The Invincible M.A.E.


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Petr
harleymae

Steel

Arkora ficcage, only without the Ar part. Petr's playing with Metallurg Magnitogorsk in Russia now. Actually, it doesn't have to be Whore, I suppose. Err, whatever. You choose.

DISCLAIMER: This is fiction; it's all lies.


STEEL


Petr looks around his new, ugly apartment. The carpet is cream-colored and fluffy clean, and the walls are antispetic white. Nobody has lived here before, and all the appliances are made of shiny, stainless steel. It seems like this city is made of steel, but nowhere near as shiny.

He coughs, and he doesn't know it yet, but he's not going to stop coughing, not while he lives here, because there is always sulphur and smoke in the air. He's lucky he didn't grow up here, or he would never have known what it's like to not cough.

He looks out his window, and it's as ugly as it was when he came in. He's not quite sure why he expected it to look different. Maybe he was hoping that the height would change things, but all it means is that he can see more of the city at once, and it is all ugly, because beauty does nothing to strengthen steel.

He scans the street, and he is sure that all the grown ups look ten years older than their age. He sits down in a chair by the window, because he thinks that he will be there for a while, and the moving boxes won't mind waiting a little longer to be unpacked.

There is a young couple arguing in the street below him, and nobody even bothers to stop, or give them more than a momentary glance, even though they are obviously screaming their heads off. She is a typical pale Russian woman with fine, blonde hair, while he is short and dark with jet black hair, and Petr understands how difficult it can be to make things work when two people come from different cultures. The woman is pointing at the man, and Petr reads her motions and the man's defensive gestures, and he thinks he can follow the story, even without sound or subtitles. After all, anything he doesn't understand he can easily make up.

He is watching them as if he is watching a boxing match, and slowly he starts to side with the woman. His mind improvises accusations - you slept with her, you fucked everything up, I never want to see you again - and he starts to feel a little sick. He blames it on the air, on the thick black smoke that carries little bits of the steel from which it was made. He blames it on the lunch he made the mistake of eating; he's never going to buy anything sold outdoors again because the food itself seems to absorb the air.

He's too far up to see things like rings on fingers, and he wonders if the two of them are married. Is there a baby in their future? Would a baby would make them fight more, or less? Would it be this magical solution that would bind them all into one happy golden family? Would the man suddenly realize that he wanted the woman to be the mother of his children? What if she couldn't have children?

Petr blinks, and he shakes away conversations about adoption and houses in the suburbs with swimming pools and white picket fences, because there aren't any surburban houses here, just endless blocks of apartments and certainly nothing that would ever stay white. He looks again and the man seems to be arguing his case and pleading with her. Sometimes sacrifices have to be made for love.

He thinks that it's absurd, and that the woman should just walk off and never come back, but then he reasons that maybe they live together, and it's not so easy to end things when you don't have your own house and car and dog, and you can't just fly 1500 miles and not have to see them for a long, long while. He wonders what will happen with these two with no easy way out, and he wonders what would have happened--no, he's only thinking about one story right now, because it's all he can concentrate on.

The two of them have calmed down, and their bodies are still tense with anger, but they seem to be talking normally and not yelling at each other anymore. This is when they figure out what they do, because obviously things can't keep going this way. Petr understands that you can only shout at someone for so many days or weeks, or maybe even months, before you get tired, so tired you can almost feel it in your bones, and you don't have the energy to do anything, and so you give up.

The man is shaking his head at her, and Petr thinks he's rejecting the solution that she's come up with because he doesn't like the sound of it, but sometimes the thing that sounds the worst is the right thing to do. She's being practical, making things easy for the two of them, and he doesn't want to hear it because he thinks that he can have it all and that compromise is a dirty word. Petr leans forward in his chair without knowing he's doing it, and he hopes that the man won't dismiss everything she says because it's very important that he listens, or she'll get fed up and leave, and there won't be any baby, or maybe there will, but it won't be theirs.

Petr takes a deep breath, and he realizes that he's been sitting in his chair just as tense as them, and he laughs soundlessly at himself for getting so involved in something he's separated from by nine stories of concrete and steel, and he wonders why you can't just get rid of the past by tearing a page from a calendar, and why things that are over and done with keep repeating themselves, and how a whole city could have been built all at once in mountains that haven't quite adjusted to people even after seventy-five years.

He turns his attention to the couple again, and they're watching each other carefully, waiting for the other to make the first move, and they could do anything; they could start screaming again, or one of them could leave, or maybe the man will slap her in the street, in front of people who are there but aren't witnesses. And there's one more possibility, that they'll calm down, and they'll make peace, and maybe even embrace and kiss, but he knows from experience that something like that won't happen.

But still he watches, and he wonders, and he waits.

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You and Joolzie are conspiring to crush my heart, and it's sort of fantastic.

We love you very much. But me more than her because I'm your wife. :D

He coughs, and he doesn't know it yet, but he's not going to stop coughing, not while he lives here, because there is always sulphur and smoke in the air. He's lucky he didn't grow up here, or he would never have known what it's like to not cough.

The best word I can think of for that line is bleak. It's very very bleak.

