Main fanfic page
[ don't forget to breathe ]|
She doesn't know what she's doing. That's a lie, but it's one she keeps telling herself as she stares at his door. She doesn't know what she's doing, because if she did, if she knew, then she wouldn't be doing it. Elizabeth doesn't really like lying to herself, and later she'll stop and admit the truth, but for now, right now, this very moment, she will.
The knocking is the hardest part. It's like a jolt to her system, the thing that kicks her brain back online. 'This is stupid,' her brain tells her. 'This is idiotic,' it insists. 'If you do this, there's no turning back. Good or bad, no turning back at all,' it says. And yet, she knows she will, so she knocks again.
Rodney opens the door with that permanent scowl on his face, some variation of 'what idiot wants what now?' undoubtedly working it's way through his mouth. He only gets out the what and the idiot before he realizes it's her and then his face changes, from frustration and anger to embarrassment and almost painful politeness. "Elizabeth."
The main thing that registers with her is that he looks tired, he looks so damned tired, exhausted, and she gets that. She gets that on levels that she can't even begin to express because she's there too, so bone tired that she can hardly even stand to flex her hand. The smile feels like it's stretching muscles to the point of breaking. "Rodney."
"I'm sorry," he says, blinking and stepping back. "I'm sorry, I thought you were nevermind. I'm sorry , what was it you needed?"
She looks at him, bags under his eyes, skin paler than normal, thoughts racing behind those blue eyes of his, and she loves him just a little more. She's loved him for years, since maybe the first time she met him, because he's brilliant. He's brilliant in ways that no one else she's ever met is. She doesn't love him like she loves Simon, with heart and soul and body, but she loves him just the same.
Loves him like she loves language, the beauty and complexity, the mystery, the romance. Loves him in ways that make her have to smile just at the thought of him, because Rodney McKay has always made her think of Latin. Latin, important and vital and the base of nearly every language she's ever learned, and she's always laughed at the people that say that Latin is dead. Because it's not dead, it'll always be there, completely and utterly irreplaceable, just like Rodney is.
Rodney is like Latin because he's so complex and muddled and foreign, but at the same time simple. To her. To her, Rodney is simple. Because as complicated as he is, he's always the same. He's always just Rodney. You just have to learn how to speak in his language.
"Elizabeth," he says again, and his tone has changed, from contrite and apologetic to worried, and she wonders if anyone knows him as well as she does. If anyone else in the world can tell that the look in his eyes right now is as much fear as it is determination. "What happened? Is it the Genii? Are they back? The generators? The shield? Flooding? The circuitry? Elizabeth, please, just tell me what--"
And this is the part where she tells herself again that she doesn't know what she's doing, even though she knows full well what she's doing, because if she knew what she was doing she wouldn't have leaned forward and kissed him. Mid sentence, mid rant, mid word, lips on his before he can even take a breath and hands reaching up to cradle the back of his head, mouth opening up against his and her tongue slipping into his mouth because he was still talking, even now.
When he finally shuts up she pulls back to look at him, locking eyes with him, and he lets out a soft 'oh', his mouth soft and falling down in the middle of a frown and a smile, his eyes wide and confused and excited and frightened and aroused. Because no one but Rodney McKay can pull of ten emotions in one look.
"Huh," he says, blinking at her. "Um. Elizabeth?"
It's late, it's beyond late, it's almost early even, and she just shakes her head. "No. No talking."
He's decided on being mostly confused now and he looks at her and cocks his head. "Because talking would be I'm sorry, what?"
She's probably never looked worse than she does right now. Her mascara had run and the washcloth hadn't gotten all of it off and she hadn't tried all that hard for all that long. Her hair was so matted that brushing it seemed impossible so she hadn't even tried. Tight curls that she usually tried to straighten and tame are framing her face and she knows that even though her hair is dry now she probably still looks like a drowned rat, but she doesn't care.
"Shh," she says, stepping closer to him and making him take another huge step backwards. She keeps walking until they're both inside of his room and then she turns and hits the control, shutting them inside.
His mouth is working over five sentences and she leans forward and kisses him again with her eyes wide open and staring into his. Inside her head she keeps hearing it. 'You stepped in front of a gun,' she hears, but she doesn't say it. She doesn't say it because that's not what this is about, not really. It's just the catalyst.
Her hands fist in his shirt, pulling him towards her, and his hard stocky body feels so good against her, warm and familiar and perfectly Rodney, and she's aware that she's one of about three people that think of that as a good thing but it is. Rodney is Rodney in every way in every moment of every day, and she wouldn't have it any other way.
He blinks slowly, eyes caught up in hers like he can't look away, and she smiles again and this time it's easy, because he looks like a deer caught in the headlights. She wishes she could bottle this, freeze frame it and show it to everyone who ever thought that Rodney was the cold-hearted conceited bastard that he makes himself out to be, because he's everything but that right now and she's always known that. He hadn't fooled her for one moment.
