sylvanwitch (sylvanwitch) wrote in sheppard_hc,

Sheppard/Wraith, slash, NC-17 Part I "Simple Truths"

So, I've been percolating this episode tag since Friday, and it really needed to be written, so here it is.  If the idea of consensual sex between human and Wraith squicks you, then you'll want to forego this piece.   

Title:  Simple Truths
Author: SylvanWitch
Rating:  NC-17
Pairing:  John/Wraith
Category:  Character study, episode-related (*spoilers* for Episode 3.05, Common Ground)
Warnings:  mature themes, language, interspecial sexual situations
Disclaimer:  I'm just borrowing the boys.  If I scuff 'em up, you can keep the security deposit.
Author's Note:  In the grand tradition of many writers over the ages, I have taken an existing situation and asked, "What if?"  In this case, what if the wraith who claimed John's life could offer something sweet in return?  Nothing is as simple as black and white, good and evil, friend and enemy.  There are no simple truths.


In all of his life there had been one truth that John Sheppard had never doubted.  It didn’t concern god or time or any of those great abstracts the philosophers he’d read at the Academy had gone on and on about.  It was, in fact, something he’d overheard while walking down the hallway of his high school toward the bright, rectangular glass doors, which represented to him all he knew of freedom and all he figured he’d ever need.


He’d been suspended—again—and was about to take a serious beating—again—at the hands of his father, who never once cared a whit that his boy had problems, or ideas, or dreams, or, really, anything other than a ramrod straight posture and the fixed certainty of a future that didn’t involve living in his home any longer than he—John—absolutely had to.


At the time, this thing John overheard had seemed funny; he was sixteen, rebellious, a sneer the highest form of expression, and he hated the world in just about the same way it hated him back—that is to say, partially, indifferently, even off-handedly.


He didn’t know the teacher—it was his third school in as many years, and he’d long since stopped bothering to know people—but he liked her voice, low and assured, musical almost, with a hint of an accent that said, “Educated.”  He bet she smelled good, too.


He couldn’t see her through the frosted glass of the door’s one window, and though he was tempted to toe the crack open and peek in around the edge, he caught himself in time.  It wasn’t the cool thing to do, and besides, he had places to be.


But before he walked off, boot soles a regular rhythm to counterpoint the whirring hands of the hall clock, John heard words that came to mean something to him, moreso as the years passed and he grew older, though he might not say wiser.


“Pain is not to pleasure as hate is to love,” she said.  “Love causes pain; hate causes pleasure.  Nothing is ever simple, and the sooner you get that through your heads, the better off you’ll be.”


He’d laughed at the time because he thought she was being a typical adult, condescending to lay the great wisdom of her many years at the feet of her captive charges.  He’d laughed because it seemed to him that there wasn’t any pleasure at all in love, not if his family was any indication.  And maybe he’d laughed because it hurt a little, how right she was, and laughter was the way he dealt with pain—laughter or violence, sometimes both.


Later on, at the Academy, he’d come to temper that reaction into a kind of surgical precision, eyes narrowed, breath controlled, hands easy on the yoke, and a thousand rounds of death striating the earthbound targets like a geological force, all geysers and eruption.  It seemed simple, that equation:  head, hands, breath, death.  But he knew it wasn’t, knew the math it took to keep the bird in the air, knew the way displacement changed things on the ground, shifting targets into atoms in an instant.


And in Afghanistan, he tried to simplify, telling himself that the enemy were atoms, new energy; matter didn’t disappear, it merely got displaced, changed into something not-man.  And this was simple, right?  They were evil men, having done evil deeds.  He was a good man following orders.


He knew better, even before her haunting voice flowed through his head like some latter-day Obi Wan, only probably prettier.  He found himself wishing he’d seen her face just once, but that suspension had been the last straw for his impatient father, and it had been military school from there on out.  So he had only her voice on the strafing runs or when he came in low on a rescue, the heavy thud of artillery so close it made the breath in his chest shake, like really good bass turned way the hell up. 


Just when he wanted it to be simple—get in, get down, get ‘em out, get home—he’d remember her words, and sure as shit gathers flies, something would complicate it—a winged gas tank, flak punching holes in the tail, blood like rain as his gunner sagged in his harness.


