saga/title/fandom: The Past Never Dies chapter 26 (Pitch Black/Riddick)
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.
“What was that?” Riddick shouted, startling Jack out of a sound sleep with both his unexpected volume and sudden movement.
“What was what?” she asked, feeling disoriented and not a little annoyed.
From her current position on the bed, Jack concluded that she must have been sleeping partly on top of him. At that moment, the baby kicked and she knew what Riddick meant.
“Here,” she grabbed his hand, giggling, and put it on her expanding belly.
The baby obligingly kicked his father. Riddick’s face split into one of those rare, beautiful smiles. “That was the baby?” he exclaimed. “You’re sure this isn’t a boy?”
“I’m not sure of anything,” Jack answered, honestly. “Sahar is the one who’s convinced it’s a girl. All I know is that it kicks pretty hard. Now you know it, too.”
Riddick was watching her mouth as she talked with a certain gleam in his eye. When he started to reach for her, Jack looked at him apologetically. “I have to—“
“—pee,” he finished with mock resignation. “Yeah, I know. Happens about every two hours.”
She shot him a look over her shoulder as she got up, eyes narrowed. “You’re not nice,” she grumped, facetiously.
Riddick snorted at that. “Somewhere under all this domesticity lurks Richard B. Riddick. He wasn’t nice.”
“He was nice to me,” she countered, suddenly serious, and slipped into the bathroom.
She had finished relieving herself and was brushing her nasty morning teeth when he came in, an air of contemplation breezing in with him. He said nothing as he performed his own morning routine. When he had finished, he turned to her.
“He was nice to you. You were the one who found the man in the beast. Carolyn challenged him to stay out here with the rest of you, but you were the one who found him.”
“But Carolyn’s dying kept him out here,” Jack remembered.
“Yeah. She made me responsible for you and Imam. She made a vow not to leave anybody on T2 and convinced me to honor it. Her death and the two weeks after that changed everything.”
Jack dropped her eyes, coloring at the memory. “Yes, when I tried to convince you to take me with you.”
“That, and your seeking me out when you had nightmares. Your faith that I wouldn’t hurt you was enormous. Even the beast was impressed.”
Jack smirked. “I do still see the beast every now and again.”
The first time she had seen that side of him since Riddick had returned to New Mecca had been during foreplay, not too long after they were married. He was rough, rougher than Riddick, and she had thoroughly panicked when he had started to rip the clothes off her. It was too much like what used to happen when the sex had not been of her choosing.
She came to understand that Riddick wasn’t always going to be satisfied with being gentle and taking his time with her. There was something within him that needed to completely dominate her, possess her and use her as it would. She understood now, as she could not at the time or even until after they married, why he didn’t dare take her with him when she was thirteen. Being treated that way would have destroyed her, especially on top of what her father had already done to her. He needed to go off and learn how to be civilized before he was safe for her. The beast, however, occasionally demanded its due.
It wasn’t that she minded that he was harder on her physically. He never did worse than bruise her. It was that his body seemed possessed by somebody she didn’t know, somebody who didn’t care about her. Something about satisfying the beast, however, seemed to make Riddick more at peace with himself. He was markedly closer to her emotionally afterwards. The trade off seemed worth it to Jack.
Of course, it hadn’t happened more than a few times before they realized she was pregnant. Once that happened, Riddick seemed to find some other way to take care of it. He would disappear at night sometimes, coming back very early in the morning, sometimes with blood on his clothes. He didn’t offer, and Jack didn’t ask, but she assumed he must be tracking down and killing something in the desert, perhaps the wild pigs or even the sand cats. He would come back tired, but mellow, and definitely in control of himself. Again, it seemed worth the occasional night she missed having him in their bed.
“You want to know where the beast went, don’t you?” he asked, almost if he had read her mind.
“Killing things in the desert,” she posited.
Riddick’s mouth twisted into an unpleasant smile. “Yeah, but that’s not all. Hunting for something that deserves killing.”
“The marauders,” Jack guessed.
Rumors had been circulating for months that they were back in this corner of the world, but no attacks had been reported anywhere in the vicinity. However, the desert was a vast expanse that it was easy for them to hide in. They could be hundreds of miles or hundreds of feet away, for all they knew.
Riddick had wanted to train all the women in his house to use knives. Nahlah was thrilled with the notion, Fatima, appalled. Jack had been too miserable with morning sickness at the time to care. She finally got him to agree that once this baby was born, and she was back on her feet, he would teach the three of them self-defense. The jury was still out on whether or not that would include using edged weaponry. Nahlah made it clear every chance she got what her preference would be.
“Not easy to find,” he admitted.
“They better hope you never do,” Jack opined.
His answering razor smile sent shivers down her spine.
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