Triptych by alyse [ - ]
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Category: Stargate: Atlantis > Threesomes, Moresomes and Bitextual (slash and het)
Characters: Elizabeth Weir, John Sheppard, Rodney McKay
Rating: NC-17
Genres: Angst, Character Study, Episode Related, Established Relationship, Hurt Comfort, PWP - Plot, What Plot?
Warnings: None

Summary: Romance is a luxury; the time to consider things and weigh them up more so. McKay/Sheppard/Weir.

Author's Notes: Written for the sga_flashfic 38 Minutes challenge. This is my take on what could have happened post The Storm and The Eye and should be considered AU. Vague spoilers for those two episodes.

Many thanks to Davechicken and Kageygirl for beta reading. All mistakes remaining are most definitely mine.


Elizabeth has always been one for romance, for taking her time but the Pegasus Galaxy has a habit of stripping things away - time, illusions. Lives. Romance is a luxury; the time to consider things and weigh them up more so.

It makes a twisted kind of sense that she'd learn freedom was also a luxury, bestowed or taken away at the whim of the Universe. It makes sense that she'd fear losing the little she has left - the control she's prided herself on.

It makes sense that in the end, it's John who strips that away too.

His breath is sour against her face but it's warm and she's cold, so cold. The blankets are too thin, the cell rock and too far underground. The flickering light in the corner is too dim to be useful but too bright to let her fall into a much needed sleep. She aches with more than the cold and the light shows up the bruises on John's face, barely hidden beneath the dirt.

It's John who bears the brunt of the punishment their captors mete out. Rodney's brain is too valuable to them and Elizabeth… Elizabeth, to her shame, tries not to give them cause. It's another illusion stripped away, to add to the many - that she's brave, that she can be brave for a time measured longer than a few hours or days. That she can be brave for weeks at a time. And when the remnants of her courage flare up briefly like a guttering candle caught by a sudden gust of wind, it's John who steps in and takes the blows.

She tries not to resent him for that. He's as lacking in purpose as she is, and she's loathe to strip away his few remaining illusions - that he can still do his job, that he can protect her. Sometimes she thinks that the Genii only keep him alive to ram home the message that he can't.

It's Rodney who protects them now. Rodney who stepped in front of a gun for her, and Rodney who keeps them alive by cooperating. Rodney, whose warm weight is at her back.

John's watching her, his face and body still. He gives nothing away and yet she knows he's going to move before he does. She thinks, as his face inches closer, that perhaps this was inevitable. Perhaps it is all inevitable - losing to the Genii, losing her purpose, losing her mind. Perhaps a sequence of events was set in motion as soon as she stepped through the Gate, something she couldn't have stopped no matter how hard she tried.

She doesn't try to stop John. She closes her eyes as his face moves closer and feels his fingers curl against her belly.

His breath is still sour but it's human and it's warm and it reaches places inside her that have been cold for so long. His fingers are cold too, and he swallows her gasp as they slide underneath her tattered top to stroke lightly over her skin.

She stays silent - she has to. There are guards outside the door and a hatch through which they regularly check on the prisoners; she may have lost her mind but she's determined to hold onto what is left of her dignity. It's not much but it's all she's got, and she's been kicked and called 'whore' too often now to give them the satisfaction of believing that their insults have foundation.

They don't. This is new and warm and she is so tired of being scared; scared of losing, scared of dying. She won't be afraid of this, the feel of John's tongue in her mouth, John's fingers on her skin. She welcomes them - it proves that she's alive. That she can still feel something that they can't take away from her.

Not yet.

His fingers slide lower, hesitating briefly before slipping beneath the waistband of her pants. She arches under his touch, her fingers digging into his shoulders, uncaring of the bruises he bears or the way that her clothes are rubbing against her skin. Her pants are looser now than they were just weeks ago, but he still has to unfasten them to move his fingers lower. Under other circumstances she'd tease him about the fact that he manages to do so one-handed, alluding to misspent youths and make-out points.

Under other circumstances they wouldn't be doing this.

His fingers slide beneath the cotton of her panties - no longer pristine white but still practical - and she's already wet and wanting him. She's never been turned on so fast and there's an air of desperation about it. She wants him - wants him in her. Wants to strip him naked and ride him until he moans and shudders beneath her. But she can't - the floor is hard beneath them, the covers threadbare. There are guards outside the door and Rodney is asleep.

She settles for sliding her legs apart as far as she is able, and he wriggles his fingers lower, touching her where she's wet for him. He swallows her gasp again as he slides one long digit into her, and she's thankful once again for his capable hands.

