Chapter 11: A Blast From The Past
Ada stood thunderstruck before a phantom. It couldn't be! She wasn't exactly one to surprise easily, but the towering apparition smirking smugly down at her had her thoughts racing feverishly on how it was even possible.
Albert Wesker looked like the events from the Kijuju Incident never happened - there wasn't a single sign of Uroboros ever taking over his body and turning him into a chaotic monstrosity hell-bent on bringing humanity to its knees before him. But Ada had read the reports years back. Wesker did perish within the volcano; struck by two missiles and then swallowed up by a sea of red-hot lava, never to be seen again. How was it even possible for him to be standing before her now?
This had been Evan Fox's secret project for the past nearly four years. He was gloating now, an evil smirk on his face as he stood to the side in his office. Ada wondered how Fox was able to make it conceivable, as well as what his true motives behind all of this were. Why bring back Albert Wesker from the dead? She was sure he would explain in due time, however.
For now, the blonde tyrant spread his hands in a mocking gesture as if welcoming her back. "Guess who's back…Ada, my dear, it seems our paths continue to cross even after death. It is good to see you again."
His deep voice made her shiver like sharp nails on a chalkboard, but she managed to remain collected. Her tone didn't falter, and her lips barely twitched a wry smile. "And here I thought I was rid of you completely. How naïve of me to believe it."
Wesker chuckled that chilling, low laugh that had haunted her for so many years. "I missed you as well. You've put up a worthy game of hide and seek all these years. I look forward to working to with you again. Without the stab of betrayal, I may add."
Ada shrugged nonchalantly. "As you would say, Albert…it was just business. Nothing personal, you see."
The wolfish grin eased onto his handsome face, his sunglasses flashing under the fluorescent lights above. "Of course. Although, this time around, I strongly urge you to keep your loyalty with me. I'm not going to be so generous this time and keep you alive should you ever feel tempted to...stray again."
By this time, his slow stride had led him to her, and he was now staring her down with his trademark smirk. "You may repeat your game of hide and seek if you wish. But I highly doubt Florence, Marrakech, Paris, or even Hong Kong will be able to protect you again."
Ada clenched her jaw sourly. He had listed the cities in order of where she had stayed undercover to hide her trail from him after her betrayal in Spain. The whole time, if he had wanted to find her and kill her, he could have. It made her sick how Wesker was always one step ahead.
She wasn't about to show how much he had stunned her. The raven-haired assassin smiled almost flirtatiously at him. "I think I'll stick around...for now."
"Good. It will be…just like old times."
When Wesker finally turned his attention from her to HUNK, Ada glanced over to Fox. He was still leaning on his desk with his arms folded; grinning that self-satisfied grin of his as though he had created his ultimate masterpiece. Ada didn't feel his folly, her heart becoming heavy with worry as her thoughts went back to Jake. She now fully understood Rurik's motives of injecting the virus into him. It showed her exactly how much he cared about Jake, even though Jake would kill him over it, given half the chance. But HUNK had been right. Jake might be their only hope now. Ada knew that Chris Redfield's victory over Wesker in Kijuju had been thanks to a mix between dumb luck and Chris's unbreakable spirit to end this war; or maybe it had been an act of God altogether. But now Wesker was back, and the chances of Chris prevailing once more were highly unlikely.
"Rurik Ginovaef. It's been a long time. You'll be pleased to hear that I actually plan on locating Nicholai in the near future. He has always done well by me. Wouldn't that be an interesting family reunion?"
Rurik snickered, though it ended up turning into a rough cough from his condition. "That disloyal dog of a brother of mine? I guess if anyone is going to be as low as you, it might as well be him."
"Nicholai has something he fights for," Wesker stated, "What do you fight for, Mr. Death? I know your reason for fighting has long been dead. So tell me, what do you fight for now?"
Ada saw the apparent falter in Rurik. He was deeply angered by Wesker's words, and the seasoned agent glared daggers at those faintly glowing red golden cat eyes. The female spy fleetingly wondered what Wesker was talking about. Apparently, she didn't know as much about HUNK as she had thought.
