Author: korinaka PM
Leon & Ashley. The Ganados weren't zombies, and Ashley Graham was in no way affiliated with Raccoon City, Umbrella Corporation, or his past. He was thankful for this, at least.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Humor - Leon S. K. & Ashley G. - Words: 9,015 - Reviews: 14 - Favs: 58 - Follows: 6 - Published: 08-17-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5310188
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I do not own Resident Evil 4. All characters contained herein are above the legal age of eighteen.
A/N: Ashley is twenty-one because I say so. Also, Leon is silly.
His actions were as necessary he deemed them, he decided. What he was doing was not frivolous; he was not ensuring the comfort—as comfortable as one could get around brainwashed, violent Hispanic natives, anyway—of his stunning little ward because he wanted to. If Ashley became tired, then she would lag behind, and if she lagged behind, then that would mean trouble for him. Said hostile natives could run as fast as any normal man around, and Leon couldn't run much faster. Especially if he had to drag Ashley along by the wrist.
There was a sudden, quick splash as he dashed his knife through the murky water, missing his target by less than an inch. The small bass swam hurriedly through Leon's legs and around the other side of him.
He bit the inside of his cheek and set his sights on more nearby prey. There was no point in wasting ammo on catching fish. And really, he usually would have just given her some herbs, but their supply was low, and while he could carry around chicken eggs for vitality and occasionally weapons, he couldn't say the same about a whole fish.
"Leon," she repeated softly, though the questioning tone was gone from her voice. She stood on the nearby dock, wearing his thick leather jacket wrapped almost twice around her. "You really don't need to do this. I—I'm not hungry."
"You haven't eaten since yesterday," he berated, making another dive for a fish, but in vain. He cursed under his breath and waded thigh-deep into the water, soaking his pants further. "If you don't keep your energy up, we'll never get out of here." He shot a glance at her, half turning. "You do want to get out of here, don't you?"
She nodded fervently at this, and satisfied with her answer, Leon turned back to the task at hand. Blindly, he drove the knife at another fish, and when it made its mark, a goofy grin that left as quick as it had come flashed across his face. Hunting was a sort of primordial, manly thing; it made him feel more masculine than buying guns did. But not by much. He supposed, though, that this situation was different, because it was always different when you were providing for another. Providing protection, aid, or, in this case, food, was one of those male instincts that dated way back to the caveman era.
Leon was not, of course, some sort of traditional man who wanted a traditional woman—barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen—by his side, but it was nice to be taking care of a girl who couldn't rupture his jugular with the flick of a wrist. It was almost disturbing for him to realize that he found helplessness attractive, actually, but he dismissed the thought.
A splash behind him brought him back to reality, and he turned quickly, half expecting one of those disturbingly silent Ganados to have appeared from nowhere. But instead he saw Ashley also up to her thighs in water, her skirt floating around her hips like a plaid green halo and his jacket folded neatly on the dock, out of the way of any damaging water. Not that it could be damaged any further. Mud and blood stains peppered it on all sides, giving it the appearance that he'd rolled it around in three inches of soot and crap. It probably smelled pretty bad, too.
He frowned disapprovingly at her. "Why did you do that?"
"I'm not going to let you catch fish alone," she remarked, grasping out for a fish, but missing.
"You're going to be cold when you get out. And it's colder in this cave."
"So? I'm tired of just sitting around and watching you do everything for me." When she took a sluggish, slow step backwards, Leon saw a brief glimpse of white panties. White panties that were soaking wet. And probably see-through.
And she was also the president's daughter. And his mission objective. And if someone so much as had an inkling that Leon might have been just thinking about thinking about Ashley's no-no places, he would probably be eradicated and/or blacklisted from the US to Timbuktu.
Besides that, Ashley was ugly. She had a nice body, but that was about all she had going for her.
Relenting, he watched her fish, observing and criticizing every move.
Her strange build made her movements seem awkward, clumsy even. Her ears were too big as well as her eyes, two of the most prominent features of her face.
Besides all that, she wasn't toned at all. She was fit, sure, but there were no lean muscles under that pretty skin. Ugly skin. It was ugly. Ashley Graham was ugly.
And then Ashley Graham caught a fish.
Oh, but Ashley Graham was beautiful.
She held the small bass firmly in her two hands, turning to him and smiling wide. "I caught one! I can't believe I caught one!"
"Me neither," Leon mumbled, but he smiled too. She was too cute.
She presented him with the fish, and he stuck it with his knife, throwing it up on the dock. He didn't miss the hint of a wince that decorated Ashley's expression for a moment. Weeks of sanity-shaking gore, people exploding, giant worms lunging at her from decapitated people's heads, being carried off by more than one of these infected victims, knowing that there was something growing inside of her, the fetus of an abomination that could turn everything over in a second... And here she was, wincing over Leon shoving a knife in a fish's throat.
There was no way she was ugly. Nothing about Ashley was ugly. She was just so...new at everything. It was like he was breaking her in to the world.
And then the thought of breaking Ashley in to anything sounded strangely appealing to Leon; so appealing, in fact, that it distracted him long enough for a fish to swim straight between his legs and to its imminent freedom, telling the mammalian homosapien standing above him a silent "Fuck you."
