Illusions of Bliss
Title is from a Sarah McLachlan song. Guess who's back, back again, Arti's back, tell a friend! Seems you just can't get rid of me, here's another story! XD
Chris Redfield sat in his brightly lit living room, the spring sunlight poured through the windows. He was now living the suburban dream, a nice house, a beautiful garden, friends and family mere houses away from him. Everything seemed perfect.
He removed his gaze from the outside trees, and back to delicate drawing in front of him. Picking up his pencil, he put the final touches and strokes of shading onto his masterpiece. He never had the time before for his drawing, it was a great hidden passion of his, but was put to the side after his life changed with the Mansion Incident in Racoon. Since returning from Africa, it seemed his flair for sketching returned.
What people could do with words to capture feelings, Chris could do with a mere stroke of a pencil. His pictures always had meaning. His first detailed drawing being that of his young sister, Claire, on her fifth birthday along with his parents. After his parent's tragic death, Chris spent months perfecting a painted portrait of both of them for Claire, it became a comfort for her. The last drawing Chris had attempted was that of his partner Jill Valentine. After she sacrificed herself for him, Chris couldn't forgive himself. He drew a detailed shrine in her memoriam, the picture had been banished away ever since.
"You okay, mister?" Chris immediately flipped his page upside down, and turned to the source of the voice, smiling as he laid eyes upon the woman he thought he would never see again.
"I'm good... Dare I say it, I'm happy." He was being honest, his smile portrayed this. He was happy, he was ecstatic; he finally got the chance to live the life his parents had always wished for him. "It's all thanks to you, Valentine."
"You flatter me too much." Jill Valentine said, tugging slightly to her light blue dress. She gently sat down into a chair next to him, "Notice anything different?"
"...Your hair. You dyed it back." His lips curved automatically into a broad smile. Under Wesker's control, the experiments run had destroyed the pigments in her hair, and she was left with dull blonde locks. Her hair was back now to its original chocolate brown colour.
"Yeah, well it was about time. I want to destroy any connection I ever had with that man." Jill spoke confidently, but Chris could always notice the miniscule hesitance in her voice when she mentioned their ex Captain, Albert Wesker.
He had brought the two nothing but pain for ten years and especially so in the years Jill was under his control. In the months after their return from Africa, even with the death of Wesker, the pain was as evident as it had ever been. Haunted by images and memories she couldn't forget, it took a long time for Jill to recover, but she found her way eventually.
"You know I've always had a thing for brunettes." Chris said, a smirk playing on his older features.
"Yeah, me too..." Jill glanced upwards towards his short brown hair, and then brought her gaze back to the deep green eyes she had grown to love over the years.
The two never had a relationship previously, their fight against Umbrella and Wesker came first, love would just complicate things. However, there was always a certain undeniable, unspoken bond between the two, they fit perfectly together. Now, their life was back on track, they had openly admitted their feelings. The two needed each other; no one else would be able to comprehend what they had been through.
"So what do you have there?" Jill asked pointing the paper in front of him.
"Huh? Oh it's nothing..."
"It doesn't look like nothing. Let me see." She reached over him and snatched the page from the coffee table.
"Hey! Jill, don't you dare." A coy smile appeared on her lips, antagonising slowly she turned over the paper. The smile faded off her face,
"Chris?" She barely even whispered. The drawing showed the moment she, Chris and Sheva left from their mission. There was no colour in it, but nevertheless it was elegant. He had drawn herself and Sheva perfectly in the helicopter. Jill had never seen herself as beautiful, but it seemed his picture had captured the entirety of her beauty and the essence of her soul.
"This is beautiful. I never knew you draw." She said, not retracting her eyesight from the delicate drawing before her.
"It's all part of the enigma that is Chris Redfield." He chuckled, running his hand nervously through is hair. He was scared of getting a harsh critique; no one ever knew his sordid secret of drawing apart from Claire.
"Why did you never show me these before?" She exclaimed, dainty fingers running along the pencil lines.
"Well it's not exactly something that just comes up in conversation. And anyway, it's not a very manly hobby, is it? I should be out pumping 'ron or playing poker or something." Jill giggled slightly at his comments.
"I think it's lovely. But I have to ask, what are you doing still in the BSAA? You should be an artist for goodness sake!" She joked.
"I wouldn't go that far... Besides work isn't that bad at the moment, I think they're still giving us a bit of leeway."
"Yeah, well I'm not complaining, I like the extra time off."
"Kind of makes me feel like never returning. I've lived my life, you know? I want to settle down, have a family, a normal job..." Chris said. His dreams weren't over ambitious, but yet it felt odd to voice them. For someone who spent his entire life fighting for the people, the idea of settling down seemed absurd.
"Well, hopefully we can. You deserve it, we deserve it." A comforting smile crept upon her lips.
"Speaking of family..." Jill shook her head solemnly, stopping Chris's words.
"No...Nothing," Chris hung his head, immediately a hand was placed healingly on his lap,
"But it'll be okay. We'll keep trying, Chris. My biological clock is slowing, so it might just take time. Don't worry." She let out a slight laugh to try to lighten the mood.
"How do we even know you can have kids, Jill? All the experiments done and shit, we don't even know anymore." Jill moved her hand to his, and squeezed reassuringly.
