Disclaimer: All characters, references, and likenesses to Resident Evil belong to Capcom and have been used without permission.
Chapter 25: Epilogue
December 7th, 2012
"This is my least favorite part of this fuckin' job."
Jill arched an eyebrow. "Out of all the things fighting bio-terrorism entails, this is what you complain about?"
"I can't kick as much ass when I'm in a tux. It's not practical."
"James Bond does."
Chris scoffed as he put the car in park, reaching around the passenger's seat to grab the umbrella Jill had remembered to bring. The sky had been threatening rain for a majority of the day and finally followed through halfway into their drive. The BSAA elected to participate in a formal event to get all employees together before the holidays with the idea in mind to celebrate the success and growth of the organization and its affiliates - it was also good politics and even better PR.
He shoved his door open, fumbling to open the umbrella against the rain, and jogged around to let Jill out. Together, they ducked beneath the umbrella, Chris's arm around Jill's shoulder as they navigated through the parking lot and into the lobby.
"There's complimentary valet tonight, sir."
Chris glanced up to see a few new recruits he didn't recognize, all standing at attention. He never got used to what being part of the original eleven entailed. He brushed them off, letting them know to stand down. "I can handle parking my own car."
Jill elbowed him softly in the ribs. He frowned.
"At least let us check your coats?"
Chris nodded, handing off his and Jill's overcoats.
"You guys don't work too hard, okay? Try and enjoy the party. It's more fun than it looks!"
The recruit blushed, smiling as he handed over the coat check. "Thanks, ma'am."
"You just made his night." Chris whispered, gesturing toward the stairs.
"The famous and beautiful Jill Valentine shows concern for the well-being of a rookie? He'll be bragging about that for days."
"What can I say?"
Chris chuckled, grabbing her hand gently as they reached the top of the stairs. "Have I told you how amazing you look tonight, Miss Valentine?"
"You told me before we left," she paused, tilting her head up and struggling even in heels to meet his height. "But I'll let you tell me again."
He bowed his head a little, catching her lips and drawing her closer to his body. When his hands began to roam, she stepped back, shaking her head at him.
"Better get yourself under control, Captain. We have a party to attend." Her voice was low, teasing. He knew that tone well.
"Remember the RPD Christmas party of '97?" He could play that game, too.
He caught her wink as she sauntered away.
The night wore on without a hitch as Chris and Jill both made the expected rounds and conversed with higher ups who had flown in to attend the event. Two hours in, and Chris had planted himself in a corner to nurse a drink from the bar, watching as Jill was engaged in conversation with Rebecca and a few of the newer recruits.
"You can see that rock from a mile away, big brother. Nicely done."
Chris choked, startled by Claire's sudden appearance. He glanced to Jill's left hand, which held a glass of wine; the engagement ring glittering from the ballroom's overhead lights.
"I didn't see you come in."
"I was a little late."
Claire snickered at his disdain. "I see Jill dressed you today."
"Jill handles the undressing, Claire. I look this good on my own."
"I walked right into that one."
"You did," Chris held his glass up, motioning toward the crowd of people. "Where's your plus one?"
"Working. The DSO is practically foaming at the mouth over this situation in Edonia," Claire grew quiet. "When are you leaving?"
"A couple of weeks."
It was her favorite holiday. He met her eyes, watching as her hope faded with the shake of his head. It was the same look Jill bore lately when silence fell between them.
"Well, that sucks."
He sighed, placing his arm around her as they both watched the crowd. Chris's attention fell back to Jill, whose eyes were bright with laughter as Rebecca spoke - no doubt reminiscing, probably at his expense. The dress she wore clung to her in the right places, accentuating her frame instead of hiding it as she had done for so long after her return. She had left her hair down - a gesture most likely done for him - and the effect it had on his brain and body was quickly becoming far from innocent.
"She looks great." Claire's voice was quiet, as if she feared Jill would overhear.
"She does. She is great," Chris paused to finish the rest of his drink. "I was worried when it became clear the BSAA would be deploying to Edonia that everything would fall apart, but she's been okay so far. Hell, she's taking it better than I am."
"Must be the ring."
He glanced up just in time to see Jill watching him. He smiled warmly and she winked at him, eyes lingering a little longer before engrossing herself back in the conversation. He felt the familiar buzz in his ears and a warmth spreading through him that he had vowed never to take for granted again. The party was quickly becoming even less appealing.
"If I don't come back -"
It was Claire's turn to down the last of her drink. "Chris, no. I'm not even going to acknowledge that as an option."
He grabbed her shoulders, forcing her to look at him. "I'm not trying to be morbid. I don't want to think of that any more than you do, but it's a possibility - you and I both know it," he paused, "I just want to know that you'll both be okay."
Claire sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose with her free hand and trying to block out the thoughts tumbling through her mind. She wasn't stupid; she knew the risks they all took each and every day, but she hated conversations like this. No amount of words could ever prepare her for losing someone so close to her, so she merely nodded in the hopes that he would drop the conversation.
