Shooting the Breeze

by CCL

Riddick sighed. It had been a hellish few weeks. Between Jules, Ardath, and then suddenly CC jumping on the bandwagon, all he'd gotten was a huge migraine, a horrific introduction to babysitting, and CC sucking him into her terrifying alternate universe. And Lilith was helping!

"Damn writers. Psychotic women with a mean creative streak."

He lowered the ramp on the skiff and walked out into the brisk night. Instinctively he flexed his muscles to battle the slight chill and ambled towards the door of the somewhat spacious house. He never saw the glowing yellow eyes watching his every move.

'Whose house is this anyway?'

Shelving that thought for a moment he tried the door and found it was open. The sound of loud Aerosmith music and other similar gravelly voices caught his attention and Riddick decided to seek them out.

He wandered through the kitchen and dining area, noticing several empty bottles of Icehouse and Corona's littering the floor. When he rounded the last corner into the living room, he saw his friends.


"Chris. Dom. What's up?"

Chris stood in a corner, dressed casually in some jeans and nice dress shirt. He held the pool stick in one hand with his other wrapped firmly around a new Icehouse. The ex-broker looked tired; he barely even smiled as Riddick entered. Dom, on the other hand, seemed to have a bit of spring in his step. He stretched fluidly to take his shot on the eight ball in the corner pocket and laughed when it dropped.

"Ha! That's three games to none, Chris. And you thought you almost had me. You never had me!"

Chris groaned and went to the small wet bar in the corner of the room. Riddick only chuckled and moved to follow the young man. He watched Chris drop down in the chair and casually flopped in the one right next to it. Maybe his week hadn't been so bad after all.

"Troubles, Chris?"

"Yo, Riddick!"

He turned to look at the street racer standing at the end of the pool table, arms outstretched and silver cross twinkling with the reflecting of the light. His mind began to churn out the lilting tune.

'Tinkle, tinkle wittle star...'

Riddick's face crumpled and he covered his goggled eyes with the heels of his hands, muttering a curse at the memory.


Dom heard the obscenity and arched an eyebrow in question.

"I don't think they've done that to us yet, have they?"

The trio laughed and Riddick slowly began to relax. Finally he was in the company of his own. Guys that could understand his frustration with these insane women and their creative tendencies that bordered on the strange, unique and at times utterly perverse.

"No, Dom. I don't think so. But have you checked the boards? If they got me babysitting, who the hell knows what they'll think of next? And what the fuck did you want anyway? You called me for something..."

"No, they haven't slashed us. At least... not with each other. But RedSith is getting close! And I was asking if you felt up for a game."

Riddick could only blink in confusion at the collection of small spheres on the large rectangle. 'Game? What the hell kind of game is this?' Shrugging he stood and walked over to examine the table more closely.

"Yeah I heard she'd slashed you and Brian. So how's that working out for you? And what the hell is the point of this game?"

Dom chuckled and proceeded to rack the balls and position them appropriately. He grabbed up his stick and moved to the opposite end where Riddick stood. If possible the man grinned even wider as he spoke of his lovers.

"Well the whole love triangle possibilities are endless. I'll die if the two of them end up giving me an ultimatum though. They're both pretty great."

Chancing a glance at Chris, who was mindlessly peeling the label off his Icehouse, he barked at the man, making him jump.

"Chris, hand the man your stick since you seem to be having your pity party all alone. Let me show Riddick here how to play eight ball."

Chris grumbled under his breath before handing over the long piece of polished wood. Shrugging Riddick accepted the offer and jumped at the loud crack that overruled the loud metal music.

"What the fuck was that????"

Riddick noticed that the once ordered triangle of balls were now scattered along the felt-covered slate and Dom was stretched out again, aiming his stick at one of the balls. With a sharp thrust of his hand, the stick impacted the target and sent it flying into another ball which dropped into a pocket of sorts at the corner of the table.

"See? It's real simple, Riddick. You just aim at the cue ball with the stick. Line that ball up with the ball you want to hit. And then try to figure out the angle to use and make the target ball drop in a pocket. You've got solids."

His speech complete, Dom circled the table and prepared for another shot, never seeing Riddick's look of confusion.

"Dom, you wanna say that again in English?"

Chris absently stood and walked up behind Riddick to place a light hand on the man's shoulder. His sigh startled the convict and again Riddick jumped away.

"Fuck, Chris! Don't sneak up on me like that!"

