Author's Note: In case you guys are wondering what is taking so long on the updates, I'm just not quite sure anyone has stuck with it for this long, to be completely honest. But I know a few of you have so I've devoted some time to write. Enjoy!


End 22

The Only Secrets Are the Secrets That Keep Themselves

George Bernard Shaw

The smell of antiseptic stung Chris' nostrils yet again but this time, he strained to open his eyes. The lights above him were bright and made him instinctively close his eyes immediately with a groan. He heard the shuffling of a pair of feet and felt warm fingers pressing against his wrist. The two fingers only lingered for a moment before being pulled away quickly and when he heard the sound of typing, Chris strained his eyes yet again.

The walls were white and the bright lights above him were reflective against them. He was lying down but he was propped up and there was equipment surrounding him that he couldn't particularly comprehend. He couldn't even see the person shuffling around considering they were rushing around the room and Chris' eyes were still blurry.

Chris opened his mouth but his tongue was dry and a groan escaped instead.

Silence answered him followed by a pinch in his left arm. He looked down suddenly and could barely see the needle from the shot being pulled from his skin before darkness clouded him once more.

Chris startled awake and looked around quickly—back in his apartment from Raccoon City and, not-so-shockingly, he was alone. He sat up and almost missed the lack of person beside him but the sound of water from his shower running in the distance quickly caught up to him.

And then, of course, so did his memories of the night prior and he felt his face heat up.

The brunet fell back into his pillow and groaned to himself, hands raising to rub his face almost violently. He didn't want to say he regretted it because, honestly, he didn't. The only real guilt he felt was in knowing the type of monster Wesker was but they weren't together so, really, was it all that terrible? Chris needed the closeness and intimacy if only to get his mind away from his situation.

So no, Chris Redfield would not feel guilty for this.

Instead, he turned his thoughts towards the dreams that were truly starting to feel much less like dreams and more like memories. There was a familiarity with them that made him question… everything. He looked around his old room and the details he found put aside any possibility that what he was experiencing was a dream.

Dreams lacked detail and very rarely followed a course of events that made sense and Chris was very clearly having days filled with experiences that made sense.

Well, sleeping with Albert Wesker didn't make much sense but he didn't want to really get into that.

The shower turned off with a distant squeak and Chris turned away from the door to stare at the wall. It didn't take long for the blond to dress and soon after, the brunet could hear shuffling behind him indicating Wesker had entered the room. Chris twisted and laughed at the sight—

Wesker's blond hair was hanging limply around his face—wet from the shower and not yet styled to his usual liking. The man looked much less threatening so disheveled (much more like a wet puppy, if you asked Chris) and the glare shot towards Chris did little to deter the humor from the situation.

"I simply came to request the use of your hair gel," the blond muttered through tight lips.

Chris cleared his throat and nodded.

"There's some under the sink," Chris informed and Wesker vanished without another word.

The remainder of what little morning was left consisted of something somewhat normal. Chris threw together some semblance of a breakfast and Wesker accepted it with little judgement. They ate their eggs and toast quietly but Chris couldn't help but wonder if this was due to the sex or just them being—well—them.

They finished their food quickly as time was ticking closer to the time they had to arrive at the office.

"Where do we go from here?" Chris asked finally as the two had finally grabbed their coats and were preparing to leave the brunette's apartment.

"Context, Christopher," Wesker muttered as he removed the dark but thin sunglasses from his breast pocket and fixed them atop his nose.

Chris stayed quiet as he opened the door and stepped out. He was sporting his every day STARS wear; a white shirt rolled up at the sleeves, some beige pants, and the ever so haunting STARS logo plastered on either shoulder. Wesker, on the other hand, had his usual blue shirt, black pants combo that he had been wearing the previous night since neither of the men had planned for the events that occurred between the two.

Chris never bothered to actually put on his coat since it was nearing the end of March and the spring air was much less crisp than it had been when he began his whole ordeal.

The two left from Chris' apartment in mostly silence and nobody bothered to question why the two had arrived together or why Chris hadn't taken his own car—not even Chris. Wesker disappeared halfway through the day and his office remained dark until, one by one, the STARS members rose from their desks and began to leave for home.

Chris looked back from staring at the blonde's office to his computer. He had barely done any work all day and he wished it was because he had slept with his evil boss. Instead, it was his dream that was messing with him.

