2007-12-12: Steppin' Time


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Date It Happened: December 12, 2007

Steppin' Time

Another Cafe, Greenwich Village, Downtown NYC

He's just left his new work. He still hasn't had a chance to completely wash away the makeup, but it's something that can be considered fairly normal, especially here in Greenwich. Running a hand through his hair, AJ pulls his coat tighter about himself. He's actually forgotten that there's currently glitter on his face from where the girl threw it at him during the rehearsal. Right now, he's simply walking in the direction of a cafe for a quick drink.

And at said cafe, there sits Mikhail. He isn't drawing this time around; instead, he is just…bumming around after another crazy Dance Corps practice session. Latisha is mean when she wants to be. The duffle and his messenger bag lie on the floor in a shapeless mass, both looking worn out for inanimate objects. Sighing, the art student (in his dance gear) leans back in his seat, practically sprawling as far as he can in his chair. Fingers drum on the tabletop for a bit before taking up the water bottle again for a healthy swig.

"Oh, hey!" AJ calls over his shoulder to someone who called to him. He spins around, almost clipping Mikhail on the back of the head. Catching himself, he winces. "Sorry about that." He says to the dance-geared guy. He tucks hair back behind his head. Lots of dancers around tonight, but he can actually call himself professional now. Yay! "Got distracted."

Too close. Thankfully his reflexes still work. The artist leans forward a bit too quickly, causing him to sputter and gasp because some of the water went down the wrong pipe. Eyelids flutter as he coughs, giving AJ a brief glance. "…I…I see," he croaks, taking a moment to breathe. His head dips down as a hand waves idly. "No prob, man. Eugh." Cough.

AJ blushes brightly as he sees what ends up happening between the reaction of the other party. "Here, lemme buy you a new one." He offers. Oh, wait… it's water. "Or… rather, something that's NOT water." Yes, if there was any redder his face could be… it would be hard to find.

The hand stays in the air for a while longer before Mikhail starts breathing normally, a few muffled coughs shaking the pace as he sits back up. Blue gray eyes regard AJ again, meeting the embarrassed one's gaze with his usual calm. "Eh…nah, it's all right. You don't have to," he replies, finally dropping the hand over his bleached hair. "Really."

"I insist. It's the gentlemanly thing to do." AJ laughs as he moves about to lean against one of the chairs at Mik's table. "After all, that could have been much worse than it ended up being." He doesn't mention how bad it would have been had he lost control of other things.

Nodding, the young man sits back again to draw up one leg, setting his foot on the chair's seat. His idea of bad ranges, but it's understandable to some extent. And a free drink never hurts. Of course, he doesn't really drink anything close to coffee. Mikhail blinks, tilting his head to the side. "…They do have soda here, don't they?" he asks. It would be silly if they didn't, being a cafe and all. He needs his sugar.

"I'm sure they do." AJ laughs. "Being this close to theatres filled with dancers who need their energy." He grins, not trying to take the seat. He wouldn't do that unless invited anyway, just leaning. "And actors. And whatever else from SOME theatres." He wrinkles his nose, laughing. "I'm AJ." he offers.

Mikhail perks. Yay, soda! But he also showed interest in what AJ brings to light. Actually, he's never been around here when all the dancers and actors come out of hiding after hours of practicing. This is new to him. He smirks, amused at the thought. "Mikhail," he says in return. "This is a first. I'm usually sitting inside one of NYU's art studios painting."

"Ah, one of the art forms that I totally suck at." AJ says, perhaps stretching the truth a little. "I finally got a part in one of the small off-off-broadway numbers. It at least gets me out of restaurant work for a while. Probably not long enough though." He grins as the waitress swings by again. He orders a soda, himself, and then looks to Mik.

Eyebrows raise slightly. "Wow. Congrats. Must be hard going for auditions," Mikhail grins, still amused at AJ's remark about him and painting. He always wondered what it was like to perform in one of those, broadway or not. "Just as long as you can make a name for yourself, maybe? At least you're doing what you enjoy the most," he adds with a shrug.

"Took forever. I was always screwing up before." AJ says with a shrug. "But I got over what was holding me back. Anyway, what kinda art do you do, anyway?" he asks, more interested in learning about someone new. "My boyfriend has so little artistic ability that he makes a napkin look talented."

He can sort of relate to that. Well, not dancing-wise, but just the expectations and recquirements of others. "That's good," he says with a nod. "Your attitude helps." And his art styles? Miki bends over to reach into the messenger bag for his sketchbook. It's almost full of drawings. "I don't really know how to classify it…manga-esque? Graffiti and traditional, expressionistic." He slides the book across the table toward AJ. "Random. I can work with whatever's available, but it's usually pen, pencil, or paint."

"Go with the flow then, whatever the mood strikes?" AJ asks as he takes a glance at the sketchbook. "One of my roommates does mostly ink and paper. Rarely does color and then just with markers because it's what he works best with." He nods, chuckling. "A household of artists. Saves money. Adds drama."

Mikhail laughs. "Yeah, pretty much," he responds. It was always like that for him. Especially with the robot fish. "Coloring isn't that bad. It can be a pain when you don't know what the scheme is." Hearing that AJ rooms with other artists makes his expression falter some, but he chuckles. "Oh man. Sitting in classes with other artists is enough for me," he says, mock-surrendering. Seriously.

"Oh, it's worse when someone gets sick or injured. They either baby or avoid at all costs. That's why I spend as much time as I can away from home." AJ grins as the sodas arrive. He nods slightly to the waitress before taking a sip of his own. "Dancing, I can do. Singing, I can do. Physical art… no. Horrible at it."

