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The Beginning of the End

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Chapter One

 

November 1st, 2009

Southbound lanes of Interstate 5; just outside Seattle, Washington.

 

Cold winter winds buffeted the black, armored Chevy Tahoe as it sped down the interstate. The driver wore a black suit and dark sunglasses with clear cord attached to a small bud in his ear that curled down his neck and under his shirt collar to connect to the radio hidden under his jacket. His passenger was a small seven year old girl. She stared silently out the window; wishing that she were anywhere except that car; headed to the research facility her father was in charge of with all her belongings stowed in the trunk.

She had been staying with her grandparents since her mother had died two years earlier, because her father had always been a workaholic and never had the time to raise her. The company he worked for now had round the clock child care and even though Dakota didn't want to go there, she had no choice and it wasn't as if she wanted to stay with her grandparents either, but at least she had friends there. She'd lived in a research compound before and she had hated it. There were never any kids her age and without her mother she would be foisted off on people who didn't care about her.

She fought back tears, closing her eyes and breathing deeply until the burning passed. When she opened them the SUV was leaving the freeway. She looked up at the large building they came to a few moments later and was overwhelmed by a sudden feeling of dread. Something was about to go horribly wrong. She'd had the same feeling the day her mother had died.

 

January 10th, 2010

BSAA Headquarters in Washington D.C.

 

Chris Redfield was pissed. Not only were his superiors shoving a simple recon mission down his team's throat, but they were also sending some guy from a dubious government agency with them. He'd heard the term OGA used by a C.I.A. man to describe members of the alphabet soup organizations that made up America's national security network. Other Government Agencies, were always getting in the way of justice with their endless bureaucracy of red tape and some were so secret that they didn't even have a name known to outsiders.

The only solace he had was the fact that Sheva and Jill would be with him. He glanced over at the two women who were sitting in the back of the Gulfstream giggling and whispering to each other like they had some big secret-they did. Probably quite a few. One of which wasn't a secret to Chris anymore. He'd already caught them banging each other-an interesting act to walk in on. Especially with the strap-on Sheva had been using on his blonde ex-partner.

Chris shifted in his seat, suddenly uncomfortable, and turned away from them before he began to revisit the memory in detail. This was not the place to be thinking about such things. "The OGA guy's late." He grumbled, irritated from the tightness in his jeans and embarrassment by his most current train of thought. Not so much frustration with the fact the fact that they were waiting on a guy their superiors had deemed the most important person going on the routine operation.

Chief Withers, their immediate supervisor, had an expression of hero worship when speaking of the man they were waiting on, which irritated the hell out of Chris. It wasn't like the guy had saved the world like Chris and Sheva just had over in Africa, and all they'd gotten was a pat on the back for a job well done. Almost everyone still treated them like normal. Not that he needed the hero worship Mr. Government Agent was receiving. The girls looked up and just chuckled at his impatience. He sighed with irritation was shifting again when a black SUV came to a screeching halt only a few yards from the jet. Chief Withers stood at attention on the airport tarmac as a man climbed out of a rear door. Chris wrinkled his nose in scorn as the man nodded to Withers then began walking towards the G-5. As he got closer Chris's eyes widened in shock. "Well fuck." He grinned.

Leon Scott Kennedy was a living, breathing legend. He had rescued the former President's daughter from occultists in Spain, not to mention put down quite a few outbreaks almost single handed. He'd also been the one to save Chris's own sister from certain death in Raccoon City and and again in Harvardville. He'd met the man only once, but his sister talked about him like he was a God. The leather bomber jacket Leon wore was a testament to her regard. Chris had witnessed her purchase it from a mall they went to ta hang out. Claire had only said it was for a friend to replace one he'd lost.

"What?" Jill scooted forward. "Holy shit.” She breathed out. “Is that him?" Chris only nodded, watching the younger man's approach. He walked with an agile, almost feline, grace that the brunette envied.

"Sorry to keep you waiting." Leon smiled politely as he entered the airplane cabin. Chris looked him over as the other man took a seat. Leon was a bit more slight than he himself, both in height and muscle mass. He didn't look intimidating to the casual observer-which no doubt came in handy at times-but from the stories Chris had heard and the trained eye of a fellow warrior; he could see Kennedy's lethal potential.

The jet's engines whined to life and within seconds they were in the air. "So, no one told us it was you joining us." Chris's tension eased.. Leon's blue-gray eyes slid to him. "We were expecting some bureaucrat with red tape coming out his a-"

"It is a pleasure to finally meet you Mr. Kennedy." Sheva cut Chris off with a smile, holding out her hand. "Sheva Alomar." He shook her hand before nodding to the blonde sitting next to her.

"Jill, nice to see you among the living." Leon said causing her to grin widely.

"I heard about Spain, nice work." She shook his hand. Leon only shrugged.

"No big deal, its not like I saved the world." His lips turned up in a small smile that made both girls visibly swoon and Chris jealous. His smile couldn't do that. His smile couldn't get him shit from anyone, not that it really mattered; he didn't envy the younger man's softer looks and longer hair.

He frowned giving Leon another once over with his eyes. He really didn't look like much; in fact he seemed smaller than the last time Chris had seen him, and if he remembered correctly the jacket Claire had bought him was almost three sizes smaller than what he himself wore. Thinking about the coat brought another question to mind. Why had Claire bought it for him? The thing had been fucking expensive. Did it mean Leon had something going on with his sister? He was about to ask when a cell phone began ringing. He looked around in confusion until Leon reached into his pocket and pulled out a phone. “Kennedy." Chris rolled his eyes at the official tone. "Not now Ashley." The younger man sighed closing his eyes in obvious frustration. He rose from his seat and walked away, speaking into the phone quietly. After about a minute he snapped the phone closed and sat back down.

"Ashley? As in Ashley Graham?" Jill asked, voice filled with curiosity. Leon only nodded, slipping his phone back into his pocket.

"Why would the former President's daughter be calling you?" Chris's brow furrowed.

"Well, duh, he saved her life." Jill smacked her leader's arm. "I never stop calling you do I?" Sheva laughed.

"She's got a point."

"She calls you all the time too." Chris pointed out.

"I did help save her life."

"And she helped save ours, so what's the big deal?" He shot back. The two women looked at each other and sighed.

"He flew halfway around the world by himself and saved her from skeevy occultists bent on world domination, who wanted to infect her with a parasite then have her do the same to her father and so on and so forth." Jill replied. "Not to mention that Leon's well-" She pointed at him with a helpless shrug.

"He's what?"

"Let's just say he could rescue me anytime."

"Me too." Sheva nodded and both women giggled, blushing furiously as Leon smirked. Chris shook his head. One would think that they weren't highly trained soldiers by how they were acting, besides; he was every bit as attractive as the blonde man who was watching the women with his hard to read, smoky blue-gray eyes.

"Whatever. So, hotshot, what's so special about this facility we're going into?"

"The Dakota Facility is an old underground laboratory, much like the one that was under Raccoon City. They were both built by Umbrella." The government agent replied. "However, the facility we're going to check out has been re-purposed by Tricell. It is underneath their offices in Seattle."

"What?!" Three voices exclaimed.

"Tricell bought the building and refurbished the underground labs, making them larger and safer. Officially they study vaccines at this branch, but unofficially they house many different viruses and parasites for research."

"How is that even legal?" Chris snapped.

"They've created vaccines for the T, T-Veronica, and G-viruses, and even antidotes for infection caught in early stages with research done by Wilpharma and themselves conducted in labs such as the one we are headed to. This particular one bears the code name 'Dakota', after the head scientist's daughter."

"They shouldn't even be messing with that shit."

"I disagree." Leon shook his head. "The world needs protection from these viruses and as much as I hate to say it; pharmaceutical research like theirs' saved my life a few months ago." He rolled up his left sleeve. On the skin was a scar that had obviously come from a bite. "If I hadn't been vaccinated I wouldn't be here."

"How'd you get bit?" Chris frowned. That didn't seem like the badass agent he'd been hearing about.

"By choice.” Leon snorted. “I was down in Mexico chasing a few of Umbrella's ex-employees when they triggered in outbreak by injecting themselves and some civilians with the T-virus rather than get caught. Before I knew what was going on, my team was surrounded by hundreds of infected. We fought off as many as we could and radioed the army who surrounded the city. They got most of the survivors out and treated those that could be saved. As we were getting ready to pull out and call in an air strike a woman came running up to me screaming about there being people still left in a church. My team and I were given the vaccine and sent back in." His eyes darkened.

"When we got there it was almost too late. The church was being overrun. The survivors managed to get to the roof so I had the pilot of our helicopter fly low enough that we could pick them up. I jumped out to help the injured and hand up the children. As I was lifting the last one, the roof door burst open and an infected man came running towards us. He reached for the little girl I was raising., but a member of my team grabbed her. I shoved my arm in its mouth to keep it busy.”

"You intentionally stuck your arm in a zombie's mouth?" Chris's eyebrows raised in shock, and more than a little awe. Leon shrugged.

"It was a spur of the moment thing. I was vaccinated. None of the kids were.”

"You trusted a vaccine made by Umbrella surrogates?"

"Yes."

"Why?"

"Why not?" He raised a brow. Chris paused, why not, indeed. "Wilpharma actually created the vaccine for the T-virus. Tricell took over their research after Harvardville and made vaccines for the T-Veronica and G-viruses. As well as antidotes for the initial stages of all three."

"So, if they're so great, what were they doing in Africa with Wesker?" Chris frowned.

"They denied any involvement and said that Ms. Gionne was working on and of her own accord."

"And you believe them?"

"Sure." Leon replied with a lazy roll of his shoulders, however, his eyes said something else. Chris looked him up and down, considering while chewing the inside of his cheek. The government agent knew more than he was saying.

"So, what aren't you telling us?" Jill asked cautiously. "If Tricell is so awesome, then why are we infiltrating one of their compounds and what as exactly? We're geared up for more than just monitoring a lab." Leon's brow furrowed slightly.

"You weren't briefed on the mission parameters?"

"We got into work today and Chief Withers ordered us onto the jet. All he said was that we'd be going on a reconnaissance mission to an underground facility with an agent from the Government." Jill replied. Leon frowned.

"Excuse me for a moment." He stood, pulling out his cell phone and walked into the cockpit. The three BSAA agents glanced at each other, what the hell was going on?

 

November 1st, 2009

Tricell Building, Seattle, Washington.

 

Agent Aaron Jenson hated kids. Hated them with a passion, but for some reason he found it hard to hate the small girl holding his hand as they rode the elevator down to the underground labs. She was quiet, intelligent and sweet. Not like all the other kids he'd met and her melancholy nature tugged at his heart. A research laboratory was no place to raise a child and, as far as he knew, no other kids lived there, but it wasn't his place to think about such things. All he had to do was pick her up then drop her off. He wasn't paid to care or ask questions. He sighed inwardly. It was times like these that made him hate his job.

 

January 10th, 2011

Somewhere over Virginia.

 

"Why was the BSAA team not given the true nature of this op?" Leon frowned into the phone.

"There wasn't time." Ingrid Hunnigan replied calmly. "Also, Tricell has been...hesitant to allow the BSAA to even enter the facility." Leon almost snorted in disgust. He knew why they didn't want the BSAA there. Hunnigan didn't, though, so he kept his mouth shut. "They have given the BSAA access to the first two levels only and the President has agreed. You will be on your own in the lower levels as you assess the situation, is that clear?"

"Crystal." Leon ground his teeth and snapped the phone closed angrily then took a deep breath. He schooled his face back to normal then left the cockpit and walked back to his seat.

"What was that about?" Chris frowned.

"This isn't just a fact finding mission." Leon replied. "Tricell informed my organization in the early hours of the morning that they had lost contact with the Dakota Facility and feared the worst." Three faces stared at him in shock. "They haven't been able to get a hold of anyone down there since yesterday afternoon, which they wrote off as a communications glitch due to it happening before. When a security officer was sent down this morning and discovered a lock-down of the Security Checkpoints; they knew it wasn't and acted accordingly. The President is sending us in to figure out what happened and put a stop to an outbreak before one can begin."

"Why would there be an outbreak?" Chris asked quietly. "If Tricell isn't doing anything dangerous then-"

"I never said they weren't doing anything dangerous." Leon cut him off calmly. "I only said the vaccine that was created saved my life." A distinction that was important as he didn't want to outright lie to these people. Tricell was bad news; he just couldn't be heard saying shit like that.

"But-"

"Do you know what they need to make a vaccine or cure to any disease?"

"No-"

"The virus itself." Jill breathed, eyes widening.

"What?" Chris turned to her, brow furrowing.

"Even with vaccines for stuff like Polio or Smallpox you need the virus itself." The blonde explained. "If they somehow mishandled it, then..." She trailed off.

"An outbreak could occur if left unchecked." Leon finished. "They have samples of all the viruses we've been dealing with since Raccoon City. If there's been an accident...well, it won't be pretty."

"How the fuck can you be so calm?" Chris snapped, standing and turning to face him. "We're four people going into God knows what and all we've got are a what basically amounts to fucking toys." His brown eyes sparked dangerously and Leon suppressed the urge to sigh. Claire had always talked about her brother's short temper, but to actually see it was something else. In his rage the older man was forgetting a blatantly obvious fact. "What do they expect us to do against some giant ass dude infected with the G-"

"Chris." The brunette paused in his rant. "We are on a BSAA jet that has been fully equipped to fly you to outbreaks all over the world. Everything you will need is through those doors." Leon indicated the metal doors that led to the cargo area. “Plus the BSAA team based in Seattle will be joining us upon arrival. That adds four to six more shooters.” He watched the other man's face color as he sat back down. "What we'll be facing will depend entirely on what virus or parasite has been released."

"Parasite?" Sheva cocked her head then her eyes widened. "Don't tell me they have-"

"Both Uroboros, and the Las Plagas." Leon nodded. He watched her shudder and look away. Chris was on his feet again.

"How the fuck did they get Uroboros?" He snarled. "We destroyed every sample"

"That you found." Leon said quietly.

"What?"

"You destroyed every sample that you found." He said a bit louder.

"We burned all the bodies and destroyed all the labs, the boat, fuck; we practically nuked the Marshlands. So I reiterate; how the fuck could they have a sample."

"Excella Gionne." Leon replied with a shrug. Chris stared at him. "She worked for Tricell, correct?" The brunette nodded dumbly, sitting back down. Leon was lying. He knew how they'd gotten the sample. It was from the same specimen that they had gotten the Progeniter virus, but he couldn't tell them that, so he made up a plausible reality. He could tell from their expressions that they bought it and hated himself. He hated lying, but such was his daily life. Most of what he knew was classified anyway. So much so that even the President didn't know some of the stuff Leon was privy to and as much as he admired these people; the fact remained that they didn't have the security clearance to know what he did. It may have been a weak argument, and he knew it-he already felt like shit-however, they were safer not knowing. He barely managed to keep his inner turmoil from showing as he continued. "They are researching ways to safely remove the parasites and how to prevent people from being infected in the first place.”

"How do you know all this?" Sheva asked quietly.

"I work for the United States government, Miss Alomar." Leon replied.

"Please, call me Sheva." The African woman smiled.

"Sheva." He amended bowing his head in her direction. "As I was saying; I work for the government and because of that I'm privy to a lot of information." Not all of it he wanted to know, but at least it was the truth.

"What kind of information?" Chris asked suspiciously. Leon's eyes moved to him.

"I possess an even higher security clearance than the President." Jill whistled softly while Chris just sat back and stared at him in shock.

"How is that possible?" Sheva asked.

"Presidents come and go." Leon shrugged in reply.

"But you remain?"

"Basically." He looked out the window at the brightening sky. Day was just breaking and it was a beautiful morning in Virginia.

"So, what information are we retrieving from the facility?" Jill asked.

"This operation isn't about electronic data collection. It is outbreak prevention. The primary objective is to assess whatever has been released while local emergency teams will stay up top to take care of any survivors from the facility. The BSAA are to escort essential personnel back to the surface to ensure their safety, then wait for reinforcements to nullify the infected that are beyond hope.”

"Sounds simple enough." Chris shrugged, then his eyes narrowed. "What's the catch?"

"Tricell has given the BSAA access two the first two floors only. Plus we don't know where the essential personnel are, or if they're even alive and uninfected." Leon replied. "The only information I have is on the facility itself." He took a laptop from beneath his seat and opened it up. After hitting a few keys the layout of the Dakota Facility popped onto the screen. He turned it towards them. "There are two entrances. One within the Tricell building in Seattle, and one on a farm approximately one hundred miles outside the city limits in Cowlitz County. Each entrance has an elevator that travels down to an underground platform. Each platform has two trams that go to different levels of the facility. The Tricell building has direct access to all six floors, but security protocols are in place to lock-down all tunnels to it. So we go in at the farm. It has access tunnels to the first and third floors.

“Each of the facility's six levels has their own function. The first level houses the general staff and the scientists who choose to live within the compound. The second level holds the administrative offices, cafeteria, gym, and recreation center. The third through fifth levels are all research labs and the sixth is-"

"What kind of research?" Chris frowned.

"The general kind." Leon replied absently. "The sixth level is where they either store specimens in giant freezers or get rid of all their waste in a large furnace." He tried not to grind his teeth as he left out pretty much everything important. Damn Hunnigan and the President; him too for going along with keeping the BSAA out of the loop. He was so goddamn tired of all the secret keeping. "The personnel we are to escort to safety are; Abel Hendrickson, Weiss Andrews, and Jeremy Burgess. They are the scientists in charge of the facility."

"What about the other employees?" Jill asked with a frown.

"Anyone who isn't too badly infected are to be taken to the surface, but the main priority is those three scientists." As well as some other things. He stopped his hand from going to his pocket where a very dangerous vial rested. Floating within the unbreakable glass was a formula that would disintegrate everything in a stasis chamber when introduced to the sterile liquid environment. It was his job to destroy Wesker, the D-virus, and the entire Dakota Facility after the survivors were rescued. There was no doubt in his mind that there had been in outbreak and he owed it to her. A hand on his arm brought him out of his thoughts. He looked up to find Jill looking down at him worriedly.

"You okay?"

"I'm fine." He lied with a smile. She smiled back. Brightly, making him feel even worse. Leon's smile had always done more to reassure people of his intentions than words and now was no different.

She sat back down next to Sheva. With the ability he had to read people he could see how close they were. Closer than friends or even sisters. It went deeper than that. He could see the love in their eyes as they stared at each other and the way they sat, slightly leaning toward the other, hands close but not touching. He quickly looked away. Love was something he could never have. All his relationships were doomed to fail before they could even get started. He had secrets, thousands of them, and that was why he could never let anyone get close.

"What did you mean by the BSAA's main priority?" Chris asked suddenly.

"Hmm?"

"You pretty much just told us that Tricell put a limit on BSAA involvement and that you had different objectives than us."

"They did and I do."

"Why?" Chris frowned. Again Leon had to force his hand to keep still as it unconsciously moved towards his jacket pocket. He took a deep breath, glad he had never taken one of those oaths about always telling the truth and that he was at least practiced in the art of lying even though he hated it.

"The BSAA and Tricell aren't exactly bosom companions.”

“Why should that matter?”

“It shouldn't, but does to the the people in charge of both our paychecks. So..” He shrugged then sighed and moved on. “We'll be entering the Dakota Facility from the farm. When we get to the platform we'll take the tram to the first level. Hopefully most of the employees knew to go there in the event of an outbreak since transport to the Seattle building is cut off in emergency lock-downs."

"How is that safe though? I've seen infected on elevators and in the shafts before." Chris asked. "Besides, people infected with Las Plagas can operate machinery."

“The elevators all have built in sensors. If they detect infection within the confines of the elevator they shut down the lift then fill it with acid; thereby destroying whatever is inside."