"Damn it," Leon cursed, tearing himself rather determinedly away from thoughts involving Ashley, Ashley's skirt, Ashley's white panties, and a combination of all three standing before him, waist-deep in the water. It wasn't nice water, granted. It was muddy and pretty gross, but it was probably the safest place to be at the moment.
A dark mass of a human made a grand appearance on the dock, peering at Leon and Ashley curiously. Ashley remained oblivious, trying and failing to catch fish. Leon, however, glanced up at the stranger, clothed in a long, battered trench coat and a deep purple bandana over half of his face.
Deep Purple. Smoke on the Water. Leon chuckled.
God he missed the states.
He waited for merchant to explain himself, and as the seconds ticked by, Leon grew very, very close to taking out his rifle and putting a nice, clean bullet through the man's head. Was that what he'd come down here for? To ogle Ashley Graham?
He decided in that moment that Ashley was way too close to the merchant and way too far away from him. He moved near her purposefully, his hand casually resting on the holster for his knife. Okay, so he didn't have any guns on him--he'd left them all up in that shack, because what would happen if they were to get wet?--but he liked to think he was damn proficient with just a knife.
"What is it?" Leon asked, stepping mildly, inconspicuously in front of Ashley, who only then realized the merchant's presence. "I don't have any pesatas and I don't need anything that you have right now."
A certain unrecognizable expression crossed what could be seen of the merchant's face. He shifted slightly and adjusted his pack. "Was just making sure my best customer wasn't dead. Are you staying here tonight?"
"Yeah." Leon kept his eyes locked on the man on the dock, but he focused his attention on Ashley in his peripheral vision. "Is there a problem with that?"
"Mi casa es su casa."
Leon scowled darkly at this. "I don't speak Spanish."
"Neither do I, Stranger. Neither do I." It was some time before the Merchant was well enough away that Leon dropped his guard, and when he did, Ashley sighed behind him.
"Leon, maybe you shouldn't have been so hostile to him." Her voice was meek, gentle, subdued, and something about the way the merchant intimidated her made Leon's blood absolutely boil.
"You shouldn't be afraid of him," he reprimanded, turning away and returning to his mission of catching fish. "If he kills either one of us, he loses all of his profits."
"He could be supplying weaponry to the enemies, too, you know."
"I doubt it. The enemy isn't interested in his petty business; I'm sure they have independent offshore suppliers."
"Well…still. I don't know. I just think you shouldn't be so mean. What if he decides not to sell to us anymore?"
He lunged at a bass half the size of his torso, missed, and cursed loudly. "Shit!" He whirled on Ashley, who had her brow furrowed and was holding the arms of the sweater draped over her shoulders. "Look, I know a little bit more about situations like this than you do, wouldn't you think? I can handle it. I don't need your interjections."
And maybe his tone had been a little more condescending than necessary, because she withdrew a bit, narrowed her eyes for less than a second, and then set her jaw, wading back toward the dock.
"You don't need to worry about these kinds of things," he quickly amended, watching her go. She hefted herself up, stood, and wrung out her skirt. She walked deftly by his folded leather jacket, and when she didn't pick it up, Leon rolled his eyes.
"Where are you going, Ashley?"
"Inside the shack."
"I thought you wanted to help catch fish?"
She harrumphed rather loudly and put both hands on her wet hips, still facing away from him, though she shot him a nasty glare over her shoulder. "Well," she drawled, swiveling her hips to the rhythm of her own voice before crossing her arms delicately over her chest. "You obviously don't need my help, Mr. Kennedy."
He winced inwardly. Mr. Kennedy? "Don't call me that."
"Fine. Agent Kennedy."
"Ashley," he warned, dropping his hands to his sides in exasperation. They splashed the water gently.
"I don't think I know you well enough to call you by name," she snapped, and with that, she marched herself right into the shack, disappearing from view. After a moment a dim orange glow filtered through the broken, boarded windows of said shack, and Leon shook his head.
"More trouble than she's worth," he lamented to himself, slashing furiously at the water in the general direction of a group of fish. "Should just sell her to the merchant, contact Hunnigan and tell her the captive was apprehended and eradicated." Violent, sexually inappropriate images flashed through his head, the merchant and Ashley and Ashley as nothing more than a beaten sex slave, and he finally caught a fish. "Depraved fuck," he murmured.
After successfully catching one fish, Leon found the necessary confidence to catch one more, and he too crawled on the dock, wrung out his clothes, picked up his lonely jacket, and crept inside the shack, four fish in his hands. He expected to find Ashley asleep, but she sat instead very near to a lit lantern, glaring into the shadows and keeping her chin rested firmly on her knees.
Leon set the fish down atop a box and set his discarded boots and socks on the floor beside the box. He didn't look at Ashley, but he figured she was fully aware of his presence. There was a brief measure of uncertainty that became apparent in his mind before he unzipped his pants and pulled them down.
This certainly caught her attention. She stared at him, shocked. "Leon, what are you doing?"