"Sorry man, I wasn't thinking. Guess CC's kid really got to you, huh? Listen. This is easy. You just hit the white ball into the solid colored balls to try and put them in the pocket. No big deal."


Dom stopped mid-shot and looked up at the other men.

"What does he mean, 'Colors?' Chris?"

Groaning in exasperation, Chris ran a hand over his mouth and jaw.

"He's got a fucking shine job man. His eyes are all silvery and shit. He probably can't even tell the difference between the stripes and solids. Much less the colors to aim at. Screw it. I'll play you again."

He traded his Icehouse for the stick in Riddick's hand and the murderer just let the broker take over. From what he'd heard, the kid had been having a rough time of it anyways.

"Fine with me, Chris. Prepare to have your ass handed to you again!! So, Riddick, I heard you've been getting some fairly decent action lately. Care to share?"

"I'm sure Letty filled you in already, Dom"

"Yeah, well she said the kid was an angel after you left. Guess you just bring out the worst in kids, huh?"

"No. CC thinks I've had it too easy and decided to torture me a different way. Besides. She was still a bit miffed at a few other things folks have been doing with me lately. She figured this would grab everybody's attention and make them feel sorry for me... her... hell, I dunno! The point is she's about ready to spit nails and I can't say that I don't agree. You know what I'm talking about, Chris."

The broker sighed again.

"Yeah. Boy do I! I mean, tell me. What's wrong with me? Do I have angst tattooed on me somewhere? Why can't I ever get the really smutty fics and rps?? And when I do manage to get the smutty ones... they're slash! Do I look that damn slashable???"

Riddick gave the guy a firm clap on the back and nodded in sympathy. After all they shared the same slash partner. Well... at least one of the same slash partners. 'Note to self to investigate that slash report on me and Johns.' He involuntarily shivered, before focusing back on the street racer who was doing a great job of pocketing the balls in rapid succession. When the racer finally missed an easy shot on the fourteen ball, he walked to stand next to Riddick, his taunts filling the lull in the conversation.

"Who'd they slash you with, Chris?? Seth? Oh wait. Don't tell me. It was that asshole, Greg, right??"

"Maul," came the chorused reply.

"Maul? Who the fuck is Maul? And why'd you both answer??"

"It's like this, Dom. Riddick and I both got introduced to Maul courtesy of RedSith. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before she introduces you to him. Specially since she wasted no time pairing you with Brian."

"Well yeah, but she gave me Letty too! Serial Hag is the one that's got me confused. I'm with Letty... but I'm flirting with Dallas' sister? What the fuck? And you still haven't told me who this Maul guy is! What's he look like?"

When Dom missed his next shot, Chris stepped up to the table and began his slow elimination of the solid balls. Riddick leaned back up against the wall and listened in amused delight as Chris moved in for the kill with Maul's description.

"Oh he's kinda indescribable, Dom. Tall, slender, but well built. Dresses in these funny black robes. Horns, black and red tattoos all over his body. Kinda hard to miss."

The quiet thunk of the ball dropping into the pocket was missed as Dom's eyes widened in shock and his voice overpowered the rock music yet again.


The stockbroker and convict chuckled at his outrage and just grinned.

"You'll see, Dom. Trust me! Now Chris... what's up with the angst man? Who's hassling you now?"

"Pick one, man! Gods!!! Ardath and Lilith apparently have a contest going to see who is the best at torturing me! Jesus! If I'm not feeling guilty about a one night stand or slicing my hand on some wine glass I just HAD to keep squeezing in anger, then my girlfriend is being used by my friend/lawyer/sleazebag that Gunn created. And now Gunn created an even worse sleazebag and had him put Suzanne in the hospital! I'm never gonna get laid!!! In the few stories that I do managed to get laid, they either forget about me completely or decided that they needed some plot to go with the smut and are currently devising MORE ANGST!!!"

The ranting seemed to improve Chris' pool game as he managed to sink most of his balls in rapid succession. Neither Dom nor Riddick missed the intensity with which he took out his frustrations on the poor things either. They clicked and clacked loudly against each other, making the two other men glad they weren't the ladies in question.

Dom lost the rock paper scissors battle and Riddick elbowed him to find out exactly who the last two complaints were aimed at.

"So who forgot about you and who's decided to give you more angst?"

The growl made the racer and former babysitter burst out laughing.

"Serial Hag and CC."

The hoots of laughter echoed off the walls and Riddick slowly began to feel better. 'At least I ain't the only one these ladies are torturing!'

Chris could only glare at Riddick as he missed his shot and stood. An evil grin lit his face as he taunted the goggled man.