In fact, if he had to guess, he would say it wasn't a dream at all and his current surroundings, no matter how real they felt, weren't real at all. Chris sighed, sat back in his office chair, and rubbed his eyes with the palms of his hands. The office was dark and empty besides the sunset shining through the blinds from the windows.

Would it even be possible for him to be in a controlled dream, like this? He knew of weird serums that television shows would make up for whatever plot they had but he was sure that couldn't actually exist. He could also have said the same about the zombies and evil corporations but, of course, he wasn't exactly a scientist so he couldn't say for sure.

The clock on the wall read 5:45 and he realized this was the time for him to head home.

He saved the nearly forgotten paperwork he had been working on and shut down his computer. Just as he was about to stand up, Albert Wesker walked into the office, flipping on lights and looking as surprised as the blond probably could look seeing Chris still there.

"Yeah, yeah, I know. Overtime doesn't count," Chris muttered as he slipped on his jacket.

Wesker didn't respond. He pursed his lips and made a beeline to his office which Chris hastily followed. Wesker had originally gone to swing the door closed but Chris caught it with his arm and stepped inside just as the blond sat at his desk.

"Not now, Christopher," the blond, warned.

"I'm not here to be your friend or anything but I'm sure it has to do with Umbrella so you might as well talk to me about it," Chris said, shutting the door slowly and sitting across from Wesker.

The blond was no longer wearing his STARS uniform. He must have gone home and changed since Wesker was now sporting a casual black suit. No tie was to be seen but the blond had a black button-up under the jacket.

Wesker tossed his glasses onto the desk and eyed Chris in warning again.

"I don't need to talk about it," Wesker sneered.

Chris shrugged.

"Then don't," Chris responded.

The two sat in silence for a good few minutes. Wesker had relaxed in his chair and had his eyes closed while Chris' eyes wandered around the mostly empty room.

As noticed, before, the walls were empty and the window behind Wesker was mostly dark. The parking lot just outside the window was barely lit with street lights and very little light spilled in between the horizontal blinds. The room was dark and Chris could faintly hear the sound of outside traffic and the sounds of phones ringing from the other offices.

Chris sighed and rubbed the back of his neck before he spoke.

"I don't think any of this is real," Chris said finally.

"That is quite the bold claim," Wesker stated without opening his eyes.

"This all feels so—"

Wesker cut Chris off.

"—Artificial?"

"Something like that," Chris muttered, "More like planned?"

"Well, if you are correct, perhaps you should use this opportunity to fix your mistake to avoid living in guilt. Whether you are to blame or not, you seem to enjoy condemning yourself," Wesker said.

Chris agreed with a quiet hum.

The remainder of the night was, at best, boring. Wesker drove Chris home soon after their conversation and even followed Chris in for a bit. The two sat on the brunet's porch and quietly continued to speak about Chris' revelation, including his dreams.

"Is there anything else you notice in your dreams?" Wesker asked, a cup of wine raising to his lips as he asked.

"There's someone else there, obviously. I can't really make out the tone of voice when he speaks, which isn't often. It's difficult when you're so disoriented. And it hasn't only happened when I've slept too. Throughout the day, I feel light headed or just not really all there," Chris muttered, "And I don't think I need to eat or sleep but my body does it to make it seem normal. To fit in to the surroundings."

"Why do you assign a gender to the person if you cannot see nor hear them?" Wesker asked.

"It's a feeling, I guess," Chris muttered.

"That is a very bold claim," Wesker stated.

"I'm full of those, today," Chris sighed. "You don't think it's weird that I'm never hungry, Wesker? I don't feel the need to sleep, I just do?" Chris asked and exchanged glances with the blond as a response, "Can we talk about what happened at the meeting, now?"

"What meeting?" Wesker asked.

Chris scoffed.

"The meeting with Umbrella that you don't want to talk about," Chris answered.

"I simply cannot talk about it, Christopher. Not yet," Wesker responded, "I am doing my best, that is all you need to know and I encourage you to take comfort in that."

"Fine," Chris sighed.

"Focus on the mission. The evidence is unclear but I believe you need to fix the mistakes, whether it makes any difference to your future, or not," Wesker offered casually.

"What if we did it sooner?" Chris asked.

"What?" Wesker asked and, even in the dull moonlight, Chris could see his eyebrows furrow, "We have spoken about this, have we not?"

