Disclaimer: Resident Evil and its characters belong to Capcom. Song and lyrics are from Nickelback.

Author's Notes - first of all, a huge apology for the long wait! Things had been so busy lately at work, it's been crazy. I'm now on my winter holiday so I finally had the chance to sit down and write. I've added a song by Nickelback, one that helped me be inspired to write this chapter. I feel that some of the lyrics in the song fitted perfectly with the characters. Anyway, a huge thanks to each and every single one of you who's following this fic and reading it. It means a lot to me and your reviews/PMs are absolutely wonderful! Thank you so much! I would also like to give credit to visions, Ms Starlight and altol who are terrific writers beyond words and inspired me to be a better writer.

Chapter 17 – Dreaming

Just one more moment, that's all that's needed.

Like wounded soldiers in need of healing.

Time to be honest, this time I'm pleading.

Please don't dwell on it, cause I didn't mean it.

I can't believe I'd say I said I'd lay our love on the line,

But it doesn't matter cause I've made it up forgive me now

Everyday I spend away my soul's inside out

Gotta be someway that I can make it up to you know, somehow.

By now you know that I'd come for you

No one but you, yes I'd come for you

But only if you told me to

And I'd fight for you

I'd lie, it's true

Give my life for you

You know I'd always come for you.

I was blindfolded, but now I'm seeing

My mind was closing, now I'm believing

I finally know just what it means to let someone in

To see the side of me that no one does or ever will

So if you're ever lost and find yourself all alone

I'd search forever just to bring you home,

Here and now this I vow.

By now you know that I'd come for you.

No one but you, yes I'd come for you

But only if you told me to

And I'd fight for you

I'd lie, it's true

Give my life for you

You know I'd always come for you

You know I'd always come for you

No matter what gets in my way

As long as there's still life in me

No matter what, remember you know I'll always come for you.

Yes I'd come for you, no one but you,

Yes, I'd come for you

But only if you told me to.

And I'd fight for you

I'd lie, it's true

Give my life for you

You know I'd always come for you.

No matter what gets in my way

As long as there's still life in me

No matter what, remember you know I'll always come for you

I'd crawl across this world for you

Do anything you want me to

No matter what, remember you know I'll always come for you

You know I'll always come for you.

- Lyrics taken from "I'd Come For You" by Nickelback.

A bright beam of light caught her across the eyes making her squint as she held a hand to her face. A loud thumping noise can be heard overhead as a black helicopter swirled around them, light washing over their bodies.

Jake glared up the sky as the bird flew past them, its spotlight never leaving their standing forms. He cursed under his breath. "The hell is this now?"

Sherry heard footsteps nearing them and clutched her gun. She felt her chest tighten as she watched several forms moving in the shadows nearing them. "Jake…" she gave a warning tone as she backed up. She felt his back touched against hers, muscles tensed.

The light circled overhead pointing the pair for all danger to see. Several Javo's appeared carrying knives, guns and other sorts of weapons. A few of them had mutated, having grotesque arms protruding from their shoulder sockets. A pair had grown big wings where their legs used to be, the leathery skin brown with ropey veins travelling its length. Glassy colorless eyes stared at them devoid of any human emotion.

"Man! Everywhere you look, there's more of these assholes. Sucks being so popular!" Jake cried as he clenched his jaw at the approaching Javos. He had both hands on his gun, raised and ready to fire. He could feel Sherry's back pressed against his as she tried to face the Javos on her side.

"We're outnumbered! Jake, this looks bad," she said. One Javo jumped in front of her and let a growl. She pointed her gun towards him and started firing.

"Well, we're just gonna have to take out as much as we can," replied the redhead as he started firing his own gun.

A battle ensued. Gunfire erupted the whole place, the loud noises deafening. There were many close calls and moments that Sherry thought would be the end of it all. She's already having a couple of cuts, grazes and bruises forming around some areas of her body. Lucky for her, her healing ability is taking care of them. She had her gun pointed when she heard the click of her gun signalling it empty of bullets. Dread filled her body.

"Jake, I'm out!" she cried as she took out her stun rod.

"Yeah, same here! Looks like we're gonna have to kick the shit out of these guys. I'm looking forward to this," he answered as he raised his fists at the closest Javo.