"Jesus."

"The shaft has similar sensors. Between each floor is a titanium shutter. When a sensor is tripped the shutters close and the space is filled with acid, effectively destroying the threat."

"Wouldn't the acid eat away at the metal too?"

"It targets only organic matter." Leon replied. "Which is why they chose it. Destroys the infection while limiting structural damage."

"What about the elevators to the surface, are they equipped with the sensors?" Jill asked suddenly.

"Yes, but not the acid." He leaned forward and hit a few keystrokes on the laptop. The image on the screen zoomed in to focus on the farm's elevator and tram system. "Because of the finite supply of acid within the compound's elevators and shafts they put in security barriers between the tram system and the doors leading into the facility called Security Checkpoints." He hit another key and the computer zoomed in on a room entitled, SC1, between the tram and the doors labeled B1. When he hit a second key six red dividers appeared, cutting it off from access to the tram. "When the Dakota facility goes into lock-down all the doors leading into the Checkpoints are sealed shut and six nuclear level blast proof doors close to keep anything infected from escaping."

"Wouldn't the scientists know how to open them?" Jill asked. "There has got to be some brilliant minds down there."

"They can't open the doors from the inside." Leon replied. "Each of the six doors has an individual code that can only be entered into a keypad that is located on the side of the door facing us.”

"Why?" Chris frowned. "Don't they want their employees to get out?"

"Of course they do, but they also don't want to become the cause of another outbreak." He sighed. "If the keypads were on the inside of the doors then they could access them, but so could anyone infected with Las Plagas, right?" The brunette nodded thoughtfully. "Tricell knew the acid in the elevators would run out, eventually letting the infection reach the last level of the compound. With the Checkpoints in place that is as far as the infection can spread."

"Couldn't someone infected with the G-virus be strong enough to break through the blast doors?"

"No, but if the doors were circumvented somehow; the tram system and the final elevator, both of which are equipped with sensors, would lock-down. Tripping these would alert security in the Tricell building, who would then contact the proper authorities should anything get that far. We are in only the initial stages of their security protocol. The outer lift and tram system shutting down is the final one. We have another 24 hours before the acid runs out, which coincidentally gives us a full day to locate and rescue the surviving employees" He saw the surprise on their faces.

"Why don't we just enter the facility from the Tricell building again?" Chris asked.

"The elevator in it is shut down and can't be restarted until the lock-down ends, which means all infection eradicated. Plus I have this little issue with traffic and Seattle is notorious for it.” The BSAA members stared at him for a long moment before starting to laugh. Leon felt tension leave the cabin and decided he was going to hate himself for the rest of his life. Why did the BSAA have to send these three? Why not some other poor souls that Leon didn't mind lying to and abandoning in a dark underground research facility to destroy the corpse of their arch nemesis? He held in a sigh and forced himself to smile, but knew it didn't reach his eyes. His smiles rarely did those days. He knew it was because of the nightmares and suppressed a shudder as he turned to look out the window. "I have the codes to the doors, lifts, and trams memorized so it will only take about an hour to get into the main part of the facility."

"Why an hour?" Chris's brow furrowed.

"The elevator ride will take about eight minutes, the tram ride will be around ten and it takes each blast door approximately five minutes to open enough for us to get through. And that doesn't include the time it will take to get equipment checked and ready to go." Leon explained.

"Oh." The brunette rubbed his chin. "So how did you get the codes."

"That's classified." Leon's lips twitched as Chris started to get pissed then just shook his head and laughed.

"Good one, but seriously. Did Tricell just give them to you?"

"Not to me directly, but yes." Leon shrugged, looking back out the window.

"So what happens when we gain access to the first floor?" Sheva asked.

"You and the Seattle team are there to help with survivor extraction. They'll meet up with us on the farm where a makeshift hospital is being prepared by medical staff from Tricell to help anyone's who survived initial infection and to vaccinate those going into the facility."

"Are the people inside vaccinated?" Jill frowned thoughtfully.

"From the T, T-Veronica and G-viruses."

"What else do they have down there besides Uroboros and Las Plagas?" Leon looked at Chris, not really knowing how to answer. He was saved from it by his phone ringing.

"Excuse me for a moment." He stood, walking into the cockpit as he put the phone to his ear. "Kennedy."

 

January 9th, 2011

Dakota Facility, B5: D-virus Research Labs.

 

Dakota Hendrickson hated needles. She watched her father preparing the vaccines he was going to inject in her arm and tried not to cry. His assistant stood next to her rubbing her back gently. "Don't worry Dakota, you'll only feel a little pinch and you don't even have to watch the needle going in." Dakota smiled shakily up at the woman who'd become almost like a mother to her. Temperance Elliot was her name and she was as beautiful as she was intelligent. Dakota wanted to be just like her when she grew up. A crash in the next room startled them.

"What has that sorry excuse for an intern done now?" Her father growled irritably, setting the needle down and storming off. He came back in at a run. "Get Dakota upstairs now!" He said hurriedly.

"What happened?"

"Just do it woman!" Dakota felt herself being picked up then Temperance was running with her towards the elevator. An alarm sounded followed by an unearthly scream. The next second everything was chaos. People started running for the elevators in panic. A door next to them opened and suddenly Dakota was flying through the air then everything went black.

She woke up alone and in the dark with her head pounding. She struggled to sit up and discovered that she was inside a cupboard. She pushed at the door and was temporarily blinded by the fluorescent lighting of the lab. When her vision cleared she stared around in horror. Mutilated corpses littered the floor; some whole, but most in pieces. She covered her mouth to stifle the scream that came out then scrambled back into the cupboard and shut the door.

For a while she just sat there and cried, but eventually she got herself together. After taking a deep breath she climbed out of the small cupboard and picked her way across the room, praying that whatever had done this wasn't on the other side of the door. God was on her side for once as the door hissed open. There were more bodies in the hallway and she wiped away tears before walking into it. In the distance she heard a loud roar and quickly ran back to her cupboard. On the way a vent up in the corner caught her eye. She stopped and stared up at it.

The roar sounded again, much closer, forcing her to make a decision. She climbed up onto the counter below the vent, but still couldn't reach it, so she hopped down and grabbed a nearby stool. After struggling to get it onto the counter, almost dropping it when she heard someone scream, she climbed back up onto the counter then the stool. Now she was eye to eye with the vent. Using the pocket knife she'd gotten from her grandfather for Christmas she pried the vent open and crawled in. As she turned to close it behind her the door hissed open.

She screamed in terror, scrambling back further into the air duct as a monster shambled towards her. It roared, leaping at the vent. It was too big to fit through the opening, but it reached for her with a long, clawed arm covered in blood. She screamed again, tears pouring down her face as she scooted away. "Daddy!!!" She cried. "Daddy help me!" The monster roared in response peering into the duct with the large, rolling eye coming out of its shoulder. Dakota ran into the wall of the duct and cried harder, clutching at her knees. She wanted her father, he would know what to do. He would make the bad monster go away just like he did with the ones under her bed. Suddenly there was a loud crash and the monster turned away with a roar. Dakota watched it disappear then curled up in a ball and cried until she fell asleep.

 

January 10th, 2011

Ten minutes outside of Cowlitz County, Washington.

 

Chris watched Leon take what seemed like the tenth call since taking off. As he walked into the cockpit the brunette turned to Jill and Sheva. "He's hiding something."

"Definitely." Jill nodded. Chris glanced up at the cockpit door then grabbed the laptop. The two women huddled around him as he worked.

"You'll only find the map." A quiet voice startled them, almost causing Chris to drop the computer. They looked up to find Leon watching them, his face blank. He took his seat, eyes turning to the window as he put his left leg over his right knee and leaned his chin on his hand. Chris put the laptop down and folded his arms.

"You aren't telling us everything." Leon continued looking out the window, ignoring the statement. "What are you hiding?" The younger man finally looked up at him.

"If there is something I left out then it isn't important. If you have a more specific question then ask." Oh yeah, he was hiding something. Chris just wished he knew what to ask.

"What are your mission objectives?" That's why he liked Jill, she was smart.

"Get in, assess the situation, rescue the scientists and get out." Leon replied. "I already told you."

"That isn't everything though, is it?"

"The answer to that is both classified and above your pay grade." This was why Chris hated bureaucracy. It made cooperation between agencies almost impossible.

"If we're going to be helping you, shouldn't we know what we're doing?" She folded her arms. Leon turned to her, but before he could say anything the pilot announced their descent and asked them to buckle up. The government agent grabbed the laptop and tucked it back under the seat before complying. Any attempt at resuming the conversation was met with silence and Chris began to wonder what his sister saw in the man. He was acting like a fucking robot. There wasn't a single emotion on his face and even when he smiled it was more of an automated response. The girls were dazzled by it, and Chris was at first, but then he began to notice the way it didn't reach Leon's eyes. Not to mention how cold and distant the man was. Something had happened to the warm, sunny man Claire always talked about, and Chris was determined to find out what.

 

November 23rd, 2009

A loft in Washington D.C.

 

Leon woke to a cool breeze and was instantly alert; gun in hand and aimed at the softly flowing curtains at his window. He knew he'd locked them. He did every night, even though he lived on the tenth floor. The glass was also bullet proof and would withstand anything except maybe a direct hit with an RPG. People told him he was paranoid, but he didn't care. He'd rather be safe than sorry, and just because he might, possibly, be a little on the paranoid side; that didn't mean there wasn't anyone after him. He'd been on the receiving end of multiple death threats and a few attempted assassinations by ex employees of Umbrella. He wasn't about to let them catch him in his sleep.

He frowned sliding out of bed. The open window bothered him. The only way to unlock it was with a special key and he owned the only one. His eyes widened as the curtain unfurled; there was a bloody hand print on its edge and just behind it was a figure slumped on the floor. "Leon." It whispered. He rushed forward, recognizing the voice.

"Ada!" As he kneeled down next to her she thrust a red folder in his hands.

"Its important...cop." Her breathing was labored. "You're...the only one...I could trust it with." He caught her as she fell forward.

"Trust with what?" His brow furrowed as her eyes closed. "What's going on?" Her eyes opened slowly and she reached up to touch his face.

"I wish...we'd had...more time." A smile tugged at her painted lips before she went limp, sighing her last breath.

"Ada!" He cried, pulling her to his chest. Tears streamed from his eyes as he rocked her back and forth, not believing that this was possible. She had survived so much that he'd always thought her invincible, but he'd been wrong and somewhere in the file she'd given to him was the reason she was growing cold in his arms. His tears stopped as his heart chilled. He was going to find who did this and make them pay.

 

January 10th, 2011

Tricell Farm, Cowlitz County, Washington.

 

Leon stood near the barn, watching the three BSAA agents get their equipment together while laughing and joking with the team that had been there when they had arrived. It was a camaraderie that he couldn't have with anyone. There were too many secrets, too many horrors, for him to be that relaxed. He turned away and headed into the barn, slipping his hand into his pocket. "Too many secrets." He whispered as his fingers brushed the small glass vial. He had found out about Wesker through Ada Wong who had died soon after giving him the information. Leon had been devastated. He thought the Eurasian woman was invincible, but Tricell had proved him wrong.

It was their agents who had put a bullet in her lung and she'd only had enough time to get to Leon's apartment to give him the blood soaked file before dying in his arms. He hated Tricell, but he tried not to let it show. His government favored the pharmaceutical company and agents that expressed a different opinion had been known to disappear. Leon didn't want to be one of them. He had a job to do. He stared at the elevator that would take him into the facility. He hadn't lied to the others about the mission parameters given to him by the President.

The President hadn't given him the vial in his pocket. Someone else had and he didn't even think America's commander in chief knew about Wesker. Few did, even within the corporate ranks of Tricell and not many people would take kindly to the fact that they had the remains of the man that tried to destroy the world. If anyone knew what Leon did; Tricell would be finished.

The corporation was trying to revive Wesker so they could learn what he knew about Uroboros and the Progeniter virus. Leon would make sure they never got the chance and he didn't care if it cost him his life. Once the survivors and the BSAA were out of the compound he would enter the self-destruct sequence into the computer. Tricell would lose their precious facility and Leon would have Ada's revenge.

A hand on his shoulder startled him. He looked up to find Chris looking down at him with concern. "You okay?" Leon nodded, glancing behind him to see Jill, Sheva, and the other BSAA team entering the barn. He walked to the elevator standing open at the other end of the barn. Once everyone was on he entered the code that would take them down. He could feel Chris's eyes on him as they began their descent, but said nothing.

"So mister secret agent." One of the BSAA agents grinned. "You going in naked or something?" Leon barely glanced at him. "You like, got no vest and shit."

"Bullets don't concern me," He paused, glancing at the man's name on his vest. "Ace. Those vests only weigh me down and this shirt is designed to protect me from knives, claws, and teeth, which are much more realistic threats. Its also easier to move in and doesn't get caught on anything while crawling through tight spaces. As for weapons; I carry only what I need. Big guns don't make me feel any safer and they only get in the way." He stared pointedly at Ace's overly large shotgun. It was a heavily customized monstrosity.

"Hey, my baby has a thirty round magazine and will blow the head offa any mothafucka gets in my way." Leon stared at him for a moment.

"How's the range?"

"Huh?"

"How far can it shoot?" The man was an idiot. Obviously the BSAA didn't hire people for their brains.

"Oh, 'bout fifteen, twenty feet."

"And how effective is it at a distance?"

"That thing shoots for shit at a range." One of his teammates snorted. Ace glared at his friend. "And his aim doesn't help either, that's why it needs such a big clip."

"Shut the fuck up Red!" He snapped. Leon shook his head slightly and suppressed a sigh. The BSAA had picked a real winner there. He was relieved when the elevator finally stopped before he realized they had an even longer ride in the tram. He walked to the underground transport and made sure Ace was as far away from him as possible before powering it on. As it rumbled along the man named Red leaned against the wall near Leon.

"You are traveling pretty light, you know." He said quietly. "You don't even know what we're going to find in there.”

"I carry what I need." Leon replied carefully, noticing that Chris, Jill and Sheva were listening. He didn't want to let on that he didn't expect to make it out of the place alive. There probably wouldn't be enough time to escape after initiating the self-destruct sequence and he wasn't holding onto hope.

The world was going to shit, anyway, and he wanted no part of it any longer-as dismal as that sounded; he wasn't suicidal. Just realistic...or fatalistic, as it were. All the friends he had were either dead or distancing themselves from him. Ada had been sort of his last chance in the relationship game. As a bisexual, he may have had more candidates, but he rarely felt attraction to others. Anything he had felt for Claire went up in smoke after Harvardville. She was as still mad at him for what had happened even though none of it had been his fault. He figured it was because he hadn't been very supportive of TerraSave, but he really couldn't care less about the organization. His job was to keep the citizens of the United States safe from acts of bio-terror and TerraSave got in the way of that when they rallied people against pharmaceutical companies because of a few photos taken out of context. She hadn't chosen to look past the surface of anything he'd said.

"So what do you carry?" Red asked, bringing Leon out of his reverie. The government agent opened his coat to show him the Sig he carried in a shoulder holster and the Desert Eagle he had belted to his hip. His extra clips were in pouches hanging from his belt and there was a knife in a sheath on his left shoulder. He had another knife in a sheath on his right wrist under his sleeve, but he didn't feel like showing it off. Keeping it hidden had saved his life more times than he could count and he didn't really trust these men. They didn't care for Government officials and Leon wasn't about to let his guard down in front of them. The less they knew about him the better. "That ain't much." Red raised an eyebrow. Leon shrugged.

"Its enough." Red had two handguns, an assault rifle, and shotgun. Talk about overkill.

"You go into battle like that often?"

"I've been worse off." The blonde shrugged.

"How so?" The other man asked. "I don't go anywhere without these." He gestured to his weapons.

"Lost my guns and was chased around town with only a knife until backup came." Leon replied.

"And you're alive?"

"Obviously." Leon smirked. Red laughed.

"You got spunk, kid."

"I've got more than that." He replied with a smile as the tram shuddered to a stop. Everyone stepped off and followed Leon to the first door. He entered the code in the keypad and was surprised by a woman on the other side.

"Thank God!" She cried, throwing her arms around his neck. "We had almost given up hope that anyone was going to come." She wiped tears from her eyes as she let him go. More people stood behind her. "We managed to get all the way here before the door sealed shut, but since we didn't get out we weren't certain anyone would come for us and chance letting out infection-none of us are by the way." Leon nodded-there was no blood on any of them, signifying no injury. He took her arm and beckoned for the others survivors to follow. He led them to the tram.

"There are people on the surface waiting with food, water and blankets." He told them. "They also have medical supplies in case anyone is hurt." He turned to the BSAA agents. "I need one of you to operate the tram and one for the elevator."

"Hank, you take the tram." Red commanded. "Jefferies, you're on elevator duty." A man and a woman stepped forward. Neither were heavily armed and looked young, so Leon figured they were probably rookies.

"The elevator code is 4-1-2." Leon said as they climbed onto the tram with the survivors. The woman nodded and then they were off. "Someone else needs to stay here on the platform to wait for the other survivors we find. Preferably someone with a level head who can handle disputes."

"Conrad." Red nodded to a tall, well built man holding an M16. The indicated man grinned.

"Have fun guys."

"Fuck you Connie." Ace sneered. Leon rolled his eyes inwardly before turning to Conrad.

"People who need medical attention have priority, other than that its going to have to be first come first serve."

"Sounds about right." Conrad nodded. Leon turned and walked with the other BSAA agents to the second blast door. He entered in the code stood back as the doors groaned and began sliding open. A few minutes later five terrified looking people came running through. He repeated what he'd said to the first group and sent them to wait with Conrad. Through the third secure checkpoint door was a group of four survivors who looked bored then excited to finally be getting out. Through the fourth were no survivors and through the fifth they found the first of the injured. Leon checked to make sure the woman wasn't infected-he didn't need the sensors being tripped. Tricell was turning off the outer ones, but said it would take time. He would get a call.

Leon sent the woman on her way. He opened the final blast door. No survivors, but his phone rang. He didn't answer it and no one was expecting him to. It was just a prearranged signal to tell him the route out was safe.

Through the door that would take his group into the facility itself was a large batch of survivors huddled in smaller groups around the large room beyond. After checking for infection and injuries he explained what was going on outside and sent them on their way. When they were gone he took a deep breath. There were four BSAA agents left other than Chris, Sheva and Jill and two hallways.

"We're going to need to split up to search the rest of this floor. Chris, you Jill and Sheva are with me. Red, take the rest of your men down that hall and search for survivors. The priority targets are Abel Hendrickson, Weiss Andrews, and Jeremy Burgess. If you find one or more of them radio me so that I know." Red nodded before turning and leading his men down the left hallway. Leon watched them leave before turning and heading down the hallway to the right. Chris followed him without comment, but Jill and Sheva still had questions.

"You're checking people for infection." Jill jogged to catch up with him. "If they have such a great elevator system why-"

"We don't want them to shut down before we get out." Leon replied as they got to a door that had a plaque proclaiming the room beyond belonged to a 'Dr. Andrews-Head of Personnel'. Leon figured it was as good a place as any to start the search. He looked at the keycard access and sighed. Of course it was never simple.

“Just knock.” Jill suggested. “Isn't that what federal agents do?” Leon looked at her sideways.

“You're cute.” He snorted then pried open an access panel on the reader and pulled a wire. The door slid open as the BSAA agents gaped at him. Two men rushed forward.

"Oh, thank God." One said with a heavy German accent.

"Weiss Andrews?" Leon asked calmly.

"Ya, und this is-"

"Jeremy Burgess." Leon recognized them from the file he'd memorized before getting on the plane. "I've been sent here to find you." He glanced behind them. "Where is Abel Hendrickson?"

