Author: Ultimolu PM
[Post Degeneration, Pre RE5-Claire/Wesker] Claire returns to New York, after a TerraSave conference in Denver. With her brother involved in a new anti-bioterrorist organization, she finds herself in the middle of a new threat; in the form of an old enemy.Rated: Fiction M - English - Angst/Drama - A. Wesker & Claire R. - Chapters: 9 - Words: 25,718 - Reviews: 33 - Favs: 17 - Follows: 30 - Updated: 04-28-13 - Published: 10-05-11 - id: 7439096
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Series: Resident Evil
Genre: Action, Drama, Angst, Horror
Plot: (AU-Pre RE5, Post RE:Degeneration)Claire returns to New York, after a TerraSave conference in Denver. With her brother involved in a new anti-bioterrorist organization and preparations to attack the heart of Umbrella, she finds herself caught up within the affairs of a new bioweapon, in the form of an old enemy.
A/N: Thank you so much for the reviews, I appreciate them, especially Lost Violet's criticism. I hope to update the other two stories this week. I also have a new story in mind as well and that should be posted as well. If I do use flashbacks, they will not be bits and pieces of the chapter. I realized that I made a mistake doing that before and won't be doing that again. You may also notice a familiar scene, one of which I had in my old stories and decided to incorporate the parts here.
[Chapter 04: Assignment]
"I still think something is wrong. I know she was tired and it was a long trip but this isn't like her. Claire could be exhausted and she would still find time to make fun of me. She wanted takeout so I ordered takeout. I didn't think she would just sit there picking at a cheeseburger with all the toppings I knew she'd enjoy. Then she snapped at me. I've never seen her this jumpy since that time I scared her with that Jason mask in October last year."
Jill twirled the straw around the glass of vodka Chris had poured for her. Claire was still a popular topic, even after she left the kitchen. She didn't know why he was strung up by her silence. She could tell that Claire wasn't in the mood for conversation. As much as she convinced him it was an overreaction and part of his imagination, the brick wall remained intact. Chris was stubborn, but this was ridiculous.
Maybe it was time to leave. They both had an early morning at the B.S.S.A headquarters and she was tired as well.
"And how long does Kennedy expect to keep her on the phone? It's been an hour already. I was going to pay for Claire's trip home but somehow he decided to pick up the bill. I'm impressed but I think I'm more than capable of looking after my sister."
Jill frowned. She didn't know how this came up, but enough was enough.
The straw dropped and sunk to the bottom of the glass. "…So Claire was quiet during dinnertime. Why do you…no, how do you come up with these baseless claims? I didn't find anything strange in our conversation, other than the fact she was more quiet than usual. That's understandable, considering that she was on a long trip to New York and not everyone is fine and dandy when someone ruins their moment of peace. I know you've been like this since Harvardville but give it a rest Chris. This isn't the first time she's been in danger and pulled through or been away on long trips. Can we both agree that she was most likely tired and there probably wasn't much to discuss? And since when did Leon become part of this conversation?"
Chris opened his mouth to respond, but Jill stopped him. "Don't tell me that you think something is going on between them."
Her words drove home.
Chris sighed. "I never assumed there was something going on between them. They've just been a little too close for my liking—"
"Why? They're just friends."
"Well friends don't call each other more than once in a week. It just feels like he's been keeping too many tabs on her—"
"For Christ's sake…" Jill muttered under her breath. "…what is that supposed to mean? Claire and Leon have been through enough and I would imagine that close friends stick together."
Chris folded his arms and leaned against the counter. "Well, it feels awkward."
Jill's fake laugh echoed throughout the kitchen. "Don't tell me you're jealous. Someone actually cares for your sister and you're throwing a fit."
She received a scowl in return. "I'm not jealous."
Jill shook her head and finished the rest of her drink. "It sounds that way to me. You've been jumping from one topic to the next. First, you thought Claire was too quiet and automatically assumed she was keeping something from us. Now, you're talking about Leon, a government agent that cares only for her wellbeing. You don't see anything wrong with this picture?"
Chris frowned. "No. And this isn't funny Jill."
"You know, sometimes I think you're crazy."
She waited for a smart-lipped response but found none in return. Minutes passed before he Chris released a sigh of his own. He pulled away from the counter and dragged a seat from the table. He sat next to Jill with his shot of brandy. "…I guess I can be a little crazy sometimes. I expected her to fill me on the meeting, tell me about the ride…something at least. The silence was just too…coincidental. "
"She's been on a train for hours. Why would you think she has something to hide? You're being paranoid. When she's ready, you'll receive the details. Are you sure you're alright? I've never seen you this concerned about Claire."
Chris ran a hand through his short hair. "I'm fine. Its just that…"
"Relax Chris." Jill rose from the table and stretched her limbs. "Look…it's late and I better head back to my little corner of the world…"
Chris grabbed her hand. "Stay for the night."
This time, he interrupted her. Jill protested, but he continued. "It's late enough and I don't want you on the street. Now I know you'll say 'I can take care of myself Chris' or 'You don't have to baby me around' but it makes sense to stay here and have a good breakfast in the morning. And since we leave early tomorrow, I can give you a ride. Not sure what I'll be able to whip up but at least it'll be edible."
Jill rolled her eyes. "Edible? Don't you think Claire should be in charge?"
"She'll be asleep when we leave and I don't want to wake her up. What, you don't have faith in my cooking? I'm serious. I have some extra blankets and Claire won't mind either. It's not a bother at all."
