[This story is a direct follow-up to Glimpse into the Evil. I strongly advise you to read it before this one. Note that this fanfiction is unfinished and will probably remain so, because I've lost interest in Stargate Atlantis since then.]
Behind the glass wall, John, Rodney and Samantha were gazing at the unconscious wraith — Todd — and the busy medical staff in the isolation room. John pouted pensively.
"And I thought I was getting used to weird things..."
"I don't know what is scariest," Rodney sighed, "to see a wraith in a hospital gown, or to actually feel concern for him."
His friend gave him a sidelong glance. The three of them watched in silence for a few seconds, then Samantha wondered:
"Why have you brought him back, John? You know there's very little we can do for him." She shook her head. "At best, we will only be able to prolong his agony."
"He saved our lives almost at the cost of his own, so I suppose we owe him one."
"Only because he needed you." she objected.
"Of course — except we need him too. I don't want to lose the opportunity of keeping at hand a live and somewhat cooperative wraith."
"Do you really believe it is worth the risk?"
"As you said, he needs us to stay alive. He might not disclose wraith vulnerabilities willingly, but he is our best chance to turn the war in our favour. Even with our brand new ZPMs, we require his intel more than ever."
"I hope you're right, John. And that we will gain more from him than he from us."
At this moment, Jennifer stepped in.
"How's your patient, doc?" Sheppard asked.
"I've managed to stabilise him, but..." Her shoulders lowered. "Honestly, it's already a miracle he was still alive by the time he arrived in the infirmary. His internals are a mess, and he lost tremendous amounts of blood. Add to that the fact we know next to nothing about wraith physiology... In vitro tests can only do so much: I almost killed him with the first sedative I tried. Now, the plasma drip seems to help a little, but I'm not even sure a wraith could possibly recover from major injuries without feeding." She paused before going on: "I'm sorry. He's dying, and the best I can do is slow down the process. At most, he has a few days left, if not only hours."
"Still, you can be proud." Samantha comforted her. "You did a great job, considering we have always looked for ways to kill wraith rather than healing them."
Jennifer nodded grimly.
Teyla and Ronon were sparring in the training room. As agile as a cat, the Athosian avoided the blow of his stronger but less precise partner; she grabbed his hand, twisted it and threw him to the ground.
Ronon stood up and they touched their forehead gently the Athosian way before wiping the sweat from their faces with towels.
"I can't believe Sheppard moves heaven and earth to save this wraith." the Satedan grunted.
"I don't like that either," Teyla pondered, "but I understand John. Even though you hate the wraith, you can't deny that this one has proved very useful. If it was not for him, we would be under attack from five hives by now, without enough power to fly Atlantis to a safe place."
"Yeah, yeah. But there's a difference between using his intel and..." he threw the towel away angrily: "playing the good Samaritans with him."
"I know. I'm not sure myself what to think. Ever since we met this wraith girl, I've wondered if perhaps, we could make peace with the wraith someday."
Ronon snorted, but Teyla continued:
"After we got John back from Kolya, I was all set to believe that this one, too, was different. Today... I don't know. He's tricky, and if he used to be as influential as he claims, he's all but innocent of what our people suffered for millenniums. Nevertheless, I can't help but hope that there is an other way than killing each other."
The wounded wraith slowly regained consciousness. Everything looked hazy and too bright-lit around him; he heard foreign sounds and smelled alien odours. When he moaned faintly, a dark figure bent over him. After a while struggling to focus, he recognised the man's face.
"Sheppard..." he breathed. "Where are we?"
As he tried to raise, he realised his hands were restrained against the borders of the bed and abandoned the thought.
"In Atlantis' infirmary. You scared the pants off us but our medics have done a pretty good job, all things considered."
"Your efforts are pointless." Todd seemed to have difficulties speaking, and he breathed loudly a couple of times. "You know there would be only one way to save me."
"Yeah, and speaking of that, I wanted to be sure it's not too late before I go."
The wraith's chuckle turned into a groan of pain.
"Come now... I know you, Sheppard. You will never sacrifice a human to feed me. Not this time... You'll bet you can manage without my help."
John's eyes clouded over as he remembered Wallace but he forced a knowing smile:
"Let's say I have an idea. Just hang on long enough, okay? It would really piss me off if I went through all the trouble, just to see you've died on us in the meantime."
Todd sighed with a strange — and somewhat disturbing — mixture of doubt, hope and greed. He leaned back into the pillow, his eyes closed, and fell into darkness again.
"This is a bad idea." Rodney complained while the team was settling down in the jumper, several marines following in the rear compartment.
"Do you have a better one?" John quipped.
"No..." McKay admitted after a while. "But it's still insanely risky!"
"Look at it this way: We have two jumpers with cloaking technology, more than enough firepower, and a fresh map of the surroundings. Things just can't go wrong. At worse, if there are too many wraith for us to handle, all we'll have to do is hide until we can leave safely."
"Famous last words." Rodney retorted as the jumper lifted off.