He glanced at her from the corner of his eyes, keeping his vision dutifully turned toward the collection of crates in front of him. "My pants are wet. I'm not going to stay in them." As if for emphasis, he hung those heavy cargo pants of his over the nearby windowsill. "They have to dry. You should probably take off your skirt, too. You're going to get sick."
She stared at him some more, an interesting mix of disgust and utter surprise painting her features.
"I'm also not naked," he pointed out in a final defense.
"You'd might as well be!" she sputtered, and she shoved her skirt tightly around her hips and thighs. "You might be willing to strip on a whim, but I'm not."
For the thousandth time since he'd rescued Ashley Graham, Leon Kennedy rolled his eyes. "It's not like I'm telling you to do anything, or ordering you to take your clothes off or anything," he mumbled, and his voice sounded far more mocking and sarcastic than he'd originally meant. The president's daughter, blonde hair all done up in a pathetic imitation of being delightfully wind-tossed, shivering silently, knees drawn up and arms around her legs, skirt hiked thoughtlessly, sat on the floor and simply watched his every move, as if she expected him to turn into a raging animal with a vicious hard-on that would not settle for anything less than tearing her in two.
He snorted when he caught another glimpse of white panties and turned to leave, completely unabashed of the fact that he was currently walking around in monster-infested areas in only his black boxers. He thought they were rather efficient anyway.
"Where are you going?" she asked when he stepped just through the dilapidated doorframe. "You can't leave me here."
"I'm going to grab another lantern. I saw one near the entrance of this cave."
"It's a five-minute walk to the entrance of the cave!"
He looked at her expectantly, and his body language clearly asked her a very annoyed, "And?"
"Leon, you--" She pouted. "Leon. You don't even have pants on." And the remark was so flagrantly immodest, so firmly stated, as if that logic was just plain irrefutable, that Leon almost laughed. In fact, he did, but it was just a muted chuckle that barely irked the corners of his lips.
"My pants are wet. I want them to dry."
"You don't have shoes on either."
"I don't need shoes."
"What if you run into one of those zombie guys?"
"They're not zombies, they're-- Anyway, I have my gun still." He patted the holster around his chest proudly. He glanced down at himself, dug his bare toes into the dirt, noticed with amusement that the boxers didn't leave much to be imagined in their current condition, passed briefly over his nipples--it was cold; he couldn't be blamed--and then looked back at Ashley. "I'm fine." Yes. Yes, he was very fine. A conceited, lopsided smile tugged across his face.
"Fine. Fine. If you want to go and get yourself killed, okay! Fine with me, Leon. At least you'll die with dignity, right?" she bit, scowling prettily at him. "At least you'll go down with style. I know I want to die in my underwear."
He turned to hide the widening of his smile and continued toward the cave entrance. "Then take your skirt off."
"What was that?" she shouted, but he didn't answer, and the rocks dug into the pads of his feet as he walked on.
The cave wound into a sharp right, narrowed, widened, narrowed again, and then slipped downward before finally revealing an opal of the sky outside to Leon. And he did not like what he saw. Rain fell in horizontal bullets down upon the ground, clicking and clacking and making otherwise unpleasant sounds upon the crates and the small lean-to that rested outside. The dirt swiftly turned to mud, and Leon grabbed the drenched lantern with a frown. There went his plan of lighting the lantern on his way back. He had to wait until it dried now.
He stood at the entrance for a few more moments, watching puddles ripple and writhe under the barrage of rain. There wasn't a person or animal for miles, it seemed, or maybe the sound of the rain and the thunder just drowned out any noises they made. Either way, the clouds rumbled in warning, the rain fell heavier for a split second before returning to its regular pattern, and Leon remembered that he was in his underwear. He dumped the water out of the lantern before beginning the trek back, but not before thanking whatever deity reigned up in the heavens that he and Ashley didn't have to stay in a little shack outside for this storm. He hadn't even known it was raining.
He fiddled with the lantern a bit on his way back, trying his best to dry the inside of it with his skin-tight t-shirt. It didn't help matters that his boxers were wet from his fishing event, and they were starting to chafe the inside of his thighs. There really was no way the night could get any worse. Maybe if the plague inside of him started acting up, but he didn't want to jinx it.
Ashley was there when he returned, of course, but her back was to him, and she was doing very interesting things with her legs. He set the lantern carefully and quietly on the crate beside the fish.
As it were, one of her legs was hiked up near her mouth, like she was feasting on her own shin. The other was splayed haphazardly to her side. It didn't look like she'd been injured, but the position didn't look comfortable either.
"Ashley?" he asked carefully.
She turned to him immediately, dropping her leg. "You son-of-a-bitch!"
He blinked. "What?"
"I knew something like this would happen!" She swung herself around to face him, wiping off her mouth with the back of her hand. With her free hand, she pointed to the lower part of her shin. "Look!"
He saw a very bare foot, a very bare ankle, and, much to his dismay, a very bruising snakebite. Two punctures adorned her leg nicely, and a mixture of red and dark blue bloomed faintly around the wound. "Great. How did you manage this?" Nonetheless, he bent on one knee in front of her, pulling a first aid spray from a pocket on his chest holster.
She frowned at him. "I don't know, Leon. Maybe I was drifting off to sleep. Maybe I didn't even realize there was a snake here. Maybe it bit me before I knew what was going on."
