greenconverses: (pjo: lightning thief)
[personal profile] greenconverses
Title: Comparative Anatomy
Rating: PG
Day/Theme: May 3, ankles, elbows, eyes, and thighs
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians
Character/Pairing: Annabeth Chase, Percy/Annabeth
Summary: Annabeth is good architect, not a good artist. She wants to improve on that.
Notes: Kind of just barely squeaking this in (it's still May 3 somewhere!) for [livejournal.com profile] 31_days because I got distracted. Just some P/A fluff.


Comparative Anatomy


Annabeth’s not great at drawing people.

Sit her in front ot the Taj Mahal, the Palace of Versailles or any of the other architectural wonders of the world, and soon enough, she’ll reproduce an exact replica of the building... with maybe a few modifications of her own, if she’s feeling particularly feisty that day.

But people? That’s a whole different story.

People are complicated. That’s not to say buildings aren’t, because they certainly can be, but they’re all angles, straight lines or mathematically perfect curves. Drawing buildings can be reduced down to a science and a simple formula. People aren’t that easy.

She doesn’t have trouble with the simple steps ‒ making a frame, getting all the limbs proportionally correct and all that. It’s the steps that come after that cause the problems. No matter how she tries, Annabeth just can’t manage to inject life into her drawings of people. They’re all flat, stiff, expressionless and, to top it all off, usually have Napoleon Dynamite-esque shading on their upper lips.

By this point, Annabeth’s balled up and tossed away more than one sketchbook of failed drawings of people, although she has to be more careful about where she throws them away now, thanks to the Incident That Shall Not Be Named when her stupid boyfriend started a six-month long feud between the Athena and Ares cabins. (“Who’s this supposed to be, Hulk Hogan? Wait... oh my gods, is this Clarisse? Oh holy shit, this is going to be good.”)

Really, she just wants to give up on drawing people in general and just be content with using computer generated sims in her designs, but she’s a child of Athena and she can’t just give up on something because it’s difficult.

So she swallows her pride and asks Rachel Dare, who is unnaturally and unfairly good at drawing at everything, but mostly especially people, for help, to teach Annabeth her secrets. Rachel’s really the reason she wants to draw people in the first place; the first time she saw one of Rachel’s “quick” sketches, her jaw had literally dropped and she spent the rest of the day staring at her own sketchpad in jealous frustration. Rachel knows people, and she sees everything from the creases in someone’s eyebrow to the mole on their pinky finger.

Rachel declares that Annabeth’s drawings really aren’t that horrible, and that all she needs to do is practice capturing different ranges of motion. And maybe loosen her grip on her pen a bit.

“People are fluid,” Rachel says, wiggling her fingers in front of Annabeth’s face. “See? You’ve just got to watch the way their body works. You’re already good at watching for body language, just apply that to your drawings. Look for the patterns in people's individual movements.”

“Okay,” Annabeth replies, just a little unsure about this strategy. While it’s true that she can spot someone’s physical weakness within a moment or two and is aware of her surroundings, she isn’t sure if she’s ever really watched a person like Rachel’s describing before. “I suppose it won’t hurt to try.”

She asks Percy to be her model for the weekend because he’s her boyfriend and if she’s going to be staring at anyone’s muscles, they might as well be his fantastically distracting ones. Besides, he’ll probably only laugh at her a little.

So she watches Percy ‒ really watches him ‒ and is blown away by how much extra detail she notices about his body. Percy’s got the lean, tall build of swimmer, so his muscle isn’t as obvious as some of the other boys she knows. But oh, he definitely has muscle and she comes to find she likes the way it works.

She notices the way the veins in his arms pop up all the way up to his bony elbows while he works out, and how his back starts to tremble from exhaustion right around push-up thirty-five. He doesn’t gesture with his hands as much as she thought he did, but prefers to tighten or shrug his broad shoulders instead.

When he ducks his head to laugh, the same piece of hair always falls right into his green eyes, which are truly his most expressive feature. Annabeth makes him have a staring contest with her a few times, just so she can watch the way his pupils dilate, see his irises change color and make note of how the corners of his eyes crinkle when he eventually breaks their staring contest off with laughter.

His thighs, well ‒ what and how she learns about that is private business because, really, one can’t expect a girl watching her shirtless demigod boyfriend run around their apartment not to ravish him once. Or twice. Or maybe a few more times than that.

By the end of the weekend, she’s quite proud of the sketches she’s gathered of Percy’s various body parts. She even managed to put together a nice portrait of him that captures that heart melting grin of his perfectly. It's definitely worthy of a place of honor on Sally's fridge.

But of course, every artist has her critics.

“Hmm,” Percy says as he wraps his arms around her shoulders and glances at the sketchpad. “That’s a sexy mustache I’ve got there. Is that supposed to be a hint to grow one or something?”

Annabeth sighs. Looks like she’ll have to keep working on that upper lip shading.
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