Spoilers: Season 1, not sure which directly other than Home and LFP.
Summary: Future fic, McKay/Weir and Weir/Other, angsty. Be forewarned.
A/N:I was tempted to make a multi chaptered fic (could I be so evil? Oh yes I could...) but don't have the time, and other than that my beta (the very gracious Fanwoman) said she wouldn't be able to beta because of the angst it would involve. So I'm not putting you all through the heartbreak, I think this will do for now.
Disclaimer: Other than the usual stuff about how I don't own the characters, this story also contains Lyrics from “M62 song” by The Doves, so just pointing out I don't own the lyrics either. I also well recommended The Doves, very inspiring for angst, go buy the CD why don't you ;)
The jetty wasn't lit up like the dance area nearby, but the moon shone on it enough for him to see his reflection in his cup. He sloshed the liquid round as he leant against the railing and watched over the distant dance area were the guests were paired up. All the men were twirling their women round under the stars and having the time of their life; like some kind of conspiracy against him, designed to rub it in in every way possible.
He hadn't brought a date, but then who was there who'd come with him?
Then there was that it would hurt too much. It was bad enough without pretending he cared for some random pretty blonde on his arm.
Pride said he should've had a date whatever the cost. Just to show everyone else up, if not to rub it back in her face and maybe make her falter in her decision.
But he didn't have the heart to even pretend to be the arrogantly self-assured and socially cavalier man he'd once portrayed himself to be. His old ideals left by the wayside; they'd only ever been those, nothing ever realised. Why start now? Of course it was also pointless to make it any worse than it already was for both of them, though she wasn't doing too bad presently.
It was a full moon, and he figured it'd have to be for him to be here.
Certainly seemed he must be crazy, him turning up here. Oh, he'd been invited alright, but it was clear everyone thought he shouldn't have bothered. However it wasn't them he didn't do it for, so really the looks they gave him shouldn't matter. They really shouldn't cut into him, but they did.
That was half the reason he stood there, trying to drown his sorrows and get away from them all whilst still appearing the eager party goer. Just taking a few minutes for melancholy before jetting right back in there with vigour and acting like there was no where else he'd rather be than in the pavilion, boogieing into the night. He smiled wryly because in one sense that was true. She was here after all, and that was the thing that didn't change through this. Even when she'd broken his heart, he'd still gone back for more, desperate to be near her against all logic.
The drink acted as a mirror, he could see a clean shaven face staring back at him.
Turned out he scrubbed up nicely when he made the effort. That was why he was here, he'd made the effort to do this and to be here, at her wedding.
He'd been hoping not so long ago that the next nuptials he'd be going to would be his own.
But that had been such a stupid dream, a silly idea when you were talking about him; Rodney McKay. Nothing went right for very long around him
He glanced back to where the happy couple where. The waltzed around joyously.
She was a beautiful bride, and it had been a wonderful ceremony, out in the open; that made him smile for a second. It was the best day of her life and yet his worst, but he couldn't help be glad it had worked out for her. The light from the candles set up in the posts all around flickered across her face as the breeze disturbed them. Then her husband whisked her away and Elizabeth Weir was once more beyond his reach.
He'd still come today, even though it wrenched his stomach to hear her say 'I do'.
There was an arrogant part of him that was waiting for her to object when the priest had asked if anyone did. He hadn't had the heart to say anything himself. It wasn't his place, but he'd been hoping someone else might.
He'd come because she'd wanted him here.
She didn't seem to acknowledge the looks the others gave him, the pity their eyes held, practically asking why he tortured himself like this.
Now he didn't care, he told himself, he had all the drink in the world to bury himself in and all for free, too.
She passed back into view for a fleeting moment, the fabric of her dress swirling around behind her and leaving a few seconds after she herself had disappeared.
Nice food too, he thought, though the banquet was long over.
Just like them.
The face in the glass was smart, and handsome maybe, but miserable and haggard, too. So far from
how things had been not that long ago.
A year and a half roughly? He wasn't sure anymore; he hadn't been counting recently. What was the point? Why had he ever...
Why... why... why...! He'd never understand what had happened. The facts were there, the reasons perfectly clear. It made sense, but he couldn't get over how it had left him feeling.
Everything had been normal. So goddamn normal.
Like the accident - no space flu or life sucking bugs - just something so amazingly simple and dreadful in its results.
No one had been prepared for it, least of all him.
