A/N - Welcome to the end of a fully revised SAWP!

Chapter 10

A Heartbeat Away

Rain insisted on carrying Anise, whose stomach wound gaped open and spilled her lifeblood in dizzying amounts. "We don't have time to argue. I got her." When Matt hesitated, she snarled at him, "Move!" The train was slowing down per Kaplan's guiding hand. Before it completely stopped, Rain carrying a sobbing Anise in her arms, stepped off and began jogging to the stairs. The others followed close behind. A couple of yards ahead, the blast doors began their descent. They just made it beyond the doors before they met the ground with a resounding boom.

Boom. Ba-boom, boom. Anise foggily realized she was listening to the sound of Rain's strong heartbeat. Focusing on that helped keep her awake.

Climbing up the stairs with Anise's useless weight slowed Rain down, yet she trudged onward, determined. Anise was starting to lose her battle with unconsciousness. She faded in and out, yet was always aware of Rain's heartbeat. During a lucid moment, she noticed she was looking at a chandelier above her. Must be in the Mansion. We made it out, she silently crowed. She heard Rain saying something about a hospital.

She blanked out.

Bright white assaulted her vision. She was cold. Rain's warm body wasn't next to her anymore and neither was her heartbeat. Anise shivered painfully. A mirrored surface appeared and reflected her frightened face back to her. It moved away and a body in a white hazard suit materialized. Her friends were nearby, yelling, fighting, shoving the white suits away. Rain was screaming her name. "Anise!"

She blanked out again.

Now her head pressed against something soft, but it wasn't warm and there definitely wasn't a fucking heartbeat or Rain's sweaty scent. Bright lights overhead blinded her. Voices were talking around her.

"He's mutating... Nemesis program."

"The others?"

"...Quarantine... Blood workups... Infected."


"...Same... Results to me immediately. Reopen... Hive..."

Sleep took Anise again.

She awoke to a man speaking excitedly. "No sign of infection. Completely immune. There's an unknown enzyme in her bloodstream. Her rate of self-regeneration is off the charts."

Distantly, she heard the sounds of clacking heels, squeaky wheels, machines beeping, and pens scratching on paper. Her abdomen, it felt... numb. "She's waking up."

"Increase her sedatives."

"If we up it again, we could kill her."

"Do it."

Darkness washed over her.

Someone was screaming. No. There were a lot of someones screaming. Feet pounded on what sounded like tiled floors. Were those gunshots in the distance? And sirens? Her body did not move when she told it to. Eyelids stayed shut against her will. And she was still cold. Dammit. She missed Rain's warmth and reassuring heartbeat.

"Is she awake yet? We need to get her out of here."

"She's not responding well. They pumped enough sedatives into her to kill a dozen elephants."

"Mmph." She managed to force sound out of her mouth.

"Come on," a voice, a woman maybe, encouraged her. "Fight the drugs, you have to wake up!"

Struggling, Anise tried again, "Wha?"

"You're in the Raccoon City Hospital. Umbrella's had you here since this morning. You have to wake up so we can get you out of here."

"Who?" Her voice felt a little stronger.

"We have to get her out of here now. You might have to carry her." The woman was saying to her companion. "We're friends of those who supported Project Afterthought and we know how important you are."

Finally, Anise peeled her eyelids back. Light streamed into her eyes, making her tear up and blink rapidly. Two heads fuzzed into view above her.

"Hey there. Come on, you can do it. Everything depends on you getting out of here."

Yep, that was definitely screaming in the distance. The feet were all running away from wherever she was. There wasn't anyone else in the room, fuzzy vision aside, she did not hear anyone else breathing in the room. Her friends, where were they? "Rain."

"It's not raining, snap out of it." The woman was getting impatient, and she sounded scared too.

The male voice spoke from a few feet away. His blurry outline was near what looked like a door. "We can't wait anymore. I'll carry her if you clear the way ahead."

Anise didn't have a choice when the man picked her up in a fireman's carry. She decided to call him Buck, it sounded like something big and strong. The woman could be Rabbit, nervous, twitchy. Rabbit opened the door, and the sounds of fear and despair hit her full on. She could smell the all too familiar scent of blood, thick and fresh, on the air.

Buck carried her through hallways and around corners. They went down one set of stairs. The distant screaming was replaced by snarls and groans. No. No fucking way. She refused to believe it was happening again. They had gotten out! The Hive was sealed!

"Shit!" Rabbit's surprised voice rang out, followed a sharp squish. Something thudded into the floor. Anise's blurry vision caught the outline of a red covered body. "We're almost there. Let's hope we don't run into anymore of them."


Bouncing on Buck's back, as he pressed into a light jog, was less than comfortable and whatever anesthetics had been in her system were beginning to wear off. It was starting to hurt. She squeezed her eyes shut. Her stomach, where she remembered the beast's talons slicing, began to ache. The smell of burning rubber and plastic, the sounds of fighting and the ever-present screams penetrated the last of the fog in her brain. Her eyes opened, clear now, upon a world in chaos.

Amidst the fires and crashed cars and blood, she saw them. People missing chunks from their bodies or whole body parts. They were covered in blood and gore, and chewing on the sources of those screams. Living, breathing, crying, shrieking, terrified women, men, and children, who were being eaten alive.

Fuck no. This was even worse than the Hive.

"We're here. Come on, come on. Get her in." Rabbit urged Buck on. They crossed over a threshold, and Rabbit quickly shut a massive door behind them. Around them, a throng of people appeared, some armed to the teeth, others in casual business clothes, uniformed schoolchildren peeked from behind legs, and others were covered in little more than pajamas.

Buck set her down on something soft and comfortable. He stepped back and smiled at her. She realized he couldn't have been older than 16, even though his body rippled in strong muscle under hospital scrubs. His face, under a mop of messy blonde hair, was young, smooth and hairless. Rabbit was probably in her thirties, also in hospital scrubs that were streaked with gore. The faces around them stared at Anise.

"Everyone, meet Anise Barrows. Humanity's ultimate defense. Our hope. The carrier of the cure. Anise, meet the Resistance."

Resistance? Fuck, was it really that bad? They looked like they were waiting for something. Was she supposed to make a speech or some shit? She could barely keep her eyes open. Sighing, Anise tried to think of something profound to say.

"Hi." She managed.

Awesome. Just fucking great. She leaned her back on the soft cushions and promptly fell asleep.

A/N - I hoped you enjoyed the ride. Don't forget to check out my profile for the sequel and companion pieces! Please review if this tickled you in any way! :)