Title: Photograph

Prompt: Request from DanaIsis

Fandom: Resident Evil: Afterlife

Pairing: Chris/OC

Part 1/5

A/N: Hi, ya'll! This is a multi-shot that has been done for the amazing and talented writer, DanaIsis. Featuring everyone's favorite S.T.A.R.S member, Chris Redfield; this is the first Resident Evil fic I've ever written- so, be nice, please :)

Present Day – Redding, California.

The distorted static from the radio was the only sound that met my ears as I pressed the side of the radio; no voices, no screams, no shouting…just air and static. I sighed unhappily and moved from my spot on the cracked roof, the toe of my boot catching on it as I passed. I stumbled, but didn't fall; it's basically what I've been doing for the last four years now, stumbling…but never quite falling. My eyes drifted upward, starring into the cloud and smoke covered sky, the sun's heat beating down upon me, laughing. Using the back of my hand to wipe the beats of sweat the profusely dripped down the bridge of my nose, I sat down upon the shanty old lawn chair that had been sitting up here for god knows how long. It's been a year since I've had any human contact. After escaping the hells of Raccoon City I sought refuge in one of the only places that seemed to offer it, that meant traveling westward and avoiding contact with the undead…which was getting harder and harder to do everyday. My back slumped against the tattered stripped lawn chair, the heels of my equal dirty and tattered brown boots finding their way in the small cracks that continued to form; I was afraid that this building would collapse any day now. I glanced to the right, usually where a forty-five year old male would have been sitting; his name was Samuel, he was good company up until he was ambushed by a horde of the undead some months ago. I then glanced to my right, usually where a woman in her mid-twenties would have been, a patch covering her eye, hiding the injury that resulted during the time she had tried to flee the influx of undead that moved into the cities four years ago; sadly, a year ago she was preyed up and devoured by a group of the walking dead along with five other members of the group that I once called my friends. I was the last one left.

I pushed a few strands of my raven black hair away from my face, attempting to pull the strands that had somehow stuck themselves to my neck in the process. The heat was unbearable, and smell of rotting flesh was strong in the air; flies buzzing as vultures fed on the infected flesh, unaware that they themselves were being contaminated as they feasted. "It's hot…isn't it?" I asked, glancing around as I awaited an answer, but alas, I was alone, totally isolated from the world that was crumbling around me. It had become a reoccurring thing…me talking to myself and sometimes, if I listened closely, I could still hear his voice. I was slowly loosing it; I had already accepted that fact. My hand slowly snaked its way into the pocket of my torn jeans, the tanned, now tinted red as the sun burned them, hand grouped around the pocket, searching for the only image I had left. I pulled the picture from my pocket; its edges were worn with age, and the colors had began to fade do the sun's kisses that had been bestowed upon it each time I took a glance. I was slowly loosing it-but this picture, his picture, was the only thing keeping me sane. I looked upon the memory; my graduation cap sitting lazily atop my head, our broad smiles taking up most of the picture as he wrapped his arms around me, congratulating me on my outstanding success. I could feel my lips twitching into a smile, but it never came, it was almost as if I had forgotten how to smile. It was a lost emotion, one that I had buried deep inside. Chris was dead, just like everyone else I loved. It surprised me how quickly I accepted the death of my mother and sister, how I accepted the death of my grandmother and grandfather, how I accepted the death of my aunt and uncle; but to accept the death of Chris was unbearable. Knowing that he died without knowing how much I loved him. I glanced down next to me as the radio sounded, but by the time my eyes met the yellow walkie all as was still, and quiet. With the picture still pinched between my fingers I slowly slipped it back into my pocket; keeping it safe, if I lost that than I might as well be dead. My eyes continued to glance at the yellow instrument, wondering if I had heard things.

"Hello?" an anxious voice asked, the radio beeped, signaling that the other speaker was off the air. I didn't move for a moment, frozen with shock. I really was loosing my mind; although, I have to say, this was the first time that I had ever hallucinated hearing things from the radio itself. Very hesitantly my hand stretched, reaching for the device; hands trembling, and palms sweating. I swallowed hard, my throat burning from the lack of water, my lips chapped and cracking. I silently prayed that the device would speak again, just a word just one little word- "Hello? Is anybody there? Hello?" the voice asked again, this time the request was loud and clear, all background noise of the static had seemed to disappear; the device vibrated as the person continued to speak. The woman's accent was unusual, hell, her voice was unusual. It took my brain several moments to realize what was happening; my lips parted slowly, my voice uneasy as I spoke.

