Title / Prompt: Feb 07 - Ache
Character: John Sheppard, LtCol, USAF
Your character's fandom: Stargate Atlantis
Word count: 421 per PocketWord
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters or the situation. If I did, it'd have to be on pay-per-view...
Crossposted to licenseartistic
This isn't the way it's supposed to go -- he's young and vibrant, he isn't supposed to feel all these aches and pains like a man twice -- almost three times -- his age. But he does -- he can feel the pain and weakness growing, all of his life fleeing his body, flowing right out of him like water down a drain.
The Wraith's hand on his chest is frighteningly solid and real, and he could swear he can feel his life force bright and hot as it's pulled out of him, as it flows into the Wraith and makes the alien more and more powerful.
His body aches. His chest burns with the attempt to draw in enough air, his heart labours to push his blood through his body. His hips and oh god his knees, and damn that shoulder's a bad one too. He can feel his fingers twisting and contorting, pain throbbing through every joint. Something in his jaw blossoms into a hard cold pain, and he's sure now that he's made the biggest mistake of his life.
And then the Wraith pulls back, leaves him wheezing on the ground, every breath a labour of pain and will, and a part of him realizes death in battle or even Ascension would be preferable to living with this. The rational part of his mind that can think past the pain tells him the natural process isn't this horrible -- that it's the accelerated version of aging caused by the Wraith's draining that makes the pain so acute. The rest of him can only lie there and wish the Wraith had finished the job. He can't survive like this...
He's almost, but not quite completely given up hope when he hears soft footsteps returning. He's almost dead already, and there is no way he can escape. This is the end -- and then there's a startlingly warm hand planted in the middle of his chest and heat and life floods back into him. The Wraith kept his word, and came back, and he's giving it all back to him -- and then some. This is a new ache, but it's a glorious one as all of the pain fades and he can feel his body young and healthy and strong once more.
This time, the ache is more in his heart, because the Wraith has proven himself honourable, and he can't help wonder just how much different things would have been if they'd ever bothered to talk in the first place...