She couldn't help but smirk once more. At that point, it was difficult to turn down Chris' generous offer.
"Okay, fine," Jill said, as she sat back down. "As long as the kitchen is still intact when we leave, I'm in."
• • •
Albany, New York
She knew better than to place faith in contractors, and yet she was all too willing to assent to an assignment from a local scumbag. She needed the money and this was her only shot. Of all the employers she worked for, she never expected the Italian mob needed her services.
She waited for her contact for two whole hours. A part of her believed that Serrano already found someone else to do his dirty work. Either that or he was playing mind games just to gain her cooperation.
Either way, she was about to leave. She should have known this deal was too good to be true.
Another waste of my time. Typical.
There was a fundraiser event at the gallery where she was located, courtesy of David Fitzgerald. He was a local politician running for congressional office. Of course he wasn't at his own event because he left early. Ada had seen him a few times around the gallery but maintained her distance. Supporters and other personnel she didn't recognize occupied the gallery. Waiters served hors- d'oeuvres and champagne at each corner of the room. She had to admit, Fitzgerald was a looker. Foreign men had always been her forte, but Leon was an exception.
A ghost of a smirk touched Ada's lips. It had been a while since she encountered him. After the outbreak in Spain, they had gone their separate ways. The American government was still after her and world agencies wanted her dead. She kept a low profile and discarded most of the clothing she was prone to wear. She either wore jeans, reading glasses and a simple blouse on the street or a simple dress. She wore contacts and dyed her hair a shade darker than her normal color.
Despite her changes, the black market still had its mark on her.
She loathed the changes but it was necessary.
She tried to look interested in the paintings before her while she drank champagne. Each of them held a distinct meaning but she wasn't sure why. Rustic walls and polished floors greeted her at each turn. A fireplace was in the middle of the large room. Windows overlooked the garden and cars parked across the street.
Ada's attention wavered, as she examined another painting within view. The Temptations of St. Anthony was a new artwork that arrived at the gallery weeks ago. It was part of an older collection during the twentieth century, based on the description she read. She wasn't a fan of art, however she couldn't deny that the paintings were interesting. It did pass the time while she was on the lookout for the man she was supposed to meet two hours ago.
Her mind then reverted to the phone calls she received from Serrano. He was interested in her natural abilities alright…especially when he had the habit of staring at her chest during their meetings. She was tempted to slit his throat but thought better of it. The money was good, regardless of what the fat slob thought of her. If he pulled a stunt on her, she would have to remind him as to why she was nicknamed a 'smooth' assassin.
Her mission objective was to eliminate a suspected traitor of the mob. The contact was supposed to fill her in on the rest. Somehow, their traitor was also a suspected FBI agent. Five thousand dollars wasn't enough to satiate her but was enough to keep her alive.
"Quite an interesting painting. I never suspected you were interested in fine art, Ms. Wong."
Ada's heart skipped a beat. The voice came from behind, as a figure materialized from the crowd. "There are many interpretations of this painting. To see it here in its fully glory is a surprise. It was based on one man's desire to resist the temptations of the world he lives in. Were you aware of this Ms. Wong? It reminds me all too well of your betrayal."
The tone was all too familiar. Her eyes closed as she digested each word. "…How long were you watching me?"
It didn't matter how he was able to find her; he had his mysterious ways of apprehending his prey. Ada could feel Wesker's hands against her skin, drawing circles along her back and shoulder blades.
"I've observed you long enough. You never cease to amuse me. Petty assignments have never been your style and yet here you are. How the mighty Wong has fallen."
Ada cringed, but did nothing to stop him. "Is this your way of humiliating me? You aren't doing a good job. I expected more from you. My 'petty' assignments are better than servitude to your deluded cause."
She received a bemused chuckle in response. "Deluded? You know little about my intentions and I suggest you choose your words carefully. I'm very disappointed that you would consider your work for me servitude. You've changed since you saved Mr. Kennedy's life. I would have found you sooner or later."
"Took you long enough, didn't it?"
A sharp grip clamped down on her shoulders. "Again, I would tread carefully if I were you. A uncontrolled tongue yields consequences...none of which I believe you are prepared to face."
The familiar pain returned; a reminder of a mission she once failed. He never ceased to remind her that she was only human and served to further an agenda. Ada's teeth ground against the insides of her mouth. It was unadulterated torture; just to see how long she could endure it.
"…What do you want from me…?" She managed to spit out. It was guaranteed to leave a bruise; Ada was sure of it.
"Your contact is dead and would have fed you casuistic information either way. As much as I would enjoy your punishment, everything is in the past now. You should be grateful for this new opportunity. I have a proposition, and I doubt you will refuse it."
…That would explain the delay. That lying son of a bitch…
Trusting that Serrano would deliver was a mistake she didn't plan to make again, not with anyone else.
"…What should I accept this proposition…?"
Relief washed over her, as the grip loosened. Soon, a hand was around her waist. His lips brushed against her left ear. "Consider this proposal a chance at redemption. It will only be a matter of time before they find you. You are a wanted assassin with very little options. Your new identity won't save you forever."
"And you are a wanted man—"
"I can blend in quite well. You are more vulnerable. I won't leave without your decision and if you relocate, I will find you just as before. We have much to discuss…but I would rather leave this establishment now."
Ada struggled, but the grip locked her in place.
"To cause a scene in front of these people would be a foolish mistake on your part. Come quietly of things will not end in your favor."