Author's Note: And here I come with a bit of a bold project. This idea had been bugging me for some time since it occurred to me at the park, and here it is. It was meant to be longer and in third person perspective, but it ended up being shorter and in FIRST person. So anyway, here we got another oneshot to add to my list. Enjoy, everyone!^^

Disclaimer: The usual.

Resident Evil
The Phoenix, Reborn

He can't touch me, he can't harm me.

It was a sentence I repeated to myself every night, more frequently at every moment of the day, whenever I was about to close my eyes. I was afraid to find myself in darkness, to be conscious that every kind of shadow could be lurking in the blackness, to know that something could happen in one moment or another. And it was not insecurity, but paranoia. In the beginning, I believed I was losing my mind and every day I saw I could do nothing about it; I could only sit back and watch my descent into insanity. It was incredible, really, to be aware of how fast and hard I was falling. It's a never-ending fall and the feeling just gets more overwhelming as you keep on falling. At the same time, whenever you feel yourself going up to the surface again, you simply can't take it: you want to stay in the dark, with the notion that you'll be safer there. That was my case.

But yes, in the beginning.

In the beginning, I thought I had lost. In the beginning, I thought I had failed. In the beginning, I could hear his laughter every day, reminding me of that which I had tried to leave behind to no avail. Running away from your past was never healthy, and both Chris and I know what it implies and the risks you must take. I tried to run away. I tried so much to run away that in the end, I couldn't take another step. It was an emergency; it was an order: to forget was necessary. For me, for everyone, for Chris. It was so necessary that we didn't focus on everything else… and that only took me deeper into darkness. But in the end, I rose to my feet. In the end, I kept on walking. In the end, I felt that I could win for the very first time in years.

And I was winning. I felt it every day, every moment, every hour, every second. Even if Chris was with me, I barely relied on him to ease my mind: it was a task I had to handle on my own. It's always a wise choice to use help whenever it's available, but it's also wise to finally leave the nest when one's old enough. I had to face my own fears alone, fears that were nothing more than skeletons in my closet. I don't give them a lot of importance because I shouldn't, or else they will become more than that. Those skeletons had long since stopped making noise: an unexpected sign of victory. I was winning.

He can't touch me, he can't harm me.

I was back to normal. I had started a new life, I had once more integrated myself into the world I had forgotten, and I was surprised to see it wasn't all that bad after all. I wished for the others, my friends, to see me as the Jill Valentine they had always known, but even I knew that was impossible. I had changed; whether it was for the better of for the worst, I still have to find out. I find traces of my past life here and there, vestiges that don't do me any harm but bring more than pleasant memories. I smile whenever I remember and I don't miss my old life. Sure enough, I could wish for everything I had gone through to not have happened, but that wouldn't have brought me as close to Chris, as close to myself, than it actually had.

But I knew he was still there: Wesker would never go, not if I was still alive. If I was alive, he still was; it didn't matter if he had miserably burned away into oblivion. That was the reason why I couldn't fight him at first. I never could fight him in the first place, not with the quivering resolve I clung onto whilst in captivity, but I felt stronger now and not just because of those who had lent me their support and were willing to stick by me. I appreciated such gestures, such kindness, but I had always been alone in my mission. It may sound cruel, but most of my friends didn't understand me: they didn't know what was going through my head, which is the reason why I had to soldier on with everything on my own. And I did it, rising to my feet after every fall.

Wesker made me fall, Wesker made me change, but the changes were not irreversible. In the beginning, yes, I was a broken, hollow shell made up of nothing but remains of my old, shattered self. I admit I couldn't see beyond the walls I had built up around me; when I locked myself up, I locked Wesker with me. That was the real nightmare: to see that I couldn't escape him no matter what I did or where I went, be it reality or my own subconscious. It was like running away from your own shadow, which is in fact what he said once. He knew I would be rescued, so he willingly allowed me to get back home so that he lived on as my own shadow. That had been one of his plans.

But it never worked. It will never work. I fought, but I didn't forget. As I said, running away from the past is never healthy, and I learnt my lesson very quickly; being a fast learner helps most of the time. I know what he did to me, and I accept it: he broke me apart. To try and forget my suffering, my own screams that echoed in my very sleep, was senseless: it was like telling them to come back for me and drive me insane until I was dead. But I wouldn't die, I wouldn't give up; I couldn't die, I couldn't give up.

Why? Because I had finally found a share of happiness and peace, and that was coming in the form of my son. Yes, I was due on January next year; yes, I was pregnant; yes, I would give birth to the son of the man I loved above everything else. I couldn't believe it myself –I still can't, in fact-, but it had finally happened. I had never seen Chris smile so widely in my whole life; I had never felt such contagious joy. It was wonderful, and I hadn't worried for a single moment. I knew it was a huge step in a good direction; fear would be pointless, uncalled for.