Petr understands that you can only shout at someone for so many days or weeks, or maybe even months, before you get tired, so tired you can almost feel it in your bones, and you don't have the energy to do anything, and so you give up.

And that too.

But still he watches, and he wonders, and he waits.

Poor Arkora :( That last line of Petr having hope (but not really) in a place that has been so obviously stripped of hope is teribly sad.

At least he has PJ. Although I think PJ was eaten by his dog.

*weeps*

Okay, so this like disappeared from my friends page and then I clicked on this and it took me to the original, and I was all confused.

Do you do these things to torture me? My mind cannot keep up.

I like that Russia is ugly. :) And I like how nobody pays attn to the couple. It's both like, not wanting to get involved and also the idea of Arkora and the world going on around them, not noticing.

He is watching them as if he is watching a boxing match, and slowly he starts to side with the woman.

Because Marty has turned you into a woman! Just kidding. :D

Would it be this magical solution that would bind them all into one happy golden family?

That's my favorite thing. When babies suddenly fix everything. They should really sell them at the store next to white-out.

Hmm.. I was just thinking about the setting, and that like.. really sucks. I mean, I was all ha ha! Russia is dirty! but just like a cold, black and gray world.. way to give him a depressing home, Mae. And that really sucks more than the whole like.. the reason they gave up was because it was easy; the reason they walked away from the relationship, eachother, was because it was easy. That it was easier to walk away than to try.

Because no sunshine sucks.

I didn't notice the bone line until Chrissy pointed it out. But instead it just made me think about all these fics I've just read where the guy comes and then falls "boneless" onto the other guy's back/chest/etc. I really liked it--because even though it was done over and over again, I didn't get tired of it or roll my eyes because it seemed to sum up total exhaustion and being spent...which I kinda thought about while rereading and getting to that line, but mainly thought for a moment about Arkora having sex. LOL

but sometimes the thing that sounds the worst is the right thing to do

Like moving to Russia? Dude, he must be a coach. Or maybe the coach is some sick fan who is all in love with Petr and he changed his name.

Anyway, you know what I think about the Harry&Sally line, but what I'm more interested in now is the torn calendar. So even though you wrote fic and everyone likes and you thought you were all done--HA! Now you have to write more fic because you didn't wrap up everything nicely.

See what happens when you leave cliffhanging details like calendars, Mae? You have to pay.

There is a long story that explains this. I wanted the fic and comments to stay in my LJ because mine mine mine! but then I wanted to post in ihf so I copied the LJ-cut link into the ihf post.

But! Then I had to unlock the fic so that it's public and people can read it. But I don't want it show up on the friends page of unsuspecting people who have friended me, so I backdated it.

Yeah, so basically it was to torture you.

Dude, I was reading up a tiny bit on Mag...orsk, and I was like, OMG, this sounds like such a shithole. It's like, in the middle of the continent so it's got extreme temperature fluctuations, there wasn't even a city there until 1929 and they like, built the whole city at once, and it was basically one big factory that churned out steel for WW2, and the iar is really unhealthy and...

Petr is dumb.

Or he is in fact leading the double life of a coach or something.

I had never seen the word "boneless" until I started reading hockey porn!!! I even remember that I first saw it in Robyn's fic. :D I love that word.

Speaking of porn, "calendar" is now kind of a loaded word that brings to mind naked people shot in black and white.

JESUS.

Petr is so dumb it hurts.

Why didn't he go to Canada?

What was Petr thinking?

I miss him. *sigh*

ahhhhh *weep* Its so like just a watching waiting kind of thing if you want it to be that way but its not AT ALL *loves* Gah so sad. I love the phrasing and the style its written ins so damn much and its so sad it breaks me, but I loves it.

Yeah his thoughts are kind oracing all over the place. It could be interpreted as het *shrieks* even. :P

Thanks so much, Frala. *hugs tightly* Sorry, I think I jinxed your connection. >.<

it could be! *g* thats the totaly beauty of it :) I mean most of your readers are going to naturally assume things becuase we know of petr'spast but someone coming in cold could interpret that in really interesting ways.

*hugs back, clings* Dude it didnt let me on aim at all but my connection worked adn then I fell asleep, hehe

this is so, cold and shiny, like metal where you can't grip it tightly enough to hold on and you end up sliding off.

Perfect, I love how the metaphor carrier through. I am going to steal that opening line btw.

There's a girl on HD who read the whole thing as it was about the lockout and at first I was like WTF? But then I read it again, and certain things did fit, strangely enough.

Although Bettman/Goodenow makes me queasy, and then there's talk of a baby and... *shudder*

Umm, thank you, though! :D

Eight years later ...

I hate commenting on fic without posting a snip that I liked the best, or that stuck out to me, or whatever, but there are just too many. You can just taste the despair and the hopelessness in this, like the polluted air Petr's breathing. It's awesome. Poor, poor Petr.

The city sounds pretty grim from what I've read about it, not to mention that it was basically created (the USSR was cool that way!) to make steel, a lot of which went to WW2 weapons and vehicles. Cheery, eh?

Thanks so much for your fb, Abby. :)

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