Forever -epilogue

now I've always said that love was nothing more but a waste of my time I've always thought I'd be above these feelings always seem to miss in my mind I said you'd never catch me in the corner of my room gazing at a picture of you and now that all don't mean nothin' cause everytime I think about thinkin' girl I'm thinkin' of you

and forever, for the rest of my life through it all girl I'll be right by your side I'll give my heart baby I'll give you my mind I'll be the one that brings the joy to your life and if you're willing girl just give me the chance and I promise I will be a good man and forever, for the rest of my life I'll be right by your side...

~lfo, "forever"

Huffing and puffing, the tall but somewhat thinner form of Chris Redfield jogged up the path, until finally his intense exhaustion forbidded him from going any further. He stopped, and, finding the nearest park bench on the well-worn path, he sat down roughly, eager to rest his weary feet. He took a long drink from the water bottle attatched to his waistband and wiped the sweat from his brow before letting a out a long sigh.

He watched as a young, heavily muscled man wearing a white karate gi jogged by. The man, who was wearing a red headband about his head and red fighting gloves, gave Chris a good morning nod. Chris returned it. As the man continued his jog, Chris realised the man was barefoot. Wierd.

Seven months have passed since the fateful S.T.A.R.S. mission that changed his team's fate forever. The S.T.A.R.S. was put on temporary leave by the United Nations following the mission, allowing the teammates time to grieve for the teammates they had lost. It took a while, but the fact that several S.T.A.R.S. lost their lives finally sank in, and the grieving process and road to recovery began. The funeral was tough, especially for Barry, who had lost three of his best soldiers in Charlie's ill-fated sortie. Slowly but surely though, the team moved on.

"There's a difference," Barry said several weeks after the funeral, "between moving on and forgetting. We won't forget. We'll never forget. And besides, old timers like me don't forget things so easily!" Barry laughed heartily.

A permanent memorial was erected in front of the S.T.A.R.S. headquarters; it consisted of three large metal shooting stars. Underneath that were the names of the three teammates lost in battle, along with a short paragraph on each describing their achievements.

For the first month since the mission, Chris was bed-ridden as he endured surgery and tough, painful rehab to get him back to full health. It was tough, not being able to get up and about, but Chris somehow bared both the pain and boredom associated with that cruicial first month, and the doctors declared him fit enough to begin on the long road of recovery. Chris had a habit of calling it "rehab," but Jill said that "rehab" was a depressing word; she called it "recovery" instead. That helped Chris somewhat with positive thinking.

The road to recovery was substantially steeper for Beccy. She was doing much better following her inital devastating diagnosis. She took it rather hard to begin with, but sooner or later she summoned from within her an intense courage and determination that surprised the rest of the team. She took her first steps without crutches several days ago, much to the delight of both herself and those close to her. She had changed the most since the mission, though positively instead of negatively, as many of the doctors predicted.

Beccy was told by the doctors that she would never walk normally again; she was cursed with a limp that she would never be rid of, no matter the amount of rehab or recovery training she put herself through. Some damage is simply irrepairable. She bared it, though, and kept on smiling every day of her life.

"The way I see it," she told Chris one day with a smile, "at least this saves me from having to do anymore of that exhausting physical training every day!"

She remained with the S.T.A.R.S., though no longer as an active soldier. Instead, she was appointed Chief of Medical Staff for the team, a position she was very proud of. She never admitted it to anyone, but everyone knew she loved her current position infinitely more than being a soldier.

"She's a tough chica," Carlos said matter-of-factly during a team meeting, "I don think hell itself could stop her from taking those bullets for Andy again, if she was given the chance."

The S.T.A.R.S. was put back on active duty one month following the mission. Because several members were unable to return to duty, the S.T.A.R.S. were left drastically under-manned. Instead of bringing in new recruits, as several higher-ranking U.N. officers suggested, Chris decided to merge the operational members of the Alpha and Charlie teams into a new temporary team, Delta. This was mainly because he believed bringing in new recruits who didn't know about the team's recent history would be detrimental to the team's success. Leon was placed in command of this team, which was to operate until the S.T.A.R.S. were back up to full strength, in which case they would return to their original two-team deployment.

Since the mission the newly-formed Delta team undertook several missions and completed them successfully; none of the missions, however, were on the same scale as the terrorist incident, which Leon was thankful for.

"Now I know why you've already got grey hairs before you're thirty," Leon told Chris once, "this 'Captain' buisness gets pretty damn stressful." Leon got a swift and rather hard punch to the shoulder for his wisecrack.

Chris took another long drink from his water-bottle. This jog was one of the daily activities associated with his "recovery" that Jill had planned out for him. After realising that Chris would need someone to help him out following the mission, Jill asked, er, demanded that Leon give her a year's worth of leave. Leon, not being one to argue with Jill, obliged.

