A Little Better

McKeller Tag to The Shrine.

'I love you…I've loved you for awhile now…'

"I meant it."

Jennifer jumped and quickly turned off the monitor. She turned around to find him watching her from a chair he had pulled up behind her.

"You should be in bed, not sneaking up on people. What are you doing anyway?" she asked him, turning back around to avoid looking at him.

"Jeanie left to get some sleep." he told her as he stood and moved to stand behind her. He saw her nod but she still didn't turn and look at him.

"Jen…" he sighed.

"How long were you there?" she asked him quietly.

"Long enough to watch you re-wind it three times." he answered with a laugh.

She turned to glare at him but got caught in his gaze. This was a side of Meredith Rodney McKay hardly anyone ever got to see. One that really cared about people. Ok, maybe not people in general, but definitely those close to him. And, if the video was to be believed, her most of all. This was a man who everyone had told her was incapable of feeling love for anyone but himself. So imagine her shock when he told her he loved her and she could see the truth in his eyes. Imagine her terror. Particularly when she realized she loved him too. But now she was afraid that he would get scared and leave. She wasn't sure she would survive that.

"Jen, you've got a very serious look on your face right now." he said after a few moments of silence.

"You don't have to say anything…you were sick…you…you didn't…didn't know…what you were saying. We can just let it go. It's for the best, right?" she started to turn back to her desk, but before she could make it all the way around, her grabbed her arms and pulled her back to face him. She lowered her head so he couldn't see how bright her eyes were with unshed tears.

"Jennifer, please look at me."

"I don't expect anything Rodney." she told him. "Please, I'm giving you a way out." she couldn't keep her voice from breaking at the end.

"I'm not asking for one." he told her softly.

She lifted her head to look at him. "Why?" she asked, unable to hold back the tears any longer.

He lifted his hand and wiped the tears from her face. "Because" he told her, "as I lay there, losing my mind, losing what made me, me, you were always there. You gave me hope when I thought none was left in any galaxy. Because you never left and even at the end you kept looking for an answer. Because nothing hurts more then the memory of losing your face." he liked deep into her eyes. "Last month I was terrified to tell you how I felt. Last month I was an idiot. And if you don't want to get involved with someone like me, I totally understand. I mean I'm not the best one at this sorta"

"Rodney" she interrupted him, "Stop. I love you too." she told him, wrapping her arms around him.

"Really?" he asked her, looking shocked.

"Really." she reached up and gave him a soft kiss and he returned it with relish. When they finally pulled away, he smiled down at her.

"Dr. Jennifer Keller, will you please go to diner with me?" he asked her.

"I'd be delighted." she answered, giggling. "But now you have to go back to bed." she told him, trying to look stern and failing.

"Do I have to?" he whined. "I wanna hang out with my girlfriend."

"Girlfriend?" she asked him with a raised eyebrow.

"I didn't mean, or rather if you don't, what I meant mnfmmn…"

She put her hand over his mouth to stop the rush of words pouring out of his mouth. She stood there looking thoughtful.

"Hmm. Dr. Rodney McKay's girlfriend. I like it." she said with a grin and felt him grin under her hand. She removed it and he bent down and kissed her again.

She finally pulled away and pointed to the door, "Bed. Now."

She laughed as he got into bed, grumbling. She leaned down and kissed him again.

"I love you." she told him softly.

"I love you too." he replied, smiling.

She grinned and turned and went back to her desk and then made her way back to her quarters. She got ready for bed and was almost asleep when the call came over the radio.

"Unscheduled off-world activation! Dr. Keller to the gate room! Medical team to the gate room!"

She sighed and got back up. The world kept going. But maybe, just maybe, now it would be just a little better.

A/N: The way I think it should go. Please tell me what you think.