Title: I heard what you said of the universe
Fandom: Chronicles of Riddick/Star Trek reboot
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Whitman.
Warnings: AU for reboot; future!fic for Riddick
Pairings: Riddick/Vaako, Jim/Bones
Point of view: third
Notes: things go AU before the reboot starts; also, I completely forgot about Dame Vaako, so let’s say she died while attempting a coup d’état.
You keep what you kill.
Riddick, for all that he is a brute, is a surprisingly pleasant man to serve. If he doesn’t like someone, he tells them to their face. He doesn’t backstab, but he does play favorites, and Vaako is always at his side, his guide to this new existence.
It is impossible to change a society overnight and Riddick does not try. He institutes new policies, though, which include letting people who decline conversion remain on their planets. No more cultures are destroyed by the Necromongers, and since he soundly defeats all challengers, his will is law.
A dozen years after he takes the throne, he asks Vaako, “You want a ship of your own?”
Vaako replies, “I’m content at your side.”
Riddick nods and says, “We’ll find you a ship worthy of my majordomo.”
Since he expects that to be the end of it, Vaako is surprised seven months later when Riddick rumbles into his ear, “I found you somethin’.”
The Narada is beautiful and dangerous and full of technology the likes of which Vaako has never seen. Her crew is given the usual choice, and each picks to remain Romulan, a culture Vaako is unfamiliar with. Her captain, though, refuses to submit and tries to attack Riddick after being soundly defeated, so Vaako destroys him.
Riddick grins. “You killed the cap’n,” he says. “The ship’s yours."
Vaako renames the Romulan ship Furyan’s Blade; Riddick tells him to explore galaxies they’ve yet to conquer. Every few years they meet up and Vaako reports his discoveries. He nearly forgets the Underverse and he no longer visits the purifying chamber. He can feel and smell and taste, and Riddick is so very vibrant.
At each rendezvous, Vaako expects to be cast aside, but Riddick is still possessive and his hellhounds still greet Vaako like a returning packmate.
“You look alive,” is Riddick’s greeting this time, smirking. “Wanna try somethin’ fun?”
It’s not trying anymore, since they have long been experts at pleasuring each other, but Vaako replies, “Of course, Lord Marshal.”
Riddick takes that for the challenge it is, and soon enough Vaako screams his name.
Vaako thinks that maybe a century has passed since he killed the Romulan captain and claimed his ship. Time is unimportant to a Necromonger, but Vaako feels that he is less of one by the day. He explores the far reaches of the multiverse, saving up stories to share with Riddick.
And then he passes into somewhere new and realizes everything has changed.
Something called Starfleet rules space here. Vaako recognizes only the humans, though Vulcans seem similar to the Romulans. Instead of storming with force as had been the Necromonger way before Riddick, Vaako slowly works his way to the planet called Earth, which seems to be Starfleet’s base. He leaves the Blade far enough away to not be truly noticed and goes in alone. His crew protests but he overrules them.
Earth is fascinating. Riddick would love it, how weak and silly the people are, how easy it would be to defeat them.
In a storage facility for knowledge, Vaako searches for the Necromongers or the Underverse and finds nothing. Seemingly, neither ever existed. After a dozen sunrises, Vaako returns to the Blade and heads back to the dark spot of space where he fell into this thread of the multiverse.
He can find no passage back to Riddick. Whatever opened for him once refuses to do so again.
Months pass before he gives up and tells his crew that they need to find something to do.
Furyan’s Blade soon makes the news. Vaako masters all the technology these species have and follows what is said of him. The people and their craft are ridiculously fragile.
Vaako does not convert anyone he defeats and only conscripts a few. The rest he jettisons back to Starfleet space, barely alive. If their technology can save them, so be it. If not, then so be that, as well.
An armada is sent to destroy him. Vaako lets them come. He is tired of this place, and he misses Riddick, and he tells the crew to leave because he will die fighting.
“What would the Lord Marshal say?” demands his pilot.
Vaako replies, “The Lord Marshal isn’t here. Now go.”
Vaako, alone in the Furyan’s Blade, faces Starfleet when it comes. He launches one attack, purposefully avoiding kill shots, and then does not respond as the armada fires back.
At the last moment, Vaako runs to an escape pod; it’s cowardly, he knows, but if he dies here, he will never see Riddick again.