He proceeded to pull out a neatly packaged ACE bandage, tore off the plastic wrap, and set it beside her injured leg, right next to the can of first aid spray. "At least it's not a bullet wound. You've gotten those before."
"Yeah, but I was always with you at the time of the injury," she spat, leaning back and watching him work. "Anyway, I remembered seeing something on TV back home about having to suck the poison out of the bite, so I tried. I don't know if I got it though."
"At least you tried to do something," he commended, shrugging. "I'm glad you didn't just sit there. But you're not doing it right."
She scoffed. "Do I ever just sit there? And how am I not doing it right?"
Without a reply he grabbed her ankle to hold her still, took out his knife, and cut a slice connecting the two small punctures.
Ashley jumped slightly. "Leon! What are you doing?"
"The snake probably wasn't venomous," he said, replacing the knife, "but I don't know this territory and neither do you, so it's better to play it safe." He held her still for a little longer. "Don't move."
"What if it is venomous?"
"Then you have a fifty-percent chance of living." He shrugged. "But I don't think it's venomous." He brought his mouth down to the wound and sucked hard, and Ashley winced and tried to wriggle free. She voiced her protests of his intense sucking, and at this he almost chuckled again, but he just continued to suck, spit, suck, spit. Eventually she relaxed and eventually he deemed it safe for him to stop, so he wiped his free hand across his mouth. The other was still occupied with holding Ashley's leg still.
"The TV also said that the person sucking could get the venom into their bloodstream," Ashley said quietly, and Leon raised an eyebrow. "The mouth is membranous, and--"
"I don't have an open sore in my mouth," he amended, shaking his head. "And you're not normally supposed to do this, but I don't see a medic around, do you?" He sprayed the first aid spray and then wrapped the area carefully, loose but tight, and instructed her to keep it as still as possible.
The lantern he'd retrieved earlier had dried out sufficiently, and Leon lit it. He hung it above them from a rusty nail sticking out from a rotting rafter, flooding every inch of the small shack with light. It was dry at least, he reassured himself. At least they weren't out in the rain.
"Your shirt's wet. And your sweater's wet too." He was still standing, and he eyed the wet fringes of Ashley's thick wool sweater curiously.
"Thanks for the information," she deadpanned, glaring up at him through her eyelashes. "My skirt is also wet. Everything is wet."
"Still intent on keeping it on?" he teased, though he picked up his long-forgotten jacket and approached her. She glared at him with every step, and he set the jacket next to her. "You're going to have to take off that shirt, and you can't wear the sweater."
"Why are you so intent on getting me naked?"
"Why are you so intent on not getting naked? I'm your bodyguard, not your boyfriend. I really couldn't care less." Oh, that was a lie. That was a complete and utter lie and Leon Scott Kennedy was probably going to hell for it. He shrugged. "The jacket is big enough to cover you completely."
She glanced from the jacket to him and then back to the jacket, and she finally snatched it into her arms. "You win," she mumbled. "Now turn around."
He did as asked, turning his attention to lighting a small fire in the middle of the cabin. The fish needed to be cooked to be eaten, and his stomach was already growling incorrigibly. Bits of broken crate served as wonderful vessels to birth the flames, and as soon as the fire was as roaring as he allowed it to be, he skewered the fish and held them over the morbid, pathetic little campfire. He felt kind of stupid, truth be told, but they couldn't keep surviving off of chickens, chicken eggs, mixed herbs, and whatever canned goods the locals had left behind. The sorry situation he was currently sitting in seemed far-off and inconsequential when the smell of the cooking fish finally began to permeate every miserable inch of the shack.
He didn't ask Ashley if she was done, but he didn't need to, because he didn't really have a reason to turn and face her. She stayed calmly in her corner, leg presumably outstretched, leather jacket presumably wrapped double around her. He was a little cold himself, but it was nothing that was a great bother to him, and Ashley took priority over his own trivial discomforts. The fish crackled and sizzled satisfyingly, and Leon, for once since he'd come to this place to rescue the president's increasingly troublesome daughter, felt relaxed. The storm outside acted as a shield to them, and he figured he'd probably sleep well through the night soon.
The fish were done, and just as he was about to glance back at Ashley, she spoke.
"Do you hate me?"
He furrowed his brow and turned to face her, crispy fish half outstretched to her on its respective stick. "What?"
She took the fish-on-a-stick and picked at it absent-mindedly. "Sorry. It's not like I planned on getting kidnapped, you know."
"It's not your fault," he said, peeling the skin off of the fish and hissing when it burned his fingers. "There was nothing you could have done to prevent it."
"I feel bad. It's my fault you were put through all of this."
"Ashley, shut up," he sighed, and he turned to face her. The shock and hurt on her face was expected. "I mean that in the best way possible. None of this is your fault."
She looked like she was about to cry. But she always looked like she was about to cry. He blamed those big eyes of hers, how they were always watery, how her voice almost always shook. It was just one of those things that defined Ashley Graham, and it was just one of those things that absolutely attracted Leon Kennedy. And he'd thought it before, but he was going to think it again: He was a sick fuck for being attracted to helplessness. He liked being the hero, though, and he liked it even more when he was playing the hero to a girl. Claire Redfield, all those years ago, and now Ashley. And the worst part about it was probably that he was about five or six years older than her.
