In the Night
Disclaimer: I do not own Stargate: Atlantis, and you can not convince me otherwise. –Sobs-
Summary: Slash. After being bitten by the Iratus bugs, John Sheppard has had nightmares of being a Wraith. With each passing night, they seem to be getting more intense, until one day, John's eyes turn Wraith black…
Slash, if you are not familiar with the term, it is the term used to describe a written romantic relationship between two or more men. If this is not okay with you, please leave - and don't bother voicing an opinion on the way.
-This means a change in scenery has occurred. –
"Spoken aloud by anyone."
"Spoken aloud by anyone, but over a communications device and/or radio."
: John's Thoughts. : (John's 'human' thoughts, and telepathic communication with other Wraith)
'Wraith-John's' thoughts, (to John, and other Wraith).
The Wraith's telepathic communication with each other, and with John.
John glanced across the mat at his sparring partner, Ronon wasn't winded by the nearly three hours of heavy exercise, and even though John was bone-weary, he refused to give up. Ronon could take it, John knew that, but he looked about ready to start questioning John's need to abuse him self into a worse condition then any mission could put him in.
Even if John knew it was insanity to have been sparring for ten hours without a break, but, John didn't want to stop. That would mean having to sleep – and, 'sleep' had turned into the worst point in the 30-hour day cycle on Atlantis.
The one time he wanted to avoid with avid interest. If, Dr. Weir confessed to him about needing extra guards around after dark for a few weeks - sign him up. If not he'd volunteer, or try to spar with someone all night. Because, sleeping these days, meant dreams; and those he woke from shuddering, and afraid of what he could have become if the trick with the Iratus bugs hadn't worked.
So it had become a regular, if worrying event for Atlantis personal to see John on his off-shift in the gym or training rooms. The first five hours of his off-shift was spent disciplining the military men who'd done something stupid to upset their commanding officer that day – usually by making them each spar with him, and letting them have the worst of it.
All that served to do was remind him they needed better training – and there was no one else other then John who could authorize it.
Then right before he'd get a chance to go to Weir, Teyla would come around, and they'd be dismissed, then scamper off to do what normal Atlantis military personal did; Teyla, though, would staff-fight with him for three or so hours before handing him over to Ronon. So it had become a routine, and after a few month of this, now no one had questioned it.
"Maybe we should stop for tonight, Sheppard." Ronon suggested, still in a fighting stance. John shook his head, his brown hair, matted with sweat, now hanging in front of his eyes; boldly he charged in, just to prove he could, Ronon – somehow, had expected it, and dodged away, John kicked – Ronon dropped and knocked his feet out from under him.
John landed with a grunt, hitting his back hard enough to wind him. Ronon, seeing this had stunned him, cursed softly under his breath and stood – reaching down to help him up. John took his hand, letting the other man pull him up, not even pausing to lift the bulk of John's weight.
"Are you alright?" Ronon asked, eyes skimming over John's thinner frame, checking for injuries in the way John held himself.
"Oh, I'll be fine, Ronon; you just surprised me is all." John assured him, giving him a friendly clap on the shoulder, even with it Ronon had become tensed and wary, and not even John's idiotic 'good o' boy' smile could distracting a wary Ronon.
"You're sure then, that you don't want to sleep soon?" Ronon asked of him, dark eyes that were like tunnels to the center of the earth, digging into John.
John looked aside, shrugging. The fact was that John had had to learn to ignore the way Ronon's chest heaved and the sweat that glistened on his chest and arms with every movement. Ronon's limits seemed beyond those of mortal men, so John's willingness to challenge him served to amuse Ronon, if not 'keep him in shape' – or so he claimed.
The thoughts and feelings that flew through John's mind at times startled him, those too, he had found he had to ignore as they sparred. Sometimes, it was only a desire for Ronon to touch him outside of a spar, other time to pin Ronon to the mat – and once John had done so, and had only thoughts of kissing Ronon – of course, Ronon, being Ronon, had taken advantage of John's fascination with the idea and had turned it against him.
