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Fanfic: Waking Nightmare

Title: Waking Nightmare
Author: Athene
Fandom: Atlantis
Pairing/characters: Jason (Jason/Pythagoras implied)
Rating: 15
Warnings: Depression, drug abuse, suicidal thoughts, language
Spoilers: none
Disclaimer: Not mine. BBC and Urban Myth Films own them.
Word count: approx 547
Summary: The doctors tell him to give it time.
AN: Fills the trope bingo square ‘Trapped in a Dream’. Also fills the hurt/comfort bingo square ‘Depression’.

cross posted to AO3

The doctors say he is suffering from depression. Some go so far as to say PTSD, after his accident in the sub. It’s not uncommon after near death experiences, he is told, again and again by well meaning people who just do not fucking understand.

Jason suspects there is no diagnosis in their textbooks that covers being ripped out of the only world where you ever truly belonged, away from the only people you ever loved. Away from the only place where you had a destiny, and your life meant something beyond just getting up and going to work every pointless day for forty pointless years before dying a pointless death.

They give him anti-depressants and tell him to give it time.

Time. Yeah, right.

His gives the anti-depressants three months. The doctors were right – they help with the mood swings, the irrational behaviour, the recurring dreams (memories, he insists), and the near constant desire to simply walk back into the ocean and see what happens. They help him to function.

The trouble is, Jason doesn’t want to function. He wants to go home

When he dreams (remembers), he dreams of Atlantis. He dreams of his friends; of Pythagoras’ smile, of Hercules’ laugh, of Medusa’s bravery, of Ariadne’s beauty. He dreams of a life where he was somebody special. Where he loved, and was loved in return. The anti-depressants take away those dreams, and that, more than anything, is why he stops taking them.

After five months he finds something better. He spends hours on the internet, and several nights in the shadiest bars and clubs imaginable (he can still picture the look of disapproval on Pythagoras’ face), and he gets a new supply of pills.

Now his dreams (memories) are more vivid than ever. He can smell the salty air. He can taste the gritty bread. He can hear the shouts of street vendors, the marching footsteps of the city guards. He can see the clear blue sky and the multitude of shades of sandstone and marble. In his dreams, Hercules is snoring and Pythagoras is shouting at him, and Medusa is laughing at the three of them.

In his dreams, Jason is special; he has a destiny. He can run faster and jump higher than anyone else. He can battle magical monsters, cure curses, save his friends. In his dreams he is a hero. In his dreams he can, and does, defy the gods.

In his dreams, he and Pythagoras can talk and laugh together until long after the sun has set. They can joke about Hercules’ latest antics. They can bounce ideas back and forth about how to cure Medusa and bring their friend back home. They can comfort each other when those plans fail, again and again.

In his dreams, he and Pythagoras can touch each other, taste each other. They can love each other.

The doctors tell him to give it time. They tell him it will get better. They tell him the dreams will pass. They don’t understand. Jason’s waking world is the real nightmare. It is only in his dreams that he feels truly alive.

More and more often, Jason counts the pills, and wonders if it might be better if he could go to sleep and never wake up.

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10 comments or Leave a comment
nietie From: nietie Date: May 26th, 2014 04:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh my! Very poignant and vivid. Poor Jason.
Great use of the prompts.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 27th, 2014 05:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! I'm desperately trying to fill trope squares before the deadline (you've probably noticed, lol!), and Clea suggested something along these lines when I was struggling to think of something for 'Trapped in a Dream', and I just went with it and piled on the angst *evil grin*
clea2011 From: clea2011 Date: May 26th, 2014 07:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Poor Jason! How cruel and wicked of you! *g* Write more!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 27th, 2014 05:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! Also, this is at least partly your fault - it was your suggestion that gave me the idea! :-)
littlewonder2 From: littlewonder2 Date: May 31st, 2014 01:24 am (UTC) (Link)
kind of makes me feel like I understand depressed people who go off their meds a bit more. That bit where it says "who just do not fucking understand" is particularly resounding.

Also, I think Jason/Pythagoras is a little more than implied, as in, "touch each other, taste each other... love each other" ;)
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: June 1st, 2014 01:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, this one definitely went dark and angsty.

Yes, I always struggle to know how to tag fics like this. It's 99% gen, so if I tag it slash then people who are looking for the pairing will be disappointed, but if I mark it gen then people who don't like slash might object to even that one line, however 'implied' or 'offscreen'. *shrugs* So I figured I'd cover all bases!
fififolle From: fififolle Date: June 1st, 2014 10:46 am (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, I say. That's really dark and vivid. Poor Jason, that's so tough. Great fic.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: June 1st, 2014 02:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! It was Clea who put the idea in my head for this one, when I was desperately trying to go for a blackout and couldn't think of anything for 'trapped in a dream'. Then it went very dark and angsty. Poor Jason, he whumps almost as well as Pythagoras! *evil grin*
eriah211 From: eriah211 Date: July 15th, 2014 10:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, noes! *weeps*
This was so sad. Touching and vivid and so very, very sad. *weeps again*

Edited at 2014-07-15 10:20 pm (UTC)
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: July 18th, 2014 09:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. Poor Jason, I really battered him with the whumping stick for this one.
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