Love is... Well that exactly is love? Is it the bond between man and woman, or is it something more deeper. More heartfelt.
Leon Kennedy was a man that didn't believe in love, he had no purpose to fill that empty void with a hopeless emotion. He was solid as a rock, his emotions didn't change under any circumstances, except when it came to one person.
That one person that could flip his world upside down. She could even get him to smile a little when she spoke to him. The woman was like a drug to him, but he tried to keep away; he didn't want to get addicted to her. Her flaming red hair and icy-cold stare... It could send shivers down his spine by just the thought of her.
Those shivers were continuously stinging his spine as he sat across from Claire Redfield. Her bright blue eyes were scanning the file that Leon had brought to her that morning. He couldn't relax on the black leather chair he was sitting in, but he kept perfect posture, like he was trained to do. He was getting older, the lines on his face were becoming more present as the years went on. But he never stopped working, he promised her that he would scrub Umbrella's viruses off the planet. He tried to keep every single promise to her after the incident with Sherry. He still blamed himself for letting her get taken away like she did.
"Hey, Leon," asked the redhead in front of him,
His head rose a little and he nodded at her, "Yeah?"
"Let's go get some lunch, huh?" she nudges her head towards the clock beside her, indicating that it was already past noon. Leon noticed the way her ponytail brushed against her neck delicately.
"Okay. We better grab something quick." the agent placed his hands on his knees and then rose up from the uncomfortable chair. Luckily he was still fit and had good joints. Leon hoped he would never suffer the effect of aging: arthritis, was one of his main concerns. He needed to be in top condition for his job, even if he was already thirty-three. But when he takes a look at Claire's brother, Chris, he knows he can last longer.
He saw a smile form on Claire lips and she walked over to grab her coat. It was the middle of February, and he knew how much Claire hated the cold.
"Antarctica can do that to a person." she'd joke over and over again to her friends when the temperature decreased.
"Let's go get a burger or something," said the petite redhead towards Leon. He nodded once again to her, grunting a bit. If no one could tell just by looking at him, Leon didn't talk much to others, not even on missions. He'd silently complete them, barely saying a word unless it was needed.
The two survivors walked down the carpeted stairs of the hotel that Claire was staying at, Leon always stayed in the back; he wanted to be the lookout for the two. Even when they were in Raccoon City and in Harvardville airport, he was always looking out for her. Keeping his eyes peeled so that nothing could happen to the youngest Redfield. He cared for her, like she was his own sister... Even though he felt like they didn't have a sibling-relationship. It was different. It was different from the other women he met over the years. The women that wanted nothing more than to sleep with him and try to make him theirs. He didn't want to be manipulated by a woman that would try to own him, he was his own man, and he could make his own damn decisions.
"You alright, Leon?" Claire had her wide grin spread across her face as she stared at him.
He blinked and nodded, "Yeah, why?"
"I said the place is empty because it's Valentine's Day. Are you loosing your hearing as well as your mind?"
"Valentine's Day?" he questioned softly. Leon lifted his wrist and looked at the silver watch that was wrapped around it. Sure enough, it said February Fourteenth under the ticking hands. He blinked yet again when a hand waved under his face.
"Yoo-hoo, Earth to Leon, do you read me?" a soft chuckle filled the air and then he heard the clink of a bell. His eyes watched Claire open the door to the restaurant and go inside. A sigh escaped his lips and he followed after the redhead.
Leon shrugged his leather coat off and draped it on the back of the chair he was going to sit on. After that, he sat down on the old wooden chair and grabbed a menu. His eyes glanced up at Claire again, who had her 'thinking face' on.
"Get a burger," he said as he glanced at the menu.
"I know, but which one..." she bit down on on her thumbs' nail and read through the selections.
Leon couldn't help but smile a little to himself, she always had a tough time deciding on what she wanted to eat.
"You want a chicken club then, Claire."
