The Monster in the Gene-Pool,
or My Progenitor, My Enemy . . .

by Farad

Alternate Universe "Stargate Atlantis"

My M7-Stargate: Atlantis universe, which has Vin and JD as teens who were created as part of a human-Wraith cross-breeding project by the Genii, then later rescued by a team of men working with the Genii after their own homeworld had been destroyed by the Wraith. . .

It follows "A Vampire by Any Other Name," which is C/B slash and can be found in the adult character listings.

Warnings: wow. Um, none, really, except that Vin is here and "Todd", the "good" Wraith is here and they converse about – things.

He sits so still, his golden eyes open but unmoving. He's breathing, Vin can see the movement of his chest if he stares long enough.

But it's slow and shallow, noiseless. Everything about him is noiseless.

Too much so. He's not dead, but he's also not talking to Vin in his head. Not even from this close.

Vin's not supposed to be here, of course, these are the holding cells in the heart of Atlantis, off-limits not just to children, but also civilians, and definitely newcomers. Even though they've been here for months, and Team 7 is doing more than its fair share of getting shot at, as far as Vin can tell.

"Wow!" JD's hiss is loud in the quiet. "Look at him!"

As if Vin could do anything else. He takes a step closer to the containment bars, being very careful not to make a sound.

JD's hand on his arm is hot and sweaty. Nervous, Vin knows, now that they've actually managed to get into the holding area. Now that he's not distracted with plans on how to get them past the security guards and how to by-pass the security codes and all that stuff that JD's so good at, and so fascinated by.

Now that they're staring at a real-live Wraith.

"We need to go," JD says suddenly, his voice rushed and louder now. "Buck and Chris – "

Vin pulls away from him, stepping right to the cell. He hates them – bars and locks bring back their own memories for him, ones he tries to put away. But they still make it hard for him to hate this Wraith as much as he should, make it hard for him not to question how good these Atlanteans are.

The eyes flicker, not a blink, but a movement, as if the Wraith is waking up. Then there's another change, so slow that Vin doesn't see it but he feels it. He knows when those eyes are focused on him.

"Vin!" JD whines, and it is a whine but also a plea. He's scared now, understanding what they've done.

Vin stares into those gold eyes, not sure why, but knowing that he has to. He wants – he wants – he doesn't know what he wants, but he does want.

The eyes do blink then, slow. The head tilts just a little, as if to see Vin better.

"Vin!" JD's voice is urgent now, panicked.

The Wraith speaks, not in their heads, but out loud. His voice is low and grating, like Chris' voice when he's just awakened, only more. "You should not be here."

"Come on," JD grabs at Vin's shoulder, trying to pull him away. "We need to go!"

The Wraith doesn't look at JD, he's staring at Vin as Vin is staring at him. There's something about him, Vin knows it – but he doesn't know what.

"You are Wraith," the Wraith says, as if he understands Vin's thoughts – which he probably does, Vin knows.

"We're not Wraith!" JD says loudly. "We're human!"

The Wraith doesn't look away from Vin. He doesn't speak again, but his words are clear in Vin's head. 'You are human – and you are Wraith.'

Vin swallows, but he keeps his mind clear. 'I ain't Wraith, I ain't hurtin' nobody I care for – '

'You do not need to feed?' The Wraith's head tilts a little more, reminding Vin of the goat-things he loves.

He doesn't have time to consider an answer before he feels a warm ripple in his head, something that he understands to be amusement.

'No,' the Wraith says, 'you do not need to feed. Which some – many of my kind would say makes you decidedly not one of us.'

The relief washes through him, and he knows that that is what he wants from this creature, this Wraith. He wants to know he isn't one of them – wants to know that he can never be one.

But before he can form this idea, the Wraith continues. 'But I am different from the others of my kind as well. I would help the humans. We need them. And I would not feed from those I have come to . . . know.'

'But you still feed,' Vin thinks, knows.

The Wraith makes a spare movement with one shoulder then speaks with his voice. "One must feed to stay alive."

JD's grip on Vin's shoulder is so tight that it hurts, and he's trying to catch Vin's wrist with his other hand. "'We have to go!" he says, pulling.

But Vin is older and though not taller, he has more body mass. "You ain't always gotta kill," he says.

The Wraith stands, the movement fast, and Vin steps back without thinking. The suddenness of his motion almost puts him in the floor as JD is tugging hard. It does put JD on his butt, Vin's steps catching the younger boy unprepared.

The Wraith doesn't move toward them, but he does look down his long nose at Vin. "Is it better to leave your prey in pain and misery? Suffering for the rest of its shortened life?"

Vin stares at him, the answer on the tip of his tongue. But even as he starts to speak, the images come to him from his own past, the things done to him to test his Wraith abilities, the cutting and beating and starving and cold and heat – the burning.

The place on his back flares to life as if they are burning him now and he jerks.

The Wraith tilts his head once more, speaking in Vin's head. 'These humans have hurt you, because you are one of us. There were times when you wished you were dead, yes?'

"Vin!" JD is back on his feet, his voice in Vin's ear. But it seems distant against the things in his head, the old pain, the old fears.

'But I'm not dead,' Vin counters. 'And I'm glad now that I'm not.' He thinks of Chris and Buck, Josiah, Nathan, and Ezra. JD.

The Wraith stands unmoving, but blinks again, slowly.

"We have got to go!" JD snaps, and he manages to push between Vin and the cell, blocking Vin's view of the Wraith. "Now, we've got to go now!"

The Wraith moves, a small slide to the right, and he once more catches Vin's eyes, and speaks. "If he had not come along? If they had not come along? If you were still there?"

It's a thought Vin's never had before. He tries never to think of the past, of what the Genii did to him.

"Go!" JD shouts in his face, pushing him back several more steps, toward the corridor.

"Go," the Wraith echoes. "They will come soon and they will not be pleased to find you here."

Vin holds his gaze for another few seconds. The Wraith stares back and Vin feels the weight of him in his head.

'We are different,' the Wraith thinks to him, 'from the humans, from other Wraith. But not so different from each other.'

JD pushes him out the doorway just as they hear voices coming from the other end. "Come on!"

But the echo of the Wraith's last word carries in his head: 'We are kin'.