The Art Of Beauty


brynn_icon.gif caspian_icon.gif

Scene Title The Art of Beauty
Synopsis Caspian and Brynn talk art and other things.
Date March 8, 2018

Somewhere in the Safe Zone

Although Brynn thinks of herself as an artist, much of what other see of her art is less… showy, maybe? She shares pieces from time to time with her ‘siblings’ or back home she could often be found making murals all over bedroom walls for the kids. But they're kids… what do they know about whether it's actually GOOD art or not. The young woman is shyly pleased with the outcome of her jazz cats at Aunt Eve’s place, and working on Raquelle’s floor piece is amazing.

She's diffident tonight as they work on the mural Caspian wanted on the wall he chose for ‘urban artistic development.’ As she takes a break from her part, she's sketching as he finishes working on the parts that he's doing right then. And when he comes down from the wall, it might surprise him to realize he's been the subject of her work tonight… the realism of the sketch is exquisite, his intent expression captured in the stark charcoal of her pencil as he works. The intensity of his eyes on the wall, the thoughtful frown that pulls his brows together.

Brynn goes very still when she realizes he's studying it, unsure she wants to know his reaction.

The act of putting things on to paper, trying to make it look like something, even if it isn’t, is being an artist. From the crude stick figures put up by children on whatever paper they can find to the old masters who painted the most iconic images of humankind to the cave paintings of bison and handprints that have lasted countless thousands of years, all of this is art, and art is in the eye of the beholder.

The pair have been working on Caspian’s Geisha for the past couple of nights, but tonight he seems a little more distracted. It’s not that his art is any worse or better, it just seems like he’s being more careful with his line placement, wanting things to be perfect before moving on to the next part. Currently the form is outlined, taking up much of the side of a building, with Caspian using his fields as makeshift stepping stones, letting Brynn stand on them as well. He was working on a particularly high spot when Brynn motioned that she needed a break and Cas, being the nice guy that he is, of course let her have one while he finished up the highlights on the blonde hair. Now, climbing down an invisible ladder, the man takes in a breath and removes his particulate mask, taking a deep breath of fresh air, following it up with a bottle of water from a cooler sitting on the sidewalk.

He crouches down to look at the picture from the opposite side, looking down at an image of himself on the thick paper, the thick lines of the charcoal blending in perfectly with one another, Brynn’s fingertips stained from where she blended it with careful touches, making the rough seem smooth to the first glance, and giving hints of highlights to certain spots without having to get the charcoal pencil involved. Pointing at the page, his hands move, right hand moving up to swirl a fingertip around his face before going down to slide against his left. Looks nice. He switches to words since his ASL is very poor, the streetlight making it easy to read his lips. “I’m not usually the subject of anyone’s art.”

Looking up, her smile is a bit shy, and she starts to sign and the rolls her eyes. A clean sheet of paper appears from the notebook and she writes, I like realism. People’s faces tell stories. Their hands, the lines that appear when they smile. There's such character in hands and faces.

She flips to another sheet and shows him an image she's working on from memory — sassy Raquelle, the night they were in his shop. The attitude is totally visible in the stylist’s body language, though the face is just beginning to rough in the sass.

Caspian makes the ASL letter A with his right hand, swirling it around his chest. Sorry. is both said and signed. “I’m working on it, though. I need to sit down with Lance and Joe and see if they can’t give me some pointers. If we’re going to work together, I need to be able to talk to you without you having to default to the notebook.”

“But this…” he taps the page. “You’ve got real talent, Brynn. I don’t just say it to say it, but because it’s true. You’ve got the eye of an artist. I bet i’ll see your stuff on a wall in a museum someday.”

Shaking her head negatively, Brynn writes quickly. You don’t have to learn sign just to talk to me. I can read lips well enough to manage, and although it’s a little awkward at times, you aren’t the first person I’ve needed to write for. She blushes a little, as if unused to people doing things just to talk to her.

And then she’s turned a brilliant shade of pink at the compliment to her sketching. Thank you. The sign is accompanied by a heartfelt smile that lightens her expression considerably — in these moments, it’s clear that despite whatever her childhood was like with Joe and Lance and the other kids, she is still just a child in some ways, uncertain what to do with praise and uncomfortable with drawing too much attention to herself.

