Title: I Want You To Need Me
Author: Mary (SlayerKnight2@aol.com)
I Want You To Need Me 17
They were forced to move slowly, now. Riddick carried the cells and Johns could barely walk. Riddick glanced at the man walking a few feet a head of him. He was at a loss at how to handle Johns now. He was a physical and emotional mess to put it lightly. He was stuck between life and death in a sense. He thought that he was supposed to die back there. He was in shock. Riddick looked up as he noticed Johns had slowed down to walk beside him.
Whether it was due to intense pain or habit, the young man quietly walked next to him, a gesture that reminded Riddick of that night long ago as they had walked to the subway. Johns had made a choice then, to follow him. It had been an uneasy trust that was broken now. They couldn't pick up the pieced.
They would have to try to form something else.
Johns was looking down, his body slouched in an attempt to relieve the pressure walking put on his wound. "What do you see when you look out there?"
Hundreds of monsters ripping each other to shreds in a mad frenzy of incessant hunger and merciless slaughter. "You don't want to know."
"I asked." Johns persisted.
Riddick sighed. He refused to add to Johns misery and nightmares. "I heard you."
Johns jumped as a creature swooped close to him in the shadows. The movement brushing him against Riddick but he moved away. "Why did you save me?"
The question seemed to be one of many that were plaguing the young man's troubled mind. A question of which Riddick even know the answer. "I don't know."
Johns glanced at him, his blue eyes searching the other's face for more information.
The killer sighed. "I couldn't watch you die."He looked at Johns, seeing the surprised expression on the pained face. "What kind of answer did you expect?"
The harsh words made Johns look away. "You brought me to this place."
Riddick's sympathy for Johns only went so far. "You *chose* to follow me."
Johns turned and their eyes met for a moment. Neither were certain of what the future held or what the past had meant. The present did not hold a rosy outlook if the current body count was anything to judge by. Death and chaos surrounded them and Johns was sinking into his own private hell the longer they stayed. Riddick knew they had to get out of here fast. Other than that, there was little he could do for he mercenary at the moment.
The ship was ahead of them now. It was a blessed sight in the darkness. But Riddick paused. The creatures were circling them, blood and adrenaline calling them near to the food. He pulled the others off to the side by a boulder. Rain started to pour down over them. They were thankful that they had found the blue worms as the fires went out.
"Stay here. I'm going to run the cells down to the ship and get it powered up and then come back for you." He explained.
"Why do we have to wait here?" Jack asked.
"The monsters are out there, aren't they?" Fry said.
Johns leaned heavily against the solid rock behind him. "Honey, dinner's on."
Riddick stared at him, his expression worried. They were running out of time.
Johns was running out of time. He grabbed the cells and took off towards the ship, trusting that Johns could take care of himself with the monsters. His blood was a homing beacon and the beasts were hungry.
Now he was spouting lines from Florence Henderson movies. His world was closing in on him and he couldn't stop it. He knew he was in shock from the way his hands shook and his head spun but there was something else. Something that had always been there but was breaking out of whatever barriers he had set up. Insanity was calling and he ached to follow it into nothingness.
Fry stepped closer to him. "You worried?"
"You told me once that I shouldn't trust him." She said.
"I said a lot of bullshit. Why do--"
"You don't seem nervous about him going off and leaving us here." Fry interrupted.
Johns shrugged. "There's little we can do about that now, Carolyn."
"Or...or maybe you know he won't leave *you.*"
He closed his eyes against the pain and confusion that the words unleashed.
"I don't know what to think anymore, Carolyn." At a small laugh from the woman, he opened his eyes and glared at her. "What the fuck you gettin' at?"
"I was just wondering. How sure are you that he won't abandon you?"
"He saved my life."
"Look they own ass first, right Johns? Isn't that what you told me?" Fry insisted.
The nagging doubts bite at his ankles and whispered in his mind. He looked down.
Fry nodded. "Yeah, that's what I thought. You talk a lot of shit for someone who knows nothing."
The usual fire that had endeavored Johns spirit was all but gone. He didn't even have the energy to fight her, to argue. His mind was a mushy mess of doubts, indecisions, and pain. He just wanted to curl up and hide. He had thought that night on the stoop was when he had hit rock-bottom but he realized that there was an extra layer of shit and rocks. Loneliness and despair was centered deep in his bones as he acutely felt Riddick's absence.
He powered up the ship and opened the hatch. His pilot's instincts were coming back to him the more switches he flipped. Bright lights shone out into the darkness and raindrops splattered onto the ground in a soothing monotone.
It was a deceptive sense of security. Riddick walked down the hatch and ran towards where the survivors were. He was about to reach them when all hell broke loose.
Go back to Part 16
Go on to Part 18