AN: Finally updating this! Wow, guys, five reviews for the last chapter? Thanks! If I do what I'm supposed to, this will be the last you'll see of me for a while, due to exams and such. If not… then wish me luck, because I'll sorely need it. This is somewhat shorter than the others: I wanted to update so I could get this out of my mind.
Also, I'll make a reference to other RE4 – self-inserts I've read here, so if you want me to leave you out, let me know. Also let me know if I've forgotten any.
PS: Does Spain really use doorknobs? Not door handles?
Chapter twelve: That Guy
Swift thumps emitted from Burke's expensive shoes as he walked at a fast pace, seeming almost robotic in his stiff movements. All the hallways seemed to intertwine each other, the next hallway appearing more similar to the other than the last one, weaved together in an infinite and intricate maze of sheer mockery. And he had ended up there. Out of all people, he, the guy who practically needed a GPS to find the way to the bathroom in his apartment, had ended up in there.
Lady Luck. You evil witch.
Burke continued to hold long, sulking monologues inside his head as a mean to pass time, his eyes wandering over the indentations and patterns etched into the bare marble that was not covered in a fine, silky wallpaper.
Pfft. The owner of this castle is such a cheap show-off.
Some of the indentations seemed off as his blue eyes flicked over the smooth surface on the wall, his brain perceiving the peculiarity although not the cause of it. Burke stopped dead in his tracks. As he moved closer to the marks in the wall, his eyebrow raised, the serrations formed into words, clumsily engraved into the marble.
"What in God's name…?" he breathed, feeling inwardly amused as he read.
Nicole, you're here! You miss Kaitlin!
Brittanee was here too! Be nice or she'll give you the kick of doom!
Sheila was here before anyone! Muhahahaha! HAH!
Herbs taste like green, they really do.
Rally here! Leon, if you read this, I just wanted to say that you – drool … err… and Wesker! You're - megadrool
Burke pulled away from the wall and brushed a few strands of ash blonde hair away from his face.
Hmph. Vandalism. Kids today don't admire models or actors anymore, now they ogle pixilated characters. Can't blame them though. If Jill Valentine was real, I'd –
Something disturbed the tranquil air in the hallway, shutting off Burke's brain activity. The sound was barely audible at first, but then shaped to slow footsteps resonating in the compound. Burke's pale hand fumbled with the pistol inside his jacket, freezing as Burke realized he recognized those footsteps; definitely not the ones of a nutcase monk. Slow, arrogant footsteps that ricocheted in his cranium during his nightmares. It was him. It was the guy.
Burke inhaled quickly through his nostrils, his eyes darting back and forth, desperately seeking out an escape route. A joyful humming blended in with the footsteps, the noise rising in volume. A numbing force pressed on Burke's ribcage as the shadow of a man came into vision behind the corner to the hallway Burke just left. His heart leaped of joy inside his chest as his eyes landed on a wooden door next to a beautiful statue of a woman. Wasting no time, Burke zipped in through it – a jolt of pain shooting from his forehead as he brutally crashed into someone.
Albert's warm hand was firmly clamped over Ashley's eyes and she was holding her breath in apprehension. As the realization that she was in no imminent danger crept upon her, she began squirming against his grip, to no avail.
"What do you think you're doing?!" Ashley hissed heatedly.
"I'm saving your innocence, that's what," he replied, his voice quavering.
"Innocence? What do you mean?"
"Trust me, you don't want to know," Leon threw in. "Alright, Albie, let's just walk calmly through and not look at anything. Okay?"
"I don't know if I can!"
"Yes, you can! I need you to do this! Alright?"
"Okay…" Albert drew in a quick breath through his lips. "I can do this."
"Atta boy. Follow me…"
With that, Ashley was mercilessly hauled forth and almost tripped in Albert's feet. As they moved, euphoric panting and Spanish gibberish augmented in volume, causing Ashley's curiosity to flicker to life. She made new, half-hearted attempts of wrenching loose from Albert's iron hold.
"C'mon!" she complained. "I wanna see!"
"No, Ashley," Albert said steadfastly. "I'm not letting you."
"I'm a grown woman! I should be allowed to see anything I want!"
A goaded sigh sounded from behind her and she could practically hear him roll his eyes.
"Alright," he said, "I'll generate an image inside your head."
