"When I'm miles away
And I still feel your touch
When I make mistakes
And you don't give up
When I'm in your arms,
Girl you're still not close enough,
That's how I know it's love."

- b4-4, "That's How I Know"

Chris Redfield woke up, rubbing that morning dew from his eyelids, retinas
struggling to adjust to the rays of golden sunlight that were invading the usually dark
confines of his small bedroom. He was thankful for the deep, dreamless sleep he had
just enjoyed. Long nights of sleep were few and far between just one year ago.

Three years had passed since the Spencer Mansion incident, and two years since the combined efforts of Leon, Claire, Carlos, Jill, Rebecca, Barry, and himself had
brought about the downfall of Umbrella Corporation. The S.T.A.R.S. remnants had
won the battle but at a steep cost: human lives. The nuclear destruction of Raccoon
City and the numerous military casualties lost as a result of the fight against Umbrella
were numbered in the high hundred thousands, if not low millions. But to Chris
Redfield, the lives lost were not the highest burden upon his back.

The physical scars had long since healed. He would, however, forever wear a
deep scar on his right bicep as a reminder. To Chris the psychological scars were the
most painful. Visions of zombies chasing him and killing his comrades would haunt
his dreams and fill his mind every time he closed his eyes for the remainder of his life.
He had lost many close friends, friends he had known for as long as his now 27 years.
Chris had no time to mourn them while his own crusade against Umbrella dominated
his life. Now, after the fall of Umbrella, he had the time to do so.

*Forest, Enrico, Joseph, members of the UBCF....

These were lives that would be lost forever. These were people who had lived not even half their lives, and lost them prematurely to feed a corrupt corporation's greed. While many were honored for their deeds before their death, any number of accolades could not bring back those lost. Chris and his comrades that survived the Umbrella Corporation were honored highly and given numerous awards and medals. But for every award Chris or the other survivors recieved, one hundred other heroes died alone, unsung, and unremembered.

Under the durisdiction of only the United Nations, a new S.T.A.R.S. team was
formed with Chris as it's overall commander. The survivors were split into two teams,
Alpha and Charlie, the Bravo name not being taken as a mark of respect to those who
gave their lives. Chris was captain of Alpha, Barry Burton the Charlie Captain. Zombies
and the undead, however, were not their main course of work. Rather, their
operations now consisted mostly of what the S.T.A.R.S. were originally created for,
anti-terrorist actions.

Very slowly, the world moved on from the Umbrella disaster and began to get
on with their lives.

Chris had indeed risked much, lost much, and gained very little.
But he was now a Captain and his life was not as dangerous as it once was. He
had completed his crusade. Claire was still alive and well, despite the psycological scars
she shared with Chris, after she chose to move in with her brother. The Redfield
siblings were alive, and, for the most part, happy.

Leon Kennedy shared the Redfields' happiness, after being appointed second in command for Alpha by Chris. He had grown very close to Claire, and together had
what seemed to be a very bright future.

Carlos Oliviera had assumed the role of heavy weapons specialist for Alpha. His past experience in the escape from Raccoon had proven vital in Europe during the final strike on Umbrella. The "chico" as Chris and Leon had taken to calling him, still
constantly wore a smile on his face and was still the self proclaimed ladies man.

Rebecca Chambers was her usual perky self, after having taken the job of Scout, Chemist, and Medical officer for Barry's Charlie team. Claire had worried that the
emotional scars had run deep for Rebecca, but within a year of Umbrella's fall Rebecca
had soon returned to her usual perky self, her life settling down to where a normal 21
year old's would be.

"Old Wolf" was the name Barry Burton had recieved from Leon. The Wolf had
decided to calm down and look after his cubs for awhile, but after recieveing word that
S.T.A.R.S. was being reformed he jumped at the chance for Charlie commander. While
his wife had insisted on him staying away from active duty for awhile, Barry eventually
won out and joined Chris as joint commander. Nothing can keep the warrior from the
battle, as Carlos had so pointed out.

Then there was Jill Valentine.

Chris smiled while sitting up in bed at the mere thought of his closest friend.
Throughout the Spencer Mansion incident, the events in Europe, and the resulting
large scale media coverage, Jill had remained close to Chris, allowing him to rely on
her whenever he felt the need to do so. After the dismantling of Umbrella the two had
become closer, though only as friends. They finally had time to concentrate on their
personal lives without zombies and tyrants breathing down their necks.

