Disclaimer: Capcom owns anything Resident Evil

Disclaimer: Capcom owns anything Resident Evil. I own this story.

Carpe Noctem

By: Vogue Dirge

It is a very well known fact all around the world that Jet Lag is one of the worst things any human being can acquire. It's so bad in fact, that not even the annoyance of In-laws or the drudgery of the Flu measure up to it. Yet, unlike In-laws or the Flu, Jet Lag has no cure, no antidote to the suffering it puts upon one's body. Jet Lag consumes the host entirely, starting in the brain and working its way through to the other extremities. Arms go limp, legs grow tired, butts go numb, muscles tighten, and time goes very…very…very…slow.

Well, there is one antidote to this madness. One way to numb the body to Jet Lag's full force attack, one way to keep the demons inside at bay.

Alcohol. Lots and lots of alcohol.

Leon Scott Kennedy gripped the wheel of his Ford Explorer tightly, as if grasping on to a lifesaver in the middle of a turbulent ocean. That wheel was his only hope to making it the few blocks to Paul's Cave, the local bar where men and women from all walks of life met to drink and converse loudly while throwing a game of darts or pretending to know how to play pool. At Paul's, off duty cops laughed with the people they could arrest for the DUIs that would inevitably happen later that night. Blonde haired cougars could find some handsome shmuck that doesn't have a clue what they look like out from under of the dim lighting, and take them home for something they would surely regret later. College students could sit at the bar and speak quietly, martini in hand, slowly coming down off their studying highs. At Paul's there was no room for the laws or morals or conformities that drove the society just behind the heavy oak door. Everyone was just there to be just there. That was a place Leon wanted more than anything to be at the moment. A place where he could just exist for a moment. No name. No past. No business. Just living, profound and real living. To breathe in the stale air, to smell the must of a thousand cigarettes, to taste the crisp lager and salty peanuts.

It was a place without needs. Leon didn't need to be Leon.

As he turned into the crowded parking lot Leon breathed a sigh of relief that he had made it that far. Jet Lag from his trip home from Spain had wedged itself so far in him that he could swear that he might still have some plaga left inside of him, squirming and growing. His entire body ached, bruised and scrapped from the events that had taken place hours earlier, yet he was just damaged, not broken. Years of government training had paid off after all. Leon made a mental note to give his superior, Ivan Cummings, a slap on the back the next time he saw him. Leon pulled into an empty parking spot and slipped out of his vehicle, slamming the door and locking it with a push of a remote button. The night was stagnant and dull. Above the bright city of Los Angeles the sky was just black, no stars, no satellites, and the moon was barely visible behind a grayscale cloud. Leon smiled to himself. Even at night you could sense the thick balloon of pollution that hung over LA. It was an ominous warning to those who lived green and hugged trees. It said 'We love ours cars', it said 'We will pay those gas prices, it said 'We really had no clue spare-the-air-day even existed'. Los Angeles was just doing its part for global warming. In the battle of good and evil, someone always had to be the villain, and LA just so happened to be the one tying the damsel to the train tracks and cackling manically.

A group of people that could be any age, Leon couldn't tell in the harsh porch light, stood smoking cigarette after cigarette. The smoke collected by the door like a vaporous silk veil, and when Leon stuck is hand through the cloud towards the handle to open the front door, one of the patrons turned ever so slightly to face him. It was a woman, telling by the voice, asking for a light. Leon ignored her, opened the front door without a falter and slipped into the stale air of the Cave.

One wouldn't be able to tell by looking at it from the outside, but Paul's Cave was quite large in size. Most of the floor space was taken up by distressed oak tables and billiards, except a ten by ten section of floor in the middle of it that served as the designated dance floor space, never occupied by more than eight people tops. Against the far wall and curving around the far right corner was the bar. Decorated with empty beer glasses, cardboard coasters, peanut crumbs, and crumpled up slips of paper with varying degrees of offensive notes, the bar was the place Leon planned to spend most of the evening with his good friend Bud Light.

Leon sauntered up to the bar and pulled himself onto an available stool. The stool creaked as Leon put his weight on it and he couldn't help but think I know the feeling. To be put under so much pressure that you just want to collapse, but can't, or haven't yet. It was the story of Leon's life, always creaking under some burden, but never breaking. Leon couldn't afford to break, not even splinter. The things he had been through and the things he will inevitability face would not allow him. So, Leon was forced to cover cuts with steel, and to weld broken bones. His life essentially required him to be Superman sometimes.

"Leon, you little bastard! Haven't seen you in a whiles."

Leon looked up into the jubilant and bearded face of Paul Evans, owner and bartender of Paul's cave. Go figure? Paul was a large hairy southerner who had a passion for beer and Hawaiian shirts. Ever since Leon had first come to this place, after passing by it so many times on the way home, Paul had been behind this very bar serving the masses with his alcohol license and scratchy rolling laugh. Leon could depend on Paul to make him laugh, even when he was at his gloomiest. There was always some kind of dirty joke brewing behind those eyes, and Leon was always the first one to hear them. It was probably because of Paul, and the fact that the beer was so cheap, that Leon kept coming back to this place whenever he had an urge to feel at home. This place wasn't just a mere downtown bar, it was a sanctuary that promised intoxication and cheap laughs. A home away from home.

"You know Paul, work is work" Leon's voice was scratchy from over use, he needed something to wet-his-whistle, so to speak.

"I figured. The government has ya by the short and curlys and they ain't lettin' go anytime soon eh?"

"Apparently not. Give me tall one will ya? I want to forget some stuff for a while."

"You got it kid."

