Spoilers: Season 1
Summary: Post-Siege Part 1 angsty OT3 fic for McKay/Weir/Grodin
They lie together, huddled as close as possible. Their skin touches, bodies warm, and more importantly, solid, real- but there is no happiness, no passion left between them.
They love each other still, but the kisses meant something else this time. They know it will be the last, the end of a brief era. Anything after will not be the same; it's pointless trying to recapture what is in the past. This was closure, a reminder of why it must cease.
There is no joy to their kisses, they are made up of leftover happiness – their touches are built from memories. For every pleasure they feel, there is another missing. As Rodney caressed her breast, she yearns for an equal touch elsewhere – different fingers delving into her, circling around and drawing in and out, tantalizing her senses. He'd been so good at teasing her, preparing her for the main event, regardless of who it would be with.
Rodney is caring and methodical; he does every thing with a passion and a matching level of concentration. He's controlled in a way his normal persona never is, sensitive to her needs, a conscientious lover – he takes her up a level at a time, moving from head to toe and up again, before he helps deconstruct her with pleasure so thoroughly. He closes his eyes as he enters her, holding back words or any other sounds – he makes it about her, but what she truly misses is the free spirit of Peter.
He had approached sex with a devilish grin on his face, a smile that said he was here for fun, you only live once after all... make the most of it. How right he'd been to take that stance because he hadn't had much of it. He'd died at age thirty, full of ideas and enthusiasm but lacking time. He'd never had any doubts about the expedition. He'd come here out of a sense for adventure, just as much as she had, and he'd accepted the risks. She knew he wouldn't regret his sacrifice, but she did. But if it hadn't been him, it would have been Rodney.
Loss had been unavoidable, and they both have to live with the guilt. She knows Rodney blames himself for not thinking of the rerouting, and she feels the weight of having sent them both out there so casually, without a thought of what might happen. She was lucky she'd only lost one of them, but she knows it had to be done. She sent the best men for the task because it was her job to look after the expedition. They happen to be the ones who now pay the cost for that.
They don't mention his name as they make love; they go on as usual, or at least try to. She’d hoped feeling him next to her would be comforting, that his embrace would warm her heart and lift her soul. But the euphoria of climax, as she clings to him madly, is short lived and quickly lost. It's as though her body is betraying her. She wants to feel good, wants to make things better, but she can't shake the wracking guilt. There is a coldness inside, despite the warmth of her partner filling her. She stares at Rodney afterwards, finding his gaze off into distance, as if looking through the wall opposite him. He's barely there with her, probably wasn't even as he pulsed within her. She knows both of them were thinking of Peter, his presence dominating. Ghostly whispers and traces, the touch within her and the dirty talking in Rodney's ear, their bodies seeking more than what can be provided by each other, expecting that extra that does not come today and never shall again.
They need him; they are not enough alone to fill the hole he's left behind. He held them together, and now they fall apart, away from each other. She kisses Rodney deeply, enough for her and Peter both, and slips out of the bed to get dressed, knowing she has to go. They can't linger on her waiting for a specter of some kind, real or not.
As she shuffles on her clothes, she watches Rodney on the bed and pictures scenes that have passed, imagining a smile on his face as Peter pays further attention to him, flicking at his hair and whispering in his ear once more, before playfully tickling Rodney into a compromising position, pausing to glance up at her with his wonderful grin. But reality closes in on her as Rodney moves out of the bed himself. The spell is broken, like their hearts will always be. Peter is gone, taking the magic with him.
She mutters a brief parting phrase to Rodney, giving him a chance to say something more, but he's not in the talking mood. She takes the cue; she doubts this will ever be discussed. It's time to move on. She nods curtly to him, slightly disappointed he doesn't make the effort to reach out, but he's withdrawn from her. She suspects he always will be to a greater extent than she can accept, but she'll have to learn to cope because there is no fix to this.
She walks briskly to the door, and right before she reaches the threshold, she reaches down to trace the bust on the table next to it. It's of a local god, and she'd given it to Peter because the resemblance to him was amusing – right now, it brings a melancholy smile to her face, as if she could pretend to be touching his. From here on in, she knows there is no return. She snatches it up and leaves Peter's quarters; it’s almost like a parting gift from him. Rodney had told her his last words were 'I'm sorry', but he doesn't have to be – it's no ones fault. She has to admit that, and it makes her feel like there's a small piece of her heart given back, freed from her guilt.
Things are different, not in a good way, but that doesn't mean they can't rebuild them better. She has to try because she knows that's what Peter would do. Every time something was lacking, he’d fill in; with every new problem, he’d see a chance to improve. Maybe she shouldn't give up on Rodney so easily, but everything good takes time and care and effort. One day when they are both ready, she'll start something new, because they can't keep hoping for echoes of the past.