The Last Time by AndromedaMarine

Everyone always acknowledged that there was a first time for everything, which was true to the last letter. A first time for love and a first time for loss. A first time for heartbreak and a first time for comfort from the friend. The latter had happened to a certain Lieutenant Laura Cadman of the United States Marine Corps. One would assume that they were on Earth – but that was so far from the truth. The exact distance, in fact, was several billion light years extending into the far reaches of the universe toward a certain galaxy named Pegasus.

The reason that a lieutenant of the USMC was in another galaxy and another planet with a broken heart was beyond anyone who wasn't in Laura's position. Damn that she had gotten involved with a military man, of all people. Her friend and confidant from her placement on Atlantis, one Carson Beckett, was there when the arrogant, self-involved sergeant had dropped her for someone else. As if on instinct Laura had gone straight to Beckett's quarters with very teary eyes directly after. The blip blip of the door had prompted Carson from his bed and he opened the door with bleary eyes.

"Yes?" he asked, not seeing at first who was there. When his eyes cleared he blinked a few times. "Laura? Love, what happened? Come in, dear." He gestured for the lieutenant to enter his quarters and he immediately became busy making chamomile tea to calm Laura's nerves. She sat at the table and wiped away the tears that just kept coming. "Tell me."

Laura sniffed. "I'm so stupid. I thought Willis was different, but he's the same as any marine guy. I should've learned after my dad left, but no!" She wiped her tears away again and Carson set the mug of tea in front of her. He sat down right next to her and placed a caring hand on her back. "I'm sorry for bothering you with this, Carson. It's so late – I should go." She began to get up and leave Carson alone but the doctor grasped her arm.

They both stood. "Love, I'll always have time. Ye needn't worry about bothering me, Laura." He replaced his hand on her back and moved it up and down. Laura fell into Carson's embrace and fisted his shirt. She sobbed into his neck and slowly he sat back down with her on the bed. "Let it out, love." He rocked his dear friend back and forth, calming and comforting the woman he had been attracted to since he first saw her.

When the sobs subsided Carson realized that Laura was asleep in his arms. He picked her up with ease and laid her on the bed. There was no point in waking her up that late to send her back to her quarters. Fortunately he had a small sofa so he slept there after watching Laura sleep for a while. She looked so peaceful after what had happened earlier. Before he went to sleep he padded over and placed a soft kiss on Laura's temple, stroking her hair.

--

Light filtered through Laura's eyelids and she squirmed in the bed, getting her long-lost bearings. She opened her eyes and immediately knew she wasn't in her room. It took her a few moments to remember that she was in Carson's room, and a few more seconds passed before she was shocked that she'd spent the night in his quarters. Instinctively she pulled the covers around her, but she was fully clothed so it did little toward what her intention was.

She sat up, scanning the room for the doctor. She found him curled on the small sofa near the window. Before she left she tip-toed over to Carson's sleeping form and placed a light kiss half on his cheek and half on his lips. What she didn't expect was for Carson to kiss back. The gentle man wove his hands into Laura's blonde hair and gently kissed her. The Scot tasted of coffee and a sweetness Laura was sure was simply Carson.

The doctor sat up and supported Laura's neck with his hand, still kissing the lieutenant. A little known fact and one that isn't widely preached is that there is also a last time for everything.

Neither had to say anything for Laura to know that was the last time she'd ever cry over heartbreak.