AUTHORS NOTE: Anybody who is a Steve/Claire fan do not read this story as I will not appreciate receiving hate mail/reviews for doing a Claire/Leon story, since this is my favourite pairing. Okay? Peace out!
What Leon wants for Christmas
Chris and Leon dragged themselves forwards, their feet made of lead and arms even more so. They had faced many perils, fighting Tyrants, Hunters and other such evil undead creatures. But never before had they fought such a battle.
This was of course accompanying Jill and Claire shopping.
Christmas was in the air, Leon reflected, as he looked around the shopping mall. The mall was lit up, decorations and images of Santa Claus surrounded him. There was something magical about Christmas, something special that just made everything seem so much better in the world. But the golden magic of Christmas had little effect when you were carrying the girls Christmas shopping over both shoulders and in both hands.
Leon knew that Claire wanted a new leather jacket, and he'd bought the best and most expensive one he could find; not that that was too difficult, he wasn't stingy but a person could have bought a second-hand car for the price he paid for Claire's jacket. She'd also, in a girlish way, asked for some perfume. Hell, she was still a woman even if she was a bit of a tomboy.
Christmas music rolled over his head, God rest ye Merry Gentlemen was being thrashed out by a choir furiously trying to compete with the tinkling Jingle Bells music playing from the opposite shop, and to some extent were succeeding.
"Uh, ladies…" Chris said, almost desperately "I don't want to butt in or anything, but are we actually going to stop walking at some point? See the little donkeys are kind of tired of carrying Mary and her load"
Claire and Jill stopped, turning bemusedly to the men just behind them.
"Chris…" Claire said, kindly "…I thought you were able to carry great burdens?"
"Sis, you have a talent for saying precisely the wrong thing at precisely the wrong time"
"Please" Leon moaned "We've been here for three hours, are you going to let us sit down for just a few moments?"
Jill and Claire sighed, almost in unison.
"Okay!" Jill said, clapping her hands "How about some food?"
"PLEASE!!" Leon and Chris implored.
They slowly lowered their shopping to the ground, and sat down on the bench. Leon felt Claire sit next to him, felt her warmth. He looked down at her hand. All he had to do was take it and gently stroke it…it wasn't that hard, hell Kennedy you've done more dangerous things before, he reflected. But the prospect of getting slapped across the face by the object of his desire was not one he was to eagerly enjoyed experiencing. Leon sighed.
All I want for Christmashe thought is Claire…
He had hinted at a Playstation 2 or Gamecube, although Nintendo had put in the latest 'Bio Evil' game on the Gamecube so he was more in favour of that one…
"Leon? Claire to Leon?" Claire said, shaking her auburn hair in his direction.
"Yeah?" he replied quickly. It was pathetic, he thought, you hang on her every word. You'd happily walk across a river of lava if she asked you to. What have you become, Leon S. Kennedy? He thought.
"I wanted to know" she asked "If you and Chris were going to get the McD's for us?"
"Sure!" Leon replied, smilingly "Whaddya want?"
"Quarter pounder with cheese meal" Claire replied "Chris will have a BigMac as ever, the greedy guts…"
"I resent that…" Chris cut in.
"…and I'll have McNuggets" Jill finished.
"Yeah, me too" Chris suddenly said.
Jill smiled at him.
"You like those too?"
"Yeah, when I don't have Big Mac I have McNuggets!" Chris replied triumphantly, turning to Claire and Leon before saying with acid in his voice and facial expression "DON'T I"
Claire and Leon nodded, quickly.
Claire leaned back on the bench, breathing in the warm and artificial air the central conditioning system bellowed forth from its various vents around the hall, and inhaling the smells of McDonalds and Christmas. Even with her eyes closed, she could feel it to be that time of year. She smiled when she thought of the way Leon went on about it; he was like a child, full of energy and announcing happily every morning in the house the four of them shared 'Only 10 days 'til Christmas!'. Jill wanted them to go to church at least once for the Christmas period, something that had not sparked off a religious debate, since Chris was not particularly of a religious orientation. But Claire knew in her heart of hearts, that if Jill wanted to do something, her dear brother would do it, and with even more enthusiasm than even she did.
She had subtly hinted to Leon that she'd wanted a jacket, and openly told him she would also like some scent…but the main Christmas present she wanted? Was to spend Christmas Eve in the arms of Leon Kennedy. Stuff and nonsense of course, she thought, he wasn't that interested in her.
"Claire sweetie" Jill said, shaking her head "I can't believe you're so blind I have to open your eyes for you"
"To what?" Claire asked, defensively.
