Title: Just The Way He Likes It
Author: Jedi Buttercup
Disclaimer: The words are mine; the world is not.
Summary: Riddick is still settling in to his position as Lord Marshal when they find her. 600 words.
Fandom: Chronicles of Riddick (2004)/Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV)
Notes: Written as a treat for musesinspiration in Yuletide 2010, and posted there originally in December. The letter asked for a crossover with Buffy...
Riddick is still settling in to his position as Lord Marshal when they find her.
Settling in: he's using politician's terms already. Say instead that he's killed half a dozen of the junior commanders, ordered the Quasi-Dead promoted to Full Dead status, and called a moratorium on conversions until he's had a chance to visit Underverse himself. He doesn't exactly plan on becoming one of their Holy Half-Dead- but it's something to do, and it keeps the rank and file in line.
The courtiers call him breeder when they think he can't hear them- but it's not like he hasn't heard worse over the years. Been worse; been things they would turn up their noses at, and things that would make them piss their fancy clothes, even with their emotions burned out of them. And maybe they know that, because none of them say it to his face; even the inevitable challengers barely put up a fight. The same passion that marks Riddick as a 'breeder' is what brought down their precious Zhylaw; they don't understand it, and what they don't understand they fear.
He prefers it that way. Fear is like mother's milk: a reassuring scent, a reminder of his place on the food chain. Apex predator. He's a doer, not one to whom things are done; and if that leaves him alone at the top- well. That's just the way he likes it. Only Kyra, and Fry before her, had tempted him with a promise of something other- but even if they'd lived, he still would have ended up alone. Neither one was capable of surviving in his world.
Her, though. This woman they've found: now she has possibilities. On a military-marked sleeper ship full of ancient cryo chambers adrift between stars, only one had held its seal, preserving its passenger: a sturdy-built cage hid away in the back. It's all over alarm lights and caution symbols and a warning sign marked 'Slayer'. He likes the little, lithe woman inside before she even takes her first waking breath.
He likes her more when her next breath hisses out the word 'Vampire!' and she kicks the Necromonger bending over her half-way across the compartment. And when her eyes flutter open, when she grabs the nearest sharp object and drops into a defensive stance, he knows what he's met: he matches her lost, wary gaze with a sharp, predatory smile.
She's like him: it's in the way she shifts her balance, the way her eyes dart past every Necro in the room to focus on him. She's by nature what Kyra had tried so hard to become: one who lives in the action of death, the blood cry, the penetrating wound. Because anything else had been denied her by what she was. She would have clawed and died to defend what was hers, rather than reject it to chase the keen edge of a blade- and watched everything slip right through bloody fingers anyway.
Oh, he knows her, all right. He's been her. And the scent of her makes his blood sing in anticipation.
He looks forward to introducing her to Vaako; to ordering a second throne built right alongside his.
But first things first. He chuckles darkly, and orders everyone else out of the compartment. Then he draws two knives: one for himself, and one to toss to her, better than that shard of plastic she's holding.
Let her prove her credentials; let him prove his in kind, in the only way that ultimately matters. And afterward- if they're both standing- well, then they'll see what entertainment they can find.