Chapter 1

Their mouths fused, clinging to each other. She hung tightly to his neck as his mouth devoured hers, letting his tongue slide in and taste her. He groaned deep in his throat as her own tongue met his, stroking and fencing with his own. They separated briefly to pull off each other's shirts, and then their mouths met again, harder, more passionate. She tore her mouth away and trailed kisses on his throat, causing him to groan again. His hands drifted to her chest, and one even dared to go lower, going to the waistband of her pants. Gasping, she leaned into him, creating even more physical contact. Feverishly, they shed off the rest of their clothing. Moving as one, they stumbled backward, landing hard on the couch, him on top of her. He nipped at her neck, and she grasped his hair, pulling him even closer to her. Defying her, his mouth slid lower, exploring the same areas his hands had previously delighted in, causing her to groan even louder. He was about to reach the area he delighted in when he was suddenly interrupted by a loud noise.

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Chris Redfield was awakened rudely by the sound of a ringing doorbell. He cursed as he got up, muttering angrily about the person who dared tear him away from his dreams, the only place he saw as his refuge for the past two years. He marched to the door and peeked at the eyehole, scowling even more when he saw the shock of red hair. He threw the door open, scowling at the person on his doorstep.

"What do you want?" he growled.

"Well, hello to you too," Claire Redfield said, quirking an eyebrow. "Love to see my brother is still as cheerful as always." She brushed past him and went inside his apartment, ignoring his angry sputtering. When she spied the bags at the corner, her eyes narrowed, and she pivoted to confront her brother. "It's true, then. You're leaving," she said flatly.

"What? I'm not allowed to do my job now?" Chris asked, his voice dripping with sarcasm. He glared down at his sister, who refused to be cowed by her brother's scowl. Years of living together had taught her that backing down will automatically grant him victory, and she wasn't about to let that happen. Redfield faced against Redfield, until finally, Chris exhaled and leaned against the wall. "What do you want, Claire?"

"I'm just checking up on my big brother," she said simply. "I guess the rumors were true. You are leaving for a mission," she said, indicating his bags, and then added sadly, "and you didn't even bother telling your sister."

Chris groaned out. "It's just going to be a routine exploratory mission, Claire," he tried to sound as reasonable as he could.

"That's not what Leon told me."

Immediately, Chris's frown returned. "Have you two been keeping tabs on me?"

"Don't blame him, it's all me," Claire immediately responded. "Look, I'm worried about you. You haven't been talking to me, ever since…" She immediately stopped talking, and looked almost apologetic as she looked at Chris.

Chris fought back the wince of pain. He knew what she was referring to, of course. "Don't worry about me," he said, refusing to acknowledge what Claire just said. "I'm going to be alright. I'll only be in Africa for two weeks, at most. There are rumors about a town being barricaded by the local authorities, and initial scouting missions have shown that Tricell might be involved in this."

Claire's face darkened as she heard the company's name. Of course, Tricell. After buying all shares of Wilpharma, the company was immediately recognized as the successor of the fallen Umbrella Corporation of the pharmaceutical industry. BSAA suspected that wasn't the only thing Tricell followed from Umbrella though: they're also rumored to be the biggest BOW distributor in the black market. Nevertheless, Claire attempted to fulfill the mission she set out to do. "Chris, I know that these corporations have to be stopped. Hell, I've seen firsthand what they could do. But… Don't you think it's time for you to slow down a little?"

Chris looked at Claire incredulously. "Slow down? As we speak, hundreds, maybe even thousands of biological weapons are being created around the world! If I don't do something about it, who will?"

"There are other BSAA agents," Claire said quietly.

"But none have more experience than me," Chris said stubbornly, his jaw set.

"But that's the point, Chris!" Claire cried. "They couldn't have more experience than you because you volunteered in just about every damn mission handed to BSAA! One minute you're in Thailand, the next Germany. You have to stop doing this to yourself! What you're doing won't bring Jill back!"

Silence followed her pronouncement. It was a long time since Jill Valentine's name has been mentioned. Two years to be exact, when they buried her coffin at the New Raccoon City cemetery.

Chris's jaw locked when he heard Claire's words. For a second, she thought he was going to start yelling at her. She swore at herself for being so insensitive. She knew how much it hurts her brother to hear Jill's name.

Chris took a few deep breaths to calm down. When he finally spoke, his voice was quiet, too quiet. "Maybe it won't, but at least it would keep people from having the same fate as her."

"I'm sorry, Chris," Claire murmured, reaching out a hand to touch her brother's arm. "That was a stupid thing to say."

"Forget it," Chris said shortly. "I know you didn't mean for it to come out that way."

"I just… I miss her so much," Claire said, collapsing on the couch, her head in her hands, trying desperately to stem the tears that started falling. After Chris introduced Claire and Jill to each other, the two instantly hit it off. Jill saw Claire as the sister she never had, and Claire was delighted to meet the girl who's brought so much happiness in her brother's life.

Chris slowly sat down beside her. "I know. I miss her too, so damn much," Chris's unwilling admission was low, his voice thick. Claire looked over to her brother, and saw that his shoulders were hunched, his head bowed. "That's why I'm doing all these… for her."

"Jill wouldn't have wanted you to kill yourself out of exhaustion," Claire said quietly.

"I… We made each other a promise, back at the Spencer mansion." His voice was barely a whisper. Claire had to strain her ears to hear her brother's words. "While we're in the chopper, we said to each other that we'll do anything it takes to see to it that the mansion incident will never happen again. I'm going to fulfill that promise. It's the least I can do for her… for Jill."

At these words, Claire knew that she would never be able to persuade Chris to ease up, so she compromised, and said instead, "Just promise me this, okay? Promise you'll get back home safe. I don't want to lose my only family."

Chris gave her a crooked grin. "There's still Leon," he teased.

Claire smiled back. This was the first time since the incident that he showed any form of lightheartedness, and she was glad. "Oh, he's around, but as they say, blood is thicker than water. You have to promise me this, alright?"

Chris gave her a one-armed hug. "I promise," he said sincerely. For all her toughness, Claire was still a softie. He wouldn't let his sister hurt more than she already had. "Now how about giving me a ride to the base?"

xxx

And I'm back! Sorry for the long hiatus. I promised this story two months ago, and I'm only writing it now, when RE 5's going to be released in a little over a week's time. Eek. Anyway, hope you like this. It's going to be a bit different from "Answered Questions" (heh, introductory paragraph of this story shows it!), but I still hope you'll enjoy reading this, even if the plot would end up completely different from the canon story of RE 5. I have an idea where to take this story, but I haven't written it down yet. One thing I can say for sure is that this will definitely be non-linear: expect a lot of flashbacks, and maybe even dreams and hallucinations.

Cheers!