Duet of the Apocalypse

Disclaimer: I do not own Resident Evil or any of its characters, though I wish I did.

A/N: Basically this story is set before Resident Evil 1 and goes on from there. It's completely AU. Leon joins the RPD before the S.T.A.R.S. are sent into the forest to deal with the cannibal murders and…well…yeah other stuff happens. Rated T for violence and language. Pairings…will become obvious as the story goes.

The Raccoon City police station was one of the more glorious stations she'd seen in her lifetime. The tiles were shined until they looked glossed, the statues were kept prim and proper, and everything was literally squeaky clean. Throughout the two weeks she'd spent there, she'd never once seen a scratch or dust or anything. It was rather annoying. It wasn't like the station was a hospital. No, it was an art museum turned police station.

Standing with her right hip pressed against the railing of the second floor near the emergency ladder, Ada Wong could really suck up the glory and the over exaggerated beauty of the station. Down on the first floor she could see the statue of the goddess with her pitcher, always tipped over as if water had once flowed from it. It was surrounded by what seemed to be a water fountain that was long emptied of its waters. Many had asked why the water hadn't been kept running. Nobody had answered.

Directly below her was the reception area. Rita, a young blonde with a soft southern drawl, was operating the computer. Her fingers danced over the keys and ordered the computer to do something for her. She was probably checking to see if the jail cells were empty. The April-May transition was Raccoon City's most busy criminal time of the year for some unknown reason.

The sound of dress shoes smacking against linoleum grabbed Rita's attention. The young woman lifted her head and, although it was hard to tell from the second story, smiled at the person approaching. Ada gazed curiously down at the person she was looking at, her eyes half-lidded like she was tired and wanted to get some sleep. She gazed down at the newcomer through her thick, ebony eyelashes. Marvin Branagh. A dark skinned officer who was well known and loved by the majority of the police in the station, and even the S.T.A.R.S. themselves, Marvin looked oddly nervous. He never looked nervous, not even when he was staring down the chief himself.

The two officers exchanged some words quickly but when Rita shook her head, her short hair barely moving at all, Marvin groaned and started pacing. His right hand lifted to scratch at his head while he wiped the palm of his left against his pant leg. His nerves were obviously frayed. He was obviously nervous. About what? There hadn't been any big crime in the city. The S.T.A.R.S. weren't even in yet. Irons wasn't doing one of his weekly 'inspections' of everybody.

Ada suddenly stood up straight and her hands slid down her pant legs to smooth out the wrinkles there. The black cloth was rough against her skin, not exactly something she liked to wear but her new 'job' made her do such. The uniform was constricting but she had no say in that matter. The Kevlar vest made her chest incredibly uncomfortable. The boots squeaked on the station's tiles when she walked because they were brand new. Everything about her S.T.A.R.S. uniform was annoying. Then again, everything about S.T.A.R.S. was annoying.

She had no freedoms any longer thanks to her employers. She couldn't take a single step anywhere without having somebody stare at her. The male cops practically drooled when they saw her. The male S.T.A.R.S. tried to get on her good side. Irons watched her like a hawk. And Wesker… He was the worst of them all. And she knew why. She was invading his territory. It came back down to the simplest of instincts for all beings. Protect your territory. And she'd stepped in and was taking over.

"It wasn't my choice," she growled softly, looking down at the goddess statue. No, it wasn't her choice. It was Umbrella's. Spencer's. Somebody else's. They didn't trust Wesker. At all. The man who'd been working for them for some time now was not liked and not trusted. She didn't really understand why they didn't like him or trust him. From what she knew of the man, he didn't make himself out to be untrustworthy. Well, you had to get past his rather dark attitude to see the okay side of him.