"Nah, I'm good to go for a half hour more at least." John whispered instead, knowing even as he said it that he would be lucky to last half that long against Ronon in his current state. Ronon having heard his faint words snorted his own disbelief, his dark eyes still watching him, and John could feel them running over his body and measuring it.
"If you say so…" Ronon grunted, and attacked again, a brief struggle of blurred attacks and defenses and John found himself again on the mat – pinned and straddled by a smirking Ronon. An alertness that had little to do with not wanting to sleep – even if he knew, somehow, that dawn was approaching, feel between them.
John shook it off first, grinning winningly up at Ronon, who seemed frozen above him. Ronon breathed in deeply, leaning down to inhale John's scent – his nostrils flaring as he took in the smell.
"Are you alright, Ronon?" John questioned of him, and Ronon seemed to realize what he was doing, and pulled himself away. For the fleetingness of a moment, John wished Ronon hadn't. Then it was gone, and John was again being pulled up from the mat, and this time, it looked like Ronon was intent on it being the last time for tonight.
"I'm…fine. That's enough for tonight." Ronon spoke, and left John standing, rather baffled, on the training mat. Eventually, and left alone, John knew he had no choice in going to sleep that night. So, rather tremulously John went to his rooms, laid down…and fell to his dreams.
He walked, as he knew he would, in the night; his boots striking out against distinctly eerie silence of the empty halls. He knew himself to be of power and a cruel grace in every predicted step, in every movement, it all seemed… rehearsed night after night.
As Death incarnate he walked the halls, unchallenged, for he knew that nothing here in this ancient place could challenge him, in the here and now in Atlantis. Not that part Wraith female and no one else could stop him from wondering this very hall.
He was John Sheppard – but he was something else, something better. He was perfection, better then the ancient and weakened Wraith, and far superior then the humans they fed on, and yet, John Sheppard made it his life's mission to protect them. So, He, who walked in the night, did as well. Yet, despite being much more then human or Wraith, he knew he had been partly created by both.
Suddenly, as he always did at this point, he stopped – listening to hear the something he had sensed.
Tilting his head back, and leaning against the wall, he caught a stray scent, and inhaled deeply. His eyes flashed to the eerie, all-encompassing black of the Wraith, and he licked his lips. Starting in the direction the scent originated from, his body shivering with both a hungry sensual need, and a twisted form of what the John Sheppard in him recognized as a lust to possess, and to, surprisingly, protect.
In the genetic information passed by the Wraith John knew this scent - as 'prey' – for it was human, but it wasn't, it was much more to him then just human prey. In the early history of the Wraith, they had been symbiotic with humans - and prey - or Runners, had been the most suitable of symbiotic partners.
Something in his blood stirred at this Runner's tantalizing taste, and the scent led him to the Runner's room. John recognized it as Ronon's and - without hesitation; he stepped through the doorway, and eyed the Runner's prone form.
Walking silently, almost gliding, he covered the distance between doorway and bed, hovering above the Runner. He leaned down, his lips brushing against the Runner's – Ronon's, whose eyes snapped open, and John saw from within his eyes what John had become – a Wraith.
John Sheppard awoke, blue eyes snapping open to the darkness of his room. John sighed, a soft breath of noise, turning to his side to see the faint traces of dawn's approach. Left with little choice, he sat up in bed, cradling his head in his hands. In the morning-after of the dreams, he could admit to himself the truth…that, ever since Ellia and the Iratus bugs, he'd had dreams, and hadn't felt quite… as normal, as he had before.
Not, that he was going to tell anyone this, the way they had treated him as the changes had occurred - and the looks he'd gotten afterward, had driven that notion out of his mind. Still, the dreams – or even nightmares, they felt like they were so much… more. Both in their intensity and what really worried him the most, was the more often he had them the more he'd been unable to tell what was real sometimes, and what wasn't.