To their surprise, bullets began to rain upon them. It took a second for her to realize that the bullets were hitting the Javo's surrounding them. Her eyes trailed up to the platform above them to see several BSAA clad soldiers with their firearms shooting down at the Javo's.

Jake scoffed. "Looks like Redfield and his boy scouts are over here too," he said pointing up towards their direction.

Hope filled her and she felt her spirits begin to lift. "Chris's team will protect us."

"We don't need their help! I didn't ask for it either!" he cried as he threw a punch across the bloody face of a Javo in front of him.

She grunted as she spun and drove her stun rod to another Javo before it swung its massive arm towards her body. Electricity coursed through its whole body igniting a shriek from it. "I know you don't like Chris, but he's here…"

"Alright, alright. Enough about Redfield already. Geez, it's getting old."

The pair continued to fight against the horde of Javos. More of the Javos with grasshopper like legs appeared, jumping high and began making an attempt to stomp on them. Sherry ducked and rolled on the ground, bits of gravel and sharp rocks piercing her back as she rolled to her knees. She held her stun rod as she kept her eyes trained on the Javo advancing towards her. She didn't see the one creeping up behind her as he leaped in the air and aimed its clawed foot at her head. She gasped and covered her head and tried to crawl away but she wasn't fast enough.

A figure came to stand beside her and thrusted a hand out catching the foot in his leather gloved hand. She looked up to see her partner holding the foot with a vice like grip. He twisted his hand making the Javo lose its balance and dropped on the ground. He raised a foot in the air and brought it down hard on the bend of the knee breaking it cleanly. The Javo howled in pain. He followed it up by hitting its mouth, blood spilling everywhere.

Sherry got up and muttered her thanks before continuing to fight off the Javo's. She swung her stun rod left and right catching them mostly, sometimes missing them. She looked towards her partner and saw him fighting more Javos than she. His face lined with dirt and grime and clothes soiled. More bullets rained around them and one by one, the Javo's began to drop like flies.

"Ha! And I thought we'd be here all night," Jake called over his shoulder to her.

The two stood upon the fallen bodies of Javos. They littered the ground making it a mission to walk across the area. He looked around breathing hard from all the fighting. He felt eyes upon him and looked up to see the BSAA Captain giving a hard stare at them. Well, mostly on him. His eyes narrowed as if in deep thought. The hell's his problem, he thought. He thought back on the details of his family lineage learning about it back at the facility and back at the Captain. His father was responsible on the world's worst BOW's. The BSAA's job is to fight bioterrorism. He put two and two together and curiosity began to rise within him.

"Does he know that Wesker is my father?" he wondered out loud.

Sherry raised her eyebrows in surprise. True, hearing from Claire, Chris and Wesker had been mortal enemies for as long as anyone could remember after the mansion incident. She didn't want to think how Chris would react if he found out Jake's true identity. Nor did she want to imagine how her partner would take it if he knew Chris was one of the BSAA operatives who killed his father three years ago. She swallowed and chose her words carefully. "Umm, I don't think so. Why?" At least she's being honest. She really doesn't know if it's in Chris's knowledge that he is Wesker's son.

He gave a shrug. "Nothing. Maybe I just rubbed him the wrong way."

"Come on. Let's get moving. Our orders were to avoid contact with anyone," she said as she spun her heel and began walking away.

He tore his gaze away from the Captain and followed her, pushing all thoughts of his father and Redfield at the back of his mind.

They came across a desolate playground. The place was silent. The street was empty and the food stalls nearby stood unmanned, the fruits and vegetables selling still on their racks. Some untouched, some scattered across the ground. Trash littered the place, broken boxes, tables and chairs were everywhere. Smoke filled the air and the stench of gunfire lingered. Not a soul was in sight, whether human or a Javo. A swing creaked as it swung on its hinges.

The two walked along quietly. Sherry rubbed her arms feeling a chill despite the warm breeze. She gazed up at the stars again and closed her eyes. A vision filled her head sitting by the window, a soft warm blanket draped over her as she was left freely to gaze at the stars. Those were the times she could feel peace and quiet in her prisoned life.

