Author's note: I do not own Resident Evil, the characters or anything else made by CAPCOM. The only thing I own is this scenario.
This story will fall under multiple genres like angst, romance, adventure, and slice-of-life (if that was a category). Also, it was a pain in the neck trying to come up with a title for this story.
It's finally over.
Words. That's all they would ever be. Because it was never truly over. It would never be over. Not for people like him. And that's all he could think as he lay in a hospital bed, drifting in and out of consciousness. With what little strength he had he attempted to recount the past few days. The memories were choppy and distorted.
Leon S. Kennedy had escaped from the nightmare that was the European country of Pueblo and its surrounding areas. He had gone there to rescue the Ashley Graham, the president's daughter. It had seemed like such a simple mission. But then again, nothing was ever easy. And it had been an arduous couple of days. At least, that's what it had seemed like. His track of time had become skewed, making it impossible to determine how many days he'd been there. If he had to ball-park it, Leon knew it had to have been two or perhaps three at the most. Time there seemed to run together. It had been difficult. But the mission was a success. He and Ashley made out alive. Barely.
The mission had actually turned out to be much worse than he had originally predicted. In the past six years working as a government agent, Leon had run into his fair share of hostage and crazed cult situations. But locking horns with Los Illuminados and everyone that had been associated with the cult, had been a far cry from what he was used to. A very far cry. He could deal with terrorists, arms smugglers, prostitution and drug rings; the list went on and on. After what had happened in Raccoon City six years back, Leon could deal with just about anything the world could have thrown at him. But this mission had been one hell of a jam. And it had rained. A lot. All he wanted was to put it behind him and go home.
Ashley was still damp from her little spill into the Atlantic. Leon could feel her shivering as she wrapped her arms around his torso, afraid to fall into the drink again. He took note of this and hoped that she didn't come down with a case of pneumonia. The two drifted in the middle of the ocean for several minutes. Leon had killed the power to the jet ski that they rode on, afraid to waste too much gas without knowing full well where their destination resided.
"Do you know where we're going?" she asked as the current made them bob up and down.
Leon craned his neck back towards her "Not a clue"
"So, now what?" she replied.
Leon gripped the handles of the jet ski with one hand and thought for several seconds. Then an idea presented itself to him. He had been so overwhelmed with escaping that he had forgotten all about the options that were available to him.
"Ashley" he said "reach into my back pocket and fish out my radio. We'll see if I can get a signal out here. Maybe get a helicopter to pick us up"
Ashley let go of Leon's torso and looked at his back.
"Which back pocket?" she said with a hint of annoyance in her voice. She had taken note of the Kevlar vest and ammo pouches he wore. "You've got like, ten back pockets"
Leon sighed and reached around behind him. Ashley leaned back so he could access his radio. Pulling it to the front, he extended the antenna and patched into the frequency he had been using.
"This is Agent Kennedy with the United States government. Does any one read me? Over" he said, speaking into the mouthpiece.
No answer. Only static.
"I say again. This is Agent Kennedy with the United States government. I have successfully rescued the president's daughter and need immediate extraction. Please respond. Over"
Still no answer. Now he was becoming impatient.
"Goddammit!" he yelled into the radio, "Does anyone read me?!"
There was a brief period of more static and then a voice started to come through.
"Leon?" came a familiar feminine voice.
"Ingrid!" he said as he let out a breath that he had been holding. "You have no idea how happy I am to hear your voice"
"Leon, we lost radio contact with you hours ago. What happened to you?"
Leon smiled a bit, not willing to cover a tale that he knew would take at least an hour or two to tell.
"Long story. Look, I'm out here in the middle of the Atlantic and have no where to go. I've also got a young college girl that is in desperate need of a blanket, a change of clothes, and maybe some Ramen's. Come to think of it, I wouldn't mind that myself. Think you could send a chopper to pick us up?"
"Of course. The radio has a built in GPS transponder. We can use it to track you. It might be a while. Think you can hold out till then?"
Leon tried to look back at Ashley and was able to tell that she was uncomfortable. Not in any life threatening way. She'd be able to hold out for a bit.
"Yeah, we'll be alright" he answered as he felt a hand hit him in the back. Clearly, Ashley didn't feel the same way as he did. "Leon out"
As he placed the radio back with the rest of his gear Ashley shot him a dirty look.
"Alright? I'm freezing here" she protested.
