blue flamingos

Doppelganger outtake

Fandom: Stargate Atlantis/Stargate SG1

Category/Rated: Slash, PG

Year/Length: 2008/ words

Pairing: John/Cameron

Disclaimer: No, I don't own them, for which I should think they're profoundly grateful.

Series: outtake from Never As Bad As Anticipated (Until It Is)

Author's Notes: Another scene that didn't make it into the final story.

Feedback: Yes please. Even if it's bad. Especially if it's bad.

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"It'll be fun," John said.

"I've read your mission reports," Cam told him. "They're not my idea of fun."

John raised an eyebrow at him.

"Not in the office," Cam said firmly, fighting a sudden surge of arousal that wasn't helped by John's knowing smirk. "Anyway, you guys haven't been on a proper off-world mission together in months; wouldn't you rather go just the four of you?"

"I promised I'd take you off-world," John said. He swung his feet down, leaning forward. "And, honestly, this should be a cake-walk. The database says no-one lives there, and it's mostly forest anyway. Nothing hostile, just a nice walk through the jungle in search of a probably non-existent ZPM."

"You know, you really know how to sell a guy on a mission," Cam said dryly. Not that John needed to, not really. The prospect of getting out of the city, even for a few hours, even in the company of Dr McKay, wasn't something he was going to pass up.

John shrugged modestly. "Wasn't my choice," he said.

"McKay?"

"Lorne, actually. He's getting really polite, that's always a sign that he wants me out of his hair for a while. He suggested we pick a nice safe planet where nothing can go wrong."

"Oh great," Cam muttered. "Now we're really doomed."

hr

"You're late," John said, falling into step with Teyla as she made her way to the jumper bay.

"There is a first time for everything," Teyla informed him. In fact, she had forgotten that she would need a larger vest for it to close over her stomach, now that her baby was beginning to show, but she would not say so to John. Despite her part in their escape from the Wraith breeding ground, and even in the final evacuations before the Daedalus and the Apollo arrived, John still worried that she would be hurt, and she did not wish to remind him of her pregnancy, even if her body made it difficult to forget. "And I believe that if I am late, then you are also."

John grinned at her. "Going over some last minute stuff with Major Lorne. Guy worries when we're going off-world."

"I cannot imagine why," Teyla said dryly.

"Aw, come on." John actually appeared to bounce slightly as he walked; Teyla was unsure if it was worrying or sweet. Perhaps both. "We don't always get captured and need rescuing."

"It is true," Teyla agreed. She felt John waiting for the end of the comment. "There have been many occasions when we have rescued ourselves."

"That's the spirit," John said brightly, grinning at the shared joke. They walked before the gate, up the control room steps, and his eyes flickered to Colonel Mitchell's office for a moment, though the doors were closed.

"Do you wish to speak to Colonel Mitchell before we leave?" Teyla asked.

"What?" John turned back to her. "Oh, no – actually, he's coming with us."

Teyla was not surprised to hear this, having seen John's own joy at the puddle jumpers reflected in Colonel Mitchell's face whenever they were used near him. "The two of you have been spending more time together since your last visit to Earth," she said carefully. The subject was not one she raised often; Ronon had told her of the events that had led to Jeannie being saved, and they had agreed that it would be best not to speak of it to John, who seemed to prefer to believe that they did not know.

"Yeah, I guess," John said slowly. "With the Replicators, and everything..." It was a typically John Sheppard way of speaking of major events, in Teyla's experience, as though the battle against the Replicator ships, Rodney and the wraith's failure to complete their shut-down program, the creation of a second FRAN, even the inclusion of Larrin and her ships, in exchange for Atlantis' services in repairing them, were nothing more than a visit to a trading planet for more tea and a bolt of cloth.

"As commanders, of course." She hesitated, then decided it would not hurt to continue. John was unlikely to realize her true meaning. "I rather meant that you have become friends, of late. That you spend more of your free time together."

John was a half-step in front of her in the corridor, so it was difficult to see, but she thought that he was blushing. She hid her own smile, pleased that her suspicions were correct; even Ronon seemed to be finding a place with Jennifer Keller now, and it had saddened her to see John continuing to want someone he could not have.

"Sorry," he said, surprising her. "I guess I haven't been spending as much time with the rest of you as I should have."

"That is untrue," Teyla said. Though there had been fewer team evenings of late, she rather thought it was due to them not going off-world together for several weeks. "You are allowed to seek friendships outside the team, John."

"Uh, thanks," John said, sounding unsure. "I guess."

"You are very welcome," Teyla said, touching his arm gently, allowing the subject to drop as they stepped into the jumper bay, where Rodney and Ronon were already sitting in their customary seats in Jumper One.

"Finally," Rodney said. "Don't tell me you got lost in Atlantis again, Sheppard."

"I didn't," John said, glaring at Ronon, who shrugged. "Teyla was dallying."

Though Teyla had not heard the word before, she understood the meaning well enough to say, "I was most certainly not. In fact, I believe we are still several minutes early."

"Only if Sheppard's going to forego his usual paranoid systems' checks," Rodney said.

John rolled his eyes, unclipped his P-90 from his vest and took the pilot's seat, bringing up several screens. "I'd've thought you'd be the one pushing for everything to be checked out before we fly through space," he said idly.

"Yes, because I'm sure you'll do a better job than the Ancient technology that was built for this kind of thing. It's not as though the jumpers have their own highly sophisticated diagnostic and warning systems built into them or anything. Clearly, we need you to look at every screen before we go anywhere."

"Glad you agree," John said blandly. Teyla hid her smile again; it was good to be with them once more.

Though when, a few minutes later, Colonel Mitchell tapped on the open doorway of the jumper and said, "Morning, kids," she suspected that she would, before the day was out, have cause to rethink that sentiment.

hr

It was, John felt, just his luck that in an attempt to show off the Pegasus galaxy to Cameron, he'd hit on the most boring planet in existence.

Even Ronon had lost interest in hacking at plants with his sword after a while.

"You know, we have automatic weapons," John pointed out from the back of the group where he was walking with Cameron, Teyla in front of them, shadowing Rodney who was, of course, more focused on his scanner than on the ground in front of him. "That'd be a lot quicker, if you're getting bored."

"Great, and then we can just shoot whatever's causing these strange energy readings, Colonel, that's an excellent plan. Thank God we have you around to remind us of what not to do."

