After the Storm

Post-Storm/Eye, McKay/Weir angst. Sorry if it seems too much like my SamDan ships – force of habit :p Feedback welcome.

And I am in no way affiliated with MGM, the SciFi channel or anyone affiliated with Stargate. If I were, I'd be writing scripts, not fanfiction. I write for my own pleasure and anyway, I'm a poverty-stricken student, it's not worth suing me over.

She had been acting strangely since the storm and Koyla's hijacking of Atlantis, but Rodney McKay had been too absorbed in recovering from his own torture-induced wounds to notice for the better part of a week. Rodney was fairly self-absorbed by nature, although he'd always had a soft spot for Elizabeth, but when someone stuck a knife in his arm and twisted it around as a means of extracting information, well, he tended to forget there was anyone else in the universe except for him.

So it had taken him a while to realise Elizabeth was acting strangely. Distant. Skittish, especially around the men on Atlantis, including him, and they'd always been particularly close. She was the one person who could calm him down when he was ranting, and he was one of the few people she trusted absolutely – even more then John Sheppard, he felt smugly.

But now she was behaving strangely. She was behaving strangely towards everyone, but it particularly concerned him that she was behaving strangely towards him. Whatever might be happening in the rest of the world, he'd always thought He and Elizabeth would remain He and Elizabeth. What exactly He and Elizabeth were, he didn't know – only that he took a great deal of comfort out of their relationship and he didn't like that it had been changed.

He waited until he could get her alone, which happened to be in her office. He stepped inside and closed the door behind him, something he had done a hundred times before with no problems. He just liked his conversations with Elizabeth to be private, that was all.

From behind her desk, Elizabeth watched as Rodney shut the door and a knot formed in her stomach. She kept her door open these days for a reason. The memories of Koyla marching her into this room… "Open the door, Rodney," she instructed in as calm as voice as she could manage.

He gave her one of his lopsided grins that he mostly reserved for her. "It's not locked or anything, I just don't want anyone to overhear us," he said. Perfectly reasonable request as far as he was concerned, it wasn't like he and Elizabeth being alone together was an unusual thing.

"Open the door," she instructed in a slightly more panicky voice. She got up to open it herself.

It was Rodney's bad luck that he happened to be between Elizabeth and the door. It was also bad luck that, seeing her unexplainable discomfort, he went to stop her, taking her wrist in his hand. As his fingers closed around her wrist, restraining her of sorts, she felt the panic rise up within her. "Let me go!" she ordered. "And open the goddamn door."

Of course, Rodney being completely clueless to the subtleties – or even the more over displays – of human behaviour, his concern for Elizabeth growing, he tightened his grip on her wrist. "Liz?" he asked, concerned.

"LET GO!" she shrieked, kneeing him hard in the groin. Rodney grunted and kneeled over, letting go of Elizabeth's wrist in the process. She bolted past him to open the door and stood from near the doorframe, watching him try to stand up.

"Jesus Christ, Liz, what the hell was that for?" he demanded. The last woman who had need him in the groin had done so following persistent attempts to kiss her. He figured it retrospect he had kind of deserved that but he had done nothing to provoke Elizabeth beyond showing friendly concern for her welfare.

She looked contrite. "I'm sorry," she said. "But I asked you to open the door and you didn't."

"So you kneed me in the balls?" Rodney asked incredulously. "And what was so important about the door, anyway?"

"Nothing," Elizabeth said quickly, too quickly. She swallowed hard, recalling, against her will, the way Koyla had shut and locked the door behind him after marching her into her office. He'd looked her over, and the glint in his eyes was one she would never forget…

She shuddered violently and Rodney's eyes widened in alarm. "Liz?" he asked. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing. Please, just go." If Rodney showed much more concern for her she was going to break down and cry and she was the leader of the expedition, she didn't break down and cry.

"Something's wrong, Liz. You've been acting strangely ever since the Genii hijacked this place," Rodney said – at least he wasn't completely unobservant to human behaviour. "You've been acting skittish around everyone, especially mean – Oh, God…" he gasped, the truth suddenly dawning on him. "Liz – did Koyla rape you?"

"Rodney, go away," Elizabeth ordered him.

"No. Tell me did Koyla rape you?"

Oh, why did Rodney have to act all concerned now, when she actually needed him to be arrogant and self-absorbed. "It's none of your business," she said stiffly.

