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Summary: Want and need are two very different things.
It was inevitable really - Kyra dying. She died. She died for me. Un-fucking-acceptable. She laid there, a broken angel of death, surrounded by grief and rage. Her blood stained my hands, just as the of her innocence did. I might not have raped her, but it was because of me that she became an animal. Because of me, that she pulled the trigger the very first time. She spilt blood for me, and then died for me. She was a tear in my chest, and a pain in my mind. She was fucking beautiful.
I've never needed anyone. But as I stared down at that single tear she had unwillingly shed, I came to the uncomfortable realization that I needed her anger. I needed that last glimmer of innocence in her eyes. I needed the animal she had become to survive. I needed the look of surprise on her face when I told her that I cared whether she lived or died. I needed her breath ghosting over my shoulder as she whispered her pain in my ear. I needed her.
They left me with her - the nameless, faceless army I'd inherited from the psycho who had killed her - and I stalked from one side of the throne room to the other, as she hung limply in my arms. Her blood was drying against my stomach and arms, the warmth of her skin cooling as I made yet another turn. And when I sank into the throne she had died for, I held her in my arms, pulled her up against my chest, and breathed in the scent of death against her throat as I closed my eyes.
As I held her, as the animal within me raged for me to do something, anything, to bring her back, I saw two images of her. Jack… Kyra…. Blending and morphing and distorting. Innocent then jaded. Hopeful then cynical. Smiling then glaring. Trusting me then hating me. Child-like then a woman. Alive then dead. And each view felt like a blow to the stomach.
I was unable to dispose of her body, so she lay like sleeping beauty in a cryo-tube. But the kiss from a mystical prince wasn't coming anytime soon, and my need for her continued to grow. I needed her when nameless, faceless women threw themselves at me on this floating city of death. I needed her when the willing who lined my bed couldn't feed my hunger. When I stared down at them, and saw her looking back. Reality became tangled with fantasy, and she haunted me.
I caught her lingering scent. Caught fleeting glimpses of her. I heard her whisper in my sleep, and woke up reaching for her. And when she had driven me crazy, I fought my way to the gates of Underverse, and found hell itself. I stood on that threshold, and called her name. She was as beautiful in death as she was in life when she finally came to me, and I held my hand out to her. She looked at me silently for the longest time, before she tilted her head.
"Give me a reason," was all she said, and I smiled, delighted by the prospect of what I would and could do to her once she was reborn.
"We'll rule the Universe together, Kyra. You and me, side by side," I said, and her lips twisted into a bitter smile as she took a step away from me.
"That's not enough," she whispered, and melted away like mist as I stared at her in disbelief.
It took me several days to get over the shock of it. And when I made my way back to her, the toughness and arrogance that had shielded her in life, revealed a sadness she couldn't hide in death. It shimmered over her like a caress as I held my hand out to her, and promised to hunt down her monsters and destroy them all for causing her pain.
"What's the point, Riddick?" she whispered as she took a step away from me. "When you left me to die with the monsters who shaped my life?"
Her words stopped me cold, and I saw a glimmer of the girl I had met on Crematoria. She arched an eyebrow at my silence, and smiled coldly.
"Oh, you didn't think I knew, did you," she drawled. "After all, I was just some stupid kid that idolized you. You didn't want to take me off that rock with you. The only reason you came back, was because you wanted into Caroline's pants, and if you'd left me to die, that wouldn't have happened…. Just some stupid kid, who needed you… Who wanted to stay with you…. And you left me with Imam after that, because it was easier."
She walked through the mist that surrounded us slowly, letting tendrils of it wind around her hands and legs as she turned back to face me.
"So tell me, Riddick… why are you here now? You weren't there when I was raped. You weren't there when I was beaten. You weren't there… so why should I leave here? Leave the warmth and the safety of death, and suffer the pain of being alive again?"
Her fingers were icy when she ran them across my shoulder, and she lifted her chin slightly as I stared at her.
"I want you," I said finally, and she laughed softly.
"I wanted you. I learned to live with the disappointment," she countered, and stepped away from me again.
"I swore to myself a long time ago, Riddick, that I would never willingly be any man's whore… and that includes yours," she murmured, and I watched as she slowly faded away from me once more.
I sat by her cryo tube, and watched her for several days and nights after that. I'd washed and healed her back after she'd died myself; her skin was perfect and unblemished in death. There had been other scars though, and I remembered that she'd been slaved out when while looking for me. Slaved out - turned into a whore, in her eyes. And I closed my eyes and returned to the gates, where I called her name. I called it again and again, but she took such a long time to appear that I actually felt fear for the first time in a long time. I held my hand out to her, and she tilted her head slowly as she stared at me.
I should have heard the plea in her voice the first time. I should have heard it five years ago. Three months ago. But I heard it now, and I saw it in her eye when I answered gruffly.
"Because I need you."
She arched her eyebrow, but I caught the tiny smile that teased the corner of her lips.
"Stone cold killer. Brainier than most. Scarier than all. And you need me?"
I nodded once. And her smile lit up the darkness as she finally reached out and took my hand in hers. And in taking my hand, I took her into myself, and back to her body. I felt the ghost of her touch as I laid her soul back where it should have been. I then lifted her out of cryo, and took her to where I wanted her most. It took her a further three days to wake up. And when she did wake, it was in the dark, wrapped up in my arms, with the touch of my mouth warming her temple.
She whispered it against my chest, and I ran my hand down the length of her back, pushing aside material as I went. Such soft fucking skin, to cover a spine of steel.
"Because I need you."