Carefully, as if it might summon back the dream, he drew in a shaky breath, running a hand through his hair, and feeling almost paranoid he checked the slightly scaly - but nearly healed bite.
: Come on Sheppard, pull it together. : He urged himself, he couldn't, after all, go out and perform his duties if he was tearing himself apart after a dream. Unwillingly, his eyes strayed to the bite. : Beckett knows his stuff - and wouldn't have let you out unless a hundred percent sure you're cured and not turning into some sort of super Wraith. : His lips twitched in ironic amusement at being reduced to comforting himself out of a nightmare.
Shaking off his doubts, he stood, inwardly cringing as his bare feet met the icy cold floor, hurriedly, he dressed – the soaks going on first – he left his hair as it was, no one would really notice the difference. With a soft sigh, he left his room, heading to the designated mess hall.
As he entered the kitchen, among the nods of greeting and the waves, he found himself glancing around for familiar faces. Almost upon looking for them, he saw Teyla and McKay sitting at the same table and eating together. Well, Teyla was eating, McKay was talking - or possibly ranting, out of the corner of his eye, he saw Caldwell leave.
: Good riddance, Colonel. : John thought at the balding silver haired man, for he didn't feel like he could deal with that man this early in the morning. While John had been distracted, Beckett had joined McKay and Teyla, and they still hadn't noticed him. Not that he minded, this early in the morning, and especially after a vivid 'nightmare' he, well, he just couldn't deal with the ideal breakfast chitchat like he used to.
Absentmindedly, he agreed to whatever the mess cook had said about the food, as he got his breakfast, and walked to a table that had a full view of the mess room. For some reason, he always felt better when he could watch over them. Settling down and picking up a fork, eating seemed to have become something automatically done – for he couldn't seem to taste it, just eating for the sheer nutritional value he gained from it.
Most of his attention was on watching everyone with half minded paranoia; this was a skill John hadn't mastered till after he had been bitten. : Gah…'Bitten', I sound like a romantic novel about a misunderstood werewolf, or love stricken vampire. : John's lips twitched slightly at the thought, as his eyes flickering over the masses once more. Only then did John allow himself a half-bemused smile, his gaze settling on the closest thing he could come to truthfully calling a family – for they were more then just his team – or friends.
Beckett had joined McKay in his rant – or perhaps they were in the midst's of a heated debate, one that no one in that horde of military personal understood. Teyla looked torn between staying to watch (like many in the mess hall were) - or going to the training rooms. Even if you didn't understand what the said; their body language was the most interesting part. Intensely – they either waved their hands about in gestures, or leaned into together, agreeing.
John was startled out of watching them when his fork met his empty plate; he looked down to see he'd eaten it all – again, without realizing it - or tasting any of it...but, perhaps that was for the best. The mess only made him nervous and twitchy, he only came in because he'd be missed, and he did not like to think of his family worrying over him. Standing, he returned the utensils and plate to the mess cook, and left the hall.
For, unlike Teyla, he had no wish to watch the two bickering doctors - no matter how amusing they might be. He had duties to get to, striding down the halls, John made his way to where he thought Weir might be - the Gate Room. Almost as predictably as clockwork, she was there with Colonel Caldwell, he mentally shrugged off his feelings of unease, and approached them.
"Ah, Sheppard, how did you sleep tonight?" Weir asked, knowing he had a bad time of it, ever hoping he'd open up and tell her the problem so she could 'fix it'; Caldwell merely nodded in his direction, a disdainful sneer partly across his lips as he surveyed John's appearance.
"Morning Dr. Weir, Colonel, it was well enough." Sheppard said lying through his teeth with his usual grin. Weir was not fooled, but Caldwell didn't care either way. Except if his lack of sleep led him to make poor decisions, and then Caldwell wouldn't hesitate to take his command from him. So far, it didn't – luckily.
