Before you read any of my writing, I'm making you go over to an author by the username of J. Fontaine. It's fair to both say that I stole and yet did not steal their idea. Of course it looks a hell of a lot like stealing right now because it's Anastasia, but if you see the document I have for these stories, their genres run all over the place, dealing with even my original characters. (as well as I have a zillion documents with different writing prompts and themes) But J. Fontaine's "Polychromatism", parts I-V is far better than mine, and also if you're looking for the more relationship-centric stuff, theirs is the place to go! It's not that I won't have relationship stuff in here, it just may or may not be as common. With Anastasia? Probably more common. But for other fandoms of which this type of story will surely pop up for someday, not as much. Probably.
Anyways, just an eleven-chapter story based off of the writing themes dealing with colors, sometimes literally, sometimes figuratively. Eleven colors in all: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Purple, White, Gray, Brown, Black. No pink, because indigo is generally a harder color to write for, also, I like the number eleven better.
Using the handles above him, Vlad uneasily stood up between the click-clacks of the train. Groaning as his joints creaked, he steadied himself against the wall. Across the tiny cabin Anya slept huddled against the seat, her ragged coat as a blanket and her one bag as her pillow. She was naught else but skin and bones, smeared with dirt and ratty in appearance and manners. But she had the face and personality of a Romanov; they could not have found someone else that struck such a drastic likeness in their lifetime.
He looked down to Dmitri who was double checking their traveling papers. Smiling, he stretched out his cramped limbs.
"We couldn't have found a better girl," he mentioned on the off-hand. Dmitri scoffed.
"I'm just glad that she's finally asleep. I don't have to hear her voice anymore."
"She's very inquisitive," Vlad agreed, still smiling. Dmitri glared at him, turning the page of his passport without looking at it. He saw the smile on the older man's face, and knew exactly what he was thinking about.
"One more word about 'unspoken attractions' and I'm intentionally screwing up your papers." Vlad chuckled despite this threat, and stumbled to the door as the train lurched over the tracks.
"I'm off to the dinner trolley, they'll have desserts by this time. Do you want anything?"
Dmitri glanced off into the fading sunlight just beyond the numerous bare trees. After a short moment of debate he turned back to the papers.
"Some cake, perhaps. Oh, and take your passport with you, just in case,"
"Vatrushka, syrniki?" Vlad took the papers from Dmitri's outstretched hand as he opened the door and stood in the frame, waiting for his answer.
Vlad gave a general nod in Anya's direction, "Anything for the Duchess?"
"No." Dmitri said deliberately, his eyes darkening as he scrunched his shoulders down in annoyance, furrowing his brow as he pretended to extensively read the pages of his passport. Vlad chuckled, and Dmitri's face flushed a shade of red in frustration, but before he could reply Vlad had slid the door shut and was making his way down the hallway of the coach to where the small kitchen was. It's not that he was particularly very hungry at the moment, he just wanted to stretch his limbs to avoid extra hardships in standing up and moving about when it came time to do so. They'd reach Krakow by tomorrow morning, and if he simply went to sleep on the train without so much as a brief walk he'd be nearly immobile by the time the train whistle woke them up.
But it wasn't like him to pass up a finely cooked pastry, either.
Giving his passport a once-over as he walked down the hall, he smiled to himself as he continued to think about the two younger people on the trip. Attraction, ridiculous. Indeed. They hated each other so much that they bickered and bantered like a married couple. Vlad had a feeling that one way or another somebody would realize that by the end of this journey that they were head over heels in twitterpation. Of course Vlad wasn't a psychic, for all he knew they truly hated each other and would claw each other's eyes out by the time they reached Germany. And it would almost be better that way too; though he adored the spirited girl and did wish the best for her despite them using her to get the empress's money, it was best to not become too attached to her. That wouldn't be such a problem for Vlad, but for Dmitri, if it really came to that, might have some issues.
But that would be the best case scenario in a sappy love story. It was most likely that everyone would remain neutral towards one another, start to finish. Vlad licked his thumb and cleared a smudge off of the edge of the paper, moving to the side of the car to pass a couple huddled together. He paused as their conversation caught his ear.
"Last month, the traveling papers were blue, but now they are red...," the man observed in a somewhat exasperated manner. Vlad looked from their papers to his, then back to theirs. While his printing was in perfectly forged royal blue ink, theirs was in official bright red. Red ink!
