Disclaimer: Characters belong to Capcom and not to me.
Rating: A good healthy T. Sexual tension is about as risque as it gets.
Author note: This is my first Resident Evil 4/Biohazard 4 fic, so please be kind. Drabble-ish, just a few random thoughts centred around the characters and their personalities. Takes place sometime soon after the events of RE 4. Jane is the name I've given to the nameless girlfriend that dumped Leon before he set off for Racoon City and met up with Clare Redfield and a city-full of zombies. ;)
Thanks: To my sister, Jeanne, for being beta on this fic. Love ya!
: A CONFLICT OF INTERESTS :
Six years is a long time to be without someone you love.
The trouble is, he doesn't know whether this is love, or whether he's been clinging to the memory of something dead and gone and safely confined to his buried past.
He's never been good at dealing with his emotions - that was the reason why Jane had dumped him the night before he'd left for Racoon City and become embroiled in that whole debacle with the Umbrella incident. But now, having warily pushed open the door of his dingy motel room, with his palm pressed against the gun lodged ominously inside its holster and his eyes squinting under the gloomy lamplight of his drab bedroom … he has an inkling that it was safer for him to love a dead woman, a memory, because loving something living and breathing is just too intimidating, it's just too much for him.
But she's living and breathing, and he still feels it, snaking red-hot and palpable, from the pit of his stomach to his chest to his throat.
Something called love, or an intimation of it, or the closest thing to it that he can ever get.
The gun is in his hand now, trembling slightly, because he has the sense that the aggression he feels is not towards the intruder but the feeling inside him. In a way it is a greater betrayal than finding out she was still alive. And it's that sense of betrayal that he wants to kill.
Slowly Leon edges himself past the door and closes it partway with his shoulder, then fully with his back. He knew ever since he'd seen the light under the door that someone was in there, but he hadn't been expecting her.
Not Ada Wong.
He squints again, lowers the gun, then just as quickly checks himself and jerks it back upright. He still can't quite believe it. Her, in that same florid crimson evening dress, standing in front of the window, across which are tightly drawn curtains of thick, brooding burgundy. Under the meagre lamplight she is cast half in shadows, her delicate features partly obscured, giving the impression of something exotic, vampiric and voluptuously predatory. It is as if those bloody curtains had spilled her involuntarily out of its dark womb, leaving no footprints from which he could follow her back to the place she came from. He has the faint impression that she materialised, ghost-like, right there by the window. Apart from the switched on lamp, she has left no other mark on his room.
"They trained you well," she greets languidly. Rich and honeyed as treacle tart; deep and cutting as coffee with a hint of chicory. Never any small talk or preliminaries with her. And yet every word she says is veiled, and now as never before he is acutely aware of it.
"No spy as good as you would broadcast your presence by leaving the light on," he replies, edging away from the door slowly with his gun still drawn. His voice is taut and husky, and lingers heavily over the word 'spy'. In the half-shadows he thinks he sees her eyelids flutter. He ignores it, and halts near the bed. He hasn't planned on having his evening ruined. He's a little angry about that as well. Two hours down the bar making good use of his precious off-duty hours, trying to lose both her and himself in the bottom of a glass of Scotch, and he still can't run away from her. "What do you want, Ada?" he asks frostily.
She doesn't move. Still she stands in the shadows, her eyes flashing in the pallid light as she blinks, once, twice, and says: "For you to put the gun down." She shows him her palms. "I'm unarmed."
He doesn't believe her. She knows he doesn't believe her. They're both too good for that. Nevertheless he lowers the gun, because despite everything a part of him still trusts her, and because he's downright tired; his bones ache with it; all he wants to do is lie down and sleep, even though he knows it won't chase the memory of her away.
"All right," he says, both wary and weary. He slips the gun back into its holster. "We're even. Now tell me."
Tell him. The phrase seems inadequate in the face of all the questions he really wants to ask her, so many that he can no longer articulate them. In the end, he doesn't bother - it's too much - how can he cover six year's worth of ground in however long they now have together? He's torn between cold analysis and torrid emotion. A lifetime of unrequited passion is pushing at the surface with all the colossal force of water against a cracked dam.
"You and I both know that there's nothing really to tell," she replies in that haughty, sexy, mocking drawl. Slowly she steps into the dim circle of light that encompasses the centre of the room. "Leon." Her voice lowers a notch, this time grave, serious. "You're in danger."
"Been in danger since you got here…" he murmurs on a quick, imperceptible inhalation.
