vorbratta: (get my hands in it)

[personal profile] vorbratta 2017-01-15 02:58 am (UTC)(link)
Sonia purses her lips at him for that comment about Miles, because yes, she does like Miles, thank you. But she knows that Byerly and Miles know each other -- enough that Miles felt he could trust Byerly with the seizure thing -- so she lets it pass, grinning in response to his question. She pats the folder.

"Well, if you were hoping for Escobaran erotic woodcuts, you'll be disappointed," she says with a tilted smile, and that almost-shyness, that little hint of vulnerability passes over her face again as she opens the folder toward Byerly. "But if you're interested in an amateur gallery show..."

He'd said to pick the ones that made her gladdest, and for the most part, she had. But she hadn't brought any of the pictures of her sister or father, or the pictures she'd taken at Piotr and Olivia's impromptu wedding. A few shots of the Countess from a distance, but mostly they're candids of people -- soldiers, villagers, people whose names she doesn't even know -- and shots of the mountain scenery in all seasons.
vorrutyer: (actually maybe unsmug)

[personal profile] vorrutyer 2017-01-15 01:59 pm (UTC)(link)
"Amateur is a bit modest," he murmurs as his fingers splay over the photographs. Not, of course, that they are completely professional: there's a difference between the camera these were captured on and the sorts of equipment that real professional photographers use nowadays, and there's occasional errors of technique here and there that a more experienced sort wouldn't make. A hint of overexposure that seems accidental, a little blurring that he suspects she herself doesn't like. But she has a fine eye and a steady hand. Trained? Surely she's had training.

He flips through them - not in a perfunctory way, but pausing at every photograph to study it. Even if he were not genuinely interested, he would be looking at her photographs in this way, because there's no greater insult to examine someone's art like you're eager to get to the end of it. But he is interested, and so the time spent is a pleasure, rather than a chore. (And while he does he picks out, in the back of the head, the photographs that could potentially have strategic value, that locate potential weapons caches or indicate guard patrols. It's not for any real purpose - the camp in these photos was abandoned weeks ago; it's just ImpSec-ingrained habit.)

"You like people," he observes. And then, wryly, as he flips to a picture of a phenomenally hideous Dendarii villager, "All people."
vorbratta: (i better keep my two legs running)

[personal profile] vorbratta 2017-01-15 02:11 pm (UTC)(link)
Sonia doesn't have a lot of people to show her photographs off to. Her sister, certainly, but they don't have as much time together as they used to. Armsman Gavalas, sure, but she suspects he's mostly just humoring her. Count Piotr doesn't have any interest (although she did catch him smiling once at a photograph from the wedding), and the soldiers...well, they're always a mixed bag, and they're all too polite. Byerly is polite, too, though not so much that he wouldn't offer genuine commentary, she thinks.

"People are important," she says, turning her chin up at him as if in a challenge to argue. She purses her lips at him again, though she can't help but smile. "All people."
vorrutyer: (satisfied (but smug))

[personal profile] vorrutyer 2017-01-15 02:23 pm (UTC)(link)
That makes him laugh a bit - not unkindly, but still he laughs. "You must have spent time on Beta," he comments - he'd known it from her accent, to be sure, but he that that egalitarian sentiment has confirmed it. "What an un-Vorish sentiment." Not that he says that with disapproval - he has a bit of fondness for un-Vorish sentiments, to be altogether frank; he doesn't love proles, but he does love the chaos that comes with dangerous and irregular thoughts. But though it might not be disapproving, it is a provocation; his eyes glint curious interest as he watches her reaction to that comment.

"Surely some people are a bit more important than others...?"
vorbratta: (throw me back in the ditch again)

[personal profile] vorbratta 2017-01-15 02:39 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, dammit. She doesn't think Miles would've told, but Byerly's clever enough on his own. Vor she couldn't claim to deny, even if she'd never said it; Beta, on the other hand... She knew he'd start to puzzle the details sooner or later, and all the sooner once Count Piotr lets the outsiders into the rest of the camp. She'll take her last round of fencing as far as she can, then. There's a fractional widening of her eyes, a flicker of surprise before she recovers, and she bites her lip into a smile, eyebrows raised.

"My parents were very cosmopolitan people," she says airily, and then tosses her hair over her shoulder with a quite expectant look at Byerly. "And I think it backfired on them. I wouldn't consider myself very Vorish at all."