She took the skin off of her fish as well and bit into it gingerly, obviously unnerved by the way he was watching her. They went on like this for a while, Leon purposely watching her in a discomfiting manner and Ashley finishing her fish while dodging little bones from sticking her in the gums.
"Why are you watching me?" she asked finally, tugging his jacket tighter around her now that what was left of the fish had been disposed of and her hands were free. "It's kind of creepy."
Disinterested in small-talk and no longer feeling like he needed to stare so intently at Ashley--he'd only done it to get under her skin anyway--Leon doused the lantern hanging from the rafter and lay on his side beside her. "Get some sleep," he said, closing his eyes but staying alert. He couldn't, wouldn't, fall asleep until Ashley did. It was too risky, even if he knew they were relatively safe here.
"Okay." She sounded subdued again, and she lay down beside him, not quite touching but close enough. The leather jacket groaned almost inaudibly as she situated herself, and after she was settled, Leon could very faintly hear the rain pummeling outside, quite a ways down the cave. The gentle splashing of fish in the water behind the shack was more soothing than he thought, and he waited patiently for Ashley to fall asleep.
Just when he was sure she was sleeping, she spoke, and he gritted his teeth.
"You know…" She rolled over to face him, her head laying on one arm and the other holding the jacket closed at her neck. "I know…about Raccoon City. And…and about you. The history you have there."
He really didn't want to talk about this.
"It's…horrible." She furrowed her brow, and shadows crossed her face, illuminated by the glow from the still-burning lantern on the floor next to her. "I'm so sorry that had to happen to you."
He really, really didn't want to talk about this. Not that he minded talking about it, per se, but he didn't want to talk about it with Ashley. She was untainted by Umbrella and the Raccoon City incident; maybe that was why he took such a shine to her, despite her obvious faults and flaws and minute annoyances. She was fresh, new, and she didn't remind him of a time six years ago when the dead walked and occasionally talked and roamed the streets with decayed, rotting skin. He'd never forget the stench, the sight, just the thought of maggots dripping from them like water, flies continuously surrounding them, crawling over their glazed eyes and in and out their mouths.
Those were zombies. The Ganados weren't zombies. The Ganados were alive, at least, though controlled.
The Ganados weren't zombies.
And Ashley was in no way affiliated with zombies, Umbrella Corporation, or Raccoon City. He was thankful for this, at least.
"Anyway, sorry." It was incredible how meek she became when she was tired or injured. She wasn't snobby, though, or conceited--not by any stretch of the imagination. Being the president's daughter had humbled her, if it had done anything, and the circumstances she was living through now just added to that. "I shouldn't have brought it up. I just wanted you to know that I'm not naïve."
He rolled onto his back slowly, folding his hands over his stomach, and sighed through his nose. "I'd prefer you to be naïve."
His eyes closed only halfway. "Nothing."
And then she sat up so suddenly that Leon sat up as well, already reaching for his knife and looking around the shadows draped throughout the shack. The lantern was dying quickly, though, by every second.
She launched herself at him, arms around his neck and pressed very firmly to his chest. She was half strewn across his lap, as it were, and he returned the embrace with a hint of confusion. "Ashley, what's wrong?"
She pulled away and then punched him in the chest, and Leon wondered for more than a few seconds if she could read minds. Why was she so upset all of a sudden? And hell, it hadn't hurt, but why had she just suckerpunched him? Ashley didn't do that sort of thing.
"Would you make up your mind?" she shouted, putting her hands on her hips. The jacket dipped at the top of her breasts, giving a very teasing view of her cleavage. Leon would never look quite as good in that jacket again.
"What are you talking about? It's late. We need to sleep."
That definitely got his attention. He let her go on with whatever speech she was about to make. Whatever it was, it had warranted her to curse, and that must have meant it was important. Probably.
"How long have we been running around out here together? Months!"
"Weeks," he corrected.
"Weeks! Exactly! And I don't know about you, but this tension is killing me."
Tension? He honestly had no idea what she was talking about. Sexual tension was ridiculous. Who could think about sex when they were kicking Ganados in the head and blowing away their innards with shotguns? Not to mention Ashley Graham was a little off-limits. He was attracted to her, sure; she was cute--and helpless, a tiny portion of his mind offered impishly--and it wasn't like he absolutely detested being around her, but that was where it ended. The thought of sleeping with Ashley had only crossed his mind probably maybe approximately five or so times since the start of their journey.
He was a man. He was a manly man with needs and hungers just like any other man. He didn't have much time for indulgence, sure, or the privacy or want to do so, but that didn't mean he couldn't at least entertain the thought of being with Ashley. And he'd be lying if he said he hadn't imagined taking her out when they got home, because the thought had crossed his mind on more than one occasion, as impossible as it felt.