"This place smells like death. Just like Edonia."

She opened her eyes and saw her partner surveying the area. She watched as he climbed up the slide and skidded down. "Jake Muller, devious and mysterious," she mused, a smile on her lips.

He glanced back at her and saw the way her eyes drooped a little, her face exhausted from the entire ordeal they had faced. "Let's take a break for a while. God knows, we both could use it."

She didn't say anything but walked towards the swing dropping down. She held the chains as she brought her knees up to her chest, the swing swinging a little at her action. She looked up at the stars once more. "Sometimes I can't help but blame myself."

He turned to her direction and saw her gazing again at the sky. "What?"

She kept staring up at the sky. She doesn't know why she's bringing this up or even if he'd understand her. "Back when I was little. When my dad was a scientist. He never really paid much attention to me. Both my parents were too caught up with their work. Sometimes I can't help but wonder if I had been a better daughter, if I'd studied harder or did better at sports, they would have paid more attention to me. And not so much on their research. Maybe they wouldn't have developed the G-virus."

He thought about her words. Did she really think this was all her fault? He narrowed his eyes. "Listen. You could have gotten all the A's at school and be the best athlete but that wouldn't have stopped your parents from doing their work. They knew what they were doing."

"Yeah but…I don't know. Sometimes I think that if I'd been more perfect my parents would have noticed me more. I wished they could have spent more time with me and looked after me better."

He walked towards her and stopped by the swing. "Hey at least your parents were around. My father was absent my whole entire life."

She looked up at him and noticed the pain and anger in his voice. He never had both parents growing up after all. She shook her head. "I can't help but think…what if there was something we could have done? What if there was something different we could have tried?"

He looked down at her and glowered. "Don't you think I've asked every single 'what if' question over the last twenty years? Don't you think if I could go back and there's something I could have done, I would have done it? I've wasted all my life on what ifs and I'm probably wasting my time here now but what the hell is out there for me?"

"What are you going to do when we're done here?"

He gave a tired sigh as he dropped on the swing next to her, his hands resting on his knees. "I dunno. Probably carry on being a soldier for hire. Try to earn money. Maybe fade away and be forgotten." He glanced at her.

"I would never have wished that on you. I wouldn't want that to happen."

"Yeah well, you should."

After all this time, why do you still believe in me, Sherry? You're making this so much harder. It would have been easier if you give up on me. I could finally give up. If only you didn't believe in me, he thought as he glared at her under the harsh light of the streetlight above them.

"You believe in fate and all that bullshit crap. That things happen for a reason and all that shit."

"Not really. Not in that way, at least. I think there are reasons why things happen. Just think of it as a cause and effect type. As someone who's fighting for the world's survival, I think you have to believe in that reason."

"Why?" He asked almost as if challenging her philosophy.

"Because if all our lives are predetermined, fighting would be useless, wouldn't it?"

He didn't reply but shrugged.

"What do you think?" she asked him curiously. Jake is quite a character and delving into his mind intrigued her. Getting to know him hadn't been easy, but interesting to say the least.

"What I think is not important. But who really knows anyway? People take certain paths and it either goes well or goes into shit. Maybe some people are meant to be heroes, and some are just meant to be failures." He tilted his head and focused his glare up the stars. For that moment, he could have been a young boy stargazing.

Sherry didn't have to think hard which part Jake thought he is.

"Then why continue to fight?" she questioned.

She got him there. It's true, he was only fighting for himself and his mother in the beginning. But now that she's gone, he'd asked himself a million times why he keeps going. His blood could save the world. It's true it's only his blood that's valuable. He himself is not really important. He doesn't owe the world shit. But he owes her something. He couldn't tell her that she's the reason why he keeps fighting. When she looks at him with hope, it fuels him to go further.

"Nothing better to do."

Both of them didn't really believe his statement.

"Why do you keep fighting? What's in it for you?" he paused for a moment as he turned the question around. He never really understood what keeps her going and why she fights so hard. He wondered what her reason beyond following orders is. She must be getting a handsome pay for a big job like this. However, unlike him, Sherry doesn't seem like the type who will only accept job offers purely on the sole purpose of money.

