Rating: PG-13. To be safe.
Summary: Breaking up is hard to do.
Disclaimer: I could never in a million years be as talented as the folk who created and own anything and everything having to do with this story. I just like to rip people off and make it sound original. That being said, please don’t sue me. This idea came from my dad. So if anything go after him, he has a house and three cars in his name. I’m sure you can get something out of that. Or, you know, you could be nice and just let us revel in our fandom that is this loverly ship. ‘Kay, thanks. :D
A/N: 'Kay. So, I'm REALLY nervous 'bout this one. Cos one of them seems OOC, to ME anyway. The plot bunny actually came from my dad, of all places. He was an Air Force man so I guess he knew what he was talking about. *shrug* Combine that with listening to Ms. McLachlan's Afterglow Live cd and you get this. Weird. I think I should study math and it's probabilities cos all this Sparky fic is flippin' me out. This is for hipapheralkus who also beta'd. And thanks to buggy_542 for the second beta. I told you I was nervous, so I had it beta'd twice. *bites nails*
Oh, and I tried to make it a more than one word title... but alas you can see, I've failed. :(
It had to stop. They had to stop. She knew getting familiar with him was a bad idea and loving him was worse. How could she feel simultaneously heavenly and mournful? This raging conflict within her consumed every thought, every decision, every blessed moment they had been together knowing what they had could never be permanent. Secretly, she kept the little unknowing moments to herself.
The way he removed his jacket, keeping it crumpled with his sleeves tucked inside out. The sound of his footfall as he joined her on the balcony or through the control room and on the gangway to her office. The absolute delirium he could send her to by standing oh so near. His smell. His smile against her neck whenever he nestled against it while making love to her. How he would endlessly detail for her the beauty she possessed. How grateful he was to her for allowing him to see her, Elizabeth, not Doctor Weir.
She had to do this as Elizabeth, as herself, or he would never forgive her the callousness that was required as Doctor Weir. She needed to make him see that their sacrifice of each other now would be worth it in the end. Hopefully, she could get him to see beyond the Epicurean mentality that often accompanied war. She couldn’t give in to her want for him.
“Hey,” he was cheerful.
“Hi,” was her meek response.
“You okay?” John concernedly asked.
“No,” honesty was always their best policy.
He kept silent, waiting for her continuance.
“We can’t...,” she breathed deeply for a moment. “We have to stop.”
“Us. You and me. We have to stop seeing each other.”
Though she didn’t respond to the question, he already knew the answer.
He should have seen this coming. Maybe he was hoping their love could outlive this war, as juvenile as that sounded. Feeling his life being choked away he closed his eyes. He wasn’t giving her up without a fight, even if she was the one he was fighting.
“What?” It was her turn to ask.
“I’m not giving you up,” he opened his eyes to stare her down.
“John, I’m not asking you, I’m telling you. We have to stop.”
She had the foresight to see him taking this route. She knew he would fight for her. God, if anything his fighting was evidence enough of how much he loved her. How could she do this? No. She couldn’t break, not this time. Now more than ever her resistance would need to save her, them.
“Look, we both knew what we were getting into and before it gets too complicated we must end it.”
“‘Too complicated’? Elizabeth, in case you didn’t get the memo, it already is too complicated. Did you expect me to just agree to this brilliant plan and walk away?”
“No! I don’t ever expect you to follow a blind order.”
“So you’re giving me an order now?!”
“You know I’m not!”
Oh God, they had only been together two weeks and she was in deeper than she realised. For that one crucial moment when none of her grooming and training in negotiations and international, hell, intergalactic mettle, should crumble, he undid it all. The tears began to well.
“Don’t you see? I have to give you up, John. I need you more as my military commander than my boyfriend. I need to be able to send you on a mission you may not return from if it means saving Atlantis, Earth and the Milky Way Galaxy.”
If this weren’t so real right now he would have thought it was funny to hear his girlfriend scream ‘the Milky Way Galaxy’ as if her life depended upon it.
“I can’t have this burning uncertainty gnawing at me all the time,” she finished.
“It already does. Elizabeth, the fact that we have to have this conversation shows how deep we’re in. You could send me to eight different galaxies and I will always come back to you.”
He could feel her slipping away from him.
“Don’t make promises you can’t keep.”
“When a man has an idea in his head, in his heart,” he placed her hand over his pounding chest. “He becomes an unstoppable force that no enemy can kill.”
He would have left that hanging in the air but the fact that he could possibly be facing eternal suffering at this moment he pushed on.
“When you asked me to come on this mission, I had no will, no ambition, no idealism. I was sent there to rot away the rest of my career because I fought once for an idea. They killed that part of me. But you,” his voice was cracking. “You gave me hope that maybe, just maybe, there was a part of me that could still fight, that there was still part of me that could dream and live to see that dream. I found that with you. I’m not about to loose it again. Not when it’s been given to me so beautifully in this place, in you. You are my answer to that idea Elizabeth. Without you I would have nothing. And I know that you’re scared, because I am too, but if we can lead this expedition this far and this long together, if we can survive that, how much more so can we survive you and me? Huh?”
She could hardly tell through her own tears that he was crying save for the trembling in his voice. He loved her so much he was not about to let her worry scare him off.
“I need you more than I want to,” she confessed.
“I’ve never needed anything as much as I need you in my life.”
John moved his hands to grip the sides of her face and kissed her deeply through their tears. If it took his whole life to get her to see how much she meant to him there would be no breaking, no compromise. He would be desperate without her.
“Okay,” was all she could manage.
Somehow his conviction in her had been their saving grace. That being with him instead of forfeiting him to her fears would be of greater worth. Somehow she knew they would make it through beyond the end.