"Verily, you surprise me," Wesker once told me. The times I saw him, he rarely spoke; that had been one of the few times I had actually kept up a conversation with him.

"How so?"

I could do nothing but reply naturally. He didn't scare me anymore.

He can't touch me, he can't harm me.

"To think that you would recover so quickly. I was in error when I underestimated you, it seems."

"I'm persistent," I said, "and you yourself said that once."

And then he had smiled. In any other state, that would've spoken of evil, of bad omens, of danger. I would've believed something horrible would happen to us, so horrible that it would literally tear us apart, but now it meant nothing to me. It was just a smile and in reality, what it triggered was pity.

"True enough. But do you actually think you'll make it?" I knew what he was referring to: I had to be both physically and psychologically healthy to bear a child, and specially after such a short time since my return from Africa. He was up to his antics again: to see if he could make me hesitate. "I know you're steadfast, that you don't give up unless it is your only choice, but what if I am still here? I told you: you wouldn't escape me."

"I know that,"·I replied, "which is why no matter how much you try, I'm not going to break… not again."

He can't touch me, he can't hurt me.

Another of those times, he didn't keep his distances. He openly approached me, hovered close to me and didn't take his gaze away from me, all the while asking questions. That specific time, I didn't flinch, I didn't cower, I didn't even move. I let him to be as close as he wanted to be, because I was not afraid. I could defend myself; he wasn't really there. I knew that his image, his presence, was my subconscious putting me up for a test that perhaps I wouldn't pass, but trying was never in vain. And so I was reminded of everything both of us were and had been in a not so distant past. I even smiled at him once.

I wanted him to see he didn't control me anymore. I wanted him to see that he couldn't reach for me whenever he pleased: I was in control of myself now.

"Since when have you thought you could escape me?" he asked me another time. That time, I was just going by the living room when I found him simply sitting on the sofa, elbows on his knees and looking at me rather amusedly. Of course, even if he came from the netherworld, I was still his favorite source of entertainment.

"Since the moment you left this world and left us alone," I replied. "That moment was when I could finally breathe again."

And he smiled again. "It's nice to see I did my task correctly," he said with indifference. "But why do you think I can't touch you anymore?" Wesker held out a hand in my direction, then tightly closed his fist. "I've got you now, or else you wouldn't be speaking to me, let alone seeing me."

He can't touch me, he can't hurt me.

"Because you're nothing more than a memory, a reality lost into oblivion." That time, I replied with more resolve in my voice, more fierceness and confidence. "You can't touch me, you can't hurt me." He stood at that moment, his gaze trained on me, but I didn't falter. "You can't hurt my family, and I am going to protect them. I will protect them because I can, because I'm not afraid of you anymore! Maybe what you did to me wasn't so bad at all, because I've come back… and I'm stronger this time, no matter how much you believe I'm a mere broken glass. I hope you someday realize that you wasted your time with me… with all of us."

"Perhaps I may have, but my mark is still on all of you."

"So what if it is?" I shot back, not even hearing Chris coming in. "You may have left a mark on every single one of us, but that doesn't matter. We'll erase it with time, we'll get over it, and we'll continue. We'll carry on, just like I am."


I turned, found Chris staring at me with pained shock. I held his gaze. His own was very particular when moments like those happened to me: it changed in an unseen way. I had told him many times that I was indeed going insane, but he refused to believe it. In that moment, I believed he had finally gotten the concept. He didn't speak for a few moments, then,

"It was him again, wasn't it?" he asked, stepping closer to me. I nodded.

"And as you can see, I am facing him," I told him. "It always looks like I'm talking to the goddamned wall, but he is here; at least, it's what my mind forces me to believe. But I don't cower anymore, I'm not afraid like I was before."

"Did you tell Rebecca about this?" Chris inquired, his countenance and tone somber.

I shook my head. "No, she doesn't need to know. Maybe when this is over, but not for now. Besides, when it comes to this, I feel better knowing only you are aware of it. It makes me feel safer."

"Don't try and convince me again, because I still think you're not insane," he told me, his features softening. He sighed. "Actually, I think you're doing the right thing. I don't say this because of my tendency to back your decisions, but because it's true."

I smiled. "Thanks." I received one of Chris' smirks as a response. He took my hand, something I thanked him for with just a mere look in his eyes.

Then I looked behind me, saw Wesker staring at me with what I could only describe as hate, disdain –his very countenance betrayed his feelings-, but my smile never faltered. In fact, I even smiled more widely as I pulled Chris into an embrace. Finally, even though I knew he had always hated me, our roles had been reversed: I could at last be at ease, be at peace. I knew the rest of our lives would be calm, entirely dedicated to our son.

And what made me the happiest: I knew he would be born into a world without a black sun.

He can't touch me, he can't hurt me.

A/N: So, how was it? Introspective piece again, and this time on Jill (YAY! xD). Let's hear your opinions; I'd like to read them.

So, reviews are appreciated!^^