That sign he recognises. That one, please, more, and I’m sorry are the few he’s learned over the past few days. Very important ones to know. He watches as she writes, not answering until she’s done. “Oh, I know I don’t have to learn, but it helps. It’s a little faster than you writing, too, and keeps an old man’s mind sharp.” Old. Like 27. Compared to the rest of the Lighthouse Kids, he might as well be forty. He is trying, though. Really he is.

You’re welcome. He signs in return. “Praise is not something to be embarrassed about when it’s deserved.” He shifts to sit next to Brynn, looking up at the painting on the wall with a sigh. “What do you think? More embellishment on the sleeves?”

Tilting her head to look at the image, Brynn purses her lips. That would make the curves there stand out more, she opines, pointing to two of the spots where embellishments you enhance the look. But you’ll have to be careful not to overdo it or it’ll just look garish.

There’s a long moment of not talking, something that’s actually common with Brynn. She’s often reticent about communication just because of her difficulties. When she finally touches his arm to draw his attention back to the sheet she’s been using to write, it’s to then write out the completely unrelated-to-art query, Do you think they’re going to catch the thief?

He turns to look at the picture on the wall, at the spot Brynn indicated, and nods, his brows knitting a little as he considers how best to embellish the sleeves. A lighter peach, perhaps, or a lighter red that is slightly brighter than the dress itself, with white on top. Color matching is one of the things Caspian is proud of when it comes to graffiti. And, truth be told, that’s one of the things that Caspian likes most about Brynn, to tell the truth. She doesn’t feel the need to fill every second with mindless chatter. She says something - either a query or statement - and that’s that, without embellishment.

He glances over when she touches his arms, reads, and then nods slightly. “I think they will, but not before a lot of people go hungry. That amount of food doesn’t just vanish into thin air. There’s talk going around of an eleven year old boy that can teleport, and we’ve met Eimi, so….the council wants to talk to them both, just to be on the safe side.” He leans back against the wall, looking up at the portrait for a moment or two before he turns so Brynn can read his lips. “I think that the food will show up on Staten Island sometime soon, for sale, or it’s been moved to other places to supply other better-paying patrons. Business is terrible sometimes.”

Brynn looks perhaps even more worried at his words, her gray eyes flickering back to the wall. She looks down at the sketch pad she was working on, and then she flips to another page in it, showing him the re-creation of the hot pink and yellow-backgrounded Jazz Cat band that she did on the wall for Aunt Eve. It’s done with markers, though the real thing was done with her power, and it is a bit of a departure from what he’s seen of her work so far. But she grins a little as she shows it to him.

“I’m worried about her, too.” Caspian says softly, watching as the page is turned to the colorful pastels of the Jazz Cat Band, smiling at the enthusiasm of the cats at play with their brass instruments. The one black cat in the foreground with the Tuba does get a bit of a quirked brow, but building on what little he knows of Eve, that had to have some kind of deeper meaning, so he just leaves it be. “It’s like a disney cartoon come to life.”

Brynn apparently she isn’t sure exactly who Caspian is worried about, because she tilts her head and looks curious at that statement. But her attention is more or less on what he said about her picture! She looks a little… not offended exactly. It’s better than Disney, she informs him with what might have been an attempt at a lofty sniff. ’Aristocats’ has nothing on me!

“Eimi, remember? The girl that teleported into Raquelle’s place when she got bumped into a few days back?” Caspian shrugs. “I just tend to worry about kids that I’ve come in contact with, because I know she didn’t do it and i’m afraid what’ll happen if people find out she can do what she can do.” he lifts a hand to pick some splattered paint from his skin with the other one, scraping it with his nail. “Maybe not the Aristocats, sure. Definitely ‘Princess and the Frog’ level and going up.” A little teasing from Caspian there.

Ffffft, is Brynn’s response to the Princess and the Frog analogy. Clearly dismissive. And then she looks even more worried than before. She starts to sign before she remembers, and then writes, They think she could have done it?? She looks distinctly alarmed. She’s just a kid! Even if she were stealing food, she wouldn’t be stealing THAT much food! When we tak” There’s a fast scribble through the last words and then she uses her ability to erase them, though perhaps not before he’s seen them. Is she going to be okay?? she demands.

Two fingers of Caspian’s right hand come up, making an almost duck like shape, clicking together with a shake of his head in the negative. No. Then, he actually leans over and takes the pad when Brynn is done writing, even after the striking out about stealing, preferring to write this out in crisp, neat handwriting so nothing is misconstrued. I am a part of the Safe Zone Commission, but I am not planning to turn her in. He looks to Brynn before continuing. I want to talk to her before anyone gets their hands on her. So someone can stand with her if she gets pulled for questioning. So she knows she’s being looked for. Everyone deserves that.