He still remembered the sickening fear he'd felt when command had contacted him on the radio.
It had nearly been lunch, and he'd been in his lab finishing up on the most recent phase of a project.
He'd been looking forward to the new Athosian delights the chef had promised for the week, all citrus free of course, and sharing his free hour with Elizabeth. He'd been wondering what news she'd have on the trade negotiations with the people on J59K74, since she'd talked of almost nothing else for days. Hartford had been sent out with AR-2 to start off, relaying progress to Elizabeth daily. He'd gathered it was going slowly, the elders of the planet taking their sweet time to deliberate every single point on a fairly lengthy list.
As soon as he'd heard the technician’s voice, he'd known something was wrong. The usually blasé tone of Johnson had had an undercurrent of something like regret as he told him there was a situation. He'd hot tailed it to the infirmary as quickly as he could, after the brief explanation. Carson had been there, an anxious expression, a barely concealed panic in his eyes. He'd been told everything would be fine.
Everything had shown her head injury would most likely not have any complications.
But as with most things, only time would tell, and they couldn't be sure until she woke up.
And everything had not been fine then.
He'd spent hours pacing the infirmary and snapping at the nurses before Carson had absolutely insisted he go get some sleep. So of course, she'd woken up when he wasn't there.
She'd come around in the infirmary dazed and confused and everyone had been instantly worried at what had happened. Not that anyone had warned him, but then he had come storming in, not bothering to listen to any of them.
The group standing around her bed had parted as he approached, each of them sporting a remorseful grimace. He'd noticed but not taken that in, being so pleased she was okay.
But he'd never forget how she looked at him, after he pulled away from the embrace he'd given her. Her hands hadn't found their places linked around his shoulders as he'd hugged her gratefully.
That was enough to say something was off. Though the look of incomprehension at his actions had been crushing. Like she was staring at a stranger. Because at that point, Elizabeth honestly didn't know any of them anymore.
Clichés don't cut it - better to have loved and lost than have never loved at all. He laughed rather manically at that, drawing a few odd looks from the people closest to him.
Maybe it was preferable, but that didn't stop it hurting.
She'd never hurt him before; he'd never seen this coming anymore than she'd anticipated the accident.
What were the chances she'd get amnesia? It was so unlikely, but importantly also not impossible. One in a million, astronomically bad luck. But that shouldn't have been the end of it, should it?
Everyone got a second chance, was meant to at least. Where was his?
Where had it all gone, apart from down the drain, like his drink glugged greedily down his throat.
He wanted to forget exactly like she had.
She was up and healthy in what seemed like no time at all. She learnt it all again, including their names, and she called him Rodney, eventually. But only because she didn't know any better then, that everyone called him McKay unless they really cared. Truth be told, she didn't anymore.
There'd always been something there, something that had grown. But now the slate was wiped clean, and it was gone.
The sparkle in her eyes wasn't there when she smiled at him, and she didn't talk to him the same way either. Little tiny touches that were missing. Everything done the same as before but it seemed more like it was done simply because it was the way things had been.
The operations of Atlantis, missions – all that she could learn again, drinking in the mission reports eagerly, wanting to get back to the person she had been and wanting to get back to running her city.
He'd caught her trailing her hands along the walls once, in the night when he'd been unable to stomp out the urge to talk to her. He'd been heading to her quarters, getting lost on the way because it was difficult to adjust to the fact she had her own once more. On the way, he'd found her somewhere remote for the regions they inhabited, and silently stroking the finish of the columns, staring with fascination at the contents of the glass tanks built in. He recalled her asking him before what they were for, why they were all around, and he'd never had an answer. At the time, a time when they'd been together still, he'd closed in to kiss her but stopped, apologising very vaguely and dismissing the question. Only he'd wanted to know the answer too, and to this day he still hadn't a clue what function they had. It could have been trivial or it could have been vital, but either way they hadn't stopped working, leaving it unexplained.
He'd approached her, thinking he could strike up a casual conversation about it and get a glorious smile from her in return. Making it seem like he could read her thoughts.
He missed her smiling at him. She smiled at Sheppard, she smiled at Carson and Ford, Zelenka too, and oddly enough at Kavanagh when she was introduced to him a second time with no memory of who she was standing in front of.
