks like the artist had something that didn't settle well and it all ended up on the canvas - projectile vomit style.

"You should open your own gallery, Pete-y. I've seen your art, if this artist gets acclaim, yours should be internationally acclaimed in comparison." Rachel's compliment is simple and to the point. Her gaze flickering up to Piotr, then back to the many works that abound. "This type of work, has always just made me wonder why anyone would want it up on the walls."


Thankfully there are trays of alcohol floating through the room as well and Piotr is nimbly enough to grab two glasses before the waitress can flit away. He hands a glass of champagne to Rachel and turns to face the painting.

"This. Is shit."

He looks at her from the side of his eyes and smiles, with a small shrug. "At least to me. I draw nothing from it. It does not connect with me. But…" he looks around and says "Someone will likely buy it and aggressively declare it's amazing qualities. Whatever those would be."

You should open your own gallery

Peter shakes his head and says ruefully, "I would guess it would be blown up or burnt down in two weeks flat. Besides, then I would be trapped in an unending stream of these openings. One or two sure, but this is not why I paint."


Accepting the champagne with a quick, "Thanks." Rachel takes a sip, then simply lowers the long stemmed glass down, held at waist height for the time being. Her gaze is still on the vomit-art, and she has to laugh out loud as Piotr echoes her own thoughts. "I completely agree with you, on that point." She announces, lifting the glass up to take another sip, before it once again resumes the same point as before.

Rather than keeping her gaze onto the art, Rachel's attention turns towards Piotr, and of course his reasons on public displays of his art. "Getting acclaim, champagne, and riches off of adoring throngs of people wouldn't be too bad. The burning down and blown up is nothing new, though."

Okay, Rachel can't help it, she convinces a couple seated on a bench in front of a piece of art that isn't /too/ bad to look at, to get the hell up and move their asses. No one would ever suspect a thing! Rachel settles onto the bench, motioning Piotr to do the same. "So why do you paint?" Again, a simple enough question, at least in Rachel's mind, mostly because Rachel doesn't have a 'hobby', unless you call being really good at getting herself into trouble a hobby, then she's down right talented.


Piotr also only politely sips his champagne. It's not exactly to his taste, but for some reason no one comes around with trays of vodka at these things, sadly. He chuckles at having made her laugh, turning to her and taking a moment to look at her and try and get a sense for his own feelings. He doesn't change his gaze when she turns to him, but shrugs off her reasons. It really would never occur to him to pursue art full time, the world is always too in need of saving it seems.

"Why? I don't think I've ever asked myself that. I need to do it, because I can."

He takes a seat and wrinkles his nose at his own answer. On the bench, oblivious to why the crowd may have moved, Piotr continues to try and explain. "It's funny, I don't know if that makes any sense or if I can describe it. But I have found that nothing makes me feel quite like creating something. Not even punching things in the face. And I love punching things in the face."


Seated, it's easier to dismiss the world around them, the crowd, the people, the wait staff, everyone - and just focus on the person you're here with. Rachel's legs cross neatly, left over the right, bent at the knee. The glass of champagne is placed onto the bench seat, ignored for the most part. Give Rachel a domestic beer and she'd be happy, the champagne isn't bad - but she's never been a 'high brow' style of person.

"No better reason than that." She offers, Rachel doesn't have anything that could even remotely be used in comparison. She doesn't really have a frame of reference. Really, even punching someone in the face isn't much her style, more slamming them against the wall and making their minds hurt. A lot. It's similar, though, she supposes.

"Beating up bad guys /is/ quite enjoyable." Rachel offers, her lips curled into a smirk. Where Piotr is thinking about his thoughts and feelings over Rachel, the red-head is doing the same. And she did promise to Illyana that being honest and truthful was the most important thing she'd do for the sorceress' brother.

"Piotr." Rachel begins, one hand running through the short locks of red hair, "You're a really nice guy. You're like this perfect white knight, you're handsome, smart, talented and dashing, but I promised Illyana that I'd be honest with you from the get go. I'm sorry. I'm honored to have you as a friend, but for me, there isn't anything else here. I feel like a sister, like you're my brother, and the more that I think about it, the more I realize - that's all."


The feeling of the night is pretty clear to Pete, long before Rachel verbalizes it. Maybe, it's just a slow start? Maybe? But as soon as 'nice guy' comes out of Rachel's mouth there is a visible change in his face, it relaxes. His smile only grows as she continues, but he doesn't interrupt, just smiles encouragingly.

"I agree. Thankfully I think I can tell Scott to call off the shotgun wedding."

Maybe it's all the expectation and build up that doomed it? Maybe it's just too strange to make the jump from teammates to more. Piotr briefly starts to wonder what didn't click but he is very clearly not disappointed or surprised. "I think we are both on the same page. There was something, but not enough to build on. Neither of us wants to hurt the other or make a mess for the team, so this probably for the best." He of course is all gentle and encouraging about it.

"Does that mean we can ditch this fancy party and go get a proper drink somewhere?"


"God yes." Rachel announces, rising upwards with a laugh. She did have a slightly quirked eyebrow at her father being mentioned. Since when did he find out?? More important, why would Scott even care? But that's just left by the wayside. Relief echoes through her own thoughts and motions, as Rachel offers a hand towards Piotr. "Beer. Pizza. And we can discuss this Genosha and Bear thing, or just - anything but the awkwardness of before."

And as soon as the gallery is gone and people can be convinced to look another way, the dress is telekinetically replaced with much warmer things, jeans, warm sweater, gloves, leather jacket - it's good to be a powerful mutant, something Rachel absolutely relishes.

The build up was fun, but this? A friend? A brother? That's even more fun. Now Rachel just hopes Illyana wont be too annoyed at either….

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