Set after 3x24, or wherever you think it fits. Just something frivolous I felt like writing- hey, I can do no angst! Well, I can try. As always, R&R.
"Picasso said 'first you must draw a straight line.' Here, just draw what you see. There's a line in everything."
"It's useless, Cohen. I don't draw." Summer threw the pencil down in disgust. She'd ended up with a useless squiggle that looked more like a dog eating its tail than the crow out of the poster on Cohen's wall. And that was only if you squinted.
"Yeah, but you've got a lot of other things going. Besides, maybe you've got a secret hidden talent for surgery or something. Your dad's great at that. What was your Mom good at?"
"You mean other than banging half the neighbourhood?" Seth interrupted his sketching to look at Summer out of the corner of his eye.
"Right…" She blew out her breath, and tried to look over at Seth's sketch pad, but he leaned away from her. Dejected, Summer picked up her pencil again.
"I don't know." She drew a little flower, and added an arrow through it. Come to think of it, her picture was looking more like a seal with a fish.
"She was good at making plans. I mean, if something went wrong, she'd know how to fix it." Summer added a few more squiggles to her picture, looked at it with her head tilted.
"Well, you do have a habit of saving Chrismukkah, my little battalion chief." Seth leant over to kiss Summer on the forehead, and she took the opportunity to swipe his sketch pad.
"Hey, not finished…" He protested weakly as she stood up on the bed, out of his reach.
"No way, you drew this right now? Cohen!" Summer looked over the picture. He'd drawn her silhouette, when she'd been lying on the bed trying to draw. Shadows cast by the light falling through the window were drawn in light lines, waiting to be coloured. Her face was thoughtful, and he'd drawn a real picture on her piece of paper in the sketch.
"I can't believe you can draw this well, and I end up with…" Summer sank down til she was cross legged and took another look at her squiggle. "Well, I think it looks like a cat with a moustache. Maybe. Who do you get your skills from? Does Sandy draw?" Seth shook his head, took the sketch pad out of her hands to finish the shadowing.
"No, Mom." Seth's answer was short, and Summer picked him up on it.
"How is she?" Summer asked. Seth shrugged, paused in his sketching before he spoke.
"I don't know. Not great, I don't think. And Dad's not helping." Seth sighed, started drawing again.
"So she used to sketch?" Summer said thoughtfully. Seth nodded.
"She draws. Paints, too. There's a heap of her paintings down in the garage. Dad wouldn't let her throw them out when they came back here, and she wouldn't let him put them up around the house… I guess it reminded her of what she was missing. They've just stayed down there."
"No way." Summer said, confused. "Your Mom was like some big power real estate thing before rehab, wasn't she? I thought she dealt with numbers and architects. She doesn't really seem like the drawing type."
"She studied art history in college, with a few painting and drawing units. She never really draws anymore though."
"No way, your Mom." Summer looked sceptical, and Seth nodded with his head down, still shading. There was silence between them, until Summer clicked her fingers and got off the bed.
"You know what I have?" Summer sounded excited, and Seth looked up warily as she started walking out of the room.
"A plan!" Seth put aside his sketchpad, leaned forward so he could see her.
"Cohen, are you coming?" She asked, hands on her hips at the doorway.
"Where are you going?" He asked, sliding himself to his feet.
"Duh, your garage." Summer shook her head at him, smiled. "Listen, your Mom isn't the same one that went away to Suriak."
"That was kind of the point, Summer. She went there to change; alcoholic to sober."
"Whatever. But she's been depressed lately, right? And she can draw." Seth nodded as he followed Summer to the first floor. She stealthily looked around the corner of the banister before running to the garage door. Seth followed at a slower pace, his hands in his pockets, shoulders slouched.
"She's out. AA. What's your point?" Summer whirled on him before she opened the adjoining garage door.
"She needs a hobby. The step-monster was a lot more depressed before she found woodwork."
"Woodwork?" Seth reached past Summer and opened the garage door. Alleviating the darkness, he switched on the light. Boxes, surfboards and other interestingly shaped objects were revealed.
"I didn't know she did woodwork."
"Well obviously she couldn't keep doing it with all the drugs she was on. It's dangerous to be around power tools when you're that relaxed from Prozac. Anyway, that's not the point. She was happier when she was doing something. Kirsten can't go back to being whatever she was at your Grandpa's company, but she can get something to do."