"Liz… I'm going to close the door again," Rodney said in a gentle voice Elizabeth had ever heard him use again. He'd always been arrogant and self-absorbed, even when he'd been trying to impress Samantha Carter – actually, especially when he'd been trying to impress Samantha Carter. He was an arrogant, self-absorbed man so to hear him speak so softly and gentle to her was unnerving. He didn't want to frighten or surprise her in any way, as much for her own good as his and his ability to procreate. "I'm going to close the door because I don't think you'll want people to overhear this." He shut the door without a fuss from her and turned towards her. "Liz, it's me, Rodney. I'm not going to hurt you. I'm not…going…to…hurt…you," he said slowly, reassuringly. When he got close enough he pulled her into his arms. He was acting entirely on instinct but it felt like the right thing to do and she didn't struggle against him so she couldn't feel too threatened.

She never thought she'd feel so safe in a man's arms again. The pressure of his arm around her back made her feel secure without feeling threatened. "Please," she said weakly, not really wanting to leave Rodney's embrace. "We shouldn't be doing this."

"Doing what? I'm your friend and I think you're happy that I'm here." He tried to keep his voice calm and soothing although his blood boiled to think Koyla had done that to her. If he'd known at the time, he would have killed the man with his bare hands. "What happened, Liz?" he asked.

She had intended to never tell anyone about it. The threat of rape was one of the reasons women weren't put on frontline units, although it was something Elizabeth had always thought was crap. There were plenty of other ways to violate a person then male/female rape. Although right now she wasn't sure…

She had never intended to tell anyone, but somehow, in Rodney's arms, she found the strength to tell him. Shakily, she began to tell Rodney what had happened…

When Koyla and his forces had arrived at Atlantis, killing two of the Atlantis team, they'd leaving Elizabeth and Rodney (and Sheppard somewhere on the base that the Genii didn't know about) alone with the hostile team and a storm on its way. They'd been split up, with Rodney being hauled off to try and get the shields working (that ought to teach him about bragging) and Koyla marching Elizabeth into her office, locking the door behind them.

She had known from the way he had looked at her what he'd wanted. He'd made it clear he had every intention of getting what he wanted, if he had to call his men in to restrain her – and if he had to do that, he'd let them have their way with her after he was done. And if she did anything to attract Rodney's attention to her plight, he'd slit the scientist's throat in front of her – and continue to get what he wanted out of her.

Submission had seemed to be the best solution ; to fight wouldn't prevent her violation and only cause more trouble. He'd let her take off her clothes and drape them over the desk so they wouldn't get wrinkled. Then he'd ordered her to lie on the floor and he'd raped her violently, leaving ugly bruises, cuts and bite marks everywhere her uniform would cover. He'd wanted to make her cry out in pain, and she'd refused to give him that satisfaction. That, and she would not draw Rodney's attention to this. He'd already stepped in front of a gun for her, she had some degree of faith that he might coming running if he heard her scream.

After it was over he'd made her stay in the floor for several minutes, a smug, triumphant smile on his face. It made her think of ancient warlords who considered the personal slaughter of their rival warlords to be the greatest achievements ; only Koyla hadn't killed her, he'd done something that, in a way, was worse…

After he allowed her to get dressed and sent her out to work with Rodney she tried to pretend that nothing had happened. Nothing – except she felt dirty and unqualified to be a leader. There wasn't much else she remembered with such clarity from that date.

Except, funnily enough, how protectively Rodney had held her when they were in the rain together. The rain… it had been so cleansing, soaking her to the skin but washing every trace of Koyla off her. And the feel of Rodney's arm around her – you'd think she'd never want to be near a man again, but somehow, in those circumstances, she knew instinctively that Rodney was not going to hurt her. Rodney was doing his damnedest to protect her. Even if he hadn't succeeded when Koyla had looked at her with those hungry eyes, but that wasn't his fault…

Rodney's grip tightened on her when she finished her story and seemed to go weak in his arms. He felt the front of his shirt growing wet and he realised she was crying. "My God, Liz," he whispered hoarsely. "If I'd had any idea –"

"You would have come charging in like a bull at a red flag and gotten yourself killed," Elizabeth sniffled.

"So you get raped and I get my life saved," Rodney said with characteristic sarcasm, but uncharacteristic concern. "You really know how to make a man feel good about himself." Then his tone softened into something Elizabeth had never heard before. "I'm sorry, Liz," he said." I wish you'd told me before."

"I didn't want you to think less of me," she cried, not that it mattered now. You couldn't sink much lower then sobbing in a man's arms – at least not when you were trying to prove that a woman could do it just as well as a man. "I didn't want anyone to think less of me."

"You think I would think less of you?" Rodney asked incredulously. "You saved my life, Liz. You gave into that bastard without a fight." He felt his throat tighten when he thought about how hard that would have been for her to knuckle under without a fight just to keep him safe. "I care about you and respect you so much, I could never not respect you."

