Disclaimer:  I don't own anything pertaining to Pitch Black.  This is all done for fun and I'm getting no money out of it.

****Had to re-post this story so pretty please read and review.  Thanks.  =)

This story takes place after Pitch Black and involves the separation and reunion of Riddick and Jack. Jack is almost seventeen in this and she never shaved her head. She did however copy Riddick in the other ways as seen in the movie. Remember to read and review. Thanks!

After their pitiful skiff was picked up the three were taken to a planet called Solace located in the Draven sector without incidence. They managed to find a place to call 'home' while they saved their credits for a ship or transport to their separate destinations.

Riddick got a job doing body guard work for the local richies. Nobody questioned who he was; they just wanted him for his demeanor and size. It was pretty good money. Jack got a job at the hospital a few blocks away. She felt that someone in the group should know the medical stuff. It was a learning hospital so she got paid as she learned. They first tested her when she applied to find out her medical level. To everyone's surprise she was a four and to be a certified doctor, that doesn't include surgeries, was a level eight. After a month of working there the staff decided that she would make level eight in about two years. She was that smart. Imam worked on his religion stuff but didn't bring home any money. They were all content to let him stay home and be the 'mom'. Imam felt that Jack needed to get her education in case the time came for her to be on her own. He was willing to help them both as long as they needed him.

Things had been going pretty good the past few months. Everyone seemed to settle into a routine. Jack didn't get to see Riddick very often because of their conflicting work schedules but when she did get a chance to hang out with him that's exactly what she did. He kept to himself mostly but when they were together he made an effort to show some interest. He taught her a few things about self defense and how to handle weapons properly. Jack sometimes got frustrated by how little he talked but soon got used to it. Riddick didn't want to get Jack too involved in his life. He just wasn't like that. Taking care of someone was not his specialty and he was afraid that she or even he would get too close.

He had been trying to get in contact with an old acquaintance. Someone who could get him a new identity and help him get his life back. He hadn't bothered to mention it to Jack or Imam because they might worry and the fact that he was a secretive person. All he had to do was keep working, save his credits, find his friend, and not get attached to those two.

They had all been together for almost six months when Jack started feeling like something wasn't right. She was working and studying a lot which kept her away from Riddick but it wasn't hard to notice the changes. He seemed to be working all the time and when he was home he didn't say anything. The nightmare's Jack had when they first got off T2 were coming back. Especially the ones where Riddick almost left them. One night was particularly bad. Jack was being attacked by an alien and all Riddick could do was stand by and laugh. The look in his eyes was all humor. He enjoyed watching her die. She awoke in a silent scream. It felt like the aliens were still eating her alive. She hopped out of bed running for her door. She felt like she was suffocating and needed fresh air. Her eyes were blurred by tears and she ran into the door frame as it opened causing quite a ruckus. She moved blindly through their place and managed to reach the balcony. Throwing open the door she took a loud deep breath. None her nightmares ever did that to her. Sure they were scary but she never felt suffocated by them. For the first few times she had them she would run to Riddick's room and jump into his arms. He held her and made her feel safe. Imam actually approached Riddick on the subject of sex and her age when he saw her leave his room one morning. Riddick just laughed and slapped the Holyman on his shoulder.

The noise Jack made was quiet enough but Riddick heard it. He walked down the hall following the sounds of her crying. She was sitting in a chair on the balcony with her face in her hands. Normally he would have gone to her to comfort her but he's been pulling away from her. More since he had contacted his 'friend'. He watched her for a few minutes and then went back to bed leaving her by herself. Tomorrow he and Jack didn't have to work and of course Imam would be there and he had to break the news to them. He was leaving. Try as he might to keep the emotion out of his once cold heart there was a little warmth called Jack that kept sneaking back in.

Jack awoke to a bright light in her eyes but soon realized it was the sun. She had fallen to sleep on the balcony too emotionally exhausted to move and even dream. With the uninterrupted sleep she got she still felt wiped out. She pulled her unwilling body out of the chair and headed for the bathroom.

"What a mess," she said taking a look in the mirror. Her eyes were swollen from crying and her face was pale. She turned the water on to hot and let the steam fill the room. Stripping her clothes off she attempted to wash away her pain with the hot water. Putting herself in a meditative mode she managed to forget, temporarily, the night before. She concentrated on the water running over her body. After awhile it started to feel like warm hands caressing her. Then her mind drifted and now her thoughts were of Riddick's hands on her body. Warm and soft. Stroking her everywhere. She was shocked by her thoughts but that's what meditation did. It brought out things from your sub-conscious level. She did care about Riddick but it never occurred to her that she felt anything more. Until now. Suddenly someone banged on the door and yelled.