"Maybe even I don't know," Rurik stated slowly.
"That's unfortunate, considering your condition," Wesker answered. "How ironic: I never thought I would see Mr. Death at the brink of death. In fact, I don't think I have ever seen anyone get the best of you in a fight. What happened to you, exactly? You look like you've been hit by a truck."
Rurik gave a weak laugh that sounded a lot more like a painful wheeze, looking over his broken, bloodied form. "You mean this? Why, your son did this to me. He was always a good student. Taught him well, and it shows."
The smirk slowly died on Wesker's face, leaving no trace behind that it ever existed. The tyrant seemed to take a moment to make sure he had heard HUNK right. He glanced over to Ada who stood unmoved with folded arms and curiously studied his reaction, then glared back at Rurik before grabbing a hold of his shirt close by his neck.
"Son? What are you talking about? Speak!"
Evan pushed himself off against the desk, quickly walking over before the tension rose any higher. "Uh, yes. I meant to fill you in on this little detail and everything else. We have so much to discuss! This is just one of the many things we'll have to talk about. As a matter of fact, you do have some catching up to do."
"Explain," Wesker demanded stony-faced, slowly letting go of Rurik and turning to Fox. He looked back and forth between the other three people in the room, all of whom seemed to be hesitant to cough up the full truth. His eyes came to a halt when he caught Ada's amused expression. "You...did you know any of this?"
Ada sighed, not missing the threatening undertone in his barely suppressed anger. "Actually, I did. Trust me, I was just as surprised as you when I heard of it. And I'm guessing Wesker Junior was just as baffled and over the moon as everyone else."
"Wesker Junior...certainly has a ring to it," Rurik cackled gleefully while holding his injured arm after he had straightened his shirt as good as possible with just one hand. "And you're the last to know. How juicy..."
Only Wesker's flaring nostrils betrayed his agitation when he began pelting them with questions. "Where is he? How do you even know he's mine? Last thing I knew, I had no offspring," he hissed addressing Evan. "I know nothing of a son. He could be just anyone trying to pretend that we're related."
"He is your son, alright? There's no question about it. I've seen him up close, and I've seen him fight. He's your spitting image, though I suspect his mother was a redhead..."
When Ada mentioned a redhead, something clicked inside his mind and the puzzle suddenly made sense. Wesker's head whipped around to stare at her now that she had confirmed the impossible. He took a few deep breaths to keep his rising temper under control and process what his mind still refused to believe, before glaring back at the beat up Ginovaef brother. "And I'm guessing you and my...son...must have some history if you came out of a fight looking like this."
Rurik shrugged, though he glanced away for a moment. "Considering he was trying to kill me…yes."
"Considering he almost succeeded…with both of us," Ada added, frustration clearly etched into her voice.
"It wouldn't have happened had you two followed orders," Evan spat. "Rurik, you could have cost us big time. It's a good thing I sent Ada after you."
"Of course, Mr. Fox, I do apologize," Rurik replied, completely unfazed.
The Chief Security Advisor frowned at him before he shrugged the weathered agent off and looked to Wesker. "I have received all of the data for you. Come with me, I'm sure you're ready to get fully informed of all that you've missed. Then we can proceed making plans."
Wesker seemed to have caught himself again, for his face revealed nothing of his thoughts or feelings once more as he slowly nodded at Evan. With one last glance at Rurik and Ada, he turned his back on them to follow Fox out of the office. The unlikely partners in crime were left behind, and even though the restored tyrant had already left, the tension in the room took a while to subside. The female assassin took a moment to collect herself, and eventually turned to her counterpart. The battered agent was looking down at his wrist cast, his good hand running across it lightly while he was deeply in thought.
"Alright…you win. I would not have believed you had you told me," sighed Ada.
HUNK looked to her with a crooked smile. "You need to learn to trust me more."
It was a half-hearted attempt at a joke since the man obviously had something else on his mind. Ada didn't like the feeling that was coming from Rurik. It just felt off.
"What was Albert talking about? About the reason you fight for being dead?"