"Happy to help," John said, forcing a smirk that he didn't really feel. He'd expected Rodney to be kind of pissed at him for inviting Cameron along, which he was; he just hadn't expected the level of genuine venom that seemed to lurk behind Rodney's comments.

"Oh, you do, Colonel, truly."

Maybe it hadn't been such a good idea to bring Cameron along to their first real team mission – their first that wasn't about Wraith or Replicators or battles – since they'd lost Elizabeth.

At least Cameron was keeping quiet, after nearly getting his head bitten off by Rodney for pointing out that the jumper fly-over hadn't shown anything. He seemed relaxed enough, walking next to John, but John thought he was picking up some underlying tension anyway.

"We getting any closer to these energy readings?" Ronon asked, hacking viciously at a thick plant. It was a good thing Lorne's team hadn't come here; Parrish would have been near hysterical at the destruction of the native flora. "We've been walking round here for hours."

"One hour, maybe," Rodney said.

"Ronon is correct," Teyla put in. "And there does not seem to be anything here that will help in our fight against the Wraith, or in securing Atlantis' survival."

Right. Now that the Wraith were back to being their enemies and all. That was taking some getting used to.

"Yeah, like a biological anti-Wraith cannon," John suggested, mostly to make Cameron smile, which it did.

"Please, Colonel," Rodney started, before the scanner beeped and cut him off.

"Something?" Cameron asked, taking a step forward automatically. It was easy to see, off-world, the effect of two years with SG-1 on him. He definitely wasn't just the fighter pilot John had known any more.

Rodney didn't even bother to glare at him, which made a nice change. "Maybe. I can't pinpoint the source, whatever it is. The jungle's pretty thick though, it could be hiding just about anything."

"Like a biological anti-Wraith cannon," Cameron said, low, just for John to hear, body pressed close against John's for a long moment, long enough for John to feel the warmth through his jacket.

"I don't know," John said, wiping his dopey grin and turning back to Rodney. "I'm starting to think Lorne picked this planet for us out of more than just desire to keep us from getting kidnapped or shot."

"You think Major Lorne sent us here knowing there is nothing?" Teyla asked.

"More like, someone put him up to sending us here," John corrected. He'd known there was something funny about the way Lorne had looked at him then.

"You don't really think Zelenka would do that, do you?" Rodney asked, coming to a stop and looking worried for a moment before shaking it off. "Do you have any idea how many Gate addresses there are in the Ancient database that have no accompanying description?"

"Forty-two?" John asked, but Rodney wasn't paying enough attention to pick up the reference, blowing past it in a lecture on how no information meant there was something worth having and how it totally had nothing to do with some stupid bet he had going with Zelenka.

John bet SG-1 never had these kinds of problems.

He was on the edge of calling it quits, random energy sources be damned, when Pegasus proved, once again, that it just wasn't on John's side, lighting up a fungus on the tree right in front of Rodney, almost like it had known they were leaving and wanted to keep them there.

"What's that then?" Rodney demanded.

Funky alien fungus, great. Just what John's day needed, though Cameron seemed pretty taken with it, drifting closer despite Rodney's warning glare.

"Pretty," Teyla said, giving John a disturbing vision of a fungus nightlight for her kid.

"Reminds me of something," Cameron said, sounding far away as he drew closer to the growth.

"Well, be reminded of it without touching it, please, Colonel," Rodney said shortly, turning back to John and the others. "You realize what this means, right?"

"We discovered an alien fungus that glows?" John suggested, only half his attention on the conversation; the rest was still on Cameron, who looked more taken with the growth than he had with the jumpers.

"More like a power source that literally grows on trees," Rodney corrected. "Admittedly, these energy readings are pretty low level, but if we could cultivate..."

John stopped listening, watching Cameron raise his hand, reaching for the crystal. "Don't –" he started, except he'd been too slow.

Cameron's hand touched the crystal and it flared brilliantly, the flash picked up by the other crystals surrounding them, and Cameron flew backwards, landing hard against the log John had tripped over earlier.

He groaned, one hand coming up rub his head.

"You okay?" John said, ignoring the urge to get close, to check Cameron was all right. "What happened?"

Cameron blinked, looking up at him. "Nothing, it was just a little shock."

"A little shock," Rodney repeated, stomping back over to the crystal, which had gone out. Ronon reached down, grabbing Cameron's hand and pulling his to his feet hard enough that Cameron needed to put one hand on Ronon's arm for balance before nodding his thanks. "Look, it's gone out now, and it's stopped giving out energy. Thanks a lot, Colonel, really, that was a big help. Didn't you hear me telling you not to touch it? This is just what I need, another military grunt who doesn't know how to listen to what people far smarter than him are saying."

Cameron was rubbing his head again, looking kind of stunned and a little bewildered; not at all like someone who should be wandering around an alien planet, even with back-up. "That's enough, McKay," John said. "I'm gonna recommend sending a science team back to look at this stuff, we've got better things to do."

"Right, sure, better things," Rodney grumbled. "Better things than investigating a potentially unlimited source of power. This could completely replace batteries in the city, but we'll just give up and go home at the first sign of slight difficulty, even though one of us caused the difficulties."

"I said I'm sending a science team," John reminded him. "Come on."

"Face it," Ronon said, "You lost this one."

"Great," Rodney grumbled, following them. "Just because you all want me to lose my bet with Zelenka."

"Yeah, that's exactly it," John said, trying not to look like he was watching Cameron too closely.

hr

The call summoning him to Mitchell's office came over Ronon's radio as he was about to take it off for the night. When he got up to the control room, it was busier than it usually was at that time of night; Ronon wondered if there was some kind of problem his team was being summoned to deal with, except Mitchell closed the office door with just the two of them inside.

"I'll get right to the point, Ronon," he said, looking at his laptop the way Weir had done when she had something she didn't want to say. "With the change in leadership in the city, the threat of the Replicators and the Wraith, we've had to change our policy on allowing non-Earth citizens to live in Atlantis. We're asking everyone not from Earth to leave." He looked up, his smile weird, not like his usual friendly expression. "I'm sure you understand."

"What about the Athosians? They were going to move to the mainland."

"They're already on their way back to New Athos." The door opened behind Ronon, and he stepped onto the balcony. He hadn't heard the gate open, but it was shimmering blue, the Athosians making their slow way through it. "I'm sure you understand, Ronon. You should go with them."

"Where's Sheppard?" Ronon asked, suddenly afraid that this was real, that Mitchell wasn't playing some elaborate joke.