"We did but what if you're right, Wesker? All we have to do is prepare them more for what they're actually going against. The longer we wait, the more time Umbrella has and I don't want the same outcome as before," Chris sighed and placed his arm on the arm rest of his lawn chair, leaning heavily onto it.

"If you feel that is best, I will agree. But this is your call, Christopher. I have stated my opinion and am leaving it up to you. You may be the hero in this story or, perhaps, the villain simply leading them to slaughter," Wesker said solemnly.

Chris, with pursed lips and squinted eyes, looked at the blond is disbelief.

"How could you say that? You really think I can even be considered at fault for this?" Chris asked accusingly.

Wesker had the audacity to chuckle dryly and nod.

"I was the villain to your story, Christopher. Little did you know my—" he paused, "- situation. You are intelligent; you must think of the outcomes before you make your choice. Whatever you choose, I will support you," Wesker said slowly.

Chris just sighed.

The blond was right. Chris had to be careful how he proceeded because any wrong move could easily alter his entire future- meaning if Wesker had something up his sleeve that could reflect negatively on Chris then Umbrella could come out far more on top than in Chris' time. Umbrella hardly took the fall for the original outbreak and passed it off pretty casually.

Chris wanted to expose Umbrella and save as many as he could—that was all.

Each day, another person fell victim. Chris read article after article in the newspaper and online as people went missing in the mountains or were found dead with mysterious causes. Every day, they got closer to the destruction of Raccoon City and Chris couldn't let it happen again.

"I left," Chris muttered under his breath and kept his eyes fixed on the stars above as he felt Wesker's gaze fall on him.

The blond hummed in confusion and Chris continued.

"I ran off to Europe after the incident. Jill stayed to oversee everything but I got into an altercation and was suspended. By the time Raccoon City was overrun, I was long gone. Eventually, I helped out Barry and Jill track down Umbrella but did I want to?" Chris chuckled dryly and shook his head. "I just wanted to be left alone."

"You had your chance to be left alone following Umbrella's demise but I assume you continued fighting?" Wesker asked.

Chris nodded blankly.

"What else was I supposed to do? Bio weapons were becoming popular on the black market and every day there were new attacks somewhere in the world. I joined up with an organization to help fight the black market dealers. I tried to relax for a few years but I couldn't avoid hearing about it," Chris sighed and rubbed the back of his neck nervously, "My sister was out fighting, Jill never stopped fighting, and you were out there creating a bigger mess than when it all began. I chose to stop running."

"You saved a lot of lives, Christopher. I cannot sit here and tell you what you did was right but you did what was necessary for you. Sometimes, we must put ourselves first especially after a traumatic incident. Not only is it common but it is required to better ourselves. It is best not to dwell on the past," Wesker warned before standing, "Now, may I see the evidence you have acquired against Umbrella? I'd like to gather my own data."

Chris blinked at him and shook his head.

"What are you talking about?" Chris asked.

"The report you have gathered regarding the recent events involving Umbrella and possible bio weapons," Wesker stated matter-of-factly.

"How do you know about that?" Chris asked carefully.

"You are a STARS member, Christopher; you are trained to make detailed reports," Wesker said.

Chris had a very strong sneaking suspicion that the man had no idea about the documents and, instead, guessed his way into the situation but nevertheless, Chris agreed. He stood and led the way back into his apartment. No sooner than he had stepped into his bedroom that he was suddenly shoved against the back of his door, the blonde's hand around his neck, and their bodies pressed together. Chris' right hand grabbed at the hand gripping his neck while his right arm attempted to elbow the man away from him.

"What are you—" Chris barely whispered before being cut off by a tongue against his earlobe.

Wesker had leaned in to the brunette's ear and inhaled slowly before he spoke.

"I read your reports while you slept," Wesker said softly, "I simply required a reason to return to the bedroom with you."

The grip around his neck loosened and Chris took a breath.

"Asking wasn't an option? You bastard," Chris coughed slightly and Wesker looked almost worried for a slight moment.

Almost.

"I don't enjoy asking," Wesker stated, pulling away from Chris' ear only to come nose to nose with him, instead.

"Yeah, and I don't enjoy being thrown up against my bedroom door without warning either but here we are," Chris grumbled and attempted to shove the blond away from him.

Wesker held strong and pressed against him further. Chris could feel the blonde's erection against his upper thigh and he rubbed against it hard. Hissing, Wesker closed the gap between them with a rough kiss and in that moment, Chris questioned how he ended up here.

