I'm back baby! (I was debating starting with "I'm back b!tches!", but I feared this would insult all you wonderful people). I finally got over it, that dreadfully horrible thing that blocked up my creative flow, the writers block. I apologize to all of you, and I hope to all that is good in the world that I got all that blockage out of my figurative bowels. I love all of you soooooo much! *teardrops*

I woke up with pain burning through every part of my body. A pitiful groan escaped my lips as I tried to sit up, my abs burning with effort. I rubbed my eyes and looked around. I was in a small bedroom, laying on an old ratty bed. What looked to be a very old blanket was draped across me, and as my eyes adjusted to the bright light I saw the door swing shut. I looked at it curiously before a soft mumble drew my attention to Aria, who was currently laying on my bed, asleep.

Her eyebrows were squished together and she looked like she was scowling. Her head was resting on her arms, looking uncomfortable in her seat. She was bent, practically in half, her butt seated firmly on a chair but her upper half resting beside me. Her golden hair was snarled and messy, falling all over her face but I couldn't help but smile. A light snore came from her and I laughed, a loud, raspy sound that scared her awake.

Her head shot up and she looked around quickly, her hair whipping about her face. I laughed harder at her confused expression, the action causing my ribs great pain. Soon my giggles turned to coughs, violent and painful. I lifted my hand to cover my mouth, turning away from Aria to shield her from my germs. Once my fit was over I looked back at her to see her staring at me with a worried expression.

"You okay?" she asked tentatively. Her brow was furrowed in worry and she looked like she had while she slept. Her blue eyes were searching my face and she twiddled her thumbs.

I smiled at her as best as I could, reaching out and ruffling her hair despite my sore arm. "I feel like I just went a round at fight club, but I couldn't tell you about it if I did," I replied. My voice sounded like I had been a smoker for the past forty years and my throat felt like I was inhaling fire instead of air.

Aria let out a small giggle, more so out of relief than humor. "Why not?"

"First rule of fight club; you do not talk about fight club."

"Oh, really? And what's the second rule?"

"You DO NOT talk about fight club."

Aria was quiet as she stared at me, "You said that already." I shrugged my shoulders in response. She looked like she was about to say something but stopped. I nudged her and waved my hands in a grand manner to try and lure whatever she was saying out of her. She finally gave in and took a deep breath. "What happened?"

"I got my ass whooped."

"I'm serious Chara! Jack couldn't tell me much, and when Riddick walks in carrying you, Jesus Chara! I was so worried about you!" she exploded. Aria stood up, running her hand through her hair and pacing. "Why would you fight him? You may be good, but that was reckless! Look at you!" she cried, pointing at my body.

I looked down at myself, noting the loose bandages and the ugly bruises. From the limited vision in one of my eyes I could safely guess that it was pretty swollen. I would bet a large sum of money that I looked god-awful. "You know me, I can't just stand by and watch as someone else gets hurt."

"I know, and I love how brave you are, but Chara, I thought I lost you," she whispered, falling into the chair and hiding her face in her hands.

I reached forward and winced. I glanced at my ribs before pushing through the pain and wrapping my arms around Aria in a tight embrace. I felt her shudder and I wondered if she was crying. "Shh, it's okay Aria. See, I'm okay," I murmured softly to her, rubbing her back in soothing circles. I pulled back and watched her wipe furiously at her eyes. "Now if you wouldn't mind, I'm really thirsty."

Aria smiled and nodded, scurrying out of the room in search of water. Another set of coughs attacked me, making my whole body shake as I tried to hack up whatever it was that was bothering me. I felt something warm hit my hand and I pulled it away from covering my mouth to inspect it. To my dismay I saw blood in my palm. My face scrunched up in confusion but I brushed it off as unimportant.

I noticed a niggling sensation in the back of my mind, almost like paranoia. It felt like someone was watching me, but I couldn't be sure. I looked around the room again, searching for anything out of place but found none. I brushed of the lingering feeling and inverted my attentions.