His breath still hitches when he lays eyes on her. It always does, but he's a master at hiding it, he strangles it before it can escape him, before it can betray him. He isn't even conscious that he does it. Jane had always told him he was like a child with his emotions, that he was too scared and uncertain how to show them, and when she couldn't coax them out of him she'd left. He isn't scared or uncertain of his feelings anymore, not exactly. It's just that, in his line of business, as a government agent, as a personal bodyguard to the President and his family, emotion is a dangerous and useless commodity; it turns men into cringing cannon fodder with a conscience. And that's exactly why she's dangerous - because she brings out a part of him he's been holding in-check for longer than he cares to remember.
His eyes have become accustomed to the dimness; his eyes run over her involuntarily as the dread realisation dawns on him - that he is in more acute danger than he ever was in Spain, or in Racoon City six long years ago.
'Beautiful' doesn't quite do her justice. She has all the beauty and grace of a panther - lithe and elegant, conniving, deadly and lethal. And yet she has all the delicacy and frailty of a butterfly, a quality that makes him instinctively want to fold his arms about her and protect her. Standing there under the tawny glow of the lamplight in her figure-hugging, satin red dress, she is his crimson butterfly, one he can't pin down no matter how hard he tries. His gaze is intense as it envelops her body; he can't help it. It enfolds the curves of her hips and caresses the swell of her breasts, and she feels it like a physical thing; a smile plays across her sensuous lips, tugs at the corners of her chestnut-coloured, almond-shaped eyes. But there isn't even the trace of a blush on her face; there is triumph in that smile, and something more.
Their gazes finally meet, lock.
She reeks of sex as much as she reeks of danger, and he can't help but respond to it.
He stands a little straighter and hitches a hand on his hip.
"So what exactly am I supposed to be in danger from?" he finally questions when she says nothing.
She turns away then, breaking eye contact, walking to the nightstand with feigned insouciance, her hips rolling, swaying rhythmically. She leans her shapely butt against the table, one long leg peeking from the slit in the scarlet dress like a marble white column, and faces him. Her glance is veiled now, considering. He senses the way she invites him to gain control, the way she steals it from him as soon as he goes to snatch it. All he can do is wait for her to speak with an unwilling sensation of helplessness.
"The powers that be are watching you, Leon," she tells him at last, measured, smoky. She looks as if she wants to say more; she doesn't. The subsequent silence is as thick and heady as her presence. He laughs quietly, derisively, a little of his cockiness returned.
"The powers that be? You mean Umbrella?"
Those brown eyes are still narrowed, cat-like, taking in every movement of his with an unwavering attentiveness.
"In a manner of speaking," she answers, every word guarded.
"In a manner of speaking… As in Wesker?" he retorts pointedly, his eyes meeting hers once more, this time with anger rather than desire. "The man you're working for?"
She half-smiles, knowing. It irritates him; she has an inspired knack for making him feel impotent and hapless. He hasn't asked for her help; he hasn't asked to see her again. She lied to him. Not telling him she was still alive was enough of a lie and he doesn't want lies anymore. He's sick of them.
As it is, she neither confirms nor negates his questions. Instead she shifts her balance, crossing one leg behind the other, revealing the softness of her thigh through the slit, making him swallow involuntarily.
"You were supposed to be killed during the incident back in Spain," she informs him coolly, matter-of-factly, yet still not without a trace of seduction in her honeycomb voice. "You were merely an unforeseen thorn in the side of the puppet-masters that ran the show, and now you're nothing more than a loose thread just waiting to be tied up." She pauses, weighing the next sentence carefully in her mind before letting it out. "I came here to warn you."
"And why should I trust you?" he spits out, almost unbidden, with more venom than he'd ever been intending to show. At the words something flashes across the elegant Oriental features - hurt, anger, disdain - and he almost regrets his outburst, he almost wishes he could catch it back, if not for the fact that he wants her to finally know just how much she betrayed him. She feels it. Her neck tightens slightly at the accusation in his voice.
"Because we were partners, Leon," she returns – this time her tone is low, and there's something conciliatory in it. "And because I owed you my life."
She stands again, somewhat agitated; and yet her words have closed over the spurt of rage and indignation inside him, and now he truly regrets what he said. Still, he finds he has no words to speak.
"Just watch your back, okay?" she says softly, quietly, her arms crossed tight against her chest as if to suddenly offer protection from something unknown. "There are bigger things at work in this world than you ever imagined, Leon. Bigger things even than Umbrella, even than the far-reaching arm of your present employer. Even Saddler and the Los Illuminados were small fry compared to what remains hidden and faceless behind the blinders that shroud us from the truth."
