Disclaimer: PB and its characters don't belong to me. I'm just taking them out to play. I'm making no money, so please don't sue.

Author's notes: This one is for Andrew, a wonderful friend who's fighting cancer. His strength has inspired me to write this :)



Tomorrow

It's a strange world really, full of promise and mystery. I've been here four days, and already I'm thinking strange thoughts. Thoughts like, the idea of 'tomorrow'. People look forward to it, but it never really comes. You never wake up in the morning and think "It's tomorrow" because it ain't tomorrow any longer, it's become today. But everyone says "I'll do it tomorrow" or "It can wait til tomorrow". I wonder whether anyone else ever has the feeling that some things are better left for tomorrow; those things are never welcome in today.


Tomorrow


I'll get myself that new pair of pants tomorrow, the black ones with all the handy little pockets, the ones that remind me of him. The man who has been the central point of my life since I was thirteen years old. The man who went from soulless murderer to an actual human being in the space of one, very long, day and night. The man who's occupied my thoughts every moment since; whose silver eyes and tender caresses invade my dreams each night. The man who's standing a few metres away, on the other side of the market. Richard B. Riddick. I've been watching him for several days, as he gathers equipment to make repairs to his ship. I never move out of the shadows, never let him know I'm here. Not yet.


Tomorrow


Maybe I'll walk over to him tomorrow and say hello. Or maybe I'll stay in the shadows, hidden from sight, and just watch him, as I'm doing now. The warmth from the generator, powering the food stand I'm hiding behind, keeps the chill night air at bay, and helps keep me hidden from Riddick's special eyes. He's been in this market at least twice a day since he got here, four days ago. But I've been watching him longer than that. In fact, I've been watching him like this for years. Ever since he dropped me and Imam off at New Mecca, I've wondered why he never took me with him. Doesn't he care about me? Maybe he thinks I'd just be unnecessary baggage? Or maybe he does care, and doesn't want me to get hurt? Whatever his reasons were then, I can't help but wonder if they would hold true now...


Tomorrow


The market closes early tomorrow afternoon, so I won't be able to watch him get a meal at Rosey's, or stop for a drink and a 'chat' at The Pit. Always thought that was a funny name for a bar, but having seen some of the people who frequent it regularly, it is rather appropriate. But I'll still be able to see him when he comes down in the morning. He always goes to the same shop, at the same time each morning, and looks through the window at something on display. It took me ages to summon the courage to look, but I did look this morning. There, to one side of the display and partially hidden by a poster, was a blue uniform top. The name badge sewn onto it read C. Fry. Afterwards, I did a few covert checks on solar cycles and what I found has scared me. It's been over five years since I booked myself onto a back lanes ship bound for New Mecca; a journey that would change my life forever.


Tomorrow


At 2:47 am tomorrow, it'll be exactly five years to the minute, that the sun set on our hellish day. Thing is, once the sun went down and the darkness came, we all went to Hell. I guess I'll have to stay up tonight, say a prayer for the poor souls who died in that Hell. Maybe I'll tell Carolyn what I'm doing, but I bet she already knows. I wonder if she approves of the man that Riddick is now, the man she helped him to become? Sometimes it seems like she answers me when I ask her for help; things seem to happen that make the decision for me if I can't make it myself. I wish she was here now, to help me when I need her the most. She'd know what to do about Riddick. But, if she was still alive, they'd probably have got together when we escaped Hell. Not that I would have minded that then, but I would mind it now. Cos now, I want him for myself. Not that he'll ever see me as anyone other than "little Jack", the geeky thirteen year old who shaved my head and pretended I was a boy. He probably wouldn't even recognise me now; I could walk right past him and he'd never know who I was.


Tomorrow


I hadn't realised it was so late, but Andy is closing up his food stall, so it must be at least seven. If I don't get moving now, the geni will go off and I'll no longer be hidden from Riddick. I'll have to be careful when I get to The Pit tonight, just in case the bounty hunters are about again. Not that they'd be welcome in that bar, or any other on this godforsaken lump of rock. I'd better send word to Imam tomorrow, just to let him know I'm still alive. At least he's stopped trying to tell me to stop following Riddick, I guess he's finally accepted the simple truth of the matter. Yeah, tomorrow I'll send word to him and then I'll go to the parts merchant when Riddick's there. I'll pretend to be buying some bits for my ship, the ship I don't actually own yet, and see if he has any idea who I am. It'll be fun, but I'll do it tomorrow.


Tomorrow


Well, I better move or I'm gonna end up getting locked in here tonight. That's the last thing I want, unless I was trapped here with him. I've lost sight of Riddick, and I curse under my breath; I should have been more careful. I guess the need for secrecy has gone though, so I step out of the alcove confidently. I glance around but can't see any sign of him, so I head towards the south gate. Time to head back to my digs and get changed, then slip down to The Pit and continue my watching. The south gate closes behind me and I shiver slightly; the road ahead is dark and empty. I've only taken a few steps when I realise there's someone behind me. Calm, I have to remain calm. I know how to look after myself, Riddick taught me that before he left us. I keep my walk at the same pace, but I want to go faster. It's not far to the dingy hostel but, at the moment, it could be light years away. I can't let myself get hurt, cos I have to much to do tomorrow. As a hand closes around my arm, and another is pressed over my mouth, I realise the universal truth...


Tomorrow never comes...