"Shh," she says again, pressing her lips against his again, and she keeps her eyes open throughout it because she needs him to read her. She needs him to acknowledge what she wants because if she says it out loud it makes it real, and everything everyone's always said about the danger of having a woman in charge is true.
Because everyone says that women complicate things, and women are weak, and women sleep with the first warm body that makes them feel safe, and this is what she's doing now, this is who she's being, if she says it out loud. If she admits it. If she knows what she's doing and does it anyway, she becomes that.
Except that's not true at all, because this is Rodney. Rodney, who's allergic to everything, who's maybe the most neurotic man she's ever known, and she's always been a little bit in love with him since the day she met him. Because in his own way, in his own Rodney-specific way, he loves what he does just as much as she does. Where she smiles, he bitches, and where she glows he frowns, but it's the same, because Rodney's Rodney, and Elizabeth gets that probably better than anyone else ever has.
(And there's a small part of Elizabeth that would like to point out that the first man that made her feel safe while she was in Atlantis was John Sheppard, and she didn't sleep with him, thank you very much.)
"Elizabeth," he says, so soft and sweet and reverent and respectful, and that's the thing that's always gotten her. Because Rodney doesn't respect someone because he's told to, he doesn't bow down to anyone, he doesn't follow protocol, he's never given a damn who's in charge. If Rodney McKay respects you then it's because he decides you've earned it, and he's always, always respected Elizabeth.
Which is both the reason why she is and why she shouldn't be doing this. The cliché of will you respect me in the morning is old and worn out, but it's still true, and probably doubly so in this case. If she allows herself to imagine them, the horror scenarios are plentiful. Rodney disrespecting her authority, disobeying her orders, trying to cajole her into his line of thinking because they'd once shared a bed.
Except, this is Rodney, and maybe she's a fool and maybe she's just too damn exhausted and overwrought, but she's having a real problem imagining Rodney being like that. At least, not any more than he already is.
She reaches for him, because she wants this and she can have this, this once, she knows she can, even if she shouldn't. She reaches for him, pulls on his shirt and brings him forward, locks eyes with him and doesn't look away. She looks at him until the confusion goes away and is replaced by knowledge and quickly followed by something along the lines of shock, and that just makes her laugh.
"Elizabeth," he says again, and this time his voice is breathless and awed, questioning. His eyes are wide and his mouth is hanging open like he has a million things running through his head but none are coming out. Which again, is just so Rodney that she has to laugh. "Really? Me?"
She nods and kisses him again, flattens her palms on his chest, sliding them down and out to his sides, pulling him against her again, and this time he kisses back. This time he wraps his arms around her and opens his mouth, tongue licking past her lips, and finally she closes her eyes and falls into it. She starts tugging on his shirt, lifting it up and exposing the soft underbelly and smiles against his mouth as he gasps at the feel of her hands against his skin.
"Oh, God," he says, voice just barely a whisper now, breath taken away just by the touch of her skin, and it thrills through her body, that she did this, that she's alive and he's alive and maybe they'll stay that way for a while. "This is really happening? This isn't me dreaming?"
She laughs and pulls away, looking at him, arching an eyebrow at him. "Yes." He nods, looking dumb struck. She finds herself laughing and she really likes the way his eyes crinkle up when he smiles, thinks he should do that more often.
He looks like he's about to start asking questions so she skims her hands up his chest, pushing the shirt up and up and up until finally he raises his arms to let her take it off. He's actually more well defined than she would have thought, would have expected from a scientist, but Rodney's not really only a scientist anymore, is he? Not after Sheppard got his hands on him, anyway.
He's taken a shower since the chaos ended, because he's smooth and soft and smells like Athosian soap. She buries her nose in his neck and breathes, lets herself think back to a time when she'd thought maybe. A time when she and Rodney had spent so much time together at McMurdo that it was only natural for her to contemplate the what ifs. To contemplate the 'in another time, in another place' questions. When she'd thought under different circumstances, and Rodney would have been ideal.
And maybe these are those circumstances. Maybe here, now, with little to no hope of returning home, with even less hope of ever seeing Simon again, with the threat of the Wraith and the Genii and the storm and the lightening and the whatever else can go wrong in the Pegasus galaxy, maybe this is the exact circumstance. Or, maybe it's just not worth it anymore to hold herself apart anymore.
By the time they've made it to the bed she's already got his pants undone and her hand rubbing up against him, his little gasps and moans echoing in her ear. He keeps trying to talk, getting out half of her name, saying wait, and what, and how, but he never finishes. She doesn't know if it's because her hand's on his cock or if it's because he doesn't want to, but she's glad he doesn't. She doesn't want to think about this, she doesn't want to answer questions. She just wants. Him. She just wants him.
He lands on the bed and she crawls on top of him, reaching down and taking off her shirt. He looks up at her with wide eyes as she reaches back to start unhooking her bra, and then he stops her. Wraps his fingers around her hands and pulls them down, pulls her down with them until he's kissing her again.
