*Disclaimer: I own nothing but my original characters and ideas….and the plot bunnies in the corner. Please don't sue, I'm a poor college student that has no life and way too many video games.*
**AN: This chapter is dedicated to the wonderful CelestialMoonDragon who made fanvids to promote this story on youtube. I 3 U**
"I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying."
Chasms of Nothing
Jack sat down slowly, drinking deeply from the cup presented to her as she viewed the ones around her. The water rushed down her throat, hydrating her body with fluids she desperately needed. The others were lost in their own euphoria as cool liquid soothed aching dry throats. It was even enough to distract from the wardrobe change she had spontaneously decided upon.
The only two who didn't seem placated by the refreshing liquid was her idol Riddick, who was staring at his cup in what she guessed was disgust, and the Doctor who barely even took a sip before he nudged his glass discreetly over to the convict. She watched as Riddick raised an eyebrow in curiosity before he took the cup and set his aside where the others couldn't see. Even from across the room she could see how clouded it was with sediment and minerals.
It seemed as if he was given the water from the bottom of the container, or someone had generously added to it when Riddick wasn't looking. Jack's face scrunched up in anger, even dogs were treated better than this. She wanted to say something to let the others know that that kind of injustice wouldn't slide, but the Doctor caught her eye as the others began to hypothesize about the missing miners. He shook his head slightly and made a calming gesture with his hand.
Green eyes darted back to the dangerous man, and watched as he finished off the last of the Doctor's water and handed back the glass without the others noticing. Their fingers brushed together as the cup exchanged hands and she watched as the Doctor's chocolate brown eyes darted up to the goggled concealed ones before his cheeks started to tint. Was he…he was, the Doctor was blushing. Well this was certainly interesting.
"I know you don't prep your emergency skiff, less there's a fuckin' emergency," Riddick's deep baritone voice silenced all chatter immediately.
"He's fuckin' right," the words were out of her mouth before she even realized what had happened.
Johns cuffed her upside the head while others told her to watch her mouth. It was the Doctor's steady gaze though that made her want to take words back. He seemed to be disappointed with her word choice, though when it came from Riddick it didn't bother him. Then again, everyone was expecting it from Riddick.
She hung her head, eyes darting to the floor, but she still didn't miss the way that the man's eyes softened around the edges. It was strange, because normally it would make one look kind. Him, though, it made him look older, a lot older. It was almost a world weary kind of gaze, as if he had seen it a thousand times before and would see it many times again. What he saw in her that even let him be disappointed she didn't know, but she found herself wishing that it would never happen again.
"Come on, these people didn't leave," Riddick states, voice cutting through her confused thoughts. All eyes focused on him except the Doctor who was looking in his empty glass. "What ever got Zeke got them."
The surety in which it was spoken, the finality in which it was stated, sent a chill down her spine. Could it be true? The thought of those things getting (eating) all the colonists was…preposterous, terrifying, impossible. And yet she found herself believing.
"Please…Please!" The Imam's shout cut through the desperate chatter in the room. "Where is the little one, has anyone seen Ali?"
Jack's eyes darted around the room, landing on faces and then moving onto the next rapidly. The face she was searching for, however, was not to be found. An ominous silence fell over the group and lasted for several long seconds. It was broken by the deep baritone voice and Jack wondered if that was what the Devil sounded like before he dragged you down to Hell. The Devil would have a voice like that.
"Did anyone check the Coring Room?"
The empty glass shattered on the stone floor as everyone surged into action. Imam was the first out the door, followed quickly by Johns and the pilot. The Doctor wanted desperately not to care, but Ali was just a child. He could not stand idly by while a child suffered. He rushed for the open doorway, but he was halted by a firm grip on his arm.
His momentum threw him backwards into a firm chest he was becoming much too familiar with. "Let me go," he struggled, not daring to look back and become trapped in the other's hypnotizing gaze. "I have to help him."
The hand just tightened on his upper arm, pulling him more firmly against Riddick's body. "You're too late, Doc," Riddick's voice was filled with such certainty that the Doctor almost gave up his struggle, but Ali was just a child.