Her blue eyes shifted up to him and she smiled widely, "You're right, I think I do. Thanks, Leon."
She closed her menu and nudged it towards the edge of their table just in time for when the waitress came back. A few minutes later, Leon had ordered a hamburger after he had to convince Claire to get the chicken club like she had agreed on.
Claire picked at the hem of her sleeve and sighed softly as they sat in silence. The restaurant would be packed by dinner time, but at lunch; it was dead. The light music over head and the chatter between the employees was the only thing that could be heard in the small building.
Leon sat with is arms across his chest tightly. He didn't move nor flinch when the waitress had brought their drinks over. All he seemed to do was act like a brick wall in front of Claire, and that wasn't something that the Redfield had taken a liking to.
"So, how's... Angela?" she asked with a sigh as she squeezed the lemon into her water. Claire hated the slices of lemon in her water, but she had subconsciously squeezed it into her drink.
Leon did his usual 'grunt' of an agreement and shrugged a little, "Dunno. We don't stay in touch."
"Really, now?" said the redhead as she placed the yellow peel on a napkin. She wasn't expecting to hear that from him. Though he does keep out of touch with a lot of women, like 'Ada' for example.
Her eyes flickered a bit before she looked back up at Leon, "So how's Ada?"
"Why do you care? I remember that you weren't too fond of her in Raccoon City."
"Ah, true. But I remember you being VERY fond of her. A little too fondly, I might add."
Leon once again didn't reply with words, but rather with actions. A heavy sigh came from his mouth and he looked at Claire.
"What happened in the past, stays in the past. Like you and Steve."
The agents eyes glanced up as he heard a clatter. Claire's silverware that she was going to lay out had fallen on the table.
"Why... Did you have to bring him up, Leon." her eyes changed into a deep blue as she glared at the agent in front of her. The redhead never enjoyed when someone brought up Steve Burnside's name. It was like a knife digging deeper into her side. Even after all the years, the guilt of his death was burdened on her shoulders. She would never forgive herself, not even if he did come back like all the others that have died.
"I see no reason why not to bring him up. You brought up Ada, so I thought it was only fair to."
"He's DEAD, Leon. Dead. He wont come back like that little trampy spy."
"Ada is dead to me. She's a lost case and I just can't handle chasing her around like she wants to be. Every time she shows up, she expects me to put everything down and play tag with her. I'm sick of it. And I'm sick of Angela and Ashley's non-stop calls that I never answer because I want some time to myself."
"Time for yourself?"
Leon was about to explain until the waitress had came back with their plates of food. Claire glanced at her plate and then over to Leon's. She noticed a tiny smile start to creep at the corner of his mouth before he cut his hamburger in half.
"Here, give me half of yours." he placed part of his sandwich on her plate and took the other half of Claire's chicken club.
Without any complaint, the redhead happily started to eat the half of the burger that was given to her. The two ate their meal in silence, like they always did with one another. It was peaceful, but it was also lonesome at the same time.
After they had finished eating and the checks were given to them, Claire looked over at the Government agent.
"Now tell me, Mr. Kennedy, what's this 'time for yourself'?"
She watched as Leon pulled his wallet out and took out his sleek credit card, "Well I could have sent you the file couldn't I?"
That made the redhead think of the file that was locked in her briefcase in the hotel room. Of course Leon could have just sent it to her, instead he came in person. Now that she thought about it, he never mentioned about having time off from work.
"So you told your boss, President Graham, that you had to come and deliver that file? To me no less. It was about the B.S.A.A., I'm sure Chris could have given it to me himself."
A smirk pricked at the corner of his mouth again; it was like he was forcing himself not to show off any sign of emotion. Leon rose up from his seat and snatched up Claire's ticket before heading over to the register.
"Hey, what are you doing?" she grabbed her coat and swiftly followed behind him.
"Buying you a Valentine's Day present since I didn't get you anything." He grabbed a pen from the desk and started to sign his name on the receipt.
