Jack pressed her ear to the wall, straining to hear what was going on in Riddick's room. She felt vaguely guilty that she wasn't sleeping as she had been told to do, and she knew that she'd pay for it in the morning. But, she thought, he told me to stay alert of danger, too. She had heard Imam come home from the market, and then storm into Riddick's room seconds later. And although no words would come through the wall, the tone was clear enough. Imam doesn't approve, and Riddick doesn't care.
Imam's slippered footsteps padded past her room and downstairs, and even she could tell that his walk had changed. He wasn't as sure of himself. He lost, of course. You don't argue with Riddick. Motion in Riddick's room had stopped, or He's just too quiet, she added to herself. She shifted to rest her back against the wall and hugged her knees, staring absently through her obnoxiously feminine bed, thinking.
A smile spreads over Shazza's face at her offer to help, and she slaps a cutting torch into her hand in the semidarkness of the skiff. Her heart begins to fill with childish eager happiness. As she carefully follows instructions, and odd sound makes her look over her shoulder curiously. There, again, a footstep. She shuts off the valve, only to hear the unimportant gunshot of the lights going out.
Suddenly crouched in the damp, cold crevice, and strong hands roll the stone over her tomb. (he's protecting us, he's just protecting us, he'll be back in a second, you'll see) But not everyone's locked inside… Shazza's screams punch through the cracks and fill the cave and her mind with –
The thing at her feet, head blown open, screaming. (i'msorry, i – i didn't mean it) Blood spreads unimportantly over the metal floor, slick like a sickness, and sanguine accusations are splattered everywhere. She opens her mouth in horror and apology, and sharp hurtful hands snatch her from behind. Her eyes snap up to Riddick, the killer, the reason for it all, the protecting god. His goggled eyes watch her in vague disgust, and he smiles his approval at the mercs tearing at her body. She adds her own screams, trying at least to drown out the dying woman. (coward! killer, it's just what you deserve, so) (I only did what I had to, right? Right, Riddi-) (you take what's coming to you, you little bitch! Stop looking at him, he's) (it's not true) (not going to help you, he doesn't care
The door slammed open and she lurched awake, only realizing that she had actually been screaming as it stopped. Her opening eyes first saw Riddick, his ferocious stance disintegrating as he realized that there was no one here to kill. He looked back down at Jack, really looked, and realized she was absolutely ashamed. Tears ran unchecked, and her face pleaded to him with her all too familiar 'don't leave me' face. Why would I be leaving? But before any words could be passed, Imam finally made it up to the room and rushed to the girl's side.
"What is it, my child? What are you doing on the floor?" He glanced mistrustfully at the knife-wielding convict now looking very out of place in a crying young girl's bedroom. He helped her up and to her bed, burying her huddled little body in the folds of his robes as he wrapped his arms around her and softly told her all the somehow necessary empty promises of it's okay you're fine I'm here for you. He asked her comfortingly what had happened, eyes flicking expectantly towards Riddick. And what could I have done to her, you -
Through his robes, she muttered "Nothing, just a dream." Riddick realized suddenly that her tears were out of shame rather than fear or… whatever it is that makes people cry. Imam continued to give comfort, but Jack turned her head and looked to Riddick, still standing, shiv in hand, across the room. He knew that he should have some kind of reaction, but he was drawing a blank on what to do. His expressionless face was hurting her, somehow, she was starting to cry again. Fuck…
Riddick strode forward and reached for the girl. "What are you doing!" Imam protested. Without answering, Riddick took her up in his arms and proceeded to carry her out of the room. Imam pursued, rounding the corner just in time to see Riddick set her down softly in his own bed.
"I forbid it!" he snapped "It is inappropriate!"
"And what are you gonna do about it?" Riddick snarled, rounding on him protectively. Imam opened his mouth to speak, but wisely decided against it. He looked over Riddick's shoulder at her, already snuggled under the covers and smiling gratefully at Riddick's back.
"You are a grown man, -"
" 'Better idea?" he interrupted, "The first time she's alone, she gets screaming fits. Would it be more 'appropriate' to sleep with you?" Imam could hear the thinly concealed rage in his voice, how all expression died except distant sarcasm. He realized for the second time that day that he was in real mortal danger from this man. And for the girl to see that, it only destroyed his authority and reinforced violence in her. Imam's defiant father-face returned and he decided to take action.
"Mr. Riddick, I must speak with you, downstairs, please."
Okay, I know this entire chapter is really awkwardly written and I'm trying to tweak it, but I'm fixing the other ones as well now, so it may take a bit. But yeah, review y'all!