Rurik shrugged, or it could have been a flinch. "Long story. But what matters now is that Jake has a fighting chance. I've done my part, I can do nothing more for him. If I die, even if it's by his hands, I will be at peace."
She should have known she wasn't going to get anything out of him. Ada turned away from him, folding her arms. The female spy wondered how things were going to play out from here. Obviously, Wesker and Fox had vile plans ready to be thought up. She had to find some way to get in touch with Leon to give him a heads-up of what was coming their way. The question was…would he believe her?
The wait for his appointment seemed to be taking forever. After their arrival at the Central HQ in the early morning - even before they'd had breakfast, as Jake grumpily mentioned - he was told to wait in this room in the infirmary section of the government building. Sherry was there to keep him company and to offer moral support, but for now they were sitting quietly and just...waiting. Chris and Jill had left them with Rebecca Chambers and Barry Burton while they left to attend their respective duties. Barry was only there to escort them anywhere in case Chris and Jill didn't get back in time. Rebecca couldn't leave the medical department since she was working.
"Jesus, they could have at least provided us with some breakfast. I'm starving here! This is ridiculous," Jake growled unhappily, having grown impatient of the wait within the first fifteen minutes.
"And maybe a warmer room as well. I'm freezing!" Sherry exclaimed, rubbing her legs for warmth even though she wore jeans.
Jake chuckled, glancing over at her. "Seriously? Then you need to come spend a winter in Edonia with me if you think this is cold."
"I remember freezing my ass off in the blizzard trying to find the data on you quite well, thank you very much. I don't understand how you could stand it, I hate the cold."
"I've always been hot-blooded," the tall redhead explained.
"No surprise there." Sherry couldn't suppress a small, crooked grin.
Finally, the door opened. Jake and Sherry looked up, hoping it was Rebecca ready to get blood samples for the tests. Instead it was Barry, who quickly shut the door behind him. He held two small bottles of orange juice in his hand.
"I figured you two were hungry; sorry, but this was all I could find until the cafeteria opens."
Sherry smiled gratefully. "Thank you, Barry, that was very thoughtful of you."
They took the bottles of orange juice from him. Jake just nodded at Barry and took his bottle quietly. Sherry sipped on her orange juice lost in thought while Jake downed his in almost one big gulp as they continued to wait in silence. Another ten minutes passed and her best friend grew even more restless, if that was even possible. When he had finally had enough and couldn't stand it anymore, the young man got up to pace the room like a caged tiger.
"Okay, this is bullshit! We could have slept in and gone to eat breakfast in the meantime. Is there any reason why we got up at the ass crack of dawn to come in here to sit around on our butts all day?"
"Rebecca probably just got side-tracked. There are days they run her nonstop," Barry explained.
"I'd be more apt to believe that if it was later in the day, but not this early in the morning. What can possibly take her so long?"
"Be patient, Jake. I'm sure it won't be too much longer." Sherry reassured.
Just as the petite blonde was finishing her words, the door to the room swung open. Rebecca entered wearing dark green scrubs and carrying a clip board. Her brown hair was pulled back into a loose, short pony tail with some bangs poking out. She smiled at them in greeting, her eyes soon focusing the ex-mercenary.
"Okay Jake, I had a long talk with the director of the Research Department that is going to be handling the creation of a cure for your virus. We're going to start out with five blood samples, but if they need more I'll need you to come back in. And if they inquire about additional testing, you may need to go to the Research Department and have those done."
"Sounds like a pain in the ass to me but whatever," Jake grumbled. "Let's just get this over with."
Rebecca threw a quick glance to Sherry and Barry before nodding. She wrote down something quick on her clipboard, and went to get the five different syringes and tubes. The medical prodigy and BSAA member put labels on all the syringe tubes. Soon, she got Jake's right arm ready and expertly started taking the blood samples as needed.
The newborn tyrant desperately hoped they could find a cure for the virus. Alex Wesker could have been telling the truth about his cure, but Jake knew his uncle was up to no good, even if he was trying to come across as trustworthy and sincere. The cost for his cure may prove to be too high, maybe even fatal. But Jake knew deep down if the BSAA wasn't able to create one, he would be seeking his uncle out, ethics be damned. There was no way he was going to allow himself to stay like this; the mere thought was unbearable to him.
