A/N: Hello everyone!!! I've been really busy lately, but I know that's no excuse! This is the final chapter, and I would like to thank everyone for their support throughout this project. I really couldn't have written this without everyone's ideas and support. Thank you so much, and each review was extremely appreciated. I love all of you guys and I hope to write something new soon!
Review the last chapter please and tell me what you thought of the ending or the whole story. I haven't decided whether or not I'm doing a sequel, but I would like to hear your thoughts first. Thanks again and as always, R&R!!!
Disclaimer: For the last time, I do not own Riddick.
Enjoy the finale!!
Ch.18 In The End
Riddick watched as the water rushing down his body mixed with dry blood and flowed quickly down the drain. Eyelids as heavy as his breathing, he ran a rough hand over his face. Leaning against the tile wall next to him, his eyes gazed through the darkness of the shower.
Hearing the door to the bathroom click open, Riddick tensed and gave a small growl of annoyance.
"It's just me, Riddick. Don't bite my head off." The sound of Jack's voice rang through the darkness, and the clinking of dog tags could be heard. Riddick immediately relaxed.
Sitting down on the floor with her back to the bathroom door, Jack couldn't help but roll her eyes at the fact that once again one of her fantasy's about Riddick had been shot. Ever since watching the rain stream over every defined muscle on his body on T-2, Jack had conjured a similar image in her mind, only this time involving less clothing. Of course it wasn't until she happened to accidentally stumble into the bathroom one day while he was showering, that she realized he showered in the dark. Not only did she feel like an idiot, but also severely depressed.
"You going to sit there until I get out? If you really wanted to see me naked, you could've just asked." Riddick let out a low chuckle as he watched Jack's head shake from side to side timidly and almost nervously. He couldn't help but smirk as color flooded her cheeks and she looked down at the floor.
Taking on a serious tone, Jack pulled her legs in underneath her. "What happened, Riddick? Why didn't Trey come back with you?" Pausing for a minute, Jack decided to rephrase her question. "No, that's not what I…I know why, just not how it happened."
Hesitating in his cleansing ritual, Riddick wondered if it would be too difficult for Jack to hear. Then again, he knew after all that had happened she deserved at least this. Turning off the water, he pulled a towel down from the top of the glass door. "Jeremy, the boss of the whole operation, he shot him."
Biting down on her bottom lip, Jack wiped furiously at her stinging eyes. "That idiot…goes and gets fucking shot…" Sniffing and letting out a small choked sob, she covered her eyes with the palms of her hands.
Finishing drying off, Riddick wrapped the towel around his waist and grit his teeth as anger boiled within him. Shaking his head, he whispered something about Trey being just as bad as Johns. Opening the shower door so quickly that it rattled beside him, Riddick began almost yelling at the girl in front of him. "He wasn't your friend Jack."
Eyes widening as she finally say his silver pools glinting down at her, Jack felt like slapping him again. "What are you talking about?"
Anger quickly subsiding, Riddick chided himself for yelling at her for something that wasn't her fault. "Jeremy was his uncle, as was Toombs, the other merc behind it. He switched sides on us, Jack."
Frowning, everything finally started to piece itself together. A sense of pain and confusion washed over Jack, and she stood from her spot. Searching Riddick's gleaming eyes, she knew he was telling the truth. Suddenly her breaths became quicker and her chest heaved up and down while her hands closed into fists.
Thinking quickly, Riddick wrapped an arm around Jack and pulled her into his chest. He felt her release her fists and her fingers pressed against his stomach. Suppressing a chill as her hands slid around his waist, he swallowed as they rested at the brim of the towel.
"I'm such an idiot…" Mumbling into Riddick's chest, Jack leaned into him further. "I'm back where I started."
Commanding the lights to 20 percent, Riddick lifted Jack's chin and made sure she was looking at him. "When I first saw you, you were a 13 year old running around as a boy." He paused as her eyes begged him to continue, wanting him to finally admit what they both already knew.