He saw her hesitate before answering. "I know this must sound strange. I don't know if you'll understand even. I'm determined to get a vaccine for the C-virus to help people, to prevent more chaos brought upon the creation of the G-virus from my father. I saw the devastating effects on an entire town. It destroyed so much more than lives. It created a fear that will never be forgotten. And this was all caused by what my parents developed. Somehow, I've always felt responsible in righting their wrongs. If there's a way for me to help anyone, I would gladly do it. If there's even a slightest of hope for a cure, then it's up to me to find it. It's my duty to do so, the least I can do. For myself and everyone else."

He didn't say anything as he revelled on her words, eyes travelling back at the night sky. She really does care for people, her compassion extends to all. She's certainly a much better person than he is. He began to think about everyone else and maybe, just maybe the thought of his blood for treatment gave him a slight hope in the thought of saving the world.

She let her words hang as he didn't say anything. It's a strange thing having a discussion regarding philosophy and personal reasons with their whole ordeal with Jake. Months ago when they'd first met, she wouldn't have predicted having a deep conversation without them strangling each other. Things had started rocky for them. But then again, things change. And perhaps so do people, she thought as she studied his profile.

"Do you have any dreams for the future?"

"Not anymore." His stare never left the stars.

She rubbed her arms trying to get them warm. "What did you hoped for back then when you did?"

He turned his gaze at her, his blue eyes filled with curiosity as to why she asked the question. She didn't know really why she did. He shrugged once again. "I dunno, just try to get as much money as I could and be rich. Spend it all on nice things, have a nice house, a bike and all the shit I could ever want." His gaze softened a little bit. "What about yourself?"

She opened her mouth to speak but then changed her mind and shook her head. "It's silly. You'll think it's stupid."

"I won't," he said, a serious expression on his face.

She paused for a while. She considered not telling him anything but decided against it. He had shared his thoughts, it's only fair she do the same. On top of that she's too tired and worn out to care at this point of what he's going to think anyway. "A home."

She spoke softly he nearly missed her words. "Huh?" he asked in confusion.

"A home. I dream I could have my own home one day. One just like I lived in when I was a child. Two storeys with a big window overlooking the front yard. A big maple tree in front for shade for summer leaves. A front porch to sit on and look at the stars. A nice garden at the back for some flowers to grow. I missed my house from my childhood. All I've ever lived in is a government facility and an apartment since Raccoon City."

He kept his gaze at her still intent. "And?"

She looked at him questioningly. "And what?"

"What, no valiant hero by your side? I've always thought you were the romantic type, Sherry."

The soft look on her expression faded. "No, I'm not."

"Why not?" he didn't know why he asked. Heck, he didn't even know why it mattered, but it did.

No hero is coming for her…

No one ever would…

She blinked and met his eyes. "Because it's pointless to think like that."


She gripped the chains of her swing tightly. She tore her eyes away from his and looked straight ahead.


Her eyes came back towards his blue orbs as he grabbed the chain of her swing and pulled her closer to him. Their sides touched making her painfully aware how intent he was looking at her. She didn't know exactly what to expect to find. His eyes were narrowed slightly, intent and focused on her. He frowned. "Why is it pointless to think that way?"

"Because it's just is." She left it at that. He let go of the chain and didn't ask anymore questions much to her relief. There's no point in wishing for something that will never happen. It's just a waste of energy.

Silence came between them once more. She glanced at her partner again and watched him as he watched the stars with slightly tainted eyes. The sky looked beautiful, a far cry from the smoky battle fields they were in a while ago. Right here, sitting next to Jake, star gazing at the night sky felt like a whole different lifetime. If they had not been children back then, they were certainly less even now. For once, she saw a faint gleam in his eyes and did not see the scar that marred his face nor the smirk he usually wears like a barrier to repel others.

Just him. Just Jake.

His eyes painted like a pair of azure spheres, shimmering pinpoints in the dark that glittered faintly. His lips were turned in a small smile and she knew he was recalling something from his past, a warm and far away sunlight hidden within the depths of the shadows in his mind. He should smile like that more. A genuine smile, not the smirk he wears to hide his true emotions from the rest of the world. She thought it must have been how he smiled before, before his life was put into wars and battles, and how he smiled when he was with his mother, or memories that had been lovely and warm.

