The Gift

An Eternal Darkness/Resident Evil crossover

A/N: Well, I got a couple of reviews saying I should continue, so here I go, poking out into the world with Chapter 2. poke poke Hello? Anyone there? Me again…Bear in mind that I have no set plan for this fic, so forgive the plot disjointedness. Oh, and in response to a few readers' queries: 1) No, none of the original characters from the S.D. Perry novels will be in this fic, as I haven't read them. 2) No one from the movies will be here either, on the grounds that the movies exist in their own little sub-continuity and are in no way relevant to the games.

Onward!


The Darkness is coming.

Claire read the note over and over again, trying to glean some additional meaning from it. Who had found Chris? What was the Darkness? Why wouldn't she be safe with him anymore?

But as much as she read it, the brief scribbled message had no answers.

Chris hadn't woken during the ambulance ride—hadn't even stirred. The doctors had insisted that she stay in the waiting room while they tended to Chris as best they could.

So, for the past half-hour, she'd been staring at the note, wondering.

The Darkness is coming. Did it have some hidden meaning? Was there some clue that she was supposed to find? It didn't seem likely; she could tell from the handwriting on the note that Chris had written it in a panic. He probably didn't have the time to leave any secret messages.

Even if that was the case, there had to be something he had wanted to tell her. After all, did he really think she'd run away after something like this happened to him? She'd never do that, and Chris knew it.

It suddenly occurred to her that although the note didn't mean anything to her, there were two people who knew Chris as well or better than she did: Barry Burton and Jill Valentine. Maybe they knew something she didn't.

She pulled out her cell-phone and was about to dial Barry's number, but a stern look from the receptionist made her step outside the waiting room before she made the call.

Barry's phone rang five times before someone finally picked up. Unfortunately, that 'someone' turned out to be the answering machine.

"Hi! You've reached the Burton family household." Claire sighed as Mrs. Burton's cheerful voice played the prerecorded message. "We're not available right now, so please leave your name and number after the beep and we'll call you back as soon as we can. Have a great day!"

A little too late for that, Claire thought as the message ended. "Hi, Barry? This is Claire—you know, Chris' sister? Listen, someone broke into our house while Chris was in it, and he…got hurt. He's in the hospital right now. Please call me back, I really need to talk to you about this." She hung up, then tried Jill's number. She hoped Jill was home, as the ex-S.T.A.R.S. was notorious for never checking her messages.

Thankfully, Jill picked up after two rings. "Hello?"

"Jill? It's Claire."

"Claire Redfield? How've you been?" There was a smile in her voice. "I haven't talked to you in forever! You never call me, you know."

"I know, I know. Jill, I'd love to catch up with you, but this is serious."

"What happened?"

"Someone broke into our house while Chris was in it."

She heard Jill gasp. "Is he okay?"

"No. Whoever it was hurt him really badly. He's in the hospital right now. The doctors said he'll live, but he's not in very good condition."

"My God…Claire, when did this happen?"

"Just this evening. There's something else, too. Before the break-in, Chris left me this note. The police say they found it near him."

"What does it say?"

Claire read the note to Jill. "Does that mean anything to you? I don't understand it."

"No. It doesn't make any sense to me either. Look, what do you say I come over there so we can talk about this?"

"Yeah, could you? We're at the Cary Central Hospital, the one right off the highway. Call me back when you get here, okay?"

"I'll be there as soon as I can." The line went dead. Claire pocketed her phone and stepped back into the waiting room just in time for a nurse to walk in.

"Miss Redfield?"

"Yeah?"

"You can visit your brother now, if you'd like."


Chris was still unconscious, although from the sound of the ECG his heartbeat was steady. He was covered in bandages and hooked up to an IV.

"When do you think he'll wake up?" Claire asked the nurse standing by his bed.

"We don't know." She replied, checking her clipboard. "His condition's stable, but there's no telling when he'll come out of the coma." She caught sight of Claire's face and smiled. "Cheer up. Once he does wake up, he'll be fine. And I don't think it'll take longer than a few weeks for that to happen."

"If you say so." Claire didn't smile back. If only the nurse knew what a long time a few weeks could be.

She sat there at her brother's side for a long while, watching him, wishing he'd wake up. Even if Chris was okay, she thought, that didn't really help. It had been years since Raccoon City, years since she'd been separated. They'd been so close to being a normal brother and sister—to being just two people, and now this happened. Why? Why did this kind of thing always happen? Was Chris not allowed to have a normal life?

She didn't realize that she had started to cry until the same nurse offered her a box of tissues.

"Thank you." She took a tissue. "Sorry about that."

"You've got nothing to be sorry about." The nurse insisted. "I think you should probably go home now and get some sleep. I promise, we'll take very good care of him."

Behind them, a window shattered. Claire whirled around to see what had happened and saw—

She gasped, and her eyes opened wide. She wasn't entirely sure what it was she was seeing, but even after Raccoon City, the thing that was standing in a carpet of broken glass didn't seem possible. It was huge and misshapen and stared at her through far too many eyes—

Through far too many heads. The thing had three.

Behind her, the nurse screamed. Claire ignored her, by turns staring at the thing and searching for some means of defense. Her mind raced as she scanned the room. A scalpel? Too small. The IV stand? She couldn't use it without ripping out Chris' IV…

The creature let out a horrible sound and began plodding toward Chris' bed. Frantic, Claire picked up the chair she had been sitting in and hit the monster as hard as she could.

