saga/title/fandom: The Past Never Dies chapter 25 (Pitch Black/Riddick)

author: Shalimar

rating/genre: (NC-17) - het, angst, drama

warnings: het, sexual content, adult content, drug use, criminal activity, religious fusion

summary: What if Jack had stayed on New Mecca with Imam? What if Riddick had come back for her? (Riddick/Jack, Imam/OFC)

comments/disclaimers: General disclaimers apply.

After living with them for a few weeks, Fatima quickly determined that they needed additional help. She finagled Nahlah, whose family had too many adolescent girls to keep properly busy, and moved her in with them. Jack felt much more at home with four people in the house than she had with only two. It was more normal for her to have Fatima to cook with or Nahlah to take to market than to do everything alone.

Riddick was at first not pleased that they no longer had total privacy. However, Fatima had been married once, and she recognized that particular mood in a man quickly. When she caught Riddick eyeing Jack speculatively, she excelled at finding something she and Nahlah needed to attend to elsewhere in the large house. When Jack asked him how he expected to manage sex anywhere at any time once they had children, he would laugh, and tell her they would worry about it when the time came.

That, as it turned out, was right away. Jack’s period simply never came after their wedding. About a month after they were married, her breasts grew so tender she flinched when Riddick touched them. He never asked her what was wrong, simply concentrated on something else she found pleasurable. She started feeling nauseated at the end of the second month, sneaking quietly out of their bed while he slept to relieve her distress.

After a few weeks of such bouts, she crept out of the bathroom one night to run straight into Riddick, his demeanor clearly displeased. “So when were you planning to tell me?” he asked, flatly.

“It’s considered bad luck to speak of it before the first three months have passed, because sometimes it doesn’t last. I have spoken of it to no one. Not Fatima or Nahlah. Not even Sahar, when I’ve seen her.” It suddenly occurred to Jack that maybe her not telling him was not the issue. “You don’t want me to be pregnant?” she asked, tightly, unable to look at him.

Riddick sighed, but his tone had lightened, and she knew he was no longer upset. “It would’ve been nice if it had waited a little longer, that’s all. Been trying not to think about it myself.”

Jack felt blindsided. “You knew?”

By way of answering her, he sniffed her hair. “Awhile ago. Your scent changed when your hormones shifted. Didn’t know what it was at first but when your breasts got sore, it clicked.”

“You knew before I did, so what were you doing getting mad at me? I should be mad at you,” Jack huffed.

Something about her unexpected belligerence made him suddenly serious again. “I thought you were trying to keep it from me.”

“You don’t trust me?” she pinioned, hurt.

Riddick took her by the shoulders, his silver eyes burning into hers. “Trust isn’t easy for me. You know that.”

“Being pregnant isn’t easy for me,” Jack countered, shaking him off and stalking around him into their bedroom. “My body feels like it’s been taken over by aliens. Strange things hurt. I can’t think straight. Nothing feels right anymore.”

“It hurts to be pregnant?” he asked, alarmed.

Jack turned back around to face him again. “No, not really. I don’t feel anything here.” She stroked her still flat stomach. “Mostly, my body is just wrong. I get sick for no reason. My breasts are bigger now.”

He blinked facetiously. “And this is bad?”

Her frustration melted into giggles. “You’re impossible.”

“Getting cold out here,” Riddick hinted, hopefully inclining his head towards the bed behind her, where it was warm.

Jack had been either in the bathroom or the bedroom, unclothed, for long enough that she felt thoroughly chilled. She didn’t need to be asked twice. When he reached for her once they were under the covers, she assumed he wanted sex but that was not the case. He pulled her close to him, sharing his warmth, and held her there. When she was toasty enough that sleep had nearly reclaimed her, he rolled her onto her back and rubbed a gentle hand across her belly.

“What is it?” she asked.

“Never thought I’d do this,” he said, voice thick with a depth of emotion he rarely let anyone hear. “Never thought I’d father a child. Or care if I did.”

Jack felt her heart melt with tenderness. “I don’t think you’ve ever been with a woman who mattered to you before.”

“No,” he confirmed. “Never knew a woman could matter to me before.”

It’s not ‘I love you,’ but it’s awfully close, Jack sighed, contentedly.

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