Title: I Want You To Need Me
Author: Mary (SlayerKnight2@aol.com)
I Want You To Need Me 14
Johns followed the others along as they traveled blindly through the dark. They couldn't see past their lights. He had an odd urge to just stick his arm out into the dark air to see how far it would reach. Yeah, before something fucking ripped it off. The air was humid but there was a light breeze that was just cold enough to raise the hair on the back of your neck. The soft screeches that echoed in the black distance made him shiver.
The sled was heavy and unstable. A bottle of wine fell off of the makeshift with a thud and the kid, Jack, raced after it in what could only be called an act of outright stupidity. Fry shouted for him and the Muslim leader dove for him. Johns grabbed his rifle, itching for a chance to shoot something, anything. He fired at the area just above the kid and Imam as they dove to the ground. He didn't see Paris scamper away, mumbling to himself in fright.
He squatted to the ground, reloading. He had almost hit Fry, been tempted to fire anyway. But whatever shred of sanity he was still clinging to made him stop. He heard Fry scream for Paris to stop. Confused, Johns ignored the whole scene. Then he heard a snap and crash as the whole lighting display, their whole protection gave way like a house of cards. He glanced at it, still reloading as the darkness closed in on them.
Johns fumbled for his flares, his heart griped with icy fear. The green light suddenly illuminated the field, revealing not monsters but four normal humans. He almost jumped out of his skin when Riddick appeared out of the moving darkness.
"Good to see you're okay." His words were laced with sarcasm and an undeniable truth.
Riddick tilted his head to the side slightly but otherwise ignored him. The coldness stung but that was the reaction he wanted. Hatred was best but he'd have to make do with indifference. He heard Fry ask something about what was going on. Stupid woman. Johns could plainly hear the wet noises and the ripping of flesh that signified the feeding frenzy that was taking place just out of their light's range. He was half-tempted to tell her to go take a look.
They started off again. Something caught his eye. In a brief glance his looked at the sand and rocks. What the fuck? It was their own tracks. Just then that annoying bitch asked about whether he could pick up the pace. In frustration he threw the ropes to the ground. The others gathered around him to shine their small lights over the shallow tracks.
He stalked up to Riddick, who was kneeling on the ground a few yards ahead. "Want to tell me what the hell's going on?"
"Why have we circled? Are we lost?" Imam asked calmly.
"Listen." That one words made Johns shiver. It was a warning. The others had no idea and continued to loudly interrogate Riddick while Johns grabbed his gun, pointing it into the darkness.
"Do you even know where we are?"
"Listen!" Riddick stood up with the speed and agility of a panther.
Everyone finally fell silent as the cries of the monsters filled the air around them. Horrible screeching sounds and battle whoops. Claws scraped against stone and sand. Sharpening the knives and forks, Johns thought morbidly.
"Canyon ahead; circled once to buy some time to think."
"I think we should go now." Imam said.
"I don't know about that. That's Death Row up there, especially with the girl bleeding." He turned to look back at Fry.
"What're you talking about, she's not cut." Johns said. He was starting to go through withdrawal again. His skin was overheated and the spiders were crawling again; little itches he couldn't scratch at enough.
"Not her." He tilted his head to the side. "Her."
Everyone turned to look at Jack. Tears formed in her eyes as the truth shown on her face. Her. This whole time it had been a *her.*
"You gotta be kidding me."
"I just thought it would be better if people took me for a guy, thought people would leave me alone. They are always messing with me." She fell to the floor as Fry cursed in anger at her.
"I'm sorry. I'm sorry, sweetheart. Are you really bleeding?" Fry asked as she sat down next to the girl.
"You could have left me a the ship, that's why I hadn't said something sooner." Jack whimpered.
"They've had their nose open for her since we left. In case you haven't noticed, they go off blood." Riddick explained.
"This isn't going to work. We're going to have to go back."
Johns turned to face her. Oh, he was not hearing this. This, this bitch had ignored not only Johns' warnings about doing this but Riddick's as well. She had pushed and stepped over everyone who had disagreed with her idea and now she wanted to turn back. Where was all her smart-ass words now? She had Riddick's ear. What was she afraid of?