Sheppard stepped out from behind Mitchell. His face was all twisted up with regret. "I'm sorry, Ronon. We did everything we could, but Landry insisted."

"What?" Ronon asked. "You can't – how come we didn't know about it till now?"

Sheppard shrugged helplessly, and Teyla called up from in front of the gate. "You have to come now, Ronon, if you're coming with us."

"I've got – my things are still in my room," Ronon called down. "Can't you wait for me?"

"No," Teyla said. "Come with us."

Ronon looked back at Sheppard and Mitchell, helpless. "I don't want to leave," he said.

"You have to," Mitchell said. "Go with Teyla."

"Come, Ronon," Teyla called. "Before the gate closes and it is too late."

He moved down to the gate in a dream, watched Teyla step through without a backwards glance. When he looked up to the balcony, Sheppard was gone; Mitchell was watching him, his eyes hard.

He didn't step out into New Athos, but into the ruins of Sateda. The wormhole closed behind him; Teyla wasn't there, the Athosians weren't there, no-one was – there. Someone moved in the rubble.

"Who's there?" Ronon called, feeling for his gun. It was gone, though he'd had it in Atlantis.

Mitchell stepped out from behind the rubble, and now he was dressed like a Satedan, in leather that didn't look right on him. "Welcome home," he said. The smile on his face wasn't pleasant at all. "I got you a welcoming committee."

He'd know the whir of darts anywhere. They must have come from a hive, because the gate was still – no, the gate was open again, but the darts weren't coming from there, they were coming from everywhere. There were Wraith all round him, with stunners, and he was going to be taken, made a runner again, the lead Wraith raising his stunner, and now he had Mitchell's face, under the scars and the white hair, Mitchell held the stunner against Ronon's chest –

Ronon started awake, flat on his back on his bed where he'd lain down for a few minutes.

Just a dream.

hr

John spotted Cameron across the mess when he turned round with his tray of cereal and coffee, and thought about going over, just to say hi. He'd woken up when Cameron got up to leave, and it had been weirdly hard to let go when they kissed goodnight. He hadn't slept well after.

Cameron was sitting with Lorne and Cadman, though, and John was meant to be having breakfast with his team, so he gave the three of them a vague nod in case they were looking his way and went in search of his team, who'd managed to snag one of the balcony tables.

"You're late," Rodney said as John sat down, shifting to get comfortable.

"Weren't you just telling me yesterday that you're less busy than you've been in weeks?" John asked. Judging by the half-empty plates around him, he really was late, but he wasn't going to give Rodney the satisfaction of saying so.

"Yes, but less busy for me is still the equivalent of rushed off their feet for a normal person."

John dug into his cereal, rolling his eyes. Teyla smiled patiently when she caught him. "What're the rest of you doing today?"

"I have to meet with my people," Teyla said. "Several members of the biology department have suggested ways in which the snakes on the mainland may be dealt with, and we have to decide if these offers will be taken up."

"Sounds like fun," John said. He was kind of hoping, for Teyla's sake at least, that the Athosians moved back to the mainland. Maybe they could even find a second gate to set up there, with a shield. Assuming they could figure out how their own shield worked, of course. He'd have to ask Rodney about it, if they did decide to stick around.

"I am hopeful that they will decide to stay," Teyla said, smiling into her tea. "I believe that many were more disturbed by recent events than they have been willing to say."

"Yeah, well, the prospect of being kidnapped for unspecified unpleasant purposes is enough to worry most people," Rodney said.

"Yes, Rodney," Teyla said, sounding infinitely patient the way she did when she was laughing at them on the inside. "Ronon, I was hoping that you would be able to spar with me later today. Many of the marines have begun to refuse due to my – condition."

John focused hard on his coffee, happy to stay out of that one. It wasn't really a surprise – Teyla's pregnancy was starting to show now, and the marines were too gentlemanly to fight a pregnant woman when she wasn't threatening to kill them.

"Ronon?" Teyla said gently, pulling John's attention back to the table. "Are you well?"

Ronon looked up from the plate of food he was ploughing through, looking like he'd lost the thread of the conversation. "I'm fine. Why?"

"You seem distracted," Teyla said.

"She means you zoned out," Rodney corrected around a mouthful of waffle.

"Everything okay?" John asked, because they were right, and Ronon never zoned out, even in the really boring trade negotiations where John was struggling to stay awake.

"Everything's fine," Ronon said firmly. "Didn't sleep well."

"Too busy contemplating new ways to torture me in your ninja training?" Rodney asked.

"Sure, McKay," Ronon said. John thought for a minute that he was going to pick up his tray and leave – he seemed unsettled, the way he had when he'd first arrived in the city – but in the end he just clapped Rodney on the shoulder, hard enough to make Rodney squeak, and added, "Looking forward to it."

"Oh. Yes," Rodney said, a little breathless. "Can't wait," and John made a mental note to go down, watch what they were getting up to. It was important to know what his team were doing, anyway.

hr

Sam was back. Or at least, he looked like Sam, even though it shouldn't be possible. Sam was back on their old planet, or probably dead, since the Replicator beam would have boiled the sea away by now.

He felt a pang of sadness for his whale friend, then remembered that he was watching Sam here. Maybe the whales had all hitched a ride on Atlantis when they'd gone into space. There could be all sorts of underwater caverns that they hadn't found yet, and maybe these whales didn't need to be in the water all the time. They were semi-psychic alien whales, after all. Maybe he'd even grace the biologists with his presence and ask what they thought.

Behind him, the door slid open, followed by the sound of footsteps. Rodney kept the binoculars to his eyes; it sounded like Sheppard, which wasn't surprising, given that Rodney had summoned him to check out the whales.

"Dr McKay," came a voice by his ear, and, okay, that wasn't Sheppard. "Taking a break?"

"Yes," Rodney said, watching Sam for another minute before lowering the glasses. "I assume that's still allowed, or do you want to chain me to my lab bench twenty-eight hours a day now?"

"That's fine," Mitchell said, looking out over the water. "Take all the breaks you need."

"Thank you," Rodney said grudgingly. There was something about that sentence that didn't quite sound right. "Did you just come out here to tell me that?"

"Sure," Mitchell said, shrugging in a very Sheppard-like way. "We don't want you to be working too hard."

Rodney felt himself staring at Mitchell stupidly. "You always want the science staff to be working too hard. We're usually the only ones standing between you and certain death."

