A/N

A final thank you to my wonderful beta Honey76. I don't know what I would have done without her help.

And of course thanks again to everybody taking the time and writing a review.

XXXI.

far away from Hope and Riddick …

The bell of the door rang melodiously when the old woman opened it but the pleasant sound wasn't able to lighten her heart. She went straight to the back, knowing her way. The old man getting aware of her stood up to greet her, a sad smile graced his face when he hugged her tight. "It's time to go, isn't it? "

The woman returned hug and smile and nodded. "Yes. They are arriving."

"Did you inform the others yet?" the old man wanted to know.

"No, I wanted you with me on that journey."

A sigh escaped the old man's throat. "I so had hoped that it wouldn't happen … that you were wrong this time. Are they ready yet?"

Sadness marked the woman's face when she finally answered him. "I don't know. She won't survive without him."

He didn't get angry very often but now he was "You could have averted it! I like her!"

"So do I, but they have to make their own decisions, I can't force them."

**********

Sara was on her way back home after work. She had started to regret her decision to stay a long time ago; she wasn't able to make any difference for anybody and with each day it got harder to do that job. She still had the com data of that friend of Hope and as soon as she had reached her apartment she would make use of it. She didn't know the elderly couple standing in front of her house and ignored them until they approached her.

"Excuse me; you are Sara, aren't you? May we talk to you? Please tell us … do you believe in destiny?"

*********

Murrey sat back in his chair, musing over that small woman that had stolen his heart with her incredible smile and he still wasn't able to forget. He knew she had lied to him about her name and her situation but he also knew that the reason therefore had to be good; she had the most awesome aura he had ever seen and her aura hadn't lied to him. Auras never lied.

When his assistant announced two visitors he cherished the hope one of them could be her; not a lot of people visited him in his office instead of calling him over the com and arranging a meeting somewhere else and she was one of the few that knew where it was. But he didn't have that much luck on his side; an elderly couple entered his office and with a silent sigh he stood up to meet them.

"Time has come, son."

Still chapter XXXI.

Furya …

Hope had watched the scene without a word, tears she didn't realize were streaming down her face. She hadn't only witnessed the scene in front of her, she had felt Riddick's pain, the sorrow and grieve. But what hurt her most were the echoes of his thoughts, his blaming himself and his giving up; seeing him that devastated had broken her heart.

"Shirah, you have to stop him, please. He must not die! Please!"

"Hope, you know what you have got to do. I know you are tired and exhausted and I know that it will be hard and painful but I also know that you can make it. You are Furyan, you are a born fighter. Live!"

"I can't believe he did that. He once told me he'd treasure his life, that he'd do anything to survive. He survived slam, the hammerheads, everything … and he'd die willingly because of me … I don't get it."

Shirah shook her head … 'blind in every respect'. "You always underestimated his love for you and he blames himself for your death. You have shown him how life could be. He was happy with you. Even when he was away from you the knowledge that you existed made him happy. Your love freed his soul, you have been his light and you took that away from him when you died; he didn't want to go back to the darkness he had been all his life. Without you he had no reason left to go on."

"I wouldn't be of any help for him. I think you've missed the good part … Taylor told me that the chemical would destroy my retina if I'd get it into my eyes. Guess what … I know medicine is good nowadays but not that good. They won't be able to repair the damage, he would be burdened with a blind woman, a cripple. Not long and he would start to hate me and that would hurt more than all the injuries from the explosion. He needs somebody he can bank on, somebody strong and healthy. There must be another way to keep him alive."

"So now we are getting to the core of the matter, the real reason why you are so willingly to pack in."

Hope wiped the tears away; she had the feeling that there was more to come. "How did you know?" she whispered.

Shirah had a light smile on her face; she nearly had Hope where she wanted her. "Of course I knew, I'm in your head, remember? Did you ever think about getting eyes like Riddick's?"

Hope stared at her for a moment until realization hit her. "He's got them from you, hasn't he?! Ha, I knew the story he has given the others was just crap."

"There went too much wrong for him; it was the only thing I was able to do to help him. You won't be able to see colors anymore, nearly everything will be in shades of pink and purple but apart from that you will be able to see even better than before. It's your decision … think wisely!"

**********************

"Vital signs are on a critical level, further medication required immediately."

Out! Get out of here. All of you." Riddick placed Hopes hand gently back on the bed and stood up. "Leave the ship. Now."

"Riddick, please, you can't …"

"Vital signs are on a critical level, further medication required immediately."

"I said OUT. OF. HERE." He shoved the women to the hatch and closed it behind them. He couldn't stand their company any longer … how could they dare live when she was dying?

"Defiant, initiate start routine." He sat down in the cockpit to set a course. Even in there he could hear the computer voice and each time he heard that sentence it was like he'd get hit with a sledgehammer.

"Vital signs are on a critical level, further medication ….. vital signs stabilizing."

Riddick looked up. Had he just imagined what he had heard? Was it just wishful thinking? Setting a course was completely forgotten, in a heartbeat he had reached sickbay.

"Defiant, status of Hope's vital signs."

"Vital sings below normal but not critical."

The computer voice started to give him a full update on Hope's vital signs but he already had heard what he wanted to hear.

"Defiant, shut up." he said with a smile that would have lit up an entire city.

Relief and happiness washed through him, let the adrenalin fade that had kept him running in the last days. She finally had started to fight … he would not lose her, she would live!

Riddick was beyond tired. He hadn't left Hope's side the whole way back to Furya and lack of sleep was taking its toll. He stretched out beside Hope and carefully took her in his arms. He buried his face in the crook of her neck; her scent soothed him, let him relax.

His whispered 'I love you' still lingered on in the ship when Riddick finally gave in and dropped off to sleep.

*************************

Without getting set a course after a while the Defiant canceled the start routines and shut itself down, patiently waiting for a new command.

In another ship, accompanied by an old man, Sara and Murrey an Elemental was on her way to Furya. Again everything had turned out like she had calculated; now they were able to fight them, to start restoring the balance of the universe.