"Good to hear. The Wraith seemed to have halted for the time being, anything you'd like to suggest we'd do while we have the time?" Weir mused absently; Caldwell made a noise that could have been taken for an agreement.
They should, if those measly excuses for enemies invade my territory….They will bleed…A part of his mind hissed, that 'voice' was so eerily like himself in his nightmares, that it made John forget for an instant where he was, and just who he was.
"Sheppard, did you hear me?" Caldwell asked in an annoyed tone, with it, John found himself snapping back to 'himself'; John shook his head, somewhat shaken, and Caldwell gave him a tight-lipped smile.
"As I was saying, it would be in our best interest to find out why the Wraith have paused in their race to get to Earth, don't you agree?" They fear me. The voice growled in answer, feeding John an urge to seek the Wraith out, and chase them from his territory. In response, John obeyed the urge – unthinkingly.
"Yes, would get me the nearest puddle jumper coordinates, and I'll… ready my team." John half ordered as he dismissed himself, and went to get Teyla and McKay - and find Ronon, who he had a feeling was in the workout room.
John didn't notice Weir and Caldwell exchange glances behind his back. John hadn't realized it yet, but in the eyes of the others, he was acting out of character – and far more reckless then he had been. John, at least before the Wraith-bugs, would have heard them out, before going head long into something.
John went back to the cafeteria first, and sure enough Rodney, and Teyla, were still there. Both glanced up when he entered the mess hall - and he nodded to them, cocking his chin toward the door to let them know he wanted to talk to them.
"Is there a problem, John?" Rodney asked speciously, John couldn't help but give the two of them a bemused smile, which earned him a concerned look from Teyla. He never smiled before a serious mission. Joked, and used sarcasm, sure, but never smiled like that.
"No, Weir just wants us to go puddle jumping - and try to find out why the Wraith have stalled." With a wave, he turned, and went to seek out Ronon.
Leaving two members of his team confused, Rodney frowned after John; with a pensive Teyla beside him, they went to seek answers from Weir and Caldwell.
This, along with "Lost in Atlantis" and "The Fly Away Remedy" are now among my first attempts at putting Sheppard – or suggesting it, with another male other then Rodney. I'm of the belief that Ronon or Ford would be better suited to him. So, yeah, this is a slash of him and Ronon and (maybe) Ford. I seem to enjoy putting a bit of the Wraith in him. I also thought Wraith-John was kind…sexy-in-a-deadly-way –coughs-.
In this, the "Wraith-John" can be called a split personality with a hive-like mindset; it is very protective to a murderous degree over what its territory (Atlantis and surrounding galaxy – may later include Milky Way) and its 'family' – what are "Human-John" teammates. "Wraith-John" is a mix of human, Ancient (due to John's natural Ancient genes), and Wraith, of course. It is something of a "Super-Wraith", not needing a Hive, or other Wraith to survive. To me, at least, a Wraiths power among other Wraith would be judged – not by physical strength, but by their mental abilities to reach each other over long distances – since those seemed to be prominent traits passed to Teyla, because through her 'dreams' she saw a Hive.
These are just my association of the Wraith, of course, and the result of watching a documentary on bees (what? There was nothing else on…) – and then Stargate: Atlantis;
So some terms that I will use in accordance with the Wraith are;
"Queen" which is the female leader of the Hive (a Wraith ship),
"Workers" the male – or non-Queen females, Wraith without 'masks'; Ronon has a history with one – and has John met one – they are intelligent, and can be "Leaders" or "Loners" without a "Queen",
"Drones" remember the ones with 'masks'? The ones who, when the Wraith were turned human were 'eaten'? Yeah, they have a lesser instinct among the Wraith.
"Keeper", to me that meant a 'lesser' Queen who kept the Hive alive during a 'famine' – and can 'revive' them when the famine is over.
To those of you who have read this story before Sept. 2007; you may have noticed some changes, the general gist of the story is the same, this is pre-planned for ten chapters – I will get them up as soon as I can.