Warnings: Character death.
Pairings: McKay/Weir angst and McKay/Carter UR
Summary: Future fic, quite AU and very harsh.
A/N: NEVER expect a happy ending, or even beginning in my fan fiction, or any fiction I write. Sort of a lucky if you get one type of thing – forewarning I'm on an angsty slant right now.
On with the story.
It started out simple.
Every mission did, and as always something went wrong.
Only this time she was with them, side by side but unable to defend anyone except perhaps herself. She'd watched them all, seeing them working together for the first time, and yet today something was off. They weren't alone, Lt. Colonel Carter had joined them. It was meant to be a quick trip with no hassle. Of course, things had turned sour, moving beyond anything her diplomatic skills could fix.
And as if that wasn't bad enough, they'd gotten separated. She'd stuck by Rodney and Carter, but then the group had been divided, the others making their way to the gate first, as they struggled to join them there. It’d taken them too long. Sheppard, Teyla and Ford had been forced to leave, making their escape while still able to. They'd be back with rescue teams as soon as possible, she knew they would, but a fear had settled upon her as they'd snuck through the forest under the cover of the rapidly approaching night.
Their plan had been to use the darkness to confuse their pursuers, and it had nearly worked. They'd gone undetected until that last crucial moment. When they reached the gate, an alarm triggered as they stepped across the perimeter. Things after that had gone by too fast to be able to recall clearly. She'd dialed the gate as the other two defended their position and the wormhole had opened up. The trouble was getting to it while under fire. They'd rushed the gate at once, standing together, and that was when Carter had fallen. Elizabeth had ducked back behind the DHD immediately, but Rodney had gone to see to Carter, crouching low and trying to get her up. She watched him struggle for a moment or two. Then Carter sat up, and he stood offering his hand. Once up he'd pushed her towards the gate and was already running he called out “Elizabeth!”
He held back for a second, looking to her hiding, down there. Just a split second he hesitated, waiting for her to get up. In that second, another shot rang out. And he instinctually protected Carter, who'd stumbled short of the gate, covering her body with his own as he yanked her to her feet roughly. That's when the third shot came. Carter staggered through the gate but Rodney didn't follow.
Elizabeth and Rodney went through the event horizon together though, his arm slung over her shoulder, barely any time after Carter but long enough that she was already being carried off on a stretcher. She collapsed under Rodney's weight, not able to support his uncooperative form. No one said anything except the medics, all in a flurry around him, obscuring him from view.
But she remembered the blood. She calmly noticed there was far too much of it. Dark wells of it on his jacket, a trail across the floor of the route to the medbay. It smelt metallic, leaving a bitter taste.
So much blood but not in the right place. He was losing too much, and there were complications.
It was a strange irony that he'd essentially taken a bullet for Samantha Carter. He'd made her sound like an old flame, but Elizabeth had never taken it seriously, just an infatuation. But then she'd also thought they’d have plenty of time together, time for that something they both denied to become real. A hope she'd kept alive that it would be acceptable one day in the future. She'd held back for some time, as had he, satisfied with friendship, or at least telling themselves so. Even Simon had thought there was more to it though, that was why they'd ultimately separated despite their reunion after contact with Earth had been established. He'd thought they were an item, which had never been true, before or after, but he hadn't taken her word for it. Rodney had known about it all, she'd never bothered to hide that from him, yet after that, things had stayed the same anyway, until now.
Rodney had crashed the dream. He'd forfeited his life for Sam, like he had so many years ago for her. She should have seen it, just how much he would do for the woman, but she hadn't. It was as much or more than he'd shown for Elizabeth, but this time fate had called him on it.
He lay there as they fought for him, but she knew he was dying and probably thinking of Sam, maybe hating that he could love so much without ever experiencing his feelings returned from either of them. Only knowing love existed by the pain it inflicted.
There was a whine in the room. They didn't give up on him, but he was already dead to her, the man on the table was one she didn't know, not as she thought she ever did. It was a cruel betrayal, and yet she felt some pride still to see his character by the event, what was to be his last action.
She cried for her mistakes, that she'd lied to herself and never saw what was most important. Never realising what little time there could be. He'd always pulled through. It had never sunk in how at risk he was, because he was Rodney McKay; he was simply there. He didn't die.
They kept on working, trying their hardest. All she could think of was how he looked so peaceful, his eyes hadn't been as desperate as she'd presume for a dying man. Instead his expression seemed to be one of accomplishment, achieving in death what had alluded him in life.