Pairing: John Sheppard/Teyla Emmagen, Ronon Dex/Jennifer Keller also in "Parallax"
Fic Title: "Side by Side, They Both Get Bright" and "Parallax"
Rating/Warning(s): G, one tiny spoiler for seasons 4 and 5
Why These Must Be Read: These two unusual and perceptive fics are from an author who usually writes (wonderful) Ronon/Keller stories. They are extremely short and subtle so I would urge any Stargate Atlantis fan to read them, regardless of pairing preference. Both stories use the act of expression through art as a means for the characters to communicate, albeit unintentionally. The stories are too short for excerpts and renisanz punctuates them so beautifully with quotes that I was inspired do the same.
In "Side by Side, They Both Get Bright," Teyla teaches John a stress-reduction technique from the late Kate Heightmeyer who must have read the following: "When we are self-conscious, we cannot be wholly aware; we must throw ourselves out first. This throwing ourselves away is the act of creativity. So, when we wholly concentrate, like a child in play, or an artist at work, then we share in the act of creating. We not only escape time, we escape our self-conscious selves." (Madeleine L'Engle)
In "Parallax", my favorite of the two, renisanz spins two bland prompts into something unforgettable when she writes about Teyla learning to express herself with photography the pre-digital way after lessons from Jennifer Keller, who also teaches Ronon. The use of technical terminology and Teyla's POV is extremely well-done. "The picture… will reveal a truth of fact, of feeling, of experience, of aesthetic power, of form, of life itself – and this not only to you but also to one or all who look at it. The picture may even tell different things to different people – but it will tell." (Tim Gidal) The same could just as easily be said about the author and reader of a story and I found what renisanz reveals here of the characters and herself insightful and lovely.