"Hello?" I repeated her words, my words forming slowly. I had expected the voice to return almost instantly, overlapping mine. My finger released the black knob and I listened, all was quiet, so quite that I could almost hear my skin boil as the sun beat down on me.

"Oh thank god!" the voice rang, the enthusiasm that raced though the words startled me; the radio slipping from my sweaty hands as it fell back onto my lap with a thud. I held my hands up as if to touch it would have burned me, they shook, but not with fear…but with joy. "Are you still there? Hello?"

"Yes, yes. I'm still here." I answered as I grabbed the radio, quickly pressing the button with my blistered finger. My heart beat rapidly against my chest, blood boiling to such a point that I could barely stand it; and for the first time, in a long time…I smiled. It was painfully done though, my lips cracked the smallest amount of blood staining my lips; it was a bitter sweet moment. "You don't know how happy I am to hear another voice." I sighed, closing my eyes as I leaned back in the old chair; listening to it creak beneath my distributed weight.

"No, you don't know how grateful we are to hear your voice again." I knitted my brows together had the woman's choice of words. Again? What could this woman possibly mean; maybe I really was loosing my mind. Maybe none of this was actually real; I hearting what I wanted to hear, my subconscious filling in the blanks when I needed them. "We heard your distress call a few weeks back, but, our equipment got scrambled. When we didn't hear back from you we thought you had-"the woman stopped short, deciding that she didn't need to finish her sentence, it was pretty obvious that she thought I was dead.

Maybe I wasn't going insane. I let my head hang low in relief, my hair falling across the back of my neck once again. "I'm the last one here. They rest are all dead." I breathed out, now standing from the chair to look over the edge of the building I was standing atop. The drop was quite away down, and the height was quite a way up; none of those undead bastards were going to be smart enough to get me up here. The radio crackled again and fear surged though my body; it can't die on me now.

"Where….located….far…Los Angeles." Were the only words I could make up though the static. I hit the yellow piece of equipment with the palm of my hand; smacking it to and fro as it continued to breakaway, threatening to take the last bit of humanity and sanity I had with it. "Hello? Hear…me…there…"

"Yes! Yes!" I yelled, my lips pressing against the speaker. "I can hear you! I'm currently in Redding, California; just a few days walk from LA!" My voice was frantic and laced with fear by this point; I was on the edge of breaking, giving it all up. "Please, can you hear me?"

"Redding…come…prison…hello?" All was silent a few moments later, the static remained to a minimum on the walkie, and it's crackling floating in the air. I starred at the object as though it had offended me in some way. With an outburst of anger, and a quite good arm, I threw the walkie across the roof; a scream of anger rising from my throat. I panted as I slumped to the ground in a heap of muffled sobs and pitiful groans, my knees digging into the concrete. So close, so fucking close! My teeth gritted, the heals of my hands coming up to rub my eyes of the tears, but more spilled; hot and salty on my lips. Now I wished I had imagined all of it. There were more survivors, and she said we…we! As in more than one; for all I know there could be a whole compound of survivors out there…Chris could be there. Maybe he wasn't dead; four years is a long time to go without contact maybe, just maybe…

Maybe was just enough to get me off my sorry ass. I didn't want to leave confides of the roof; leaving meant subjecting myself to those creatures, I wasn't even sure if I was going to make it or not. My heart clenched as my boots unwillingly propelled me towards the dirty old knapsack that sat a small ways away from the chair, resting on the ratty old sleeping bag that served as my bed for the past few months. I knew I couldn't stay up here forever…but I sure was hell was thinking about it. I had two options; die up here, or die out there. I bit my bottom lip, weighing the only two options that I had, the photograph weighing heavily in my pocket.