"Down below." Weiss's eyes went wide.

"This is all his damn fault." Burgess folded his arms. "Him and that klutz of an intern. They spilled the-"

"I need to get you to safety." Leon cut him off before grabbing one of each of their arms and leading them back to the lobby. "Conrad I'm sending two of our priority targets your way; Andrews and Burgess. Make sure they get on the next tram first." He said into the radio.

"Copy that Secret Agent Man." The Seattle team's wise-ass replied. Leon could hear the grin in his voice and almost smiled. He sent the two scientists into the security checkpoints and watched until they got through the door at the end before turning and heading back to where Chris, Sheva, and Jill stood.

"He say what's on the loose?"

"No." Leon shook his head. "I don't think even they knew."

 

January 9th, 2010

Dakota Facility, B5: Air duct outside the D-virus Research Labs.

 

Dakota woke up to a scratching sound and screamed, scrambling farther down the air duct, away from the claws that were only inches from her ankle. The monster roared loudly, pissed that it's meal was escaping. Dakota kept crawling as tears slid down her face. She wanted her daddy. She wanted Temperance; anyone to help her. She was scared and didn't know what to do or where to go, and that thing was following her so every time she tried to crawl out of the vent system it showed up. She took a branch off that went left and suddenly found herself in an elevator shaft. A bright yellow ladder leading down filled her with hope. Maybe there weren't any monsters on the floor below her. She quickly scrambled down it and into another vent labeled B6-CS. The air flowing out of it was cold, but she didn't care, as long as there were no monsters.

 

January 10th, 2010

Dakota Facility, B1: General Staff Living Quarters.

 

Chris sighed after having had to repeat for what seemed like the hundredth time that this was a rescue and people were waiting on the surface to give everyone food, water, a blanket and medical care. He and Leon had split off from Sheva and Jill to search more effectively, but he was beginning to wish they hadn't, or that he was with one of the girls, at least, instead of with this robot. The younger man's movements were almost mechanical as he and Chris went from room to room; like he'd done this a million times before.

Chris paused with a frown; maybe he had. Maybe this was what Leon did for a living. He was about to ask when he realized he was alone. He turned in a full circle, then Leon came back around the corner ahead of him. "Coming?" He asked quietly. "Or are you going to stand there and dream all day?" Chris wrinkled his nose, jogging to catch up to the smaller man. As he rounded the corner something hit him in the back of the head and he went down hard. "I'm sorry about this Chris." A soft voice murmured in his ear as strong yet gentle hands lowered him softly to the floor "Tell Claire...I'm sorry." Then everything went black.

 

 

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Chapter 2

 

January 9th, 2010

Dakota Facility, B6: Cold Storage.

 

Dakota dropped out of the vent into a very, very cold room. Her breath fogged the air as she exhaled and she wrapped her arms around herself and looked around. She clapped a hand over her mouth to stifle her scream. There were monsters everywhere, but after a minute or two she realized that they were frozen. She relaxed. These monsters couldn't get her, someone had already gotten them. She smiled and kicked one then ran to the door and out into a hallway. Suddenly there was a loud roar that shook the ceiling. Dakota fled. She didn't know where she was running to, but anywhere was better than standing in one spot and she couldn't stay in that freezer with the other monsters. Not without warmer clothing. A door slid open as she passed it causing her to stumble. She slid to a halt before she could fall then turned and froze in fear. The monster from upstairs stood on the walkway behind her growling and dripping mucous.

Dakota screamed then turned and ran as fast as she could. The monster roared and she felt a claw swipe through her hair. She screamed again, ducking through a door to her right. Rows and rows of tubes filled with people lined the walls. Dakota didn't care what they were as she ran past them and as long as they stayed the way they were she wouldn't start to. She ran until she lost the monster in the rows of tubes then raced back to the hallway and closed the door. Breathing heavily and close to passing out she stumbled to the stairwell the monster had come out of and climbed back to the fifth floor. As she opened the door she found herself across from the room she'd woken up to this nightmare in. She raced into it and crawled back up into the vent. It seemed to be the safest place for her right now since the monster was too big to climb in after her. She stopped crawling after a while and curled up into a ball. "Daddy." Her eyes welled with tears, but she refused to let them fall. She'd get out of this somehow; she knew she would. She closed her eyes and tried not to think about the monster as

she fell asleep.

 

January 10th, 2010

Dakota Facility, B1: General Staff Living Quarters.

 

Leon set his radio next to Chris. "I really am sorry about this." He whispered. "But there isn't another way." Redfield groaned, stirring slightly and Leon ran to the elevator. Big guys like Chris never stayed down for very long and Leon hadn't hit him as hard as he could have. He hadn't wanted to hurt the other man or incapacitate him so he slept through the facility self destructing.

He skidded to a halt in the lift and jabbed the button for the second floor, relieved when its glass door closed. He could see Chris racing towards him through the clear shield. The brunette was yelling something angrily while glaring at him. Damn, that man recovered fast. Jill and Sheva were just coming into view as the elevator began it's descent. As soon as the elevator stopped he was off and running for the Administrative offices.

Another elevator began to descend and he swore, picking up his pace. There was a stairwell at the back of the offices he could use to get to where he needed to go. There was also access to the security center, but with Chris behind him there wasn't time to disable anything...unless. He skidded to a halt just inside the security office door and slammed it shut, then shot the keypad to seal it. As he turned to the control board he heard something crash against the door behind him. He didn't have to look to know that it was Chris's shoulder. He ignored the pounding and faint voices as his eyes searched the video monitors. On the last one he found what he needed and disabled that camera so that the BSAA agents wouldn't see what he was after. He heard the breaking of glass and spun to find that Chris had managed to shatter the small window in the office door.

"What the fuck are you doing Kennedy?" Leon flinched at the accusatory tone, turned back around, and began systematically shutting down and disabling the cameras. "Kennedy!" Chris shouted. Leon took a deep breath and finally walked to the door so that he could look the other man in the eye.

"I have a job to do." He said quietly. "And I'm sorry but you can't be a part of it." He walked over to the vent and popped it open. As he climbed into the duct he heard the door bang open and picked up his pace.

"He's in the vent." He heard Chris yell.

"I've got it." Sheva's voice. Leon found the duct leading down and dropped into it, but something caught his leg. "You should be more careful." He looked up to find Sheva's hands wrapped around his ankle.

"I apologize in advance, Sheva, this might hurt a little."

"What-ow." He kicked her hands, forcing her to let go. "Shit." He reached out and grabbed the ledge of the next duct and pulled himself in. "Leon!" She cried.

"Just get the rest of the survivors out." Leon called up to her.

"What are you-"

"Its safer if you don't know. Don't follow me." Leon cut her off, shaking his head. He turned and crawled out of the duct onto the third floor with a sigh. A beeping sound caught his attention and he looked up to find a red light blinking merrily at him from the security camera. "Shit." He raced out of the room. Someone up there knew how to undo his work. All around him cameras were blinking to life. He burst into a stairwell and started down the stairs ahead of the rebooting cameras. He stopped at the fifth floor. The door was off its hinges which meant whatever had happened had probably started on this floor. That sucked for him because the only other security office was on this floor. He had to get the cameras off for good. The BSAA didn't need to know what he or Tricell were up to. A loud roar floated down the hall. He suppressed a groan as he stepped over the threshold. This was going to suck.

 

Dakota Facility, B2: Security Office.

 

Chris helped Sheva out of the vent then turned back to the monitors that were slowly coming back on no thanks to Mr. Kennedy. They had all of the third and fourth floors up. Chris swore as only about half of the fifth came online. Either Leon had done something or...his eyes widened in horror. "What the fuck is that?" He stared at a horribly disfigured creature on one of the screens. It was probably ten feet tall with an eye for a shoulder and long arms ending in razor sharp claws.

"It looks like the G-virus." Jill squinted at it. "But different...oh God." They all froze as Leon entered the same frame as the monster, Desert Eagle in hand. The creature whirled to face him as his gun came up. Without hesitation Leon fired, taking out the large eye serving as a shoulder. The thing roared silently and launched itself at Leon. Instead of running away, the government agent sprinted forward and Chris watched in amazement as the younger man ran up the wall and pushed off to kick the thing in its face. "Is he insane?!" Jill squeaked as Leon landed on its chest. He caught the monster's arm on his then put his gun in its face and pulled the trigger until it stopped moving, then stood. His shoulders drooped slightly as he crawled off and he held up a name card to the camera before shooting it out. Abel Hendrickson. Chris swore softly as he watched Leon's progress. When he entered a room labeled Security the brunette wasn't the least bit surprised to see the monitors start fuzzing out. He nearly jumped out of his skin when the phone rang though. He lifted the receiver slowly.

"That's all of them, Redfield." Chris frowned, the bastard didn't even seem out of breath. "I suggest you take the rest of the survivors and get the hell out."

"What about you?"

"I have a job to do." Leon replied quietly. Chris could hear his footsteps in the background.

"Talk to me Leon, just tell me what's going on."

"I can't." He heard the footsteps stop. "I wish I could, but I can't."

"Why not?"

"They'd kill you if you knew Chris, and if they knew what I know I wouldn't even be here today, but I am, because I'm smart." He paused and his voice took on a dangerous tone. "You don't know what I've had to deal with or how hard it is to smile into the faces of the people you hate day after day, and having to be in complete control of everything you do or say at all times because if you slip up even once you're finished. Don't trust Tricell Chris."

"But I thought you said-"

"I lied." Leon laughed harshly. "I lied about a lot, Redfield, but now I'm not. I'm done with it. All the lies and secrets...the death." Chris shifted uncomfortably. Obviously Leon was hurting a lot more than he'd thought.

"So tell me what's going on." For a moment he thought Leon was going to hang up, but then there was a shaky intake of breath.

"They have-" There was a loud growl and Leon swore then the phone went dead..

"Leon?!" Chris slammed the phone down, swearing loudly. "You two stay here and work on getting the cameras back on. I'm going to go find him."

 

Dakota Facility, B5: D-virus Research Labs.

 

Leon groaned slightly as he got to his feet and shoved a limp body off of him. He really hated dogs, which was probably the reason he always ran into them. Why else would a research facility have them? They discouraged visitors like Leon while also providing test subjects.

He wiped blood from his neck irritably then started for the stairs again. As he passed one of the labs he heard someone crying. A survivor? He glanced at the stairs then at the door, debating what to do. His heart won out. It had sounded like a child crying. As the door hissed open he heard the quiet sobs stop and then a small whimper of fear. His eyes scanned the room. Broken glass, bodies, and blood covered the floor.

“Kid?” He pitched his voice low. How was anyone still alive in there? It looked like a battle scene. Cabinet doors had been ripped from hinges and around the vent over one of the counters were deep claw marks. There was a soft scraping sound in the duct and Leon trained his gun on the opening in time to see a small, dirty face peek out. "Jesus fucking Christ." He swore softly and what was left of his heart shattered. It was a child. A little girl. Her tears had made tracks in the dirt and blood on her face.

"Daddy?" She whispered, her feverish eyes wide with the horrors she'd been witness to. He shook his head as he holstered his gun. What the hell was a child doing in a place like this? She shied away as he stepped forward.

"Its okay, kid, I'm not going to hurt you." He held out his hands to show her that they were empty and human. "You're safe now." She let out a loud sob and crawled towards him. He rushed forward and caught her before she could tumble to the floor. "What's your name sweetie?" He asked softly cradling her tiny frame and brushing dirty blonde hair from her small face.

"Dakota." Tears welled in her eyes. Leon inhaled sharply; Hendrickson had had a daughter named Dakota, he'd named the facility after her...and a new virus. "Daddy's dead, isn't he."

"Yes." He replied quietly; unsure how to explain that the virus had killed him before Leon had shot the mutation operating her father's corpse.

"He was the monster that came after me." She sniffed, rubbing at her face. "I was too scared to really look at first, but saw his name tag earlier."

"I'm sorry, Dakota."

"You killed him?"

"I-"

"Its okay." She patted his face then buried her own in his chest. "He wasn't my daddy anymore." Leon held her close until he heard claws clicking out in the hall.

"Shit." He whipped out his gun and thumbed the safety. "Cover your ears Dakota." She put her small hands over her ears as he turned and trained his gun on the door. He heard the growling before the mutated head of a dog slid around the door frame. Dakota quivered in his arms. Leon adjusted his aim and squeezed the trigger. The head disappeared in an explosion of brains and tentacles. He stood as the body fell with a thump. Dakota looked at it then up at him.

"Wow." She breathed in awe. "Nice shooting Tex."

“The name's Leon.” He chuckled, putting her on his hip. “Now let's get you to the elevator. There's-"

"No." She shook her head. "Those things are over there."

"What things?"

"The one's like my Daddy. They were dead, but then they got up." Leon swore under his breath. Out in the hall he heard a slow shuffle of footsteps followed by a moan. Dakota froze. "They're coming." She whispered.

"The ones like your Dad?"

"No. Those roar and scare me. These ones are slower, they used to be in the tubes downstairs but Daddy let them out." Leon took a tentative step into the hall, Eagle raised. A man turned and began shambling down the hall towards him, arms raised as if asking for help; just like the people in Raccoon City and Harvardville. He pulled the trigger, taking off it's head.

"Where are the tubes you were talking about?"

"Downstairs by the freezers. I went down through the elevator shaft, but Daddy followed me. I was able to lock him in with the tube people, but he got out and brought them with him."

"Can you show me?" He asked. He didn't want to put her in more danger, but she'd be safe with him and he needed to find Wesker. The tubes she'd talked about sounded like they might have been stasis chambers and he knew Wesker had to be in one of them. She nodded, then bit her lip.

"Can we go back in the vent though?" She looked up at him fearfully. "I don't like the tube people." He smiled gently and nodded.

"Sure." He took her back into the room and lifted her into the duct then climbed in after her. He turned on the light attached to his belt making Dakota jump. "Sorry." He murmured. "I can turn it-"

"No, the light makes it better." Dakota smiled back at him.

"Do you want me in front?"

"No, its okay. The elevator shaft is this way." She began crawling away and he followed. Movement up ahead made him grab her ankle and pull her underneath him. She squeaked in surprise as he aimed over her head. He swore softly seeing a familiar insect. He remembered them bursting from the corpses of the monks from the castle where he'd rescued Ashley. He holstered the Eagle and pulled out his Sig. It wouldn't be as effective, but at least the report wouldn't shatter his ear drums in the tight space.

"Cover your ears." As the insect rushed him he took it out with one well placed bullet, the report was deafening within the duct making his ears ring.

"Maybe you should be in front." Dakota said weakly. Leon nodded, crawling forward.

"Stay close."

 

Dakota Facility, B5: Plagas and Uroboros Mutations Research Labs.

 

Chris swore softly, glancing around the room. It was worse than he'd imagined. Tricell really had everything. In every room he had searched dissected forms of Las Plagas and Uroboros lay on tables and in large liquid filled glass chambers. "Do you have the cameras yet?" He asked Jill through their com system.

"Almost. I have Levels One through Four, but he did something to Five and Six. He really doesn't want us to know what he's doing."

"Fuck him." Chris spat. "He thinks he's all high and mighty just 'cause he knows stuff.."

"I don't think that's it, Chris." Sheva said quietly. "I think he's trying to protect us from the fallout. He sounded sincere when he was apologizing."

"I don't care how sincere he-oh fuck." He crouched behind a desk that had somehow made it into the hall and stared at the elevators.; glad he had used a staircase.

"What is it?" Jill asked worriedly.

"There's like ten of those things Leon killed just sitting around the elevators." Muffled shots sounded from somewhere up above him and all the monsters raised their heads as one, looking up at the ceiling. A vent covering crashed to the floor with a hideous insect on top of it. Chris sighed "Of course he's in the vents again." It was the one place Chris couldn't follow; not with his bulk. There were more shots then Leon's legs appeared in the opening. He heard the younger man swear loudly as he slipped. Soon he was hanging by one hand over the mouths of ten very hungry creatures. Chris watched Leon gauge the situation slowly then froze in shock as the blonde put away his Sig and pulled out his Eagle. There were bad marksmen, men and women usually chose shotguns or RPGs. There were good marksmen like Chris, who usually chose assault rifles and there were great marksmen. Those were the men and women that chose to wield handguns and sniper rifles over anything else.

Chris knew Leon fell into this last category, but no one could hang from one hand and take out ten moving targets with only a ten round clip. How the hell was he going to reload? Chris watched him take aim and with ten perfect shots took out the shoulder eye and brains of five targets then ejected the clip, put the gun in his teeth and grabbed a second clip from a pouch at his waist then reloaded and took out the last five. Chris sat back in awe. "Jesus." He whispered softly.

"What happened?" Jill exclaimed. "I hate being blind."

"He just took out all ten while hanging by one hand from the ceiling."

"You're kidding."

"I just watched him Jill, it was-hold on a sec what is he-" Chris's eyes widened as a small blonde child crawled from the vent onto Leon's shoulders and held onto his neck as he dropped to the floor.

"Brilliant Tex." The little girl breathed staring around in awe. Leon smiled, reloading his weapon and holstering it.

"That's why I get paid the awesome bucks." She laughed before taking his hand and leading him to the elevator.

"Lets go get that thing you're looking for." She smiled shakily. Chris smirked and came out of hiding.

"How about I help out." He grinned as Leon's head came up.

"Redfield, I already told you-"

"I don't care, Kennedy." Chris walked towards him, shouldering his weapon.

"Fifth floor cameras online!" Jill cheered in his ear. "Hey is that a little girl with Kennedy?" Suddenly Leon's Sig came up. "Chris!"

"Down!" Leon yelled. Chris dropped to the floor, covering his head. There were four shots then the little girl screamed.

"Come here quick Redguy!" She cried, waving frantically. Chris looked behind him as Leon kept shooting and swore loudly. Rotten, shambling creatures were slowly moving towards him. There were at least ten on the ground with holes in the middle of their foreheads and with each shot another one fell. "Hurry!" The girl screamed. He didn't need to be told again. Chris rolled to his left and got to his feet.

"Where the hell did they come from?!" He yelled grabbing his M16 and began firing in small controlled bursts. His aim wasn't quite as good as Leon's but he made do.

"Just get in the elevator Redfield."

"What, so now I can help you?"

"Shut up and move your ass or I'm leaving you here." Leon growled, ejecting his empty clip and shoving in a new one then resumed firing. Chris rushed forward to press the call button but the little girl was already there.

"I'm Dakota." She smiled brightly up at him.

"Chris." The brunette grinned back.

"Are you Tex's friend?" She asked pointing at Leon. Chris glanced back at the younger man.

"Something like that." He sighed, wondering if there was even the potential for the possibility of friendship at this juncture. It would all depend on what Leon was up to.

The elevator opened with a soft ding and the little girl turned to Leon, but the government agent was already there, picking her up and rushing her onto the lift. Chris followed and reached for the button that would take them up and stopped. B6 was already highlighted. "Leon?"

"Just shut up and stay close." Leon put Dakota on his back as the elevator stopped. "Hold on kid."

"Okay." She squeezed his shoulders then took the extra clips he handed her. Chris smiled.

"Hey, Jill. Do you have the cameras on six up and running."

"No. He did something to them. I need a code."

"Leon, what's on this-"

"Get ready." Leon lifted his gun as the doors opened.

"Jesus." The hallway was filled with infected people all milling about aimlessly. Before Chris could even move Leon was firing and walking into the horrific mass. With each shot an infected fell with a hole in it's head. The brunette shook himself and followed taking out infected left and right.

"Go to the right, down that hallway." Dakota pointed.

"You mean the one choked to the brim with-"

"Cool it Chris, we're vaccinated for the T-virus."

