Spoilers: Season 1 but nothing else that I can see.
Summary: The question he's been dreading has finally been uttered. Rodney and ? Bring Your Own Ship fic.
Thanks to Fanwoman for betareading.
My mother told me there are many kinds of love. At the time, she was trying to explain the difference between how she loved her children and how she loved her husband, but as I grew older, I felt less and less like she loved me, and I explained it away as simply a different kind of love, different from the love she showed my sister. A kind of love that felt a lot like hate.
She resented me more as I grew older, as my genius and other eccentricities showed up, causing 'trouble'. My father didn't appreciate any of it much. You'd have thought he'd be proud to have a son who was smarter than most of the teachers at his school, but he thought I was being *disrespectful* and trying to get attention. My mother didn't like it either. I didn't fit in and play nice with other kids my age; I wasn't *normal*. It seemed all too appropriate that her love for me wouldn't be either.
When I was ten, my father burst the bubble and told me love was a myth. It couldn't be proved, and suddenly, my mind saw the sense in his thinking. Of course, that ran on over to religion, and my father was appalled when I pointed out that must mean God was a myth, too. He locked me in my room for two days; my mother was only allowed to bring the barest amount of food up to me. She didn't argue much, though, and her eyes lacked sympathy when she came. I took what my father said to heart. Love wasn't real.
It wasn't until later on in life, my teenage years, that I learnt the facts that convinced me undoubtedly of that truth. For me, facts were something you could rely on, and people, love, weren't. The facts I took to heart where about hormones and brain chemistry affecting feelings and moods, and about Freud and the need to believe in something greater than yourself. Those lessons taught me why I shouldn't believe, while the rest of the world still wanted to believe and were happy ignoring the facts.
I didn't have much time for people like that, which included most of the world’s population. I would occasionally indulge them, when it suited me, so as not to scare or offend them with my intellect or attitude. But I never wanted to feel love. Usually it would be fleeting, just a case of infatuation, something to get over or away from. On the two occasions I was made to doubt my beliefs, I got burnt in the same manner my parents taught me was possible. It seemed as though to believe in love meant you were a fool, and sooner or later, you'd get it thrown back in your face. That happened to everyone, but no one else seemed to doubt it in the first place. They had their faith tested, but I never had had faith to begin with. Maybe it was because they, the vast majority of the world, hadn't been deprived of the one expected love, the one love that is taken for granted, that of your parents. Jeannie was loved in the traditional sense, but I wasn't, and that never left me, like a scar of the wounds my parents inflicted upon my fragile young heart.
I blame them even now. Maybe I should be able to get over that issue, be a better man. But I'm not, and I can't. It's why I'm being a coward this time, not facing another possible rejection. She might love me, love me back that is, but I can't admit it. All the signs point towards love, practically lit up in neon, but it isn't enough. I'm not sure what is, what will convince me.
This is the breaking point, the moment the rest of our relationship has been building up to, somehow, despite all the bumps along the way: other people, nearly dying, being stranded in foreign galaxy. She asks if I love her, and all I can say is...
I wonder if she loves me, loves me still. She's still here, and she moves closer, angling her head to the side. As her lips meet mine, I realise she hasn't answered the question herself, but I can live with not knowing. If she can accept my answer, then I can live with possibly, too. Sometimes faith is necessary, and I think I might have found some, finally, just a little.