"I don't know what you're laughing at, slut. Word in the chat room says Jules is NEVER gonna let you get laid! And don't even get me started on how many times Ardath has shot your leading lady!"

Dom began to cackle with renewed enthusiasm as Riddick scowled at Chris.

"Don't. EVEN. Go. There."

"Oh hell yeah, Riddick!! I'm going there!! Is Mad Marty starting to cramp your style a bit? What does he call you again?? Chrome dome?? And... in keeping with the game at hand... Cue ball?? Guess you won't be getting any in the rest of 'Apprentice' with Jack all shot up full of holes, now will ya?"

All traces of humor left Riddick's face as he stood tense and ready to grab his shiv. His hand slid instinctively to his waistband and found that it wasn't there. 'WHAT?'

Dom laughed even harder.

"You keep forgetting man. CC's writing this one. She ain't gonna let you shiv Chris. She's got angst planned for him! And I'm curious. What exactly did you say to dear old Jack in the cab, huh? Something like 'Tu cuerpo esta enloqueciendome, mi amor, y quiero nada mas que estar adentro de ti.'"

Riddick looked at him blankly.

"Man, I have no idea what you said. Shit, I didn't know I spoke Spanish! And to make matters worse, Jules didn't fucking tell ME what I said to Jack in the cab."

Chris erupted into deep hoots of laughter and Dom braced himself against the table to stop himself from falling into the floor, the pool game momentarily forgotten. Eventually the laughter got to Riddick and he had to smile despite himself.

"Well I guess I can't complain too much. I mean, shit, I've been get laid like hell in the other rp's that Gunn, Ardath, Lil and CC are working on. Just too bad none of them are finished. Claire is pretty cool. But I get the sinking suspicion that something really bad is going to happen to me. They are all too damn giggly about it."

Panting for air, Chris looked up and managed to hold a straight face for about two minutes. Long enough to get in one final jab at the murderer while he was unarmed.

"Yeah... but you're the only man I know that feels guilty for having sex with the most popular character you're paired with. Do you ever get to just enjoy the sex and be happy to be getting laid without them throwing that 'Rejoin the human race' emotion crap on you?"

At that all three men burst into boisterous laughter. All it took was one of them looking at another and they were laughing once again. 'Gods, we're a pathetic group of men. Chained to these insane authors and players out of sheer fucking nobility.' The thought sent Riddick into laughter once again and he didn't stop until Chris' cell phone began to ring.

"Chris Varick."

"Chris! Man, thank god we found you! Listen, Sean, Taylor and I are gonna be late."

"Late? What's up with that, Rick?? You guys were supposed to be here... jeez... seems like months ago."

"Yeah tell me about it! Apparently they've called ANOTHER meeting to decide if it's a good thing for us to leave. What do they think we are?? Gangsters? Drug dealers? Hell Sean is so pissed right now he's threatening to lock everybody up!!"

"Well I thought you guys had been sneaking out. Didn't Gunn and Lil kidnap them? And didn't CC and Serial Hag nab you for a few nights?? I bet security was none too pleased."

"Yeah... well. You know how that goes. We'd be out there now having the time of our lives if the damn studios would get off their collective asses but who am I to complain?"

"I hear you, man. So hopefully we'll see you soon?"

"As soon as I get a release date I'll call you back."

"Fair enough. Later."


Dom and Riddick stood in the corner sipping on their beers as Chris clicked his cell phone off. He noticed they were staring at something on the TV but couldn't make out what.

"That was Taylor, Sean and Rick. They've hit a snag with the studios and are going to be late. They'll let us know when they know something. What are you guys watching?"

Dom nodded at Chris explanation but never let his eyes leave the vaguely familiar man now being interviewed on the TV.

"Riddick? Do you still have the power of speech since Nos-for-brains here doesn't??"

Riddick studied the new man on the screen before looking up to Chris.

"It's Xander. They're grilling him about his movie."

"Who the hell is Xander?"

"The new James Bond?? Remember? And you'll pay for that Nos-for-brains comment, Mr. I'm-So-Angsty."

"LISTEN! Listen! The X-games champion is talking. Let's find out when he's supposed to be joining the ranks."

Patiently the three men listened to the remainder of the interview and all smiled when they heard the date. July 26, 2002.

"So... another bad boy to join the party. How interesting."

"Don't speak too quick, Riddick. Sean, Taylor and Rick were supposed be here already. And where the hell is Caparzo?? Did you see him when you got here?"