So John had learned to be patient, had cultivated chaos, remembering the rules from advanced physics about crystals in a petrie dish.  No predictable pattern, but order somehow in the end.  Yeah, he got that, and he found himself wondering for the billionth time just what subject that woman had been teaching, because it seemed to him that it might have been math, or physics, or literature, or home economics, or how to live in the Pegasus Galaxy.


Nothing was ever as simple as it seemed.


Naturally, since it had been true for his whole life, John knew it had to be true for the wraith in the next cell, whose name he’d culled down to Dave, since he couldn’t pronounce even the first sibilant syllable of the other’s real name. 


Dave didn’t seem to mind.  He responded to the name like he responded to everything, first a stentorian breathing in the darkened corner, then legs longer than should be legal in battered leather, and then that carnival mask of a face, ritual tattoo making John flinch when he considered how it got there. 


He’d never liked needles.  Needles mounted to motors seemed like something out of de Sade.


What Dave had said to John before they took him out of his cage to the seventies soundstage from hell was, “Give it to me freely and it won’t hurt.”


John had laughed, and it had in it the same quality of sneering disbelief he’d once expressed when he was sixteen and standing in the sunlit hallway listening to the mystery woman.


It couldn’t be that simple, right?




Oh, it hurt like a motherfucker the first time, ripping sounds from him he was glad that the gag muffled.  He didn’t want Elizabeth, Ronon, Rodney, any of them to hear the sound that life made as it was taken by a touch more intimate than fucking.


For that’s what John realized in the moment or two he had to spare between breathing and screaming.  When Dave laid his hungry hand over John’s heart, he took not only blood, not just years; no, the wraith wrung from him his very life—his essence, spirit, soul.  John didn’t know all the words, didn’t think there was a word in any language for the feeling of that violation. 


He wanted to weep, to retch, to rage against the indignity.  Mostly, though, he wanted to curl up in the lap of a smooth-voiced woman and sob until his heart stopped up his throat and he choked on it.


Instead, he sat up in his cell, ragged-breathed and angry, wishing the bars between their cages would disappear just long enough for him to throttle the bastard to a slow and agonizing death.


Instead, Dave came to John’s cage, first by voice, the gravel over glass of it jarring John out of his loathing, then the hand at the gap, gauntlet taunting him as it rang against the bars.


“It doesn’t have to hurt,” Dave said again, and this time John listened, for he wasn’t sure he could survive another session.  John ran a hand absently through his hair, wondering if it would come away clumped with grey.  It was too dark in the cell to tell.


So he staggered to his feet and came closer to the creature that had just raped him of years and spirit.


“Among my brothers,” wraith Dave explained, “We sometimes have occasion to need one another’s life-force.  If I were wounded in battle, and my brother less so, he might take what he needed from me in order to save us both, and then give it back when the battle was done.  In this way, the Wraith have destroyed stronger warriors than we.”


John shuddered, perhaps from shock, perhaps the cold and damp of the cell, but more likely from the very idea that there might have once been an enemy stronger than the Wraith.


“Say I believe you,” John said after a moment.  “What do I get out of it if I let you take my life-force?”


“I am the stronger warrior, John,” Dave said, and there was nothing arrogant in it, truly—just the surety of a creature who had lived for thousands of years on the life of others. 


“Give me your strength, and I will defeat them so that we may escape this dungeon.”


John shook his head.  “You can have my strength anyway,” he pointed out.  “Kolya is feeding me to you.”


“But he rations it, John,” Dave said.  The smile on his face was an ugly thing, and John shuddered.  “I’ll need more to effect an escape.”


“And if I give it to you freely, you can take more at a time?”  John was slower than usual, but he figured he deserved some slack, seeing as how he’d just had the life sucked out of him.


“Yes,” Dave hissed.  The smile was appalling now, but John found something appealing about its naked need.


“Even if I give you what you want,” John continued, plodding along the logic trail as carefully as he could.  God, but he was tired.  “I’ll still be old when this is over.  It’s not much of a life if I don’t have the strength to enjoy it.”


Dave’s face loomed closer from the darkness, and something in his eyes fixed John to the spot.  He could not look away as the wraith wrapped his fingers around the bars and said, “There is a lot about the Wraith that you do not know, John Sheppard.”