It took me longer than I had expected to get down the steps of the building. Every few steps I would look back, scaling the wall as I looked back up the flights that I had already descended, wondering if I had made the right choice. One hand kept a hold on the slowly corroding metal railing that served as my crutch while my knees shook as I continued. The odor was unbearable as I reached the last step, a sliver of sunlight shining though the crack in the door that was chained shut. I stopped, sweating rolling down my forehead, drenching the shirt that already clung to my body. Part of me didn't want to do this…but the other part knew I had to. I slowly unraveled the chain from in-between handles; the metal burning from the heat outside the door, taking a deep breath a wave of heat and sunlight washed over me as I opened the double doors…

Two years before the Outbreak- RCPD (Raccoon City Police Department)

"Aya Mraz?" I snapped my head up from the newspaper I was reading, my legs uncrossing from their professional stance as the deep voice rang though the unusually quiet room; for a police station this place sure wasn't very busy. My doe eyes looked up at the man. He was stall, probably about six foot at the most, he looked like he was well fit for his age…except for the beer belly that was growing, but well hidden behind his belt. I nodded anxiously as I stood up, pushing any loose strands of hair behind my ear. "Nice to meet you, Miss. Mraz. I'm Lieutenant Daniel Sanders." He introduced himself, a meaty looking hand stretching towards me in a friendly gesture. I shook it firmly, trying to be as professional as possible. Why was I even here? School. I just wanted to get my last year of college done without any hassles, but, it doesn't' look like life felt being very generous to me at the moment.

"It's nice to meet you." I replied as I drew my hand away from his, clutching my jacket in my hands as I stood in front of him, dwarfed by his height. He gave me a toothy grin and readjusted the belt atop his belly before clearing his throat, jerking his head towards the hallway to our right.

"Let's go talk in my office, shall we?" he asked, placing a hand on my shoulder. I nodded quickly and nervously as he began to lead me down the hallway; tossing a few 'hellos' and 'good mornings' to the workers as they stuck their heads from their offices, watching as with suspicion as I entered the room; the door shut behind us loudly, rattling the glass. I watched as Ltd. Sanders walked around to sit behind his desk, the name plate shining rather brightly in the somewhat dull light of the room. I glanced around, noting all of the awards and certificates that lined the wall; I didn't even have time to count how many times he had gotten 'Officer of the Month' before he cleared his throat with a chuckle. My brown eyes starred at him, it was completely obvious that I was incredibly nervous about being here. "Why don't you sit down, Miss. Mraz. So we can discuss how we are going to tackle this project of yours." Yes, the project, that's why I was hear. You see, I was currently studying journalism at the University of Chicago; and of all topics for me to be assigned I somehow got landed with 'American Security'. What better way to study it than to get my hands on the S.T.A.R.S unit here in Raccoon City; I mean, it wasn't more than a six hour drive from my hometown, plus, the school said they would pay for my hotel stay. I sat down slowly, my eyes still dancing around the room as I tried to calm my nerves. "Okay, so," he folded his hands atop his desk and awaited for my undivided attention, he momentarily had it. I was shy girl, not used to dealing with the intimidation of authority. "How are we gonna do this?" he finally asked, sighing as he sat forward, elbows resting on the desk calendar that was filled to the brim with events.

It took me a few moments to finally find the right words, but, I'm pretty sure they were clear enough for him to understand. "Well, I need to do a report about American Security." The man at the desk scratched the underside of his chin, the stubble making an annoying scratching noise.

"That's a very broad topic, Miss. Mraz." He grunted, resting his hands on the table again. Good thing I was well prepared.

"Yes, I understand that. Lieutenant." I explained, resting my hands in my lap as I gathered the last bit of courage that I had. "I was hoping I could shadow one of your members in the S.T.A.R.S unit." He looked at me for a moment, his lips twitched slightly. "I mean, even though it's still a fairly underdeveloped branch of the system." I added. He looked deep in thought; I bit my lip, knowing that my request was going to be declined. Then we'd have a problem. If that happened I would be forced to venture to the District of Columbia, and the college wouldn't pay for that trip. A slight nod of his head caught my attention, but the tension still lingered in the air.

"I think we could arrange that." That one answer, that one simple little answer shattered the tension in the room. A smile finally breaking across my face as my shoulders twitched; it I wasn't in the presence of a superior I would have jumped up and danced around the room, fist pumping to an invisible rhythm. "How early did you want to start this, Miss. Mraz?" he asked, my inner happy dance faded into oblivion as I nodded my head.