"I love you."
"Don't get soppy on me," she grumbled, allowing him to pull her into a one-armed hug. "...I love you, too."
He laughed, fighting the urge to ruffle her hair, which she had clearly put effort into. "Shall we get another round?"
"Is that a serious question?"
He signaled for the bartender.
"Are you doing okay?" Rebecca's concern was genuine, and Jill silently thanked her for lasting longer than a few minutes before asking about her well-being.
"Some days I forget. Some days it's all I can think about," It was vague, but it was the truth. "We've known this was coming for a while."
Rebecca hummed in agreement, eyes surveying the room for more familiar faces. "How does it feel not being in the thick of it?"
"It's very strange," she answered. Truthfully, she missed being in the field sometimes. It had been her life for over a decade; it was what she knew. "Not working with Chris side by side has taken a lot of adjusting."
"I'll bet. Even in STARS you guys were like...the dream team."
They shared a laugh, but modesty aside, it was the truth. Working with Chris was effortless; he knew exactly what she was thinking, when she was thinking it - a trait that had carried over from their work relationship to their personal relationship. Their synchronicity had helped save more than just their own asses, and had also been a deciding factor in the BSAA choosing to ignore their relationship in the early days of formation. Now, Chris was heading his own unit and she only worked directly with him on recon missions that required her presence for strategic matters, and even then, she remained mostly out of the action.
"He's got a good team. He spent a lot of time combing through agents. They all respect him, especially Nivans," Jill sighed. "He's in good hands."
"But?" There was always a but.
"...but he's always in better hands at home," her gaze drifted to him, absorbed in conversation with his sister. He happened to glance up, catching her stare and giving her that smile that made her feel 23 again, sneaking looks over paperwork and weapon cleaning. She winked for good measure, turning away before he broke her concentration more. "Are your parents coming up for the holidays this year?"
"They're flying up a few days before to visit and then leaving to spend Christmas and New Year's in New York," Rebecca laughed at Jill's arched eyebrow. "Finally taking the second honeymoon they've been talking about since I was 16."
"So you'll be binge-eating Chinese food and marathoning Christmas movies with Claire and me?"
"I've got wine and spare chopsticks at the ready," she thought to the unanswered e-mail in her inbox from Billy. "I need another drink. Do you want one?"
"Yes..." Jill trailed off as Rebecca hurried to the bar, her eyes again on Chris. She frowned as she saw him place his hands on Claire's shoulders, his sister shaking her head almost vehemently. She twisted the ring on her finger out of nervous habit, knowing full well the nature of the conversation taking place.
Suddenly, her heart was heavy and her need to be near him was too much to bear.
"Hey there, where did you get off to?"
Jill turned away from watching the rain at the window and fell into his embrace willingly. "Weiss felt the need to detail his holiday plans to Rebecca and me, and then Dr. Evers walked up and he and Rebecca got into this huge discussion about a new method for sample analysis particularly useful in viral strains."
"Sounds thrilling." Chris chuckled, pressing his lips to her forehead and then to the bridge of her nose before settling on her lips. Before he could pull away, Jill deepened the kiss, savoring the faint taste of alcohol and familiarity. He sighed contentedly into the renewed vigor, hands roaming against her curves.
They broke apart for air, and Jill placed a hand on his cheek. "You look good, soldier."
He dipped his head low, lips grazing her jawline and gently brushing by her ear. "Good enough to take you home?"
His tone was low, suggestive. She thought of when their time apart meant hushed whispers over disposable phones that spoke of wants and needs; things that caused heat to pool in just the right areas. The rain was suddenly the last thing on her mind.
"That depends." She murmured into the base of his neck.
"What you plan on taking me home for, Captain." Teasing guised behind an innocence she portrayed so well.
One of the things she loved most about Chris was his ability to give as good as he got in all aspects of their relationship.
"To fuck you senseless, Miss Valentine."
"Coats. Car. Now."
He didn't argue.
Jill had always been a firecracker in bed; Chris had known this from their first time together. He remembered a tangled mess of limbs and flesh, bitemarks and bruises that had hummed on the skin and refused to fade for days. After the fall, things had changed; there had been desperation overshadowed by the tiptoeing and nervousness that recovery required for both of them until slowly but surely, the boundaries put in place began to crack until they crumbled altogether - again, in a tangled mess of limbs and flesh where the bitemarks and bruises were more intense than usual.
Sometimes she needed to be reminded she could feel, that she was alive and so was he and that they were together in their home, not a white cell in Kijuju.
Tonight was one of those nights.