Currently, Jill was jogging up the path behind Chris and came up to him on the park bench. She was wearing her daily exersise gear, which consisted of plain track pants and an old shirt that was probably too small for her. Despite the rather plain attire, she still turned heads. Chris could put Jill in one of his mother's old dresses and she would still look attractive; Chris took a while to get used to all the boyfriends/husbands staring at his girlfriend, but eventually he decided they were complementing him for it and giving him telepathical props in their minds. Jill, in turn, had to get used to things being visa versa with ladies.

Instead of sitting beside him, she jogged in place in front of the bench.

"Get up, slowpoke. How do you expect to get back into the game if you're slacking off all the time?"

Chris shot Jill a look.

"I'm not slacking off. I'm refilling my strength reserves in preparation for phase two of our daily plans, Mrs.Richard Simmons. And besides, I have no objections to sitting here and watching you bounce up and down in front of me in that extremely attractive and sweaty shirt you have there all day long."

A swift punch to the chest followed.

"How do you expect me to recover if you're hurting me all the time?" Chris said, pretending to be more hurt that he actually was.

"Bah," Jill retorted. "Come on, we're already half-way up the hill."

"Hill? More like massive, steep, un-joggable mountain to me," Chris shot back.

"Geez, what crawled into your ass and died, Redfield?"

"Bah. Sorry Mrs. Simmons, but getting shot three times'll tend to ruin your and several next months."

Another swift punch was delivered by the aforementioned Mrs.Simmons, this time to Chris' belly. Chris doubled over in feigned pain. Jill was still jogging in place.

"Call me Mrs.Simmons again and I'll kill you," Jill said with a look that was supposed to be threatening, but actually wasn't threatening at all.

"Oh please, kill me! At least then I won't have to go for ten mile jogs uphill on a Saturday at eight-o'fucking-clock in the morning!" Chris said sarcastically.

Jill finally got Chris' point. Snorting at him, she finally stopped jogging and plopped down next to Chris on the bench.

"You win this round, Redfield."

"Victory is mine yet again," Chris declared, raising a hand in the air as if he were a heavyweight boxer who had just defeated Mike Tyson.

Jill stuck her tongue out at him, before her feigned anger at him vanished and she bent over to him and gave him a kiss on the cheek. Chris returned the smile, before leaning back and putting an arm around her shoulder. It was rare that she would allow Chris a break during their daily jog (she was never one for slacking off) but for some reason, today was different.

Jill leaned back and relaxed. She didn't quite know why, but there was definately something different about today. Something different in the song the birds sang or the shade of blue the sky was. Something different... as if today was something important, but whether it was important due to something that had happened or will happen was lost to her. Sighing, she smiled again and closed her eyes, allowing herself a couple of minutes of rest on Chris' shoulder.

Since the mission, she and Chris had gotten extremely close, closer than she had ever been with anyone in her entire life. Every single day, she was there for him, never once leaving his side unless it was extremely necessary. After Chris had been sent home from the hospital, Jill decided to move into the Redfield home, taking residence in the guest room next to Claire's. Claire often spread rumors that she had witnessed Jill coming out of Chris' room in the morning more than once, and Jill, of course, denied them.

To counter-attack Claire's rumors, Jill began to spread rumors that Claire and Leon were close to getting hitched. Jill had no grounds on which to base the rumor whatsoever, but everyone knew that Claire often didn't have proof to back up her claims, either.

"I'll get you back, Valentine," the younger Redfield sibling would say to Jill whenever Jill got on her nerves. But then the two young women would smile, and become best friends once again. They would go shopping for hours at a time, much to Chris' dismay, because he had no one to fetch random things when he needed them, since he had to stay at home.

It was just as hard for her seeing him going through the pain she knew he was going through. Something binded her to him that day, as if for the rest of her life she was bound to him by some unseen connection that only she could understand and maintain. Regardless of what it was, she knew that that connection was extremely important.

Jill was worried sometimes, because Chris had a tendency to push himself too hard, expecially in the first couple of weeks since the first operations to restore him to full health began. She was even more frightened by the fact that once he did return to full health, he would again be placing himself into danger. It scared her sometimes, but whenever she got too scared she reminded herself of all the shit he had stepped in and gotten himself out of. If he could kill a bio-engineered killing machine with an anti-tank rocket, he could survive a couple of gunshots, no big deal.

They took a couple of minutes to themselves, just sitting on that park bench, watching the ships in the harbor and the rollerbladers and bikers and joggers going to and fro on the path in front of them. The seagulls frolicked in the air and sky was blue; what more could they ask for?

After a while, Jill's curiosity got the better of her.

"Chris, is there something special about today? I mean, I'm getting the feeling today is important but I dunno why or how..."

Chris shrugged.

"Dunno. Maybe today is an anniversary. To celebrate, we should have crazy animal sex tonight, assassinate the president (or prime minister, depending on who's reading), defeat Bowser, save Princess Peach, find out if there's life on other planets, defeat the evil Lord Sauron and cast The One Ring into the fires of Mount Doom, and finally, drink all the champagne and smoke all the crack in the world before finally going to sleep and dying in an alcohol and drug-induced haze."