"Well, sure, in general," Mitchell agreed. He patted Rodney's arm. "But we don't want you to burn out, Dr McKay. You know, to start making more mistakes."

"More mistakes?" Rodney demanded. "I haven't been making any mistakes, thank you very much." Mitchell didn't say anything, just leaned back against the closed door. "What?" Rodney asked.

Except Mitchell wasn't looking at him, he was looking over Rodney's shoulder. At the whales, and okay, Sam wasn't a whale, not really, there was nothing to be afraid of – "Let me through."

Mitchell shook his head, standing his ground, and, oh God, Rodney knew he shouldn't have come to one of the lower balconies, he could hear something moving through the water, and Mitchell wouldn't move, God, what was it about freakishly strong Air Force officers around here –

" – make me come down there and get you," Sheppard's voice said in his earpiece as Rodney jerked awake. He'd dozed off at his desk, in the middle of the afternoon, no less. That was what happened when there wasn't a life-threatening crisis to be dealt with.

"What?"

"About time, I was starting to think Zelenka'd finally snapped," Sheppard said. "We were supposed to start this meeting five minutes ago, if you'd trouble yourself to get up here."

"On my way," Rodney said, straightening his jacket and forcing down the completely unreasonable shudder at the thought of sitting in a meeting with his team, half a dozen scientists, and Colonel Mitchell.

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Even for a meeting, which were rarely exciting, unless it was the bad kind of excitement that came with discussing their imminent demise, this one was pretty dull, in John's opinion. Pre-mission briefings at least had an element of uncertainty, while post-mission debriefs were frequently full of death-defying exploits and drama; post-first-contact-mission science briefings, on the other hand, were mainly useful as a chance to catch up on his paperwork, since no-one asked for his opinion once they were done with questions of what size military escort was necessary. All he had to do was tune back into the discussion every few minutes.

"Do you have any idea how valuable this could be?" Rodney was asking Cameron, looking like it wasn't the first time. The rest of the science staff were focusing intently on their data-pads. "That thing was creating energy, and if you hadn't killed it, I could have studied it in more depth instead of having to hand it off to these people."

"Thank you, Doctor," Cameron said, sounding like he was only just clinging to his patience. "I think you've made your point quite clear, and perhaps we can move on..."

"Fine," Rodney snapped, and even John blinked in surprise. "Fine, of course, why listen to me, I'm only the lead scientist on the entire expedition, what would I know about these things? Are you sure it was just your leg that got damaged in that crash –"

"Rodney," John and Teyla said at the same moment, and John hadn't even known Teyla knew Cameron's history.

"That's enough," Cameron said sharply. He'd gone kind of pale, though John couldn't tell if it was anger or surprise. "Your objections are noted, Dr McKay, and now we're moving on. Dr Zelenka, you had something to say about the size of the team to take back to the planet?"

"I –" Rodney started, then looked down and away, letting Zelenka speak. John stopped listening, torn between watching Rodney, who actually looked guilty for what he'd said, and Cameron, who kept glancing at Rodney, frowning slightly.

Zelenka wrapped it up fast, barely pausing at the end of his presentation for Cameron to approve a return trip to the planet of funky fungi the day after next before fleeing with the rest of the scientists.

Teyla hung back, touching Rodney's shoulder carefully. "Is everything well, Rodney?" she asked quietly.

"Everything's fine," Rodney said, gathering his things and rising, one hand briefly catching Teyla's arm as he stood. He glanced up, met John's eye and looked away again. "I have to get back to the lab, excuse me."

John circled easily round the outside of the conference room, catching Rodney just as he stepped into the less-populated corridors off the gate-room. "What the hell was that?" he asked, fighting to keep his voice down, to not grab Rodney's arm, when he was clearly as upset about what he'd said as John was.

"What was what?" Not that that stopped him from pulling his usual superior act.

"That, with Mitchell, bringing up the crash. What were you trying to prove? I know you don't like him Rodney, but –"

"It's got nothing to do with that," Rodney said sharply.

John waited, then asked, "So what was it?"

Rodney looked both ways up the corridor, then drew them a little further towards the wall, as though that would give them any more privacy. "I had a dream about him, okay? He was questioning my ability to do my job and then he tried to... There was a whale trying to eat me, and he was blocking the door."

John took a deep breath. "You had a dream about him. Trying to feed you to the whales."

"Yes! Look, my father read us Moby Dick when we were kids, I have... unresolved issues with whales."

John had not signed up for this. "Fine. Leaving aside the creepy obsession with the whales on our old planet, can you maybe try to keep the neuroses from spilling over into personal attacks in meetings?"

Rodney sighed. "Yes, Colonel. As if you need to remind me; it's hardly something I consistently do."

"Thank you," John said, offering the most sincere smile he could manage, despite knowing it wouldn't be very sincere.

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"It's a boy," Dr Keller said, holding Teyla's child out to her. He was wrapped in an Athosian birthing blanket, his fair hair sticking up in tufts, and though Teyla felt exhausted from the birth, it could not dim the glow of pure joy at seeing him. Beside her, Kanaan smiled. "Everything's fine, Teyla."

"Thank you," Teyla said, holding her arms out for her child.

Dr Keller stepped forward to hand him to her. Before Teyla could reach out, though, Colonel Mitchell was stepping between them, his back to Teyla.

"Colonel, please," Teyla said. "Please move."

He remained where he was, not turning to her. "Dr Keller, give the child to me please."

"Of course," Jennifer said, changing the direction in which she was reaching, passing Teyla's child to the colonel as though nothing was amiss.

"No!" Teyla said, pushing herself forward though it hurt to do so. "Please, give me my child."

"I'm sorry, Teyla," the colonel said. "It's for the best. He's not a normal child, with the Wraith DNA you and Kanaan have."

"Please," Teyla said. She tried to stand, but Kanaan held her back. "Let me go! Let me have my child! You can't keep him from me!"

Colonel Mitchell took several steps back, still holding her son.

"Kanaan, release me!"

"It's for the best," Kanaan said mournfully.

"Please!" Teyla begged. She did not recall Kanaan being so strong in the past. "Please, let me go, let me –"

She sat bolt upright in her own bed, alone, her hands going to her stomach without thought. The wash of relief was almost too much; her child had not yet been born, he was still her own. No-one would try to take the child. He was not a Wraith hybrid, a monster.

Still, her sleep was a long time coming again, and restless when it did.