He pointed to the water. "Then go for a swim. Get your blood pumping. That'll warm you right up"
Ashley paused for a brief moment, took one look at the ocean and said "No, I'm good thanks"
"Then just relax for a bit. Chopper will be here before you know it"
As the time passed by, boredom set in for the both of them. After awhile, Ashley could take it no longer. She had some questions that she had to get off her chest. She just wondered if Leon would be willing to answer them.
"Yeah?" he answered as he leaned on the handle bars of the jet ski, staring off into the horizon.
"Have you ever…done anything like…that before?"
"Like what?" he said, his interest peaked.
"The whole mission thing" she said, giving her hand a bit of a wave.
Leon could tell that she was beating around the bush, using the question as a build up to what she really wanted to know. In the past six years he had become well adapt at reading people. Just one more skill of his that the government thought would be useful.
"Come on" he smirked "Just ask what you want to ask"
"Okay" she said before taking in a deep breath, not knowing how her question would affect him. "Have you ever gone up against anything like those nut-jobs or those monsters? It just seemed like you knew what you were doing. And it wasn't because you work for the government. No one has skills like that"
She couldn't have been more wrong. The fact of the matter was that there existed a hand full of people that could have done what Leon did. Ashley was treading ancient water now. She wanted him to bring up memories that he had tried to bury a long time ago. But after everything they had been through it seemed unfair to leave her in the dark about what he had done six years ago.
"Do you remember a company called Umbrella?" he asked with a stern face.
"The pharmaceutical company that went bankrupt awhile back? What about them?" she questioned.
"Well, you remember all the news reports about them right? The claims of bankruptcy? Or what about the Supreme Court cases regarding the company before they folded?" he asked.
"I remember of them" she replied "I wasn't paying much attention at the time. Dad was busy getting ready for the presidential elections at the time and I had school and a social life to focus on"
"Figures" Leon thought. "Kids never taking notice of the world around them"
"Why? What does any of that have to do with you?"
And so Leon had told her the short version of his own messy little life. He told her how it had been his first day on the job as a rookie police officer for the Raccoon City Police Department. After the suspension of the force's S.T.A.R.S. team following a mission in the outskirts of the city, the department had been in dire need of officers to fill the ranks and help patrol the increasingly dangerous streets. As it had turned out, Umbrella had been messing around with things that no person ever should. Under the cover of a helpful pharmaceutical company, they created viruses that were going to be utilized for financial as well as military applications. Not only that, but Umbrella had been making honest to God, home grown monsters and injecting them with the viruses in order to create bio organic weapons. Needless to say it made the creatures super aggressive and dangerous. When humans were exposed to the stuff, it turned them into "zombies" for lack of a better term. It was all really illegal to say the least.
There had been several instances were the virus had been leaked or purposely exposed to various communities, infecting them. The populace had all been turned into walking cadavers. One of those places had been Raccoon city. On his first day on the job, Leon had been at ground zero of a T-virus outbreak in that city.
"Wait" Ashley said, holding up her hands, trying to process what he was telling her. "You were in a city that was teeming with monsters and zombies? Zombies? What was that like for you?"
"Are you kidding me?" he asked her, annoyed and a little offended. "It was a fucking nightmare!"
"Okay, sorry" she said.
An uncomfortable silence descended on them for a few minutes. Then Ashley piped up again with more questions.
"Raccoon? But, the U.S. Government nuked that city. How did you make it out?!" she exclaimed.
"I had some help from the few survivors that were left in the city. And a lot of luck. Not long after that I joined with an anti-Umbrella organization. There were a lot of people around the world who all thought that the company should go down. It didn't take much time for Uncle Sam to recognize my skills and recruit me to fight the good fight" he finished his story. "So, yeah. I have done this sort of thing before" Leon turned his attention back towards the horizon.
About an hour later, Leon heard the distant roar of a helicopter's rotor blades in the distance. He and Ashley both looked to the skies in anticipation as a red shape loomed in the distance. Using his binoculars, Leon watched as it got closer and bigger. He couldn't have been happier. The long red fuselage became more noticeable and he could see the twin pairs of blades spinning wildly, keeping the thing in the air. When he had asked for a chopper he had no idea that they would send a 234LRChinook. At least they would be going home in style. That was when Leon remembered the second chopper that had been sent to help them out. He felt a pang of sadness within him as he was reminded of Mike. A man that he had never really met. The pilot had assisted him during the mission only to be shot down with an RPG. Mike had given his life to save Leon's and he had made good on his promise to avenge the man's death. The Los Illuminados cult had been destroyed along with any hard evidence of their plans. Another operation swept clean under the rug.