“Yeah?” And he could be forgiven his skepticism.  Seemed like the Wraith weren’t all that complicated—life-sucking space vampires who desired total domination of this and any other galaxy they could manage to infest.


And then the familiar voice took up its mantra again.  Things aren’t as simple as they seem.


“It is a great gift we bestow only on those whom we find worthy, John, but we can give back the life we’ve taken.”


John arched an eyebrow and let the breath hiss from him in a disbelieving rush.


“You do not believe me,” Dave observed, stalking in a wide circle, shadow, dim light, shadow, dim light.  He returned to the bars.  “I do not blame you.  Were our positions reversed, I would not trust your word, either.  But I see little point in arguing; you have nothing to lose.  Kolya will kill us both, regardless of the outcome.  Even were your Dr. Weir to provide him with his desired hostage, Kolya would not release us.  This I think you know.”


John nodded again—and then wished he hadn’t as the floor tilted beneath his feet and he pitched toward the bars and Dave’s waiting face.  He caught himself, hands wrapped just beneath the wraith’s on the cold, rough metal.  He rested his faced against his left wrist, willing the strength back into his shaking legs, the clarity back into his swimming head. 


Something ghosted over his cheek and he stilled, not sure he’d really felt it.


Again came the touch, more definite this time.


“You mustn’t fight your fatigue, John.  You need your strength for the next feeding.  Rest now.  We’ll have time to talk before the hours are out.”


Hunger, need, strength—these motivations John could understand, could approve.  Tenderness was another thing entirely.  You didn’t gentle your food…unless you were leading it to slaughter.


“No,” he said, and he raised his head.  This close to Dave, he could see the lines around the Wraith’s eyes, the pain of hunger engraved by cruel hands. “No,” he said again.  “I need to know now—what’s the plan?  How will you get us both out of here if I am too weak to run?  And when will you return my life to me?  How do I know that you intend to keep your end of the deal?”


And so Dave told him.  In his rough whisper, he detailed how they would wait until John seemed too weak to walk, until the guards had to drag him; how Dave would destroy his gauntlet against the rock and feed from their captors so that he could get them out; how John’s strength wouldn’t be compromised nearly so much if Dave didn’t have to rip the years from him, if the life was given as a gift. 


Come to the question of keeping his word, Dave merely shrugged.  “You have nothing of value to secure for your life, Sheppard.  You must trust me or not.  Your fate with Kolya is sealed; with me, there is always a chance that I will honor our agreement or that you can find some other way to be free of me.”


Dave answered all of Sheppard’s questions patiently, pacing his small cell, pausing now and again to correct John’s assumptions or offer a further detail that the human had overlooked.  In the end, Dave told John everything he probably ever wanted to know about the Wraith and many things that he probably could have lived without knowing.


But Dave did not tell him how good it would feel to surrender up his life.


Dave had told him to simulate the pain, to scream and writhe in just the way he had done before, and John had given a hollow and half-hearted laugh, sure that he wouldn’t have to fake a single expression of agony.


He’d been wrong.  He’d been so wrong, he wasn’t sure he could ever speak again for the rawness in his throat.  The screams that had been wrenched from him were not exactly screams of misery, and he was never so glad for a gag in his life as he was just then, darting his eyes toward the camera desperately, hoping against hope that no one on the other end would detect what it was he was really feeling.


Because it felt good.  It felt better than good.  Orgasmic, maybe, and even that didn’t cover it.  Dave had schooled him on releasing his breath, on letting go as the hand came down, on pushing the life-force out of him, and having had some martial arts training, John recognized that it wasn’t much different than releasing his Chi. 


Of course, if Tae Kwon Do had felt this good, John would have earned his black belt, maybe become an instructor, hell, won the Olympics.


It wasn’t that the sensation was sexual, really, except that it felt like Dave had his hand in several places at once, not only over John’s heart, pulling his life from him, but pulling on things lower, one thing in particular that was hard at once and aching for release.  Where they joined, hand to heart, John felt a profound sense of the rightness of it spreading warm throughout his body, until he was filled, fulfilled, complete, and he arched his back and gave a terrible shout as climax ripped through him, so powerful and profound and omnipresent that tears squeezed from the corners of his eyes and he thought he might die before Dave could take his fill.