"Yeah, but it'll still hurt if-"

"Just keep them off Dakota."

"What's going on down there?!" Jill whined in his ear.

"Oi, Leon. What's the code for the cameras?"

"4-0-3-9-1." The federal agent replied then swore, holstering his Sig and drawing the Eagle. As Chris relayed the code back to Jill he felt a hand grab the front of his vest and was dragged forward into a huge room. When the hand let go he fell on his ass and looked up to see Leon shutting a door. He entered a code into the keypad turning the light above the door from green to red.

"Oh! I see you guys now." Jill chirruped happily.

"Chris give Leon his radio." Sheva said quietly. Chris complied with a sigh. Leon set Dakota on the ground then took the radio and placed it in his ear. "Why won't the last camera turn on?" Chris watched the younger man take a deep breath then exhale slowly, closing his eyes.

"They have Wesker's remains." He said quietly.

"WHAT?!?!" Chris, Sheva, and Jill all yelled simultaneously.

 

 

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Chapter Three

 

Dakota Facility, B6: Stasis Chamber Room.

 

Leon heard Dakota shriek then found himself pinned to the wall with Chris's arm on his throat. He opened his eyes to look into the older man's enraged brown ones. "What the fuck are they doing with Wesker's corpse?"

"Its how they got Uroboros and the Progeniter virus." Leon managed to choke out reaching up to pull at Chris's arm. Those muscles weren't just for show.

"I get that much, but why is it here?" Chris's arm tightened. “And how? He was destroyed in that volcano. Why the fuck are you trying to get to it?”

"Let him go, Redguy!" Dakota yelled, beating her little fists against Chris's legs. The brunette's arm let up slightly so Leon could answer.

"The why of him being here is simple Chris. Tricell is attempting to revive him. They recovered part of him in the area where he started to mutate."

"WHAT?!" Chris roared increasing the pressure on Leon's throat. "Why the fuck would they want to do that?" Leon grabbed at the larger man's arm, unable to breathe, he finally got a leg out and kicked Chris away coughing and holding his throat as he fell to his knees.

"They want to know how the Progeniter Virus works." He rasped. "Wesker was the only one who knew."

"How do you know all this?" Chris glared at him. "You're here to retrieve that asshole's body aren't you? To hide it from-"

"I came here to destroy the damn thing." Leon snapped cutting him off. "The person who gave me the information died because of it, right in my arms. So fuck you Redfield. You aren't the only one with a grudge against Wesker and Tricell." The federal agent got to his feet shakily almost falling over again when Dakota ran into his leg, wrapping her arms around it. "I've known for a while, and I've had to sit there and smile at their faces while knowing what they were planning. I couldn't do shit about it because my own government was in their pocket and If I said anything I'd fucking disappear; probably ending up like these poor bastards." He gestured to the tubes lining the walls.

"I didn't tell any of you because I didn't want to drag you three down with me. I'm going to fucking destroy this facility which is why I told you three to get the fuck out." Dakota squeezed his leg as he fell silent. Chris just stared at him as he lifted her up and walked past him. "I don't work for the government by choice, Redfield, and I sure as hell don't have any influence over it, so don't put me in the same boat as them. I'm a soldier just like you, trying to protect the world from those who would rather destroy it, and you know what I get for it? Absolutely nothing. My family is gone, the last friend I had died in my arms while I was helpless to stop it and I can't sleep for shit anymore because of the nightmares." He shook his head. "Sometimes I just want to sit back and watch the world burn."

He put Dakota on his hip and walked further into the endless maze of stasis tubes not caring if Chris followed him or not. When he reached the locked door that would lead him to Wesker he set Dakota down to enter the code. He'd planned this moment so carefully, but the three BSAA agents that had been sent with him had blown it all to pieces. When the door opened he wasn't the least bit surprised to find the stasis chamber in the middle of the room empty, less so when a tentacle wrapped around his waist and dragged him in. He found himself face to face with Wesker in a matter of seconds-Tricell had been in the process of regrowing the man's body. Behind him Dakota was screaming for Chris.

"Well you aren't who I was expecting." The blonde mutation frowned. Leon just stared at him blankly putting his Desert Eagle to the man's chin and pulling the trigger. The tentacle around his waist loosened enough that he fell to the floor. He raised the gun again as Wesker screamed in pain and squeezed off shots until the gun clicked empty then dropped it to the ground. He was out of ammo and Wesker was still writhing in pain. He snatched his knife from its sheath and leaped onto the mutant's back burying it deep within his neck then pulled him down, dragging him back into the stasis chamber he'd been held in. Wesker struggled, but luckily he was still weak from being regenerated so it was easy for Leon to hold him down and press the button to close the tube with his foot. At the last second he let go and jumped out. As the tube filled with liquid Wesker screamed and beat at the glass, but Leon couldn't hear him. He slid his hand into his pocket, pulling out the small glass vial that miraculously hadn't broken. When the chamber's glass began to crack Leon placed the vial in a slot and watched the liquid enter the preservative fluid surrounding Wesker. As the acid began to eat away at Wesker; Leon retrieved his gun from the floor and put it back in it's holster then began walking towards the door. It opened before he got three feet from it. Chris stood there, M16 clutched tightly in his hands. At the same time there was the sound of glass shattering and a slightly melted, black tentacle wrapped around his throat and pulled him back against the side of the tube. "If I'm going down, I'm going to take you with me." A wet, pained voice gurgled.

"Not, likely." Leon growled, flicking his wrist. The blade hidden there shot into his hand and he cut the tentacle from his neck and fell to the floor coughing. He ripped his, now sizzling, coat off and ground his teeth in pain as the liquid from the tentacle began eating away at his skin then stumbled to a sink in the far corner to wash it off as Wesker screamed in fury and pain before melting away. He turned on the water,scrubbing acid off his neck irritably. He glared at the pink water sluicing off him and going down the drain. He flinched slightly when he felt hands on him.

"Jesus Kennedy." Chris swore, helping rinse the acid from his skin. When the burning stopped Leon shut of the water and slid to the floor, exhausted. "What the hell was that stuff?"

"Hell if I know." The younger man replied. "I got it from The Organization after finding out about Wesker."

"Wait, the people Ada worked for?" Leon nodded tiredly. "I thought they worked for Wesker."

"They traded loyalties when he showed his true colors. Ada was actually in charge when she died." Leon replied hoarsely.

"They told you about Wesker?"

"Kind of. Ada was dying when she brought me the file. When they tried to contact her; they got me instead. Her coming to me basically told them I could be trusted. A course of action was decided on and then Tricell's security locked down. So it changed. The Organization-" Leon struggled to his feet then fell back down with a laugh as Dakota rammed into his middle. "Come on kid, let's get you out of here. Us grown ups can talk later." For the first time he was sure there was going to actually be a later.. Leon sighed then glanced over at his ruined coat, Chris followed his gaze and chuckled.

"Claire's going to be pissed." Leon only shrugged before gripping the counter behind him and pulling himself to his feet with Dakota still wrapped around his waist.

"Don't scare me like that ever again Tex." Dakota growled into his stomach. Leon lifted her to his back.

"I'll get right on that." He sighed. Chris laughed quietly as they left the room.

"So, how are we getting out of here Tex?" The brunette grinned.

"Shut up Redfield. If you didn't have such a fat ass we could use the vents."

"Because that worked so well for you last time." Chris smirked.

"It did. Up until I fell."

"You didn't fall." Dakota piped up. "That bug grabbed you and knocked you down. I saw it."

"And I do not have a fat ass." Chris said primly.

"Yes you do." Sheva and Jill said at the same time before cracking up.

"Oh, can it, the both of you unless you have something helpful to say." Chris growled good naturedly. Leon snatched Chris's Glock from it's holster. "The fu-"

"I'm out of ammo." The younger man shrugged.

"Oh." The brunette frowned, then dug his extra clips out of a pouch on his vest and handed them over.

"Guys, the corridor outside that place is full of zombies, there's no way you're leaving the same way you got in." Jill said grimly.

"I am well aware of that." Leon replied. "Fortunately I know another way out of this room."

"I can't fit in the vents."

"I am aware of that as well, Chris." Leon sighed. "There's a stairwell in the back."

"Why didn't you say that-"

"I don't know the code."

"Well fu-" Chris glanced at Dakota. "Why not?"

"I wasn't expecting the acid to work so my plan was to set this place to blow before getting down here. I wasn't expecting to run into a kid down here or that I would be followed, which means I also wasn't expecting to leave this place alive. So I wasn't too focused on plotting an escape route.”

"You need help man."

"Tell me something I don't know." Leon snorted, hitching Dakota up on his back and heading further into the maze.

"So how are you going to get it open?"

"I have some C-4 in my pocket and a blasting cap. It'll be loud, but it should work." Leon replied. That stopped Chris in his tracks.

"You have C-4-"

"-in you're pocket?" Jill finished.

"Not a lot, but enough to do the trick." Leon shrugged.

"Why the hell is it in your pocket?"

"Its easier and it means I don't have to wear a vest."

"You are seriously fucked up, you know that?" Chris shook his head as he caught up with the governmental operative.

"Stop being mean to Tex." Dakota snapped. The two women on the second level laughed.

"She's adorable." Jill cooed. "I can't wait to meet her."

"Yeah well she didn't try to kick your ass." Chris retorted.

"Aww, did the wittle girl hurt you?" Jill laughed as Chris swore at her.

"Little ears guys." Sheva sighed. "Poor thing's been traumatized enough without your filthy mouth-"

"Leon's been swearing more than me." Chris protested.

"Who are you talking to?" Dakota asked. "Are you crazy or something?" Leon snorted while Sheva and Jill laughed outright, then reached up to his ear and pulled out the small radio. He reached back to put it in her ear.

"Say hi."

"Hi?" Dakota cocked her head in confusion then jumped when the women responded. Chris chuckled but Leon didn't know what they were saying and didn't really care; they had finally arrived at the stairwell door. He set Dakota down then reached into his pocket and pulled out a small square of C-4.

"Wow, you weren't lying." Chris whistled softly. Leon ignored him, pulling off a strip of paper to expose the adhesive beneath and placed the explosive right on the latch. He hooked up the blasting cap then looked between the small wireless detonator in one hand then at the Glock in the other.

"Fuck it." Time was running out. He grabbed Dakota's hand and dragged her a few yards away then raised the Glock.

"Shit!" Chris dove behind a tube just as Leon squeezed the trigger. The door exploded outward giving them access to the stairs.

"Wow." Dakota whistled. "You're pretty handy." Leon glanced down at her. "Jill told me to say that." The little blonde tapped the radio in her ear. Chris got to his feet with a groan.

"A little warning would be nice."

"Wimp." Leon muttered quietly kneeling so Dakota could climb on his back.

"What?"

"Nothing." Leon replied.

"Then why are the girls laughing so hard they can't breathe?"

"Beats me." The younger man shrugged. Dakota giggled as Leon hitched her up then straightened and headed for the stairs. As they climbed; Dakota chatted happily with the two women in her ear while snuggling into Leon's back. When they got to the second floor Leon punched a code into the keypad next to the door and opened it. Jill and Sheva stood on the other side, grinning. Their smiles faded seeing the state Leon was in.

"Jesus, Kennedy." Jill breathed.

"Looks worse than it feels." He shrugged.

"It looks like someone scrubbed your neck raw with one of those metal dish scrubbers."

"Oh, well then it looks exactly how it feels." He chuckled, shifting his grip on Dakota, who was slowly but surely falling asleep now that the danger was over. She was warm against his back and her slow, even breathing was almost lulling him to sleep as well. He shook his head and started walking towards the security office. The three agents followed him then paused as he walked into it.

"Aren't we leaving now?" Jill asked.

"In a second." Leon replied. "I just have one more thing to do." He inserted a flash drive into the computer and started downloading everything from the mainframe onto it. Since he was going to have to go back to the President and tell him what happened he might as well have the evidence to back up his claims. Once that was finished he entered a six digit code into a helpful little program. A few seconds later a pleasant female voice issued from the loudspeakers as all the lights turned red and began blinking.

"This facility will self destruct in ten minutes."

"Oh, good God." Chris groaned.

"Shit." Sheva swore.

"Oh." Jill frowned, looking up at the speaker above her head. Leon smiled to himself as he walked past them towards the elevator.

"Really Leon?" Chris sighed. "You had to go and make the building hate us, didn't you?"

"The feeling's mutual." Leon replied, pressing the call button. "Besides If I didn't do it, then there would be an outbreak. I'm doing the world a favor, trust me."

"Oddly enough, I do." Chris laughed as the elevator doors slid open and everyone piled on. Leon pressed the button for the first floor. Just as the doors began to close, the infected began pouring into the area. Leon didn't even bother raising his gun, but the others did, the the doors closed and they were headed up. Dakota stirred slightly as the calm female voice spoke again.

"This facility will self destruct in nine minutes." Leon smirked as the three BSAA agents swore then exited the elevator. They were met by Red and his team.

"What the hell happened?!" The man asked, staring at Leon and the little girl on his back.

"Long story." The federal agent replied walking past him. "Let's save it for later."

"Works for me." The BSAA man shrugged, following him. "We got all the survivors out and were looking for you guys when the countdown started." Leon suppressed a smile as Dakota muttered in her sleep. She really was a cute kid. He hoped she'd be okay after all the horrors she'd seen, and that she had family to stay with. As they walked into the Security Checkpoint One; the heavy blast doors began to close. Leon looked at Chris and broke into a run. The BSAA agents followed suit and as they reached the final door ,the kind woman announced that they had eight minutes left. Conrad was pacing by the tram. He spun to face them as they burst through the door.

"Who the fuck started that shit?" He pointed at the speaker.

"I don't know Connie, just get on the fucking tram." Red snapped. Leon smirked at Chris as everyone scrambled onto their escape vehicle. The other man just shook his head with a small chuckle. Leon nudged Hank away from the controls and fiddled with them. The tram sped up the tracks, faster then it had come down and everyone had to hold on or risk falling off.

"Goddamn it Leon." Chris swore, clutching at the side. Leon just laughed holding Dakota tighter. Over the roar of the tram they could faintly hear the computer counting down the minutes. Seven...six...five...four...at three Leon wrenched hard on the brakes before the tram could fly off the tracks.

"You're a crazy bastard, you know that?" Red said breathlessly as they all ran for the elevator. Leon just shrugged with a grin.

"You want to be down here when that place explodes?"

"Not particularly."

"Then quit your bitching." Leon grinned, kneeling down next to the elevator controls. "You guys might want to sit down." The agents scrambled to obey. He put Dakota in his lap as the lift rocketed skyward.

"I think I'm going to be sick." Jill groaned.

"You're an evil man Leon Scott Kennedy." Sheva clutched at the railing, glaring at him. He shrugged, smiling as the countdown hit zero. The BSAA agents all swore, but Leon only laughed.

"The blast doors are closed."

"What does that have to do with-oh." Chris slapped his palm to his forehead.

"What?" Ace looked between them.

"Blast doors are designed for explosions."

"So?"

"They're going to contain the blast from the facility exploding." Leon smiled as they practically collapsed in relief then slowed the elevator down until it reached the surface. As they left the barn he noticed a few suburbans parked near the jet and sighed. So much for making it out alive.

"Oh my God, Dakota!" A woman came running up to Leon as the girl in his arms stirred. "Is she-"

"She's fine." Leon replied as Dakota opened her eyes.

"Ellie?" She lifted her head and burst into tears seeing the woman. Leon set her into the woman's arms and watched as the pair held each other sobbing. "I was so scared, I thought the monsters got you!" Leon turned and handed Chris the flash drive with all Tricell's info on it. His job here was done. Everyone who wasn't infected was safe, Wesker and the facility were destroyed and he hadn't lost any of the BSAA agents sent to help him. All in all it was a fairly good day. As he walked towards the men waiting for him his vision blurred then everything went black.

 

Tricell Farm, Cowlitz County, Washington.

 

Chris swore running forward as Leon collapsed, but before he could get there the younger man was surrounded by men in suits who loaded him into the back of one of their suburbans. He heard Dakota cry out for the man who had saved her life then watched her run past him towards the men walking to the other vehicles. "Where are you taking him?!" She cried, tackling one of the men around the legs. Chris ran forward and grabbed her before anyone could do anything. The guys in suits barely glanced at them before climbing into their vehicles and driving away. "Where are they taking him?" Dakota looked up at Chris with tears brimming in her eyes.

"I don't know kid." He replied honestly, fist tightening around the flash drive Leon had handed him. The operative had known the suits were there for him and not friendly. It was up to Chris now to make sure the truth got known.

 

 

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Chapter Four

 

February 3rd, 2011

TerraSave Headquarters in Washington DC.

 

Claire sighed as she sat down at her desk, staring at the large pile of mail it had accumulated while she'd been in Africa. Most of it was the normal stuff, but a large plain envelope near the bottom caught her eye and she snatched it up excitedly. Envelopes like this usually held files from her organization's informants. Her excitement faded as she looked it over. Her name was printed in neat, precise handwriting on the front, but there were no indications of who it was from or even where. There was no postmark so it had obviously been hand delivered. None of her informants gave her packages like this, but something about the handwriting seemed familiar.

She set it down carefully and opened a drawer to her left, inside was a box she'd never opened. On its face was the same, even lettering spelling out her name and nothing else. She'd received it on her birthday the previous year and had yet to open it. She knew who it was from, but she was still mad at him. The anger had faded over the past few months as she'd traveled in Africa and realized that life was too short to go through it angry at the people you loved.

She lifted the small box out of the drawer and set it on the desk next to the envelope then took a deep breath and began peeling away the plain white paper covering it. Inside was an even smaller box nestled in the same white paper the outer box had been wrapped in. With her heart pounding in her chest and hands shaking she lifted the small box and opened it.

The redhead gasped in shock staring down at the pendant set into the dark cloth lining. It was a simple cross made of white-gold with a ribbon of black onyx stones wrapping around the center. Engraved down the vertical stem of the cross were the words "We Remember" , then on the horizontal piece the letters R and C. Claire burst into tears, clutching the necklace to her chest remembering the day she'd accused him of forgetting. She'd been so angry with him for not supporting TerraSave and what she was helping them do that she had accused him of some horrible things.

It had been just after the fall of Wilpharma and the beginning of Tricell's rise. It had also been the first time that she'd seen him after Harvardville. He was one of the federal agent security escorts Tricell board members had requested to oversee their press conference. To Claire it looked as though her old friend was throwing his support behind the new pharmaceutical company and that had pissed her off. He of all people should know better than to trust a global corporation like that without investigating it thoroughly, so she'd said some pretty awful things. He hadn't even tried to defend himself so she had believed them to be true, but as she looked at the necklace in her hands, she knew she'd been wrong. She carefully composed herself as she clasped it around her neck then picked up the envelope. After a small internal debate she set it aside and went through the rest of her mail. Whatever Leon had to tell her could wait until she could give it the focus it deserved.

An hour later she was ready and after taking a deep breath she dumped the envelope's contents on her now clean desk. The first thing that hit her was the smell. It wasn't a strong one, but it was definitely there; a soft coppery scent. She found the source in a bloody smear across the face of a red file. Her heart skipped a beat and she sent up a prayer that it wasn't Leon's blood. She picked the file up carefully but as she opened it a white envelope slipped out, falling onto her lap. Her name was printed on the front so she set the file down and opened the envelope to find a handwritten letter.

 

Claire,

 

If you're reading this then the first thing I need to say is that I'm sorry. You asked me never to speak to you again, but you're the only one I can trust. You understand what's at stake here more than most.

The contents of the red folder will shock you just as they did me, although not to the same extent. Everything I thought I knew became nothing but lies and I lost the only friend I had left because of that damn folder. Part of me wants you to just burn it, but the rational side of me wants you to hold on to it. It explains why I've done...well I don't really know what I'm going to do, but I can't let it go on.