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Teyla was a few minutes early arriving at the workout room for her session with John, enough so that Laura Cadman and her civilian yoga class were still there. She waited patiently for them to finish the last of their poses, watching through the opened doors – it was warmer on this planet than the last, and many of the doors and windows were left open to allow cooler air to move.

Laura had invited Teyla to the class when she had begun it, well over a year ago, and Teyla had attended several sessions after Laura's assurance that it was often done to allow people to relax and unwind. Teyla had found it too cluttered for her own taste; the changing of positions was not conducive to a restful mind. Perhaps it would be something to consider once more, as her pregnancy made her typical forms of exercise more difficult, if only because it was difficult to find partners who would join her.

The movement in the room became less purposeful suddenly, and Teyla realized that the class was complete, people gathering their things and moving to leave. They did seem more peaceful than people on Atlantis generally were, Teyla noted.

"Sorry," Laura said, coming over to her, re-tying her hair. "Did we run over?"

"No," Teyla assured her. "I am early. Colonel Sheppard is not even here yet."

Laura grinned. "Bet he needs to get here early, to beat you." She tucked a final strand of hair back, her grin fading. "Are you feeling okay? You look tired."

"I am fine. I did not sleep well last night, that is all." When Laura continued to look concerned, she touched the younger woman lightly on her bare forearm. "Really. I am quite well."

"Good thing you're only sparring with the Colonel," Laura said, her grin slowly returning, though not so brightly as before.

"Yes," Teyla agreed, returning the smile, though it did not seem quite right to do so when speaking of Laura's superior officer. "Truthfully, I am glad that I am not fighting one of the more experienced members of the expedition."

Laura glanced back at the few remaining scientists before drawing Teyla to the side of the room. "Are you sure you're all right? Maybe you should go see one of the doctors."

"I am not unwell," Teyla said firmly. "It is only that I had a very strange dream last night; it was difficult to sleep again afterwards."

"You too?" John asked, suddenly beside her. He was not normally eager to interrupt a private conversation, but perhaps he had noticed her weariness as Laura had done. He was still far more concerned with her health than Teyla considered necessary.

"Bad dreams are hardly a rarity in Atlantis," she pointed out.

"No, I know. Though yours are usually followed by something awful." He frowned slightly. "It's just Rodney was going on about a nightmare yesterday. Something about Mitchell and whales and... I dunno, I wasn't paying that much attention."

Teyla smiled, though she felt a cold finger of unease inside her. "I thought that Rodney enjoyed the whales, before we left their world," she said. "Though it is strange that we should both dream of Colonel Mitchell."

"Maybe –" Laura started, her eyes bright, then looked at John again and said, "Never mind."

John gave her a strange, slanted look from the corner of his eye. "Okay. Just tell me there weren't any Wraith in this dream. Because that never ends well for us."

"There were not," Teyla assured him. "I do not think you need to be concerned."

"And, hey, now you might have a chance at beating her," Laura said. "Sir."

"Thanks for that, Lieutenant," John said dryly.

hr

"Lieutenant Cadman, we need you in the gate-room." Laura started out of sleep, already reaching for her sidearm and shirt.

"On my way. What's going on?"

"Not sure, ma'am," Chuck said in her earpiece. "Colonel Mitchell requested you."

"Be right there." She tried to think: it couldn't be the Athosians, they were still in the city; she wasn't on call for rescue missions; and her team had been given the afternoon and evening off, ready to head to M1X 947 at midnight, in line with the planet's late morning.

The gate-room was quiet when she got there, the gate inactive, the four marines on security detail holding their posts. Colonel Mitchell, in the conference room, spotted her and beckoned her in.

She didn't notice, until she got in there, that McKay, Sheppard and Lorne were sitting together at the far side of the table. The only remaining chair was on the other side, obviously for her. She wondered if she ought to salute, settled for a general nod, and, "Sirs."

"Sit down," Mitchell said. She did so, folding her hands neatly on the table in front of her. She couldn't remember doing anything lately to warrant this kind of treatment, unless one of her team, or her security officers, had. "Lieutenant Cadman, it has been brought to our attention that there is a bomb in the city, set to go off within the hour."

Laura let herself relax a fraction. A bomb. They wanted her help. "Yes, sir."

"I've read the mission reports for this outpost, including the ones relating to a similar incident from two years ago," Mitchell went on. "In which you were implicated in the placing of a bomb within the city."

"I had nothing to do with that," Laura said, stung. Sheppard had promised none of McKay's accusation would go into her file, and now there they were, for everyone to read. "Colonel Caldwell was possessed by a Goa'uld who –"

"Lieutenant, we really don't have time for this," Mitchell said sharply. Laura had no idea why she'd ever thought of him as a nice guy, not when he was looking at her like that. "Tell us where the bomb is and maybe we can do something to help you at your trial."

"Trial," Laura repeated, stunned. "Sir, you can't –" She turned to Lorne, but he was gone. All three of them were gone, and it was just her and Mitchell. "Sir, you have to understand, Dr McKay and I have a rough history but..."

"Lieutenant," Mitchell said again. "Surely you're not asking me to believe that the expedition's lead scientist would fabricate accusations against you, or that the city's military commander would take these fabrications seriously without there being some truth behind them?"

Laura bit down on the urge to point out that he didn't even like McKay. "I would never do anything to harm the city or the people in it," Laura said. "Let me look for the bomb, I can disarm it if we find it in time."

"It's too late for that," Mitchell said, and they were stood in front of the open gate. The marines on guard were gone, and so was Chuck from the control balcony. "We can't keep a saboteur in the city."

"No!" Laura said, trying to fight him off. He was stronger than he looked, stronger than her. "Where are you sending me?"

Outside, something fell apart with a huge crash. Laura fought to catch her breath. Had that been the bomb? Surely no-one would –

"The demolition team," she said into her empty room, knowledge coming with awareness. One of the small towers on the edge of the pier had been left unstable by their flight through space, and was scheduled to be brought down in a controlled explosion.

Just a dream, and she really did have a late night mission. Except... hadn't Teyla dreamt about Colonel Mitchell? And McKay as well? It was a pretty weird coincidence, and coincidences on Atlantis were rarely a good thing.

Sighing, she swung her feet to the floor, and reached for her shirt.

hr

"You know, Colonel, if you'd just sit still, this wouldn't take as long," Keller said, stopping again to glare at him.

"If certain people wouldn't hit quite so hard," John said, glaring round her at Ronon, who was slouching against the wall, watching John get his head stitched up. Or possibly watching Keller stitch it up; it was hard to tell, especially when John had to keep blinking to focus properly. At least his hair would cover the stitches.

