.

The House of the Dead: Quite Engaging

Chapter 1: Cold

There were a few givens in life.

One was that winter was cold in the United Kingdom, even in just the last days of the first month of the season. Two, was that the food provided was equally bland as in the US. And third was the fact that being severely wounded by a genetic monstrosity tended to leave you in a position where you weren't able to do much.

Or rather, were told you couldn't do much. Because physically, Sophie Richards felt fine, bar the cold weather and an empty stomach. But no, said the doctors (AMS appointed, all of them), she had to lie still, lest she open up the wound she'd suffered in the Curien Mansion Incident just a week before. She was a scientist, but even she had to be reminded of the consequences of having an axe tear into the right side of your chest. That she hadn't bled out, let alone be consumed by the undead was a miracle in its own right and none of the white coats were intent on losing another person to death.

Which was almost as bad as undeath. But still bad nonetheless.

Sophie rolled over onto her left side, reflecting on the bitter givens. The cold, the food, the fact that she couldn't even roll onto her right without experiencing crippling pain...pain that wasn't even present unless she deliberately put pressure on it, hence why she wanted to be able to walk through the lodge AMS had rented. She hated this. Hated lying here like a stuffed doll while the people close to her went around their business of ensuring that the people of the world didn't know that there'd been a zombie outbreak in the closing month of 1998, that it wasn't the first one, and might not be the last either. Hated lying here because all she could do was rest...and remember...

People dying around her...

The phone call she'd made...

Being carried away by Hangdman...

The wound inflicted by the Chariot...

The screams...

This couldn't last, Sophie reflected as she got off her left side and instead lay on her backside, rubbing her hands on her forehead and through her increasingly lank hair. She needed something...someone...

"You awake Sophie?"

...even Rogan.

Especially Rogan...

"Yes...thankfully..." the geneticist murmured, slowly propping up her back against her bed, ignoring the spikes of pain that occasionally struck her wound.

Rogan's visage darkened. "Bad dreams?"

Sophie didn't answer. Less than two weeks ago, she'd have confided in Rogan in an instant but now...well, it seemed stupid to. What was there to say? That she was having "bad dreams?" Was that meant to take priority when so many other people had lost their lives to Curien's madness? Was Rogan meant to sympathise with her, considering that even after pulling the plug on Curien's factory of undeath, they were still running damage control with everyone from AMS to SIS?

"Tea and toast again I'm afraid," Rogan said, helping Sophie settle a tray down on her lap. "There's so many people here, the local store's running out."

Sophie remained silent. Toast and tea...the toast was alright (it was British after all), but she needed something stronger than tea. Coffee, preferably. It had kept her awake during her research (the non-mad scientist kind) and would have kept her awake longer while in bed. But knowing that she couldn't complain, she took a bite of the cooked bread and smiled faintly at her fiancée.

"You going out?" she asked.

Rogan nodded. Trench coat, tie...just like what he'd been wearing when he'd shown up at the Curien Mansion. It was where he'd be headed today with G, just like he did every time from dawn until dusk.

"Have a nice day then..." Sophie murmured. "I'll be waiting for you."

Rogan's eyes seemed to shift their gaze for a bit, but apart from that, he remained stoic. Getting up from the bed, he headed towards the door...and stopped.

"Listen..." he said. "I've been thinking...about..."

"Rogan, where are you?"

"...coming, G."

"Just go..." Sophie smiled. "You have more important things to do."

"Yeah..." Rogan murmured. "Important..."

And with that, the door was opened...and closed.

Putting the tray on a table of drawers beside her, Sophie almost wished that right now, this second, some stragglers from the mansion would barge in, assault her, and prompt Rogan to save the day. Yes, it was stupid, and feminists wouldn't approve of her line of thought, but the truth was that nearly dying together could be a very bonding experience. Heck, in movies or even video games, this would have been the ideal time for the two to take their relationship to the next stage. They'd met when Rogan was liaising was the DBR Corporation, Sophie his contact. One thing led to another and before they knew it, engagement rings had appeared on their fingers. But now? With her copped up in here, and Rogan pre-occupied in the winter weather, they'd gone from limited communication (as per her mansion assignment) to practically no communication.

Sighing, Sophie reached for the tea.

It was already cold.


A/N

So yeah. Basic romance story between Rogan and Sophie, set after the first game. Not the best thing I've ever written, but I'll address that at the story's end.