A little of the rancour has gone out of her now, just as it has gone out of him - she drops her arms neutrally to her side; he passes an agitated hand through his hair and says, a little disparagingly: "And you know the truth?"
The ghost of a smile flickers over her lips.
And suddenly it hits him.
"It was your mission to get me out of the way," he murmurs.
She turns to the window, pulls back the heavy curtains and peers out into the night. She says nothing.
"Why did you let me go?" he asks.
She drops the curtain and stares blankly - or intently - at the swathes of dusky red material, her eyes absent, far-away.
"For the same reason I'm here now," she answers in an undertone. It's a chink in her armour, but she doesn't care now, not even if he recognises it. And he's no fool. He does recognise it. Besides that sliver of light she's shown him, everything else about her remains as unfathomable to him as it was the first day he met her. And maybe that's why he can't let go, even now that he knows she's alive and she's real and no longer just a pretty memory. Because she's still an unopened book to him, and he doesn't really know if the real her is the part that he's in-love with. Because he's still trying to figure it out, even though he knows he never will.
She swivels round again, nonchalant and seductive once more. She crosses the room with a swish of fine, red satin and comes to him in an opulent display of hips and breasts and legs. He doesn't move. He doesn't move when she stands within an inch of him, when she twists her face close to his neck and he feels her breath caressing him lightly there, making his veins thrum with a flame so blistering it's as if she's burnt him. He can smell the scent of white musk on her, thick and voluptuous; the fragrance of her raven hair subtly steals through his senses. She doesn't touch him and he doesn't touch her. The connection would be too much, too risky. For their worlds to collide would invite their own deaths. He has never known her; and yet he has never felt further from her than this moment, with her standing so close.
There is silence for a long moment, a silence that envelops them in an embrace that their arms and their bodies can never articulate.
"Take care of yourself, Leon," she finally whispers, silken-voiced, against his neck. "Stay alive."
It's what he does; she knows he won't fail her. Without even an inkling of remorse or regret she whirls away from him, an eddy of crimson skirts and before he can call her back she has crossed the room, she has flung apart the curtains and leapt out of the open window, the night swallowing her up into its inky depths.
He goes to the window, he looks down into the alley and sees nothing.
The crimson butterfly is gone, fluttering, fragile and ephemeral, into the dead of night.
She comes to rest on a distant rooftop, a little breathless from both the excursion and the physical effort. Not even a frown disrupts the impassive mask of equanimity she wears on her flawless, porcelain face.
She rarely stops, not for anything; but now she pauses on the rooftop, under the stars, as if uncertain where to go and what to do next. Her expression is shrouded, but her eyes are alive, betraying a little sadness, a little regret.
So much could have happened, if not for the fact that she is not the woman she once was, and six years have changed both them and circumstance so much that anything more could not be possible.
She has scars; scars of a past life that is long dead, but that will not heal. He's a part of that life, a reminder of the woman she once knew as Ada Wong, a trinket she can't bear to let go of. And she knows that she is the same for him. Their connection runs deeper than just mere lust, need, and physical attraction. They're both infatuated with a memory, with a wish for something neither of them can get back.
She begins to walk again, heels crunching in the grit, a little aimless yet feeling oddly unburdened from something that has weighed her down for many years now. She has no idea where Wesker is, or what he is up to. No doubt he has discovered her deception. No doubt he wants her dead a thousand times more than he wants Leon dead. She is Albert Wesker's loose thread, as much as Leon S. Kennedy is hers. Sometimes, tying up loose ends means weaving even more lies in the process. And she'd hated to lie to him, but she'd had to see him one last time. Even if it killed him, her, them for good.
At least, if the worst came to the worst, and Wesker was baying for Leon's blood, he'd have a head start. And as for her… Well, Wesker was only a middle-sized fish in a very big pond. She had bigger things to attend to, and her out-of-hours excursion with Leon had wasted her valuable time.
She looked back once over her shoulder and smiled slightly.
In a way she was watching his back all over again.
She just wished that she could tell him the truth, so that he could watch hers too.
Nevertheless, small comforts were a blessing to people like her. She couldn't kill his ghost, she couldn't even put it to rest, but at least she could soothe it, just a little.
Sighing, she began to stride over the rooftops with a little more purpose, the gun weighing a little less heavy at her thigh.
For Ada Wong, it was now just another night of business.