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Pavel Andreievich Chekov (Ensign)
06 February 2011 @ 04:02 pm
When the start gun cracks and the noise reverberates in his ears, he takes off, weaving through people that aren't going as fast as he is; Pavel Chekov is no sprinter and he doesn't put on speed quickly, but his long strides require room to move, and the best palce for that is out front of the mass of people. Kirk's--the other Kirk, the older one in Milliways--advice sounds in his mind as he lets his body slip into a cadence of footfalls; don't expect to do well, or even finish. He knows it was just advice to keep him from hurting himself, but he hates it when people treat him like a boy that doesn't know any better. It makes him push just a little faster, just to break away from the group he's in, finding himself trailing the leaders.

He'd best slow down, he knows. Going too fast will only tire him faster, and this is at the core an endurance race; forty kilometers, Pavel recites in his head, breaking it down. One hundred thirty-seven thousand, two hundred and eighty feet. Each of his strides is two feet almost exactly from heel to heel; sixty-eight thousand six hundred and forty strides. He's at less than five hundred now.

The first kilometer goes by and Pavel keeps his pace for the next thirty-eight, letting all the numbers and the seconds ticking by--the incessant clock in his head that he can't turn off, that drives him to distraction when he isn't doing anything with the rest of his mind--drift away and leave a comfortably dark blank space that he imagines to be like space itself, dotted with bright thoughts like stars and the enveloping closeness of a vacuum he can zip through with ease, once he has coordinates. His legs are on autopilot now, just enough function diverted to controlling them that he doesn't run into anyone.

He thinks about a lot of things over the course of the race; his classes, his parents waiting to hear how he's doing, what he's going to need to clean out his dorm room since the door to Milliways opens into it from the unoccupied closet that would be his roommate's if he had one. Milliways sticks in his mind, and all the people he's talked to that he can't tell anyone about--the thoughts flit past his mind's eye and get organized away where they won't get lost.

It's only at the stumble because he missed a step that he's jerked back to here and now--what time is it? How long as he been running? It can't have been too long, he realizes, because he's still more or less in the same place he last remembered actually being in reference to the runners still surrounding him. He's dropped back a few places, but he's in the top twenty-five easily. That's unexpected. What's even more inexpected is that he has two kilometers left of the race--and right now he's feeling very good, even with the wave of tiredness that hits his legs and makes him twitch. Pavel might have needed to pay more attention to the race, because he doesn't even notice that he's thirsty, that his skin isn't wet with him sweating anymore.

The last kilometer is the hardest part, he knows, and his leg is starting to do more than ache; his brain is finally processing the catalogue of discomfort the marathon is causing, but Pavel ignores it, speeding up with every passing stride; he wants to win. He can see the finish line and the projected ribbon across the running path and if he can only speed up a little more, he'll be in tenth place, in third place--

And now he's in second--

Pavel's brain doesn't immediately register it when he crosses the ribbon first, breaking the projection with his torso. It's one of the only things he doesn't register: his knees decide of their own accord to bend, and he lets himself drop fifteen feet past the finish mark, sliding off his knees and ankles to sit heavily on the ground. The surprised murmurs swarm his ears like bees, indistinguishable in the mass of noise. He's fifteen!--No, that can't be right, you can't be serious!--We'd best get him water, he looks pale--What was the time again? He tunes it out, just sitting there with his chest heaving as he struggles to catch his breath and stand back up.

When the award certificate is pressed into his hands he smiles, and slowly--with help--makes it back to his dorm nearly an hour and a half later. It's a shower first, but immediately after, once he's dressed and with still-damp curls mking his scalp cold, Milliways sounds really good.
 
 
Pavel Andreievich Chekov (Ensign)
30 January 2011 @ 07:14 pm
It took him a while to actually find a dance studio in Milliways--Chekov wasn't altogether surprised it had one, as it seemed to have everything else. It was relatively quiet and almost entirely deserted when he came in, only one or two doors down from the gym. He put on music as he stretched out, mostly recovered and fine from the chase a few days ago.