"I know, but you are too late." A gunshot echoed across the valley and the Doctor closed his eyes tightly, refusing to believe. "He's already gone; you can light a candle for him later."
Even though his tone resembled soft, the words still cut deep. It couldn't be true, the Doctor refused to believe. Was this another person he failed to save? Were the stories true? Did he only leave bloodshed and destruction in his wake?
Eyes still clutched tightly shut the Doctor reached, needing to know. He knew the consequences if the collective mind seized him but he didn't care. Damn the consequences, damn the other, he needed to know. He sought the child, the light that was innocence, and found a gaping chasm of nothing in its place.
Darkness surrounded his mind, filled his heart with accusations of a life not saved, filled his thoughts with memories of pasts and futures of not. The nothingness reached and pulled and tore at him, and the Doctor stood helpless as despair clawed into his mind. A broken sob tore its way out of his physical throat as the abyss washed over and tried to consume him.
His mind was pulled away effortlessly as a large hand settled on the side of his face. A different kind of darkness settled over him, but this one wasn't suffocating. It wasn't trying to bite, claw, and tear at what little sanity he had left. This darkness was almost comforting. There was something deceptively dangerous about the darkness he now found himself.
The Doctor could sense something other just out of reach, brushing the barriers of his own mind. It was primitive, animal almost and deadly to the core. But the Doctor could not bring himself to fear it. His physical body relaxed into the one holding it, and the Doctor let his mind wash away and feel nothing. For the first time in nearly two centuries, the Doctor felt content.
He wished he could stay forever and bask in the protective darkness that held him. The darkness, as if sensing the other's wish, gently pushed the Doctor's mind back into reality. The Time Lord struggled only briefly before he went willingly back into the physical realm.
Riddick held tightly onto the struggling man as the others rushed off to save the child who had already fallen. The convict could sense the other's need to save the child but it was too late. Something in him, buried deep, didn't want the Doctor to see what the others would find. It was a new sensation, almost like compassion and Riddick hated that feeling. Even so, he held onto the Doctor tighter.
He was just a child. The thought screamed loudly in his mind, but it wasn't his. Even in his thoughts the Doctor's voice intruded upon him. Who was the one projecting now? "I know," Riddick answered him, even as he felt the anguish rolling off of him in waves. "But you are too late."
Riddick felt the creature in his arms tense and he suddenly felt a shift. He couldn't explain it, but something had changed. "Doc," he tried, the other didn't answer him. He tried calling again, but was met with the same result. Crouching down, Riddick sat upon the floor, back propped upon the wall, and the Doctor sprawled in his lap. 'I could get used to this.'
A sob escaped his captive and Riddick stared unknowing and confused for several seconds before he tentatively placed a hand on the side of the other's face. He braced himself preparing to meet the onslaught of thousands but found nothing instead. It was eerie and unsettling, but Riddick refused to dwell on it and instead sought the one who refused to stay in his own fucking mind.
It didn't take him long to find the Doctor, in a sea of nothing he certainly stood out. Riddick seized him and pulled him back quickly away from the chasm of unknown. But the convict had never been a situation like this before and pulled too far. Before he knew it, the Doctor had slipped into his own mind.
Riddick lay unmoving for several minutes as he felt another's consciousness in his mind. It wasn't like before, when their minds had touched, it felt deeper, more personal. Something in Riddick rumbled in contentment as he felt the Doctor relax. The strange being seemed to find his mind comforting. It was another feeling the convict was unused to, but one he felt he could learn to enjoy.
He let the Doctor rest a while longer before he tried to ease the other's mind from his own like the storm had done to his not too long ago. The Doctor only struggled briefly before leaving on his own accord. When Riddick opened eyes in which he was unaware he closed, he discovered that little to no time had passed. A frown marred his features; it had felt like an eternity had passed, but the shadows had hardly moved at all.
The Doctor shifted in his lap and his mind was drawn to more immediate problems. Somewhere, far in the back of his mind, the beast rumbled in affection. A cold hand touched his arm as the Doctor propped himself up and looked around in confusion. A mischievous smirk danced across the convict's lips at the reoccurring theme. "Comfy, Doctor?"