His eyes gazed longingly at the sky, arms resting on his thighs. Both of them had their guards down and now she is free to look past him to probe behind his scars and read his body language rather than his markings. Jake Muller's scars and attitude had always made who he is in his first impressions. But now, just looking at him, he seemed a man and not the money hungry monster or a rebel she first thought of upon meeting him.

She rested her head against her arm holding on the chain of her swing and closed her eyes. It's been a long day. The breezed caressed her cheek and ruffled her hair softly, calming and soothing against her skin. She succumbed to exhaustion and let herself go in the darkness.

Jake's thoughts were going a mile a minute. Contrary to Sherry's thoughts, his own aren't too far. It's quite close.

He knew what it's like to feel hopeless and to lose one's own purpose. Heck, he never felt that more strongly when his mother died. He knew what it's like to watch hope sail away like a lost balloon. Once he had wished it gone forever and never come back. Miraculously, for some reason he couldn't fathom, he found that it returned to him like a string of a balloon handed down to its lost owner. He could feel hope pulling him once more, pulling him towards the sky, towards hope and promise amidst his chaotic life. For what exact purpose, he still hasn't figured it out. But he didn't feel so dark and dreadful anymore. He sensed a purpose waiting for him although he couldn't quite place it yet. It's a start.

He breathed out and glanced at the blonde form beside him. She has her head resting against her hand cushioning it from the steel chain. Her eyes were closed and she looked to have nodded off to sleep. He couldn't be too sure though. He saw her cuts and bruises had healed up, nothing her regenerating abilities couldn't take care of. He knew she'd be fine. She's a survivor, he'd grant her that. What a day. He felt the exhaustion catching up on him and feel his body wearing down. He rested his head against his arm as he studied her form.

He thought back on her dreams and her reluctance to share her thoughts for the future. Months ago he never would have thought they'd have a deep conversation about each other. All they did was argue and bicker. He never thought she would have spoken about them at all. How things have changed between them. Knowing a different side to her was definitely interesting.

Years ago, as a teenager, he would have laughed and scoffed at her dreams. A house with a big tree in front seemed too simplistic and at the lowest platform of the ambition ladder. It wasn't the ambition he would have thought of her. On the side, there's a certain charm and appeal to them, a quiet lifestyle to yearn after everything he's experienced in his life. He stared at the stars again and decided to try on the dreams of Sherry Birkin.

It surprised him as he found it fittingly well.

A nice house, not too big nor too small. A big window in front to watch the scenery before them, watching the leaves fall as winter comes. A floor that creaked when you step on it and a roof full of shingles. A nice intimate kitchen for warm memories and a lounge room with a television to relax by night. A spacious back porch that was lined with plants and flowers to brighten the place up. Two bed chairs at the porch to gaze at the stars when the night is clear.

He glanced at the young woman again and wondered why the absence of a partner in her life. He tried on that place, for a moment, trying to fit himself as someone's husband, partner and protector, but he found it overwhelming. It was strange, it was foreign to him as well as frightening.

He had never been a fearless savior that fit so many others well. He's always been tarnished, tainted and selfish. His fists and guns were raised for his own needs and desires.

He's not a savior. Never have and never will.

He sighed and ran a hand down his face. What the hell, he thought. This is only dreaming. No harm can ever come of some stupid useless thing. He'd think about this dreaming shit for now and throw it away as soon as he's done. Hanging into hope was like holding fire. The scars and burns remain even after the fire has been put out.

Just for this moment. Then he'll forget about it.

He looked at the wide expanse of the sky above him and began sorting out his dreams like pieces of a puzzle.

A nice bedroom with a comfortable bed where he could roll around without getting a stiff neck and aching back. A small garage where he could work on his bike. A stereo to blast away rock music to ease his nerves. A large piano by the living room where he could play some music, one of his hidden talents that no one knows about. It brought him back to his childhood when his mother bought him a baby piano when he was five. He enjoyed jamming on it for countless hours.

No gunfire and screams to be heard.

Maybe he could have a lovely girl at his side to share his dreams. Someone who will always be there for him.

Someone who would stay.