"You alive in there?" It was Riddick. That was the first time in weeks that he's said anything to her.

"Yes!" she yelled back.

"Well, hurry up and finish, I need to talk to you." Despite the hot water, her skin broke out in goose-bumps. Nobody ever wanted to hear those words. She dried off and put her robe on. Shaky hands shook out her hair and she hesitantly went into the living room.

While Jack was taking a shower Riddick told Imam of his plans. He thought it would be best if Imam got over the shock before he told Jack so he could be there for her if she needed it. Jack entered the room slowly.

"What's going on?" she asked as she took a seat near the hall. She nervously glanced towards the two men getting more shook up as the time went on. Finally Riddick spoke.

A chill ran through her body as she heard his voice. It had been awhile since she'd heard it and she didn't remember being affected by it back then like she was now. His words brought another chill but it was all together different from the first.

"I've been trying to get in contact with an old friend since we landed here. Finally I reached him. He'll be able to make me a whole new identity for me and even wipe out my prison records." He watched her intently as he spoke and she noticed Imam was doing the same.

"Well, that's good news isn't it?" Her voice was full of hope.

"It is." There was something he wasn't telling her and she didn't like it.

"So, what does it mean?"

"I'm leaving." He might as well have hit her as hard as he could. Those words slammed into her like nothing she's ever felt before.

"What?" she asked quietly as if she hadn't heard him right. All hope gone from her voice.

"I'm leaving," he repeated still watching her.

"Why?" was all she could get out.

"He runs a transport shuttle between sectors and he can't stay in one place for too long. This is my only chance to do this and I have to go with him." His voice would have sounded soothing if the circumstances were different.

"When are you leaving?" she looked away as her eyes filled with tears.

"Tomorrow." She looked back at him. Angry this time.

"You couldn't have told me sooner?" her voice was full of pain and anger.

"I didn't find out until last night. He's coming in to pick up some people and then he's off. I need to go with him." Jack sat there letting it all sink in. She didn't want him to leave but she didn't really have a say in the matter.

"Okay," she said in defeat as she rose from her chair and went to her room. Riddick ran a hand over his shaved head. He had been preparing himself for this for weeks but he still couldn't help but feel bad for her.

"She will be okay Mr. Riddick. Like me, she wants you to be able to be a free man." His words weren't soothing to him but he pushed it aside not wanting to feel anything. He needed to go out.

He ended up wandering the streets for hours. This is something he had to do. Maybe he should have told her that he would come back for her if he could. At this point would that have made a difference?

When he returned Imam told him that Jack hadn't left her room. That concerned him but as he approached her door he could hear her breathing. She was asleep and he decided not to bother her. He wanted to see her before he left and he hoped that Imam could convince her to come see him off. The rest of the day was spent packing his few belongings and making sure Imam would be able to handle things without him.

Jack finally came out around dinner time. She was in the kitchen and Riddick followed her in.

"Jack." He noticed she flinched when he spoke. "You never let me finish earlier." She turned to leave but he grabbed her arm.

"Please," she sounded horrible and she wouldn't meet his eyes. "I'm trying to accept the fact that you aren't going to be here and when I see you it takes me a step back, so please just let me go." A tear ran down her face and he reluctantly let her go. She went back to her room leaving him alone in the kitchen. Imam watched the whole thing and he only hoped that he would be able to get Jack to come with him to the spaceport.

Nobody slept in the house that night. After having a routine for so long, which none of them were used to, and suddenly everything was different was disturbing to everybody.

Riddick rose very early and headed down to meet his friend. They weren't leaving for a couple of hours but he needed to be out. Imam got his little speech together and went to Jack's room. He knocked on the door surprised when she told him to come in. She must not have slept all night.

"Jack, I'm heading down to see Mr. Riddick off and I would like you to join me." He sat next to where she was sitting on the bed.

"I don't know if I can do that," she said and Imam sighed before continuing.

"I think it would be best if you went with me. You can't let him leave without saying good-bye. What if you never see him again? Remember how we all met? We crashed on a planet and we were lucky we survived through that." He hated bringing up painful memories but if he wanted her to move that was the motivation and it worked.

"When are we leaving?" She was off the bed fast grabbing up clothes to wear.

"Twenty minutes," he answered leaving her to get dressed. That wasn't too hard.

