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Friday, January 21st, 2011 08:40 pm
Dreams of Dying in Vegas - Stargate: Atlantis - Gen (John Sheppard) - Words: 1,175
Written for Stargateland Cockamamie Crossovers Challenge. Prompt: Dreamscape
Summary: Every night, when John closes his eyes he dreams that he's dying. Crossover with Supernatural
Content Notes: None. PG-13
On AO3: Dreams of Dying in Vegas

(click on image for larger version)

The dreams had been happening for months, at first so indistinct that he couldn't even make out what he was seeing, let alone what was happening. The first thing he really remembered was Todd, which wasn't surprising at all. He figured that Todd had been in his mind for years now, it make sense that he would manifest with his odd speech rhythms that kept echoing even after John woke up.

At first he thought the desert was Afghanistan, even though dreams of searching in Afghanistan, filled with wandering through the heat and the sand and trying to see everything at once, had long ago been replaced with dreams of endless hive ships with winding paths that always took him back to the Queen's chamber; one bullet in his gun and Sumner looking at him and waiting. But this desert was about as far away from Afghanistan as it could get, the neon lights reflecting off the sand and coloring everything unnaturally.

He was hunting, tracking a Wraith through the maze of casinos, as endless and winding as the hive ship. No one notices that there is something walking among them, stalking it's prey as easily as John would walk up to a fast food joint and peruse the menu.

The dreams started to get more detailed and lasting longer, and after a while John realized he was having the same dream every night. In the dream, he feels his fingertips scrambling along the edges of his gun, trying to get the shot off in time even though when he wakes he knows that he wasn't carrying near enough firepower to take out a Wraith. But, when he's asleep, he doesn't know what the Wraith are and can't imagine a city that's a galaxy away. All he knows is that there is a monster that he's hunting.

When the dream started to end in explosions, him slumped down against the desert floor as he bleeds out and the sky surrounds him, John became a little concerned. He eventually talked himself into going to the infirmary and getting a scan, wondering if he was subconsciously telling himself that he was about to have a heart attack or something. Keller had obligingly scanned him and suggested that he talk with the psychologist if he was having troubling dreams.

He spent a month reliving getting shot, remembering the sting of the bullet and the blood as it first trickled and then ran down his chest. He could feel the glossy finish of the red car, a car that John felt deeply connected to even after he woke. When he finally told Teyla about the dream, after having to stop and explain Vegas and casinos and gambling, she had looked up at him as she shifted Torren from one shoulder to the other and shook her head. She explained that fearing that the Wraith were on Earth was natural given their circumstances, and suggested that maybe he felt like it would be the ultimate failure of their mission here, and that was why John was dying in his dreams. John wondered how much about the psychology of dreams Heightmeyer had explained to Teyla, but thanked Teyla anyway. He was about to leave when Teyla looked at him and suggested that maybe he could try and change his dreams, that he should think about what he would want if there were Wraith on Earth.

It took John a while to come up with an answer to Teyla's question, and it didn't happen until he was in a firefight off-world a week later. A third Wraith approached while John was already occupied with the first two, his and Lorne's team fighting for their lives with the 'gate still far enough away that there was no way to make a run for it. The Wraith charged Lorne, who was bringing up the rear, and it was all John could do to watch, sure that he was about to lose the Major. Lorne saw the Wraith just in time, pulling his knife from where it was hanging on his belt and in one smooth motion split the Wraith's neck from one side to the other. When the Wraith fell to the ground, Lorne danced back two steps and emptied a round into the Wraith's head.

That was what John wanted, if the Wraith were on Earth; he wanted people who were trained and armed to the teeth. People who wouldn't rest until every Wraith on the planet had been taken out, and who were willing to take the fight back out into the universe until the Wraith were a threat to no one.

The dreams started to change, slowly at first. He was still dying at the end of every night, waking with his hand pressed down on his chest where the bullet went through, but he wasn't leaving the Earth defenseless anymore. There were people at his side as he hunted the Wraith through the city, armed and aware. At first, John thought it was Major Lorne, and despite the fact that dreaming about his second in command was probably considered more than a little creepy he was glad for the company. But after a few nights he realized that it was always two men, both of them too young to be Lorne and they didn't look like him at all.

John spent a while looking through the people on Atlantis, trying to figure out who they were before deciding that it was just his minds manifestation of armed and ready help. No one in particular. But for generic manifestations, they were becoming more detailed and specific every night.

The younger of the two, who to John looked like he would be maybe just old enough to graduate college, was smart and always thinking on his feet; examining clues and evidence and trying to think of where they might find the Wraith next. When John had explained what the Wraith was doing to people, he hadn't batted an eye and had immediately gone into details of various legends around the world of similar events.

The older one was more skeptical, and always with a weapon right in reach. When he gave orders, he expected to be followed and John found himself often agreeing with the man. When the pair had first argued, John had laughed out loud. He would recognize that sound anywhere: brothers. Later, he got names, Sam and Dean Winchester, and occasionally found himself looking for them as backup when he was off-world.

Even though the dream continued to end the same way, dust and sand and his blood, as John looked up into the sky he could see the silhouettes of two men who were going to continue the hunt for as long as they still walked. And that was enough for John to wake up and pull on his holster, ready to uphold his end of the bargain. They would keep Earth safe, and John would keep the Wraith away from Earth, until he couldn't fire another round.