You were right about Tricell. They aren't what they appear to be and their research has become dangerous. While they're not the next Umbrella, hopefully, they are sliding down a very slippery slope. I could understand most of what they did, but this...this should never have happened. They recovered pieces of Albert Wesker's corpse from the volcano that should have destroyed him completely. From it they got samples of the Uroboros parasite and Progeniter virus. They are working to restore his body and revive him so that they can study both bio-weapons more fully under his guidance.

This goal is more than a little unwise. They seem not to have realized that Wesker came very close to destroying the world and is a complete lunatic, albeit a highly intelligent one. It was only through the efforts of your brother, his partner, and the BSAA that he was defeated. The situation should have stayed remained that way and while this folder is damning. I know if I brought it to the attention of my superiors they would only sweep it under the rug, which is why I must deal with it myself.

I know I probably shouldn't be doing this alone, but ever since Raccoon City I haven't been able to trust the people I work with and even though your brother and the BSAA are legendary and worthy of trust; I can't contact them. I'm risking everything just by writing this letter to you and since you're reading it I'm either dead or wishing I were.

This is my goodbye, and an explanation of sorts. I don't want to be remembered as a traitor or saboteur or even a terrorist if that's what I'm going to be portrayed as in the media, because what I plan to do is going to warrant the attention I'm sure. A whole underground laboratory exploding is definitely news worthy in the states. I'm sure no one will ever know the real story of what happened because I don't expect to live through it.

Don't think I'm trying to kill myself though, I'm only being realistic. Call me a fatalist if you want, but it's the truth...I don't want to die, which is the main reason of this letter. On the event of my death, or incarceration if that's what fate has in store for me, this letter and the folder will be delivered to you. I've given it to a courier service that will hand deliver it to you if I do not contact them within a certain time.

I don't care what you do with the file, but I'm going to ask that you don't get involved. I would hate for anything to happen to you because of this and it is enough for me that you know why I've done what I have. It is enough that you know that I died the man I used to be, not the one you saw at that press conference.

You were right about a lot of things you said, as this folder proves, but you were wrong about me. I have never forgotten Raccoon City or what it meant, but I can see why you might think that I have. I've changed a lot since then and not in the same way as you or Chris. Both of you have found your callings and I don't know anyone more trustworthy than either of you.

I've done many things for the government that I'm not proud of and I know too much for my enemies there to let me run free for much longer. There comes a point in time where assets that may have been valuable at one point in time become expendable.

I'm sorry to be laying all this at your feet, but as I said earlier I didn't know who else to trust and all I ask of you is that you remember me as I was, not the monster I've become.

 

Leon S. Kennedy

 

Claire stared at the letter, tears once again slipping down her cheeks. Her hands shook as set it atop the red folder then she buried her face in her arms and sobbed into them, remembering all of the horrible things she'd said to Leon. Were those really going to be her last words to him? Was he really dead? She sat up. No. He couldn't be dead, not Leon. He was a survivor, just like her.

She snatched up the folder and pored over the documents within it. Wesker was being held in a place called The Dakota Facility. Her eyes widened. That was the place that had been all over the news lately. Its destruction was being reported as an accident and that a team of BSAA agents had gone in to evacuate all the employees. There had never been any mention of Leon's involvement. She turned to her computer and began poring through article after article all pertaining to the 'accident' but found nothing so she began looking at articles that came out just after the incident. On one she found three names that shocked her. Chris Redfield, Jill Valentine, and Sheva Alomar. She shut down her computer then gathered up the file. As she ran out of her office she placed her first call since getting back from Africa.

 

February 3rd, 2011

BSAA Headquarters in Washington DC.

 

Chris sighed staring at the caller ID on his cell. "Just answer it." Jill sighed. "She'll keep pestering you if you don't."

"She can wait." He tossed the phone on his desk. "Leon can't."

"He may be dead by now." Sheva frowned.

"Thank you Ms. Sunshine." Jill shot her a glare. When Chris's phone began ringing again she snatched it up. "Hello Claire. How was-" Her blue eyes widened. "When-" She fell silent then nodded. "We'll be there in five." She hung up the phone then stood. "Apparently our little secret agent man was even smarter than we thought. He sent Claire a package."

"How?!" Chris shot to his feet. "From where?!"

"I don't know. She wants to meet at her place." They all grabbed their coats and ran out the door.

 

Weird Forest Thing in an unknown Tricell Facility. Unknown Date.

 

Leon resisted the urge to wipe the sweat from his brow and kept his breathing slow and even. One false move now meant death. A foot away from his head he heard it. A soft, shambling step accompanied by labored, congested breathing like someone with a bad head cold. He suppressed a shudder and lay still, knowing the thing tracked its prey by sound and movement. He'd come up against them before on an island off the coast of Spain when rescuing the former President's daughter, Ashley Graham.

A scientist he knew as Luis had called them Regenerators, in a memo he had left behind in a lab where Leon had encountered the first one, and were about the only thing left in the world that could make Leon's blood run cold. His body screamed at him to run, but he forced it to obey him. He'd lost his gun in the bushes when he'd tripped over a fallen log and sure it was empty, but without it he was defenseless, which was what the people who'd brought him here wanted, right?

He remembered a voice on the ride over wondering how long Leon would survive the training course and if he could be creative enough to put on a good show. "I'll show you creative." He muttered under his breath. An idea had just occurred to him as he'd stared up into the trees and if he could pull it off he might just be able to make it out of here. He launched himself to his feet and almost froze as he came face to face with the Regenerator. Leon spun, foot out. It connected with the creature's jaw spinning it's head in a complete 180. The Regenerator stumbled backwards a couple steps. It was all Leon needed.

He snatched his knife from the sheath at his shoulder and stabbed the creature three times; once in the right shoulder, once in the heart and once just above it's left hip. The thing screamed and Leon ducked as its torso exploded. "Yep, still got it." Leon shifted his grip on the knife and, after a quick search, found the gun that had flown from his hand. He stuck it in the holster at his waist then grabbed a low hanging branch and swung up into the tree. If he could just keep out of sight for a while.

The guards came into the forest to check on him periodically. He'd relieve them of their weapons and ammo like he had the others he'd seen. Leon glanced down at the still twitching legs of the Regenerator and smirked. Humans evolved and adapted, monsters didn't; sucked to be them.

 

February 3rd, 2011

Claire Redfield's apartment in Washington DC.

 

Claire waited anxiously for her brother and his partners to arrive, nearly screaming when there was a loud knock on her door. She looked through the spy hole and relaxed seeing her brother's face then opened the door. "Chris!" She pulled him into a hug. He held her back, tightly. She looked up into his eyes as she pulled away. "What happened?"

"First off, how did Leon contact you?"

"He left a package with someone and if he didn't call them by a certain time they were to bring it to my desk." Claire waved everyone in then closed and bolted the door. "Its there on the table." She watched the three agents begin going through the file, but when Chris began opening the letter she snatched it from his hand.

"Claire-"

"Its personal." She said quietly.

"I need to know what's going on."

"Where is he?"

"We don't know." Jill said quietly. Claire's eyes widened.

"Is he-"

"We-"

"No." All three women looked at Chris. "He's not dead." Her brother's jaw was set.

"Chris, we don't know that for sure." Jill touched his arm gently.

"I do." He folded his arms. "Kennedy doesn't seem like the kind of guy to go down quietly and-"

"He was already injured and for all we know Tricell could have him." Her brow furrowed. "That would be worse than death." Claire clutched Leon's letter to her chest, tears welling in her eyes.

"Will you please just tell me what happened." Chris looked at her for a long time before nodding. She sat down and listened quietly as he went through what had happened at the Dakota Facility. When he was finished she took a deep breath. "If the government had him we would have heard from him by now so we have to assume that it's Tricell." She bit her lip then handed Leon's letter to Chris. As he read it she toyed with the necklace Leon had given her.

"Okay, what the hell happened between you two?" He frowned, looking up at her after finishing. Claire hung her head and turned away. "I thought you two were best buds."

"We were, until he seemed to support Tricell." She inhaled shakily. "I said...well more like accused him of some pretty horrible things. When he didn't even try to defend himself I got even more upset. I couldn't understand why he'd support Tricell but not TerraSave." Her hand tightened around the cross. "I had no idea what he'd been going through. I wish now that I'd taken the time to sit down with him and actually talk without all the press and other agents around."

"That might've been a good plan." Chris sighed. "You know, when he knocked me out he asked me to apologize to you." Claire looked up in surprise. "That is one screwed up guy." He laughed. "Now, we're going to shove this drama aside and figure out where the hell our little crazy man is."

 

Fruit Tree in disgusting Tricell Forest.

 

Leon wasn't sure if eating the fruit from the trees Tricell grew was a good plan, but it wasn't like he had any other choice. He bit into an apple and promptly spit it out. Of course it would have to taste like shit. He grimaced, wiping his mouth. "Damn." His voice came out in a rough croak that made him grimace even more. He was dehydrated, and had run out of MRE's. His world had just gone from sucky to downright hellish.

If he didn't get out of here soon he really was going to die...unless he went back to the starting point and rummaged through the buildings again. He hadn't done a very good job of it when he'd first woken in that sort of delirium tranqs always left him in. The only problem was that it would mean that he had to leave his newly found sanctuary in the trees and travel the few mile distance without water. "Fuck." He swore. It was really his only option.

Slowly he got to his feet on the branch, but before he could move further a loud alarm began to sound. Now what? He crouched quickly and began scanning the immediate area. Alarms were never good and this one was awfully loud. It echoed throughout the large enclosure. After a few moments it stopped and a voice came over the speaker system. He recognized it as the scientist who had spoken in the van that had transported him to the facility but with all the echoing he couldn't make out what he was saying. It was obvious that whatever was being said was directed at someone inside the enclosure, but they believed him to be dead already. He'd made sure of that with a bit of genius on his part, and more than a little pain.

He glanced down at his arm. The makeshift bandage was holding so far. He'd cut it open and smeared blood all over a clearing. It had lured some of the larger creatures and a few guards. When the scientists came out he'd heard them talking. They were surprised that Leon had lasted over two weeks and a little disappointed that it hadn't been longer. He smiled slowly, realizing what was going on. They had new toys to play with, which meant more guns and more hands to help Leon get to the security gate. He already had the keys for the door beyond it that led into the compound and a very dirty map of the floor plan, all he needed now was more firepower. He got to his feet and leaped to the next tree. He was going to get out of here, and when he did; nothing would stop him from burning this place to the ground with everyone inside.

 

 

Chapter Text

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Chapter Five

 

February 10th, 2010

Habitat Enclosure, Vermont Facility.

 

"It surprises me that you three got as far as you did." Chris glared up at the loud speaker. "But I am afraid you will not get much further. Perhaps you can outlast your friend...I doubt it, but good luck."

"Where's Leon?"

"Mr. Kennedy?" The voice chuckled. "I'm sure you'll find little pieces of him here and there." Jill and Sheva gasped. Chris shook his head and snorted in disbelief. On the inside he felt like crying. Had they really come all this way just to fail? "You don't believe me? Well go see if you can find him, but be careful of my pets. They have a nasty habit of ripping people to shreds. Oh, and one more thing before I leave you to your fate. In the surrounding buildings you will find everything you need to survive. Food, water and ammo. I'm afraid there are no guns so you will have to make do with what you have. Do put on a good show for me. Your friend was excellent." There was a high pitched whine as the microphone was turned off. Chris turned to the women with him.

"He's fine."

"Its been a month Chris." Jill wiped at her eyes. "I think we need to be realistic about this. One man cannot survive in this kind of environment for a whole month on his own."

"And he's not like you Chris." Sheva added. "He's smaller and...more..." She paused searching for the right word." ...delicate." Chris wasn't sure if that was a good word to use to describe the fighting machine he'd seen at the Dakota facility.

"He's fine." Chris sighed. "Besides he's a bit smarter than I am."

"Wits don't mean anything in a place like-" Jill cut off with a frown. "Do you hear that?"

"Hear what?" Chris looked around. They were on what looked like a small town street. There were a few store and house replicas lining a strip of pavement. There were even alleys with half full dumpsters...it was weird. The whole place was and had taken a while to find. No one wanted to discuss it.

"I don't know.” She huffed out a frustrated breath. “It sounded like-there it is again." Chris heard it this time. A soft snuffling like someone with a head cold. He was about to say so when a tall humanoid creature shuffled around the corner of a building at the far end of the street. "What is that?" Jill's eyes went wide.

"I don't know, but it sure doesn't look good." Chris replied bringing up the muzzle of his M16. He squeezed off a round of shots into the things head. The skull exploded but the thing kept coming and they watched in horror as the thing's head grew back right before their eyes. "Definitely not good." He fired again, this time into the thing's torso. It jerked but kept coming. He aimed for its legs to stop its advance. It fell to the ground but suddenly shot forward, covering even more distance. "Fuck!" Chris swore then spied a half open door to his left. "Inside, quick." He ushered the girls into the building before following and slamming the door shut. There was no lock. "They don't make this easy do they?"

"I doubt it would be much of a show if they did." Jill replied with a disgusted sneer. "We just have to hope that that thing doesn't know how to turn a knob."

"Don't you think it will just kick it open?" Chris mused.

"You shot its legs off." Jill replied then frowned. "Or not." Chris spun to see the thing shuffling its way past the window. "I guess that makes sense. It grew its head back. After a feat like that a couple of legs would be easy." Jill chuckled, but Chris could sense a bit of hysteria.

"Pull it together Valentine, we're-" He cut off as they heard a door slam down the street. The creature turned and began to shuffle back the way it'd come. Chris opened the door slowly and watched it walk down the street. A second figure leaped out of the shadows. There were three flashes of silvery light off a knife then the figure was gone and the creature screamed before the entire torso exploded. Chris jerked in shock. What the hell? He stepped out into the street and took a tentative step towards the legs that were left, twitching, in the middle of the street. There was no sign of the figure that had killed it, and Chris was uneasy. Who, or what, ever had been able to dispatch that creature with such speed and ease would have no problem with three humans. He wanted desperately to believe that it was Leon, but he had to agree with Jill. How could one man have survived on his own in a place like this for a whole month?

 

Tricell Monster Factory.

 

Leon kept to the shadows until he got to the building he wanted. Before he went out to find his new 'friends' he needed water, food, and ammo; in that order. Maybe a first aid kit too. That might be good. He glanced at the blood dripping down his arm. The cut had opened during his flight through the trees. It had been rather quick since the new test subjects that had arrived didn't stand a chance against Regenerators and the damn things liked to congregate around the 'town'. Hopefully the people weren't dead already, but if they were Leon knew they wouldn't mind him borrowing whatever they had with them.

He opened a cupboard and sighed. First aid and a box of emergency rations. Beggars can't be choosers, but he really did need to find some water. A fridge to his left caught his eye. Promising, but also slightly scary. Who knew what kind of disease ridden corpses could be chopped into pieces and wrapped in plastic just waiting behind that small, unassuming door. He shook his head and yanked it open then promptly shut it again. He hated it when he didn't listen to his instincts.

These weren't normal people he was dealing with. He knew that and still opened their damn fridge. Thirst was a powerful thing. Suppressing the urge to vomit he turned and there straight across from him was a counter full of bottles of water. He gulped down two before stopping himself, gasping for air and slightly dizzy from lack of nourishment. He had choked down an MRE and more water when the sudden sound of voices out on the street made him duck out of view. Once they'd passed he resumed his search.

In the cupboard beneath the water bottles he found boxes of ammo. Next to them sat a small duffle bag. "Perfect." He quickly loaded his extra clips and guns then filled the bag with all the ammo he could feasibly carry. Next he put in a few bottles of water and went back to the first cupboard where he'd found the MRE's. He quickly shoved some in the bag and sat back with a soft sigh. Now that he was fed, watered and armed he could finally tend to his wounds. As he pulled the first aid kit towards him he heard footsteps on the street.

"I told you I saw blood." Leon frowned and his brow furrowed. He knew that voice.

"I believed you the first time Jill, I just didn't think it was relevant."

"It's relevant because it's fresh."

"Maybe its monster blood." Leon sighed as the door opened.

"I know that can't be you Redfield because I remember telling you to keep your nose out of this mess." He pulled himself to his feet, raising an eyebrow at the three guns now trained on him. Chris's eyes widened.

"Leon?!"

"Although it is nice to see you guys, I have to ask what your plan was. I'm guessing falling into a trap never figured into it." Leon shook his head as he cut the bandage he'd made from strips of a guard's shirt then popped open the first aid kit. As he grabbed out some gauze he heard the first sniffle. "Damn it." He swore snatching up his gun and moving to the front entrance, past his would be rescuers. Three Regenerators where shuffling up the street. "Looks like its time to move." He slapped a gauze pad over the wound on his arm than quickly wrapped a bandage around it and tied it off. It would have to do for now.

"Jesus, how many of those things are there?"

"I don't care." Leon swung the duffle over his shoulder after shoving the first aid kit into it. "I can handle one, but not three and you guys don't know how to kill them yet so I suggest we go out the back." He gestured for them to follow then headed towards the rear exit. As he stepped out an alarm sounded. "Are you fucking kidding me?" He shot out the speaker then sprinted for the trees after making sure the three BSAA agents were following him. As soon as they were half mile from the 'town' he slowed to a stop then half collapsed at the base of a tree, breathing heavily. His arm was bleeding again. He pulled out the first aid kit and removed the worthless bandage he'd just put on.

"What the hell is going on in this place?" Chris asked. Fucker wasn't even out of breath. Leon shrugged a shoulder as he rummaged through the kit. "How the fuck can you be so calm?" Again Leon shrugged. "Jesus Christ Leon! Here we came all this way and its like-"

"What do you want me to do Redfield, kiss you?" Leon almost laughed as the other man blushed. "Jump up and down singing your praises?"

"No, I-" He ran a hand through his hair. "I don't know what I want. I just expected something different I guess."

“Well excuse me for not being happy that you got stuck in my own mess.” Leon sighed as he finally found what he needed and began to clean away the dead and damaged skin around the wound on his arm. Fresh blood welled, but he ignored it as he threaded the suturing needle.

"Um..." Jill was giving him a pained look. Sheva squeaked as he started sewing up the large gash. Once it was closed he used some antiseptic to clean it then wrapped some clean gauze and bandaging around it. As he pulled himself to his feet he felt the earth beneath him rumble.

"Shit." He grabbed the duffle. "Get in the trees, quick!" He leaped into the air, grabbing a low hanging branch and wrenching his wounded left shoulder. He winced in pain. The connected arm shook in weariness, but somehow managed hold as he pulled himself up. Chris climbed into the tree next to him while Jill and Sheva helped each other into the one across the small clearing from them. Just as Sheva got her foot off the ground a large serpentine head erupted from the dirt right where she'd been standing. Both women jerked, clutching the tree in shock.

"What the hell is that?" Chris swore.

"Shh." Leon hissed as the giant head turned towards the other man, but it was too late; the snake was locked on. He swore grabbing out his knife then whistled shrilly. The head snapped towards him and just as it was about to strike Leon leaped from the branch, grabbing it around the neck and burying his knife deep in the center of its skull. He twisted it viciously until the thing stopped moving then got up slowly.

"Holy Christ." Chris was staring at him wide-eyed. Leon just cleaned off his knife and put it back in its sheath. He was so god damn tired, but he climbed back into the tree to grab the duffle.

"We need to keep moving." He said quietly after jumping back down. The three BSAA agents climbed to the ground and followed him into the bushes. He sighed wondering how he was going to get all four of them out of this place. To get to the door he had keycards for, they would have to get past a large gate that had electricity running through it. There was a vent next to it that was big enough for him and the girls to crawl through, but Chris was too bulky. They couldn't climb over the gate either because of the electricity and there was no way to open it from this side. If only he had some... "Hey Redfield?" He turned to the other man, a plan forming in his head.