"I wanted to, now let's go." he shrugged his coat back on and then started to go back outside into the cold. Once again, Claire had to hastily follow right behind him.
"Don't mention it." he said gruffly. It was like he didn't want people to find out that he had a soft spot for the Redfield. If she was ever in trouble, some form of Leon would be there. Whether it be himself, or sending of another person to do the deed. He was there for her. He wanted to say it was a 'little sister complex' like Chris has with Claire. But it was different for Leon. He knew that Claire could handle herself and he didn't need to know where she always was or what she was doing. She was a grown woman and had her own life.
But why did Leon always want to be a part of it?
Why did Leon travel thousands of miles just to deliver a document that her own brother would have given her? Why did her take her out to lunch and pay for her own meal? Why was Leon asking so many questions to himself about the redhead?
"Flowers, cheap flowers for your Valentine! Hey buddy, wanna buy some flowers for your sweetheart?" Leon saw a man on the corner of the street holding a sign for the florist that was beside him. A long line was coming from the tiny building of nervous men waiting to get their last minute flowers for their ladies. As Claire and Leon weaved through the crowd, she saw a display of yellow roses inside.
"Oh, that's pretty," she said to herself out loud. She never really liked flowers, but she had an open spot for the yellow ones, even though her favorite color was pink.
Leon glanced at the display and then lead Claire back towards the hotel she was staying at. After they reached her door, Leon dug his communicator out of his pocket and walked inside the room.
"I need to make a quick call, I'll be right back," after that, he headed into her bathroom and closed the door.
Claire sighed and nodded before she headed to the couch and plopped back on the soft cushions. She kicked her boots off and closed her eyes before Leon came back into the small living room.
"Back so soon?" she asked with a small sigh. Claire thought he would of been in there for hours talking about some 'secret agent' things that she wasn't allowed to hear.
"Yeah, nothing major," he replied as he sat down in the chair that was in front of the redhead. Leon propped his foot up on the coffee table behind him and rubbed the bridge of his nose.
"You always look tired," said Claire as she looked over at the agent. He always had huge bags under his eyes, showing the obvious sign of exhaustion.
Leon did another one of his persistent shrugs to her for an answer, which made the redhead frown at him. He shifted in the chair and then moved his foot from the coffee table to laying across his lap.
Claire sighed loudly and pulled the file out from briefcase again to read. She hadn't gotten very far in it, she never enjoyed reading about outbreaks across the globe.
"Hey, Leon," she asked as her blue eyes scanned the text, "What did you mean back in the diner?"
Silence filled the room and Claire shifted her gaze up to the agent. She watched him shift again in the chair and sigh, "I'm tired, Claire. I needed to get away. And well... You're the only person I can bare to be by right now."
The redhead knew not to take that as an insult. She knew about Leon shutting himself off from people. He even stopped talking to Ark Thompson around last year, which was quite a shock for her.
"So you decided to come here for a 'vacation', you mean?" she raised her eyebrow slightly. She was given the impression that Leon really didn't like anyone, besides the woman in the red dress that he trusted so easily. So what that he met Claire first and left with her and Sherry in that train? So what if Claire decided to send Leon that email, just to him you know, so he could save her? So what that she helped Leon save that 'Angela' and ruin WilPharma forever? So what. Well that 'so what' was really grinding Claire's gears, and it was making it harder for her to speak to the 'Secret Agent'.
"You could say that. Or I just came over to visit an old friend for once."
Claire looked a bit shocked after Leon had said that to her. 'Friend'? Really? She thought of him more as an acquaintance, even after Umbrella had fallen. They knew each other, but they really never had the time to 'get to know each other'. And why was Claire thinking in quotes, was she really just that mad at him? How could she ever forgive him for losing Sherry that easily?
"Claire," sighed the man loudly, "Hey, talk to me, okay?"
The redhead's grip on the paper loosened and she looked back over towards the man. She barely knew anything about him, in fact, she knew jack about Leon.