Chris pulled away and looked down when he felt Wesker's gaze against him.

"Why are we doing this, exactly?" Chris asked.

"I believe you know exactly why we are doing this," Wesker answered jokingly despite his words holding no sense of humor.

"No, I don't mean that," Chris stated.

Chris sighed and paused and Wesker took the hint to back away.

"What is your motive?" Chris asked.

"Is it not motive enough to have someone to sleep with?" Wesker asked, again, a joke lingering between them.

"No, not with you. You went through my things," Chris stated accusingly and began to look around the room.

Everything looked just as how he left it the previous morning. His dirty clothes were on the sides of his hamper in the corner, his computer was idle on the lock screen, and his bedside table was the same mess it had been left in. The room felt heavy and Chris took to the bed to sit.

"I simply wanted to see the information you had gathered," Wesker insisted, opting to stand.

Albert Wesker was not the type of person to simply slip on his words and reveal something like that accidentally. Chris knew the blond far too well for such a foolish thing to, well, fool him. Chris wanted more than anything to see straight through Wesker's plan, whatever it was, with the same simplicity the blond seemed to have but he just couldn't. Instead, he sat and thought.

His eyes glided around the room, jumping from one item to another, searching for anything that he could say was out of place. Was that pen always pointed that direction? Was that water bottle always knocked over? Were his pants folded like that the last time he saw them? There was no way for Chris to know so he quickly moved on.

His computer.

"How did you bypass my password?" Chris asked and before Wesker could respond, continued, "—Actually, how did you even know to look?"

"It isn't difficult to hack into a computer, Christopher," Wesker chuckled.

"It sure as hell is in 1998, "Chris said, his captain voice returning, "You need time and doing it on location wouldn't be possible."

"Technical expert now, are we?" Wesker asked casually.

A distraction.

Chris stood and crossed his arms, meeting Wesker's gaze.

"How did you bypass my password?" Chris asked against, sternly.

"I did not need to," Wesker responded and inhaled deeply, taking a step back.

Chris had never seen Wesker take such a defensive action before let alone back down from a challenge like this.

"In time," Wesker answered.

"I want to know, otherwise I will gladly end this little deal of ours," Chris threatened.

"The sex?" Wesker asked cautiously.

"The alliance," Chris corrected.

"Ah—" Wesker hummed.

The two stood across from one another for a long moment. Chris' arms remained crossed while Wesker's hands found their way into his pant pockets. The two were at a standoff of sorts and Chris could feel what little leverage he had slipping. The blond was just as useful to him as he was to the blond, even with a betrayal lingering just around the corner.

"I can assure you this," Wesker stated and stepped up to the brunet, "I am not hiding anything that could harm you. I am protecting you."

Chris didn't turn away from the kiss but he would admit that he didn't believe the words nor the kiss's intentions. He wasn't naïve and knew Wesker had more up his sleeve than previously understood but how would Chris ever find out? He had to come to the unfortunate conclusion that he probably never would without Wesker meaning for it to happen.

The kiss was apologetic and lasted a moment but once it was finished, Chris still remained stiff.

"I don't believe you," he stated.

"I'm well aware," Wesker answered.

"You aren't getting laid tonight, you might as well go," Chris muttered and turned his back to the blond.

No words were spoken as Chris began to remove his shirt and ready himself for bed. He tossed the clothing towards the hamper without turning towards the blond and began searching through his dresser for a pair of shorts to replace his work pants. When he still felt Wesker's gaze lingering on his back, he sighed and turned to find him standing where he was left.

"You are not alone," Wesker said quietly.

"Goodbye, Wesker," Chris stated.

With that, the blond nodded and left the room. Chris didn't care to follow him and lock the front door behind him. He didn't bother to brush his teeth or bother finding the pair of shorts he was looking for prior to Wesker's leave. He just sat on his bed and stared at his computer.

1998.

Computers weren't unable to hack but the technology had yet to be advanced enough, especially for someone like Wesker who didn't have any skill in the matter. Wesker either would have needed outside help or had to have known the password but Chris, himself, barely remembered the password simply by memory. He hadn't written it down and, as far as he could remember, he was the only one who knew it.

The brunet groaned and pulled his legs up and settled under his blankets. His gaze fell onto the ceiling and he chewed on the side of his lip as he thought of what Wesker said.

It was becoming obvious that Wesker knew more than he let on but what did that mean for Chris? Just how much danger would he be in?