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Title:  Quid Pro Quo
Author:  [ profile] cookiemom6067 
Fandom:  Stargate Atlantis
Episode:  5.17 Infection
Rating:  G
Genre:  Vignette
Word Count: 500
Author's Notes:  Between the lines - Todd makes a demand, John Responds. Spoilers for Common Ground, Miller's Crossing. Written for [ profile] sga_episodefic 's Season 5 tagathon

Todd stepped closer to John. “You owe me, John Sheppard.”

John’s thoughts took him back to Kolya’s Genii prison cell; encouraging the prisoner next to him not to give up. “My people will come for me. We don’t leave our people behind.” The cell was damp, dark and cold, and there were no toilet facilities, so the smell was indescribable. The poor guy next to him had been there for years. When Atlantis came for him, he’d make sure that they got him out, too.

John had thought that Kolya’s plan was to trade him for C-4 or something, that he’d get out fairly soon. He wasn’t surprised when they came for him and trussed him up for the cameras. He could not have imagined what came next: the wraith, the pain, the feeling of life and vitality leaving every cell of his body, Elizabeth’s horrified “you’ve gone too far, Kolya,” Rodney’s panicked pleas.

Finding out that the poor guy in the next cell was the monster that had tortured him was a twist he hadn’t been prepared for.

You owe me, John Sheppard.

John managed to overcome his rage at the wraith enough to accept his help escaping, knowing the escape would never have happened without it. John was too far gone, past middle age and closing in on elderly. He watched the monster drain a Genii guard, while terror in some primeval part of his brain revolted against it.

He had no time to react in the woods when the wraith, with a quick, “They’re coming,” shoved him against a tree and drained him to ancient decrepitude. The creature fought and killed the pursuing Genii soldiers, then came back to him.

He had just enough juice to be bitter. “Finish it,” he demanded.

“You do not know everything about wraith, John Sheppard,” the thing said as he plunged his feeding hand against John’s desiccated chest. Life began to flood back into John’s body. He could feel his cells blossom with pregnant potential; life reasserting itself. His heart beat ecstatically and he screamed with orgasmic chaos, the rush of all rushes, rapture overwhelming him. And John knew why some worshiped the wraith.

You owe me, John Sheppard.

John hadn’t turned his back when the wraith plunged his hand into Henry Wallace’s chest. He had dismissed the S.O.’s from the room, but he wouldn’t allow squeamishness, or even plausible deniability, to get in the way of witnessing the sacrifice. As Wallace screamed, John stood, stoically.

He’d done this. He’d talked a man into a horrible suicide in order to save Rodney’s sister.

The wraith stood up, the dried husk of Henry Wallace at his feet. He met John’s hard gaze. “I thank you, John Sheppard.”

John swallowed the bile that threatened to choke him. “I didn’t do it for you.” He went to the door to call the corpsmen to remove what was left of Wallace, his cover story ready.

You owe me, John Sheppard.

“I don’t owe you anything.”

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January 2016


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