Riddick made sure Jack was sitting in the skiff, her light rig abandoned on the sled with the rest of the lights before he helped the other two men get the cells in. When they were done and Johns was getting everything hooked up, and Imam was deflated into a seat on the other side of the cabin Riddick moved next to Jack sitting with her as he put his goggles back on. Instantly he checked her cheek rubbing some muck away to get at the cut there. It looked okay, it wasn't deep. He was more concerned that her breathing was ragged and she was leaning into his hand her eyes closed. Her act was dropping as she got tired again, like back at the crash site. It didn't help that they were all drenched and getting her to change would mean her getting naked on the skiff with two men who thought she was a boy.
"We're set," Johns said as the lights on the skiff and then engine booted up all the way making some creatures shriek a bit, "Riddick get up here and help me make sure this thing gets off the ground, unless you're not finished checking out your merchandise."
Riddick pointedly took his time strapping Jack in before he glanced at the holy man to make sure he was strapped in as he moved to drop into the copilot's seat. They clicked through the checks, and started the take-off sequence even as the creatures started circling them, they seemed to realize this was their last chance to eat something that wasn't eachother. Unconcerned about the creatures in the shadows they communicated back and forth Riddick setting the trajectory Johns firing up the engine, and then they were moving off the ground breaking through the atmosphere easily enough considering how long the skiff had probably been sitting there in the desert heat.
Riddick set the course to fire them towards the shipping lanes before everything went still. It was the waiting game now and that was setting in for everyone. There was no more running, no more creatures, nothing, they just had to wait to be picked up.
"So what are we going to do?" Johns asked slicking some muddy water out of his hair and off the front of his shirt.
"Wait for something to happen." Riddick shrugged as he unbuckled himself from the copilot's chair; really he figured that was obvious. The skiff would stop at the shipping lane and then idle to preserve energy for as long as it could. He read the gauges and depending on how they rationed the food and water, if they stayed hungry and thirsty, it would last just about as long as the air would, the air might last a little longer, a lot if they turned off the heating, in the end but they'd be dying of suffocation not starvation pretty much regaurdless. These little vessels were meant to be picked up quick, but advancements kept them running longer by default. Life support would have about a month on it before it started to shut down.
"I meant about you, I'm not going to sit here and pretend I can take you down with a billy-club, as the gun didn't exactly make the cut to get on the skiff," Johns explained as Riddick stayed seated.
"Assuming we survive and we're not picked up by the government, that's in your ball park," Riddick said watching the merc next to him. He wouldn't start making plans, Johns was too much of a wild card.
Johns sat for a second looking out the view port before he said, "We'll tell 'em your dead, just like I said before, but if we ever cross paths again I imagine we'll have it out." When Riddick shrugged his acceptance of the plan Johns looked behind him at the kid saying, "Hear that, I didn't lie… Riddick what's wrong with your brat?"
Riddick stood suddenly finding Jack sitting with her arms resting on her head as she tried to keep breathing. Before he could say anything though Imam beat him to it, "I imagine she's having a tough time breathing."
"You mean he?" Johns said taking another good look at the kid as Riddick moved back next to Jack and Imam unbuckled himself standing as he shook his head. No, he meant what he said, Jack was a girl.
"Don't touch me," Jack hissed when it became apparent that Imam wanted to help relieve her of her binding. Unfortunately Riddick seemed to back off a bit too.
"It suddenly makes sense," Johns laughed sitting back in the pilot's chair which he turned to take in what was happening. So the brat was a girl, that's why he had never seemed quite right to him. Jack wasn't a boy. "Would'a dumped a boy right out of my lap if he got all cuddly, but a girl would be different."
"I felt them when I helped you up, it'll be easier to breathe if you take the bandages off," Imam explained gently as Riddick and Jack both glared at Johns. Only when he spoke he got the child's ire all to himself.
"You'll be better off dry too," Riddick said nodding towards her backpack as he released her from her seat.