Vlad gasped in terror, and looked ahead. There was the conductor, dressed in what only now appeared to be a highly militaristic uniform, and there he was going down the aisle one by one asking each person for their papers, as they had just crossed the Polish border. Vlad panicked and gave an abrupt about-face, his wide frame knocking some people into the thin doors. He tried to breathe out an apology but failed, only hearing the irked woman give a comment about his rudeness as he retreated to the back of the car. Perhaps it was for the better, then the conductor couldn't hear his voice and use it as an identification device. It didn't seem to matter anymore, things were coming as a blur to him.
Sliding the door open and squeezing himself inside, he panted and adjusted his hat. Dmitri looked up with a somewhat surprised expression, eyebrows raised. Vlad gulped even though his throat had quickly become dry from terror.
"That's what I hate about this government...," Vlad murmured nervously, gesturing at the passport pages "Everything's in red."
"Red?" Dmitri asked in shock, standing up to stare at the blue ink as if it could magically change to the bastard color of the Bolsheviks by sheer willpower.
Vlad shut the passport and held it in his thick trembling fingers, whispering frantically, "I propose we move to the baggage car, quickly!"
"I propose we get off this train!" Dmitri declared as he and Vlad began taking suitcases and bags off of the top shelves. Pooka had woken up at some point and was barking madly, racing about Anya's sleeping form and shrieking at the window in anger. Dmitri instantly felt the urge to toss the dog out into the passing snows just so the stupid mutt wouldn't give away their presence, but leaned down to wake Anya instead as Vlad poked his head out, watching and waiting for an opportunity to move without notice. The dumb pooch had been frightened by something outside and was whimpering into silence now anyways. He had probably seen a bat or something.
"Hey...," Dmitri shook her gently. Vlad gave a urgent little hiss as a signal to go and to go now, and Dmitri nodded him onwards. Gathering as many bags as he could, Vlad slipped out. Dmitri watched as he left, turning his eyes back to Anya just in time to see the her hand reach out from the folds of her jacket and smash his nose square into his face with a very loud, almost sickening smack!
Pain rocketed from his nose to his forehead, blaring in his mind as stars danced in front of his closed eyes on a red background. Crying out as he fell backwards onto the seat, he cupped his nose and crossed his eyes, struggling to see if his nose was still there. He swore that if he was bleeding he'd make sure that...well...that she'd never forget it! Or something. It hurt too much to think, anyways.
"Oh, sorry, I thought you were someone els—," Anya began as she sat up, but when she looked across to see Dmitri flinching and wincing as he delicately touched his nose (which she swore was even more crooked now than before) her apologetic tone changed immediately, "Oh, it's you! Well, that's okay then."
Dmitri couldn't even give her a half-hearted glare. His face now felt like one great bruise, and to make matters worse his nose was swelling up, blocking the bottom half of his vision with rosy, irritated skin. Piling the rest of the suitcases under his arms and forcing himself not to wince again lest he appear weak in front of Anya, he turned to her, accidentally forgetting what had just happened by lending her a chivalrous hand to help her up.
"C'mon, we gotta go!" he urged. He felt the insides of his nostrils begin to swell and close, and though he couldn't feel any blood dripping down he felt mucus dribble down the back of his throat, no doubt knocked back there from the force of Anya's palm. Swallowing though it sickened him, he began to leave the cabin as Anya gathered up Pooka along with her few belongings.
"Where are we going?" she asked with a yawn. Dmitri directly ignored her as he stumbled out into the hall, gingerly rubbing his face. Pain throbbed all over, and he felt his sinuses begin to collapse.
"I think you broke my nose!" he wailed accusingly for an answer as he bumbled after Vlad to the baggage car. His ears joined the rosy color of his nose, though more in anger than in pain as he heard Anya's very loud whisper behind him as she shouldered her bag.
"Men are such babies."
Babies? Babies? Yeah, and women weren't. They were the frailer sex anyways! If their positions had been switched Dmitri would have made damn sure that he had broken her nose if she tried to wake him. And they'll see who's the baby when faced with a phalanx of Red soldiers marching in their direction. If she had known that that imagery could be what they were about to face in the next twenty-four hours then maybe she'd change her attitude a little bit. Men are not babies.
He muffled another cry as his finger slipped and jabbed the bridge between his cheeks.
Well, okay. Maybe men act just a smidgen like babies. But to be fair, it felt like she had broken it, and fairly well, too.
"Suck it up." Anya said unsympathetically as they transferred from one car to the next. Dmitri growled various cuss words at her under the noise of the train as they stepped into the baggage car. Just wait. Let him find a good-sized spider and then he'll show her who's the baby.
Dmitri couldn't believe it, but he was desperately praying that Anya absolutely hated spiders.