Title: "Side by Side, They Both Get Bright"
Summary: They find calm in a childhood pasttime.
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters. No copyright infringement is intended.
Notes: Written for lostcityfound fic battle. Prompt: Emmagan, Sheppard – crayons and/or coloring book. I guess this is set some time after "Spoils of War," possibly after "Quarantine." The idea for this story came from observing someone in high school. Apparently, you never get too old for some things.
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"It is stangely. . . soothing."
That was her response after a few moments of consideration.
John Sheppard had to agree. Well, it was soothing watching her do it, rather than the action in itself. Her features portrayed complete calm when when he first saw her as he entered the privacy of Teyla Emmagan's quarters.
Teyla continued to regard him now, a fond smile ghosting across her lips. Her right hand stopped the short strokes it had been making on a small section of the page. His eyes drifted down as he watched her other hand rest against the growing swell of her abdomen. Something tightened around his heart.
He cleared the lump that had risen in his throat before asking, "So where'd you get these?" He reached across the table and studied the glossy cover of the thin book.
He flipped through the newsprint pages and said, "I didn't know they made coloring books about. . ." he turned over and read the cover, "Ancient Greek Mythology and Other Tales?" He studied the illustration Atalanta holding a golden apple for a moment, and then flicked his eyes up to see Teyla looking at him with a somber expression.
"What?" John prodded. Had he said something wrong?
"Kate gave these to me," Teyla stated.
"Kate. . ." Oh. Dr. Heightmeyer. John had tried not to think of the woman. . . or rather, how she had died."Oh," he croaked. Then after a moment, "Really?"
Teyla seemed to sense that he was interested in further explanation, and he was glad when she humored him. "Some time ago, during one of our sessions, we were discussing different forms of relaxation." She toyed with the blue crayon in her right hand. "At the time, I was having difficulty finding piece with my usual regime of meditation. Kate suggested that I try some other technique to calm my mind." She fingered the corner of the page of the book.
". . .And she suggested coloring?" John supplied.
Teyla seemed to find humor in the dubiousness of his tone. She smiled slightly and it was like sunlight breaking through the clouds on a gloomy day.
"Actually, I asked her what she did to relax. After a moment of hesitance, she showed me these," Teyla gestured to the two coloring books. "She explained their main purpose is to teach children about the world, and they come in a variety of subjects. Even your Greek mythology."
"Yeah, that's right," John confirmed. He was still trying to wrap his mind around this very strange revelation. But then, he was in another galaxy involved in a war against space vampires and sentient, computerized bugs that had taken the form of humans, so, strange was a relative term.
Teyla continued, "She explained that for her, it was a form of exercising control. Kate was not good at drawing, so in these coloring books, 'all the work was done for you.' All one had to was 'just color' to his satisfaction."
He supposed it was good that Kate had found a nonviolent way of unwinding. She was responsible for the psychological well-being of the entire expedition, which is probably why John had avoided the woman as much as possible. He wasn't one to stop and talk about and analyze feelings. However, it had been a long time since John had truly relaxed.
"Would you like to try it," Teyla's calm voice broke into his thoughts.
John looked up into into her dark eyes, as she patiently waited for his response. Well, heck, what could it hurt?
"Sure," he responded, scratching above his eyebrow as he eyed the rainbow of colors spread across the table. Teyla smiled, and John felt a wave of heat travel up his neck. He let his gaze fall to the table, but not before trailing his gaze down the golden skin of Teyla's arm, finally coming to rest on the red crayon by her hand. He could easily reach it. "Hey, could you pass me that red, by your hand."
Teyla picked up the crayon and offered it to John. He took it from her, but then remembered something and closed his fingers around her hand. She furrowed her brow in question, and he looked her in the eye and said, "Ronon and Rodney cannot know about this." He raised his eyebrows for emphasis.
Teyla responded with smile that reached her eyes. She inclined her head, "Of course."
John felt the corner of his mouth curve in a natural response to her, and then released her hand, taking the crayon from her delicate grasp.
I don't understand about complementary colors and what they say
Side by side, they both get bright
Together, they both get gray.
—"Red Red Red" by Fiona Apple