As the chopper neared, the force of the rotor blades forced the water around them to separate outwards like the parting of the Red Sea. Leon could make out the doors open and watched as a member of the helicopter's crew descended from the fuselage. If it wasn't for the tags and insignia on the uniforms, Leon could swear that the man descending from the chopper was a coast guard member. He was decked out in a helmet and flight gear and rigged to a pulley system that would ferry them back up to the helicopter. Leon couldn't really make out the man's expression as his eyes were covered by dark sunglasses. When he got close enough to them Leon yelled to him over the roar of the chopper.
"HEY! YOU OUR RIDE?"
"YEAH. HEARD YOU GUYS NEEDED A PICKUP" the crewmember shouted back.
"THAT'D BE NICE" Leon smiled. He jerked his thumb back towards Ashley. "GET HER INTO THE BIRD FIRST"
Within minutes they were both sitting in the chopper as it flew over the Atlantic. Leon and Ashley had both been made comfortable. Well, as comfortable as possible. The seats inside the helicopter weren't exactly made for sleeping on. In fact, they felt more like they were resting on a pile of bricks inside a tin can. They rest of the crew members had made sure that Ashley had been given a blanket to keep her warm and assured Leon that they would be stateside within a few hours.
He remembered the helicopter flying over the waters of the ocean. The sun continued to rise, creating a beautiful glimmering effect as it met with the crystal ocean. Leon was unable to enjoy it for very long. Fatigue was over taking him and the whir of the chopper's engine was lulling him to sleep. He ran a hand over his face and leaned his head on the window, turning away from Ashley and looking out at the ocean. She noticed him close his eyes.
"You alright?" she wondered.
"Yeah" he replied, opening and then closing his eyes again. "Just tired"
"What are you going to do now? When we get back to the states?"
"I'm going to get myself some aspirin and some breakfast. Then sleep for a week" he answered before crossing his arms and finally falling asleep.
It was a long time ago. A very long time. But the memory was as crystal clear as ever. The heat of the steam that escaped through the vents and pipes. The copper smell of the metal that was all around him. The feeling of the blood that pumped through his veins and soaked his officer's uniform. The pain of gunshot wound to his shoulder. He remembered it all. Every detail. Every detail.
There she was, right behind him. Her black hair was plastered to her face with sweat and her red dress was dirty and tattered. The black panty hose she wore were ripped. She had blood dripping down her arm from the wounds she'd sustained fighting the monster. The rivers of red descended the mountain of her arm. And she was pointing a gun right at him. He couldn't even understand why she was doing this now, here, and to him. She had a completely different look in her eyes. It was no longer playful or seductive. It was cold and emotionless. A look that was all business.
"I've been waiting for you Leon"
He remembered the words that came out of his mouth as her attempted in vain to comprehend what was happening.
"What are you doing?" he had asked.
She had gotten right to the point
"You know what this is about. So just hand over the G-Virus"
He remembered the sick sensation in his gut. The feeling of nausea that overtook him as the woman he had grown so close to stood there, stabbing him in the back. He wanted to deny it. Wanted to make it not so. But it was a losing battle. The web of lies that Annette Birkin had weaved had all been for real. The truth had finally come out.
"I don't believe this. Annette was right. About everything!"
She had walked towards him, keeping the pistol trained on him. He saw her expression change. Saw how the conflict between them was tearing her up inside and forcing its way to the surface. Leon knew that deep down she didn't want to do this. Deep down it was killing her.
"That's why I told you to leave without me but you wouldn't listen!" she had pleaded with him, trying to make her actions seem rational. "Now hand it over. Don't make me shoot you"
He had looked at her with a mix of emotions running through him. Sadness, helplessness, and a little bit of despair mixed with anger. She had looked at him and kept aiming the weapon at him for what seemed like an eternity. Her arm had faltered, falling to her side. She looked at the floor and contemplated whether she could really harm him. He, who had been so kind to her while she had been almost anything but that to him.
The shot echoed out through the facility and her expression turned to one of shock and pain as her body pitched forward, the bullet impacting her in the upper righter of her back near her shoulder. He remembered his stomach turned to ice as he saw her falter. The shock of the attack caused her to lose her balance sending her over the side of the catwalk she stood upon. Beneath the catwalk was a long drop that seemed to go on forever, dissolving into nothingness.
Leon felt something touching him on the shoulder and shot out of his seat in alarm. The dream evaporated around him as he was brought back to reality. His hand immediately went to the knife that was held on his upper chest and he retracted it from its sheath. He breathed heavily as he realized where he was. The inside of the chopper registered to his senses as he looked around. His sights fell on Ashley who was looking at him with wide, startled eyes. She had her hands up in a "I give" gesture. Leon realized that she was the one who had been touching him.