"As soon as possible."

When I said as soon as possible, I didn't realize how literally the man had taken it. Not a day, not a month, not a week…but a total of exactly twenty minutes and forty-five seconds I found myself down at the other branch of the RCPD. It was no bigger than the regular branch that it had formed from, but, it was significantly nicer, cleaner, and definitely better kempt than the other department. Ltd. Sanders led me down a series of corridors and hallways, though several doors big and small. I couldn't help but notice that the door we were walking towards was clear in the scene; I could see several distorted bodies moving about behind it, and the glass looked…steamy? It was until we got closer to the door that I realized where I was being led to…

"You better be dressed boys!" Sanders called into the room as he cracked the door open a bit, a plume of warm steam snuck though the door way. I could hear a few questions being asked, a few snickers here and there and that's when the doors opened. My initial reaction was to cover my eyes, not wanting to witness what these men hid in their jeans, but, when the door opened completely the men looked more shocked than I did. I could feel my pupils growing as Sanders beckoned me inside of the locker room, a few men chuckling and whistled as we walked through the door, it closed behind us. I kept my eyes trained towards the tiled floor admiring the aqua blue patterns that lay within them, my cheeks burning red with embarrassment.

"What's goin' on here, boss?" I looked up upon hearing the unusual accent; it was thick, and it wasn't hard to notice the twinge in it, especially when he said 'going'. He was diffidently from the South. I wish I hadn't have looked up though; even though it happened fast, it couldn't have happened fast enough, for I saw everything from the waist down. I gasped and covered my eyes quickly, the boy doing the same as he grabbed a towel from the bench beside him.

"God Dammit, Emerson!" I heard Sanders shout at the young man, from what I saw of his face he couldn't have been more than twenty-two years old, "Show some respect, son! You're in the company of a lady!" I heard the boy's fellow officers howl with laughter, and I could only imagine how devastated and red-faced the boy was by now. "It's safe now, Miss. Mraz." Sanders informed me, placing a hand on my shoulder. "But, it's not like there was much to see in the first place." The officers snickered, leaving Emerson to fend for himself, wrapping the towel around his waist as he took the jokes like a man, trying his best to ignore them. "Redfield!" Sanderson shouted, a voice answered from the back of the room; I'd never heard a voice like his before, it was quite soft, and unemotional in a sense. Needless to say, I was captivated by it already.

I moved beside Sanders as he led me towards the back of the room where the voice had answered, our steps in synch as I followed him quickly, listening to him praise the man that I was about to meet. "He's an excellent addition to this team, Miss. Mraz, I assure you; you'll learn more from him than you would from any of these other little bastards, trust me." He said reassuringly as we rounded the corner, stopping at a set of lockers, thankfully blocked by another set from the rest of the nosey officers. I had to contain a gasp as I watched the man in front of me; his arms muscular, tendons rippling within his shoulders as he placed a pair of boots into the locker…nothing but a towel draped around his toned waist, it was barely resting against his hips. "This is Chris Redfield, the officer you'll be shadowing." I wasn't sure if someone had turned the showers on again or if it was just me, but when this man turned around I felt my cheeks flush a deep shade of red, one that even my tanned skin wouldn't be able to hide. A smile, almost resembling a smirk arose to his thin lips, I gulped. His eyes were a shade of blue that I had never seen before. Specks of water still glistened on his chest as it rose and fell slowly, his hands now resting on his hips, the snow slipping momentarily; I swear I almost fainted.

"It's nice to meet you…" his silky smooth, and somewhat husky voice trailed off, an eyebrow rising. Name, that's right…

"Aya. Aya Mraz." I stumbled upon the words, mentally cursing myself. I hadn't even noticed his outstretched hand until he chuckled. I cursed myself again as I thrust my hand towards his, getting a firm grip on it after several tries, I hoped he didn't notice them trembling.

"Well, it's nice to meet you Aya." The way my name rolled off his tongue made me shiver, the way his eyes held mine captivated me and scared me, and the fact that my heart felt as if it had detached it's self from my body made me sick to my stomach, but in a good way.

Additional A/N: Part 1 of 5, done! Hope ya'll like this :) More CR in the next chapter, pinkie promise!