"She gardens and cooks." Seth said, stepping over some boxes and moving others to get to the sheet-draped objects on the other side of the room. Summer helped him move a heavy box.
"Cohen! There are only so many geraniums a woman can repot. Besides, after you and Ryan leave, she'll only have her and Sandy to cook for."
"I was thinking I might…" Seth stood in the middle of the room, amidst a sea of boxes. He shrugged a little and Summer widened her eyes.
"What? But you got into that design college. Don't you want to get away from Newport? I thought that was your dream."
"Since I was six," Seth concurred, looking down. "But she's my Mom. And she's not doing so well. I thought if I stayed for a while…" Summer bit her lip, stepped in for Seth to wrap his arms around her.
"You know, you can't stay at home forever. And do you really think she'd be happy if you put your life on hold for her. She'd probably feel guiltier." Seth sighed, blowing air across the top of Summer's head before resting his chin there.
"You're probably right."
"I know I am." Summer stepped back, smiled at him before leaning up to kiss him.
"I'm the planner here, remember. Now show me those paintings!" Seth picked his way out gingerly, Summer following, stepping their way over boxes and past material draped furniture before they both stood triumphantly in front of the covered canvases. Seth leant in and whipped the sheet off.
"Oh my god, you didn't tell me she was great at it!" Summer leant in to look more closely at the first painting. It was a forest at last light, trees almost enshrouded in darkness, the last rays of gold fleetingly revealed along the far off horizon. Behind it was a bigger painting of a storm rolling in across the ocean, purple and bruised looking. Summer shivered as she looked at it.
"Cohen, these are amazing. Why did she stop painting?" Summer moved along the line of canvases to one of a bunch of flowers, colours dripping across carefully shaped petals.
"I guess she started working a lot. Everything changed when we moved here." Summer reached out to grab Seth's hand, and pointed at the last in the row of canvases. It was a red sunrise, painted with wide brushstrokes in warm hues.
"That would look great in your Dad's office. And that tree one can go in the kitchen. Grab the end. How long until she's going to be back?" Summer moved around so Seth had to walk backwards, and he looked behind him as he spoke, almost tripping over a box.
"Usually she's gone an hour. But I think she had to grocery shop, too."
"Watch the chair." Summer shut her eyes as Seth narrowly avoided falling backwards over a stool. Opening her eyes again, she was pleased to see the painting still unscathed between them and Seth still standing.
"God, Cohen, walk faster! We don't have long." They were silent for a moment as they hurriedly navigated the doorway, then made it the short distance to Sandy's office.
"Over there." Summer pointed to the wall to the left of the doorway where a single black and white print hung. She waited, leaning the canvas against her, as Seth took the print down. They lifted it up, and Summer stepped back.
"To the left a bit. It's tilted. Left, Cohen. Your other left. Wait. Little bit more. Okay." Summer clapped her hands together, smiled as Seth turned around. "Perfect. Now we have to get the other one." Rolling his eyes, Seth followed her out of the room.
By the time they'd manipulated the forest painting out of the garage and hung it above the sideboard in the dining room, half an hour had passed.
"Shoot, Cohen. We've got to go get art supplies before she gets back."
"Art supplies?" Seth looked up the stairway as Summer ran up. He heard her footsteps upstairs before she reappeared with her bag and his phone and wallet.
"What, you think she's just going to look at the paintings and feel better. She needs to paint, so we need paints and brushes and one of those three legged things… You know, they're made out of wood and they hold whatever you're painting on…"
"Easel." Seth followed Summer out to her car, and she threw her bag in the backseat.
"That's it. Easel. Do you think we should get her a beret, too? Artists always seem to wear those. In The Valley, the guy who was cousins with the girl whose cell phone always rings when Rachel and Greg are going to have a moment…" Seeing Seth's look and putting the car in drive, Summer nodded.
"Right, no beret. Just a thought." She drove out of the driveway, with Seth directing, to the nearest art supply store.
To Be Continued…
Usually I don't use this much dialogue- but Summer's very chatty! And she's actually kind of fun to write… I've never really used her in a fic before.
If you liked this… Don't check out the rest of my fics. They're much darker and more angsty. Review if you'd like. Thanks for reading!