In a flash, Wesker dodged.
He moved so quickly that it seemed as though he'd disappeared and reappeared directly in front of Jill. With one gloved hand, he reached up and closed his fingers around her throat, driving her backwards against one of the mahogany pillars and lifting her clean off her feet.
Chris sprinted towards his partner, unable to shake a sickening feeling of finality. He charged at Wesker with his shoulder, pushing his knife against the man's throat. He didn't even manage to break the skin before he was rewarded with an impossibly swift uppercut to the jaw.
"Is that the best you've got, you son of a bitch?" he screamed, all the while anxiously glancing at Jill. She had sunken to the floor, clutching her throat while she tried to breath through swollen airways.
"I have a lot more, Chris," Wesker's voice boomed, echoing off the walls. He treaded casually as he approached Chris, as if they were not fighting it out to death but merely having a happy reunion party.
The next time he blinked Wesker had vanished from his spot and reappeared only a step away from him, throwing a follow-up of kicks and punches. From the barrage of hits Chris braced himself for shattered bones as the best possible outcome. Wesker's open palm caught him in the ribs, and he heard an instantaneous crack. But the other man was still toying with his prey, and the look of amusement on his face told Chris that his former boss was only just getting started.
He scrambled and failed to dodge another blow, returning it with his hardest punches. They barely even registered with his opponent.
A moment later Wesker paused and Chris could have sworn he actually winced, the briefest flash of pain crossing his face before he resumed his customary sneer. He reached back and pulled out a knife as though he was picking out a splinter. Behind him stood Jill, a little out of breath, but quite successful at literally backstabbing their former Captain.
As Wesker turned around to her he grabbed the man by the arm in an attempt to pull him away from his partner.
But he yanked free from his grip with ease, using the momentum to elbow Chris in the face, sending him sprawling backwards. Blood ran freely from his nose, tears rimmed his cheeks and dark patches threatened his vision.
A punch from Wesker was like being hit by an oncoming train.
Meanwhile, Jill received her punishment. He didn't catch a lot of the fight, partly because of the white spots he was seeing, partly because Wesker's broad body concealed most of Jill's figure. What he did see was his partner going to her knees after the third blow. Her face was contorted in pain as she clutched her guts, a weak groan carrying over to him. Wesker took a step back, allowing him full vision.
"You disappoint me. To think you were my best, the elite..." He looked at them, debating his next move.. "Come on now," he hissed. "Get up. Both of you."
Chris was on his feet in an instant, pain forgotten as he charged, launching himself at the man with his knife at the ready. Wesker raised his forearm and deflected the blow, the blade merely biting through his jacket. A couple of tiny drops of blood spilled to the floor before Wesker robbed him of his weapon and sent it clattering to the ground.
Chris delivered a left hook to his face,. His sunglasses went flying, but there was no other perceptible damage. His ex-Captain grabbed him by his collar and lifted him clean off his feet. Chris kicked out at his chest, slamming his heel into Wesker's sternum, but aside from a flash of annoyance, it did little to loosen his enemy's grip.
So Chris did the only conceivable thing a person might do in such a situation. He spat right into Wesker's face.
But before he could act Jill was there again, crossing the distance to the fighting pair with an agility he was surprised to see with all her injuries. She had her handgun equipped and before either of them could act she placed it against Wesker's head and pulled the trigger until the weapon clicked empty.
But the tyrant man's reflexes were so quick that there seemed, to Chris, no time at all between Jill firing the first shot and Wesker gracefully slipping to the side, allowing the bullet to lodge itself in one of the mahogany fixtures of the room.
That suddenly explained the holes in the previous hallway. The murder mystery was solved, at last. Or was it?
The second bullet grazed Wesker's cheek, a thin sliver of blood running down his face to make his appearance all the more demonic. He let go of Chris and the BSAA operative fell to the floor, gasping and clutching at his throat which was starting to blossom in purple welts.
While Chris choked and spluttered, Wesker languidly wrenched the gun from Jill's grip, staring down at it in thoughtful bemusement.
"Tsk, tsk..." he admonished, shaking his head before cracking Jill across her face with the butt of the pistol. She stumbled back, holding on to a most likely fractured jaw.
"That's what you get for not keeping your mouth shut," Wesker lectured.
Chris groaned in frustration. How could this be nothing more but a game to him, when for them it was the bitter struggle for survival? Why couldn't they injure him, slow him down, or simply get near enough to execute a successful attack without his superhuman reflexes dodging?
Wesker turned back to him, his lips curling into a snarl. "Please accept my apologies for the inconvenience, Chris. Be assured, you're in full possession of my attention now."
And with a speed that was too fast for the human eye to follow he kicked at Chris' throat. Chris attempted to dodge, instinctively recoiling at the first twitch of Wesker's posture. But his former Captain merely changed trajectory mid-strike, as though such an impossible action was effortless to him.