Twenty minutes later they were taking transport to the spaceport. Jack was nervous. She wasn't sure exactly what she was going to say but she did want to see him one last time. Imam was right. Anything can go wrong and she would regret her actions if something did. The place wasn't too crowded for this early in the morning and they spotted Riddick fast. Not that it was hard. How could you not notice someone built like him? Jack hadn't known him that long but she was really going to miss him. Riddick was relieved that Jack was there but you would never know it with his lack of expression. They approached him and Imam spoke first.

"I wish you a safe journey Mr. Riddick. May Allah be with you." Imam shook his hand and Riddick noticed that Jack's attention was elsewhere. "I will leave you two alone to speak." Imam headed off somewhere so they could be alone. The silence was becoming unbearable for Jack so she just started talking.

"I wish you didn't have to leave." She still wouldn't look at him.

"I think it's the best thing for now. You shouldn't want to hang around me anyway. I'm just a criminal." She couldn't believe what he was saying. He wasn't just a criminal. He was a friend to her. She stood her full height and looked him in the eyes.

"Maybe you should just let me make my own decisions when it comes to my life." He didn't mind her tone of voice he was just glad she was talking.

"Fine. Then let me make the decision concerning my life." He didn't mean it to come out as harsh as it did but he meant every word. There were tears in her eyes but she maintained her composure.

"You're right. I'm not here to try and stop you. I want you to finally be free but let me tell you something. You aren't just a criminal. You're more than that. To me, anyway. You saved my life on that planet a couple times and you gave me a chance to believe in people again." The tears were falling now and her voice was shaky but she kept going. "When I'm with you I feel like I can do anything. I feel strong and nothing scares me. You gave me a second chance at life so I can become something better. You mean so much to me and I've never felt that way for anybody." She had her hand over her heart and Riddick could feel her emotions sweeping over him resting on him like a lead weight.

"Jack, I will come back for you. It'll be about six months but I'll come back. I promise." He had never broken a promise to her but even as strong as he was he couldn't stop fate. Anything can happen. Her eyes shimmered at him as the tears continued. She believed him but it still hurt to have to watch him leave. Slowly she nodded her head and turned to leave.

"Good-bye Riddick" She didn't get far when he grabbed her arm and turned her back to him. Instead of speaking he just pulled her into his embrace. Jack got over the shock quickly and wrapped her arms around him crying hard into his chest. "I'll miss you so much," she sobbed. He held her tighter and leaned his lips close to her ear to speak.

"Me too. Just be strong like I know you can be and remember everything I taught you." His voice was soothing and she began to calm down. They slowly untangled themselves and when his hand was free he reached in his pocket. He pulled out a small black velvet pouch and handed it to her. "Don't look at this until you get home. It's something for luck." He shrugged his shoulders acting like it was nothing but anything that came from him wasn't nothing. She smiled at the gift and then met his eyes.

"Thank you. For everything." Her voice was now strong and she continued. "Please, don't get yourself killed. I want you to come back to me safe and free." She rested her right hand on his cheek and he leaned into it as he raised his right hand to her cheek. The warmth of his hand was over powering and she too leaned into it.

"I will." They stayed like that for a few seconds until they heard the boarding announcement. Imam had come back and they waved as Riddick disappeared on the ship. Jack was still sad but she felt better that things ended the way they did. Imam had kept his distance but he had watched the entire scene. Not hearing their words but guided by their actions he knew that all would be well with them. The ride home was a quiet one and Imam new better than to make her talk. Jack had to work that night so she did her best to focus on anything but Riddick but then she remembered the gift he gave her. She went into her room and pulled the pouch out of her pocket. What could it be? She pulled the drawstrings apart and emptied the contents into her hand. There was a silver ring and piece of paper. It was a little note. Her hands were shaking as she opened it.

Jack,

This ring belongs to me and I want you to keep it knowing that I'll come back for it. It's the only thing they never took away from me in Slam. Now that you have it, you can be sure that no one will ever take you away from me. Even fate. Be safe and be strong.

Riddick

Fate. It was like he had read her mind. Or maybe they just thought alike. She picked up the ring to examine it. It was smooth silver with rough edges. There was something carved inside. Property of R.B.R. She smiled and a new wave of emotions poured over her but this time it wasn't sadness. She felt happy because she new he would come back.

Although after everything he had done for her she suddenly felt useless. All she did was be a burden and basically throw a fit when he said he was leaving. She had to find a way to make it up to him when he got back and she suddenly had an idea. It wouldn't be easy and it would probably take a very long time to finish it but it could be done. Hopefully it would make him happy. With a goal now in her head she went of to work in a much better mood.