Ashley held her breath in anticipation. "Yeah?"
"Two words; Ganado love."
All the air in Ashley's lungs left her, and she went limp for a long moment before the imagery fully sank into her mind.
"Ew!" she sputtered, grimacing while she gestured with her hand, as if she subconsciously tried to wave the atrocious image away.
"Oh, yeah, and that doesn't even begin to – Oh, my God! Tentacles!"
"We're leaving!" Leon whistled in astonishment. Ashley felt her feet leave the ground as she was elevated several inches and carried off like a sack of old potatoes. Her body bumped into Albert's in concord with his movement. Spanish chanting, interrupted now and then with squishy, dull knocks soon entered Ashley's line of hearing and, despite all her logic reasoning, she plucked up enough courage to ask Albert about the source of it.
"It's nothing nasty," he comforted her, "but boy, these guys' got serious mental issues."
His hand disappeared from her eyes; illuminating the area they had entered. Her breath hitched in her gullet as she rested her gaze on three black-robed men slamming their heads against the red surface of a large gate.
"Morir es vivir…"
"Morir es vivir…"
"Morir es vivir..."
Leon nodded his head to Albert's comment. "Serious issues, alright. Let's get away from them, shall we?"
Albert, Ashley and Hewie made sounds of agreement and Leon led the way over a stony path to a cabin. As they ambled closer to it, the rough frame of a man came into vision, crouched down over something Ashley was unable to distinguish. Her neck protested as she stretched it, her brown eyes peering down to the spot under the enthusiastically moving head of the monk. Ashley's stomach performed a nauseating turn in her abdomen as she saw it was a yellow, sticky substance the man was so eagerly cleaning up with his tongue.
"Jeez," Albert muttered, sounding as appalled as she was feeling. "Salazar should feed his servants once in a while."
"Salazar, whom?" Leon wondered, the skin above his left brow creasing in bewilderment.
"Uh… he… I…" Albert sputtered, struggling to find the right words. "Uh… I found some files saying he's the owner of the castle. Before I bumped into you."
"Really," Leon answered, skepticism lacing his words. With a weary sigh sliding through his dry lips, he turned his back on Albert, obviously keen on dropping the matter. Light-footed, he stepped into the small shack, sweeping ammo boxes and herbs off the shelves. Ashley jumped as something wet nudged against her knee. Hewie looked up at her, his vivid, brown eyes large and shiny as he wiggled his tale and arched his furry head.
"He likes you," Albert stated matter-of-factly. The corners of Ashley's mouth pulled reluctantly into a nervous smile. She had always been incredibly afraid of dogs. Very slowly, her slender hand descended towards the tip of Hewie's left ear, only to jerk up again as Leon suddenly popped up with front of them, something clutched in his gloved hand.
"Treasure," he grinned and threw the object to Albert.
"Oooh, shiny," Albert snickered in return. He proceeded to shove it into his – correction, her – backpack and followed Leon as he walked past them. Ashley tilted her head upon seeing that the area they headed towards consisted of nothing more than a narrow pathway shaping into a circle, leading to a claustrophobic room of stone.
"Another crank," Leon said as he scrutinized the rusty contraption on the hard ground. "I'll deal with it."
A horrible, metallic screech emitted from it as Leon forced the handle to revolve, the sound reverberating in the black nothingness inside the hole they were dangerously close to. Ashley peered down into it, brows vanishing under her bangs as the fluorescent moonlight was reflected on the smooth facade of an ancient-looking cannon.
"There's a cannon down there, Leon," Albert exclaimed, albeit not seeming very surprised. "We'll be able to blow the gate and the Ganados headbanging at it to hell."
With an angry moan, Burke clamped his hand on his forehead and glanced up at the man responsible for his headache. Burke's eyes widened and narrowed as they wandered up the other man's body before glaring into his steely grey eyes.
"You," he growled, swiftly rising from the floor. "You're that smart-mouthed Spaniard, aren't you?"
"Luis Sera is my name," the dark-haired man answered, a look of amusement plastered on his face. "And what's yours, amigo?"
"None of your damned business!"
A wide smirk formed on Luis' lips. "Well, then, Mr. None Of Your Damned Business, what brings you to this part of Spain?"