"I can do… do this all my damn self," Jack huffed glaring at both of the men around her. Johns was being a dick, but he wasn't trying to undress her in front of everyone.
Riddick waited a beat before he stood up and motioned for the holy man to take the copilots seat. When Imam got the message he nodded saying as he moved to sit down, "We'll all look away then."
Riddick hadn't meant him, actually, but in order to avoid any arguments (therefore stalling Jack getting that thing off her) he followed suit.
"Yes because space is so interesting," Johns said moving the chair back where it belonged as Riddick moved to stand behind him and Imam.
Listening carefully to what was going on behind him as he kept an eye on both men Riddick noticed Jack was walking awkwardly, limping a bit, but she took the opportunity to use the bathroom in peace before she started dropping the wet clothes to the floor. He expected Imam to keep his eyes on the stars, but he supposed there was a plus to Jack being young Johns seemed to have no need to watch her. It didn't sit well with Riddick that he couldn't see her though, he didn't see why he couldn't watch, she was just changing, and she belonged to him anyway. He wanted to make sure she was alright. However at least there was nothing back there to eat her, so for no he could give her space. Boundaries would be figured out when they were on their own. Thirteen was too young for certain things in any case.
Jack was glad that Riddick was standing between her and the other two while she took care of going to the bathroom and changed everything. She changed into another pair of pants hobbling a bit because of her ankle, it hurt, but it didn't feel excruciating so she didn't worry. Frowning a bit Jack pulled out a t-shirt she'd brought along putting it on the chair to be ready to put it on. Pulling off her shirts didn't hurt too much but a quick look down at herself spoke of bruises from the crash which were in full bloom peeking out from the athletic bandage around her chest. Little scratches littered her arms, and her legs hadn't fared much better. Undoing the bandage made her shudder, though, even just the first bit at the top under her arm. It made her almost unwilling to continue, because it made her remember that she hadn't been wearing it for a few hours but they'd been in deep sleep for a while. Your body went into stasis not your clothing, those were liable to get stiff and wrinkled. Her breath came in uneasy stutters and she could hear Johns muttering under his breath after a while. Jack looked to Riddick with a small whimper. It was hard. It hurt to get the smallest piece away from her skin even though the athletic bandage was slightly damp. "Riddick…" Jack finally gave in her voice small, almost as if she didn't want him to hear her.
He had though, and Riddick was in front of her instantly as she stood in the middle of the cabin just in front of the power cells. Riddick looked her over noting how she was favoring one leg over the other before shuffling them to the seats towards the back sitting her down as he sat next to her making sure he'd be in the way if the others were looking. Not saying anything Riddick got to work letting Jack hold his shoulders as he carefully pulled the bandage from her skin, the only relief so far being where it overlapped over more bandage underneath, the first layer falling away easily after the first initial wraps. Jack looked embarrassed and ashamed as she kept her eyes from him, it was dim enough in the skiff so he pushed the goggles down to sit around his neck to see if he could distract her with his eyes. She glimpsed at him but looked away again when he got to more of the bandage that was touching her skin. Some of it didn't seem to be stuck but merely molded to her skin leaving it textured, still making it uncomfortable to remove.
Really he wanted to touch her more, push her hair out of her face, nuzzle her temple, little touches to make it better, but there were others and he got the feeling that both were watching him like a hawk. For different reasons he didn't want to show her too much affection in front of the others. Riddick instead patted her side a little as he unwrapped the bandage grumbling quietly to her. He was surprised, but honestly thankful when the part right over her breasts fell away revealing a strapless sports bra. Getting the last of it off Riddick balled up the grungy material he'd pulled from her and tossed it in the back before he grabbed the shirt behind him. "You wanna take that off for a bit?" Riddick asked even as he was ready to put her shirt on her. The kid looked beat up without her layers, cuts and bruises from their journey, and it made him unsettled.