Holy fucking sh… he thought, just before he stopped breathing.


It was an instant, no more, and he was awake again and alive, a buzz vibrating up from the wound in his chest to light his eyes once more.  He still felt like he’d been hit by a Mack truck—a really smooth, extremely experienced Mack truck, mind you—but at least he wasn’t dead.


The guards dragged him back to his cell again, and he waited awhile before he even tried to stand, and then only because there was an urgency to Dave’s voice when he said, “Sheppard, are you well?”


“Yeah,” he managed, though his voice was barely a whisper in the room.  He swallowed painfully, staggered a few steps toward the window between cells.


“I did not think…” Dave hesitated.  “I did not know that you might stop breathing.  This is not a…problem…I’ve had to deal with before.  I thought that you were…enjoying…my touch.”


Remembering what he’d learned about nodding, John said, “Yeah,” again.  “About that… .  You could have warned me it would feel like—like—like that!”


A chuckle, then, deeply satisfied, an apparently universal male sound of conquest.


John shivered, and it wasn’t from shock or cold.  Damnit, what was wrong with him?


He was sure the doc back on Atlantis would have a reasonable explanation for John’s sudden and very physical reaction to the wraith’s change in technique.  Molecular trauma, maybe, or something to do with blood flow. 


Heightmeyer might say something else entirely, and John made a firm mental note not to mention any of this to anyone ever.  The last thing he needed was six compulsory sessions in Heightmeyer’s tell-me-what-you’re-feeling chair.


But John was not gay.  And he knew because he’d checked.  Military school had proven surprisingly stereotypical in one regard, and there had never been a lack of opportunity to see if he liked guys in that way.  He didn’t.  Period.  End of story.  He’d tried a couple of permutations before surrendering himself to the idea of silent masturbation after lights out.


Now there was a wraith—a Wraith, John—drawing icy, metaphoric fingers up and down his spine and wringing heart-stopping—literally—orgasms from him at a mere touch, and John had to admit that perhaps his experiments hadn’t been thorough enough. 


Of course, it wasn’t like there were a lot of Wraith at Vernon F. Douglas Military Academy.  Or, you know…any.  So the whole Wraith/human relationship thing had been pretty much a moot point until right now.


An itchy thought skittered through John’s head and he made an effort to avoid it, but it came back, catching on a stray idea, and stayed firmly planted until he heard, with horror, the thought coming out of his mouth.


“Did you…you know, was it…I mean, I know you got what you wanted, but…”


Another laugh, less “him” and more “they,” almost but not quite gentle. 


“I can assure you, John Sheppard, that I have no complaints about our joining.”


John swallowed audibly and then winced because fuck his throat hurt. 


He waited for the freak-out that was surely to follow.  A Wraith had just admitted that John had given him some kind of metaphysical, cosmic orgasm, and John himself had the drying evidence of his own pleasure sticking to his belly hair, so there was no way to avoid the fact that he’d just had some kind of galactic sex experience with the enemy in front of Kolya…and a camera…and John’s own people.


From Kirk to Pegasus Porn Star in one quick step.


John let the wall guide him down again, bounced his head against the rock beneath the window.


“I am so fucked,” he muttered to himself, but Dave heard, of course, and laughed again, a sound John had to admit he found attractive when it wasn’t of the “I’m going to suck your soul and dominate your race” variety. 


Of course Dave had heard his murmured remark, because the Wraith have supersonic hearing, in addition to being extra-strong and really fast and more or less invincible.  Do they cook?  Because, hey, maybe a wife wouldn’t be a bad thing to have in the Pegasus Galaxy.  Be a little hard to explain to Weir, but maybe I could sell her on the idea of assimilation by awesome orgasmic life-swapping sex.


He groaned.  Freak-out.  Check.


Part II follows immediately! 


  • Sheppard and Carson

    I remember a story where Sheppard is getting a check up in the infermerry after a mission and something cause Carson to think John is in respitory…

  • Aurora tag

    I am long for any stories where John get hurts from the episode aurora ? Thanks

  • Looking for a story

    I remember a story set during the rising pt1 where McKay makes major Sheppard work in the weapons chair till he passes out . That is all I remember…

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