A/N: All right, let's get this show started. This randomly sprang up after watching TCR – my friend told me that everyone died except Kyra. Thank you Melissa, really. Pitch Black freaked the hell out of me (try watching it in the dark with no one else home and a cat rustling around in the back garden) but I liked the dynamic between Riddick and Jack. This fic takes place in the time between Riddick, Imam, and Jack's escape from the planet, and Riddick's departure. I have kind of a preoccupation with father-figures, seeing as mine is rather defective, so here's Riddick's turn. Oh, I've been having some formatting issues with so we'll see how odd this looks. Sorry in advance!
DISCLAIMER: Roses are red, violets are blue, me no own, so you no sue. Rated for violence and potty-mouths.
A softly accented voice broke through Riddick's thoughts, and he looked up. There was only one person who called him that – well at least one person who was still living. "Yeah?"
Imam stepped into the room. "I…need to ask you a favor. I have to leave New Mecca for a short time. There is a conference for our faith on Zeerop 9, and I wish to attend. I will be gone only for a few days, but you will need to look after the child."
Riddick blinked, and leaned back in his chair. "Zeerop 9?" he said. "When do you leave?"
The holy man sighed. "Tomorrow. I know it is sudden, and you do not wish to be burdened with her, but this is very important to me, and I hope that perhaps you could do this, only for a little while? I would owe you – you could cash in that debt at any time you wish. I just feel the need to reaffirm my faith, after…after what happened…"
Riddick was silent, but an expression that looked almost like guilt flashed over his face. "This conference thing is that important?" At Imam's emphatic nod, Riddick sighed. "Then I'll do it. You go to your conference, and I'll keep an eye on the kid."
"I am truly sorry," Imam broke it, "but thank you very much – I will not be gone more than a week. Thank you, Richard!"
With a groan, the convict got to his feet and stretched. "Imam," he said absently. "Whose house are we living in?"
"Mine…" the confused man answered.
"And who buys the food?"
"Then why would you owe me? I'm the one who owes you, holy man. You want to settle our debts? You can go to Zeerop for the next couple months. So go take your holiday, and I'll take care of Jack."
Imam smiled, and made a sort of nodding bow. "Thank you then, Richard. I will go and pack."
Riddick nodded back. "You do that."
When Imam had left, Riddick turned back to the pile of papers in front of him. He had never figured himself for a businessman, but here he was, reviewing his investments and various cash flows.
He had never had much money on him, but he had boltholes with safes, and a few deposits here and there across the galaxy, which he added to, from time to time. So he was sitting here, trying to remember where all he had hidden the money, and how much he had in each place.
It was true that he and Jack had mostly been living off the kindness of Imam – Jack had no money at all, and Riddick had none with him – mercs tended to take that kind of stuff when they greased you. And now that things had calmed down and they had gotten established, Riddick still couldn't exactly go get a normal job. There weren't a lot of people in the galaxy who looked like him, and he didn't want mercs or the police coming after him so soon. He wasn't ready yet.
He tried to avoid going out a lot during daylight hours, and kept to less populated areas. And even then, he went hooded and stuck to shadows – always waiting for someone to recognize him.
It was time to face it. Riddick was helpless, forced into constant hiding. It was left to Imam to assume the normal duties like picking Jack up from school, buying food, and supporting their odd excuse for a family. Riddick only worked a few dangerous jobs here and there – murders, robberies, kidnappings. Never often – he didn't want to draw attention. So it was basically Imam who brought home the 'bacon'.
Well, not anymore. Riddick had decided to consolidate almost everything he had stashed away over the years, and give it to Imam to help cover living expenses and such. He just had to remember it all.
A back corner of his mind was worrying away at the idea of watching Jack for a few days. But really, how hard could that be?
The next morning, Imam dropped Jack off at school, and Riddick met up with him on the way to the docking bay. Shouldering his bag, the holy man frowned at Riddick. "Now remember – wake up at seven, to school by eight, pick up at two-thirty, then homework and bed by ten."
Rolling his eyes – though you couldn't tell behind his goggles – Riddick gently shoved the man towards his waiting spacecraft. "Go on, we'll be fine. Enjoy your retreat thing. Get some religion. Meet a pretty woman. Get married. Make babies. Then come back. Don't worry about us."