Slow, soft, the kinds of kisses you want to keep, the kinds of kisses you want to remember. The kinds of kisses that make her feel like she's about to break into a thousand tiny pieces, that make the lump in the back of her throat grow. She wonders if he knows, if it's the same way that he's feeling, because she's not sure if that was a sob or a moan he just let out into her mouth but she's not willing to ask.
His hands spread out over her back, stroke smoothly up in broad strokes, warming her skin. Her skin, that's been cold for what feels like years now, from the stress and the rain and the everything else, that feels like it'll never be warm again until Rodney touches it. His fingers light her on fire, and when they start unbuttoning her bra she has to grind down into him, because she needs the contact, everywhere, needs it like she can't breathe without it.
He rolls her over and reaches down to unzip her pants, his eyes roaming her body and it's amazing that his eyes can do what his hands can, warming her in ways that the heating system of Atlantis hasn't yet. The feel of his flesh on her skin makes her close her eyes, lifting her hips up as he pulls off her pants, hand wrapping around her bare thigh and skimming lightly up it.
He does it slowly, everything so slowly. He kisses his way up her body, hand trailing up her side to her breast, thumb brushing over her nipple in a way that makes her shudder, eyes squeezing shut. She can't decide if this is exactly how she wants it or if it's not enough. Or maybe it's too much, maybe it's more than she can handle, and then she's reaching down and grabbing at his head, pulling him up. Saying "please, Rodney, please" in this desperate tone that doesn't even sound like her.
She opens her eyes to see him looking at her, gaze studying her intently like she's a puzzle, and she doesn't want that. She doesn't want him to figure her out, put her back together again, she just wants him to make her forget that she's fallen apart.
It's not until he's settling between her legs that she knows he's discarded his pants, the feel of him naked against her the only thing she's aware of. It makes her arch under him, ache for all the contact she can get, and he hisses as her hips collide with his, her leg wrapping around his and grinding him down against her.
He shifts on top of her and they both groan, her nails digging into the flesh of his back hard enough to leave marks. Little half moons of her fingernails embedded into his skin, and she likes that, likes that there will be tangible evidence that this happened, that tonight his only scar won't be that of a knife in his arm.
She hears him rummaging through a drawer by her head, turns to look and sees him pulling out a string of condoms and almost laughs. Why he would have thought to bring condoms to another galaxy is a question she'll ask later though, because right now she's intent in watching him fumbling to open it because she knows what's coming.
She reaches down to help him put it on and he looks at her with such awe that she feels herself blushing, having to look away, but then he's pushing inside her, blunt pressure making her eyes roll back in her head, the incessantly litany of yes, yes, yes, finally ringing in her head.
This too is slow and steady, in and out and in and out, but it's not enough so she reaches down, cups her hands on his ass and urges him to go faster, harder. She wants this here, now, hard, fast. She doesn't want this to be romantic, she doesn't want it to be sweet. She just wants to be away from here, away from her head. She wants the hard frenetic pace of a fuck, and Rodney's reluctant but he gives in when she starts nibbling at his ear, whispering dirty words in Russian because she knows he knows it.
She's aware she's not being quiet at all, pants and curses and grunts falling out of her, and she would have been embarrassed, would have tucked her head into the crook of her elbow to hide, but right now she doesn't care. Right now it's just her and Rodney and no one else and she doesn't care. She doesn't care about anything but the way his cock feels inside of her, the way her hands have reached behind her to grab at the railing so she can arch into him and meet him stroke for stroke. The way the sweat pours off of them onto the sheets below.
It's not long before she can feel the orgasm coming and she knows he's close too, from the way he's trembling, from the way his hips start to jerk a little wildly, and she digs her heels into his calves, urging him on. "Yeah," she hisses, swallowing convulsively because it's so damn good, "come on, Rodney, come on."
He comes with an 'oh god, Elizabeth' and it pushes her over, orgasm so strong her toes are curling, his mouth on her neck pressing wet sloppy kisses as she rides it out, her hands slipping from the railing of his bed to hold him tightly to her.
Eventually he slides out of her, rolling off of her to her side, still breathing heavily just like her. She doesn't open her eyes and look at him, she doesn't ask him if he's all right. That's the thing about her and Rodney, she doesn't need to ask. She already knows. Just like he already knows that she isn't either.
She smiles when she feels his lips press against her forehead and his hand trace her hipbone lightly. "If you're not here when I wake up," he says softly against her hairline, "I'll assume this was a dream." She waits a minute and then she opens her eyes to look at him smiling down at her. "Now, granted. A really hot dream, but a dream nonetheless."
She doesn't answer him because she doesn't know how to. She just smiles and reaches down for his hand, bringing it around her torso as she turns her back to him, burrowing into the curve of his body.
"Goodnight, Rodney," she says, closing her eyes again.
His hand curves to her hip, his thumb brushing over it rhythmically. "Goodnight."
She falls asleep listening to the sound of the rain still pounding down on top of them.