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fan fiction: color me crazy
A/N: So this is a silly little thing that popped into my head while I was working on a longer D/V piece. But I figured if anyone got into the whole adult coloring thing, it would be Vala. And I had fun with this. Hopefully someone else will enjoy it too. A wee bit of angst, mostly fluff. No beta, so please excuse any errors.

Disclaimer: I don't own a darn thing.

Color Me Crazy

“Daniel!” She came bounding into his office, almost vibrating with excitement.

“Mm?” He didn’t look up from the article he was reading. It didn’t much matter to him if the commissary had a different flavor of ice cream today or whatever it was that had her all a twitter.

“There’s a flash sale online on colored pencils and gel pens! Huge sets of them! In colors I don’t have yet!”

His head snapped up. “No. Oh, no. You don’t have room for any more coloring supplies in your quarters! That drawer unit Sam bought you is already about to burst at the seams!”

“That’s only because I was storing my books in there as well as the supplies. Cameron and Muscles just finished putting together a bookshelf for me. My coloring books will go there, and now there’s room in my unit for more supplies.” She beamed at him. “I’ve already ordered five new books and several new sets of pens and pencils and something called brushed markers.”

He dropped his head to his chest. “Oh, Vala.”

“What? I used my own credit card! And I have so many requests, Daniel. Major Porter wants a fairy picture for her baby’s nursery, and she’s due in three months! And Lt. Gibson’s twins each asked for a mermaid picture. And Cassandra wants some Harry Potter ones. And Muscles wants Star Wars!”

Daniel stared at her. “Teal’c? Really? He wants you to color him a Star Wars picture?”

“Yes. Why wouldn’t he? I finally found the Star Wars coloring book after months of searching, and he immediately requested one. And since it’s Muscles, I should probably bump him to the first of the line. Well, right after Major Porter anyway. I don’t want to be too late for it to go in her baby’s room.”

“Honey, the baby’s not gonna care if you’re a little late.”

“Well, it’s the principle of it. It would be horribly rude.”

“I guess so.”

“You’re really the only one who hasn’t asked for any, darling. Cameron wants one from the Doctor Who book, Jack asked for a Simpsons one, and Samantha picked out this very lovely nature scene. Sal wanted stained glass windows. General Landry likes the Celtic knots and crosses, and Carolyn wants a mixture of ‘natural,’ ‘soothing,’ and ‘whimsical’ pictures for the infirmary. Getting all hers done will definitely take some time.”

“Well, it sounds like you’re booked up for a while,” Daniel said lamely.

“But you know you’d be at the top of the list if you wanted one! Even ahead of Muscles and Major Porter!”

He chuckled at that. “Ah, well, thanks. But I won’t cut in front of all those other people.”

She frowned at him. “But you don’t even have one hanging here in the office. Don’t you want one? I mean, you’d hang a painting here if I painted, wouldn’t you?”

“I don’t know,” Daniel hedged. “There’s not a lot of room…”

Her eyes narrowed, and her frown became a full-on scowl. “You know what, Daniel? Just forget it! I didn’t want to hang one in here anyway!” She stormed out.

Great. Just great. Now he’d gone and hurt her feelings.

But the truth was, he really didn’t understand this whole “adult coloring” phenomenon. One day coloring books and crayons were for kids. And to him it seemed like literally overnight that the bookstores became overrun with a huge selection of coloring books and colored pencils for grown-ups. Suddenly Vala didn’t mind at all if Daniel wanted to browse a bookstore for a while.

And online it was even worse. Pencils, types of markers he’d never even heard of, free sample pages to print, tips on how to shade and was everywhere.

And Vala had become completely obsessed with it. Sam, wanting to encourage her friend’s new hobby, had bought the multi-drawer storage unit thinking it would be plenty of space to organize Vala’s books and coloring supplies. Vala had it filled to the brim almost immediately.

And now she wanted more. It was like some sort of sickness.

But she was very good at it. Her pictures were always beautiful when she finished--varied shades, subtle highlights, lots of detail. People really did go gaga over them, and many SGC employees had started asking Vala to color something for them. And Vala was still and focused while she colored; Daniel could admit to being grateful for that. It enabled him long uninterrupted periods of time to work.

Honestly, he wasn’t sure why he had to gripe at all. Sure, it was an odd trend, but all trends faded in time. Why not just let her enjoy it? Why did he have to be such a grump, anyway?