"When I first spoke to you, you had shaved your head and put on yellow goggles as if you were some kind of badass or something." This earned a light laugh from Jack and he knew his efforts were at least helping. "Back then, you didn't have anything or anyone." Once again Riddick paused, eyes moving away from her then looking back. "Now you've got me."
A smile tugged at the corners of Jack's mouth and she couldn't help but start laughing. "You know, that sounds really silly coming from you." She only laughed harder when Riddick scowled. Lifting up on her tiptoes, she pressed her mouth lightly against his.
Taking the invitation almost greedily, Riddick skipped past chaste kisses and pulled at her bottom lip hungrily. Once he was granted access, his mouth covered hers heatedly. Hand running up her side, he smirked at the small moan escaping Jack's lips.
Hand feeling around for the doorknob behind her, Jack almost stumbled backward as she pushed the door open. Luckily, Riddick's other hand was at her waist steadying her as well as pushing her over to the bed. Her fingers found the edge of the only object blocking her view of a completely bare Riddick. At that moment, that was exactly what she wanted to get rid of.
Fingers slipping underneath the warm cloth of Jack's dark tank top and brushing up against two cool metal squares, Riddick stopped as he heard the door creak open. Feeling Jack quickly separate herself from him, he cursed whoever would interrupt him. Letting out a low growl, he turned to see who the intruder was.
Standing in the doorway was a very wide eyed Max who was holding his hand over the eyes of Ziza. Scratching the back of his head, Max gave an embarrassed laugh. "Maybe we should come back later."
Frowning and pulling Max's hand forcefully away from her eyes, Ziza ran over to Jack. "Big sis, guess what!"
Glancing over to Riddick, Jack gave an apologetic look and a silent promise that they would resume where they left off later. Squatting down so she was eye level with Ziza, Jack ran a hand through the girl's curly brunette hair. "What?"
A grin spread across Ziza's face and she nodded to Max in the doorway. "Uncle Max and Uncle Toby are teaching me how to make sugar cookies! Daddy never lets me have sugar at home!" She was already bouncing up and even without eating the sweet substance. "Do you want to come make some with us?"
Jack raised an eyebrow at Max, "Uncle?" She watched as the short haired man just shrugged and gave a smile. Looking back at Ziza, she gave a short nod. "Sure, let's go see what your Uncle's have you doing."
Riddick watched as Ziza grabbed Jack's hand and gave him a simple smile as acknowledgement. Eyes following the three out the door, he sat down on the edge of the bed. He would eventually get dressed and join the rest of the group in the kitchen, but for now he had some planning to do. Riddick was thinking palm trees.
After all, every psycho fuck family is entitled to a vacation once in a while.
"Toby put that down!" Glaring at the lanky man sitting on the counter, Max took away the liquor bottle in his hand. "We're not putting alcohol in the cookies!"
Giving a short pout, Toby stole some of the cookie batter and ate it before Max had the time to chastise him. "It needs some! Besides, it cooks out so only the flavor is left anyway. The kid wants some rum cookies, don't ya Ziza?"
The little girl shrugged at the blonde perched on the countertop and turned to Max. "What's rum?"
Jack sighed as she shook her head at the two adult men. "I swear you two are bad influences." Glancing over at Ziza, the girl was now rolling out the cookie dough and cutting it with something. "Hey Ziza, what are you cutting the dough with?"
Turning around, Ziza faced her older sister with Riddick's shiv in her hand. "It's Mr. Riddick's…but I couldn't find anything else."
Jack's eyes were wide as she glided over and pulled the sharp object from the child's hands. Looking up at Toby, she scoffed as he pointed to Max. "You're supposed to be supervising her! She's over here using Riddick's shiv as a cookie cutter!"
Everyone in the room cringed as Riddick's voice boomed throughout the kitchen. Appearing in the doorway, his eye twitched and fists clenched at the guilty faces of his crewmembers. "Jack…"
Looking down at the dough encrusted blade in her hand, Jack hid it behind her back and knew Riddick was about to let out a more than a few colorful words. Moving quickly and taking a hold of Riddick's arm, Jack pulled him away before the rest of the group in the kitchen heard loud "fuck's" "shit's" and "damn's" being thrown around.