"Where were you born?"
The agent blinked a few times and then looked at Claire, "Park Ridge, Illinois, why?"
Claire looked at him and smiled softly, "We were from Skokie before my parents died..."
Leon lowered his gaze and nodded. He knew about the death of the Redfield's parents, he heard the story a few times from both siblings.
There was a knock at the door and Claire rose up from her chair, "Be right back." She headed over and looked through the peephole.
"Who is it?" she said loud enough for the person outside to hear.
"Flower delivery for a," he paused a second to read a name from the tiny envelope, "Claire Redfield?"
The person who owned that name gave an odd look and then spoke again, "From who?"
"Uh..." he replied as he gazed at the envelope again, "doesn't say. They're just yellow rose bouquet from 'Petal Pushers' down the block."
Claire glanced back at Leon and rolled her eyes happily. "Okay, I'll take them." she opened the door and signed the slip for her flowers. After that, she walked over to the coffee table and sat the vase in the middle. The redhead opened the little card and read it to herself.
"Happy Valentine's, Red."
Her eyes shifted up to Leon who shockingly had a genuine smile on his face. Claire pointed her finger to him and grinned, "All right. Who are you and what have you done to Leon Scott Kennedy?"
His smile then turned to a smirk and he shrugged, "You tell me."
Claire's grin stayed on her face, "Why did you send me flowers?"
"Because you wanted them." he answered in return.
"Okay... Why did you come here on Valentine's Day to give me a file which Chris could have?"
"Because I wanted to."
"Oh really?" she arched an eyebrow and looked at him.
"Yes, really. That's why I'm here."
The redhead stayed silent for a few moments and then looked at her new roses.
"Claire. Would you like to go to dinner with me tonight?"
"Wait- What?" she blurted loudly without thinking.
"You heard what I said," he grinned, letting his stonewall expression erode from his face. There it was, the face she remembered from over a decade ago. That baby-like grin had a charming sight to it. It was so much softer and kinder than the 'secret agent look'.
"Hello, stranger," she said with a wide smile on her face, "I haven't seen you for years you know; where have you been?"
Leon smiled at her and sighed, "Work, you know? But I decided to come and visit an old friend."
Claire smiled and nodded, "I see. Well I can't stay long, I have a date tonight you see."
The agent suddenly furrowed his brow and looked at her, "With who?"
"Oh you know? This guy that doesn't like to show his emotions to anyone but me. He's a nice guy and all, but I don't like the way he acts anymore."
"Oh? I see." Leon crossed his arms over his chest tightly, "You know he only acts like that so people wont get hurt, right?"
The redhead nodded and sighed as she blew her bangs out of her eyes, "Oh, I know. He doesn't like to see people get hurt so he seperates himself from them and pretends not to care."
"You know him so well. Maybe that's why he likes you?"
"Maybe so. And maybe that's why I like him?"
Leon looked at Claire and smiled, "You know, I'm gonna have to steal you away from that loser guy and keep you for myself?"
She laughed and bent down to smell the roses that he had given her, "I know. After-all, you bought me my favorite flower."
The agent rose up from his chair and sat on the couch next to Claire. He drapped his arm over her shoulder and sighed, "So. Wanna go out with me tonight, Miss Redfield?"
Claire grinned widely and kissed his cheek, "I would love to, Mr. Kennedy."
Leon turned his face to hers and smiled, "Happy Valentine's Day, Claire"
She pressed her lips up to his and winked slyly, "Ditto."
Love is one of those things that can never be explained. It's different for everyone, yet, it has powers to bring two people closer together whom love each other.
A/N: This story is dedicated to my boyfriend because I love him so much! 8:3
Sorry that I haven't written anything lately, life has gotten in the way. FYI: The towns I wrote for their hometowns are suburbs of Chicago. I hope you enjoyed this story, tell me what you thought about it! And no flames, please.
And as always, Happy Valentine's Day, ya'll.