"Whoa" she said "Take it easy will you? I think you were having a nightmare or something"
Leon stared and blinked a few times before returning the knife back to its holder and flopping back down in his seat.
"Just a nightmare" he said as he put his head back against the cool metal of the chopper interior.
"Yeah" Ashley kept talking "You were tossing a bit, and mumbling some weird stuff" she paused for a brief moment "Who's Ada?"
It was the one question that he really didn't want to answer. Leon let out a breath and turned back to look out the window.
"Just a part of me I can't let go. Let's leave it at that" he answered, repeating what he had told her earlier.
Soon they were cruising over vast cities. Leon didn't need the crew to tell him that they were home. He had never been happier to see American soil. Ashley was getting restless and excited at the prospect of being reunited with her family. A call came over the come links telling them that they would reach HQ within thirty three minutes. And thirty three minutes later the landing pad for the government department that Leon worked for came into view. With a soft descent the chopper touched down and everyone piled out. They were met by members of what Leon knew were the Secret Service. There were five men, all dressed in black suits with sunglasses and earpieces. As they got out of the helicopter, one of the men stepped forward.
"Agent Kennedy" the man said. "Agent John Liotta, Secret Service. The President is in your dept" he said as he extended his hand which Leon took, shaking it up and down.
"Like that means anything to me" he thought. They had no idea of the Hell he or Ashley had been through. "Just tell him to send me a fruit basket or something" he joked to the man.
After a short lived goodbye, Ashley had been whisked away by the government personal. Leon detected a pang of sadness in her eyes as they parted ways. They had been through a lot together and he had to admit that he was proud of her and how she had endured so well. Leon felt no such feelings of despair, knowing that it was only a matter of time before they crossed paths again. In his line of work, sooner always happened before later. It would be a few days before he'd be back on the clock, protecting her and her family. He knew that she would be in good hands. Ashley would go to the finest doctors in the country for a full medical examination. They wouldn't find anything of course. He had made sure that the plagas parasite in their systems was eradicated hours ago. The most she would get would be some bandages for the minor cuts and bruises she had sustained. Then Ashley would be returned to her father, safe and sound before eventually returning to her life as a college student. Hopefully she would be able to put all the experience behind her. Hopefully. Leon, on the other hand, had no such luxury.
All he wanted was to go home and sleep, but there was protocol to be followed after every mission regardless of how big or small. He had to go through the same formal bull crap he always went through after every mission. Leon was led into the building by a detail of two men. They all went strait for an elevator and went inside. It was one of those really fancy elevators that only the government could afford. Glass walls, marble floors, titanium doors. All that was missing was the crappy elevator music that was usually pumped into the car. One of the men he was with hit a button for the fortieth floor of the building and Leon knew he was headed for his superior's office for a debriefing.
"Whatever" he thought to himself as the car descended to the lower floors, "Sooner I do this the sooner I can go home, grab a shower and pop in a copy of Die Hard"
When the car stopped, the doors opened and all three men walked quickly past the rows and rows of offices and cubicles that were on the floor. He passed by the same hallway again and again. The interior decorator hadn't exactly been the best. Dry wall, Potted plant, crappy painting, picture of agents long past, certificates and diplomas on the wall, potted plant, water cooler. Rinse and repeat.
"It's no wonder why rookies and visitors get lost in this place" he thought as he continued to be escorted.
It wasn't that he needed to be chauffeured around. He knew the building like the back of his hand. But in the six years since Raccoon he knew the drill. It was standard protocol that he be debriefed after every mission. With the state of the world these days, saying the wrong things around the wrong people could get a man killed.
"No, not could" Leon thought.
Had and did. The world wasn't a nice place and there were never any fairy tale endings. Ever.
Eventually they made it to his boss's office. The large wood door stood in front of him and with it a plaque that read Gabriel Parker: Director. Not exactly the highest position in the building but it was one of the most important. Regardless, Director Parker was the man that Leon had to answer to.
"I can take it from here guys" he said to the two escorts.
Each man nodded to him in unison and walked away, leaving Leon to shake his head at the humor of it all.
"Government, men-in-black spy crap" he mumbled under his breath as he knocked on Parker's door.
"Enter" came a semi-muffled voice from behind the door.