"To the fact that Mr. Kennedy is 100% in lurve with you…" Jill said too smoothly for Claire to be comfortable.
Claire blushed a deep, Santa-Claus suit scarlet.
"Oh yeah, right" Claire mumbled.
"Claire, the boy would lick your shoes if you asked him to" Jill giggled "I almost feel sorry for the guy, you're torturing him!"
"Oh come on, we're friends!"
"In the same way that Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles were friends I suppose?" Jill asked, dryly.
"Jill!" Claire said, a little indignant.
"You love Leon, you love Leon…" Jill sang, avoiding Claire's swipes.
Leon and Chris stumbled back, a mountain of grease in their arms. Leon naturally headed for Claire like a fly in an amber flow drawn towards its priority.
"One quarter-pounder with cheese?" Leon said, bowing as if a butler.
"Leon, stop it…"
Only Leon and Claire didn't realise that they were inadvertently flirting, much to the amusement of Chris and Jill.
They sat down to eat, and for a few minutes there was no sound apart from that of several hungry friends eating their food.
"Chip?" Leon asked Claire, with his mouth full.
"Please" Claire replied, also with her mouth full.
Jill grinned, swallowing before she spoke.
"Both as sloppy as each other, I see" she said, looking at them turn to her with indignant bulging hamster cheeks.
"Fuddup" Leon replied.
"Man, you've got to be more forthcoming!" Chris insisted, as Claire and Jill disappeared into J.D Sports, another icon of consumerism.
"Forthcoming…?" Leon asked, scratching his head "With what?"
"My friend, aliens from Pluto could tell you that you guys are attracted to each other like magnets" Chris explained, shaking his head in bemusement.
"Me and…?" Leon continued, confused.
Chris sighed deeply.
"Don't have shame in getting a boner about my sister my friend, it's a typical reaction to any member of the Redfield family"
"Well, I'm not getting a boner about any other members of the Redfield family…" Leon replied with a grin.
"ENOUGH" Chris snapped "Anyway, you just admitted it!"
"That you get a boner over my sister" Chris explained calmly, a wry smile sawing his face in half.
"I do not!" Leon replied, unaware that his cheeks had just flushed.
"Denial…" Chris sang quietly.
"Um…" Leon appeared embarrassed and agitated "…well…you won't tell anybody will you…?"
Chris raised his hands.
"Your secret is safe with me" Chris replied, gently.
Claire and Jill emerged, grinning and laughing and carrying, much to Chris and Leon's despair, more bags.
"Hey Claire!" Chris called to his sister, as loudly as possible "Leon told me he gets a huge-"
At this point, the palm of Leon's hand forced its way over his mouth and Leon's boot connected sharply with his shin.
"A huge what?" Claire asked.
Chris you total, total…
"…Christmas hamper every year" Chris finished, still wincing.
Claire giggled, fluttering her eyelids in that way that made Leon practically pass out.
"That's so sweet!" she replied, smiling warmly. Claire wasn't any old person, she had a lot of brain matter in there, Leon knew and was proud of, which he thought she should be too…a nice pair of legs too…
"Um…yeah!" Leon said, smiling fixedly.
Claire straightened up.
"Okay guys, I say we wrap it up for today" Claire said, cheerfully "We've done enough; do we have an agreement?"
"DEAR LORD YES!!" Chris and Leon chorused.
Jill rolled her eyes.
"Men, honestly" she said.
"Uh…I didn't really mean that!" Chris called upon hearing that, stumbling after Jill. Leon shook his head wonderingly, you didn't catch him melting over a girl like that…
"Hey Leon" Claire said, falling back beside him and touching him lightly on the arm.
"H-hey Claire" he said, cursing himself inwardly for not suppressing the stutter.
She eyed him, smiling.
"You okay? You seem awfully nervous"
"Um…no! Just trying to figure out how to kill your brother in as many ways as possible" Leon said, glaring after Chris now aware he had to buy an expensive Christmas hamper.
"So, we're going to have another great Christmas, huh?" she asked.
"Oh yeah…just trying to work out what can…make it perfect" he thought, seeing in his mind the mistletoe and him and Claire standing under it…
"Any suggestions?" she asked, seeing in her mind the roaring fire and the two of them snuggled up in each other's arms.
"Not…yet" he said, weakly.
They walked out of the shopping mall into the blistering cold air of the outside world, still talking. Chris was right, Leon thought, he had to make a move; by Christmas day, he resolved to have at least tried to take on step closer to peace by asking out Claire Redfield.
But where to begin…
END OF PART ONE