Elizabeth looked up at him, and there was a strange look in her eyes that he had never seen before. Then she kissed him.

She look him by surprise, and for a second he kissed her back. He had to admit, he'd fantasised about kissing her before – what red-blooded male wouldn't? She was one of the few women he really got along with, and sometimes, when he had troubled sleeping, images would come to him, images of taking 'his' little brunette in his arms and fusing his mouth to hers…

Their kiss – well, kisses really – became more frantic, more heated. He knew it was wrong but God it felt good… he felt Elizabeth's hands slide quickly down his chest and abdomen to his belt buckle and she began fumbling with it, trying to free him of the constraint… Rodney stiffened. This was beyond his wildest fantasies, but he knew it was wrong. "Liz, stop," he urged, wondering if he was the biggest fool on the planet to turn her down.

She didn't stop. She undid his buckle and began working on the zip of his pants. "Make love to me, Rodney," she begged desperately.

He pushed her away. "No," he said.

She looked at him with tear sin her eyes. "Please," she begged. She kissed him again, and God help his dirty rotten soul, he kissed her back. "I don't want to think about Koyla. I want to be with someone else."

Her voice was so pleading, if it had been anything else, Rodney would have granted her request in a heartbeat. As it was, he was having trouble refusing her. She was looking at her with those beautiful brown eyes wide open, her mouth pouted seductively and he was so tempted to take her right here and right now like she so badly wanted him to…

He cupped her face in his hands. "Liz, do you really want to do this?" he asked in a tight, controlled voice. She nodded tearfully, but the look on her face was one of pure determination. She wanted to forget about what Koyla had done to her, and she had this mad idea that having sex with someone else would do the trick. He sighed. He was concerned that if he didn't say yes she'd find someone he would. "OK," he said. "But not here. I'll meet you in your room in an hour. Have a shower, get yourself cleaned up, OK?" she nodded. He kissed the top of her head. "Good girl," he said, He knew he sounded a little condescending but he figured Elizabeth needed someone tell her what to do, to look after her like a child.

He left her in her office and headed off to his own room, where he had a long, cold shower – after jerking off to thoughts of her, God help him, but he figured it could be for the best, given the seductive mood she'd been in just before.

He gave her the hour he'd said before making his way to her room. He'd always been a little miffed that she'd managed to secure the largest room in the city – fair enough, she was the leader, but he never liked someone having something bigger then him. "Liz?" he called through the door. "It's Rodney, can I come in?"

"Yes," Elizabeth called back. The doors slid open and he let himself in. He'd never been into her room before, she was a very private person like that. She was sitting on her bed, her legs tucked up under her shin and her arms wrapped around them. She looked very vulnerable and his heart went out to him. Right now, he hated Koyla. If he wasn't dead, Rodney would track the bastard down himself and make sure he paid for what he'd done to Elizabeth…

He focused his attention on the woman sitting in front of him. Closing the door behind him, he sat next to her on her bed. "Feeling better?" he asked sympathetically.

She nodded. "Thanks for – for not, well, you know," she said, looking sheepish.

"I had a beautiful women in my arms begging me to have sex with her and I turned her down," Rodney said ruefully. "I don't know if that makes me more of a man or less of one."

She touched his cheek gently. "More," she said softly. "I really wanted to do it, Rodney, and I would have," she said. She sighed and pressed her chin against her knees. The only thing that had stopped her from having sex with Rodney was Rodney himself. While that earned him a great deal more respect in her eyes, it also made her feel… unworthy. Leaders didn't just go around begging their insubordinates to sleep with them.

Tentatively, he pulled her into his arms. She didn't protest, in fact pressed herself closer into him, so he took that to mean his embrace was welcome. "I know you would have, I was there," he said wryly. "I was worried if I didn't say yes you'd just find someone else who would. Someone who isn't as chilvarous as me."

She rested her head on his shoulder. She hadn't realised he wore cologne, but it was a nice smell. "That was very chilvarous," she said. "Thankyou, Rodney."

"You're welcome," Rodney said dryly. He was really glad he'd had the foresight to 'take care of things' before he'd come here, because right now there was still a lingering temptation to take her up on her offer.

After a few minutes he became very aware of the pressure of her hand on his thigh, slowly moving upwards. He swallowed hard. "Liz," he said as evenly as he could, given he could feel his pants start to tighten, "what are you doing?"

"I thought it was quite obvious," he purred, and he hated the tone in her voice. It was so… forced, not like 'his' Elizabeth at all.

He pushed her hand away before it gave him any more ideas. "Well, stop it," he said.