"What did you say? You're the one who got us out here in the first place and turned us into sled dogs."
She knew he was not going to heel like a nice little doggy. "I was wrong, I admit it. Okay? Can we just get back to the ship?"
"No, no no, Carolyn. Nice breeze, wide open space; I'm starting to enjoy my-fucking-self!"
"Are you high again? Just listen to yourself, Johns" She was baiting him again.
"No, no. You're right, Carolyn. What's to be afraid of? My life's just a steaming pile of meaningless shit anyhow. So I say mush on. Canyon's only a couple of meters and after that, it's Skiff City. So why don't you butch up and stuff a cork in this fucking kid and let's go." The spiders were crawling faster as his heart rate sped up.
"*She* is the captain. We should listen to her." Imam attempted to make peace and sense of the matter.
But all he did was give Johns more fighting power. "Listen to her, when she was so willing to sacrifice us all."
"What's he talking about?" Jack asked. She was a lot like Fry, very naive but not nearly as stupid. And a hell of a lot less annoying. A least she knew when to shut-the-hell-up.
"This does not help us, Johns." She was trying to pacify him, get him to be quiet with rationale.
"During the crash, she tried to blow the whole passenger cabin; tried to kill us in our sleep."
"Shut your mouth!" All pretense was ripped away when he realized that she wasn't going to stop him.
"We are fucking disposable. We're just walking ghosts to you, aren't we?"
"Shut your fucking blowhole!" She flew at him, all her anger and panic breaking loss as she lost face in front of her peers. He grabbed her arm and easily twisted it so that she landed on the ground hard. He could have hurt her; could have broken her arm. But he didn't think she was worth the effort. She didn't seem to think so either as she just lay there on the ground, defeated and embarrassed.
"Fine. Fine! You made your point. We can all be scared." Imam stepped forward, afraid that Johns would further attack the fallen woman.
"Ah, Carolyn. How much do you weigh now?" The religious leader had nothing to worry about. He wouldn't beat a dead dog. She wasn't worth his time anymore. "Verdict's in. The light moves forward." He lit the flare by breaking it against his thigh. He glanced up at Riddick, seeing if the killer was mad at him for talking against his ally but he had an impassive countenance. He simply stood there as Johns walked in front of him.
"Looks like your captain is tainted as well," Johns mumbled as he walked past the killer.
He stopped and stood off to the side. An idea occurred to him. Their journey would be easier if they got rid of some heavy burdens. He thought for a second. Unfortunately, that girl was like a homing beacon for these beasts. He knew it wasn't her fault but if one had to be sacrificed to save the whole, than so be it. He wasn't willing to risk his ass for a stranger... not again.
Johns had seen this documentary of W.W.II where the doctors played triage for all the victims of Pearl Harbor. It had been such a small facility hospital and there had been over 1200 men and women in need of serious care. Sounds like hell. He could relate, especially now. Nothing like the classics.
"Ain't all of us gonna make it." He said casually as Riddick appeared. He purposely shone the light in the other's face.
"Just realized that." The killer shied away form the light but not from him.
"Six of us left. We could make it through the canyon and loose just one that would be quite a feet." Johns knew that they were back to level one. Merc vs. criminal. He would have to sell Riddick on this idea.
"Not if I'm the one."
"What if you're one of five." Johns countered. There was a screech close to them. He jumped and shone the light in the direction.
"I'm listening." It was Riddick's way of getting his attention. Johns flushed, feeling like a little kid with ADD.
"Doctors do it all the time, it's called triage."
"Kept callin; it murder when I did it."
"Either way I figured it was something you could grab on to." Johns grinned, a genuine smile that had been absent for quite some time. For a moment he got lost in this easy banter.
"I don't want to feed them. I just want to keep them off our scent."
"So which one caught your eye." Riddick had the balls to turn around and search. His voice was filled with a sick humor.
Johns grabbed his arm to turn him around. The touch sent a tendril of desire up his arm. Even in the cool breeze, Riddick's skin was heated. "No, no. Don't look! Christ, what's wrong with you?"
