Pairing: Evan Lorne/Teyla Emmagan
Word Count: approx 4100
Disclaimer: not mine
Summary: Their first semester at the Atlantis Arts Academy, Teyla helped Evan learn about more than art.
Teyla could feel the tension draining away as her feet moved across the soft grass. There was no music, but she had learned long ago that she did not require music to dance, especially when she was outside. It took her back to when she was younger and has discovered the joy of letting of mind wander and her body take control. Whilst her new roommate was trying to decide whether the best way to prepare for her first semester was to try and get a head start on all her study or to go out partying, Teyla wanted to remind herself why she had worked so hard to get into the Atlantis Arts Academy in the first place. Whilst being technical proficient in the different forms of dance was important and would ultimately provide her with a career, she believed that the more she learnt the more creative she could be when she was dancing for herself.
She sensed a presence behind her that pulled her from her thoughts and she turned to see a man carrying a blank pad of paper and a small tin of what she assumed were pencils.
“Oh please, don’t let me stop you.” the man said with a grin. The look on his face told her that he had been standing there long enough to see her dance.
Teyla paused for a moment, not embarrassed, although to an outsider it would have seemed like she was unsure as to how she should proceed. “I am sorry, I thought that I was sufficiently far away from the campus buildings that I would not come across any other students.”
The man gave a small chuckle. “That’s the same reason I came out this far. I just wanted to relax and do a little drawing before classes start tomorrow. It seems like everyone is so stressed out about the semester starting and grades that they’ve already forgotten why they came here. I’m trying to make sure I don’t end up like them so I am trying to get as far away from all that as possible and do some drawing without worry about how it relates to the curriculum. Sometimes its nice to do things your own way, if you get what I mean?”
“I do. I also came out here to remind myself why I came to Atlantis in the first place.” Teyla replied.
“Well” the man said glancing at Teyla’s bag sitting at the foot of an old tree “It looks like you’ve set yourself up here, so I might go…somewhere else, and leave you to it.”
“No, I believe that I have been out here long enough. Please, stay.” Teyla said reaching to gather up her things. “Perhaps I will see you on campus?”
“Sure.” the man smiled as Teyla waved good-bye.
Having just sat through a lecture on the technical aspects of 19th century life painting, Evan just wanted to get out and paint. He was reminded of the conversation he’d had a couple of weeks earlier about being able to do your art your own way. As much as he enjoyed learning about the different ways that people had painted over the centuries, sometimes he preferred to forget the rules of composition and paint the world the way he saw it.
Reaching for his pad and watercolours, Evan decided to head to the perimeter of the campus. Although he wasn’t entirely willing to admit it, he was hoping to run into the girl he had met at the beginning of semester.
When he reached the spot he was disappointed, but not really surprised, to find that she wasn’t there. Still, being there jogged his memory as to what she had looked like dancing in the brief moment before he had disturbed her and he sat down and started sketching.
Evan became lost in his drawing until he heard someone approaching. Looking up he smiled at the girl he had met earlier, who was now approaching him.
“Hello” she greeted him with a smile “It appears that we have reversed positions and I am interrupting you.”
He stared at her intently for a few seconds before turning his attention to the pad in his lap and making a few minute adjustments to the drawing. He repeated the process a few more times before Teyla interrupted him “Are you drawing a picture of me?”
Evan lowered his pencil. “I was remembering that conversation we had and it inspired me again, so I decided to come down here and sketch out some ideas. When I arrived I kept remembering what you looked like dancing, so I tried to recreate that. Of course I don’t know your name so I was going to have to call the sketch something like ‘Mystery Girl Dancing.’”
Teyla walked over and looked down at the painting “You are very talented. You were able to draw that from memory?”
“Apart from the few adjustments I made when you arrived, pretty much, yeah.” Evan handed the sketchpad up to Teyla so she could take a closer look.
“You came to Atlantis to learn to draw?” Teyla questioned handing the pad back.
“Paint actually. But I like to sketch and draw as well. It’s a lot easier to carry around pencils then it is paints and brushes. Also I’ll often sketch out an idea before adding the paint. I’m assuming you came to dance?”
“That is correct. I would have liked to sing as well but the academy prefers that you focus your efforts on one endeavour, especially during the first year.”
“Beautiful and talented then. Maybe you’ll get a chance to sing next year?”
Teyla could feel herself blushing slightly and ducked her head, although she was fairly sure that the man hadn’t noticed. “Perhaps. I would like to see your paintings,” she said trying to turn the conversation away from herself “If they are like your sketches they should be quite impressive.”