That had weirded Kavanagh out most, and created a bizarre one sided truce which meant he, rather awkwardly, tried to be polite around her, not coming off quite right though. He thought Kavanagh might even have had an itty bitty crush on their out of commission leader, and it would have been something to tease the guy about mercilessly if Rodney hadn't feared what might be harked back in return. Other things had been weighing on his mind then, and he'd not once taken it out on others. Well, not really, not in a way that was mean above his usual standard at least.
The words had been friendly, witty as he liked to think, and yet she'd stared at him, something about what he'd said unnerving her. He'd tried to cover it up and get past his unintentional blunder, but nothing he'd said after that had made the slightest bit of difference. She'd left, hands withdrawn, folded up across her chest, and he'd watched her retreat from him in more senses than one.
Things got better, but it was hard to adjust to the sudden detachment from her. He still knew all, and she knew nothing of him. He was stranger no matter how hard he tried. Friendship came with difficulty, and maybe only because she'd been told they had been close.
That was really why she called him Rodney. She seemed to want there to be more but... it was lost.
They'd kissed; out on a moonlit balcony, one he had told her was theirs. He'd wanted her to remember, and so had brought her there, the balcony adjoining his overly large quarters.
The quarters that had been theirs once, but now all traces of her were gone, her things taken to her new room that had been designated at the start of her recovery.
It was just one of the many things that had been for the best; that made sense but didn't make the situation any better for him.
He retired every night to an empty bed, and when he got up each morning, cold and lonely, it was abrupt and bleak. Up to a quick start so he didn't linger on what was missing, and getting dressed the cupboards were half full. Everything about living there reminded him, but he stayed because it was theirs and he hadn't given up, couldn't let her go.
The night had been just as beautiful as it was tonight, and her touch had still held everything for him, her one kiss gentle and thrilling after the months of separation. For that instant life was normal; the universe righted as he felt her lips close to his.
But she'd pulled back, with the same look as she'd first had in that infirmary bed, and studied him. Looking for something but whatever it was she couldn't find it, not clicking, and so they'd decided friends was good. He'd said friends was good, and he'd been lying through his teeth, but lying to ease her pain. He could lie because the problem was not caused by some fault of his own; it
wasn't something within himself he could change to make things better.
As a friend, he'd watched her move on with her life, everything coming back to her, but not that.
The love she'd had was irretrievable, either lost or buried deep, neither making much difference to him.
It went back to the way things were, friends, but this time with no promise of more; with nothing he could do. Nothing. Unfixable. Unexplainable.
Everything was the same; except when you looked closely.
He said he was a friend, and in every way he was. Further than that, he would never be her friend, not like she'd asked him to be. He didn't stop loving her, the desire to hold her and comfort her didn't go away either. But he had a control over it, and he opted to take what he could, what was on offer, good friends.
Friends who drifted apart with every second spent away because he was the one who kept their friendship together now, and it was hard to put himself through it. Easier to say they were friends and act like they were but not to really pay any attention to what they had. He was there when he was needed and the rest of the time he withdrew into the shadows of her life. There for briefings and as her consultant on science. There when it was appropriate, a term that summed up their relationship nicely.
All he could do was watch her from afar and be the steady friend for her even as she became, ironically, enthralled with Simon once they got home again.
Simon, who took her back with open arms and an understanding hug as Rodney stood by watching silently.
You might ask why, when she'd effectively taken off on a one way expedition to another galaxy with little explanation, unceremoniously dumped him via a video message months later. Then there was the fact Simon knew they'd been together for some time, but even he could see it wasn't there anymore.
Until then, people had old him to keep his spirits up and not give up hope. After that, no one bothered to. Radek stopped dropping hints, and Ford relented on his feeble matchmaking attempts.
He'd hated them for doing that, and at the same time he needed them to continue because he found it more depressing when they hadn't, because it told him what he feared, that they knew it was over, and that meant he couldn't deny it any longer.
Waiting for a love that never comes.
Her love for him had never come back.
And wishing for a time that never was.
Because it seems like that's what it was now.
Details for bitter trips down memory lane. The future only held lies and good intentions, paving the path to his own personal hell.
Drinking to a love that's gone on by
Look into the stars as cars go by
I'm waiting for a time
For truth to call
I'm waiting for a sign
To show me all
I'm waiting for my love
I'm waiting for a love that never comes
Standing up he made an insincere toast to 'Elizabeth and Simon'; may they live happily ever after; raising his glass in a pose of mock celebratory triumph as he saluted the universe for getting its way.