Leon did as he was instructed, turning the knob and stepping inside the office. Parker was never one for furnishings. The office consisted of a desk, computer, file cabinet, two really uncomfortable chairs for visitors to sit in which sat before the desk, and a couch. Why a couch? Leon had no idea, never bothered to question it let alone ask to sit in the thing. There was also a large window with a great view of the outside. Parker had no pictures of relatives or loved ones. Incidentally it was a smart move. Leave your home life at home. In their line of work it wasn't intelligent to let info like that to get leaked. Not with all the crazies in the world.
Leon walked in and stood in front of the Director's desk. The man was in his late 40's, tall with dark brown or black hair. It had since begun to gray along his temples, giving the man a more distinguished look that fit his age. Despite his age he was in great shape thanks to the company gym in the basement. He wore black slacks and a button down blue shirt with a blood red tie contrasting against it.
"Agent Kennedy reporting sir." He said, trying to be as formal as possible even though he felt like shit.
"Please" Parker said, extending his hand towards one of the chairs, "Sit. Can I get you anything?"
"Quarter Pounder with cheese" Leon replied. "And a Red Bull"
Parker laughed long and hard before looking at him again. Leon just gave him a half pissed, half tired look to prove that he wasn't kidding. Parker gave a short little snort of laughter before taking his seat again.
"Right then. I can tell you had a rough time" he said as he opened a case file that was resting on his desk.
"Asshole" Leon thought. "Rough time doesn't even begin to explain what I had to go through"
"We can't begin to thank you for a job well done Leon. Don't be surprised if the President compensates you in some way for returning his daughter to him. But getting down to business, I need to know what happened in Pueblo. Tell me what you can" Parker finished as he opened a file and got a pen ready for the document.
He had questioned him about the cult and Leon had answered truthfully. Well, not the complete truth.
What Leon basically did was sum up the events of the past two days. He had told Parker everything. The cult, Saddler, Salazar, the parasite, Luis Sera, what the cult's plan was regarding the parasite and Ashely. Everything. Of course he had left out a few details. Like how he and Ashley had been injected with the parasite and subsequently cured. He left out the bit about Krauser, Wesker and most importantly of all, Ada.
His mind drifted to memories of her for a brief moment before he brought his mind back into focus. There would be time to think about her later. Right now, he had to focus on the task at hand. Parker was buying everything that was being reported to him. Leon cocked an eyebrow.
"You don't seem very surprised by all of this" Leon stated to Parker.
"I know you're track record Kennedy" he said, giving the man a stern look. "After what happened in Raccoon and God knows where else in the world hell, you could tell me the Easter bunny and leprechauns existed and I wouldn't question you"
When he brought up the subject of the cult and the parasite Parker had asked him if a sample had been recovered. And Leon had lied strait to his face, knowing full well that some of it existed. Somewhere. There were some things that he chose to leave in the dark. And for good reason. He had his secrets to hold and figured that it was best to keep as much shit from hitting the fan as possible. The man wasn't stupid, knowing full well what Leon had gone through during his night in Raccoon City. It was a different time and the government was more open to possibilities that at one time seemed impossible. But Leon was always thinking ahead. The less his superiors knew about the circumstances surrounding the parasite and those who sought after it, the better. The way he saw it, no matter the intention, those in power would always screw things up. And what they would have done had they gotten hold of a sample of the plagas made his head spin.
"Well, if that's all, then I guess you're dismissed. You've earned yourself some time off Kennedy. Looks like you could use it too"
Leon hadn't even bothered to notice the state he was in. He looked and saw he was dirty, sweaty, clothes were torn, had some cuts and bruises and smelled like he had been rolling around in a sewer. Come to think of it, that had happened.
"I'm going to request that you take two months off. Paid of course"
"Hold on." Leon started. "What about the President and his family?"
"Don't worry, they'll understand. And they'll be in good hands while you're away. I'll have Agent Thompson watch over them"
Agent Ark Thompson was a good friend of Leon's who had been present during the Sheena Island incident. Ark was very much like Leon; smart, resourceful, committed and deadly. Leon felt his nerves ease as Parker finished jotting down some memos. Ashley and the presidential family would be in excellent hands for the time being. Leon couldn't have picked a better agent himself. At least Parker knew when to call in the right people.
"Please, you've earned this. Take some time for yourself. Think of it as your country paying you back"
"If my country want's to pay me back it can do it by paying my shrink" Leon thought.
And they had sent him on his way telling him that it was a job well done and it was all finally over.
The words were easy enough to say. But fate always had another trick up its sleeve. Things always had a way of going from bad to worse. And life for Leon was no exception.