She smirks, but it fades back into a resting smile, and she shrugs one shoulder. "Family, I suppose. But when you don't have much of that...we're in a war, Byerly." She says it with smallest breath of a laugh, though the unspoken end to that sentence is and I'd lose my mind if I didn't find something to hold onto.
vorrutyer: (world-weary (and smug))

[personal profile] vorrutyer 2017-01-15 02:51 pm (UTC)(link)
"So we are." Inevitable choice of words, there. Not so you are. We. Although this is not truly his war - he was not born to it, and he is not sworn to Dorca but to Gregor - it's Barrayar's. And he, too, is not very Vorish at all...and yet, when it comes down to it, he will not shrug off his planet's need. The we is calculated in a way, an expression of solidarity that he hopes will build trust, but in another truer way it's what his heart demands he says.

Ah, my poor beloved, benighted, despised Barrayar. What an odd collection of knights-errant you've summoned in your time of need... He changes the subject just a bit, so she can get her feet under her again.

"And a pity, that. A war by its nature is as un-cosmopolitan a situation as one can find." Unless, of course, one is running about, seeking out allies on far-flung worlds...But he silences that intuition, not wanting to face the full reality of their situation quite yet. "The culture becomes insular in this sort of us-or-them situation - travel becomes impossible - " He nods down to the folder. "Art discouraged." He lets out a sigh. "War does destroy so much more than just people's lives, doesn't it?"
vorbratta: (get my hands in it)

[personal profile] vorbratta 2017-01-15 03:20 pm (UTC)(link)
Sonia's gaze drops to the open folder in Byerly's lap, her smile faded. She suddenly feels very small. "Yes. It does."

Not everything -- surely not everything -- in a private place Sonia is only willing to admit to herself, she thinks that if she had lost everything, she surely would have killed herself by now rather than endure another year, month, day of this. If she had ever lost her sister... She hasn't seen her father in two, maybe three years. Her mother -- not since before the war started. Would she even recognize her daughter now? Will they both even live to see the end of this war? Sonia bites her lip again, trying to quash every sobering thought welling up to the surface like bubbles in water. Finally, she lets out a little huff.

"I hereby declare the end of this depression conversation," she says brusquely, "unfit as it is for people like us. We deserve something more fun."

She reaches down for the bundle at her feet, unwrapping it in her lap to reveal a bottle of wine, clearly pilfered. Not the best in camp -- she couldn't get away with that, at least not without Ezar for an attempted scapegoat, but hardly the worst, either. No cups, alas, nor do they have such a luxury as cheese this winter, but she'd tucked a few hard scones in there as well. She manages to bring back her smile, picking up the bottle to cradle it with a very Vorish fondness. "You've been looking thirsty lately, Byerly."
vorrutyer: (what a shitty grin)

[personal profile] vorrutyer 2017-01-15 03:39 pm (UTC)(link)
"Ohh." That does distract him quite handily from the subtler line of conversation. Is that really, truly wine? Not maple mead concealed sadistically in a wine bottle? Real wine? His eyes absolutely light up, and his mind feels awash in a shivery delicious anticipation of the tingle of the grapes on his tongue...And it looks proper, too, with an actual vintage. Something they actually bothered to write the year on. And a Vorkosigan wine, too - political and personal loyalty would never allow him to admit this, but he considers the Vorkosigan's District's wines amongst the best on Barrayar. Something about that clay soil that brings out the best in a red.

"Dear Sonia," he sighs, and then looks around with a rather suspicious gaze. There's no one sitting terribly close, but the popping of a cork might potentially lure moochers closer. And so he asks, "Let's take this far away from where anyone might ask for a glass. I have no intention of sharing with anyone save you."
vorbratta: (a hundred and twelve)

[personal profile] vorbratta 2017-01-15 04:31 pm (UTC)(link)
A-ha. Sonia expected him to be delighted, but that look on Byerly's face is worth twice the stern scowl she'll probably be getting from Count Piotr sometime in the next day or two. Priceless, really. She beams at him, gathering up her things.

"By all means, dear Byerly," she says, not bothering to conceal any smugness, "lead the way."
vorrutyer: (warmth)

[personal profile] vorrutyer 2017-01-15 07:02 pm (UTC)(link)
He sweeps her a bow as he stands, offering his hand in a courtly gesture of support. Once she's up, that hand gets tucked smoothly into the crook of his elbow as he leads her on - out of the line of sight of the other outsiders, still within the circle of guards. No need for any soldiers to come and break this up, after all.

"How did you get your hands on it?" he asks. "Did you ask permission, or will you be asking forgiveness?"
vorbratta: (so pack up mamasita)

[personal profile] vorbratta 2017-01-15 09:03 pm (UTC)(link)
"A little bit of both." Sonia gives him a devilish grin, not protesting in the least at Byerly's hand. It's darker on the other side of the tent, away from the campfire, and the warmth recedes behind them as they leave. Well, the wine will make up for that. "I wouldn't worry too much about it. I didn't take anything that would be that sorely missed."