“Yeah? My dorm room is covered in them, it drives my roomie nuts. But you should drop by, I can give you the official tour.”
“A personal tour by the artist, very impressive.” Teyla smiled.
“So” Evan said standing “To save me from having to call this sketch ‘Mystery Girl Dancing’ when you drop by, what is your name?”
“Teyla, Emmagen” Teyla said holding out her hand.
“I’m Evan Lorne. It’s nice to finally know your name.”
Teyla reached up to knock on the door of Evan’s dorm room. She hesitated for a second before silently admonishing herself for being silly and gave the door a firm knock.
“Come in.” Teyla thought that she could detect an English accent but thinking that the door was distorting Evan’s voice she entered. She stopped short when she saw a stranger sitting at the desk on the right side of the room.
“I apologise, I was looking for Evan Lorne. I was told that this is his room?”
“You’re in the right place. I’m Peter Grodin, Evan’s roommate.”
“Teyla Emmagen” Teyla replied with a smile. “Is Evan in class at the moment?”
“No” Peter laughed “See that lump on the bed over there? That’s him. I keep telling him that when you start having difficulty locating a person in a room you probably should clean the room, but he doesn’t listen to me.” Reaching for an eraser on the desk Peter turned his attention to Evan and threw the eraser, “Hey Evan, time to get up.”
Poking his head out from under the doona Evan started grumbling at Peter “Grodin this had better be good.”
Turning to Teyla once again, Peter remarked “The sad thing is I can’t even say that he had a big night last night. He just seems to sleep a lot.”
Noticing that Teyla was in the room, Evan suddenly found himself very awake. He quickly sat up and started running his hands through his hair in order to make it slightly more presentable. “Ah Teyla, hi.”
“You know, I think I have to go met someone in the library. Evan I’ll see you later. Teyla very nice to meet you.” Peter said gathering up his books.
Once he had left the room Teyla turned back to Evan “I had some spare time before class and I thought that I would take you up on your offer to show me your paintings.”
“Right, of course. That’s great. I’m sorry about the mess, if you just give me a minute.” Evan said trying to kick a pile of clothing under the bed.
“It is alright Evan, I do not mind the mess. Peter informed me that it is a fairly common occurrence. Besides, I believe that an untidy workspace is the sign of a true creative genius.” Teyla said with a smile.
With that Evan started to relax, until Teyla continued “Would you like me to give you a few minutes whilst you change?”
Glancing down at his boxers and t-shirt “Um yeah, that might be a good idea.”
Teyla obligingly turned her back whilst Evan quickly reached for a pair of jeans and a fresh shirt. When he was done he said “So, paintings. You do know that after I show you my paintings I get to see you dance, right”
“We will see. Of course you have already seen me dance once.” Teyla responded mischievously. She walked over to Evan’s desk and took a seat, reaching for a small black portfolio.
“That’s mostly stuff I’ve done in class, still lifes, things like that.”
“It has always intrigued me how a group of people can look at an identical object yet have such varying interpretations of it.” Teyla said slowly working her way through the pile of papers. Setting them down she picked up a sketchbook. Quickly flipping through it she noticed that it was full of intricate sketches of various types of aircrafts. “You are taking a technical drawing class?”
Noticing the book Teyla had picked up Evan quickly reached for it “You wouldn’t really be interested in that, I think there are some portraits around here somewhere.” he said shuffling through the sketchpads that littered the desk.
“But those ones were so good, just because that are not traditionally considered art does not mean that you should not be proud of them” Teyla replied gently. “You have drawn so many pictures, you are obviously interested in planes, why hide it?”
“Oh, I’m interested in planes. It’s just that I’m not interested enough.”
“What do you mean you are not interested enough?” Teyla said curiously
“My Dad is in the Air Force, he used to be a pilot. His only son going off to art school didn’t exactly thrill him.” Evan said walking over to look out the window.
“I did not mean to pry. But surely your father would be proud of you no matter which path you choose in life. Even if they do not say it, parents are always proud of their children. And they really are very good drawings.”
“Thanks, but my father barely said good bye when I left to come here so we might have found the exception to your theory about parents.” Motioning to the door he continued “Do you want to head down to the first year studio? I store some of the larger pieces there.”
Teyla wanted to find out more about Evan’s father but she realised that he had said all he was going to on the subject for the moment “I still have time before my class.”
“Okay then,” Evan said as Teyla walked through the door “But don’t think that I’m going to forget that I still get to see you dance!”
“Again you mean.” Teyla just laughed as they started walking down the corridor.
“That’s it, I’m done. I don’t think I can study any more tonight.” Evan complained dropping his book onto the table. “How can you still be concentrating, we’ve been doing this for hours.”