"There…is tension…right?" she asked, suddenly unsure of herself. She retreated within the warm, dark confines of Leon's leather jacket, ducking her head self-consciously. "I mean…I could be wrong…if there's not…"
Leon put up two placating hands and took a deep breath. "There is. Some." She looked up at him immediately, and the lantern decided that right fucking then would be a swell time to go completely out. They were bathed in a suffocating darkness for a moment, and Leon was thrown off. But he continued. "But nothing can come of it."
He could feel her face fall. "Why not?"
"Because you're my mission objective. I'm your bodyguard, not your boyfriend."
"Do you want to be my boyfriend? You can be both."
Shit. Shit, shit, double-shit with an extra side of shit. Why did she have to turn the conversation in such a direction? And here, of all places? It couldn't have been when the entire mess was over, no; it had to be smack fucking dab in the middle of it. "I don't think so, Ashley."
She laughed shortly. "Was I just rejected?"
"…Not entirely?" He really wasn't even sure himself. "Besides, you're kind of young. And kind the president's daughter. And thus kind of unavailable."
"I'm twenty-one, Leon. And who cares if I'm the president's daughter? I'm still just a woman."
He'd always seen her as more of a girl. Young, charming, bubbly, fiery in all the right ways. Ada was a woman, Ashley was a girl, Claire had been a lady. And he was attracted more to the girl than the woman or the lady.
Great. Not only was he a sick fuck, but he was always a sick fuck with pseudo-pedophilic intentions. Double-whammy, that was.
The girl was coming onto him, though, and coming onto him hard. And she wasn't a child, she was a grown…female. Wearing his jacket, hair messy, white panties. White fucking panties. Who wore white panties anymore?
Ashley Graham wore white panties.
He grabbed her by the arms to force her into a laying position, give her the hint that sleep was a yes and sex was a no, unfortunately, but she misconstrued his intentions because of a very pressing lack of visibility and moved closer to him until she pressed her lips first to his cheek--she'd missed, presumably--and then to the corner of his mouth. From there she found a way to part his lips very neatly with hers.
The harder his fingers dug into her arms, the harder Ashley Graham pushed the issue, even if he wasn't reacting and was keeping his entire face lax. Life or death situations he could handle, but cute presidents' daughters rubbing up against him like a cat? Not so much.
Okay, that was another lie. She wasn't rubbing up against him so much putting one hand on his knee and the other on the floorboards beneath them to steady her. And it was partly his fault, too; he could push her away or resist any time he wanted. She certainly gave him enough room and time to. In fact, it was almost like she expected him to shove her away with a stern scolding and a cold shoulder.
Instead, though-- Instead…
Instead Leon Scott Kennedy found himself kissing Ashley Graham back, and it felt like he'd swallowed a bag of rocks. His stomach dropped and then tumbled, even if his heart was leaping into his throat. This was so very, very bad, both for him and for her. He couldn't say he didn't enjoy it, though. Oh, no, no, no. He was quite certain he'd never enjoyed anything as much in his life, as a matter of fact. That was probably why, he reasoned, he urged Ashley onto her back and proceeded to press hot kisses down the side of her cool neck. His hands slipped from her arms to the hem of the leather jacket, and he fumbled with the zipper at her chest. He knew this jacket like the back of his hand, but when Ashley wore it, he became understandably confused.
She didn't seem to mind at all when he unzipped it and shoved the halves of it away to reveal her bare stomach and a white bra--what was with the innocent underwear thing she had going on?--and that startled him a bit. Did she do this often? Was she expecting it? But hadn't she…?
When he pulled away to try and find her face through the darkness, she tensed under his hands.
Of course. It was dark. He couldn't see anything anyway. Sex with the lights off.
Sex. Sexsexsex, he was going to have sex with Ashley Graham--ugh! What the hell was wrong with him? He could get fired for this. No, scratch that, he could probably get killed for this.
Well. They'd just have to catch him first.
Oh, God, he was not some sort of "player." Maybe he acted like it, but Leon was not a stud. He was actually rather awkward and…goofy. And corny, sometimes. He admitted it. But he couldn't resist playing up the hero façade. "Where's everyone going? Bingo?" and "Your right hand comes off?" had been only two instances where he'd smacked himself in the face later for sounding like such a jackass. At least no one had been around to witness it. Except maybe Salazar. But nobody cared about Salazar anyway.
Why was he thinking about a creepy little old man who might just have been younger than him when Ashley was waiting patiently beneath him?
She ran her hands down his back, tracing a few muscles through his thin shirt.
Or maybe not so patiently. Either way, Ashley was underneath him and he needed to do what he needed to do with the current situation.
He pressed his nose into her neck, sighing heavily. And all he could manage to say was, "Please don't tell your dad." He felt sixteen again. Sixteen, embarrassed, unsure, and extremely horny. Well, he wasn't actually that horny, but it didn't matter at the moment, because he was going to be in a minute.
She laughed, and her throat vibrated when she did. "Why would I?"
"I don't know." He took off his holster and tossed it to the side. It smacked against the side of a hollow crate louder than either of them anticipated, and they both jumped.
Ashley laughed again, and her voice cracked. "Jeeze, I feel jittery."
"We are still in the war zone, you know. The Ganados--"
"Oh, Jesus, Leon," she groaned, shifting her hips, "don't talk about the Ganados now. Please."