"Sarcasm noted," Jill said.

Chris smiled. "We can at least make good on one part of it."

"Lemme guess, the 'have crazy animal sex' part?" Jill quipped.

"Bingo," Chris answered, with a pointer-finger-and-thumb gunshot at Jill for emphasis.

"Keep dreaming, Redfield. I thought we had an agreement when it comes to... 'it.'"

Chris' shoulders slumped. He remembered the full terms of the 'agreement,' which limited 'it' to special occasions until he was fully recovered. 'Bah', he said in his mind. Bah to the agreement.

"Come on," Jill said, finally deciding (much to Chris' dismay) that it was time to jog again, "let's get going. If you get to the top of the hill, I'll give you a surprise."

"You mean, you'll take off that hideous mask you're wearing and tell me that you're actually the identical twin of Kristin Kreuk from Smallville?"

Jill smirked. "Just for that, the next time you try to 'get fresh' ( and here Jill made quotation marks in the air with hooked fingers) with me, I'll remember this incident and promptly reject your advances, Mr.Redfield. Remind me to mix some cyanide in your coffee next time you ask for it. And just so you know, your surprise was a Twix bar, but I guess I'll have to eat it myself. Two for me and none for you."

Chris looked up at Jill, who had gotten up off the bench and was standing in front of him. He gave her his best puppy-dog look before flashing that smile of his that was known around the world as the woman-melter. Jill was powerless to resist. Like some great emotional weapon of mass destruction, Chris' smile tore down the emotional defenses she had erected in front of her, and she too began to smile, despite her urges to stay annoyed with him. Jill knew for a fact that Chris could get away with murder with that smile on his lips.

She bent over to him and gave him a kiss on the forehead.

"Sometimes," she said softly into his ear, "I think forever isn't long enough to spend with you, Christopher Darryl Redfield. I'll love you forever, and you know that, right?"

"Forever?"

"Forever, Chris. Forever. Forever and a day."

She smiled warmly, and then Jill Valentine turned and continued her jog. When she had run almost ten yards away, she turned and shouted for Chris to meet her at the top of the hill. One last wave, and the half-woman half- angel promptly returned to her jog.

Chris stared at her form for a while, his smile never once leaving his face. When he was satisfied that she was far enough away, he took a quick look around to make sure no one he knew was watching. After completing his scan (years of espionage work had taught him to do so), he reached into the cargo pocket of his track pants. He fished around until he found a small blue velvet box, which he took out. Shakily, and almost unsure of himself, he opened the box to reveal the diamond engagement ring he had bought just the week before.

Jill was right in feeling that there was something special about today; in fact, the date was July 24, the anniversary of the night that changed their lives forever, the night of the Spencer Mansion incident. It was also the same day Chris had fallen in love with Jill. It was the thought of never seeing her face again that got him through the Mansion's horrors. It took nothing less than the horrors of the undead and a mansion reeking of death to make him realise it, but he realised it nonetheless.

He planned to ask for her hand once he reached the top of the hill with her, when they were overlooking the endless blue of the ocean. He didn't quite know what to say to her when he got there, but he knew he would think of something once he got down on bended knee.

"Sometimes, I think forever isn't long enough to spend with you, Jillian Chelsea Valentine."
Chris closed the box and placed it back into his cargo pocket. Satisfied that no one had noticed he was carrying an engagement ring, he took another drink from his waterbottle, got up off the bench, and tried to catch up to Jill.
~FIN~
Author's Note:

Viola! And there it is, the complete epic Forever saga. Whew. Finally. hehe.. it took awhile, but there it is. I'm done. whew. lol.

Anyways, I guess this is where I thank the many people who've helped me out these past two years (I know! two years since I published the first chapter! lol! time flies)... Chris'n'jill, mayumi, and the countless other people who've chipped in with ideas and encouragement in the form of emails and reviews. thanks for your support, and I only hope that you guys forgive my intense laziness when it came to new chapters for this story. I know sometimes I went for months without writing, and it was unfair to you guys to keep you waiting so long, but oh well. life must be lived, i guess.

Thanks to one and all. Now go and read my other fics. if you don't, i'll kill you. honest. lol. i have an armored core fic in the works, just so you guys know. check it out when it comes up...

finally, thanks to capcom and sony for making up the resident evil franchise in the first place. all the above mentions characters belong to them; don't sue me. :) although i must say, I was disappointed when you guys brought the RE series to Gamecube.. I mean, come on, stick with the PS2, for god sakes.. it's the superior system. :D

thanks to one and all. keep it real, and thanks to fanfic.net for giving me a forum to present my work to the public. i hope you guys enjoyed Forever as much as i did writing it. a sequel to it is unlikely, but you never know, you guys may convince me to keep writing... thanks much in advance.

Quote of the Day: Oh my god, this is the greatest fanfic EVER MADE! -the author

~hustler one