Paul turned to grab a glass off the shelf behind him. After cleaning off the dust with a rag, Paul filled the whole thing up with the most delicious amber liquid Leon had ever seen. Perhaps if Leon had no self control he would have jumped the bar, stuck his under the faucet, and proceed to empty the keg into his gaping mouth. But that was an absurd thing to do, not only because it would get him kicked out, but Leon was just too tired at the moment. Paul set the glass down on a coaster advertising something-or-other and slid the glass directly in front of Leon.

"Nice, cold, tall one for ya Kennedy. This one's on the house, you look like crap tonight."

Leon chuckled his thank you and grabbed the glass. The coldness of it numbed his fingertips to the bone. This was one of his favorite sensations, to pick up a cold drink and have it freeze your senses instantly. He had yearned for the drink, and had so since getting off the plane at LAX from Washington where he had dropped off his precious cargo, Ashley. After releasing Ashley into the open arms of her mother, Leon had had to sit through a debriefing and a lengthy 'thanks' from the President. All of it had delayed him from this moment. This very, very crucial moment when Leon was finally able to take a load off and relax.

"Way to treat a gal buddy, all I wanted was a light."

Leon closed his eyes. His fist clenched around the neck of the glass that held everything he was wishing for in the world at that moment. It was the woman from out front, and she was probably pissed…or horny, or drunk, or whatever. Leon had no time to flirt in a dimly lit bar with a woman that he could care less about. She was probably some college student from nearby. She probably liked what she saw and was coming to get some. Leon had run into so many women like this over the years, the women who could care less where they got their kicks. They strove for the sensual over the sentimental. Your wallet over loyalty. Poor girl, she was probably a bit tipsy and didn't know what she was doing.

Leon turned to the girl, breathing out an audible sigh to show his feelings about the situation, to show that he did not need company at the moment. His eyes flickered open and his mouth started to form the word 'Look' when Leon suddenly stopped. Mouth gaping and eyes unblinking. Everything in Leon's body froze, stopped working. His mind went black, like someone had just blown out a candle in his brain. The sentence he was going to say was lost, all thoughts of letting some college girl down easy went out the door.

Ada Wong was leaning against the bar next to him with a smirk on her face, the same one she had given him in the bedroom of that damned castle, and her eyes were staring into his. There was something different about her though, yet everything was very familiar. She had ditched the usual flashy clothing for a pair of jeans and form fitting leather jacket, complete with a pair of boring scarlet colored boots.

It had been the outfit of the woman who had asked for a light just outside.

"You don't look so good Kennedy," Ada reached over and plucked the glass of beer from Leon's hand, took a sip, and then put it back in his grasp.

"A...A..." was all that Leon could force out of his open mouth, the first letter of her short but ever so sweet name.

"What is it darling?" Ada looked over her shoulder and then back at Leon. "See a ghost?"

As Ada chuckled, Leon finally was able to compose himself. He shook his head and looked down into his drink which reflected his nonplussed expression. Was this really happening? Did Ada Wong really just slip in next to him at some bar in downtown Los Angeles, when hours earlier she was making a smooth escape into a helicopter after pilfering a dangerous virus from him? How easily she just crashed herself into his life, time and time again, always without warning. Leon was surely going mad at the moment. No way could this be happening. No way could she be here, after all that had happened. Visions of Ada flying away on some hookshot filled his head.

FLASH. Ada was pushing a gun to his back.

FLASH. Ada was slipping off her sunglasses.

FLASH. Ada was offering him a ride in a speed boat.

FLASH. Ada was saving him from the monster that was Saddler.

FLASH. Ada was gone again, on a helicopter into the sunset.

Now, Ada was here. Leon couldn't help but feel a little suspicious, and at the same time a warm sense of comfort.

"Wha…what are you doing here?" Leon looked at her, an eyebrow raised.

"Just unraveling after a hard days work," Ada winked, "just like everyone else here."

"Ada, don't play games. What happened to the Pla—,"

Just as sudden as Ada's arrival, was Ada's kiss. In an instant, in the middle of Leon's sentence, Ada had leaned forward and put her lips to his. Leon stopped, his jaw muscles relaxing, his words trailing off into obscurity. Ada's lips were soft and warm as they pressed against his. She smelled of some sweet perfume, flowery and seductive, like her. Leon submitted to her, kissing her back, just as she was kissing him. Then Ada bit his lower lip playfully and pulled away, jade eyes glinting.

She knew what she was doing. She was very good at it.

Leon almost whispered 'no' as she pulled away, but suppressed the urge to. He simply looked back at her, transfixed by the deity that was Ada Wong. A smile crept on Ada's face and she nodded her head towards something.

"Huh?" Leon blinked and turned towards the bar where a puddle of amber beer was spreading slowly across the pine oak finish, whose point of origin was his fallen beer glass. "Oh shit!"

Leon's hands launched at the napkin holder. He wadded up a fistful and dabbed it on the puddle, cursing under his breath as others at the bar looked with annoyance in his direction. Leon's face erupted in a blush as he covered the entire beer puddle with napkin after napkin. It wasn't until the whole thing was covered that he looked up to see Paul cleaning a glass, shaking his head, and laughing to himself.

"Let's dance handsome."


"Dance. Let's dance Leon." Ada motioned towards the ten by ten dance floor, some Dolly Parton song was played overhead. It was a country ballad about love and Jesus, like they all were.

"I don't think so, Ada." Leon rubbed the back of his head and looked at Ada.

Ada moved close to Leon, her body pressing against his. She set a hand on his chest and brought her mouth to his ear. A shiver moved down Leon's spine at her touch, at the feeling of her expelled breath on his neck. She whispered in his ear:

"Carpe Noctem."

Seize the Night.

A/N: Thank you for reading my One-shot! I really hope you enjoyed this little nugget of Leon and Ada goodness. I really just wanted to release something before I let my new story loose for you.

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