"What?"

"Got any C-4?" Chris blinked then snorted.

"You're a crazy son of a bitch, you know that?"

"Comes with the job, but I'm serious. There's this gate just north of here I want to get rid of."

"The exit?" Jill asked hopefully.

"No, but the door to get out is just beyond it."

"Why do you need an explosive, can't we just climb over it?"

"No, because its electrified."

"Of course it is." Chris sighed.

"There's a vent that runs through the fence next to the gate big enough to crawl through, but the sides of it are electrified as well and...unfortunately your fat ass is too big."

"Oi." Chris snapped as Jill and Sheva giggled.

"The only option left is to disable the gate."

"Um, why doesn't someone crawl through and just open it?"

"Because the controls are in that big tower over there." He pointed at the large structure near where they'd started.

"How do you know all this?"

"Redfield, how long have I been here?"

"Uuh-"

"Almost a month right?" Chris looked away. "I've had time to figure shit out. Now, I'd settle for a couple grenades if you don't have any C-4." Leon turned away from the three agents and started heading towards the gate. He didn't like the looks of self-recrimination on their faces and he wasn't about to listen to them start apologizing for not having found him sooner. He was a big boy and could take care of himself. Hadn't he proved that already? Was he really such a damsel in distress that he needed someone to come rescue him? As it was now he was the one who was going to be rescuing them. So lost in thought was he that he didn't hear the clicking until it was almost too late. He stopped walking and looked around, drawing his gun.

"Leon?"

"Shh." The ex-government agent held up a hand, and closed his eyes to focus on where it was coming from. He cursed himself for believing he'd gotten them all. To his left he heard the clicking again. Long nails on a hard surface. 200 plus pounds of pure, leaping evil. God how he hated them. They were just as bad as Regenerators in a way, easier to kill sure, but they were faster and hunted in packs. Leon hadn't figured out how to go up against them without getting hurt...yet. He had an idea, but it would probably sap up the rest of his energy. He was running on empty as it was, the initial burst he'd gotten from the MRE was wearing off, leaving him even more tired than before.

"What-" There it was. That small cough and then...Leon grabbed the tongue that came shooting out of the bushes before it could impale Chris in the chest. He pulled the creature out of hiding, put his gun to the exposed brain and pulled the trigger three times. The Licker fell to the ground squirming and crying before going limp.

"I hate those things." Sheva muttered with a slight shudder.

"Me too." Jill nodded, drawing her dual Uzis. Leon marveled at the melting corpse.

"I can't believe it worked." He muttered softly. "Not a scratch." Chris stared at him.

"You mean you haven't done that before?"

"I've never killed a giant snake before either, but you watch them long enough and you start to notice things."

"Like?"

"The snake can't change course after it lunges, and it's blind to its rear so if you can jump behind it before it bites your head off you have a chance." Leon rubbed his nose, that had suddenly began to itch. "As for Lickers, before their tongue shoots out you can hear a sound like a small cough."

"I've never heard it."

"You weren't listening for it." Leon shrugged.

"What about those other things? The ones in that town like place."

"Regenerators." Leon suppressed a shudder. "Word of advice, don't ever let them get a hold of you and try to take them out from a distance."

"How?" Chris frowned.

"They've got three leech like Plagas parasites in their body. They're really easy to see with a thermal scope. If you take them out the fucker explodes."

"How'd you do it with a knife?"

"Sheer luck." Leon half laughed. "Most of the time the leeches are in their left shoulder, heart area and above their right hip."

"But why the knife?" Sheva asked. "You could have gotten killed."

"I was out of bullets."

"What if the leeches weren't where you thought they were?"

"Didn't think of that." Leon frowned then shrugged. "No use dwelling on it. So how about that C-4?"

 

Habitat Enclosure, Vermont Facility.

 

Chris stared at Leon for a full minute before unhooking two grenades from his belt. "Sorry, but I don't carry C-4 around in my pocket like a crazy person."

"Its perfectly safe as long as you keep the blasting caps and detonator in another pocket." Leon shrugged with a small smile before taking the proffered grenades. It gave Chris a chance to look the younger man over. He didn't look well. He'd lost a lot of weight and was covered in dirt and blood. His arm was bandaged and Chris could tell that his left shoulder was injured by the way he held it. He was also limping slightly.

"Maybe we should take a break, Leon. You look like shit." Leon's blue-gray eyes lifted to his and Chris could see the pain and fatigue in them.

"Smell like it too.” He snorted then sighed. “We have to keep moving. The longer we stay in one place the more danger we're in." He pushed his dirty hair from his face giving Chris a glimpse of a pretty nasty cut on his forehead. "How do you think I've survived this long?"

"Frankly, Leon, I don't know." Chris replied evenly.

"The only relatively safe place is the trees, but a slow way to travel. So if you want to get out of here you need to follow me." With that Leon turned and headed into the trees. Chris sighed before following, Jill and Sheva at his heels.

"Does anyone else feel like our roles have been reversed?" He murmured quietly. "I mean we're supposed to be rescuing him right?" Jill chuckled.

"We really didn't make a good plan did we?"

"No, we had a good plan." Sheva replied. "It just didn't go the way we wanted it to."

"Ain't that the truth?" Chris muttered darkly. "Have you noticed how he doesn't even seem to like that we're here?" He eyed the younger man's back a few yards ahead of him. "If I were in his shoes I'd be ecstatic, but I'd probably also be dead within a week...probably less."

"What makes you say that?" Jill asked quietly.

"He has better instincts." Chris replied. "He thinks faster on his feet too." He couldn't stop staring at Leon. He'd never met anyone as strong, skilled, or intelligent. It was a terrifying combination and Chris was thankful the man was on his side.

"Do you think he's going to be okay? He's pretty beat up and I can't imagine what-" Sheva cut off as Leon suddenly stopped, his head cocked to the side. Chris knew he'd heard something but he had no idea what. He couldn't hear a thing except for the breeze blowing through the trees and a stream somewhere off to his right. "Leon?" Sheva took a step forward. Suddenly the ground began to rumble beneath their feet.

"Trees!" Leon shouted, running towards them. None of the agents had to be told twice. They each climbed into the tree nearest them. Chris watched Leon's agile leap to a branch lower than the one he himself sat on and had to swallow a sudden lump in his throat. The man truly was amazing, even covered in dirt and blood. "Climb up higher Redfield." Leon ordered. Chris obeyed then turned to watch Leon work. The younger man crouched on his branch and brought his fingers to his lips. A shrill whistle later and the snake was charging for him. Leon waited until the last possible second before leaping out of the way and as with the previous snake they'd encountered a knife to the brain brought it down relatively quick. Chris half fell out of the tree as he climbed down. Leon struggled to his feet, breathing hard. "Come on, the gate's not much further." He panted, wiping his knife on his jeans.

"That's gross." Jill wrinkled her nose.

"I'm burning them as soon as I get home anyway." Leon shrugged. "And I'd rather not have that crap in the sheath."

"Its still gross and smells disgusting."

"Yeah well the smell keeps the smaller creatures away so I'm okay with it for now."

"Smaller ones?"

"Dogs and these monkey like things." Leon shrugged. Chris frowned as the younger man swayed on his feet.

"That's it." He swore walking up to tower over to him. "You need to rest. You're about to fall over. We,” Chris indicated himself and the women. “can protect you while you take it easy for a bit. We aren't helpless you know."

"You said the trees were safe, right?" Jill added stepping forward. Leon closed his eyes with a sigh.

"Fine, but only for a half hour."

"As if.” Chris snorted. “At least an hour or I knock you out right here." He folded his arms. Leon's eyes narrowed, muscles tensing, but after a moment he sighed again.

"Fine, but not here." He turned away from Chris and began heading deeper into the forest. Jill and Sheva nodded to their leader as the three of them followed. About a hundred yards later Leon stopped. "I obviously didn't get them all like I thought and Lickers are attracted to the bigger corpses. This should be far enough away, but keep your ears open. You'll hear them before you see them." He set his bag on the ground near the base of a tree then climbed up the branches with an ease Chris envied. The man was on empty and could still out maneuver the larger man. It wasn't fair. "There's water and emergency rations in the bag, and ammo if any of you have magnums." Chris nodded.

"Good, now go to sleep."

"Yes mother." Leon grumbled before settling back against the trunk. Jill snorted while Sheva just smiled. "Keep off the open ground and don't move around a lot." Chris saluted him and took a seat at the base of a tree where he could both keep an eye on Leon and an ear on the forest. Jill crouched near a tree to his left while Sheva took one on his right. Chris watched him until he saw the younger man's body relax.

"I wonder if he's going to be okay." Sheva frowned looking up at Leon. "He's different then when we last saw him."

"He'll be fine." Chris set his jaw. "We'll make sure of it."

"Claire will help." Jill said quietly.

"If she can pull her head out of her ass and apologize." Chris muttered darkly.

"Chris..." Jill's brow furrowed. He looked away. He wasn't really sure why he was being so hard on his sister except for the fact that he knew how it felt to be betrayed by a person you thought was a friend. Leon had made sure she survived Raccoon City; not to mention telling Chris she was in danger so that he could rescue her in that Umbrella facility in Antarctica then he'd saved her life in Harvardville and she repaid his efforts by telling him she never wanted him to speak to her again as well as accusing him of forgetting what had happened during and since Raccoon city. That was harsh, especially for Claire.

His eyes moved to Leon's sleeping dirty face and felt his heart ache. The younger man had been through so much and Chris had never heard him complain...not once. Leon internalized everything instead. All the pain and horrors he'd lived through and here he was leading Chris, Jill and Sheva out of a mess they'd gotten into to save him. It was ironic and downright humiliating. Chris had never felt so helpless in his life when he'd been staring at that Regenerator through the window.

It had been worse than when he'd gone into the Spencer mansion. Back then he'd been scared but at least he could kill the creatures after him and his team. As he stared up at Leon he felt the ground beneath his feet tremble.

"Shit." He stood up quickly, aiming his M16 at the ground. A glance up at Leon told him that the other man had felt it too.

"That's not a snake." He said quietly, coming down from the tree. "Its bigger."

"What is it?"

"We need to run, now." He grabbed Chris's wrist and pulled him into a denser part of the forest.

"Leon, what is it?" The older man hissed.

"In Spain they called them El Gigante, but this one's bigger and a hell of a lot smarter. Its been hunting me for a couple weeks now. They let it loose when I killed this huge armored crab-like thing." Chris jerked in shock, almost stopping.

"You killed one of those things by yourself with just a handgun?!"

"It's a .45 caliber Desert Eagle, Redfield, and that fucking crab was the reason I ran out of bullets."

"So you've been running around for two weeks with no ammo?"

"Pretty much."

"How the hell are you still alive?" Leon stopped then turned back to him with a grin. Chris didn't like the look in his eyes. "What?"

"I have ammo."

"You're not kidding, that bag weighs a ton." Leon's grin widened.

"No, Redfield, I have ammo. What the fuck am I running for?"

"You're insane. Why fight that thing when you don't have to?" Chris grabbed his uninjured arm as the younger man turned to head towards the thunderous footsteps.

"Why not?" Leon winked then disappeared into the trees.

"Why not, indeed?" Chris threw his hands in the air and followed. Jill and Sheva stood in a clearing staring as Leon ran past them.

"What is he-"

"He has ammo." Chris rolled his eyes. "Let's just make sure he doesn't get himself killed." They nodded, drawing their weapons. As the three agents entered a large clearing they gaped in shock at the largest monster they'd ever seen then at Leon when he whistled to get the beast's attention. "Jesus Christ, he is nuts." The Gigante, or whatever it was, roared throwing its arms in the air. Leon's Eagle came up and Chris almost laughed at the sight. The Gigante had to be a hundred times Leon's size and here the rookie was standing in front of it with a magnum aimed at its head.

The magnum's report seemed quiet after the monster's roar and as the giant went to one knee holding its face and roaring a large tentacled growth erupted from its back. Chris gasped, he and Sheva had fought one of these things in Africa. They'd had the guns from a BSAA Humvee though so they'd made it out okay and here Leon was going up against it with only a magnum. He watched in awe as Leon ran forward, using a tree as a step to leap onto the monster's shoulders. One hand gripped a tentacle as he fired repeatedly into the growth. It exploded covering both Leon and the surrounding area with a foul smelling liquidized gore. The Gigante stopped its roaring and fell to the ground with a large crash that shook the ground. Leon tumbled to the forest floor laughing. Chris just stared at him, as did Jill and Sheva.

"He's lost it." Sheva said quietly. Jill nodded emphatically as he got to his feet still chuckling and wiping at his face. His smile faded as he turned to them that's when Chris heard the snuffling. He turned around slowly and felt his blood run cold. Four Regenerators were stumbling towards them.

"Sweet Jesus, Mary, and Joseph." He swore raising his M16. Sheva gasped as she turned as well.

"What the fuck?" Jill cried taking a few steps back.

"They're attracted to sound." Leon said from behind them. "I suggest you guys walk back this way slowly and fire into their torsos. Whatever you do, don't aim for their legs."

"Figured that already." Chris muttered, slowly backing up. He switched the scope on his assault rifle to thermal and looked through it. Sheva followed suit and the two of them fired at the small, moving leeches they could now see clearly. Two Regenerators exploded simultaneously and the last two followed soon after that. When Chris raised his head he found Leon next to him. The younger man frowned.

"Well that was fast." He leaned closer to Chris to look through his scope. "Oh...cheater."

"You're just disappointed you didn't get to use your ninja moves on them." Chris snorted pulling away. Leon blinked then grinned.

"Ninja, huh?” He snorted. “Now can we get out of here? I need a shower."

"Phew, you're telling me." Chris took a step away from him, plugging his nose. Jill and Sheva giggled as Leon punched his arm gently.

"Asshole." He was smiling though and Chris was glad to see it in his eyes this time. "The gate's this way and I have two grenades in my pockets that would like to blow it up." Chris threw his head back with a laugh as Leon walked off with a haughty swagger then followed. The girls were still giggling as the three agents caught up with him. After about ten minutes of a very uneventful walk they arrived at a massive gate. Chris whistled as he stared up at it.

"I think you're going to need more grenades."

"Nonsense." Leon scoffed. "I could bring down a tank with one grenade. Its just a matter of where you put them."

"I beg to differ."

"Beg all you want." Leon replied approaching the massive gate. "I'll show you."

"I'm telling you, two grenades won't work on something that size."

"If you have sucky grenades, sure, but these kind blow up nicely." Leon tossed one in the air and caught it on his palm. "Especially when you shoot them."

"Oh God."

"I'd get behind those trees." Leon waved him off. As he turned away Chris could see his shoulders shaking as if he were suppressing laughter.

"You're insane." Chris swore. Leon snorted in reply.

"Maybe, but I'd still get behind those trees if I were you." Chris grabbed Jill and Sheva by their arms and dragged them behind a small copse of trees 20 yards from the gate. "Fire in the hole!" They heard Leon shout before a large explosion rocked the enclosure. "Well there you go, Redfield, I only needed one." Chris peeked around the tree he was behind and gaped. The blast from the grenade had blown half the gate in towards the wall beyond. Leon was lying on his back having been thrown back 30 feet, his head raised to survey his handiwork.

"You're fucking crazy!"

"Not really. I just want to get out of here that bad." He groaned as he got to his feet. "Is anyone else's head ringing?" Chris collapsed against the tree laughing. He couldn't help it. Leon's hair was sticking up every which way and his face was almost completely black. He heard Jill snort and a sort of shrill giggle came from Sheva. Leon grinned at them before walking towards the now busted gate. The three BSAA agents composed themselves before following. As they got nearer the wall they saw a door...that needed two keycards to open.

"Now what?" Chris kicked at one of the readers irritably.

"Never fear." Leon grinned producing two plastic cards from his pocket.

"The hell?"

"Always be prepared." The younger man smirked.

"How'd you get those?"

"I borrowed them from some very kind men." Leon replied. "They were a bit unreasonable at first, but when I explained the situation to them they were more than happy to give them to me."

"Uh-huh." Chris raised an eyebrow and folded his arms across his chest. "You just talked them into giving you their keys?"

"Um...yeah, pretty much. The gun I was aiming at them didn't have any bullets." Chris looked at Jill; they burst out laughing at the same time. Leon slid the cards through the readers and whooped as the door opened. The four of them walked through the opening into a long white hallway. A very bright white hallway. Leon swore, covering his eyes and turning away. His head ran into Chris's chest and the older man felt his heart flutter. "Good, fucking, God." The smaller man groaned. Chris bit his lip. He wanted to put his arms around Leon, but wasn't sure if he should. "Bastards. Why do they have to make everything fucking white then light it up like a fucking Christmas tree?" Chris snorted. He gave in to his instincts and put an arm around Leon's shoulders.

"Keep your eyes closed until you're used to the light. I'll guide you." He offered. Leon only grunted. "Sheva, take the rear. Jill, you're on point."

"Gotcha." Jill smirked at him as she moved to walk in front of them.

"Nah, let me take point." Leon snorted. "It'll be awesome."

"How about not?" Chris chuckled. "You've done enough. We'll get you home."

"I wanna blow this place up first."

"What?" Chris looked down at him in shock. “Why?”

"Because they pissed me off." He squinted up at Chris with watery eyes. "But one grenade's not going to cut it. Got anymore?"

"No."

"Jill?"

"I don't think so, cupcake." The blonde replied over her shoulder with a laugh.

"Sheva?"

"Sorry, fresh out." Chris could hear the grin in her voice.

"You guys suck." Leon sighed. "I guess that only leaves me with one option-"

"No." Chris said firmly.

"-the self destruct button. This place has got to have one."

"No, Leon. We're going to take you home."

"It'll only be a small detour." The younger man reasoned, opening his eyes the rest of the way and blinking rapidly. "Seriously. We'll even make a quicker get away." Chris could hear both girls laughing quietly.

"You're delirious."

"Maybe, but you know I'm right." Leon smirked, elbowing him gently. "You want to blow them up just as much as I do."

"I say we go for it." Jill said over her shoulder.

"You're a wonderful person." Leon beamed at her, then leaned against Chris. "Come on, Redfield, I know you want to." Sheva giggled behind them.

"What could it hurt Chris?" She asked.

"Um, let me think, how about us?"

"I won't let that happen." Leon promised, looking up at him sincerely. "I have a map in my back pocket I borrowed from the same gentlemen I got the cards from." He pulled out a folded, dirty piece of paper.

"Jesus, what are you, a magician? What else do you have in your pockets?"

"A grenade, three extra clips, my wallet and some gum." His brow furrowed. "I don't think you want to eat it though. My hiding places haven't always been dry, or above ground. Oh! I have this tooth I pulled out of my shoulder too." Chris watched him dig around in his pocket and produce a large, curved tooth. "It came from the crab when it..." Chris pushed the younger man against the wall, putting a hand to his forehead. Leon's skin felt as though it were on fire.

"You're burning up. How long have you had this fever?"

"Fuck if I know." Leon shrugged. "But I've been covered in monster guts for the past two weeks straight, that can't be good for my health. The good thing is that it can't be a fever from infection because-oi!" Chris ignored the younger man's protests as he pulled Leon's shirt off his left shoulder. There was a large gash on the front and a matching one on the back. The skin around it was swollen with a reddish green hue.

"Jesus!" Chris inhaled sharply.

"Yeah, it got a little close. I almost lost my arm."

"You still might if we don't get you to a hospital soon."

"First we're going to blow this place sky high." Leon held up the folded map. "I know exactly where to go and how to get out. I've had plenty of time to plan this."