"Should've ducked," Ronon said.

"Thanks, I'll bear that in mind for next time," John grumbled. Keller actually smiled at Ronon as he said it. Great. As if it wasn't humiliating enough being stitched up in front of the early evening medical rush, he was being stitched up by someone who was laughing at his expense while she did it.

The door at the end of the bay opened and Cadman walked in, heading straight for John's gurney.

"Hello, Lieutenant," Keller said, looking up from her stitching. "I'll be a few more minutes here, but Dr Gibson should be around if you don't want to wait."

"Actually, I was looking for Colonel Sheppard," Cadman said, coming to a stop far enough back not to get in Keller's way. "Well, and Teyla, but she's busy with the Athosians."

"Okay, let's hear it." At least it would distract him from Keller's hands so close to his eyes.

"You remember Teyla said this morning that she'd dreamt about Colonel Mitchell – well, had a nightmare, really?" Cadman waited for him to nod, which got him another glare from Keller. "And that McKay had a nightmare about him before that. Well, I just dreamt that he tried to throw me out of the city because he thought I'd planted a bomb here."

"A bomb," John echoed.

"Like when Colonel Caldwell was possessed by the Goa'uld," Cadman said. "Look, sir, normally I wouldn't – it's just a bad dream, you know – but with what Teyla said, and McKay."

"It's strange for you all to be having nightmares about Colonel Mitchell so suddenly," Keller put in, wielding a pair of scissors. John closed his eyes. "Maybe when he first arrived, but not now."

"Exactly," Cadman said. "And I was thinking about it, while I was tracking you down. Didn't he go off-world with your team a few days ago? That's the first time he's been out of the city since he got here."

"So you think –" John opened his eyes as he felt Keller turn away. "What do you think?"

Cadman sighed, leaning back against the empty gurney. "I'm not sure. Maybe he picked up something while you were on the planet, an infection or something."

"We drew his blood, same as everyone else, when you all got back," Keller said. "There was nothing different about his."

"Wouldn't he be the one having the bad dreams if he was infected with something?" John asked. He could testify to Cameron sleeping fine since they'd gotten back, unless he was tossing and turning after he went back to his own room. "There wasn't even anything on the planet. No people, no signs of civilisation –" He cut himself off, glancing at Ronon, who wasn't looking at anyone. "Except for the crystal he touched."

"McKay's magic fungus," Cadman put in, grinning faintly.

"Why would it take so long to start, though?" Keller asked. "You've been back in the city for two days – when did Dr McKay have his dream?"

"Yesterday," John said, thinking back. "Right before the science briefing. And then Teyla that night, after they sat together in the meeting."

"And me today, after seeing her in the workout room this morning," Cadman finished. "So why wasn't there anything the first night?"

Ronon shifted against the wall, and John knew what he was going to say. "There was."

hr

"So you're telling me," Cameron started, when John, backed by his team, Cadman and Keller, had finished recounting the theory, such as it was. "That, what, I got possessed by an evil crystal and it's moving between people in the city."

"Through touch," Keller added. She'd worked it out on the walk to the gate-room.

"Well, I guess it's not the weirdest thing I've heard since I joined the SGC," Cameron said, sounding pretty calm about it, all things considered. John thought he'd have been more bothered by the prospect of appearing as some sort of evil mastermind in people's dreams. "You want to run some tests on me, Doc?"

"I can," Keller said hesitantly. "But I don't know what I'd really be looking for. We'd probably be better off testing Lieutenant Cadman, since she's the one with the thing in her now."

Rodney shifted his chair back a little, even though he already had several feet of clear space around him. John rolled his eyes, but Teyla brightened.

"Actually, Dr McKay makes a good point. Lieutenant, have you touched anyone since waking up?"

"Um..." Cadman squinted down at the table for a moment, then shook her head. "Not that I can remember."

"We ought to keep it that way," John said. "At least until we know what we're dealing with. Lieutenant, you can handle a few nightmares, right?"

Cadman paled a little, but nodded gamely. "Of course, sir."

"Great. Dr Keller, can you arrange a private room for the Lieutenant, please?" Cameron asked.

"Sure," Keller said, smiling at Cadman, who grinned back.

"Private party in the infirmary. Sounds like fun."

Rodney rolled his eyes. "Yes, and while you two are having fun painting each other's toe nails, the rest of us will worry about an unseen entity that's running around the city getting into God knows who."

"What's the big deal?" Ronon asked. "They're just bad dreams."

"At the moment," Cameron said darkly, echoing John's unspoken thoughts.

hr

While Keller was drawing blood and running tests on Cadman and Cameron, John took his team and the scientists who'd been scheduled to go the next day back to the planet to collect a sample for study. By the time they got back, it was getting late, people heading to bed.

"I want to tell everyone to stay awake," he said to Cameron, watching Keller in her hazmat suit, chatting to Cadman in the isolation room.

"One go round of that is enough, thanks," Cameron said. John looked at him until he added, "Parasites in the brain. Don't ask."

"I wasn't going to," John assured him, and they waited for Keller to come back out. "Anything?"

She shook her head. "There's no difference between Lieutenant Cadman's scans now and last week. If it is in her still, there's no way for my equipment to see it."

"Okay. Well, Zelenka and McKay are working on a way to detect the energy signature based on the live crystal we brought back," John said. He looked over at Cadman again, who seemed to be focussing very intently on the book in her lap. He reminded himself to give Lorne a call when they got done, get him down to keep her company for a while. "I wonder what it wants."

"Maybe it's feeding on our fear," Keller suggested, ducking her head when they both turned to look at her. "Sorry, I'll shut up."

"No, go on," Cameron said gently. "Why do you say that?"

"Well, Ronon, then Dr McKay, then Teyla, then Lieutenant Cadman, and they all dreamed their worst nightmares, all relating to you. If it takes on the form of whoever it imprints on, maybe the nightmares are the worst it can come up with using that person."

Cameron nodded slowly. "Okay. I think we need to have a chat with Dr Heightmeyer."

hr

"Look, Dobrowski, it's you or no-one," Lieutenant Kemp said, holding out the harness again. "You're lighter than me, you can't hold my weight on this thing."

"Great," Pete grumbled. He didn't mind heights, or climbing, as long as he didn't have to do it underground in the dark. Which he did, because there was something down in that narrow chasm that they needed. He couldn't remember what it was, but they needed it. "Strap me in."