Before re-uniting in Europe Chris had harbored the thought that maybe he had lost Jill to Umbrella, that she had died at the teeth and claws of some biological
weapon thousands of miles away, without Chris near her in her last moments.

*Don't think that way...Chris reminded himself.

Even after the reunion in Europe of the S.T.A.R.S. survivors Chris had feared he had lost Jill in another way, this time to Carlos Oliviera, who had helped her escape the
hells of the now destroyed Raccoon City. He kept his fears until Jill told Chris
otherwise the night before the assault on the Umbrella headquarters.

One year later the two were as close as friends could be without becoming
romantic. Chris knew that Jill wanted to get closer, as he did, though when and where
that happened he didn't know.

He only hoped it would be sooner rather than later.

He smiled once again to himself, and got out of bed, strode to the window,
and took a look outside. The sun shone it's daily blessing, birds flew unhindered in the
azure sky, and somewhere in the distance he could hear a dog barking. Bright colors
were something Chris was yet to get used to after the recent events of his life.

He smiled, knowing dark colors need not dominate his life once again.

* * *


The alarm clock shouted it's daily hymn as a long, slender hand reached to turn it off. Quickly the clock's screeching singing voice was interrupted by the sweet sound of silence. Bed coils moaned in protest as it's burden moved about and finaly decided to sit up.

Jill Valentine yawned a long, deep yawn as she rubbed her eyes and slowly sat
up in bed, stretching her arms and scratching an inch on her back. With the precision
and practice of a daily ritual, the 25 year old young woman rose from her bed, folded
up her blanket, tidied up the bed, and reached for a silken navy blue robe on her way
to the shower.

Procrastination was an evil to Jill Valentine.

It was time for her daily jog around the block. She tried her best to keep in
shape, but not only for her job, she knew in her heart.

Chris...a thin smile played across her well crafted features as she let the silken
robe slip from her shoulders.

*His body...a smile that could melt iron...a heart of gold...

Jill's compliments for Chris Redfield were unending.

The smile continued to play on her features as she looked at herself in the
mirror, clad only in a blue cotton bra and matching panties. She possessed a long, lithe
frame that belonged to a heavenly figure. Her full, firm breasts sat high on her chest,
her stomach was flat and tight, and her long, smooth legs led to a perfect waist. It was
a body toned by years of fierce training and daily rituals such as the jog she was about
to take.

Truly she had a physical figure that many a man had desired, even lusted after,
but she knew she was saving herself for one man and one man only.

Too bad he doesn't know that, Jill thought to herself. She sighed and took off
the last of her clothes and climbed into the shower. The Alpha veteran closed her eyes
as she felt the warm, cascading waters hit her body and travel down until they reached
the shower floor.

Jill leaned against the shower wall, grabbed the small pink bar of soap, and
began to rub it over her body. She looked down at her body and began to think,
about Umbrella, about Alpha team, about the Redfields, and finally about Chris. She
knew he liked her, maybe even loved her...

*Than what the hell is he waiting for??

Life had settled down and Umbrella was no longer dominating their lives. What was keeping Chris from getting closer to her? They were as close as possible without being a couple.

*Is he afraid of losing me? Is he intimidated by me? Does he love me at all?

Questions bombarded Jill's mind as she finished the shower and began to dress to get ready for her jog. She slipped on her well worn running shoes and stepped out the door, careful to lock the door behind her, taking a long, hard look at the bright
blue sky.

*Does he love me?

Less than a mile away, Chris was wondering the same about Jill, staring at the
same sky.

Author's note:
* indicates a character's thoughts

PLEASE review and tell me if you want me to continue this or not. If you don't, I'll
never know and you'll never read the first chapter! haha! Please review! Feedback, good
or otherwise, will be accepted. Please don't flame me for grammatical errors or for
storyline gaps. The "assault on Umbrella" is basically just the entire crusade Chris and
company took against Umbrella to eventually bring it down. Anyway, I just had to
make the setting so that Chris and Jill could have a peaceful setting.

Thanks in advance for any input.