But for some reason Umbrella in general didn't trust him. They didn't really trust Birkin, the underground scientist, either. And yet they trusted her. Of all people, they trusted Ada Wong, spy extraordinaire. When they'd come to her with the proposal of sending her to Raccoon City to keep an eye on Wesker, and they told her that she was one of the few trustworthy people left, she'd had to fight off the biggest urge to laugh. She was not a person anybody wanted to trust. She was the least connected of all Umbrella's employees. If the company went under, she would be perfectly fine. She actually wanted them to go under. Jon had shown her plenty of the experiments…

Involuntarily, a shudder coursed through her body as images of those things came to mind. They sickened her. They were abominations against mankind and everybody within it. She'd seen the side effects of those who were bitten by the experiments and knew that, if for some reason it happened to her, she'd blow her brains out before the side effects could occur. And the experiments gave her a bad feeling, a sense of foreboding that had always doomed things before.

A loud bang tore her attention away from her thoughts. Down below Irons was storming past the goddess statue and up the small ramp that led to the reception area. His face, pudgy and misshaped, was red with rage and God knew what else. His fists were balled so tightly at his sides that she could see the knuckles were white. His mustache, a brown thing that stretched across his upper lip like a skinny rodent, twitched with anger.

"Where are they Branagh?" he boomed, his voice carrying quite easily through the empty front hall. Ada cringed at his overly loud voice and considered going back to the S.T.A.R.S room. This wasn't going to be pretty. "They were supposed to be here by now."

"I told you the academy doesn't let out until nine, Chief," Marvin replied with a much gentler voice. Ada liked Marvin. He was a good cop and a calm man. And he was one of the few who could face Chief Brian Irons and keep a calm face. She'd never seen his face curl up with rage and she'd never heard him raise his voice in anger. Now, parties were different. She'd heard him cheering a new rookie along with others, his voice carrying above the crowd's. But that was different.

"It's nine-thirty, Branagh," Irons hissed, his voice snobby and dark. Ada, like always, had to fight off the biggest urge to through something at him. Irons was the epitome of annoying. A chubby man who stood little over five-and-a-half feet tall, he tried to make himself seem scary to keep his officers in control. His brown hair and brown mustache and brown clothes all helped the portrayal of an annoying little man with too much power and no taste in dressing.

The front doors suddenly opened and two officers, Fred and Ted she recognized, trotted in. Trailing behind them were three others clad in civilian style clothes, two men and a woman. They looked young, maybe in their early twenties, and their eyes soaked in the glory of the Raccoon City Police Department. Ada smiled, her crimson colored lips curving upwards slightly at the corners. Rookies.

"Hey look, we got them," Fred called to Marvin, motioning to the trio. Immediately, Irons stormed over to them, standing about a foot away from them so quickly that his weight seemed impossible. The woman took a slight step back and Ada shook her head. Not a good sign. One didn't want to show fear in front of the chief. He was worse than a dog. The second he caught a whiff of fear, he made one's life a living hell. Just for fun.

"Why were you three so late?" Irons asked, his voice oddly low. Ada recognized it as his 'I'm going to make you cry' voice. It didn't really make anybody cry. But it was the voice he used before he was going to start yelling. And boy did Irons love to yell. He loved to hear himself speak really.

The far right rookie was a dark haired young man with a green fleece jacket on and he opened his mouth to speak when the rookie in the dead center, the tallest of them, stepped forward. Ada let her eyes trail over him, soaking in his appearance like his own eyes had soaked up the station. Tall, blond, blue-eyed, and wearing an expression of fearlessness. He was obviously the leader of these three. And he was pretty cute. He had boyish looks almost and his shoulders were broad. He was wearing a black leather jacket that hid the majority of his torso's features but he was wearing blue jeans and black boots. Obviously the leader.

"It wasn't really our fault, actually," he said, his voice a surprisingly low tone for how young he looked. "Not only was traffic pretty damned hectic but the academy wouldn't let us out until we proved we could pass their tests one last time." He stood, nearly towering over Irons, and had a steady look on his face even though it was obvious he was lying. His pale blue eyes were obviously holding Irons' without hesitation, something that Irons didn't like. The chief yanked his gaze away and looked at the other two. The woman, her hair a pale blonde pulled back in a ponytail, and the man stepped slightly behind the 'leader.' They were hiding. Smart rookies.

"Tests, huh?" Irons asked, looking back up at the blond. He took a step forward and, out of instinct, the blond stepped back. Nobody wanted to be that close to Irons. Ada had had such misfortune and had gotten a lungful of rotten smelling breath in return. She shuddered slightly at the memory. "And if I called, would they confirm such?"