He will become a prisoner of Starfleet if caught, but none of them have ever seen the captain of the Blade, so hidden by the debris, he flees.
Vaako, the Lord Marshal’s consort and second-in-command, Captain of the Furyan’s Blade, dies with his ship.
And Leonard McCoy, an amnesiac found in the Atlantic Ocean after a shuttle malfunction, is born.
Leonard McCoy is smart and funny and loud. A computer virus explains why all records of him are lost. He goes to medical school for the hell of it, and then applies to Starfleet. He meets Jim Kirk on the way, a kid determined to become a captain one day.
Jim renames him Bones. Sometimes, when he’s with Jim, Bones almost forgets Riddick.
A dozen years pass. Jim graduates and gets a ship, and Bones is his Chief Medical Officer. Lord Vaako is only a dream Bones has every now and again after a particularly rough day, when Jim does something heroically stupid and nearly dies.
And then, in a speck of space that seems so very familiar, a rift opens to let in a fleet Bones recognizes.
He shouldn’t even be on the bridge when the Enterprise is hailed. But he and Jim had been arguing and Bones knew Spock would side with him, so he followed Jim from medbay.
“Who’s in charge?” Riddick rumbles, gaze roving around the bridge. He’s larger than life on the screen, sprawled over his throne, pack of hellhounds sitting pretty at his feet. His eyes pass over Bones, but then come back, and Bones sees his body tighten.
“I’m Captain James T. Kirk of the Enterprise,” Jim declares, standing tall. “Who are you?”
Riddick is smirking and Bones knows what words will spill forth, so he steps forward to announce, “This place isn’t worth it. It’s too easy, Riddick.”
Keeping his gaze locked on Bones (is he still Bones anymore?), Riddick asks, “You want me to go?” His eyes shine and Bones is glad he left the goggles off. “I’ve missed you, Vaako.”
“I tried to return,” Bones tells him. “I tried for months. You found a way to control it?”
“’a’course I did,” Riddick drawls. “I leave here, you’re with me.” He focuses on Jim, then back around the bridge. He smirks at Uhura and Chekov, who finches. “Vaako?”
Jim turns to Bones, demanding, “Bones, the hell?”
Bones smiles at him. “Thank you,” he murmurs. “Jim, thank you.” He wants to hug and kiss Jim goodbye, to explain everything, but Riddick is a possessive lover. “Spock,” he says, shooting a glance over his shoulder and making it a command. “Take care of Jim.” He turns back to the screen.
Vaako speaks. “I’ll be there in a moment, Lord Marshal.”
“You better be,” Riddick says, threat and promise in the words. “I been spoilin’ for a fight.”
The screen goes dark and Vaako turns on his heel, hurrying to the lift. “Chekov, with me!” he barks, tone so demanding that Chekov is at his heels instantly.
“Bones!” Jim yells, but there is no time. Vaako and Chekov are gone.
He needs to be off this ship before Jim issues an order that will have Riddick declaring war, and he tells Chekov just enough to make sure no one will try beaming him back.
Vaako kneels at Riddick’s feet, the hellhounds prowling around him. “You look so pretty,” Riddick tells him. “So wholesome. I wanna devour you.”
Necromongers don’t age. Vaako has, but he feels the years between them melting away.
“I’m here for your pleasure, Lord Marshal,” he murmurs.
Riddick laughs, pulling Vaako up and flush against him. “I smell that cap’n on you, Vaako. Was he enough for you?” Riddick’s teeth close on the junction of Vaako’s throat and shoulder, and Vaako tries to throw him off, but Riddick unmovable. “You’re outta practice. We’ll work on that.”
Riddick keeps Vaako on his ship, at his side. Soon enough, Bones is a faded dream, and the sun-bright captain he loved.
The multiverse spreads itself wide open for the Furyan Lord Marshal and Vaako is content to follow him.
You keep what you kill.
Leonard McCoy killed Vaako with the Furyan’s Blade, but Vaako killed Bones on the bridge of the Enterprise. So who is he really? Who spars with the Lord Marshal, who keeps his bed warm, who remembers another man in less and less frequent dreams?
“You with me?” Riddick asks, eyes hidden behind his goggles and voice revealing nothing.
“Of course,” Vaako answers. Leonard McCoy and Bones are dead. “Always.”