The chasm was exactly as dark and narrow and unpleasant as he'd expected it to be, and the bouncing beam of his flashlight just made it worse. "Deep breaths," he reminded himself. "There's plenty of air. This thing has lasted for thousands of years, you're not going to be responsible for it collapsing."

"You okay down there?" Kemp yelled.

"I'm fine," Pete called back, and that was when he heard it. The unmistakable sound of the rope breaking.

He dropped what felt like miles but was probably only a few feet before his frantically grasping hand curled round something jutting out of the chasm wall. It wasn't very big, but it was enough for him to grab hold of it, all the muscles in his arms jerking at the sudden halt to motion.

"Dobrowski?" Kemp yelled down. "You okay?"

"Just peachy," Pete yelled back. He could see Kemp leaning over the gap, and it really wasn't that far. "I think I can climb back up."

"Great. You start climbing, I'll grab another rope from the jumper."

It was slow going, scrabbling for each narrow hold. Pete didn't care that he was a marine, tougher than petty fears. At least he hadn't made the mistake of looking down.

He was almost there, close enough that he wasn't even feeling the loss of his flashlight any more. It would have been fine, except that the last ten feet or so were smooth rock, nothing to grab hold of. "Hey, Lieutenant, any time now with the rope. Unless having the gene gives you extendible arms."

"Hold your horses," Kemp called, reappearing in the gap. "Here –"

Another body appeared from outside Pete's line of vision. Maybe Kemp had gone for help?

"What are you -?" Kemp demanded. "Sir, let go, I have to –"

Pete squinted awkwardly. That was Colonel Mitchell, his arms round Kemp, holding him back. Pulling him back. Pete felt his hands start to sweat, slipping on the tenuous hold. "Kemp!"

"Hold on!" Kemp yelled back, but Pete could hear sounds of struggling above him. They surged back into view for a moment, then away as Mitchell pulled him back.

"Kemp!" he yelled again, but it was useless. He could feel his grip going, like the hold was actually getting narrower, Kemp yelling from above, and then –

It wasn't a long fall. It probably wouldn't have been so bad, if the cave hadn't crumbled as he fell, falling with him, past him, over him –

hr

Lorne turned up at John's office door half an hour after the shift change, solemn and pale.

"Who?" John asked. He'd been sitting behind his desk since 0430, an hour before most people got up, waiting to hear who the entity had gotten into next, whatever everyone said about it moving by touch. The look on Lorne's face said it had gone past bad dreams.

"Dobrowski failed to report for duty, sir." Lorne said, coming close to attention. "Dr Keller and I went to his quarters to check on him. She and her staff were unable to wake him. He was pronounced dead seven minutes ago."

John let his eyes slide closed for a moment. So, way past bad dreams at this point. "Okay. Did you notify anyone else?"

"Captain Fields in the duty commander for this shift, he followed us to Dobrowski's quarters. I came straight to you."

"Not Mitchell?"

"No, sir," Lorne said. His expression flickered for a moment. "I thought you'd want to tell him."

"Thanks," John said, but Lorne was right. "Can you check in with McKay and Zelenka? We could really use that scan right now."

hr

Cameron looked up from his laptop as the door closed behind John, and John didn't even need to say anything, the knowledge flashing across his face in an instant.

"Sergeant Dobrowski was found dead in his quarters this morning," he said anyway. It was risky, but he went round Cameron's side of the desk and leaned against it, close enough that they could touch. "Lorne's checking with McKay on the scan, but it seems like it doesn't just move through touch any more."

"Dobrowski," Cameron said. "The guy who crashed his jumper when you were training pilots for the rescue mission."

"Yeah," John agreed. Dobrowski had been one of the new marines, brought over after their move to the new planet. If he hadn't been tagged as a pilot, John would hardly have known him as more than a face and a name. "We should probably make an announcement, about him and about the entity. People are going to start figuring out something's wrong."

"Yeah." Cameron didn't seem to move, but his head was against John's arm, his eyes down. John put a careful hand on the back of his neck, feeling the tension there. There was a long pause, then Cameron said, "I don't know how you do it."

"Do what?"

"Live here. I mean, the SGC was intense, but I always knew I could leave at the end of the day, you know? And here – there's no escape."

John hadn't really thought about it; not lately, anyway. Atlantis was home. "You get used to it," he said, and didn't ask if Cameron wanted to.

hr

Ten hours later, hooked up to the machine that was going to let Cameron walk around in his dreams – his nightmares – he wasn't sure he'd been right. Maybe you never got used to it, though, in all honesty, he'd gotten used to the part of a crisis where he was directly involved, no problem. It had almost been a relief when Rodney had radioed, demanding his presence in the isolation room, like he'd just been waiting for it to happen.

Of course, it had been less of a relief to find out that the entity was probably going to kill him, unless they could trap it.

"Explain to me again why you have to be here," he said, watching Keller stick electrodes to Cameron's skin, hyper-aware of his team up on the observation deck, their worried, hopeful faces.

"I brought it here, I ought to help get rid of it," Cameron said, like he had before.

"You think I can't handle one crystal entity without help?" John asked. They weren't close enough to touch, but he kind of wanted to anyway, even with everyone watching.

Cameron's expression, when he turned his head, was dark and scared. "I think you flew a nuclear bomb into a hive ship when you thought it was the only way to save your people," he said quietly. John couldn't look away, but he was sure Keller and Zelenka, behind their suits, were pretending not to listen. "And Lorne's great, but I've gotten used to working with you."

"We're ready," Keller said quietly.

Cameron turned his head back to the ceiling. "Thanks," John said quietly.

"Any time," Cameron said, and the needle slid into John's arm, the drug pulling him under.

hr

He was in Atlantis, in the gate-room, except it was wrong. The lights were out, weird shadows about the place, and the usual hum of Ancient tech in the back of his mind was gone. "Hello? Anyone home?"

Up the stairs, and he hadn't moved, he was just there. The display showed life-signs all over the city, more than usual, several coming towards him. He reached for his P-90, but he didn't carry it in the city, and his sidearm was gone. He didn't even have a handy stick.

He was expecting the Wraith, sort of – expecting something bad. He wasn't expecting them to be leading his team, chained together, thin and exhausted.

He really wasn't expecting them to be lead by Cameron, or for Cameron to look up and say, "We thought you might like some familiar faces."