She had a point. So he kissed her once more, tongue slipping out to run over her bottom lip and then slick over her own, and he was getting far more into this whole "kissing Ashley" business than he'd ever imagined. He angled the kiss in such a way that he made sure it took up all of her attention, putting one hand behind her neck to play his fingers across the nape. There was no way she'd be thinking about Ganados now. Now way in hell. In fact, why was he still thinking about them?
He had to admit it: He wasn't exactly an expert when it came to sex and pleasing the opposite gender. He'd been with his fair share of women, and he was sure they'd enjoyed the experience as much as he, but he was never sure… Women had a tricky way of not telling men what the fuck they wanted. It was all guesswork, watching for reactions as to what they liked and what did absolutely nothing for them.
And with Ashley, it was almost ten times magnified, because if there was anyone he didn't want to let down, it was her. He had to be in her presence for God knew how long after this. What if he failed to bring her to climax? Oral was always an option, one he didn't prefer because something about him sticking his face down there seemed all too indecent, but he really wanted her to reach the brink without him having to forcefully shove her to it. It would be so embarrassing if his performance was less than up to par.
It didn't matter anymore, because she was tugging his shirt up over his chest and mouthing incoherent things against his skin. He really had no idea what he was doing. He could barely see, let alone pleasure her. This was all instinct.
"I guess I can take my skirt off now," she quipped, and Leon would have laughed if a spike of pleasure hadn't danced through him at that moment. He was feeling rather inadequate.
He didn't realize how thin his boxers actually were until he pressed his hips firmly to hers and felt his length rub over her white panties. Very thin boxers. It was certainly a shock, because he jerked his hips forward unconsciously, which in turn elicited another lance of desire and started an uncontrollable series of events.
Ashley arched into him as soon as he pulled his half-thrust stunt, and Leon dug his fingers into the floorboards underneath her, biting his lip. There was certainly tension now. Her fingernails carved red marks into his back that he'd probably take pride in when morning came. He'd probably also tease her relentlessly with them, but that depended on how the current state of affairs played out.
"Leon," she breathed, and she sounded wildly impatient.
"What?" he asked, swallowing a pant of frustration.
"Hurry the fuck up."
He did laugh at this, but it was hollow, because he took her panties and slid them down her legs, mindful of the part of her shin covered by the bandage. When that article of clothing was successfully dealt with, his hand brushed lightly over her sex on their way back up her legs, and his middle finger dipped to very briefly touch her clit. Ashley almost screamed. Leon honestly felt like he was going to explode, and he was very glad that Ashley wasn't a frigid bitch who took ages to become aroused. He could name a few women who came to mind.
"Is it any different?" she asked suddenly, just when he focused his attentions on her breasts--nice, big, supple, American breasts. Mmm.
"Is what different?" he asked, and the words were said against her collarbone.
"This," she said, as if that just explained it all. She clarified, though, thankfully. "Is it just going to be another lay for you?"
"A cheap fuck…?" he confirmed, still looking up at her from his place first at her collarbone and then resting atop her breasts. "I don't really do that sort of thing."
"I mean, I'm not asking you to marry me or anything stupid," Ashley said, scrambling to right herself and convey whatever meaning it was that she wanted to convey. "I just want to know if this is going to mean anything special to you."
He was trying his hardest to think, but his rather demanding erection was making that extremely difficult. Especially when it sat so warmly against her thigh, throbbing and impatient. "Special? You… What?" He squirmed uncomfortably. "I'm not going to pretend it didn't happen, if that's what you're worried about."
She smiled, and with his eyes finally adjusted to the darkness, he could see it. He could see the whites of her eyes clearly and the light brown irises almost more so. With a nod she leaned back, her hands drifting from his back to his hair. He hadn't been able to wash it decently in weeks, but she didn't seem to mind. Just as long as she didn't smell it.
"Then what are you waiting for?" she asked, and Leon happily indulged her by putting his arms around her back and unsnapping her bra in a move that was pure, unadulterated luck.
He closed his mouth around her nipple once the bra was disposed of, flicking his tongue out to tease it until it was stiff, and Ashley tossed underneath him, made little moaning noises, tried to wriggle her hips, but he had her pinned tightly with his. The moment he switched his attention to her other nipple, she gasped silently, mouth half open and arching into his touch.
When he finally pulled away she was heaving, whimpering and biting her lip to show flashes of white teeth. He couldn't say he was faring much better himself. It was almost pathetic, really: Here he was, a man well into his mid-twenties, and he was just now experimenting with sex. He'd been too cautious with other women, always wanting to get straight to the point. And it wasn't that he hadn't enjoyed it, it was just that he'd never given himself any wiggle room to try anything new.
But with Ashley, he wanted to test out theories. He wanted to put ideas into practice, study it, see what clicked and what didn't, and use whatever facts and conclusions he compiled to his advantage the next time he was with her. If there was a next time.
He kissed a soft area of skin under her ear, and she tilted her head appreciatively.
Oh yeah. There was definitely going to be a next time.
