A/N: Well, I'm finally trying my hand at angst…and I'm a little afraid…so lots and lots of positive feedback would be nice. Constructive would be even better, to let me know if it's too unbelievable, or not angst-y enough, or just plain old never should have seen the light of the computer screen. (If it's any good, I have a second chapter with McKay POV planned!)

So Long

Goodbyes were never my strong suit. I'm terrible at accepting other peoples, and even worse at saying my own. Sure, maybe if I had more time, I might have been able to come up with something a little more profound. But time is never something we have enough of, and as I get out of the chair to do what I have to do, all I say is a hasty, "So long, Rodney,"

Yeah. Not quite famous last words material, definitely not, "I regret that I have but one life to give for my country." So long isn't something you say to your best friend just as you're going on a suicide mission. So long is "Hey, see you 'round." So long is "Be back soon." So long is just my quick, cowardly way to avoid emotional goodbyes.

It's not like I planned to leave McKay with something as crappy as that. It's not exactly a great feeling, having the last thing you ever say to a friend be two simple, heartless words. But what the hell can you say at a time like this? "Goodbye McKay, it's been nice working with you, hope this works, good luck with the rest of the battle"? Somehow, I think he'd prefer the "So long."

Maybe it's better that way. "So long, see you soon," we can pretend like it's just another risky mission that we'll escape from battered and pretty flipped out, but still alive. It happens all the time: we cheat death on practically a weekly basis, and I've thought I was probably going to die plenty of times before. "So long" meaning, "Sure, just another certain doom situation, but we'll be back to normal and laughing about this before morning."

Yeah. It's not convincing me either.

The difference between this and any other time I, "pull a Captain Kirk," in McKay's words, is that I know this is really it. Any other time I have known I could die, but now I know I will die. Rodney seems to think that I enjoy going out and being the self-sacrificing hero. Well, I don't. This isn't something I want to do, I have to do it.

And he knows it too. He calls after me a few times, but doesn't follow, just stands therein disbelieving horror. I thought he might come after me, to try and stop me, but I guess he knows better by now than attempt to convince me otherwise. Part of me almost wants him to try, to at least give me an excuse. But I keep walking and don't look back. "So long, Rodney, I'll see you just after I get out of this, at which point you will yell at me for being so 'Kirk-esque' and you'll probably be pissed at me for a good while, but at least we'll both have made it through alive."

Nope, it still doesn't convince me.

So long.