Rating: R (violence, adult subject matter)
Word Count: ~50,000
Genre: H/C, Action/Adventure, Friendship
Summary: Desperate to reassure himself that he has fully recovered from being turned by the Wraith, Ronon asks Sheppard to join him in a test of endurance and teamwork. Ronon has the best of intentions, but the Pegasus Galaxy has other plans. Soon they are trapped on a world they cannot escape from, forced to make impossible choices, each one leading them a little further into hell.
Notes: Preview contains images. Massive thank yous to my betas kristen999 and everybetty with a special shoutout to the fabulous coolbreeze1 and kriadydragon for their comments and suggestions. I couldn't have done it without you. All faults mine.
Set after the events of Broken Ties A trip meant for healing
“There is no need to prove yourself. Not to me or John or anyone else.”
“I need to prove myself to me, Teyla.”
She cocked her head to the side as she nibbled on a risva root. “And a three day river race on an unknown planet will do that?”
“Maybe. It’ll at least get us away from Atlantis.”
“And to a place where you will have to rely on each other?”
on a world filled with dangers
John snickered at the image of a young Ronon staying out of the city drainage pipes from fear of a big pink rabbit. Keeping an eye out for slithering sticks, they caught the swift current and continued on. Trail mix and beef jerky made a nice change from PowerBars, and although purification tablets and electrolyte mix diminished the taste of the river water, the icy liquid was still refreshing. They spent the afternoon swapping tall tales and laughing harder than John ever remembered doing.
They came upon the bend suddenly. The left turn was sharp, and they took it wide. The fallen tree was unexpected. They paddled furiously for the left bank in hopes of hitting the eddy and avoiding the tree. They missed. When the craft slammed sideways into the tree, John flipped out the far side and hit the water head first. The current immediately sucked him under the boat. He flailed wildly as his face scraped the bottom of the canoe, and his back the rocky riverbed. Breaking the surface, he barely had time to gasp before his shoulder smashed into the tree. He clawed at the trunk, searching for a limb, a twig, a tough leaf to hold to, but only succeeded in ripping the skin from his palms. The canoe pounded him from behind, and the rushing water spun him and sucked him under the tree face down. A broken branch raked across his back and snagged his shirt. The edges of his vision faded, turned gray, and his lungs burned. His body was like lead.
He felt a tug on his leg then strong hands on his back. The jagged branch sliced from his spine to his shoulder as he was pulled from under the tree. Arms wrapped around his chest and lifted him to the surface. He drew in a ragged breath, coughing and sputtering as the river swirled around him.
“Relax, Sheppard. I’ve got you.”
leads John and Ronon down a path where the only hope of surviving is to make one terrifying choice after another.
Ronon bolted for them, knowing he wouldn’t be in time. Sheppard hit the boy’s shoulder, shoving the kid onto the sidewalk as the beam hit. Ronon staggered to a stop, gaping in disbelief.
John Sheppard had been culled.