Before he knew what was happening, she had straddled him and pinned him down on her bed. "Liz!" he yelled indignantly as she covered his face was kisses. With superhuman effort, he threw her off him. "What the hell was that about?" he asked incredulously.

"You said…in an hour…" she said, and her burst of energy was gone, replaced by a woman who was lost.

"I said that so you wouldn't do anything you'd regret," Rodney retorted. "Jesus Christ, Liz, do you think I'm really that much of an asshole?"

"So you don't want to sleep with me," Elizabeth said, Rodney's rejection burning deeply into her soul. He didn't want her… because she was damaged goods.

"No. I mean, yes. I mean… not like this." He took her hands in his and looked her deep in the eye. "If I were to take you to bed, Liz, it would be because you want me to, you want to be with me, not that you want to fuck any man because you think it will take away the memories."

She was crying now, crying heavily. He took her in his arms. "Sweetheart," he murmured. He was distracted by the feel of her in his arms, the lingering scent of soap and perfume. He gritted his teeth. If it killed him he would not take advantage of her. He was experiencing a new sensation of maturity and responsibility as it slowly dawned on him that he loved the woman sobbing in his arms, loved her to absolute distraction. It was the only thing that would explain his relentless desire to hunt Koyla down and make sure the bastard was dead – and if he wasn't, to make him wish he were. "I'm here for you in whatever capacity you need me – but right now you definitely do not need a lover." He kissed the top of her head. It was a strange experience, having a woman clinging to him as if her life depended on it – if it wasn't for the horrible circumstances that had brought it about, his ego would be swelling to twice its already considerable size.

Funny how he'd completely forgotten about the existence of Samantha Carter when he had Elizabeth Weir in his arms in a totally unromantic situation.

He let Elizabeth cry for another ten minutes until her sobs gradually lessened. She looked up at him, tears still in her eyes. "Thankyou," she said, sniffling. She had a new lot of respect for Rodney. She didn't know how many men would turn down sex with her.

He kissed her forehead. "Just don't do it again, I don't know how long I can resist you for," he said, only half joking. He looked her in the eyes and he knew, despite her obvious vulnerability, that he could be honest with her. He took a deep breath and took the plunge. "Liz… I really like you," he said hoarsely.

"I know," she said absently.

Fear welled in his stomach. Had she misunderstood him? He wasn't used to people misunderstanding him. He usually barked out orders loud and clear. "No, I mean… I really like you… as more then a friend," he managed in not much more then a whisper. "I know this is a really inappropriate time and you can slap me if you want – God knows I'm used to it – but I had to tell you." He looked sheepish and wondered if he'd been a complete ass in bringing up such a thing at a time like this. He waited to be slapped.

Instead, she stroked his cheek lovingly. "I – I really like you too," she admitted, hanging her head. "Oh, God, this is such a mess. People will talk and…"

"Hey," he said, cupping her chin and forcing her head up so she was meeting his eyes. "It'll be OK. We can take our time and anyway, I want you to work this thing out before we do anything. I meant what I said, Liz. I won't go to bed with you just because you think it'll make you forget. I think the time would be much better spent with Heightmeyer."

"OK."

He looked at her in surprise. "OK? The great Liz Weir is folding just like that?"

"Hey, I can admit when I can't do it alone," she couldn't resist taking a dig at Rodney. Well, if it got her to smile then she could take digs at him all day long. "Besides," she said, settling into his arms, which she never wanted to leave. "I have my reasons for wanting to work through this." She looked up at him, a slight mischievous smile playing on her lips.

"Yeah?" he asked, her the suggestions dancing in her eyes completely lost on him. "What are they?"

"Rodney!" the chided him.

He looked embarrassed. "Oh, you meant… us." It was hard for him to say 'us', but it sounded nice when he got it out. Us. Him and Liz. It had a nice ring to it.

"Of course I meant us. God, you can be dense when it comes to anything that can't be programmed onto a computer."

"Like this, you mean?" Rodney asked, and he couldn't resist bending his head to meet her lips and kiss her. Her lips parted when they met his, and it was a much softer, more intimate kiss then their first hungry kisses in her office. It was bliss. "Sorry," he said sheepishly when he broke apart from her. "Was that too much?"

She wanted to chide him for his apprehension, but she decided she rather liked it. Besides, Rodney was naturally awkward around women, and not wanting to set her off had made him even more unsure of what to do. She appreciated that he cared. "No," she said. "That was fine. In fact… I'd like it if you did it again."

"If the lady insists… " Rodney began.

"The lady insists," Elizabeth said, and their lips met for another kiss.

Author's note: Not sure what to do with this. I may have another chapter, may not, depending on your feedback.