I thought back to my dream, or was it a vision? I learned that the lady's name is Shira, so at least I know what to call her now. Most of her answers were cryptic, the type you hear in the beginning of a movie and then at the end go: 'Oh! That's what they meant!' But something she said really caught my attention. He has rescued you. Who saved me? I knew that Jack isn't strong enough, and Aria is a girl, so was it Inman or one of his boys? The thought that maybe it was Riddick crossed my mind, but I quickly pushed it away. Why would he save me anyway? Aria did say something about him carrying me somewhere, but maybe that was because I was too heavy for everyone else. I kind of wanted it to be Riddick who saved me, but that was stupid and girlish so I crushed that hope before it could take root.

Shira also said that I am important. I snorted at the thought of that, me being important. My subconscious must be very narcissistic to think that I would be someone that is necessary. My head dipped down and my hair covered my face as tears slowly trickled down my cheeks. Why would I ever be important, I'm just the girl who fades into the background. Aria always commanded the attention, and I am okay with just playing the backstage support. My heart felt like it was being squeezed in my chest and I wondered if it was from my injuries or my thoughts. I wiped the blood from my hand on my pants and rubbed my eyes.

I took a deep, calming breath and decided to check out my injuries. I poked at my ribs, gasping in pain when I hit a rib that I assumed was either severely bruised or broken. I had at least a dozen tiny cuts and scrapes scattered around me, only two major cuts, and a crap-ton of bruises. I slumped back onto the bed and closed my eyes. I started humming one of my favorite songs as I waited for Aria to come back. I felt a stray tear escape me and I cursed myself for being so weak. I may not be important, but I am most certainly not weak.

Aria walked back in holding a strange canteen, slamming the door on her way in. I eyed her in confusion, debating whether or not the door was a fluke or if she really is angry. "Aria?" I questioned. She looked at me and thrust the canteen in my hands. I drank from it greedily, but I also watched her out of the corner of my eye. "What's up, buttercup?"

"Johns is a prick," she replied dryly, glaring at the wall behind me.

"I was under the assumption this was common knowledge." When she didn't reply I tried again, "What did he do now?"

"Did you know he had morphine this whole time? He's hoarding a whole bunch of it." I stared at her in surprise. Him being a junkie would certainly explain a few things, but I don't really understand why Aria was so upset.

"And?"

"You could have used some!" she exclaimed. "While you were in pain because of him, he just sat on those pain killers and didn't even think about sharing! The only reason I know he has them is because I was looking for a canteen and got curious."

"So you were snooping."

"Basically, yes."

"Aria, that's a big no-no," I tsked, wagging my finger at her. Aria smacked my arm and gave me a look that said, Be serious. It stung where she stuck me, probably hitting a bruise, but I tried to not let her see that. "Alright, alright, so the dude has some morphine, and so I could have used some. There is no use getting angry over it now, I wouldn't have accepted it anyway, I'm still licking my wounds from the last round with him. My pride could not take a hit like taking painkillers from the cause of my pain."

"You're such a doofus," Aria sighed. She grumpily sat herself onto the chair at my bed side, crossing her arms over her chest and pouting.

"And you're such a drama queen. Have you thought about a future in Broadway?" Aria mumbled something and turned away from me, her upset aurora growing darker. "Hey now, no being so depressing while nursing me back to health. Jeez, you have awful bedside manners, don't you?"

"I'll have you know I have wonderful bedside manners! It's just kinda hard when you got big, scary Riddick hanging around all the time!"

"What?"

"Oh you don't know? I suppose you were unconscious for three days." I must have looked like I was about to interrupt because she made a silencing hand motion. "He's been hanging around, not really saying anything, just standing in the corner brooding. He was actually here before I fell asleep, I wonder when he left?"

I stared at her blankly for a long time. I had no retort for that, no sassy remark displaying my adorable sense of humor. I was literally speechless. I could understand him maybe being a little, tinsy bit concerned, but not to the point he would actually hang around. Did I look like I was dying? Was that why he was here, to see if I passed on in my sleep? I was about to ponder this on a more deep and concentrated level when Aria interrupted me.

"So, what really happened?"

How was it? Everything you ever dreamed of and more? Did my peeps stay in character? Did you love it, hate it? Please review! Again, I'm sorry for my tardiness...