Title: I Want You To Need Me
Author: Mary (SlayerKnight2@aol.com)
I Want You To Need Me 19
He must have drifted in and out of consciousness at least a dozen times over the course of the next few hours. He could feel it coming, a deep, thick cloud that would seep into his head until darkness overwhelmed him. It was a haunting state of being and nothing compared to sleep. In sleeping, a person dreamed. This...this was something different where you were suspended in time and helpless to break free of the hold.
Johns felt something cool and wet press against his forehead. He opened his eyes and saw Imam kneeling over him. The merc flexed his muscles, wakening them from his curled up position next to the hull. The holy man dipped his washcloth into a small bucket of water before returning it to his forehead.
The coolness soothed his headache somewhat.
Kind brown eyes gazed down at him. "How are you feeling, Mr. Johns?"
"Wonderful." His voice sounded hoarse.
"And your wound?" The holy man attempted to turn his shoulder to examine it but Johns shied away from the motion and he didn't press.
The hoards of bee stings only came when he moved. Staying still, it felt numb and raw. "Any luck finding a transport?"
Imam nodded. "We are being picked up by a Company ship."
For some reason the thought made him smile. "All four of us, huh?"
A new voice came from somewhere up front, thankfully interrupting the holy man's sympathetic look. "We're coming in."
It was the girl, Jack. He'd forgotten about her. Had Riddick told his plan to kill her down on the planet? He looks towards the front of the shuttle.
Riddick was sitting in the pilot seat, flying the ship into the docking port and the girl sat in the copilot chair. She glanced back at him but her expression was of sympathy and excitement. He guessed Riddick had kept quiet.
Johns could feel the atmospheric drop back to normal as they settled down into the hanger. He could hear the shuttle shut off and power down. Riddick and the girl stood up, walking towards him as the hatch opened. He felt strong arms pull him up into a standing position. They went to help further but he struggled. The killer guided him out mumbling.
"Stubborn son of a bitch."
They walked down the shuttle door and stood in front of a line of people.
There were four troops in the back, armed to the teeth. There was also a man and a woman standing in the lead, dressed in formal military wear. The man stepped forward, his gray eyes hardened from life in the service and salt-and-peppered hair.
"Admiral Ross Hawkins and this is Lieutenant Madeline Kennedy. Welcome aboard the Zeus."
The survivors remained silent and Johns knew that the paranoid military personnel were getting jittery. " Will Johns. Imam, Jack, and Max."
He didn't see the look that Riddick shot him. Hawkins and Kennedy seemed assuaged, though. The lieutenant gestured for the armed guards to leave and then turned back to their company. Johns' world tilted and everything evaporated once again.
"He's been sitting there the entire time. Just hunched over in that chair.
Only leaves every now and then." The dark-haired nurse murmured to her friend.
"I know. I brought him some food a few hours ago. Seemed surprised I even noticed him." The redhead added.
Riddick could hear every word. Johns' room wasn't that far from the nurses' station and he wanted to hear the new world around him. The survivors were forced to trust these people and he didn't like coercion. To leave the merc alone was not an option and here, the military personnel would not bother him for answers.
He had needed to think, a dangerous pass time. Johns was an emotional shithole, Fry was dead, and they were stranded on an unknown freighter. A freighter full of Company men. It had been about two days since they had arrived and no word from the Company. They had yet to ask any questions or make any demands. The irregularity of it disturbed him.
Johns stirred in the bed in front of him and opened his eyes slowly. The lights were off so they didn't hurt the merc's eyes either. He looked disoriented and panicked and the serial killer ached to touch him but refrained. If Johns wanted his help now, the man would have to ask.
Eventually his calmed down, gathering his bearings.
Ice-blue eyes focused on him and a scratchy voice broke the silence. "Shit."
A long pause. "Got a pillow there, Chief?"
Riddick was not amused.
Johns' half-smile faded and he cleared his throat. "So, what did they do to me?"
"IV, heart monitor, stitches, and minor surgery." He replied.
"Moderate and withdrawal meds." He finished.
Johns nodded. "How long you been here?"
Cerulean eyes gazed at him for a while. There was pain there that all of medicine couldn't cure. "There's something wrong."
Understatement. Riddick shifted to lean back into the chair. "The Company's silent. No questions. No answers." Another pause. "How are you feeling?"
"Amazing." Sarcasm coated his words. Johns took a deep breath and looked like he was about to say something when the redhead walked in.
"Oh, you're awake. And how are we feeling, Will?"
"That's a popular question."
The nurse was either used to cranky patients or she didn't care. She put a new bag up to his IV "You were stabbed, honey. It's like telling the bride she's beautiful at the recital. Even if you don't care, you say it."
Riddick snorted. At least the woman was honest.
Johns sighed but kept quiet afterwards.
The woman finished and walked out with the coolness of her profession.
The uncomfortable silence ruled the room once again. There was a lot to say but not a lot of patience or energy to voice it. Riddick needed to voice one question, though, that had been milling around his head since they had first arrived.
"You called me Max."
Johns frowned and looked up at him. "Huh?"
"When we first got here, you introduced me as 'Max'. Why?"
The young man shrugged. "It was the first name that came to me."
Anger laced Riddick's words now. He knew things had deteriorated between Johns and him but this? "You think of me as him now?"
"Didn't say that--"
"You usually say what you think, Johns."
The merc lashed out in irritation. "Next time I'll give them your real name." He glanced warily out the door at the nurses' station and lowered his voice. "Fuck, Riddick. You know they are checking us out as we speak. What was I supposed to do? This is not supposed to be this hard."
He remained silent.
"Aren't you going to say 'it'll get better'."
"'Cause things with you never seem to get better." He regretted voicing the words but it was too late now.
Go back to Part 18
Go on to Part 20