The Wraith laughed. There were only three of them, those weren't such bad odds. If he had a weapon, maybe. Hand to hand, not so much.

"Try it," Cameron said, encouraging. "Who knows, you might win."

"Aren't you supposed to be talking me out of that?" John asked, but he was moving down the stairs already, heading for the gate-room, because they had his team and he couldn't let them – they weren't even fighting, for fuck's sake, just kneeling there like they'd given up on rescue. On him.

"I am," Cameron said, and a hand closed on his arm, jerking him to a halt. "He's just trying to get to you. Don't listen to him. This is your dream, you can have whatever you need."

A weapon. He needed a weapon.

He was firing almost before the P-90 appeared in his hands, a spray of gunfire along the trio of Wraith and into Mitchell, the fake Mitchell.

Who wasn't there any longer. Gone, like the three Wraith, but John's bullets had –

"No."

They hadn't slumped much further forward. Apart from the blood, they didn't look any different. They didn't need to, John already knew, even as he was kneeling in front of Rodney, feeling for a pulse that he knew wouldn't be there.

"This isn't real," Cameron said at his shoulder. "None of this is real, John, you just have to get the entity to leave."

"I killed them," John said, his voice sounding like he'd been swallowing glass. "The Wraith, and I –"

He was on his feet, moving towards the highest concentration of life-signs, and if he was in control, he could control up a nuclear bomb, right?

"That's it," Mitchell said. "Take them all out. What does it matter now anyway? Everyone you care about is dead, you killed them."

"John, stop," Cameron said, catching at his arm again. John couldn't stop, not with the countdown timer running, and the Wraith ahead of him, Mitchell urging him on, revenge, duty, vengeance –

The bomb exploded in brilliant white light, sweeping everything away.

hr

Brilliant white light, so bright that Cam had to squint against it, even when it was behind him. The jumper shook under his hands, wobbling as it fought to escape the blast radius. On the screen, all the life-signs winked out. A moment later, the outline of the city vanished as well.

"They're all gone," the figure in the co-pilot seat said. "I didn't think he'd really do it."

Cam didn't look over. John had tried, and failed, and now he was gone. Even if the destruction of Atlantis was the dream, John had to be dead for the entity to be following him.

"All alone in a strange galaxy," the entity mused. "Hey, how are you going to get back to Earth now? With the Atlantis gate gone?"

"I'll think of something," Cam said. The intergalactic bridge, if he could pick it up somewhere.

"Maybe you won't have to," the entity said. The jumper banked suddenly, sharply, out of Cam's control. "Maybe I'll just keep you here with me."

The jumper swung right, then briefly straight as Cam wrestled the controls. Not that it helped; the jumpers weren't controlled by the stick, not really. "Come on, come on," he muttered, but the ground was getting closer. No, not the ground, the ocean, and he was going to hit the ocean, going to lie there in a damaged, leaking jumper and slowly drown, if the crash didn't kill him. "Come on."

"I thought you were a fighter," the entity said, sending the jumper into a dive, down, down, and Cam fought it, dragging every possible micrometer of control back, and it wasn't going to be enough.

"I've got you," John said, suddenly close, and the tug of the entity eased for a moment, John and Cam dragging the jumper out of the dive.

"I don't think so," the entity said.

They careered towards land, swooping wildly as they gained and lost control. "This is ridiculous," John said abruptly, lifting his hands from the controls. Cam didn't dare take his eyes off the ground, not even when he heard the sound of a fist connecting with flesh, the entity crying out in his own voice, and he was in control, completely, utterly, even when the jumper jerked as the back hatch opened.

He watched the entity's life-sign fall and fall, and wink out.

John thudded into the front compartment, collapsed half on him, half on the console. "Land this thing and let's get the hell out of here."

hr

John opened his eyes, already turning towards Cameron. Who wasn't moving, still had his eyes closed. "I thought it worked," he said, his voice sounding rough. "The entity –"

"It did," Zelenka said. "Both are trapped in the containment units."

"So why isn't he awake?" Cameron had landed the jumper safely on the mainland. There hadn't even been any snakes.

"Give it a minute," Keller said. She lifted off her hood and gloves, then started removing the electrodes from John's head. He looked up at the balcony, and Rodney gave him a brief, nervous-looking wave.

"What?" Cameron said suddenly, blinking awake. "Oh man, tell me this isn't still a dream."

"No, Colonel, you're awake," Keller said. "Everything's fine."

Fine. Right. He'd shot his team, blown up Atlantis, but everything was fine. Just a dream. No wonder Teyla and Cadman had looked so shaken after theirs. No wonder Rodney had snapped so hard at Cameron. John kind of wanted to punch something.

"Thank God," Cameron said with feeling, dropping his head back to the pillow, and John reminded himself, very hard, that there were half a dozen people watching him right now, and plausible deniability would be hard pressed to cover him grabbing hold of Cameron and refusing to let go.

hr

He did it that night instead, when Rodney's pestering for him to just, "Spit it out, for God's sake, Colonel, it can't be more embarrassing than being eaten by a whale," finally out-weighed John's desire to never let his team out of his sight again.

Cameron had agreed that no-one needed to describe their dreams in detail in the reports, just the relevant parts, which meant John's team didn't need to find out what he'd done, both to them and to avenge them. He never wanted to think about it, ever, but Rodney wouldn't let it go, if he found out, and Teyla would get all calm and worried, and Ronon would probably want to beat him at Satedan training games twice as often as he already did and John just – couldn't handle it.

Cameron, on the other hand, just wanted to touch him, pressing him close and dragging hands over every inch of his body, and John could happily go with that, doing a bit of touching of his own in return, making sure this was the right Cameron, the one who loved the jumpers and made John want to kiss him in boring meetings, the one who'd come into his dreams so he wouldn't sacrifice himself for the good of everyone else. Even if, in the end, John had.

Afterwards, they lay curled close together. Not that they had much choice on John's bed, but John couldn't have moved away if they had. He couldn't shake the image of his team, bleeding and defeated at his own hand.

"It's never going to happen," Cameron said quietly, stroking his fingers through John's hair.

"I know," John said. He did. Sort of. "Do you still dream about the crash?"

"Yeah. Every time I wake up in the infirmary, I think, did it happen again? Because I can't..."

John squeezed the hand in his tighter. "Stay here tonight. We'll make an excuse in the morning, just don't..."

Cameron squeezed back. "Okay."

It took them both a long time to fall asleep.

Next: Outcast Outtake


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