"You'll be a dad, Chris. And you'll be a great one at that."
Peter stepped slowly out of the house, leaving behind the heart broken younger Redfield. It seemed to be the story of Claire Redfield's life; no love, no relationship. She began to believe she would spend the rest of her life alone, and just never settle. That idea broke her heart, more than the many failed relationships ever could. She wasn't getting younger, and on top of that as bad as it sounded, she strongly envied the love her brother had found. She always dreamed of something like that. In her eyes, it was flawless.
The door to the house crept open, a dirty blonde haired man emerging behind it.
"Leon?" Claire chocked, trying to conceal her whimpers. Her voice made him jump, as he realised she was sitting on the base of the stairs.
"I saw Pete leave. Didn't work out, huh?" He asked, closing the mahogany door behind him.
"No. Never seems too. No particular reason, I just can't seem to find the right person."She sighed.
"It'll be okay, Claire. But we're on the same boat."
"Difference between you and I, Mister Kennedy, is that I want to settle down, you're happy enough with your multiple women." She quipped, receiving a chuckle from Leon.
"I'm thinking I should leave...I think I've overstayed my welcome." Claire said. Leon shook his head and plonked himself down beside her on the stairs. "I was just meant to be staying here till Jill recovered. It's been like eight months, and she is better. I feel awful."
"Don't." He laughed and placed an arm around her shoulder pulling her into a friendly embrace. "You can stay as long as you like. I'm not going to lie, I love the company...Besides, now Jill's better, you wouldn't want to be living in that house, might be a bit loud if you know what I mean.."
The young man winked,
"Ew! You're sick mind never fails to amaze me..." She said, pushing him lightly off her. "Chris is popping over anyway, so I'll talk to him about living arrangements... Are you sure I'm not invading your space?"
"I'm sure. I'd actually prefer it, if you stayed."
"I'm off to see Claire. Sure you don't want to come?" Chris asked Jill, while placing his leather jacket on.
"I'm sure. I'm looking forward to having a nice relaxing day, without you." She joked.
"Oh! You cut me deep there, Jill." He quivered his bottom lip, and immediately Jill wrapped her arms around his torso.
"You know I'm only kidding." She squealed, hugging him tighter.
"I love you, pretty girl." He whispered. It seemed cheesy, but he finally had her in his arms. He couldn't let that go.
Jill retracted her arms, and stood swiftly up on her tiptoes to place a tiny kiss on his lips. A smile formed on his lips, as he got the car keys and left for Claire's.
Jill slumped herself down on the sofa, a large bowl of ice-cream sitting comfortably between her crossed legs. There was no denying it, it was comfort eating. To the outside, she looked to have the perfect relationship with Chris: solid and safe. In reality, the pressure of trying to conceive was leading the woman to insanity. Although she would never show it, she had great fear and the same concerns as Chris. She knew there could be a possibility of being infertile, and it scared her more than anything. It petrified her that she may never be able to give Chris what desired most in the world.
The doorbell rang, and pulled Jill from her insecurities. Wiping away the stray tear, she got up to the door.
"Hello?" Jill asked.
"Hi..." A young girl around fifteen or sixteen, stood at the door nervously. She bore great resemblance to Claire, and everything about her, reminded Jill of Claire's younger years. Jill looked at her expectantly, waiting for her to get to the point of this interruption.
"Yes?" Jill asked being slightly annoyed by the girl's lack of conversation.
"Oh. I'm sorry, I jus...I'm nervous. My name's Anna." The young girl's face was riddled with worry, and she began to twiddle with lose strands of long brown hair.
"I don't know if I'm even at the right place... Does a Chris Redfield live here?" Anna avoided all eye contact with the older woman.
"Yeah, he does actually." Jill warmed slightly to the girl, now knowing she was associated with Chris. She felt for Anna, the girl looked like a deer caught in headlights. "May I ask why you want to know?"
"...Uh... Can you tell me if this is him? Just so I know I have the right place..." Anna drove into her jeans pocket, pulling out a tattered old photo and handing it to Jill.
"...Yeah it is." Jill whispered. The photo made her smile; it was one she had never seen before. It showed Chris in his full US Air force uniform, he was smiling sheepishly into the distance. He looked so fresh faced like he had in the beginning of STARS. His face showed pure happiness, no responsibility, no worries. His green eyes shone brightly showing his innocence, over the years it seemed they had faded along with his faith.
"Can I talk to him, please?" Anna pleaded.
"He's not here at the moment. I'm sorry, but I can tell him whatever you want." Jill suggested, but she caught hesitance in Anna's demeanour.
"Can I ask who you are to him?"
"Of course. I'm his girlfriend." Jill proudly proclaimed.
"I'm sorry... I don't want to hurt you..." The young girl's eyes began to swell, and Jill's heart went out to her.
"What is it sweetie?" Jill was shocked by her sudden tears. It seemed unnecessary.
"He's my dad." The bombshell hit.
Well, all will be revealed in the next chapter. Hopefully I won't make the story as clichéd as it seems... Sorry if it does seem somewhat of a terrible storyline but it will pick up!
Reviews are always greatly appreciated! :D
[Advertisement: for all those lovers of Wesker, I advise you to read Angelica Burrows' RE: Redemption...Haha. Seriously though, it's good!]