His skimmed his lips over the shell of her ear and then moved back down, mouthing kisses down her throat and leaving red marks that would stay well into the morning, and maybe even into the next night. He could feel her ardency, fingers alternately tugging his hair gently and smoothing over the back of his neck.
"Leon," she panted, tossing her head from one side to the other when he returned to the teasing of her breasts. "Leon, why are you doing this…?"
"Doing what?" he asked, and his voice had dropped a considerable amount. His tone was low, husky, and he began to slip off his boxers as discreetly as possible.
"Just do it already," she whined, bringing her legs up to his sides as he returned to his position hovering over her. And there was nothing else that existed in that moment, nothing but Ashley Graham and Leon Scott Kennedy and the darkness around them and the tension between them.
He was still hard--it was almost impossible to not be, not with the noises she was making anyway, and the way she'd occasionally press her hips flush to his--and he took himself in one hand, sliding through her sex, and he wasn't even in yet, but it was warm and wet and just about perfect. The tip was in, then, and he watched Ashley's expectant face, her eyes shut tight and her arms thrown carelessly above her head. The shaft came next, timidly, agonizingly slow, feeling every inch of her and reveling in it as long as he could. And then he filled her to the hilt, and the way he fit so snugly inside of her, the way his hips pressed firm to hers, made it feel like there was absolutely nothing wrong in the world, because here he was, with Ashley.
He pulled out halfway and then thrust back in, just as slow as last time, savoring it. He was so hard, now, pulsing, and he felt like he probably wasn't going to last long, but at least she was enjoying herself too. This time, when he pulled out and pushed in again, he moved so that he was directly over her, and he pressed his chest to hers for a moment to catch another kiss, sweeping his tongue through her mouth for a quick taste before he repeated the same process.
The way it was angled, maybe, the position in which Leon chose to rock into Ashley, was set in such a way that his length brushed Ashley's clit every time he withdrew. She lifted her hips to meet his, but couldn't quite meet his tempo, and when she moaned and arched and called his name, he didn't care about setting a pace or keeping in time with her. He said her name once, just to make sure it was really her underneath him or possibly to get a reaction from her, completely disregarded any need other than his own, and thrust into her fast, hard, relentlessly.
It was almost unsurprising when Ashley came first, her inner muscles clenching around him and making him absolutely dizzy. He could feel every jerk and spasm, would have counted them if he had the presence of mind, but moments later he could feel the winding tension deep in his gut coil, compound, compress, ready to snap, until it reached the breaking point and he finished inside of her, released all of the tension, blanked his mind and made his toes curl into the wood floor.
He stayed dutifully atop her, careful not to fall onto her, until she clenched around him one last time and he winced, pulling out. Every inch of his skin was sensitive after sex, hypersensitive, and that last clench had almost been painful.
He was suddenly extremely tired, and he hoped Ashley didn't want to talk about anything until morning. He'd talk in the morning--that was fine by him; but right now, he just wanted to sleep and keep living in this land of milk and honey where the Ganados didn't exist and neither did the rest of the world, quite frankly.
He glanced down at her to make sure, satisfied when he saw that she was just as tired as he was. He located the leather jacket and pulled it over her, then tossed an arm around her waist and pulled her into his chest. It was cold, he was naked, they didn't have a blanket, and she was rather warm. There was no reason he couldn't cuddle with another source of body heat.
He didn't like to call it "cuddling" anyway. But he sighed into her hair and the heavy influence of slumber took over.
The morning had been awkward, with them both being naked and cold and a little bit confused by the events of the previous night, but they'd each dressed themselves and ventured out within a half an hour of waking. They didn't talk, but there was no need to. Every thinkable line had been crossed, every barrier torn, and the tension between them had faded to a comfortable magnetism. Throughout the rest of the journey, the multiple more times Ashley was kidnapped, the removing of Las Plagas, and the struggle Leon endured to kill Saddler and maintain Ashley's safety, they remained in that same comfort around each other. There hadn't been another chance, of course; it had gotten much too dangerous for any more of those antics. But Leon knew and Ashley knew that even if it was the end, it wasn't the end.
The jetski trip back had been hellish, though, and that Leon had to admit. She'd asked him about spending some overtime with her and he'd answered "No," and she'd said that she sort of knew he would respond like that. And then a couple minutes later she'd smacked him in the shoulder and demanded to know what exactly was going on in that head of his.
"Leon S. Kennedy, do you think you're just going to take me home and never speak to me again?"
"Actually, that was the original plan." He turned the jetski sharply to the right and Ashley groped around his waist for purchase. He smirked. "And it's still the plan, because I want to keep my job."
"Why would you lose your job?" she asked incredulously, scowling at his back. "My dad wouldn't do anything like that."
"If he knew what had happened…" Leon muttered sullenly.
"That's why he's not going to know. Trust me, Leon, you won't get fired. I'll make sure of it!"
He gave her a sidelong glance over his shoulder. "You're just the president's daughter. What sort of influence do you have?"
"If I'm 'just the president's daughter,' then why is dating me such a big issue for you?"
He scoffed, stared out to where a nearby island was just a speck in the distance, and then smiled carefully. "I guess it's not."
And if, at that moment, it did feel like the end to either of them, then they were very sadly mistaken.