Word count: 472
Summary: "That isn't John's fate."
Beta: Becca, seiyaharris
Author's note: Prequel to Happily Cattily
WARNING: Allusions to character death
Honestly? John always thought the Wraith would get him. Maybe he’d get stunned and cocooned and fed upon like Colonel Sumner, Gall, Abrams, and so many others. Maybe one of them would break his neck, snap it like a twig. Maybe, just maybe, they’d kill him slowly, just to be mean, just to show Atlantis that they could.
Sometimes, sometimes he thought he’d get himself killed with another nuke, or by crashing a Puddlejumper, or by some terrible fluke that makes a wormhole disengage just after he’s stepped through the event horizon.
But that isn’t John’s fate, and he knows that now.
He isn’t going to go out in a blaze of glory, a burst of falling debris. He isn’t going to suffer a war hero’s death, be tortured or captured like so many men he’s known. He isn’t even going to get to haunt Rodney after some accident with the DHD.
John Sheppard isn’t going to get to die the way he thought he would, and that makes him inexplicably mad.
He should be glad; he knows that, pleased even. He should certainly be grateful. It isn’t even so much that he wants his death to be terrible, bloody and painful – its more that he wants it to be meaningful.
It won’t now. He knows that. He’s not being morbid, he knows he isn’t going to die right now. But when that wormhole opens up, and he goes back to Earth, he knows he won’t be coming back to Pegasus, and that totally screws up what he thought might happen in the future.
John Sheppard might die on the operating table whilst they pin him back together, he might die from a handful of pills when he just can’t take the pain of physiotherapy anymore. He might, maybe, die in a car wreck, too many late nights and too much to drink sending the car skidding off the I-5. He might, just, take a gun; climb a clock tower, and go a little mad, too many memories of too many missions gone bad. He just might then turn that gun on himself.
But that isn’t John’s fate; he just doesn’t know that yet.
He’ll get better. They’ll put him back together and he’ll walk again. He won’t return to active duty, and he’s right in thinking that he won’t return to the Pegasus galaxy. But John Sheppard will die an old man, warm, content and loved. Rodney McKay will cry, and sell their house, turn to their cats for comfort, but John doesn’t know that yet.
He will. Rodney will go back to Earth too, and they’ll find it out, find each other.
John Sheppard’s death will be meaningful in the best possible way; it will mean something to someone, he will be dearly missed.
He’ll know, one day, he will.