Too late

Author: Vicky

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WebSite: perso.wanadoo.fr/vickyfics/index.html

Category: angst

Summary: She had sought refuge on the balcony after having recorded her message to Simon

Season/Sequel: season 1

Spoilers: Letters from Pegasus (1-17), and I guess some spoilers for The Real World and Outcast (4-15) too

Rating: R

Archives: my website, others ask please, I never refuse

Disclaimer: I own neither the show nor the characters. I don't earn any money; I just do it for fun.

Author's Note:

You have a go !

It was still early when Elizabeth woke up.

It took her a minute or so to realise that she wasn't alone in the bed. Her first thought went to Simon, but the reality came back full force; he was not there, but on Earth, and it was just yesterday that she had recorded a message to let him go. Tears were starting to well up in her eyes, but she willed them away; she couldn't cry, not here, not now.

The arm draped around her waist brought her closer to the body lying behind her. As she felt it pressed against her back, memories of last night came back to the front of her mind.

Flashback

She had sought refuge on the balcony after having recorded her message to Simon. She needed some time alone, away from her office, away from the problems of her City. She knew Rodney would take care of sending everything to Earth when he was done. She could stop thinking about Atlantis for a minute or two.

When Rodney had first told her that the personnel could record messages to their families on Earth, her first thought hadn't been of Simon, but of the families of those who died in the Pegasus Galaxy, under her command. She had to notify them personally of the loss of their loved ones. Her second thought hadn't been of Simon either, but of her mother. She hadn't been able to go see her before she left Earth, just had time for a few phone calls, explaining that she would be out of touch for god only knew how long. So with the possibility of sending a personal message to Earth, she had been the one on her mind.

It was only then that she had thought of Simon. She had no doubt that her mother would give him news, but he deserved to be sent a message too, if only to say things that her mother couldn't say. It was when she had decided to let him go. She knew it hadn't been fair of her to not tell him in person that she was leaving, but she hadn't been able to resolve herself to confront him; if she had told him everything face to face, he would have tried to change her mind, and she would have probably listened to him out of guilt, and she couldn't let that happen. But she had made a mistake by not breaking up with him before leaving Earth, even though she knew it could be a one-way trip.

So now, in the wake of a Wraith attack, she had finally done what she should have done months before. But that didn't help her feel any better. She had been with Simon for a few years now, but despite her mother's wishes, there had never been talks of marriage between them; they liked things the way they were. Despite the way she was doing it, she hoped that Simon would understand her reasons.

She heard the gate opening and closing behind her, and realised that that was it, the messages were sent. She leaned on the railing and closed her eyes, allowing herself to take a few more moments for her.

But it seemed liked her people didn't think the same as she heard the door sliding open behind her.

"Elizabeth?" John's voice came to her ears; in a way, she was relieved that it was him, and not someone else.

"Yeah?"

"Everything worked as planned. Rodney has sent the message to Earth without any problem."

"Great," she said in a small voice.

"You ok?" he asked, coming to stand beside her.

"No," she admitted, "but I will be."

"Did you send a message to anyone?" he casually asked to make conversation.

"Yeah… My mom and my boyfriend." She didn't know why she was talking to him, when not so long ago, she just wanted to be left alone. But she guessed that it was because she had seen something in his eyes before.

"I didn't know you had a boyfriend…"

"'Had', that's the key word. I've just told him to not wait for me. Probably something I should have done before, anyway. If you don't mind…"

"I'll leave you alone…"

"No, just, just talk to me about something else. I need to shake this thought out of my mind."

"What do you want to talk about?"

"I don't know… I… Actually, can I ask you a question?"

"You just did. But, go ahead."

"Why didn't you send any message, besides the one for Colonel Sumner's family?" She couldn't help but want to know; she had seen such a haunted look in his eyes before, that she wondered what that meant. Without even having to turn towards him, she felt him stiffen besides her. "Look, never mind. It wasn't my place to ask." She turned to leave the balcony, to leave him alone, knowing that she had probably crossed a line with him.

"No, wait," he said, putting a hand on her arm to hold her back. "I guess that after what you told me, you have a right to know"

She didn't say anything, just waited for him to start talking. Despite everything they'd been through together, she didn't know a lot about his past, like he didn't know a lot about her. She just knew a few things, what was in his file, like that black mark, and the fact that he had been married at one point. But she felt like something else had happened, something that had prompted him to not send a personal message through the Gate while he had the possibility.

