Holding On

Nobody wants to be lonely
Nobody wants to cry
My body's longing to hold you
So bad it hurts inside
Time is precious and it's slipping away
And I've been waiting for you all of my life
Nobody wants to be lonely
So why, why don't you let me love you?

Ricky Martin Feat. Chrristina Aguilera - Nobody Wants To Be Lonely

Claire didn't know where she was running to. More to the point, she didn't knowwhat she was running from. In her eyes, she had ruined everything. Chris and Jill now hated each other thanks to her. She had tried to do them an act of kindess, but it had backfired horribly. She ran out into the courtyard, tears streaming down her face. Because not only had she ruined Chris and Jill's relationship, but she had also ruined hers and Leon's.

She didn't hear the voice calling her name. She didn't even realise that anyone had followed her until she felt Leon's arm on her own. Her bare skin tingled beneath his touch. That was when she realised what a huge mistake she had made.

"Claire, what's wrong?" Leon sounded all brotherly, his tone both reassuring and gently probing. Claire didn't reply at first; she simply stared straight ahead of her. But when Leon turned her to face him, she could remain silent no longer.

"Iscrewed up, didn't I?" She muttered, her delicate eyes welling up with tears. Leon reached up and wiped away a stray tear which had slowly began to trickle down her red cheek.

"Whatdo you mean?" Leon was concerned for her, in a way he had never been before.

"I...it was all my idea to get Maddy to flirt with Chris so that Jill would realise what an idiot she was and admit how she felt." She breathed deeply. "But when he pulled away...the hurt in his eyes! I never meant for anyone to get hurt." It was at this point when she broke down, unable to control the pain she felt as it flowed out of her in the guise of tears and long sniffly sobs. Leon pulled her to him and wrapped an arm around her, the other stroking her dark hair.

"You couldn't have known that it would turn out like this," he whispered, rocking her gently in his arms.

Claire opened her eyes, the realisatin of how close she was to him dawning on her. But, to her surprise, she didn't pull back. Instead, she curled the fingers of her left hand around his right bicep, realising for the first time how muscular it was. She also felt it twitch slightly as she touched it, making it obvious that it was making Leon uncomfortable.

"But not only that, I've ruined things between us," she sobbed into his shoulder. Leon was confused. And not just by this confession, but more so because he had never seen Claire like this before. She had always been so headstrong and determined, not showing her emotions to others. And yet here she was, weeping like a child in his arms.

"No you haven't," he assured her, although he wasn't sure what she had meant by 'us'. He felt her move slightly.

"Yes I have," she insisted, pulling back but not letting go of him. "I treated you like shit and all you did was care about me. I had no right to treat you the way I did."

"But it was the truth, right? You didn't feel anything when we kissed?" Leon wasn't sure where this was going, and part of him didn't really want to know. The flutter in his chest that had materialised when she gripped his arm suddenly turned to a stabbing pain when she shook her head.

"No," she said, more tears coming to her eyes. "Which is what I don't get. I can't stop thinking about you, but when we kissed, I felt nothing. Jill said that she didn't feel anything when she kissed Ben, and I panicked. I didn't want us to turn out like them. Leon, I'd rather just be friends than not know you at all." The pain in Leon's chest grew, spreading to his lungs until he found it difficult to breathe.

"But we wouldn't turn out like then. I would never cheat on you...on anyone." Claire smiled.

"Yeah, but there's still the not-feeling-the-fireworks thing, and that's-" But what it was, Claire didn't have a chance to say, because Leon pulled her back to him and covered her lips with his own. Claire didn't protest or pull back, not this time. Something was different this time, and she knew it. As soon as his lips touched hers, something inside of her exploded. She pressed herself into him and she seemed to melt into his embrace. His lips parted as he deepened the kiss, sending a shiver of ecstasy through her body. His fingers trembled as they slid down her body, taking in every curve. They stood there for what seemed like an eternity until Leon pulled back, gasping for breath.

"-pretty important." Claire finished, still in a daze. Leon smiled and kissed her forehead.

"But I don't understand," she gasped. "How-" But Leon didn't let her finish and pressed a finger to her lips.

"Maybe it just...wasn't the right moment." He suggested, unable to hide his joy. She smiled back at him, suddenly forgetting about Chris and Jill and kissed him once more.

The party was almost over by the time Jill and Chris made their way back inside. Needless to say, a few inqusitive glances were thrown in their direction as they walked in, hand in hand.

"So, how are we going to tell them?" Jill asked in a michevious tone. Chris shrugged and smiled down at her.

"I think they will find out sooner or later, whether we tell them or not." He turned and lifted Jill's chin up before kissing her lightly on the lips. A loud sob from somewhere in the room let the loved-up couple know that Chris' stalker had once again burst into tears. But they didn't care. Nothing mattered now that they had each other.

"Wow, what happened to you two?" Rebecca asked, walking up to the couple, looking all teary-eyed.

"We...um...cleared something up," Jill replied, biting her lip as she felt Chri's hands roam somewhere they only had in her dreams. "So...we're cool now."

Rebecca smiled at them, teary-eyed for all the wrong reasons.

"Where's Claire?" Chris asked, glancing around the room for his sister. He wanted to tell her himself before anyone else had the chance to. Rebecca avoided his inquisitive glance as she spoke.

"She...um...ran off," she mumbled. "She thought she'd ruined thing bewteen you two. We...um...we told Madison that you liked her. We wanted her to flirt with you so that Jill would get jealous and...um...admit that she has feelings for you. But you ran off and now she thinks that she's ruined everything."

The blissful expression that had adorned Chris' masculine features slowly melted away.

"She went that way," Rebecca pointed out, acknowledging Chris' concern. Without further ado, Chris removed his arm from around Jill and set off in the direction of Rebecca's finger, the two girls hot on his trail.

They didn't have far to go before they came across the runaway girl. By the looks of it, she hadn't got far. It also looked that she wasn't going anywhere in a hurry, for her arms were wrapped around a certain Mr. Kennedy, her tongue no doubt in his mouth. Chris came to a stop when his eyes fell on the young couple. He didn't know what to do; be happy or punch Leon's lights out. So, he laughed. He was still laughing as Rebecca and Jill snuck up behind him and spotted the two lovebirds.

"Well, she got over that quick, didn't she?" Jill asked, letting out a tiny laugh of her own. Things sure were looking up.

AN - I am so, so sorry. That chapter is so short it is almost pointless. But what can I say? I had writer's block...I finished half of it and just didn't know what to write next. But at least it's all done now! Not the story...there's still one or two chapters left to go...maybe more. I was thinking about bringing Ben back into it, but that would seen too 'To Have And To Hold'-ish. I might do something with Rebecca and Carlos, there hasn't been much mention of them lately.

Disclaimer - Resident Evil Not Mine.