Title: Final Illuminations

Author: Malenkaya

Rating: R for violence and swearing

Summary: RE movie fanfiction. In this sequel to "Fading Away" and "Into the Light", Alice, Michael, Rain and J.D continue in their efforts to defeat Umbrella, finding along the way new allies, new enemies—and new hope for Matthew Addison.

Disclaimer: Due to the fact that nobody out there seems to be using it, I now own Resident Evil and all it's franchise:) I expect to become very, very rich over the next few days.

I am, of course, just kidding :) I own nothing here but my own ideas.

Feedback: Please! I live and breathe reviews! Flames, as long as they're explanatory, are fine.

Author's Notes:

Hello again to all former readers, and welcome to those who are new. I highly suggest you read "Fading Away" and "Into the Light" first if you want to fully understand "Final Illuminations".

Firstly, as you most likely have noticed, yes, this chapter has been posted before. However, with the addition of an actual title, I was forced to replace the former, although the content remains the same. Thanks very much to all those who read and continue to review, I really appreciate it.

If you'd like to review again, please feel free to do so, as all reviews will probably be lost in the process :)

Chapter two will be up this Friday for those interested.

Chapter One: Echoing Silence

"We stayed in the hotel room for another month before Hades found us."

Creak.

Alice shot out of bed, breathing harshly, wide blue eyes taking in the room around her.

It was empty, almost eerily calm; Michael lay next to her, snoring softly, and the bed across from them was bare.

Rain and J.D had obviously gone out again.

She let out a sharp sigh, pushing wavy blond locks of hair behind her ear as she gathered her thoughts, glancing around the room for the source of the noise.

The door was still closed, and even from here Alice could see the locks on it were still firmly clasped.

Another creaking sound rang through the room, and she slipped out of the covers effortlessly, her bare feet padding the soft carpet as she stood, her posture cautious as she took in the plain scene around her—

And finally identified the source of the noise.

The Bellagio's master bedroom housed a full wall of floor to ceiling length windows, loosely covered by silky blue curtains sweeping over the floor.

One of the windows was open, and the weights at the bottoms of the curtains creaked ever so slightly as they slid in and out of the gap, dancing like ghosts in the wind.

Resisting the urge to shiver, Alice crossed the room and shut the window.

Instant silence; but a chill still ran through the room, and Alice was uneasy.

Part of her knew that, logically, things here were safe; that there hadn't been an attack since they'd arrived here. Part of her wanted to forget that she'd woken up, crawl back into bed and catch up on some much-needed sleep, lose herself in dreams of the love she'd lost weeks ago.

But a bigger part of her— the part Matt had always called her leadership side, the one which Rain had given the sarcastic nickname of "Mommy", the one which she had always depended upon to get them through another battle— wouldn't let her relax.

Almost as a second thought, she lifted the automatic handgun off the side table where she left it when she slept, flicking the safety off absentmindedly as she stared out the window.

She wished J.D and Rain would stop leaving during the night. She knew that they were both adults, that they could technically do whatever the hell they wanted to— but she still felt responsible for their group, for their safety.

She still felt guilty for Matt, for the drastic errors she had made on that last mission to the Hive, and had resolved never to make the same disastrous mistakes with what was left of her team.

The doorknob moved.

Alice snapped to attention, leveling her gun at the door, moving to the bed to wake up Michael, to warn him—

But then she heard a quiet snicker on the other side, followed by J.D's characteristically drunken giggling, and lowered it in exasperation as the door crashed open and J.D and Rain came stumbling in, both of them obviously completely drunk.

"Oh." Rain stopped dead when she saw Alice standing there glaring at her, offering a weak grin. "Oops."

She laughed. J.D laughed stupidly in response.

Alice just stood there, torn between two responses— the first being anger, irritation, and exasperation with their recklessness. Umbrella was still looking for them, and they were wandering around Las Vegas completely drunk, most likely unarmed—

But they were safe. Michael was safe, and things were fine, there was no reason to feel so uneasy---

And then the window crashed open, and in a blazing mess of shattered glass and blood, Hades came flying in.