Chris started to realize it on the drive home where she had remained mostly silent, left hand lazily tracing figure eights along the inside of his arm until it traveled down to his inner thigh and finally rested against his groin. His suspicions were confirmed when he followed her into their bedroom, watching with darkened eyes as she removed her earrings, her heels, and then deftly unzipped her dress, stepping out of it and leaping onto him in one movement. He had stumbled, hands resting beneath her ass and lifting her up until she was against the wall, fumbling at his belt and shirt and blazer all at the same time. Her kisses were forceful, more intoxicating than usual as her tongue explored his mouth, teeth raking hard against his bottom lip when they pulled apart for air. He locked an arm beneath her for support, sliding his free hand between her legs and roughly pulling her panties aside to slip his fingers in. His thumb circled her as he pumped in and out, heart pounding when she grabbed his wrist to guide him to the pace she wanted. When she was close, nails raking and moans louder, he pulled his hand away suddenly, forcing back a satisfied grin when Jill let out a growl of frustration as he moved her toward the bed, lifting her hips and yanking the panties from around her ankles.
It had taken an even longer time for Jill to feel comfortable with letting Chris have his way with her, opting instead to have her way with him. And then one night it seemed a switch had flipped, and she remembered just how good it was to lose control with him - and tonight was no exception. Her back arched, hips moving of their own accord as his tongue threatened to rob the last of her sanity. He stayed there, between her legs, hands and mouth working together to set her on fire, until she was grasping uselessly at his short hair, begging him to pull him away.
The rain was falling heavier outside, and she could hear it pounding against the windows with each gust of the wind. She felt goosebumps prickling her skin at the phantom feeling of rain and shattered glass, until Chris slid up her body, blanketing her in heat. She pulled at the bottom of his undershirt, forcing him to sit up to help remove the offending item. She watched him stretch the shirt over his head, admiring him unabashedly as her hands roamed against the warmth of his skin. He really was so handsome; he was everything.
The thought of his impending leave seized her, and her hands moved to his belt, working to undo it in order to unfasten his jeans. He began kicking the pants off, body pressed tightly against hers and she could feel how hard he was against her thigh. He wasn't moving fast enough. She freed him from his briefs, hand finding him in the dark, stroking him and guiding him into her before he had the chance to tease her. It would be just like him, and she was no longer in the mood as quickly as need had overwhelmed want.
She let out a deep sigh mixed with a moan, and she felt Chris respond in kind, thrusting forward with vigor. He had always loved when she was vocal, and she made sure to use it to her advantage, purring her appreciation in his ear as he quickened his pace, pinning her arms above her head with one arm, balancing himself and simultaneously pulling her closer with the other.
He was getting close, she could feel it in the way he tensed and loosened his grip, and she seized the opportunity, locking her legs around his waist tightly and gripping his shoulders to roll them so that she was on top. He fell for it every time, whether it was the sparring mat or their bed.
He growled quietly against her mouth as they found their rhythm, hands finding her breasts before settling on the curve of her hips as she rode him. He leaned forward, teeth grazing a nipple gently before nipping at the swell of her breast and then her collarbone. She hissed, rolling her hips against him harder. His resolve was waning quickly. One hand squeezed her hip, steadying her against him as the other slid down, his thumb finding and circling her to elicit another breathy moan.
And he lost it, hips rising off the bed to drive deeper into her. He forced his eyes open, watching as her head fell back, mouth open and chest heaving as she squeezed and pulsed around him. She was so fucking beautiful.
Jill collapsed against him, smiling into his neck as his fingers traced invisible patterns over old scars that no longer painted her skin. He never forgot. She pressed a finger to his side, trailing over the fading marks he'd earned at the Spencer Estate so long ago.
"The rain stopped." His voice was like gravel, heavy with exhaustion.
"Mm." She hummed in agreement, lazily rolling off of him and on to her side. He followed suit, wrapping a strong arm around her and pulling her into him. His breath tickled her neck and shoulders as he trailed idle kisses over her skin, and she sighed happily - he had made the thoughts of Edonia and a new virus and the seemingly endless cycle easy to shove aside, at least for the time being.
He shifted, pressing another kiss to the top of her spine. "We can sleep in tomorrow."
She smiled at the simplicity of it.
"You mean the world isn't ending?"
Author's Note: That's it! Almost two years later and it's finally finished! I hope this ending does justice to the story as a whole. I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to read this and review (and even those who read and don't review even though I wish you would!), and I want to especially thank everyone who has continuously stuck with this regardless of obnoxious wait times between chapters when I lost my initial footing for the direction of the story. You guys were the complete motivation to actually finish this, and again, I hope you enjoyed the final chapter. I wanted to set the tone for the build up of RE6 without overshadowing the progression of Chris and Jill's relationship here and without bogging it down with details and theories in the between. I wanted this particular chapter and the events it depicts to be appreciated for what it was...and I could ramble for days about this chapter, so if I've left anything unanswered or unclear, feel free to ask and I'll do my best to explain what was going through my head while writing this. As for any new fics, I do have the framework for a post-RE6 one shot in mind that I hope to get up eventually. As always, please review!