Caspian takes a moment, tapping his lip with the tip of his pencil before writing again. It is either someone that can do what she does that’s a lot stronger or a pair - someone amplifying and another moving. One thing I have noticed is that things that aren’t alive - shelves and stuff - stay there. So it’s probably moving organic material. Either way, I don’t think it’s her.

He’s thought about this!

Brynn nods immediately, if only because he’s reassuring her that he wants to help. What if they take her in for questioning and she never comes back? she writes, clearly fretting about it. In their world, ‘questioning’ is a terrifying proposition, though he’s old enough to have lived through it and understand why she might be a little frantic at the idea. For all that she’s Registered because she lives in the Zone now, it was a scary decision to make. Will you be able to do anything to stop that?

I’m doing what I can already. That doesn’t sound very reassuring, the pencil scratching on the page as he writes. The best thing is to get your family to find her first. Help her. Don’t tell me where she is if you do so I can tell the truth that I don’t know where she is. Don’t run unless there’s no other choice, because that would be seen as her running due to guilt, and then SESA and all those other agencies will get involved. His pocket knife comes out, a few shavings coming from the tip of the pencil as he evens up the tip, more writing coming. Stealing to survive isn’t wrong. I did it to get through the war. To put food in my belly. Just enough to keep me going. Just like your family does. Not enough to hurt everyone like these thefts did.

Relieved that he understands, Brynn nods immediately. I’ll let Lance know what’s up — he’ll know what to do to help. Her faith in the teen is clearly absolutely, just as it was outside the Safe Zone, armed with firearms and going after the monkey. Probably we’ll get her to Aunt Gillian. Aunt Eve is … not exactly going to be helpful on this one, I don’t think. She’s too high all the time. Either that, or she’ll tell us that she can see something coming and we’ll all go seriously chalk about it and it’ll turn hairy. There’s a decisive kind of nod that accompanies the last, conveying a kind of amusing certainty of the outcome.

At least you know what to expect. I’m just kind of winging it here. In the Zone, I’m the new kid. I’m still learning what side of the street is right to walk on. Caspian gives Brynn a wry grin, as if she wasn’t able to tell that to start with due to the whole Monkey Incident that he came along with. Quick aside - how are you guys doing for food? You have enough?

Brynn rolls her eyes and writes rapidly, I don’t know a lot more about what to expect than you do. Lance has been here the longest, I think. We all got here at different times. So I’m seriously still winging it. But… we learned really young how to make sure if things went wicked bad again, we could take care of ourselves and each other. I guess you could call our foster father a ‘survivalist.’ She pauses and then finally says to him, We were raised inside the Ferrymen. It might help explain to him exactly why the Kids have the skills they have. We’ll manage, is her reply when it comes to the question of food. Even if it means stealing, perhaps. But she does admit, Joe eats a lot. We’re pretty good at scrounging.

Caspian sits quietly for a moment and then, taking the pencil, writes one short line. Then come by my place. All of you. Sunday night. I’ll make dinner. He looks up to Brynn with a smile. I have enough to share.

She blinks a couple of times and looks skeptical. No one has enough to share, she returns, her demeanor very serious. I don’t want to deplete your stores, Cas. That’s not… She bites her lip. It’s rude to say no. So now she’s torn about whether to accept the invitation on behalf of the boys. But… they like Cas too. Ok, she finally nods a little. But please, please… if you really don’t have enough, please just say so? She’s REALLY worried about making sure everyone has a bit of something without taxing anyone’s stores.

Caspian nods and writes another line on the page. I’ll be fine. People are hungry and I can help. He looks up at the picture again, then back to the page. I have a few favors I can call in with people. Lots of bartering goes on for my services, too. It’s not going to be anything super special, but it’ll be enough.

Brynn nods slowly and then smiles a shy grin at Caspian. I’ll tell the boys. And thank you… we appreciate it. Her manners obviously didn’t suffer — she is genuinely grateful for the offer. Everyone’s suffered deprivation in the past years, so the kids being on their own means she’s worrying a little more than usual about it. C’mon… let’s finish this. I need to go see Raquelle. He’s teaching me to do hair stuff.

Caspian actually rests a gentle hand on Brynn’s shoulder, giving it a squeeze and nodding. “Yes, let’s. I’ve got a busy day ahead of me, and this mural won’t finish itself.”

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