"We didn't have a chance," Alice concluded grimly.

"Last time Hades had attacked us, we'd had five people fighting it; and we still lost. We lost Kaplan, and we still couldn't beat it."

She shifted slightly, closing her eyes against the thought of Kaplan, at the guilt the memory brought up inside of her as she finished softly,

"This time, there was no way any of us were going to get out of there alive."

She was looking through a river of redness and gore.

Blood was trickling down her forehead, into her eyes, and where Alice lay, slumped against the wall where Hades had thrown her, she couldn't even lift a hand to wipe it away.

Her skin was burning where Hades had touched her.

She could hear J.D and Rain shouting, and was amazed despite herself at how well they could still work despite their lack of sobriety.

Michael, like her, had already been incapacitated; she couldn't hear him moving, and was worried he'd been knocked unconscious, injured badly, or worse, killed.

Hades was roaring, and the sound of it filled her ears as it turned, advancing on her again, and she watched blearily, cringing despite herself at the remnants of her husband that she could still see in his face—

And then Rain and J.D were there again, tearing him away, and he turned, latching onto Rain's shoulder—

And then Rain was screaming in pain, louder than Alice had ever heard her; and J.D was shouting her name, pulling her out of harm's way even as Hades advanced on them.

And watching them then, through the haze of bloody pain, Alice understood it was already over.

They were lost.

And then he entered the room.

With a single bullet, he brought Hades down, screaming in pain, leaving Alice staring dumbly; they'd been shooting the monstrosity with what felt like a thousand bullets, and none of them had even slowed down the mutation—

And while Hades was distracted, fallen just as the rest of them were, he turned to her, flicking white blond hair out of his eyes, shouting, "Are you okay?"

Alice couldn't answer, and he swore, starting for her—

But Hades was standing again, and he turned instead, aiming a silvery gun at the monster's forehead—

And pulled the trigger.

Alice watched, braced herself; she was aware suddenly of Michael standing beside her, injecting her with something even as he held a cloth over her forehead, slowing the bleeding slightly. Hades stumbled—

And screaming, turned and leapt, with a violent crash, back out the window through which he'd come.

Alice could hear hotel guests and other passerby screaming outside, and stood unsteadily, taking the steady shoulder Michael offered her.

Her vision was clearing, and she realized suddenly that Michael had injected her with a surge of adrenaline, nodding her thanks to him as she pulled away, staring at the stranger—

Who was staring back at her, blue-grey eyes unreadable as he said shortly, "This will only incapacitate him for a temporary amount of time, we really should be going."

He spoke with a slight Russian accent, lending to his words a crisp politeness absurd in the scene, and Alice wanted to ask who he was, how he'd gotten here, why the hell he was even here helping them—

But J.D and Rain were hustling past her, Michael following closely behind, and Alice realized this wasn't the time to be asking questions.

Following the stranger's lead, they took a back entrance out of the hotel, past the still screaming crowd, and through the city, ending up finally in a back alley behind one of Vegas's more seedy strip clubs before they had to stop, Michael leaning against the wall, all five of them panting harshly.

"We're far enough now that Hades will report to Umbrella headquarters before coming after you again," the man said, exhaustion lending a harsh tone to his voice.

He threw the silvery gun on the ground, and for the first time, Alice could clearly see the words written across the butt of it.

Property of Umbrella Corporation.

"They'll immunize him against this," he said, his tone disgusted. "It's of no use now."

They were all gaping at him, but Rain, true to her nature, was first to break the shocked silence.

"Who the fuck are you?" she asked sharply.

He looked distinctly surprised, his blue eyes icy and cold as he glanced at her.

"I'm Alexei Demitrov," he said.

"He saved us, he's been with us ever since, and none of us know who he is."

Alice let out a heavy breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding. The stone was cool and solid against her fingertips, calming her slightly as she added, "We know his backstory, everything Olivia told us. We know where he's from, and he says he's interested in taking down the Corporation."

"Other than that, we know nothing. We have no idea who he's allied with, or whether or not we're supposed to trust him now."