To her amazement, and humor, the 'leader' shrugged. From where she stood, she couldn't see Irons' face but Ada sure as hell saw his ears reddening. Marvin coughed lightly, his sign of trying to hold back a laugh, and the two cops who'd escorted the trio in snorted in laughter. The rookie, however, kept a straight face until Irons spun around and stormed over to Marvin. Then, the dark haired man slapped him on the back and he grinned. The girl was silently laughing, her face buried in her hands, and Ada herself wanted to laugh. Anybody who stood up to Irons had her respect.

"Train them Branagh. And keep that on in check," Irons snarled, shoving a finger in the rookie's direction. He gave the chief a perplexed 'I'm innocent' look and Ada thought about how cute he was. No doubt he had girls clinging all over him wherever he went. "I want a report on their progress by the end of the week." He turned back to the rookies and walked over to them. Instantly, all humor was wiped off their faces. Even the leader seemed a little more uncomfortable. "Mind you, if any of you prove to be a…weak link, shall we say, I'll kick you to the curb so fast you'll never see it coming."

The leader seemed to bit his tongue and curbed a response to the statement. Irons gave him one last glare before storming off. As soon as he was gone, the two rookies clapped their 'leader' on the back and gave him a couple soft words of praise. And Ada couldn't help herself. She clapped suddenly, the noise startlingly loud and immediately everybody looked up. Ted and Fred gazed upon her with lust, Marvin with respect, and Rita with dislike. But the rookies stared at her with curious looks. The 'leader' gave her a shocked look, the dark haired one a disbelieving look, and the woman a smile.

"Bravo," she called, her sultry voice making the men in the room straighten up slightly. "Anybody who stands up to Irons deserves applause." He grinned at her, showing off white teeth, and she returned the smile. Immediately, the rest of the people in the front hall burst into applause for the young man.

As his attention was grabbed by his friends, Ada deemed it time to return to the S.T.A.R.S. room. She dreaded doing such. She'd stood in the front hall for so long to avoid going into the S.T.A.R.S. room, like she had every morning for the past two weeks. Irons was bad. Wesker was worse.

---

"And finally, here's your desk Leon," Marvin said as he guided the trio to their desks. Elza sat on the far end, near Marvin's office. Ark sat dead center. And Leon sat closest to the door. He guessed that was to make a quick escape or something. Or they just didn't have any desks.

Leon started to head to his desk when he noticed Marvin was watching him. He stopped and stood up a little straighter, his hair falling into his eyes. "Is something wrong?" he asked, grabbing the attention of his friends. Elza and Ark looked over in worry and seemed to let out a sigh of relief when Marvin shook his head.

"No… No… Nothing's wrong. Well, Leon I want you to come with me real quick. We need to talk," Marvin said. Leon followed the older officer to his office, walking past the worried again Elza. He grinned at his friends, a smile that betrayed his nerves. He entered the office after Marvin and stood still, waiting. Marvin motioned for him to close the door and he followed the order. The blinds were shut, the door was closed, this wasn't good. "Leon… What you did out there…"

"I know I should've shown him more respect but we're not even technically working here and…" He trailed off as Marvin held up a hand. Leon saw the exhaustion in the older man's eyes and felt ashamed. He really hadn't meant to upset Irons. He'd done it on instinct. He'd had to protect his friends. "I'm sorry, sir."

"No Leon, don't be. I just… Look, you have to watch your ass here. He wasn't joking when he said that shit about kicking you to the curb. He's done it before, to cops much older and much more experienced than you. He's physically dragged people out of this place. I just don't want to see it happen to you. You've got the best stats I've ever seen. There's a chance you could outshoot the S.T.A.R.S. marksman. And I really don't want to see you kicked out because of your smart mouth," Marvin said, sitting on the corner of his desk. Leon nodded his head in understanding. Shame was building up again but when Marvin next spoke, his tone was much happier. "Be proud though. You got a compliment from the Ice Queen herself."