And is it really so bad? He wondered a moment before he hit the wall with a brutally painful thud. At least this way, maybe Jill would have a chance to get out. She had to know it was a losing battle. Maybe if he pissed off Wesker enough, the blond would be too distracted with ripping him apart to notice his partner sneak out.
As he struggled to stay upright he looked over at her, tried to meet her eyes and wasn't sure if he succeeded, because his vision was swimming so badly.
"Geez, Wesker," he choked out between gasps of pain, managing to force a defiant grin. "You gotta throw... a tantrum every time we meet? Or do you just like... showing off how much of a freak you've become?"
He staggered forward to meet the tyrant man, one arm cradling his ribcage, the gun clutched firmly in the other. It wasn't much, but fuck it, he'd go down fighting and give Jill a chance.
"Face it, Albert..." He spat the older man's name out along with a large clump of sticky blood. "...you're pathetic. All these years and how many times did you fuck things up? You were a joke of a Captain, you were a pathetic coward at the Ashford base. Even in Russia you had the chance to get rid of me and you were too much of a pussy... and now you go about murdering old men for kicks." He met Wesker's snake-like eyes with his own accusing stare. "You might be pumped full of all the shit in the world to keep you superhuman, but it doesn't matter one damned bit because you're still weak. You're just another one of Umbrella's failed experiments."
He risked a glance over to Jill, who stood, dumbfounded, and watched his little monologue. He knew that he had called doom upon himself, and he'd reserved her show tickets for first row viewing.
Get the Hell out of here, Jill.
Wesker didn't even raise an eyebrow during the speech. He did not bother to reply to the accusations. There was a far more effective way of showing Chris how the game worked. From one second to the other Wesker was behind him, kicking him in the back. Then he was in the front, punching his ribcage apart. Chris didn't even have the time to realize where the blows came from, even less muster a defence.
Wesker grabbed him by the throat and slammed him onto the nearby table, freeing it of plates and glasses and leaving deep scars in the wood as he pulled Chris across. He absorbed more blows than he could register, up to the point where-
He found himself free of the man's grip, sprawling on the floor, moaning insensibly and hacking up blood.
And suddenly there was an almighty clash of glass shards somewhere behind him and his head jerked up just in time to catch a glimpse of what was happening.
Chris had never gotten to his feet at such a speed. Jill had rammed Wesker with all her might, catching the tyrant man off-guard for once. Then they were both gone, leaving nothing behind but an eerie silence and a pile of broken glass.
"JILL!" he screamed out hoarsely, his injuries forgotten as he ran towards the broken window.
But the only reply was the howling of the wind outside the Estate.
He looked around the room again frantically, one more time, his brain refusing to comprehend that she'd been there a moment ago and now she was gone. Gripping the edges of the destroyed window sash, not caring about the splinters of glass which bit into his hands, he leaned out of the window and screamed her name over and over again. And every time, the only one who answered him was the angry sea that splashed against the mansion walls, crying victory over the two souls it had just swallowed.
Eventually Chris' physical condition gave out. His knees buckled beneath him. Sinking to the ground, he kept gripping the window frame for as long as he could, before collapsing in a heap amidst the debris and shards.
"Jill..." he whispered her name like a prayer, his voice hoarse and broken.
His shoulders slumped and his hands, which had been balled into fists, went limp.
And then, slowly at first, and gathering momentum like a wave about to break on the shore, it hit him with an almighty crash. That empty, frightened feeling in the pit of his stomach. The feeling that would still be there when the BSAA's backup troops found him, unmoved from this position on the floor. The feeling that would grow worse and worse while he recuperated, the feeling that would grow into despair and self loathing and never, ever again leave him.
Because she was gone, and she'd done it for him.
Came the last night of sadness
And it was clear she couldn't go on
Then the door was open and the wind appeared
The candles blew then disappeared
The curtains flew then he appeared
(saying don't be afraid)
Come on baby
(and she had no fear)
And she ran to him
(then they started to fly)
They looked backward and said goodbye
(she had become like they are)
She had taken his hand
(she had become like they are)
Come on baby
(don't fear the reaper)
- Blue Oyster Cult
Yes, people, in the words of Michael Jackson: This is it.
It was a long hard journey for everyone involved, but I want to thank those readers who stayed with us till the end. Also, a basket of cookies and chocolate to notanotherfanficauthor who did a marvelous job at writing Chris. This story would have never made it without her.
I'm not sure what I'll be writing next, so that's why you guys don't get a preview. Currently I'm up to my eyeballs into writing The Serpent (under The Unholy Trio). I suggest you check that one out until I come up with more Chaed-ness.
So as a last word: THANK YOU AND SEE YOU SOON!