His body's reaction angered Johns even more The spiders were swimming under his skin, prickling in a thousand different places. His head swam with dizziness. He felt over-heated. "Alright, enough of this shit. You do the girl and I'll keep the others off your back."
Riddick stopped, his back to Johns. "It's not too big of a job for you, is it?"
"Just wondering if we don't need a bigger piece of bait."
The cryptic words made Johns' hair stand on end. "Like who?"
Riddick turned to face him, his silver eyes locking with Johns'. Electricity light the air around them. Muscles tensed. Enough of the bullshit. The fight was on, had been on for some time now. The others backed away even as the monsters honed in closer, drawn to the aggression.
Riddick went for his rifle, slinging it up but he blocked it, grabbing the handle. They fired shots and maneuvered for control of the weapon. He punched at Riddick's arm until he heard it snap in a gross disfigurement. He felt a fist hit him in the jaw, slamming him away form Riddick and crashing into the bones.
He turned to face Riddick, who snapped his dislocated arm back into place without so much as a wince. Nothing seemed to effect this man, not even the greatest pain. Johns grabbed his knife out of his shirt pocket, watching as Riddick brandished the same tool he'd used to shave with just hours earlier. His blood was on fire and his vision was blurring but he was ready to fight.
Johns swiped at Riddick, ducking to the side frantically, awaiting an attack. He wasn't used to knife-fighting but he needed to rush. Riddick swung the blade, knocking the knife out of his hand and the following backlash knocked him away.
The deep voice behind him echoed in the stillness. "Only one rule... Stay in the light."
He barely heard the older man's words. He grinned, enjoying the hunt. He grabbed his billyclub and swung at Riddick's knees, causing the other man to crash to the ground. He climbed on top of the killer, tried to hit him with his club again but s leg kicked it out of the way. Desperate, he grabbed for the other's shank, which was sitting just a few inches away. He went to swing it at Riddick, but a hand grabbed his wrist, preventing it from moving.
He struggled with the killer and, at least partially, with himself. He didn't know, f it came down to it, whether he could kill Riddick. Their history was far from clear cut, as was their future. He couldn't stop fighting, but he wasn't willing to let the other man win, either. The lines had been drawn, Riddick would kill him given the chance, Johns had no doubt about that now.
Silver eyes locked with his again. "Remember that moment?"
Johns blood ran cold. Riddick had signed his death warrant and was going to deliver.
The killer flipped him over like he weighed no more than a feather. The wind shifted above him as Riddick moved quickly in for the kill. He struggled to his feet and felt an intense pain in his back. It caused hi legs to give out and he collapsed to the ground. This pain was familiar. Images of the past flew before his eyes; Riddick had stabbed him before and left him for dead.
He struggled for his gun, Riddick's voice in the background barely a blur through the thundering in his ears. Something about Billy... Billy. Riddick had never called him that before. He moved onto his back and struggled to reload his rifle. Once he had, he struggled to his feet, trying to ignore the pain and the blood leaking form the wound.
Riddick's voice echoed softly through the air. "Told you to ghost me."
Johns tried to focus as his eyes blurred from pain and bloodloss. The flare went out.
Riddick squatted to the ground. He knew he should move forward, leave Johns to die at the creatures whim, but something made him pause. He told himself that some sick part of him wanted to watch Johns die, watch as the only weak, humanity in him was killed. He needed to watch, to know for sure.
The light went out. It wouldn't be long now. Johns was bleeding badly from the shank wound in his back. His hands were shaking and his movements were erratic. Even now, he was fascinated by the man. He saw a monster move in on Johns, knock him to the ground. Riddick knew he should end it himself, but he couldn't. He'd stood there, taunting the other man but couldn't bring himself to kill Johns.
Riddick had killed Desolation Keen without more than a passing thought. Why couldn't he put this dog down? Johns was suffering long before Riddick had come into his life. Another creature moved in on Johns. It was almost over.
His hands clenched.
This moment would decide his future.
Go back to Part 13
Go on to Part 15