It's fast and it's quick and she comes far sooner than she expected, held still by the arm he's wrapped around her shoulder and undone by the touch of his hand. Throughout it all she stays as silent as she is able, a whimper here, a soft rustle there, nothing that could give them away. She's still reeling, her breathing uneven, when she hears the harsh sound of metal sliding against metal and knows that they're being observed.

John pulls her fractionally closer, his erection brushing her thigh. He's closed his eyes and she follows his lead, closing hers and pressing her face against the fabric of his jacket. She can smell his body; it should be unpleasant - and in one sense is - but he is there and real and she's grateful enough for that fact not to let her sensibilities overwhelm her.

His fingers are still inside her as they hold still, feigning sleep while they are watched. The feel of them holds her more than the eyes on them. They twitch, and she swallows a whimper, pressing closer to him, her own fingers winding more tightly in his jacket.

Behind her, Rodney makes a sound and rolls over in his sleep, his arm coming over her, its heavy weight comforting.

Metal screeches again, and the hatch closes.

Rodney moves closer. She feels the heat of his body against her back, warming her for the first time in what seems like forever.

She feels a hardness that matches the one pressing against her thigh.

When she opens her eyes, John's are already open but he's not looking at her. He's staring over her shoulder, his pupils large and black in the dim light as he eases his fingers out. He still doesn't say anything, and his expression doesn't change, and she wonders if she could close her eyes and wake in Atlantis where the world still made sense.

He raises his fingers, slides them past her shoulder and Rodney presses against her, pushing her body into John's and she's beyond warm now. The heat of their bodies scorches her, makes her burn as she twists her head to watch John's fingers move, so slowly that they seem unreal.

Twists to watch Rodney take them into his mouth.

He suckles them, never taking his eyes off John, and that sense of unreality strikes her again, making her want to laugh until she can't stop. Until the world goes away and she's home and safe and not watching the two only constants in her world move closer to each other until John is licking the taste of her from Rodney's mouth.

It's insane, but then she suspects that after weeks of mistreatment by the Genii none of them could strictly be considered sane.

John's weight moves over her, sliding down between them as he continues to kiss Rodney. She wonders if they'd forget about her if she just closed her eyes and went back to being as quiet as a mouse.

They don't. Rodney's hand moves to grasp hers, to pull it around and press it against the bulge in John's pants.

This time it's Rodney who swallows John's moans. Rodney who takes control, who unfastens John's pants, but it's her hand that slips inside. Her hand that takes hold of the weight and heat of John while Rodney kisses him.

The angle is awkward, but she presses up against John's back, licks the salt taste from his neck. She can feel that his climax is coming on him as fast as hers did, knows it by the way that he tenses against her.

Rodney feels it too, because he stops licking his away around John's mouth and moves lower. She feels his tongue flicker over her fingers and pulls them out of the way, covering John's mouth with her hand instead as he arches back against her and swallows a moan of his own.

He's so quiet. All she can hear is the faint sound of Rodney's wet mouth against John's flesh, slow and subdued, and then John's hand reaches back and grabs her hip, his fingers digging painfully into the bruise there as he shudders and comes.

It's her turn to kiss the taste of him from Rodney's mouth, feeling the rapid beat of John's heart beneath her hand. It's John's hands that pull at her clothing, slow and unhurried and mostly silent even as his heart races. He stops when her pants and panties are around her thighs, tugging at her until she's between them again, facing him.

He cups her face in his hands and kisses her as Rodney pushes her thighs forward and enters her from behind.

She comes again with Rodney in her, Rodney's breath panting against her neck and John's fingers pressing against her again while he kisses her as sweetly as a day in the park and strokes her breast beneath her clothes like her sophomore boyfriend.

Afterwards she visits the crude facilities, hidden behind the rudimentary screen they'd erected so that they could pretend to have some privacy, and wipes the dampness away from her skin. She feels swollen and sore; too long since she's known another's touch and now she's branded with it.

When she's cleaned up as best she can, she touches her lips with fingers that taste of her and Rodney and John and tries not to cry.

It's easier with practice.

They're huddled beneath the blankets when she goes back, pressed together for warmth, John's face buried in Rodney's neck and Rodney's hand in his hair. She watches them for a moment, exhaustion making her unsteady on her feet, before the cold catches up with her and she crawls beneath the blankets to join them.

They make room for her between them, pulling her down before she can hesitate, Rodney's arm around her waist and John's heart beneath her ear. She closes her eyes, breathes in their scent and finally sleeps.

The End