"Leon..." Chris bit his lip. "You need a-"

"I know, Redfield, I know, but I need to do this." Leon met his gaze. "And I need your help." As Chris stared down into those fever-bright, blue-gray eyes he found that he couldn't say no.

"Fine." He sighed. Leon grinned.

"Perfect. We go left at the first junction, Jill."

"Gotcha." The blonde grinned, her blue eyes shining.

 

Vermont Facility; otherwise known as the Soon-To-Be Smoking Crater.

 

Leon leaned against Chris trying to breathe normally as they walked down yet another long white hallway. Left, left, right, straight, left, straight, right; was the mantra he kept repeating in his head. He'd memorized the route to the main security office during his seemingly endless days and nights inside the Habitat Enclosure. He'd learned where he was while walking down the long white corridors. Tricell's Vermont Facility in West Virginia. After Claire had received the package he'd sent by way of a confidential courier-a task that had taken over three weeks-she'd gone to her brother and his team to find out what had happened to him. It had taken seven days for them to locate which facility he had been brought to and when they finally got here there was a trap waiting for them. Not really a surprise to Leon, since Tricell had wonderful connections. They'd probably known that Chris was looking for him so they floated the information out and the elder Redfield had taken the bait. Leon didn't blame him for not checking it out thoroughly. If their positions had been reversed Leon would have done the same thing. He stumbled slightly, bringing his mind back to the present. Chris sighed and, to Leon's complete humiliation, lifted the younger man onto his back effortlessly. "Put me down, you asshat."

"Not a chance." Leon felt him chuckle and growled, which only made Chris laugh harder. "Dude, you've almost fallen over like three times."

"So."

"If you pass out I'm going to end up carrying you anyway. Plus, you're the navigator."

"Fine, but you breathe a word of this to anyone and I'll blow you up." He hissed. Chris chuckled. "I'm serious Redfield. I will blow you to the mother fucking moon and I don't mean in the fun way.”

"I believe you." The other man snorted.

"No you don't. You think I'm kidding."

"No, Leon, I really do believe you'd blow me up." He snickered again. Leon sighed irritably, pressing his burning forehead into the larger man's shoulder.

"This is bull shit."

"Shut up and enjoy it."

"I like a hot, well muscled bloke between my legs on occasion, but this isn't one of those times.." Leon growled. Sheva giggled as Chris stumbled in surprise. "Am I the only one who doesn't find this funny?"

"Yes." Jill called over her shoulder.

"I'm going to kill you all." He swore. Chris laughed. Leon smiled softly, relaxing into the other man's back. It actually wasn't so bad, but he knew if it was anyone besides Chris he'd fight like hell to get back down and walk. There a lot about the BSAA agent that Leon was drawn to. He instinctively trusted the man, and genuinely liked him. He just couldn't help wanting to fuck with him a bit. "You're getting monster guts on you." He whispered then smirked as Chris stopped in his tracks.

"God damn it." He swore. Leon snickered.

"Serves you right."

"You're an ass." Chris sighed and started walking again. Leon closed his eyes, listening to the steady beat of the older man's heart. He was almost asleep when he realized that he was supposed to be navigator. They'd taken two lefts, a right, and gone straight.

"Left at the next...whatever its called."

"Shut up and go to sleep or something." Chris grumbled.

"No."

"You're a stubborn son of a bitch aren't you?"

"Yes. Now go left."

"Left it is." Jill laughed up ahead of them.

"Don't encourage him." Chris muttered.

"Is anyone else wondering where everyone is?" Sheva asked from behind them. Leon groaned.

"Don't say stuff like that." He turned his head to look at her. "You couldn't just enjoy the quiet, could you? Now something bad is going to happen. It always does when someone points out-"

"Shut up Leon." Chris snapped. "And quit moving around." He settled back down with a sigh.

"I'm telling you, she jinxed us."

"No she didn't."

"You'll see."

"Which way Leon?" Jill called.

"Straight."

"We're walking into another trap aren't we?" Sheva asked.

"If we weren't before; we are now." Leon muttered.

"Maybe." Chris replied over him. "I'm sure its nothing we can't handle."

"Do you have a death wish or something?" Leon smacked the back of his head making Chris grunt in surprise. "Now there's going-"

"Do you want me to knock you out?" Chris asked calmly. "Because if you don't shut your paranoid ass up I'm going to."

"Its not my ass that's paranoid." Leon replied, laying his cheek against the older man's shoulder.

"I don't care if its your foot, shut up." Chris snapped.

"You tell him Chris." Jill called over her shoulder with a laugh.

"You can shut up too, Valentine." The older man growled lightly. Leon winced as a sudden, sharp pain shot through his shoulder. "Leon?"

"M'fine. Turn right up ahead. The door should be right there." After a few minutes they arrived at a large steel door with an electronic lock.

"I hope your cards work on this too, otherwise we're not getting in." He heard Jill sigh. Leon knew they wouldn't but handed them over anyway. "Damn!" The sound of booted footsteps in the distance caught his attention.

"Put me down Redfield."

"Why."

"I'll deal with the door while you deal with-"

"Incoming." Sheva called.

"-them."

 

Outside Main Security Office, Vermont Facility.

 

Chris swore loudly before setting Leon on his feet. The younger man swayed and began to fall, but caught himself on the wall. "Go, I'll be fine." He said tiredly. Chris hesitated. He didn't want to leave Leon on his own.

"We've got it. You guys focus on getting that door open." Jill squeezed his arm then she and Sheva took cover on either side of the hallway they had come up. Leon used the wall to get to the door leaving a trail of blood that stood out ominously in the surrounding white.

"Leon..."

"I'm fine, Redfield." The injured man sighed, sliding down to the floor to kneel in front of the card reader. He used his knife to pop open the casing. As he reached for the wires inside they heard the girls swear and start shooting. Chris looked back at them. "Go. They're going to need help and this might take a while." A bead of sweat slipped down the side of Leon's dirty face as he concentrated on his work. When Chris didn't move Leon's blue-gray eyes slid to him. "Hurry. There's something bigger coming." Just then the walls shook. Chris swore and ran back down the hall towards Jill.

"What the fuck is that?!" She cried just as he got to her side. He looked around the corner and gaped at the creature standing at the end of the hallway. It seemed to fill the entire space. Its head almost touched the ceiling and it was wide enough that all it had to do was flex a little to be able to touch both walls. In its right shoulder was a round, rolling, ugly eye. "Is that the G-" She looked up at Chris. "Get back to Leon, we don't know what's behind that door. Sheva and I got this."

"You-"

"Go." She turned back to the monster as it roared. "It's a mutation of the G-virus. We know how to kill it." Chris nodded and went back to kneel next to Leon.

"They can handle themselves." He said quietly.

"They can, huh?" Leon's voice was steady, but his hands shook slightly as he twisted two wires together. The light on the reader turned green and the door slid open. Chris stood with a grin and turned to find Sheva and Jill standing behind him.

"Piece of cake." The blonde grinned, her arm around Sheva's shoulders. The young African was slightly out of breath, but grinning as well. "Lets blow this place up." Chris nodded and turned to find Leon struggling to his feet.

"Need some help, buddy?" He grinned, but as he reached out to touch Leon they heard a voice from inside the room they'd opened.

"Well, you are a wonder Mr. Kennedy." Leon stiffened. "Come here." Chris's brow furrowed as the younger man obeyed. Where was the wise crack? And...had he stopped limping, or was that just Chris's imagination? Was Leon...his eyes widened and he ran into the room after his friend. Jill and Sheva followed. They found Leon standing in front of a man in a white lab coat sitting behind a desk. "I'm amazed that you survived, but you have not escaped infection." Jill gasped. "Even now I can sense them, growing inside you. Soon now I will have complete control.”

"You're lying." Chris snapped.

"I am not. Ask your friend, I'm sure he has figured it out by now."

"Leon?"

"He won't speak until I allow him to, unfortunately." The man grinned maliciously.

"Leon!" Chris shouted, grabbing Leon's arm and spinning him around. The younger man blinked, his eyes sliding in and out of focus. Nothing in them told the agent whether or not he was infected or just tired. Suddenly Leon shook his head.

"Sorry, I spaced out for a sec. Thought I smelled a Snickers." He rubbed his eyes tiredly and Chris could have kissed him.

"Mr. Kennedy, come here." Leon turned with a frown.

"Who the hell are you?" He asked, brow furrowing. Chris snorted at the look of irritation that crossed the scientist's face.

"I said come here."

"I heard you the first time, what makes you think I'm going to listen to-' He suddenly laughed. "Oh, you think I'm infected."

"I injected you myself."

"Unfortunately I've been infected before and we both know what that means." He turned to Chris. "At least now I know what made me vomit blood." He chuckled.

"You've been infected before?" Chris's brow furrowed.

"In Spain. Both Ashley and I were injected with the Plagas parasite, but there was this machine we used to get rid of it. Now I'm immune." He grinned.

"You're lying!" The scientist screamed, getting to his feet and pointing at Leon. "I'm ordering you to kill these intruders." Leon pulled out his gun, for a split second Chris thought he was really going to do it, then he put a bullet between the man's eyes.

"God he was annoying." The younger man sighed. "Now where's that button that makes shit explode?" Chris chuckled.

"You know, he had us going there for a while. I really thought you were infected."

"He was an idiot." Leon shrugged. "And completely misinformed."

"You're immune to the Plagas parasite?" Sheva asked, awe in her voice.

"Yeah, lucky me." Leon muttered, walking to a computer bank in front of a wall of video screens showing different parts of the facility. When he stumbled and almost fell into them Jill grabbed his arm.

"You've done enough, Leon." She said quietly. "Let me do this part." His shoulders slumped tiredly. Chris moved forward nodding to Jill and taking Leon's arm from her. He lifted the younger man onto his back as she turned to the console and began searching the myriad of buttons. Leon relaxed against him.

"We need to hurry." Chris told his blonde partner. "He needs a hospital."

"They don't make this easy for a reason." She replied shortly.

"I'll help you." Sheva slung her M16 over her shoulder and approached the left side of the console. Chris watched them for a while then walked towards the console, his brown eyes searching the buttons as well.

"Try the computer." Leon murmured quietly in his ear. Chris could hear the effort it took for him to speak and knew that he was fading fast.

"What am I looking for?" He asked, walking over to it.

"Security functions." Leon replied. "Put me down. I'll walk you through it." Chris carefully set him on a chair then turned to the computer.

"Okay." He cracked his knuckles. “Let's do this.”

"There should be a folder labeled 'Facility Defenses'." Chris spotted it and clicked. A window popped up asking for a password.

"Damn. It won't open without a-"

"Password." Leon sighed. "Of course." He glanced over at the dead scientist and sighed again then wheeled the chair forward. Chris moved out of the way so Leon had access to the keyboard. The younger man's blue-gray eyes squinted at the keys as his fingers hovered over them. Then he took a deep breath and began typing. Multiple windows began popping up, streaming long lists of data, and after a couple of minutes they were in.

"Wow." Jill whistled, impressed. "I usually get shut out on my first try."

"I've messed with their systems before." Leon replied absently. Chris turned from the computer. The machines had always frustrated him. He almost jumped out of his skin when an alarm began to go off and a familiar pleasant sounding female voice politely told them that the facility was going to self-destruct in ten minutes. He spun and lifted Leon onto his back. The younger man chuckled softly putting his arms around Chris's neck.

"Jill, point. Sheva-"

"I know. Let's get out of here." She smiled briefly. Chris nodded and followed Jill out the door.

"Straight." Leon grunted. "Elevator to the top." Chris relayed the directions to Jill who nodded. When they got to the elevator they found it blocked by a creature with no eyes and long, metal claws attached to his arms. Chris felt Leon stiffen.

"What-"

"Shh." The younger man hissed, Jill and Sheva said nothing, having heard him through Chris's radio. He reached down and suddenly his Desert Eagle was being pressed into Chris's hand. "He's confused by the alarms right now, but he'll figure out that we're here soon. There's an exposed parasite on his back. Shoot that."

"How?"

"Jill, can you hear me?" Leon whispered, he was breathing hard which worried Chris. Would he make it to a hospital? She nodded. "Concentrate your shots on his head. Chris, when he turns around shoot the parasite. It should only take-" He paused to gasp for air. "-one shot with the magnum." His arms tightened around Chris's shoulders so that the older man could let go of his legs. "Sheva, whistle to get his attention."

"Gotcha, ready babe?" Jill raised her gun, stepped out of Chris's line of fire and nodded. Sheva whistled shrilly. The creature's head turned in her direction, then it yelled scraping its claws together. Jill opened fire. Each round hit it squarely in the face making it scream in pain. Chris's grip on the Eagle tightened as it went to one knee, grabbing at its face. It spun slightly as it fell exposing an ugly looking mound on its back. He aimed and squeezed the trigger twice. The thing screamed as the parasite exploded. Leon relaxed then the voice told them they had eight minutes until detonation. Chris handed Leon the gun back then gripped his legs and, with his team, ran into the open elevator. They were at five minutes when it finally stopped at the roof. When the doors slid open and Chris saw the empty helicopter waiting for them he grinned. "Looks like its my turn to have fun." Sheva laughed, running past him. Jill climbed into the helicopter after Sheva got into the pilot's seat. Chris handed Leon up to her before climbing in as well.

"Wow he's light." The blonde exclaimed.

"I'm on a diet.." Leon smirked sleepily. Chris snorted, buckling himself in then pulled Leon onto his lap and held on as the helicopter began rising into the air. As they flew away from the facility Leon relaxed into him, closing his eyes. When the building exploded, rocking the chopper with the force of the blast, he smiled. "I win." Chris threw his head back with a laugh. Jill and Sheva hadn't heard him over the noise of the rotors, but they smiled seeing Chris laughing. Leon patted the larger man's arm absently. "You did good, Redfield, but make a better plan next time."

"Hey, we got you out didn't we?" Chris grinned, but a warmth spreading across his chest caused it to fade. His eyes widened as the man in his arms went limp. "Leon!" He cried. When Leon didn't respond he checked for a pulse. It was slow and weak, but there. "Step on it Sheva!" He shouted into the radio. Jill helped him get Leon's shirt off then searched for a first aid kit. After finding one she ripped it open. She handed him a gauze pad that he pressed against the slowly seeping wound. Chris's heart was pounding. The fear he felt facing the Regenerator was nothing compared to what he felt now. "Don't you die, Leon." He whispered. "Don't you dare die."

 

 

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Chapter Six

 

February 13th, 2010

Claire Redfield's apartment in Washington DC

 

Claire stared at her phone resting on the coffee table directly in front of her. She hadn't heard from her brother since before he'd left to find Leon and the news had been covering an explosion at Tricell's Vermont Facility that had completely destroyed it. They'd only found one body so far, well one human one anyway. So far it hadn't been identified and Claire was terrified that it could be her brother or one of his team and she prayed that it wasn't Leon. When Britney Spears' 'Womanizer' burst from her phone she snatched it up with a gasp. "Chris?! Are you okay, did you find him?!"

"I'm fine, Claire, so are Jill and Sheva." Her brother sounded tired.

"Leon?" There was silence on the other end. "Chris?" Claire's heart began to pound. "Is he-" She trailed off unable to even finish the thought. Leon couldn't be dead. It wasn't possible. He'd always been so strong.

"He's in pretty bad shape." He replied finally. "We're at a hospital here in West Virginia. The doctor isn't optimistic." Tears welled in the younger Redfield's eyes. "Maybe you should fly out here...he might not make it."

"No." Claire choked, beginning to sob.

"I'm sorry Claire, I tried to get there in time." She could hear tears in her brother's voice.

"Its not your fault Chris. Its Tricell. They're the ones to blame for this, not you." She wiped at her eyes. "I'll be on the next plane out, but I know Leon will be okay."

"I want him to pull through too, Claire, but we have to be realistic. You'll see when you get here. He's..." He trailed off, clearing his throat. Claire bit her lip knowing that her brother was trying not to cry.

"I'll get there as quick as I can." After writing down the name of the hospital and city they were in she hung up. She packed quickly and was out of her house in twenty minutes. As she drove to the airport she prayed as hard as she could that Leon would be okay.

Eight hours later she was walking into the hospital. She found Chris in a small waiting room. He looked horrible. His face was haggard and his eyes were red as though he'd been crying. She sat down next to him and put a hand on his shoulder. "How is he?"

"Not better, but not worse either." He sighed. "They're not allowing visitors until he's stable. Jill and Sheva are resting at the hotel. They'll be here later."

"You need to rest too." Claire said firmly. "I'll stay here while you-" He shook his head, cutting her off.

"I can't yet." His eyes fell to the floor. "Not until I know he's going to make it."

"Chris, you look like shit."

"Thanks sis." He snorted.

"You need to sleep." She grabbed his chin, forcing him to look at her. "You're going to put yourself in the hospital if you don't get some soon and I know Leon would agree with me." She fought back tears as his eyes hardened. He pulled away with a shake of his head.

"I'm not leaving."

"Chris-"

"No, Claire, I-" He cut off as a doctor walked into the room, quickly getting to his feet. "Leon..."

"Is stable." The man smiled. "He's not awake yet, but all his vitals have stabilized and the infection in his shoulder is showing signs of healing. When he decides to wake up I'll let you know, then you can go see him." Chris fell back into his chair, putting his face in his hands. "There are some oddities in his blood work that didn't come from the infection though. They're like antibodies but different."

"Its probably due to his immunity to the Plagas parasite." Chris shrugged. The doctor's eyes widened.

"He's...well that would explain it."

"Explain what?"

"The speed at which he's healing. When Plagas are removed before they mature completely they leave behind an immunity to the infection and give the person enhanced healing abilities. Mr. Kennedy is a lucky man in a way."

"How is getting infected then having it removed in time lucky?" Chris frowned.

"If it hadn't happened he would have been dead days ago." The doctor replied. "As it is, he's going to make a full physical recovery. Unfortunately I can't say the same about a mental one. He's been through quite an ordeal, and even if that kind of action is normal for him it is going to have a damaging effect on his psyche. I recommend getting him psychiatric care once he is able to leave the hospital."

"I'll make sure he gets the help he needs." Chris said firmly, raising himself to his full height. Claire looked up at him strangely-she hadn't thought Leo and him had been all that close. The doctor nodded with a smile.

"I'm sure you will." He turned to leave then stopped. "Oh, the women you were with expressed concern for your health, but feared you would refuse to leave your friend here. So I've had the nurses set up a cot for you in Mr. Kennedy's room and both Miss Valentine and Miss Alomar are on their way to visit and bring you some extra clothes. The employee showers are also at your disposal." Chris grinned for the first time since arriving at the hospital.

"Thank you." Claire laughed. "He really does need one." The doctor chuckled then left. Jill came into the room with Sheva a few moments later and after a brief discussion of the developments and small celebration the three girls left to go back to the hotel. Chris found a nurse who took him to the shower room. The hot water felt amazing on his aching muscles and after he was all clean and clothed he felt even better. The disgustingly dirty clothes he had been wearing for the past three days he put in a bag and dumped into a biohazard bin. Another nurse led him to Leon's room. The younger man lay motionless in the bed. He was clean now and Chris could see just how much damage had been done to him. There were bags under his eyes and his skin was paler than death.

"Jesus Leon." Chris breathed. His eyes took in the amount of weight his friend had lost and he shuddered. Suddenly Leon moaned and began thrashing in his sleep. Chris rushed to his side and grabbed his hand. "Leon calm down." The younger man's pained face turned towards him and Chris couldn't help but reach out to brush the hair away from it. As his fingers gently grazed Leon's skin the blonde turned into the touch whimpering. Chris's eyes welled with tears. "You're safe now buddy." He whispered, caressing the smaller man's cheek. "I'll protect you." Leon's body began to relax as Chris ran his fingers through his longer hair. It had grown in the past month. Leon had obviously been shaving and Chris didn't want to know how he'd managed that, but his hair had been left unattended. Chris sighed as he straightened. He needed some sleep desperately, but when he tried to walk to the cot Leon's hand squeezed his so hard that it hurt.