The artist thanks the waitress softly, drawing his soda closer. Mine. "Sounds like they're always indoors. That's…normal, I guess," Mikhail says, taking a short sip. Not a sip, a gulp. "My roommates are usually out unless they're sleeping in from hangovers. Party people." Nothing really interesting to him. Another gulp and the soda is set aside. His eyes fall back on AJ. "Since you are good at dancing and singing, I'm sort of wondering how good you are." Curiosity strikes.

Raising an eyebrow. "How good I am? I'm very good… when I'm trying." AJ laughs. "Why do you wonder?" He snickers, tilting his head as he takes a sip of the soda.

"Because…" Mikhail pauses to bite his lower lip in thought. The smirk is still playing on his features. Should he ask? Why not? "…This is coming out of nowhere, but I'm very close to challenging you to a dance off." He maintains his deadpan expression fairly well as he proceeds to drink some more soda.

Raising an eyebrow, AJ stares. "Here? In public? With someone you've never met?" A smile starts to creep across his face as he wrinkles his nose. "Too bad Will isn't here to see this." He laughs. "Hell, why not?"

A palm hits the table lightly as Mikhail grins back. "Awesome. It's on." The chair is pushed back as he dives under again to retrieve his mp3 player and a set of minispeakers. After taking some time to set up, he clicks through the long list of songs. "Ah, here we go," the artist says brightly, tapping the button again to begin playing the song. Beats and rhythms fill the air quickly as the volume is raised. With that, Mikhail takes a step back, gesturing for AJ to take his place.

AJ moves over, tossing his jacket onto the chair he was leaning on. Sure, it's chill, but when one's moving properly, they get warm quickly. He falls into rhythm with the music, moving lightly, tossing a wink to the 'challenger'. "After you." He says, glancing about to make sure there's plenty of room so that no one nearby gets in either dancer's way.

"Aight then," Mikhail shrugs, shaking out his arms and rolling a shoulder. On the next measure, he slides back on his left foot. It's clear that his style harkens to that of hip hop music videos, but it looks good. Step, bounce, dust off a shoulder, turn. Another pose after the full turn leads Mikhail to point at AJ.

As he's pointed to, AJ pivots, balancing on his toes as he cracks his fingers forward. He spins, mimicing a classic Michael Jackson move that many artists have used since. He step-touches twice with each foot before flipping his knit cap off his head to fling out towards Mikhail. Not as fun as a fedora, but it'll do./

He recognizes that move. It may have been a small shock sent through his system by the looks of it. As soon as Miki is given a signal, he pretty much adlibs it. However one can adlib dance, that is. It does look better than what others can do, anyway. Another step and a nod, his head bobbing to the beat. Take it, AJ.

Fine, that's how it's playing, then that's how it's playing. When AJ auditioned for this part, he did a raucous moment of movement on the stage, sliding and spinning his body in rapid succession with quick legpops and toestands in between. That moment doesn't compare to this one. He moves his body with an insane ability to control, freezing in what look like painful positions before coming to a halt, balanced out on the toes of one foot. His final position stands with his hat-hand out towards Miki, one leg out behind him, and the other arm straight up in the air… almost as though he's making a plus shape with his body.

"…" Mikhail takes four measures of music to just stare at AJ and his held pose. OWN'd. He rechecks himself to keep from gaping, backing up a little before spinning on a heel. The artist lands with both feet apart, arms kept in position as he shifts his weight, side to side. Drawing back up from the stance, Miki leans to the right, looking as if he's falling over. Catching himself in time with another turn leads him to kneel on the ground, eyes darting back up to look at the dancer. One more, he thinks, but it's clear who reigns supreme.

Even after all of that, AJ still has it in him. He comes out of the point, doing a quick kickspin snatching up his jacket while he does so, and wrapping it around his body as he comes to a complete stop, one foot outstretched while his body tilts, hipshot as he angles his head over. "Satisfied?" he says with a smile and a wink.

Twisting from his current position, Mikhail gets back up with style. All of this is done in time to the music. Swerving. And stuff. Of course, he ends his round with a bow toward AJ.

Yeah. So OWN'd.

"Dude," he says with an amused gasp. "To sum it up: yeah." He also leans back, gangsta-style. A hand is held out, though, offering a handshake. "Dang. Keep it up, man."

AJ grins and accepts the handshake. "It's what I do for a living, man. I just kept slipping and tripping. It kept me out of the big leagues. My brain workin' against me. But… honestly, you're good enough to perform yourself, man. You should try it sometime, if you wanna get up on stage in front of folks." He reaches out for his drink and takes a deep sip.

Mikhail bobs his head, the grinning definitely breaking his stoicness. "I'll keep it in mind," he replies softly. It does seem like something to venture into on the side. Walking back over to the table, he presses the mp3 player's buttons again. The sound shuts off, fizzling with a pop. He sighs, taking up his own soda. "Of course, now I gotta get back to finishing some art stuff. I swear, the profs don't rest at all. Even when finals are practically done."

"Don't I know it?" AJ laughs. "but keep at it. The degree is worth it, even if most people don't think it is. It can still be used for other things." He shrugs slightly as he downs the rest of his soda. "That was… fun." He chuckles.

"Thanks. And it was," the artist smiles while putting his stuff away. Words he'll keep in mind, too. A little goes a long way. Picking up the two bags, Mikhail leans forward to keep his balance. The soda is also picked up. "Aight. Gotta go. But thanks, AJ," he says. Beat. "Again," is added as he starts backing up some.

"Later." AJ says as he sees Mik begin making his way 'offstage.' He waits for the waitress to come around again so he can pay her for the pair of drinks. He really DOES wonder what brought it on, but hey. He's not going to argue. Maybe he'll stage something sometime. He doesn't know.

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