The Cost of Life

His eyes flew open.

There was no drowsiness, no gentle transition between sleep and wakefulness. One minute he was unconscious, the next, fully alert, and feeling the invasion of the various tubes and needles inserted in his body. Panicking, he began pulling these out, not mindful of the stabbing pain as each piece was forcibly removed. As he took out the last object, a long thin needle inserted near his spine and causing droplets of blood to stain his pristine blanket, he caught a slight movement from the corner of his eye.

"You're awake."

"Barry?" Chris strained his eyes, and saw his old comrade standing a few feet away from his bed, but he wasn't alone. Claire Redfield, Rebecca Chambers, and Leon S. Kennedy were right beside him, their eyes weary but guarded. "Where am I? What's going on?"

"You're in America," Leon said, his watchful eyes observing Chris. "We extracted you from Kijuju. You've been unconscious for a week."

"A week? How did-?"

"You don't remember anything, Chris?" Claire asked gently, looking at her older brother.

"I…" Chris shook his head. He opened his mouth to continue speaking, but as though on cue, fragmented memories flooded his mind. The assault on Tri-Cell. Defeating those infected with the plagas. Rescuing the survivors. Suddenly, he felt a sharp stabbing pain in his chest, at what he remembered. Jill Valentine, his partner, best friend, and lover, in suspended animation, floating lifelessly in a containment tube, no sign of the vibrancy that marked her life. The sight had pushed all thoughts from his head, and he had attacked Wesker then, intent on killing him with his bare hands. He had launched himself at his former captain, catching him by surprise. And then, nothing. He looked at his companions in the room. "Jill. Where's Jill?" He asked, his teeth gritted.

"Chris, Jill's been dead for two years," Claire replied, her voice shaking. "Look, you just recovered, maybe…"

"I'm not hallucinating! I saw her! We have to save her!" Chris growled, and made a move to stand up, but stopped at the sound of Leon's voice.

"Chris, I was the one who pulled you out from the scene itself. There was no one there, other than you."

"Sheva?" He suddenly remembered his new partner.

"Leon was able pull her out too, about a kilometer from where you were. She's in critical condition," Rebecca said gravely. "She was hurt badly in Kijuju. She lost a lot of blood."

Something about the way she said it made Chris pause. "And?" He prompted.

"Chris, when we examined her, there were five bullets in her." Rebecca took a steadying breath before she continued. "Two of those were yours."

Chris exhaled loudly, his eyes large. "I don't… I can't remember! I need to get some air," he said angrily. He swung his legs to the side of the bed, but caught the others flinch. "What's wrong? Am I not allowed out?" He said sarcastically, his temper getting the best of him.

"No, you can," Claire answered, too hastily. "It's just… How are you feeling right now?" She asked instead.

"I'm feeling great, better than ever, even," Chris replied. "Why? What's the matter?"

"Wesker really did a number on you," Barry commented quietly.

Silently, Rebecca placed a sheet of paper on the bed, which Chris took. As he read through the document, he felt shock and fear. "What's this?" He finally asked.

"Your records," Rebecca simply said.

"This can't be right!" Chris exclaimed. "A shattered skull, 10 ribs broken, a fragmented spine, punctured lungs… I'm a fast healer, but I'm not that fast! I couldn't have healed in a week. Hell, I don't even know if I could have healed at all!"

"That's because you didn't," Leon said bluntly.

"What do you mean?"

Claire began to cry softly. "Chris… We… I couldn't afford to lose you. We had to do something to save you."

Chris turned away, and his eyes fell on his reflection on the window. Scarlet orbs stared back at him.

A howl was torn from his throat, almost animal-like, heard throughout the facility.

xxx

R&R, as always.:) And no, Resident Evil is still not mine.

EDIT: I have no idea how to answer the comments, so I just decided to reply to these here

Anyway, 30 Seconds to YOUR MOM: lol I would do the same thing too, considering that I also tried to shoot Sherry out of frustration in RE 2 (And don't tell me I'm mean for trying to shoot that little girl. Why did she have to get scared even if there are no zombies in sight?X/) Anyway, the idea of Chris going berserk came to mind while I was writing it. Because of his rage, he stopped thinking properly, and as a result, he became more than a little trigger-happy. (Un)fortunately, Sheva just happened to be a casualty.:P

namine_redfield: This was actually meant to be a one-shot, but thanks for the interest.:) I might try to put something like this in one of my later longer stories though. Yeah, Chris was injected with something, but it's not the T-virus. It's pretty much the same thing Wesker shot himself with, since they both were able to retain their sanity (at least, for the meantime).