Sleeping bags

He was running through the halls of Atlantis his bare feet slapping the cold floor, creating a loud panicked thrwop noise along the corridor. His heart was pounding in his chest, his lungs burned and he gasped trying to take in more oxygen. His legs began to cramp as oxygen deprivation caused his muscles to burn and the steady footfalls of the wraith chasing him grew louder and louder. He called to his team, banging on their door to wake them, but no one could hear him, he knew in his heart they were already dead. An image of their dried husks lying in their respective beds flashed through his mind and he cried for them even as he willed his legs to just move faster. He had no destination and in his panic had no idea where he was running to, the halls were unfamiliar to him, the pain in his side increased as his stitch gradually got worse and more pressing. The stitch in his side, his legs and his lungs all pleaded with him to pause and rest a moment but he knew the second he did he would die. The creature pursuing him was like the damn terminator, it just kept coming, never slowing just walking along behind him, an evil glint in its dead eyes. He tripped and fell, cursing, he tried to push him self up, to keep going. He was almost at the balcony and from there who knows, but what he did know was that if he stayed here, sprawled on the floor, gagging and gasping for breath he would soon be just another dried up old husk. The wraith was upon him in seconds, he lashed out with his fists and legs, begging the creature to let him go. He managed to pull away and began crawling on all fours towards the sunlight gleaming in through the stained glass doors which led to his freedom. He screamed as the creature wrapped its cold, scaly hands around his ankles and its claws dug into his flesh as he struggled against the inevitable. He was being pulled backwards towards his doom, as he fought and squirmed in a vain attempt to live just a little longer. Tears were running freely down his face as he desperately tried to escape, but it was to no avail. The wraith loamed over him, the evil glint gone, only to be replaced by what could only be described as hunger. Ravenous, starving, rapacious, hunger. It chilled him to the bone, sending shockwaves of fear coursing up and down his nerves. It pinned him to the floor, its heinous body straddling his to hold him in place. His breath came in stilted gasps, his throat no longer obeying his command to say something, anything to stave death off, even if it were only to scream. The wraith smiled, a broad, wide shark sneer and thrust its feeding hand down forcefully upon his chest. Even if the creature had not begun feeding, he would have been winded and be unable to breath. As it was, he grimaced in pain, and felt his life being drawn out of him, like pulling teeth. His throat contracted and reacted against his will and a hollow piercing scream echoed around the hallway.

"Rodney, Rodney, shush." His heart pounded in his chest, trying to break free. He wasn't sure how it had happened but someone was holding him tightly, whispering in his ear. "It was a dream, your okay now, I promise."

He looked up and found Sheppard's head above his while his teammates are encircled his, the thick fabric of his sleeping bag depriving him of actually human contact. His body shivered and shook and Sheppard held him tighter, cooing in his ear warm messages of safety and friendship. John rubbed soothing circles into his tense back muscles as Rodney swallowed a sob. "I'm fine now, thanks." He stammered and began to pull away from the comfort being so freely offered.

"You sure?" Sheppard looked at him with a concerned eye and studied his face as though it were a puzzle to be solved.

"Yeah, bad dream and whatnot." He smiled weakly and silently thanked his friend for the support.

"Know what you mean. I dreamt about a wraith attack and snakes just last week, nearly as scary as that damn clown dream." He shuddered dramatically to emphasise his point. "Kids TV has a lot to answer for."

Rodney rolled over away from Sheppard he didn't want to talk anymore and got the distinct impression John wasn't too keen on the idea either. An hour later he was still lying awake trying not to think about his friends all dying in a wraith attack when the previously peaceful sleeper in the sleeping bag next to his started to thrash about. He edged closer to Colonel Sheppard who was now punching the air and shouting incoherently in a frightened manor. He reached over and shook John, calling to him as he tried to wake his friend. Suddenly Sheppard jumped as if he'd just heard a gun shot and sat up straight his face glistening with sweat, and unless Rodney was mistaken- highly unlikely- tears too. He tentatively extended his hand and gave John's shoulder a squeeze. Sheppard's eyes found his for a moment before John looked down in what, shame? Embarrassment? Both?

"Those damn clowns get me every time." Rodney wanted to hold Sheppard and offer comfort the way he had but found the moment to be incredibly uncomfortable. They're subconscious had knocked them both for six this night and show both men to be harbouring real fears and emotions. It wasn't something either man was used to seeing in the other, let alone admit to. Once John's heart rate had returned to normal and he'd decided to forgo sleep he reached into his backpack and pulled out a pack of cards. "So, poker or go fish? Your choice."