Author's note: I've never written in this fandom before, so I'm slightly nervous, but my muse just got the idea one night and had me write it. Hope it's IC and it's purely movie-verse, as I've never played any of the games or know much about them. I'd appreciate some reviews, please.

Disclaimer: I don't own it, please don't sue me.


DELAYED REACTION

Carlos' hadn't realized how hard he'd taken Alice's loss until he looked up at her, barely covered, almost shivering, clean and healthy though - alive. He hadn't fully registered just how much he'd missed her since the disaster they had wanted to call their escape. In a way he supposed it had been, but it had nearly killed them all when they saw Alice on the ground, seemingly dead.

It'd been Jill who had kept them together the first few days. Carlos had been a wreck, and he'd known it, but for a while he hadn't been able to do anything about it. He'd tried though, succeeding after a week. But he'd still hurt, still missed her. He just hadn't realized how much.

They all missed her, it would be selfish for him to say he missed her the most. Angela missed her terribly, Jill tried not to show it but it was obvious she mourned for their supposedly fallen friend. Even L. J. had been down for a few weeks. But Carlos and Jill had managed to keep it together, though Jill had handled it better than him.

That should have been his first clue, really. He'd had more trouble with his emotions getting the better of him than a woman. A tough woman, almost as tough as Alice, but still. He should have realized how much he'd grown attached to Alice at that point.

She'd been a fellow soldier, an equal. Jill hadn't become that until she'd had to, but Alice had been that the moment she and Carlos met. She'd suffered even more from Umbrella than any of them, except his fallen comrades, but possibly more than them. After all, she'd had to bear all that pain. But she hadn't let it weight her down, hadn't let it take control. She'd dealt with it, used it, turned it into fuel.

Carlos admired that in her. He'd admired plenty else, and her looks were just a nice bonus. He didn't kid himself. He'd found her attractive. But just as much for the fact that she was as tough or tougher than he was, but humble enough to accept help.

Still, though he had always known he was taking it hard, he missed her, he had never fully registered how hard. Not even the overwhelming joy he'd felt when they learned Alice was alive did he figure it out. He had a thick skull, apparently.

But now, standing there, looking up at her, it hit him. It made his breath catch in his throat, his heart stop for a moment, his eyes widen and almost tear up as he gulped and made his body function again. It was like a physical blow almost, and he'd been unable to keep his reaction from being fully hidden. He didn't know if she returned it, if she felt the same seeing him, seeing all of them, but that didn't matter right now.

All that mattered was she was safe, and he could finally realize just how much he cared about her.