"I don't get along well with my family. Not since I joined the Air Force. I… There's just my father and brother left. My mom died a few years ago. Cancer. That's the last time I saw my family. She was the only one who supported me, because she understood that was what I really wanted to do. I come from a wealthy family, and while my father has always taught my brother and me that working was important, he never thought that the military was the kind of job we should have." He paused, and she could see him struggle to continue; it was obviously a part of his life that he didn't really like talking about, and she was touched that he was confiding in her. "My father and I had a pretty big fight when I told him I was going to join the USAF. While I had anticipated that, I had never thought that my brother would side with him; I thought he would have understood me. But to them, it looked like I wanted to get away from them."

"You said your mom supported you… She never tried to talk to them?"

"Many times, but they weren't willing to listen. On her deathbed, she told me that she hoped that her death would bring us back together. That never happened, and probably never will. So, now you understand why sending them a message was out of the question. Had my mother still been alive, I would have, but now…"

"I'm sorry, John…"

"For what, Elizabeth?" he asked, looking intently at her, and noticing that tears were welling up in her eyes. "You've done nothing. If anything, you've trusted me, trusted me enough to have me here. And you've lent me an ear."

"Well, you've lent me an ear too, so I guess we're even on that point," she replied, chuckling slightly.

Standing on her tiptoes, she hugged him, surprising him. But his arms soon found their way around her waist, pulling her closer to him.

It was the first real contact between them, besides the time John had held her hand when they finally got rid of Kolya and his men. After this long day, filled of memories, mostly bad ones, they both needed to feel the contact of someone else, both needed to know that after everything that happened, they weren't alone.

Elizabeth buried her face in the crook of his neck, breathing him in. Tears were still threatening to fall, but she managed to keep them at bay; crying wasn't for now, crying was for when she was alone, in her quarters.

Neither knew who started it, and neither really cared, but her lips started attacking his neck as his hands roamed her back, going down to fondle her butt. Soon after, they were kissing; light, chaste kisses at first, before they became more heated. John's hands found their way inside her shirt and went straight for her breasts, pinching her nipples through the bra.

John backed them away to the wall in the darkest corner of the balcony. There, they were shielded from anyone who would happen to come outside. Her pants were the first to hit the floor. The cool air from the ocean was contrasting with her heated skin, heightening her feelings. He was literally taking her breath away with his kisses, while one of his hands went south and cupped her through her panties. She gasped, leaning her head back. He immediately set to attack her now exposed neck, and she held him there with her hands in his hair.

They both knew where this was leading, they both knew they shouldn't do it, but they needed it, and that was enough for the moment. They could start thinking about it after. For now, they just wanted to feel.

End of flashback

As she lied there, she remembered what had happened next.

They hadn't talked; she had tried to talk, but he had shushed her, saying that there would be plenty of time for that later. And though she knew that he was right, she also knew that they were only a few weeks away from a Wraith attack, and that later could be too late. But she had respected his wish, because despite everything, she hadn't really known what to say besides stating the obvious by saying that it should never happen again.

Instead, they had fixed their clothes and gone back inside. Saying goodnight to night shift who hadn't suspected what had occurred on the balcony, they had set off towards the living area. He had followed her down the hallways, not saying a word, and she hadn't been surprised when he followed her inside her quarters. She hadn't asked him to leave, just got ready for the night while he had done the same. To any outsiders, they would look like a couple; to them, it had been something strange.

Reflecting on that now, in the wee hours of the morning, she just knew that they had needed to be with the other. What they had done on the balcony was just sex, but just for that night, they needed the comfort the other provided.

Hearing his breathing change, she feigned sleep, not ready to confront him. She kept still as she felt him getting up from the bed. She kept still when she heard him getting dressed. She kept still as he walked towards the door. She only moved when the door closed behind him.

She knew that they should have talked, but John leaving during the night proved that he wasn't ready for that talk either. And she was fine with it. They would talk later.

But she didn't know that a few weeks from now, as she was watching him fly his Jumper towards the Hive ship, she would realise that it was too late.

Fini