Covering Ziza's ears this time, Max shot a glare at a laughing Toby. "You know we're going to get in trouble for this." He looked appalled as his friend let out a small hiccup. Looking over at the bottle he had just set down, Max finally noticed that it was half gone. "Have you been drinking this entire time?"
A pink blush tinted his cheeks as he winked at Max. "Not the entire time."
Letting out a small gasp, Ziza looked in awe at the approaching planet. Pressing her palms up against the glass window, she smiled at the gold and orange sands of Helion Prime. Turning her head briefly, she flashed a small smile at the large figure behind her. "Thank you, Mr. Riddick."
Not bothering to give her any acknowledgement, Riddick simply watched as she turned back around in excitement. Feeling a hand on the small of his back, his eyes darted sideways through his goggles as if that would enable him to see behind him.
Resting her forehead on the center of Riddick's back, Jack gave a tired sigh. "Just imagine the look on Imam's face when he finds out his daughter has been baking cookies with mercs."
Riddick raised an eyebrow at this, "That's all you're worried about?" He wanted to ask why she wasn't worried Imam would have his head for getting both Jack and Ziza involved in the merc shit in the first place. Knowing Jack would be all but willing to talk about it, he held his tongue.
Jack looked over to the pilot's chair, which was currently occupied by Toby, and shook her head at the blonde. "Max is going to have a fit if he sees you with those."
Looking up from the bowl in his hands, Toby mumbled through a mouthful of cookies. Finishing his chewing, he swallowed and donned a mischievous grin. "What the boy doesn't know won't hurt him. Besides, I'm just making sure they taste good. The kid wants her dad to be proud of her cookie making skills, right Ziza?"
This earned a big grin from Ziza as she skipped over to where Toby was sitting. "Right, Uncle Toby." Then she opened her mouth so he could slip a sugar cookie in.
"That's a good girl." Toby smirked at Jack who was now openly glaring at him. "What? I'm just trying to be a good uncle."
Jack rolled her eyes just before Riddick tugged at her arm. Moving next to him, she watched him point out the window then moved her eyes to that spot. The buildings were now in view and she couldn't help up grin at her home. "Toby, it's time to land."
Turning in his chair, Toby nodded in confirmation. "Got it, Jack."
Max entered the room with a yawn, rubbing the sleep from his droopy eyes. Noticing how they were no longer surrounded by star dusted darkness, he looked around at the group. "Wow, we're here."
Ignoring the obvious statement from Max, Riddick cracked his knuckles absentmindedly. Dark eyes focusing on Ziza, he relaxed his gaze as she smiled up at him. Head moving so Jack was in his line of sight, Riddick decided he didn't want to spend any more time on New Mecca than necessary. He was still wanted after all. "Jack, patch through to the hangar and ask that they call for an escort by the name of Abu 'Imam' al Walid."
Nodding, Jack knew that Riddick wasn't planning on staying. "Toby, send out a signal." She waited as their new navigator did as instructed, then she proceed to address the hanger and ask for an escort to be called to the 'T' entrance port.
Max looked to Riddick, confusion lacing his features. "Request an escort? Don't we have to get clearance first?"
Not tearing his eyes from the control panel, Toby spoke on behalf of the Iron Giant. "New Mecca is always has tons of traffic in and out of the main hangar. With the shipments for the Bazaar this place is always packed. There's no way to keep clearance records for every ship that comes through."
Max nodded ad stifled a yawn. "Hm, well that makes everything much easier."
Riddick watched the ground get closer and closer, almost missing the depth of space. It had been a while since he had stayed anywhere long, and he wasn't about to start now. Glancing over at Jack, he wondered if she would stay on Helion Prime with the rest of the group. He hoped not.
Dark eyes peered longingly into the distance, watching the dying sun cast its last rays on the warm planet. Fingers gripped the dirt dusted handle of a metal shovel, and then shifted so they simply rested against it. Toombs stayed silent as the weight of his brother and nephew's deaths set in.