She wished Matt was here, that he could meet Alexei and know him the way they all did now. Matt had always been the best judge of character, and even now...

"Rain trusts him completely," she said abruptly. "The two of them couldn't stand each other in the beginning, and now they're inseparable. J.D already hates him, and Michael... I'm not sure what Michael thinks."

She paused, before adding softly, "And after Olivia, I don't trust anyone. Not anymore."

Another person who'd died under her watch; the only death she hadn't felt guilty for.

It had been because of Olivia that Matt had ended up locked beneath the Hive, left to mutate, to die alone; it had been Olivia who'd wormed her way into their group, forcing them to trust her, only to turn and betray them all as soon as the need suited her.

Alice didn't know what J.D had done to the biochemist. She didn't want to know.

But whatever it was, she knew Olivia deserved it, just as Archangelo had deserved his ultimate fate.

Her fingers were tracing the cool stone almost absentmindedly, spelling out words she'd already learned by heart; words she'd spoken herself, time and time again, and continued to even now, even when she knew he was beyond hearing anymore.

"I don't know what to do," she said abruptly. "Every decision I make, I'm terrified I'm making the wrong choice; that we'll end up trapped again, like we were in the Hive. That I'll lose another team member because of another stupid choice I've made, and I don't—"

She leaned her forehead against the rough stone, and wished, not for the first time, that he was here with her; that he would wrap his arms around her, tell her that it was all okay, help her to lead this team; to keep them all safe again.

Her eyes were closed, and she could feel a tear begin to escape as she continued, "I keep remembering that last day— forcing all of you into the room with me, being attacked. Dragging Rain along to the point of collapse, ignoring Michael completely. Putting everything into Olivia, just to save you—"

"And I knew," she continued bitterly, cutting off her own words, "That she would betray us. God, I knew, and I was desperate enough—I still trusted her."

She was quiet for a moment, feeling the tears slip freely down her cheeks as she whispered, "Matt, I'm sorry. I can't do this anymore, and I need you so badly—"

"Miss?"

She looked up in surprise, years of training in armed combat giving way to a defensive position, her hand flying to her concealed handgun before realizing that it was only a kid, his brown eyes nervous as he stared at her.

He was carrying a shovel, his red hair messy around his young face as he said apologetically, "Miss, the cemetery is closing. You need to be going now."

She stared at him blankly for a moment, and then muttered some words of assent, pushing her hair back behind her ears as she suddenly took in the shocking normality of the scene she was in— sitting in front of a tombstone, a fresh bouquet of pink roses clutched in her hand, blond hair messy and eyes red.

Like an ordinary, innocent girl, mourning the loss of a boyfriend or lover.

Alice wished it were that simple.

Somewhere along the way, the light rain she'd walked here in had turned into a torrential downpour, raindrops sliding through her hair and off her black raincoat, dropping soundlessly onto the grass beneath her.

She waited until the worker had moved beyond hearing range before turning back to the smooth headstone in front of her.

The inscription was simple: Matthew Jason Addison. 1977-2004.

It was all they could think of to write, all they'd wanted to write. Matt was so much more than some ridiculous inscription, and none of them had been able to stand the typical, weak sentiments on the other headstones.

Matthew Addison— A Loving Friend.

Matthew Addison— We Miss You.

Matthew Addison— You Walk Among The Angels Now.

Matt had always walked among the angels.

Alice touched the inscription softly, letting the flowers drop from her numb hands to the grass beneath them.

"Tomorrow's the final battle," she said softly, wiping way a final tear as she added, "We're going to beat Umbrella, and we're going to finish this, once and for all."

Once she had been terrified; and now she knew only a grim sort of determination, a dark sort of certainty in their mission.

All that was left was victory; failure was unacceptable.

There was too much riding on this mission now. Alice had been ready to give up, had been ready to hand the reins over to Michael, leave to God knows where— anything, to get away from the memories and her own uncertainties and guilt.

But then he'd found her last week, had cornered her with the unarguable news. Had finally done what no one else had been able to.

He'd given her something worth fighting for.

"Matt," she whispered. "It's not too late."

"Matt, there's still a cure."