I Cut Myself Today

Catagory: Multiple Relationships
Characters: Carson Beckett, John Sheppard, Rodney McKay Rating: R
Genres: Angst, Character Study, Episode Related, Established Relationship Hurt Comfort Warnings: Adult themes
Summary: God, I miss you. (Spoilers for Sunday. Beckett/Sheppard with hints of McKay/Sheppard.)

I cut myself today. I lifted my knife and held the cool steel against my chest, watched as the sunlight glinted against the blade. Fuck, it made it look almost spiritual, almost. I idly turned the knife until the razor-sharp edge of the blade rested on my skin.

Then there was white light behind my eyes, and the sensation of cold then heat and pain swirling around in my head until there was room for no other thoughts.

I cut myself today. Anything, anything to rid me of this ache in my heart and this feeling of loss.

Focus. Focus on the pain, I told myself, and I fixed my gaze on the blood as it ran from the point of hard steel to the handle and my hand.

Fire, heat, pain and absolution.

I cut myself today, needed to lose myself. Needed to feel. I led men to their deaths, lost them to the horrors of this world, just like I lost you.

I watched them shrivel and die in front of my eyes, helpless in my own captivity. And my rescue? My punishment for failing them. When I close my eyes I see them, I see you.

I cut myself today. The crisscross pattern of angry wounds are so easily shrugged off as battle scars. But you would have known. You would have looked into my eyes and seen my pain. Your lips would have been the balm to soothe my troubled mind, but I lost you. So I focus, focus on the pain.

Fire, heat, pain and absolution.

I cut myself today but I made a mistake. No off world mission to hide behind, no reason for blood to seep through my uniform. I was so far gone I didn't realize. I just needed the pain to help me focus--focus on what was required of me. Used it to let me continue my masquerade as the military head of this great city.

A questioning look from Rodney, but I flash him a smile and tell him I slipped on one of the catwalks when running. Then I lose myself in sweet pain.

Fire, heat, pain and absolution.

I cut myself today. How many of them know the man behind the mask? How many of them would walk to their deaths, blindly following a man with a troubled past and a haunted present? How many would guess my secret? How many would be able to gauge the depth of my grief?

I should never have had you in my heart, never have let the bond develop, but it did. I needed you, need you, need the pain.

Fire, heat, pain and absolution.

I cut myself today, watching as the blade drew a line where my heart lies beneath, held my breath as the first droplets of blood seeped from my skin. I close my eyes, trying to forget. Forget my secret, our secret, our love. I should have been with you, but I was with him, with Ronon, all part of our--my plan--to keep others from finding out about a love I should not have had. All part of a plan that still torments me, night and day.

Pain, sweet pain and absolution, and for a while I can forget.

I cut myself today, opening wounds that haven't healed, helping me to live out this existence without you by my side. Loneliness is my future, pain and guilt my constant companions. God, how I miss you.

So I lift my knife again, and once more I see the way the light dances along the serrated edge, letting myself get lost for a moment in the myriad of dancing colours. For a fleeting moment I can be lost in the beauty of it.

I lift my knife again and hold it tight against my skin, pushing deeper, gasping for breath, afraid to succeed and more afraid to fail. Pain is the only way. Pain is my absolution.

I close my eyes against the sight, concentrating on reaching the moment when I feel something. Anything.

Then he is there, at my side, hand warm on my own, fingers stroking, moving the knife away.

I open my eyes to see Rodney. "Enough," he says quietly. "I'm here. I have you."

Soft lips are on my own, saving me from myself, soothing me, calming me, absolving me from the guilt in moments of darkness.

Gentle arms are around me, holding me, shielding me from grief and despair, helping me to live in my world of hurt.

And in my quiet moments of weakness, he's there now, to bind the knife wounds, stop the bleeding.

Fire, heat, pain and absolution. And maybe new love. Someday.

God, I miss you.