“I am doing it because it needs to be done. Although it is getting late. I think I will read over my ballet notes and start afresh in the morning.”
“Here, hand them over. I’ll quiz you.” Teyla passed the neatly typed notes across the table. “Okay, here we go,” Evan said scanning the notes “Um, the word ‘ballet’ has its basis in what language?”
“Ballet is a French word to comes from the Italian word balletto. This word can be traced back to the Latin word ballare.”
“Okay, I really don’t think that you are in a position where you need to be studying this late at night. I’m so tired I can barely remember what subjects I’m studying, but you can remember the entire history of a word.” Evan exclaimed.
“Perhaps you are right. Maybe I have done enough study for the moment.”
Evan took a long drink from his water bottle before asking, “So have you always been this good about studying or do you have a secret history where you handed in assignments late and didn’t study until the night before an exam?”
“I am afraid that I have no secret history.” Teyla replied with a smile “I was always taught that it is better to do things sooner and to always prepare for what is to come. My grandmother taught me that.”
“She sounds very wise.” Teyla thought that there was a hint of sadness in Evan’s voice.
“Charin is very wise. I can always trust that whatever problems I have she will be able to provide me with guidance. Do you not have someone similar in your life?” she questioned.
“Not really. Being an air force brat meant that relatives were people you only really saw at Christmas. Don’t get me wrong I love my grandparents, but we never really had the opportunity to spend much time together. Mostly it was just my parents, me and my sister.”
“But surely that would be even more reason for you to be close to your parents and your sister?”
“My sister was my best friend growing up, still is actually. Moving from town to town meant that friendships didn’t really last. And my Mom was the one who taught me about painting. She’s still the best artist I’ve ever seen. She said that art was a perfect hobby because it didn’t matter where we lived, I could always do it.” Evan said fondly.
“And your father?”
“When I was little, like in elementary school, we were really close too. When he wasn’t on base we would play sports and he would tell me all about the different types of planes that he got to fly. But as I got older and wanted to paint more, we just drifted apart. He wasn’t really interested when I was deciding what art school I wanted to go.” He paused for a moment “We had a celebration dinner the night I was accepted into Atlantis and he left before dessert so he could finish some paperwork on base.”
Teyla reached across the table to Evan’s hand and gave it a gentle squeeze.
Evan was already waiting on the edge of the campus when Teyla arrived. “Good morning” she greeted him “Did you sleep well last night?”
“I got to sleep alright, but I kept waking up, wondering whether it was time yet! You?”
“I must confess that I had a similar experience. But the wait is over. Are you happy with your results?”
“Three A’s and one B. The B was for ‘Technical Aspects of 19th Century Painting’, so I’m not too upset about that one!” Evan announced proudly “And you, four A’s I imagine?”
“Yes, it seems that my study and practise this semester has proved quite useful. I also received an email this morning saying that I am to be given a prize for obtaining the highest grade in my freestyle dance class.”
“Oh wow, congratulations Teyla!” Evan exclaimed reaching for her to pull her into a hug. Still hugging her he leaned his head back to look at her and getting caught up in the moment he kissed her. Teyla froze for a moment until she registered Evan’s tongue brushing across her lips and she started to respond eagerly. She could feel one of his hands reaching up to tangle in her hair whilst the other one drifted to her lower back. Fearing that she was about to get too lost in the moment, she pulled away.
“Oh god, Teyla, I’m sorry. I really wasn’t planning on that, I promise.” Evan said backing away from her.
“Do not be sorry. It was just…unexpected.” Teyla ran her fingers across her lips. Or maybe the problem was that it was expected she thought to herself.
“Um, your family will be proud of you when you tell them about the award when you go home.” Evan said awkwardly, trying to alter the mood.
“Yes. Unfortunately I will not be able to tell them in person.”
“You’re still not able to go home for the holidays?”
“No. I have decided that I cannot afford to go home for such a short period of time. But no doubt I will have a long phone conversation with them on Christmas Day.”
“That’s great! Well it’s not great, but it’s good because I was going to ask if you wanted to spend the Christmas holidays with me, you could come and stay with my family. I’ve told you so much about them and my sister says that I’m constantly talking about you. I’d really like you guys to meet and this way you could still have a proper Christmas.”
Thinking back to the kiss that they had shared not five minutes earlier, Teyla paused for a moment before answering. “Evan, that’s very kind but I would not want to intrude on your family, especially at Christmas.”