Imam allowed a tolerant smile. "Glad I have your permission, Richard. Please do not burn the house down. And try to be nice to the child – parenting is not easy, but someone has to do it. For this week, it is you. So don't mess up, yes? I will pray to Allah, that he will watch over you."
Riddick grinned. "Get out of here, holy man."
Imam clasped Riddick's shoulder briefly, and then began his ascent to the ship. "Remember to pick her up from school today! And to wa-"
"I got it!" Riddick yelled, and turned his back on the priest, already moving back into the city.
It was only after Imam's ship had lifted off, that he realized he had no idea where Jack went to school.
Riddick closed himself in a public comm. booth and pulled out the index for New Mecca. There could only be so many schools, right?
"Alphonse Alimero Girls Secondary School, how may I help you?"
"I'm looking for a student who goes to your school." Riddick answered, already looking for the next school on the list.
The receptionist sighed. "This is against protocol – you can't just call up and find out who attends here."
Suppressing a snarl, Riddick growled out, "Look. I don't give a shit about your protocol. I need to pick up a girl after school, but I don't know where she goes. So either you tell me whether or not it's your school, or I show up and find out myself. You don't want that."
"Fine." The receptionist groused. "What did you say the name was?"
"I didn't." he shot back. "It's…uh, Jack."
"Jack? Look mister, not only is this an all-girls school, but you don't even know her name! How do I know you're not going to kidnap her or something?"
"If I was going to kidnap her, don't you think I'd already know where she fucking goes to school? Dammit, I'm just trying to do a favor for my friend here. Jack isn't her real name, it's her nickname. Any girls at your fucking school called Jack?"
Without even replying, Riddick hung up, and looked at the next school on the list. "Appleberth's School for Young Ladies. You have got to be kidding me."
"Hello, Vorzel Public Secondary, how may I help you?"
"Yeah, I'm looking for my friend's daughter's school, but I don't know her real name. She goes by Jack. Is this her school?" Riddick was getting tired of explaining himself, and he had shortened down his speech considerably.
"Jack? Ah yes, that would be Miss Kyra Fry. She's actually in the office right now, and the principal was just going to call home. Can you speak with him?"
Riddick didn't know whether to be relieved at finding Jack's school, or concerned that she was in the principal's office. But he was saved having to make that choice when a gruff voice picked up the phone. "Mr. Fry – this is Mr. Fry right? This is Principal Payworth. Sorry to disturb you, but I have a bit of a problem. I'm sure Ms. Hazel informed you that Kyra has been sent to my office again."
"Yeah." Riddick growled, glaring at a spot on the comm. booth wall. He didn't bother to disabuse the principal of his idea – that would complicate things. Riddick's mind was chugging down different tracks. Like Jack's choice for a last name. Carolyn lived on.
"Well, you see this is the third time this term that Kyra has injured a classmate, and we are in a bit of a bind. She has had several detentions, but they seem to have no effect – if this continues I will have to suspend her. In fact, I am considering doing that right now."
Jack was getting in fights at school? This was news to Riddick. Of course, he didn't exactly monitor her every move, and they didn't exactly chat about their days, so he couldn't be expected to know. But it kind of hurt that Jack hadn't confided in him. After all, he was the best fighter around – well at least in their odd little family. "Look, don't suspend her. I'll deal with her at home. I'm paying for her to be at school, and I don't want her missing any. I can guarantee you that she won't be acting up in class anymore, Mr. Pimplewob."
"Whatever. I'll take care of J-Kyra. You just tell her she's going to be in trouble after school."
Riddick heard the principal relating this to someone, and Jack's angry voice shouting, "I told you, it wasn't my fucking fault! They j-"
"You will not use that language in my school, Miss Fry! Watch your tongue!" The principal shouted.
"Don't worry Mr. Poowave, I'll wash her mouth our with soap myself." Riddick said, allowing himself a small grin.
"It's Payworth. And you had better straighten her out, Mr Fry. I will not tolerate this kind of behavior in my school."
"Gotcha. Consider it done." Without waiting for the principal's reply, Riddick hung up. Well this is an interesting development. He was about to leave the comm. booth when he realized he had forgotten something else. With a sigh he dialed the school number again.
"Hello, Vorzel Public Secondary, how may I help you?"
"Yeah, can you tell me how to get to your school?"