"Yeah, who was that?" Leon asked. Whoever she was, she was beautiful. Her hair, raven black, had been cut short, ending above her shoulders. She'd had green eyes and Asian features. And she'd been dressed in a coal black S.T.A.R.S. uniform. He guessed it was pretty ironic that a S.T.A.R.S. officer would applaud him, after he'd declined the offer from their captain.

"That was Ada Wong, new officer of the S.T.A.R.S. She's basically Albert Wesker's co-captain, which more than likely makes him uncomfortable. We call her the Ice Queen because it's rare to see her show emotions other than anger," Marvin said, a smile on his face. "But she's a good person. I respect her and I like to think she respects me. She's better than Wesker in that area."

"Why wasn't she with Wesker, if she's his co-captain?" Leon asked. "This early in the morning, I'd think S.T.A.R.S. would be preparing for the day ahead. But she had to have been standing there for a while, at least. I mean…long enough to see me stand up to the chief at least."

"…Her and Wesker aren't exactly what I'd call friends. In fact, I'd say they absolutely can't stand each other. Their styles are too different I guess. And I think Wesker doesn't respect her because…well…he did technically make S.T.A.R.S. And her suddenly stepping up and taking over his job… It would kinda be like you becoming co-chief of police," Marvin explained.

"How did she become co-captain if he founded them?" Leon asked. He knew that Wesker had founded S.T.A.R.S. But he also knew that the 'super company' Umbrella Inc. had paid for the creation of S.T.A.R.S. Leon doubted Irons would've allowed the group of SWAT-like police otherwise. No doubt the man was territorial like nobody's business.

"God knows, Leon. Well, you better get back out there. I'm going to get some paperwork done. You guys start tomorrow, seven sharp," Marvin said, motioning for the door. Leon grinned and offered the older officer a mock salute, which Marvin returned, and exited the office. As soon as the door opened, Ark and Elza walked up to him.

"No," he said before Ark could even ask. The younger man glared at his blond friend and Leon just smirked. "We start tomorrow morning." Elza grinned and started back towards her desk. "Seven sharp, he said. So, Ark, don't sleep in, huh?" Ark shot him a dirty look.

"Hey asshole, I wouldn't have slept in if you hadn't gotten us all drunk as a celebration," Ark snapped. Elza laughed from her desk and Leon shrugged in response. He and Ark Thompson were much like brothers. They hated and yet loved each other at the same time. They'd spent all of their years in the academy together and Elza Walker had joined them in their final year. After that, they'd been inseparable. They'd even managed to land a job in Raccoon City together.

"I say we celebrate tonight too," Elza said. "We finally did it guys. We're finally cops. And Leon already has an enemy and a best friend." He glanced at her in confusion. "Well, you made an enemy out of Irons and a friend out of that S.T.A.R.S. girl. Who was she?"

"Marvin said her name is Ada Wong," he replied. For some reason, saying her name felt…right in a way. "He said she's co-captain of the S.T.A.R.S." Both Ark and Elza gave him a confused look and he just shrugged. "So, about this party tonight. Are we inviting anybody?"

"Might as well invite Jane and Emily and Marcus," Elza said. Leon frowned bitterly, the happiness of the situation suddenly falling away. Jane, his girlfriend since high school, was rather distant from him these days. The night before at their celebratory party had been the first time he'd spent more than five minutes with her. And even then she'd gone to cling on Ark after about six minutes. She was the reason he'd gone out and bought alcohol.

Leon started for his desk, glad that his friends were too busy chatting about their new job to notice his suddenly darkened mood. And his thoughts turned back to Ada Wong. He didn't even know her and yet already he liked her more than he did Jane. At least Ada clapped for him when he did something.

The young cop plopped down onto his chair and leaned back in it. His friends noticed that he'd left and started over to him. Ark stopped and grabbed three paper cups from the water jug near Marvin's office and filled them with water. When he'd done such, he gave one to Elza and one to Leon and kept one for himself. Then, he lifted the cup and said, "A toast. To us. For finally doing something with our shitty lives."

Leon lifted his cup up, tapping it to Ark's and Elza's before drinking the water down in one gulp. And silently, he added, 'To the rest of our lives as officers of the law in Raccoon City.'