Sensing where this was going Evan quickly interrupted “Teyla this has nothing to do with the kiss. I’ve been thinking about asking whether you wanted to spend Christmas with my family for a while now and I definitely wasn’t planning on kissing you, not that it wasn’t nice and any guy would be lucky to be able to go out with you.” He took a breath before continuing more slowly “It’s just that I want to take my friend home for Christmas and make sure that she has a proper family Christmas, even if it is with my family instead of her’s.”
“That is very generous of you, but I do not want to make your family celebration awkward.”
“Teyla you’re my best friend, you could never make Christmas awkward. I’ll be honest here, I really enjoyed that kiss and if it happened again I would be thrilled. But at the same time, if you just want to be friends, I’m okay with that as well. I would never try and pressure you into a relationship, even if I could.” Embarrassed at just how honest he was being, Evan looked down to pick some invisible lint off his shirt.
“I think” Teyla said carefully “That I am in a similar position. Perhaps the opportunity to spend time with each other outside of school will give us the opportunity to see whether we are truly suited to a relationship with each other.”
“Does that mean you’ll come home with me for Christmas?” Evan asked excitedly.
“Yes. However we should check with your family before we make any definitive plans.”
“Perfect.” Evan said taking Teyla’s hand to lead her back to the campus “We’ll go call them now. But they will definitely be okay with you coming for Christmas.”
Teyla brushed the remaining flour from her hands and checked that the timer was correctly set for the shortbread that she had just put into the oven. She was about to join Evan in the living room when she realised that he was talking to his father.
“Come on, you hated the idea of having to go to the base and tell all your pilot buddies that your son was going to be a painter, instead of following in your footsteps and joining the air force.” Teyla could easily sense the increasing anger in Evan’s voice.
“That’s not true. I didn’t get involved in your painting and choosing which art school you wanted to go to because I didn’t know anything about art. Twenty five years with your mother and I still don’t. I’m just thought that you were happier with your Mom’s help in these areas, seeing as she knew so much about it. But don’t for a moment think that I’m not proud of everything that you and your sister have achieved.” Both men were silent for a moment before Evan’s father continued. “When I was growing up, kids did their own thing and parents weren’t really involved. I made the decision to join the air force on my own and your grandfather never attended any events. Maybe I should have remembered how that made me feel and made more of an effort with you and your sister.”
Realising that if she stood there for much longer she could find herself in an awkward situation, Teyla decided to make her presence known. “The shortbread will be ready soon.”
“I’m looking forward to trying these biscuits of your’s Teyla.” Evan’s father said sincerely “ I’m might go and start putting on some coffee to have with them and leave you kids to it.”
Teyla waited until he had left the room before turning to Evan “I did not mean to overhear your conversation but it seems like you might be starting to reach an understanding with your father?”
“Maybe. I think we now both know what the problems are but how we fix them is going to be a whole other issue. I don’t know what you heard but Dad was saying how when he grew up his father didn’t really get involved in his life or his decisions. Dad’s not going to suddenly become involved in every aspect of my life overnight. And I don’t want him to. It might just take a while to, I don’t know, strike the right balance? I don’t know whether we’ll even end up being successful. I’m dedicating my life to painting and in more than 25 years with Mom he hasn’t really shown an interest in learning about it, even though he has always supported her.”
“Perhaps your mother never asked or expected your father to learn about art. She might be very limited in her knowledge of airplanes. And that may work for them. But in your relationship with him you need him to take a greater interest in the different aspects of your life and now that he is aware of this, he will start making the effort.”
“That makes sense. Mom’s knowledge of planes is pretty non-existent.” Evan said with a small smile.
“But remember if you want him to start showing a greater interest in your work, you also need to be willing to make the effort to teach him. When he rings tell him about your assignments and the pieces that you are working on. Show him your sketches of the planes and introduce him to your work through a shared interest.”
“How did you get so wise?”
“Charin taught me. And I do not think I am that wise, I am simply viewing the issue from a different perspective.”
“I dunno, that still sounds pretty wise to me.” Evan grinned, before becoming serious once more. “It might not have sounded like it, but you really helped me with that conversation. I probably would have started yelling if it wasn’t for the fact that I had been able to talk through everything with you. You have been, you are, such an amazing friend.”
Teyla smiled before turning to look out the window. Taking a deep breath she turned back to face Evan “Evan, about our friendship. I think that in this past week we have grown closer and I have been able to see that our friendship is based on more than our creative sides. I believe that we should further explore the idea of a romantic relationship.”
“Really? Is that your way of saying that you want to be with me?” Evan said taking a step towards Teyla. The look on his face reassured Teyla that she was making the right decision.
“It is.” Teyla confirmed. Reaching up she ran her hand down the side of his face before closing the distance between them and kissing him.