"I'll leave it…" Jack breathed her voice hoarse. Her body felt sore and heavy, and even the T-shirt he put on her seemed to weigh too much. When Riddick sat back in his seat properly Imam moved back into the main cabin, and Johns moved the chair to face them again. Jack rubbed at her upper torso where the bandage had made a deep line, and really she wanted to see if she could get feeling back in her chest, but openly groping herself in front of three men didn't seem like way to go. Even Imam, she noticed, looked towards her chest even if just for the briefest of moments.
"So what's your real name child?" Imam asked after a moment when no one seemed to want to broach any subject.
"Jack, I was named after my grandfather who died just before my birth," She said with a small pained shrug. It was the truth, and Jack had found that if you gave detail about little things, people stopped looking for it when it came to the bigger things. If you were open people thought you didn't hide things. Jack could pick and choose what she was open about, she just couldn't be tight lipped the entire time.
"I see," Imam said with a small nod.
Johns completely undisturbed by any of it, it seemed, stood up and wandered over to the pile of stuff they stockpiled into the ship, and pulled out a bottle of booze, knocking back a gulp before returning to his seat.
After watching him Imam turned back to Jack asking, "Do you have any family?" It seemed while the others didn't need to talk Imam was uncomfortable with the silence.
"No, they're all dead," Jack said listlessly as Riddick lifted his arm to rest on the back of the chairs so she could lean more against his side.
"Oh…" Imam breathed looking down at his hands clasped on his lap. Even Johns had the good graces to look sobered, capping the bottle back up and putting it on the ground next to his foot.
Jack just leaned into Riddick more his sent filling her senses. He smelt like rain and sweat, and something thick and heady, and she turned and sunk down a little so she was buried against his side more. Riddick was probably the only one who knew that while Jack probably didn't want to talk about it she was more distracted by his sent. Wrapping an arm around her he let Jack relax against him while he puzzled each of the passengers out in his head.
Johns wasn't a threat right now, wouldn't be until they were rescued. That was something that would need to be dealt with when the time came, though. There was nothing to be done about it now.
The holy man… he had the look of a man that had nothing left, that had everything taken from him. At the same time Riddick could see faint glimmers of hope in the preachers eyes when he looked at Jack, but Riddick would not have Imam trying to get between him and Jack. Imam would just have to find another reason to believe in the sadist otherwise known as God.
The kid? Riddick's silver eyes flicked down to her as her breathing became long and slow as she fell asleep against him against him. He wrapped an arm protectively around her before relaxing back to rest up himself. She owed him a debt Jack, a life debt, and he'd have his payment in spades soon enough.
TO BE CONTINUED
This is the end of Night Fall. Short and sweet. I was unsure how to end it, so I went just a little further than Pitch Black did. Otherwise it would have ended where Johns told Riddick they'd say he was dead, which is fare less dramatic then Riddick saying it himself so yeah. I went further into their flight.
In Spades will be the sequel so keep an eye out for it.
I hope everyone enjoyed the last chapter, as well as the fanfiction in general, and any reviews given for this chapter will be answered in the first chapter of the sequel. So if you still have any questions or something to say, I'll get to them I promise.
vampireadtic:Thank you. And the sequel would take place at the same time as Dark Fury, the cartoon movie, but isn't going to follow it nearly as close (pretty much at all) as I wrote Night Fall to resemble Pitch Black. So it's going to start as an almost direct continuation of Night Fall.
Anon:^_^ hnn, well hopefully you'll like the sequel just as much! It'll be called In Spades so you can look out for it . Thank you again for reading, and I'm happy you liked it. But I agree there should be more good Riddick and Jack stories.
ShadowCrawlerCiel:Thank you! And yes I had a point to keeping him alive though honestly I would have been happy to leave him on that death trap like in the movie . Thanks again.
Charlotte: Thank you I'm glad you liked it. But you're right there aren't a whole lot of Pitch Black stories where Jack and Riddick get a lot of time together, unless Jack's older. I didn't want to change the Pitch Black story too much, making it unrecognizable other then the characters and the setting. Thank you again, and I hope you like the sequel when I get it out!