The monster flinched, but quickly recovered, swinging at Claire with a huge claw. Claire danced out of the way just in time to avoid it, and it continued walking toward Chris. Claire, in response, grabbed the dented chair and rammed it legs-first into the monster's back.

It screamed, turned around, and swung for Claire again. This time she couldn't get out of its way. The force of the blow threw her back against a wall, knocking over a tray of bandages and gauze. She curled up, clutching at her stomach where the claws sliced through her flesh. When she finally looked up again, the thing was still making its way toward Chris; it was within a few steps of the hospital bed.

Thinking fast, Claire dove for the bed, pushing Chris off just as the thing swung at him. Under the bandages his cuts were freshly bleeding from the sudden movement, but it was better than the alternative.

The thing pulled its claws out of the bed, ripping up the sheets and mattresses, and roared at Claire. She looked up at it, trying to figure out what to do next. It was too close; the next time it swung, it would hit either her or Chris, and there wasn't enough time to get out of the way…

Three gunshots rang from the other side of the room, and the creature reared back, screeching in pain. Someone must have called the police, Claire thought, or maybe they were security guards. Whoever they were, two uniformed men with handguns were shooting at the creature's face, and that had stopped it in its tracks. They both emptied their clips into it before it finally collapsed on the floor.

Claire looked over her brother. He was still breathing, and his pulse was still regular. She sighed with relief, then winced at the pain in her stomach.

"Somebody get a doctor in here." She heard one of them shout. She tried to get to her feet, but lightheadedness overtook her, and she decided against it.

A crew of doctors and nurses slowly inched their way into the room, looking uneasily at the corpse of the creature.

Eventually, two of them approached Claire and helped her onto a stretcher—taking her to her own hospital bed, she assumed. As they carried her off, she looked back at her brother, who was being lifted back into his own bed.

Please get here soon, Jill. Claire thought. I can't leave him alone…


"See? I knew it." Sherry sat back down. "I knew you could see him. Everyone else told me it was just my imagination."

Wesker shook his head. Shock had given way to disbelief. "This isn't possible." He said at last.

"I'm afraid it is." The figure was still very quiet, although he seemed more visible now. "And believe me, I wish I didn't have to tell you that. I know you don't want to believe it, that everything you've always known tells you that this shouldn't be happening. But it is." He walked over to the light switch. "It was hard for me to accept too, at first."

He flipped off the lights, and in the dimmer light of the bedside lamp it became clear that the man was indeed William Birkin.

At least, it looked like him. Mostly. Except that his skin and hair and clothing were all in shades of blue. And he was translucent. And his eyes were empty holes.

"It isn't possible." Wesker repeated. "You're dead. You've been dead for years. You can't--"

"I am dead, Albert." Birkin cut him off. "I'm a ghost. A spirit. That's why I look like this."

"Ghosts don't exist." He protested.

"I'm here, aren't I?" Birkin shrugged.

Wesker closed his eyes and pressed his hands to his forehead, willing it all to make sense. "Then you're not real." He concluded. "You're some dream or hallucination. I'll wake up in my own bed in a few hours—or in the infirmary bed, I suppose, if I've become this delusional."

"You are not dreaming." Birkin said firmly. "And, after all, is it really so hard to believe? You spent your whole career bringing the dead back to life. Look at what happened to you."

"We worked with viruses, mutagens, parasites, Will—things that are entirely real. Not 'ghosts'."

Birkin hesitated a moment. In retrospect, he should've seen this coming. Had he honestly expected Wesker to relinquish his death-grip on logic just because he had told him to? "What do I have to do, Albert? What can I say to make you believe me?"

"There's nothing. I don't believe you. This isn't real. It can't be." But something was different. He didn't sound quite as sure as he did before.

"You can keep telling yourself that. It's not going to make this any less real." Birkin walked up to Wesker and, with no warning, threw a punch at his head.

It went straight through him.

"You're about to tell me," Birkin continued speaking, although Wesker could barely listen through what felt like a terminal case of brainfreeze, "that even in dreams or delusions, a person can experience physical sensations such as pain. Correct?"

Wesker nodded, an action he quickly regretted as the numbing cold lanced through his head.

"But I am going to reply that the mind can only duplicate a physical sensation that it has previously experienced. I don't believe that this has ever happened to you before, Albert."

"No, Will, it hasn't, you've made your point." He replied. "Now would you stop?"

Birkin obliged, pulling his fist away, and Wesker put a hand to his forehead. "I," he announced, regaining his composure, "am going to have a bitch of a migraine in the morning. Thanks, Will."

"No trouble. Convinced yet?"

Wesker avoided the question. "Why are you here?"

Birkin smiled, evidently satisfied with his answer. "I'm here because there's something very important that I think you should know about, something of rather pressing concern. And I needed to talk to you, specifically, because I knew you were the most likely to believe—there's that word again—what I was going to say."

"I was--"

"Yes. If I was about to say something impossible, I'd prefer to say it to someone who knew who I was and was confident that I was not a raving lunatic while I was living. Make sense?"

"As much sense as anything else tonight." Wesker grumbled, mostly to himself. "So you expected me to believe that ghosts exist just because I knew you?"

"The existence of ghosts," Birkin continued, "was not the 'something impossible' I needed to tell you."

There was a moment of silence.

"What was it, then?" Wesker asked, very quietly.

Birkin smiled in response. "I needed to tell you, Albert," he said, staring at him with empty eyes, "that there are worlds beyond our own."

End Chapter 2

Yay, at last I update! Review if you like it! Please.