“Jackson, what crawled up your ass?” Daniel looked up to see Mitchell in the doorway. His scowl matched Vala’s.

Daniel sighed. “You run into her in the hallway?”

“Yep. And she’s hot. And you know as well as I do that she only gets that mad if you’ve hurt her feelings. And since not ten minutes ago she was all excited about her new bookshelf and about some online blowout, you must’ve done a doozy. What’s your problem?”

“I don’t know. I really don’t. But don’t you think this whole coloring thing is weird?”

“I really don’t care if it is or not. It makes her happy. Isn’t that enough?”

“It should be. You’re right; I know that.”

“Well, then, could you let her know that? I don’t wanna go on a mission with a pissed off princess. And we’ve got one coming up at oh two hundred, so do me a favor and straighten this out.”

“Yeah, okay, I will.”

Daniel found Vala in her quarters. Naturally she was coloring. “May I see?” he asked softly.

“Sure.” Her words were icy. “After all, you inspired it.” She held up the page. It was highly stylized rendering of the “F” word.

He winced. “Okay, I deserve that. And I’m sorry.” He sent her an apologetic smile. “Want me to find a place in the office for it?”

“Don’t bother.”

He sat next to her on the bed. “You got any pyramids or hieroglyphs or anything like that in your stash of books? That’d be appropriate.”

“I told you to forget it, Daniel.”

“Yeah, I’m not going to do that. I didn’t mean to dismiss your hobby, Vala. I’m sorry. And I do want a picture or three for the office.”

Her glare softened only fractionally. “Apology accepted.”

He glanced down at the book she held, wondering how she’d found an expletive

to color. “So what’s this one?”

Her glare dissipated completely as she grinned in amusement. “It’s a whole book of naughty words. Very therapeutic when I want to throw you through the wrong end of a wormhole.”

“I bet.” She handed him the book, and he thumbed through it, chuckling at the flowing script. “I didn’t know they could make such ugly curse words look so pretty.”

“It’s an important life skill.”

“I’m sure.” He shifted his gaze to her bookshelf. “So you told me about everyone else’s requests. What’s your favorite?”

She dropped her gaze. “It’s silly.”

“No, really, what is it? The sexy Scot from Outlander? The Game of Thrones, even though you complain it uses up your reds? The fanciful fairies and mermaids?” He grinned. “Your book of swear words?”

She shook her head, biting her lip.

“Hey.” He brushed her cheek. “Please? I know I’ve been a jerk about this whole thing. But I promise not laugh or poke fun. I really just want to see.”

She hesitated, then reached under her bed. He knew she hid things that were important to her--things she didn’t want to admit just how important they were--there. But he’d had no idea she stashed any of her coloring books in that secret spot.

It turned out it wasn’t a book--just a single printed page. But she’d gone to the trouble to print it on sturdier cardstock. She handed it to Daniel, and he sucked in a breath. “Oh, sweetheart.”

It was a portrait of a woman, standing over an empty crib. Grief was heavy in the lines on her face. Even worse was the deadened look Vala had managed to convey through the eyes.

Eyes that were the same color as Vala’s own.

Daniel held her tightly, resting his head on top of hers, unable to hold back his own tears. Yes, Adria had been evil and needed to be stopped. But he wished it hadn’t cost Vala so much.

“It...helped,” Vala said hoarsely, her voice muffled by the fact that she’d pressed her face into Daniel’s shirt. “It made it easier to cope. I don’t know why.”

“Doesn’t matter; I’m just glad it did.” Daniel’s words came out choked. “I’m so sorry, Vala. I never meant to belittle something that means so much to you. And that picture is beautiful. Hauntingly so.”

“Thank you. I don’t want it in your office though.”

“No, no, of course not. But maybe in our home? Somewhere private, just for us. We could grieve her together. And maybe try for a couple  of our own?”

She lifted her head to look at him. “Are you asking me to move in with you?” Her face lit with a bright Vala smile. “And make babies?”

He returned the smile. “‘Bout time, don’t you think? And yes.”

“Well, you know I’ve always wanted your babies, Daniel. I was just waiting for you to catch up.” Her grin turned mischievous. “And you know, I saw this photo online of a huge armoire that had been reconfigured to hold coloring supplies. I don’t have room for that here, but would there be space at your apartment?”

“We’ll make room,” Daniel promised and kissed her.


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