The soldier picked that moment to come bursting through the door. Dom swallowed his reply to Chris' question and Riddick just scowled at the man's frantic face.

"What the hell is your problem Caparzo?? No wonder your ass got shot first if you can't follow simple damn directions."

"Guys... I got a problem."

"What??" they chorused.

"I got married."

"YOU WHAT???" they screeched.

Riddick's cell phone picked that precise moment to shrill and interrupt Carpy's story and with a disgusted flip he opened it and put it to his ear.

"Richard. B. Riddick. Escaped convict. Murderer."

"Riddick. Got another job for you."

"Oh no, Jack. NO WAY! The PBDS is just gonna have to function without me. No way!"

"Riddick. This is serious. Lil needs help with Harry and Serena. Can you take the skiff over to the UK and babysit? I promise to send you reinforcements."


"Well, I'm not sure if Shazza is available. I think she may be busy trying to find Fry. We lost her again. But I'm sure I can find somebody. Maybe Johns is free..."

"JACK! You can't do this to me!!! I don't care, I ain't going. No."

"Awwwww, c'mon, Riddick. I promise to make it worth your while."

"How much?"

Her voice took on a teasingly seductive tone.

"I'll make it VERY worth your while. Might even arrange some nice PWP's for us. So what do you say?"

"Give me a few hours. I'll be there as soon as I can."

He couldn't stop the smirk from lighting his face as he clicked his phone closed and polished off his beer. 'Some nice PWP's would be great. Hell, as long as the plot isn't too angsty it wouldn't be half bad.'

"Gotta fly, guys. Babysitting job."

The other three men stopped their conversation and looked at Riddick like he'd just turned into a night freak.

"WHAT?" they gasped in unison.

"UK job. Lil's two kids. Not to worry, I'm taking backup."




"Well, he's got the big gauge. Now... before I go... who married you Caparzo?"

"She didn't leave a name. Just a letter. L."

"Who does she think she is, Zorro??"

They all laughed and walked Riddick out. However their better moods were quickly ripped from them when four sets of eyes surveyed the damage in front of the house.

"What the hell did he do to the Supra, Chris? I thought you said you fed him?"

"I thought Carpy was gonna feed him!"

"Don't look at me, I just got here!"

"Well how the hell am I supposed to fly to the UK when the damn Iron Giant just ate the damn skiff?"

At the mention of his name the Iron Giant dropped what was left of the car he was munching and lifted a large rock and tree.

"Roooooccccck..... Treeeeeeeeeeeeeee."

"Great, Chris. Nice pet you got there!!!"

"Shut up, Dom, or I'll have RedSith slash you with Maul."

Riddick approached the metal beast and growled at its questioning yellow eyes.

"Now what am I supposed to do?? Do you realize that I have to go?"

"You. Stay. I. Go. No following."

Riddick glared at the stockbroker over his shoulder.

"Chris! It's got the vocabulary of CC's kid!! Fucking brilliant!"

Turning to face his current obstacle, Riddick called up all his badass convict DNA and let his shined eyes lock with the Giant's yellow ones.

"No you over grown tin can! I have to get to the UK! Now what do you propose I do?"

The Iron Giant gently extended his hand and Riddick begrudgingly climbed in.

"I hope you've got a fucking license, pal."

As they took off, Mike pulled up to the curb in front of the house.

"Hey guys!! Guess what??? I got a call back from that commercial I auditioned for. You know what they said? I can be the third body builder that gets eaten by the lions in that deodorant commercial for Degree. And to think, this is the only part I can get unless I write my own movie!!"

Three pairs of eyes studied the young man as they shook their heads. They were all muttering the same thing.

"Damn the writers. Damn them all to hell."

The story makes references to the following pieces of fiction:
Trophies by RedSith
Interlude by RedSith
New Ground parts 1 and 2 by RedSith
Aftermath by RedSith
The Faithful by Jules
Three for the Money by Jules
Apprentice by Ardath Rekha
Unrestrained by Ardath Rekha
Anges Sur Nos Épaules by L
Get In, Sit Down, Shut Up and Hold On by Serial Hag
No Promises by CCL
Adventures In Babysitting by CCL

These RolePlays were referred to and can be found on the boards or in the archives:
Empty Arms to Hold Me by Lilith and Ardath
The Cost of a Single Kiss by Ardath and Gunn
A Dish Best Served Cold by Serial Hag and Gunn
More Than He Bargained For by Ardath and CCL
Taylor Tales by Lilith and Gunn