Burke readied a toxic retort, but it soon escaped his mind as the perilous humming once again infiltrated his ear channels. An open armoire gave him the only halfway decent idea he could come up with at the moment, and he seized the opportunity before his plan slipped away and left him apathetic. In one fluid movement, Burke snatched a hold of Luis' arm and roughly shoved him into the armoire.
"Hey, amigo, what're you doing?" Luis exclaimed, blinking in puzzlement as Burke squeezed himself next to him and shut the doors close.
"Quiet, you idiot! I'm hiding!"
"Why are you -"
Luis' cheek was pressed against the wooden walls inside the armoire, not being able to move an inch. Burke's breath was hot on his neck, his body pinned next to his. Being inside a small, dark place with another man didn't seem right to Luis – and he thought he ought to make the unfamiliar person fully aware of it.
"Ay yi yi…" Luis grimaced. "You know, I've only been this physically close to my ex-girlfriends," he timidly muttered into the darkness. "Lots and lots and lots of ex-girlfriends. Did I mention lots of them?"
He could feel a glower from the other man. "Why should I care?"
"I like women," Luis continued, attempting to squirm into a more comfortable posture. "Women are great. With their hair, and legs and curves and voices… I love women. They're so… uh… womanly."
"No kidding," Burke grunted, exhaling annoyed, the hot air making Luis cringe. "Where are you going with this?" Burke paused for a long moment. "…Oh."
"Yeah, ladies are the best, eh?" Luis said, desperately trying to inch away from the other man.
"Yeah…" Burke mumbled in return. "… I have lots of ex-girlfriends too, you know."
"Yeah. Lots of them."
A long, awkward silence placed its clammy hand on their conversation. It was broken as a dry cough rasped up from Burke's throat.
"I'm not gay."
Heavy footsteps resonated in the room and Luis could hear Burke's breath snag in his gullet as the door creaked.
"Oh, Billy-boy?" A man's dark voice called, saturated with scorn. "I thought I heard your lovely voice around here somewhere."
The heavy footsteps sauntered towards them. "But, oh, where could he be, the little, wriggling fish? Is it possible -" the footsteps halted outside the armoire –"just possible, that he has chosen the most obvious hiding spot in the room?"
With that, the doors flung open, Luis' widened pupils letting in a painful amount of luminous light from the candles. After batting his eyelids enough to get used to the radiance, Luis managed to distinguish the large silhouette towering over them. Luis jaw went limp. The giant peered down at him through a pair of ominous, amber eyes, his face seemingly permanently twisted in a mocking smirk. He was clothed in a green uniform, not as much as a crease ruining its impeccable exterior. Light glimmered in the numerous medallions decorating his chest.
"Well, well, well… what do we have here?" the large man said, riveting his gaze to the stunned face of Luis. "Oh, Billy-boy, have you gotten yourself a little friend?" He frowned. "What on Earth were the two of you doing in here?"
Burke and Luis exchanged quick glances.
"Err... we were… uh…" Burke began tentatively, his imagination not providing any assistance.
"… Uh… just…" Luis stammered, attempting to help the blonde man.
Burke and the giant sent Luis puzzled glances.
"Uh… yeah," Burke added with a raised brow, forcing himself out of the armoire. "Arm wrestling."
"Is that so, now?" the uniformed man said, looking profoundly amused. "Where's the table?"
"We're so manly, we don't need a table."
"Ah. You must be the smart-mouthed Spaniard." The giant stretched to his full height as he cocked his head, his gaze fixed at Luis. "Well, then. If you don't mind leaving us, the lovely Billy-boy and I need some privacy."
Luis nodded stiffly in reply, nearly tripping in his feet as he rushed out of the armoire to the door, resting his hand on the knob before he faced the blonde man and said, "take care, amigo."
Not waiting for an answer, Luis opened the door and dashed out.
"Oh, ex-Colonel Balloch," 'Billy-boy's' voice monotonously uttered from the room, "I'm just so happy to see you."
Luis paced away from the area containing the two uncanny men, their voices fading with each step.
Alright, Luis, you know the drill; whenever you meet people even bigger freaks than Saddler, turn around and walk away. Just walk away. On second thought, don't walk. Run, Luis, run, RUN!
Abiding the orders of his mind, Luis gained haste and fled the scene faster than a speeding Krauser.