Running a hand over his face, Toombs smeared fresh tears across his cheeks. "Damn, kid. You know, I actually didn't think I'd see you again after we dropped you off. I guess I was kind of worried you would get mixed up in all of this." He let out a short chuckle as he looked to where his brother was now buried.
"Don't even think I'm going to blame myself for any of that crazy shit you started. Damn it, Jeremy. You were supposed to be the smart one." Toombs shook his head, eyes looking past the headstone and into the forest of palm trees ahead of him. "Fuck, I suppose I'm on my own now."
Glancing back down to his deceased family members, Toombs frowned. "I'll finish this once and for all." Pushing the shovel into the soft earth beneath him, Toombs began his walk away from the gravesite and through the trees. "I'll get you Dickhead, if it's the last thing I do."
The sun reflected off the metal of the ship and Imam shielded it momentarily with the back of his hand. He removed it just in time to see a small figure sprinting toward him. Immediately recognizing the mass of brown curls, he bent down and took the girl into his arms. "Ziza."
Holding onto him as if her life depended on it, Ziza mumbled into the folds of his robe. "I missed you." Finally letting go, her feet touched the ground one by one as he set her down.
Keeping a protective hand on Ziza's shoulder, Imam looked up to see for figures walking down the ramp.
Making sure she was walking slightly faster than everyone else, Jack ignored the dull ache in the side of her stomach. Dog tags swaying as she moved, a smile tugged at the corners of her mouth. Finally reaching Imam, Jack flung her arms around him.
A grin spreading across his face, Imam rubbed the girl's back comfortingly. "There, there my child, you are home."
Pulling away from the man who had taken care of her for four years, Jack looked back to see Riddick behind her. She watched as he nodded to Imam in greeting. Turning back to face the holy man, she crossed her arms over her chest. "Despite your lectures and constant worrying, I'll admit I missed you."
Imam gave a short laugh before his gaze shifted to the two men playing with Ziza. "And who exactly are the two my daughter has become so attached to?"
Jack rolled her eyes at Toby who was carrying Ziza on his shoulders. Extending a finger, she pointed for clarification. "That's Toby, and Max. They're…newly acquired friends."
"Well Mr. Riddick and your friends are welcome to stay with us." Imam watched as Riddick gave and uninterested grunt. Raising an eyebrow to Jack, he waited for her answer.
Jack let the thought pass briefely of staying, but just as quickly sided against it. It had been a long journey with a lot of detours, but they were finally starting to move forward. "Sorry Holyman, but I think they need me right now."
Giving both Toby and Max a final hug, Ziza ran back next to Imam. Looking up at Jack, she wiped slowly at her eyes. "You promise to come back?"
Glancing to Riddick, Jack smiled. Pulling the dog tags from her neck, she slid them over Ziza's head. "Promise."
"Hurry up, you two! We're going to leave without you!" Toby yelled from the ramp, earning a swat at the back of the head from Max.
"We can't leave them!" Max glared at Toby as the man laughed a little and rubbed the back of his head.
Imam looked down to his waving daughter as she yelled her goodbyes to her two supposed uncles. Eyes trailing back up to his adopted daughter, Imam gave a defeated sigh. "Perhaps you would do better being looked after by Mr. Riddick. Just don't expect to only come back every four years, child."
This earned a glare from Riddick and a grin from Jack. Hugging Imam for the last time, Jack gave a quick nod. "Don't worry, we'll keep in touch."
Gazing up with bright, brown eyes, Ziza attached herself firmly to Riddick's leg. "Goodbye Mr. Riddick."
Fighting the urge to shake the girl loose of his leg, Riddick grunted in reply. Upon her letting go, he secretly swore to never have kids.
Grabbing a hold of Riddick's hand, Jack tugged on it lightly. Amber eyes focusing on silver through dark goggles, she let the creases of her mouth turn upward into an excited grin. "Let's go."
The group left with a wave and a smile, each making steps toward the future. They all had something different ahead of them, but they would never be able to forget their past together.
Even if it killed them.