Leon pulled at the collar of his suit and for the millionth time wished his hands weren't sweating so much.
In a few moments he and his bride to be would take the spotlight in front of the chapel, and he was deathly afraid. Not of being married, but of screwing it up. It would be just his luck to begin sabotaging his marriage at the wedding itself.
No, that was negative thinking. Positive thoughts – that was the key. Out with the bad, in with the good and all that other new age bullshit that ended up on public access television and in small bookstores.
"How are you holding up?" It was Jonathan, looking predictably smug at the thought of his Agent marrying off.
"I've been better."
"Not after tonight you won't have been," his boss chuckled, looking over Leon in his tuxedo. His eyes softened and took on a distant look. "Did I ever tell you about my wife, Leon?"
Leon had seen pictures in Jonathan's office of a woman with dark hair and a bright smile, but knew nothing other than her appearance. "No, you haven't."
"We were married for the best fourteen years of my life. The cancer took her from me," John said with an old pain in his eyes. "I've always regretted the time I spent at the office instead of with her. You never know how long you have to be happy." The older man shook himself from the memories. "Anyway, maybe now isn't the proper time, but I wanted you to know I just got back from a meeting with the Board. You've been promoted."
Leon smiled, genuinely pleased and grateful to hear it. "Thank you sir."
"I've moved you up to be under my direct supervision, you won't be pulling jobs from the Agent pool anymore. There are a lot of missions that could benefit in the planning stages from your extensive experience."
"Am I grounded?" It was a term that Agents used much the same way it was in the Air Force – no more active field assignments. Leon wasn't sure how to feel about that. On one hand it would make it much easier to spend time with Ashley, and the risks associated with black ops work were all but eliminated. On the other hand, he would miss working in the field, and could see a desk job quickly becoming stale.
"Not exactly. As my operations expert you'll be going where I go, which means a lot of overseas travel and otherwise. And of course, who's to say every now and then whether an assignment might require your personal intervention."
Now things were definitely looking up. His new role in the Agency would allow him a great deal of flexibility. "Thank you very much, sir, I won't let you down."
Jonathon snorted. "Of course you won't, if you did I wouldn't have put you in this position. Fuckups aren't allowed in this business." He turned back to the door. "We'll discuss this more when you return to work. Enjoy your honeymoon."
Leon grinned. "You can count on that."
Back for round two, eh? Welcome to Tenebrae 2.0, or Two-Point-Fucking-Oh, as I like to call it. Well, okay, I just made that up. But I promise to call it that from now on to make it up to you.
This version of Tenebrae (Two-Point-Fucking-Oh) has been edited and cleaned until it shines, so now you can clearly see all of the plot holes without the grime of bad grammar to distract you. Theoretically this might enhance your reading experience, but I really don't see how. I suppose in that way, this story is like a car. You can wash it off and wax it, but that doesn't get rid of the dead body in the trunk. The dead HOOKER body! Yes, that's right, I've abandoned all vestiges of class and reason to include a 'dead hooker in the trunk joke' in my author's note. That when you know a writer's got style.
There's really not much to say regarding this story, or dead hookers, for that matter. I've undertaken this entirely superfluous effort to polish my past work based on the following two observations, which I will present in fancy bullet point fashion:
1. Tenebrae is my most popular story. I've netted over a hundred reviews with a paltry word count, making it by far the work that has my best chapter to review ratio. And, like a major motion picture studio, I just can't stay away from a guaranteed profit, although, unlike a major motion picture studio, I have yet to churn out a subpar sequel.
2. The second observation ties right into the first, which makes these bullet points most excellently relevant. This story has passed the 40,000 hit mark. I wanted to do something t to celebrate, but I'm too cheap to throw a party (who would come?) and not cheap enough to get drunk by myself (that's a lie). So instead I'm giving to my readers an updated version (Two-Point-Fucking-Oh) of Tenebrae, when what they really want is a sequel or at least additional chapters. This clearly demonstrates that I am in tune with the demands of my audience.
3. When I said there were two observations, I lied, because as you can see there are three bullet points. This story has currently been added to over 80 favorites. Going by the number of people that have me on their favorites list, a lot more people like my story than like me, which is unsurprising.
So that's that. And what is it – you might ask if you cared, which is doubtful – that I like best about this story? Well, let's see… The sex and the violence are always a big plus, but I'm going to have to say that I like having finally written a defining niche story.
You know what I'm talking about. There's always that one story, that story that everyone point you to when you're looking for a fanfic that has a particular pairing. Somehow, I became that story for Leon\Ashley fanfiction. When I posted this fic I stepped into a vacuum – there were practically no other stories with the same pairing around. Because of that, I became the de facto king of the mountain.
The best part of that is inspiring other people. In the wake of Tenebrae (the original version, not Two-Point-Fucking-Oh) I've seen other Leon\Ashley fics spring up. Sure, that's probably just a coincidence and they have nothing to do with me, but it gives me an excuse to masturbate in self-satisfaction (do I really need an excuse?).
Now if you are a desperate individual who has nothing better to do with their time than read all of this self-serving bullshit, you may be interested in how Tenebrae was written. Well, I don't have any insights to offer as to how Two-Point-Fucking-Oh was made, since all I did was edit my old crap, but here's what my previous author's note had to say about the original version.
Thank you for reading Tenebrae! You've just finished a Resident Evil 4 fanfiction, losing precious hours of your life that you can never get back! This is hardly relevant because you'd just waste them anyway on other such meaningful pursuits as looking through Sharper Image catalogues, watching reality TV, drinking Frappacinos and ordering pay-per-view pornography and\or wrestling.
The idea for this story came to me as I was playing Resident Evil 4 on my widescreen television which is better than yours. That idea being to flatly plagiarize the game in written form. I began to implement this idea with what was originally the first chapter, a boring rehash of things you already knew. That starting chapter is now chapter two since I added a new prologue. (Those of you reading this at will be confused as I never bothered to add the new Prologue) This 'boring rehash' concept continued with the 'Scenes from a Waking' chapters, the monotony of which was briefly broken by the stirringly original 'The Reasons of Things'. I then constructed a loose and flimsy structure of occurrences to support my large array of goals for the story, those goals in fact only being one goal. This goal can be condensed into the easily chewable summary of, 'Leon and Ashley have sex.'.
Stuffing my face with frozen pizza and stealing heavily from multiple better fanfics, I completed that goal with the minimum of effort expended on my part. Once 'Implosion' was completed (The entire concept of which was utterly pirated from the X-Files fanfiction 'Solitary Confinement', which can be found in the 'Whispers of X' archive) the story was essentially finished. Desperate for the continued attention of people on the internet I'll never meet and who may or may not be real, I dragged it out until it was stretched so thin you could see through it.
And that, really, is all there is to say. The new prologue was inspired by the 'Zombie Survival Handbook' and all the similar italicized blurbs it contains. A fair amount of research was done. All Spanish locations listed in this story are real with obvious exception of the Salazar Estates. 'Illuminados' really would appear to be the Spanish equivalent of 'Illuminati', the not-so-secret world controlling organization so popular in fiction and otherwise. All usage of the Spanish language was either taken directly from the game or badly translated.
Wow, the past version of me sure was a fucktard.
Anyway, thanks for reading my 'story'. I've successfully distracted you from going to the library, picking up a real book, and actually learning something. And who knows, perhaps someday one of those books you pick up will be mine! Then we'll finally know that the end times will be upon us, and Satan will totally pitchfork you in the ass.