He was still a little confused by that whole thing; who got chased by tigers and then didn't get eaten? But that was why he'd decided to postpone going back to his classes for another day, opting instead to practice something other than running. The Swan Lake music played pleasantly through speakers set high around the walls as Pavel went through the motions of a barre stretch before doing anything more strenuous.
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Pavel Andreievich Chekov (Ensign)
24 January 2011 @ 11:01 pm
Pavel inhabits the gym more often than is usual for someone his age; mostly, the exercise and physical strain is relaxing after having to sit still in that chair while he's on shift.

So, today, it's brought him to the corner of one of the gym rooms with a hard floor, bent double and backwards, balancing on his toes and his hands with his back arched as high as he can get it. His loose tee shirt is barely riding up, but it's not like he's incredibly worried about it as so few people really ever interrupt him here. Very slowly he settles back down, just sitting on the floor and leaned back on his elbows as the music over the computer system plays, just loud enough to drown out the rest of his thoughts--and probably escape through the door.

His thoughts are, oftentimes, very loud.
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Pavel Andreievich Chekov (Ensign)
11 January 2011 @ 01:11 pm
He is fourteen when he is accepted into Starfleet Academy in San Francisco, California, after a year spent in the Astrophysics Conservatory in St. Petersburg, away from his parents in Moscow. He takes classes in the evenings mostly, when the high-level courses are offered in physics and theoretical math and temporal mechanics, and they're all he has; the beauty of numbers, the hardness and mystery of space, gravity, time, and stardust, in his fingernails, in his eyes, in him. Some of the cadets don't take so well to being shown up so easily by such a little boy, and Pavel ends up having his fair share of scrapes and bruises, most of which he stubbornly bears until the evidence is gone. Once, his nose gets broken by one of them, and the intern cadet at the infirmary only looks at him with what he supposes is pity when she runs the tricorder over his face, over dried and drying blood that coats those pouty lips like an obscene kind of cosmetic. He waits patiently for the damage to be fixed, and waves off the earnest suggestion that he should report the incident. He refuses to be seen as a child.

---

When he's working on a problem with a stylus held in those long, tapered fingers, he's as beautiful to watch as he is when he runs across campus and back with long, loping strides like a deer; not hurried, not anxious, but powerful and sleek and fast. Or when he dances, eyes shut to the world as his body does what the muscle memories tell it to, spinning him quick and graceful across the floor. His writing is narrow and the letters lean into one another when he's using Standard; it's like his brain hasn't entirely switched over from Cyrillic, but the answers are all there, unfolding in that jumble of foreign-looking symbols across the surface of the acrylic display board. His mind is wired for this: to think, to create, to consider, to calculate, to imagine the possibilities that unfold in the three dimensional eternity that unfurls beyond the Earth's gravity field. He's good at it, though no one ever expects it out of the Russian 'whiz-kid', as he comes to be called, all curls and an eager smile and big, blue-green eyes that remind everyone that sees him that the genius is only a kid.

---

He has a dormitory to himself for most of the time he's at the Academy. It was deemed appropriate that way; Pavel was seen as too young, too waiflike, too something to be tossed in with the rest of the soldier-students. He doesn't mind, it gives him an extra few minutes to shower that he wouldn't have had otherwise, he thinks, tipping his head into the spray. He counts the seconds that the water washes over his face; he counts the seconds for everything in the back of his mind, up to four hundred and forty-six million and change. He adds seventeen minutes' worth of seconds to that before he steps out, steam obscuring the reflection in his mirror. He's up early to take a run and get to the exam in his advanced transporter theory class; he's the only one who knows all the material already and if he can take the final, he can move up to the level three stellar cartography lab. He's given a week's leeway to catch up with the rest of that class before they reach their midterm. Pavel thinks with a soft grin that he'll manage it in about five days.