"Don't go." The younger man whispered. His blue-gray eyes had opened and he was looking at Chris with so much fear on his face that the older man moved back to his side instantly.

"I'm here Leon and I'm not leaving. Go back to sleep." He grabbed the nearby chair and dragged it to the side of the bed. Leon's fingers curled between his as he closed his eyes. Soon he was dead asleep and his hand relaxed its grip on Chris's. The brunette sighed as he leaned back in the chair. It was oddly comfortable, but then, he'd slept in worse places and soon found himself drifting off.

 

Fairmont Hospital, West Virginia

 

Leon woke with a start panic flaring in his chest. He couldn't be sleeping he needed to keep moving. Sleep meant death and death meant never seeing- his panicked thoughts broke off as his initially blurred vision cleared. There was a pristine white ceiling above him, which meant that he wasn't in the forest anymore. He gasped as everything came flooding back. Chris had come looking for him with Jill and Sheva. Leon had helped them escape the forest then Chris had carried him out of the facility. The last thing he remembered was passing out in Chris's arms as they flew away from the exploding Vermont Facility.

Leon inhaled sharply his eyes widening, Chris! He looked around frantically, relaxing only when he saw the older man sleeping in a chair next to the bed Leon was in. That's when he noticed that their hands and fingers were intertwined resting on top of the blankets at his side. He frowned slightly remembering a moment of sheer panic and Chris taking his hand, promising not to leave. Hadn't that been a dream? Did Chris the macho man even want to be holding his hand?

If someone walked in they might get the wrong idea. Leon didn't really give a shit for himself. He was both still terrified that this was all a dream-one that when he woke up from would put him back in that forest fighting to survive-and more than slightly attracted to the BSAA agent.

Chris's hand in his made him feel grounded...safe...secure. He hadn't felt this way since before Raccoon City and until this moment he hadn't realized that those feelings were what he had always been searching for; why he never felt complete. He raised his eyes to Chris's face. In that instant he knew he loved the other man with everything left in his once closed heart. He closed his eyes against the rush of emotions that threatened to escape. Leon Kennedy didn't cry. Leon Kennedy didn't love, nor did he trust so easily.

A man like Chris wasn't going to want what Leon could afford to give, nor did he deserve it. Leon knew he didn't have much left in him. He'd been injured, betrayed, deceived and beaten. All his friends were dead, as was his family, and he wasn't sure he could let anyone else get close to him again. Keeping his distance meant he wouldn't get hurt and he already wished he were dead, so he wasn't going to even chance being rejected by Chris. He took a deep breath and forced himself to let go of Chris's hand. The loss of the other man's warmth was painful, but he pushed it aside and shifted his head to look out the window into the dark, night sky.

"Shouldn't you still be sleeping?" Leon froze as Chris's soft voice broke through his thoughts. He hesitated before turning to meet the brunette's concerned gaze. "You look like you could use it."

"You trying to tell me I look like shit Redfield?" Leon smiled tiredly fighting the urge to burst into tears.

"You do look like shit Kennedy." Chris replied, then smirked. "More than normal anyway."

"That hurts coming from a fat ass." Leon said smartly forcing a smile. Banter, he could do this. Chris would never see the love Leon felt for him. The other man barked out a surprised laugh.

"So that's how you treat the man who saved your life?"

"That's not exactly what I remember." Leon replied with a snort and told himself to relax. He could do this- Leon's eyes widened and his mouth dried as Chris stretched with a laugh. He swallowed hard and quickly looked away from the tanned expanse of rippling muscles that had been exposed as Chris's shirt rode up. God he had it bad, Leon groaned inwardly closing his eyes. What the hell was he going to do?

 

BSAA jet over West Virginia

 

Claire and Leon's reunion was awkward and Chris could tell the younger man still didn't trust her. The brunette didn't think he would have either if he'd been in Leon's position. Claire's actions had been both hotheaded and unforgettable. It would take a long time for the two to become friends again, at least on Leon's part. Claire seemed to think that just because she now knew the truth and had apologized to Leon that everything would be forgiven and their companionship renewed. Chris loved his sister dearly, but sometimes she was a bit too naive.

After a month in the hospital Leon was recovered enough to go home. Chris glanced at the side of his friend's pale face and wondered what he was thinking. After his delirium had wore off the younger man had been completely closed off, only speaking if someone asked him a direct question that didn't have a 'yes' or 'no' answer.

They were in a BSAA jet that had flown in to West Virginia to bring them all back to Washington. The President wanted a debriefing on what had happened in West Virginia and Seattle. Chris wasn't looking forward to it and when he asked Leon his feelings, the other man had only shrugged and continued to stare out the window. The only people talking in the plane were Jill, Sheva, and Claire. Every once in a while they'd all laugh. Chris envied them and he would have sat over there, but he was determined not to leave Leon's side.

He frowned giving the younger man a once over. He was thinner and more haggard looking than when he had gotten on the jet before their incursion into the Dakota Facility. He knew that was par for the course considering what Leon had just been through, but it still didn't sit well with him. He wanted to see the blonde smile, hear him laugh. He wanted to hold him and protect him from further pain. He wanted to- Chris's eyes widened. The hell? That didn't make sense. He was into women right? His sister's ringtone for him was 'Womanizer' God damn it. He wasn't gay...was he? He focused on Leon again and tried to figure out what the hell was going on in his mind.

 

Leon's apartment, Washington D.C.

 

 

The meeting with the President went better than Leon had thought it would, but then again Leon had brought the man irrefutable proof of what Tricell was really up to. He was now headed back to his apartment after being forced into taking a three month paid vacation. Chris sat next to him in the Government SUV, a little too close for comfort. Leon wanted to throw himself in the other man's arms and within the confines of a vehicle it took all his will power to hold himself back. Chris wasn't making it easy either. He wouldn't take his heated brown eyes off the side of Leon's face.

When they reached Leon's building the blonde practically threw himself out of the car. Unfortunately Chris decided that he still wasn't going to leave his side so the ride up to his condo was almost unbearable. Once inside the door he turned to tell the other man he'd be fine, but suddenly found himself pinned to the wall with his wrists above his head; a hot, insistent mouth on his. When he gasped Chris's tongue slid through his parted lips. He moaned softly as Chris's leg slid between his.

At that point he got tired of being a passive participant. He wrenched his wrists free and grabbed the back of Chris's head and, opening his mouth wider, deepening the kiss. Chris groaned throatily, grinding his leg up into Leon. The blonde's head flew back as he gasped for air and pulled his hips up into Chris's. "God Leon." The brunette groaned, nipping at the smaller man's neck. "I don't understand this, but I-"

"Shut up Redfield." Leon growled grabbing the other man's dick through his jeans. Chris yelped and his grip on Leon's shoulders tightened. "I do." He hissed working his hand. "And I want it." Chris whimpered as he tightened his grip and moved his hand up and down. "Don't you?"

"God yes!" Chris cried forcing his lips against Leon's and dragging him to the bed. They tore at each other's clothes in between searing kisses and Leon discovered he'd never felt more alive then the moment Chris's hand found his cock. He almost exploded right there but he wanted to make it last so he pinned Chris and snatched a bottle of lube from his bedside table drawer. As he coated the older man's cock Chris grabbed his face and pulled their mouths together; hard. Leon understood the mechanics of gay sex-knew he needed preparation or a condom, but he wanted Chris inside of him.

"You. In me. Now." He whispered roughly and guided the brunette to his entrance. Chris opened his mouth to speak-probably a protest of some kind. Before he could voice it; Leon impaled himself to the hilt. They both groaned; Chris in pleasure, Leon in pain-it had been a while.

Redfield pulled back then thrust into him and the pain exploded in pleasure. He gasped, his eyes watering as Chris did it again. "More." He rasped. Chris rolled on top of him and began to thrust fast and hard. Leon clutched at him with a whimper and brought their lips together. He wrapped his legs around Chris's hips and was rewarded instantly as the other man slid in deeper. They both groaned and Chris moved faster bringing them both to their peaks in moments. Leon cried out as he came and Chris swore pistoning into him until he too was crying out and exploding inside of him. They clung to each other through the aftershocks then lay there gasping for air.

"God I love you." Chris breathed. Leon looked at him in shock. It had been years since he'd heard those words and hadn't known till that moment how much he missed it. He pulled Chris's mouth to his and kissed him gently, slowly rolling them over until he was straddling Chris's waist with the big man still buried deep within him. "Leon I-"

"Shh." Leon smiled as tears welled in his eyes and he kissed Chris again. "I love you too." The older man's eyes widened. "I have for a while, but I wasn't sure you'd want me."

"How could I not?"

"Womanizer." Leon's lips twitched as Chris looked away guiltily. "It took me a while to know I was bi. So don't feel to bad." He kissed each of Chris's blushing cheeks before recapturing his lips. The other man shifted and Leon drew back with a soft moan then kissed him again, undulating his hips. Chris groaned in response, his cock hardening slightly inside Leon.

"God, Leon." Chris moaned thrusting up. "How did this happen?" Leon smirked moving down to meet each thrust.

"You started this Redfield." He leaned down and slid his tongue into Chris's ear and mimicked what the older man's cock was doing to him. "I'm just finishing it." He whispered harshly, his breath catching as Chris arced into him. "Admit it. You want me."

"I do want you Leon." Chris growled then reversed their positions again and drove in deep causing Leon to arc back with a soft cry. "I want you pinned to the bed with my dick writhing in pleasure and begging me for more." Leon clutched at the covers beneath him whimpering as Chris moved the blonde's legs so that he could thrust in even deeper. "I want you on your knees sucking my cock as I fuck your mouth." Leon groaned at the image then cried out as Chris hit that spot deep inside him that drove him wild. He gasped, pulling the older man's mouth to his.

"I want you to fuck me until I'm begging for more." He growled as he pulled away. "I want you to fuck my mouth until I choke. I want you." He threw his head back and held on as Chris pounded into him. "Don't stop Chris." He begged. "Please, don't stop. I need this. I need you to-FUCK!" His entire body shook with the force of his climax.

"Leon." Chris groaned thrusting harder, his muscles rippling beneath his skin, and soon he climaxed explosively crying out and holding onto Leon tightly. Their mouths fought for dominance and their hands sought every inch of the other's sweat soaked skin. Eventually they ran out of steam and after a quick clean up they crawled under the covers together and fell asleep.

 

Leon's apartment, Washington D.C.

 

Chris woke the next morning and as he stared down at the sleeping man he was entwined with; he felt a surge of warmth in his chest. He gently stroked Leon's hair from his face and pressed a soft kiss to his forehead. Suddenly Leon's eyes shot open and he pulled away with a cry of fear. "Leon!" Chris pulled him back and held on until the younger man stilled gasping for air. "You're safe baby." He murmured kissing the top of Leon's head. "I've got you."

"Chris?" Leon's voice cracked as his eyes sought out the older man's face. Once they had he finally relaxed, pressing his face into Chris's chest.

"That must have been some dream." Chris responded mildly. Leon laughed harshly.

"Yeah." He moved closer to Chris, his fingers gently running over the brunette's muscles.

"I have them too." Chris murmured, enjoying the feather light caresses.

"What do you do...after?"

"Work out." Chris chuckled when Leon snorted and pinched him playfully. "No, I usually talk to Jill or Sheva. They've been through the same shit, so they understand."

"I used to talk to Claire." Leon said quietly. "And...someone else, but she's gone now."

"Ada?" Chris's heart broke as Leon's eyes filled and he nodded. "I'm sorry Leon." Chris breathed pulling the younger man closer.

"I-" Leon's voice broke as he began to cry wrapping his arms around Chris's neck and burying his face in the larger man's chest. Chris stroked his hair and just held him. No words could make anything better and the brunette had a feeling Leon didn't need them. He just needed Chris to be there. So he cradled the smaller man close and cried with him. It was a release for the both of them; one that they desperately needed. Then Leon's lips were on his and he was falling again.

"I love you, Leon." He whispered against the blonde's lips. Leon held him tighter and kissed him with everything he'd been holding back.

"I love you too." Leon murmured before his lips began trailing down Chris's neck. The doorbell ringing surprised the both of them. They looked at each other than scrambled out of bed and into some clothes. As Leon approached the door Chris realized that each of them had a gun in hand. The blonde peered through the peephole and froze. Chris tensed until Leon put his gun in his jeans at the small of his back then opened the door. Claire stood there staring at Leon's bare chest. Chris shrugged off the voice telling him to wring her neck as Leon stepped aside to let her in. As soon as the door closed she threw her arms around Leon's neck, bursting into tears.

"I'm sorry Leon! I didn't mean any of it, you have to know that."

"I do." Kennedy replied disentangling himself from her arms and stepping back. "You were upset and you were right saying that I don't support TerraSave, but you know now that I don't support Tricell either. Nor have I forgotten Raccoon City."

"I know, and I'm sorry-wait. You don't support TerraSave even after all this?"

"No." Leon sighed as Claire folded her arms. "I told you that in Harvardville and it won't change until they can get all their damn facts straight. I understand what you're trying to do and have never not wanted you to succeed, but you aren't TerraSave. You know more than they do about the threats the world is facing, but you don't control the organization and maybe if you did they would actually get shit done instead of impeding companies that do try to help people by making the vaccines and antidotes that they need."

"So you support human testing." Claire frowned.

"God, Claire." Leon threw his hands up in the air. "I give up. I told you and your damn organization that those photos were taken way out of context."

"Oh?" Claire raised an eyebrow.

"Yeah, I was there when they were taken." Leon snapped. Both Claire and Chris looked at him in surprise. "I don't know who sent them to you but the people in them had just turned and the doctors were trying to treat them with what they had, which wasn't enough." His eyes narrowed at Claire. "And you know why it wasn't enough? Because TerraSave has been blocking pharmaceutical companies from shipping out the medicines they've created to combat the viruses. So don't stand there and tell me to support an organization that is getting in the way." Claire stared up at him her eyes wide.

"That can't be true." She whispered.

"It is Claire. I tried to tell you that in Harvardville, but you wouldn't listen then either.”

"But if the drugs aren't safe they shouldn't be distributed." Claire argued trying to defend her organization.

"If they weren't safe, Claire, I wouldn't be here." Leon replied calmly. "But you would know that if you hadn't disregarded any information not going against the drug companies." He took a step towards her. "I asked you to meet with me after the Tricell conference so that I could tell you what I couldn't in there, but you weren't having any of it. You wanted to make me the bad guy just because I can't agree with everything your organization does. If you had just agreed I would have told you what I'm telling you now. If you hadn't given up on me I would have told you the truth, but you got up on your high horse and drank the conspiracy koolaid."

"What are you talking about?"

"Do you think I work for the Government by choice?" He snapped.

"Obviously, otherwise you wouldn't do whatever it is you do." Claire shot back putting her hands on her hips.

"Shows how much you know." Leon snorted derisively. "You don't know what happened after you left Sherry and I at that hotel outside Raccoon City do you?"

"You let them take her away." Claire screamed in his face.

"You're an idiot." Leon snarled. Chris's eyebrows went up. The shit was seriously about to hit the fan. He could tell by the look on his sister's face, and was about to step in, but decided Claire had it coming; besides that he was kind of enjoying himself. "They were going to take her no matter what I did. I was only one person, Claire, and a rookie at that. What the hell was I supposed to do?"

"Stop them!"

"How? By getting myself killed or arrested?" Leon shook his head.

"So you just gave her up didn't you? I was right!"

"No, I made them a deal." Leon's face suddenly looked 20 years older. "They'd get me and the G-virus without a fight, but Sherry was to be protected. So it was work for the President and keep Sherry safe or die and let them use her how they saw fit." Claire's eyes widened. "You seriously think I would put up with all the shit I've had to by choice? Jesus Claire." Leon turned away running his hands through his hair. Chris had had enough. He coughed startling Claire.

"Chris?" She stared at him in shock. "When did you get here?"

"He stayed the night." Leon replied for him. "Apparently he didn't want me to be on my own."

"I didn't realize you guys were so close." She looked so confused Chris had to laugh. "I thought you'd be alone this morning so we could talk."

"Well I'm not, and I'd like you to leave." Leon stalked into the bathroom and closed the door. Chris frowned after him before turning to sister.

"What the fuck is wrong with you Claire?"

"Nothing's wrong with me, Chris, I came here to make up with him."

"Yeah? Well you're doing a shitty job of it." He snorted.

"I realize that now" She snapped back. "What are you doing here anyway? You should be with your team."

"Jill and Sheva are fine on their own, trust me, they don't need me bugging them."

"And Leon does?"

"He asked you to leave Claire." Chris ground his teeth to keep from spitting out the truth. He wasn't sure if Leon wanted the world to know about them yet.

"Fine." His sister snapped before spinning on her heel and stomping out. "But this isn't over, not by a long shot." She hissed before slamming the door. Chris took a deep breath and walked to the bathroom. He could hear water running on the other side.

"Leon?" He called, knocking on the door. "You okay?"

"Yeah." Came the muffled reply. "She gone?"

"You couldn't hear the door slam?" Chris laughed. "She's royally pissed."

"Yeah, well so am I." Leon replied opening the door. His eyes were red and swollen. Chris pulled him into his arms and kissed the top of his head. Leon raised his face and pulled Chris's lips to his before dragging him into the bathroom and kicking the door shut. Before Chris could figure out what was going on they were both naked and in a very large shower with hot water steaming the air around them.

"Leon-"

"Shh." The younger man put a finger to his lips. "I don't want to talk right now, later alright?" Chris nodded, struck dumb by the sight Leon made as he slid to his knees in front of him. He was struck even dumber as Leon licked the head of his cock before sucking it into his mouth. He'd already known that he wasn't Leon's first male lover so he shouldn't have been surprised in the slightest the blonde was practiced in the art of fellatio, but he was.

Chris groaned gripping the wet strands of Leon's hair as the younger man's tongue worked him up and down. Chris gasped as something Leon said the night before ran through his mind. "I want you to fuck my mouth until I choke." He hoped Leon meant it, because there was nothing that he wanted to do more at that moment so he tightened his hold on Leon's head and began to thrust into his open mouth. The blonde grunted reaching up to steady himself with Chris's hips and swallowed the tip of the older man's cock down his throat. Chris groaned thrusting harder.

"God." He gasped as Leon moaned, the sound vibrating up his cock. He pulled out of Leon's mouth and dragged him up to ravish his bruised looking mouth with his tongue. Leon moaned in what seemed like protest until Chris pinned him face first against the shower wall and slid two fingers into his ass. The blonde bit his lip and spread his legs. Chris pressed in a third finger. He should have done this the night before, but things had been moving too fast. Leon groaned pressing back against him. Chris removed his fingers and pushed the tip of his cock through the small hole. Leon's lips parted as he inhaled sharply; he was ready and waiting. Chris pushed his way in slowly enjoying the sensation of Leon's muscles moving apart then clenching around him. "Jesus you're so tight." He groaned sliding home.

Leon moaned breathlessly, pressing his face into the cold tile wall. Chris gripped the younger man's hips and began to thrust in and out at a slow, steady pace. They hit their climax together and as Chris pulled out Leon turned towards him. His hands reached up to caress the sides of the taller man's face. Chris smiled and leaned in to kiss the blonde gently before shutting the water off and dragging him back to bed. He wasn't sure if Leon and his sister would make up, but he didn't really care. Leon was his and he would do anything to keep it that way.