After the last blood sample was retrieved, Rebecca expertly wrapped a small bandage around Jake's forearm. The experienced medical genius wrapped a rubber band around the precious samples and pocketed them securely in her shirt. She offered a reassuring nod to Jake, Sherry, and Barry. "That should do it. I will get this over to the Research Department right away. We'll do our best to create a cure for it, Jake."
"If I never see another needle again, it'll be too soon," the redhead grumbled, relieved that it was over. Jake knew he had to be patient, so with nothing else to do he got off the patient bench and walked out the door. His best friend and Barry stayed behind to thank Rebecca for her efforts and tell her goodbye. They soon caught up with Wesker's son who was waiting impatiently outside the room.
"Would you guys like me to go get Chris and Jill?" Barry inquired.
"No thanks, Mr. Bunyan, but I think we're done here. Sherry and I are gonna take off to go get some grub," Jake replied.
Barry gave him a look, and Sherry's was even sharper. Jake wasn't fazed at all, however. He turned to leave, motioning at the beautiful blonde next to him.
"Shake a tail feather, Supergirl. Don't fret, Burton, we know the way out."
He heard Sherry apologize on his behalf, and then quickly catching up to him. Jake looked over his shoulder, saw that the older man was shaking his head but remained where he was. He and Sherry left Barry and the Medical Department behind, heading straight for Central's exit to leave in her car.
"Mr. Bunyan?" Sherry sighed.
"What? He reminded me of that guy, Paul Bunyan…you know, lumberjack, scruffy beard and all that. All that was missing was his axe and the big blue ox."
Sherry shook her head, though a smile twitched on her features. "Sometimes I believe you forget to think before you speak."
Jake laughed. "You're noticing that just now?"
"Yeah, anyway, I know a great place for breakfast. I'll take you there. Doesn't look like much, but the food's great."
"I'm all for it. Lead the way, Supergirl. My stomach's angry with me right now. Feels like it's gonna eat me alive if I don't stuff it real soon."
"And we wouldn't want that," his friend grinned.
The cafeteria wasn't as noisy as usual, probably since they were here a little earlier than what they were used to. The breakfast on their plates still tasted the same as always though: the fake scrambled eggs were a little chewy, and the bacon a little under done for Jill's taste.
Jill looked to her husband in an attempt to make conversation since their busy morning hadn't given them much opportunity to do just that. He was spreading margarine on his toast that looked a little too dark to be tasty, still chewing on his rubbery scrambled eggs as he did so. Jill kept a hold of her fork, peering at him with a light smile.
"I'll never understand how you can eat that poor excuse for a dry toast," Jill stated.
"And what about you, Mrs. Redfield? You like ketchup on your eggs."
"I don't. I mean, not a lot. Must be a phase I'm going through."
Chris snorted. "Liar! Sweetie, you've been having the horrid habit of eating ketchup on your eggs since I've known you. All those times we've gone to Ellie's Diner for breakfast in Raccoon City? Don't deny it." He grinned.
She tossed her wadded up napkin at him, smacking him in the nose. "Don't you dare insult my eggs!" she giggled.
"Wouldn't dream of it." Chris had that boyish grin on his face that she had fallen in love with.
Him mentioning the old diner that they used to frequent before the mansion incident made her remember the good old days. Back before the raging war on bioterrorism, back when they were just ordinary police officers with S.T.A.R.S. It made her think of all the good friends that they had lost, their simpler life back then, and their sheltered, naïve minds.
She nodded thinking back. "Those simpler days."
Chris caught up with her line of thought and dipped his head. "The benefits of being young and dumb."
Jill lowered her eyes to her plate. It was almost empty save for some scrambled eggs. "You know, sometimes I wish we hadn't been there that night."
She could tell Chris knew what she was talking about. He was quiet for a moment as he mulled over her words.
"Yeah, me too…but you know what? If it hadn't been us, it would have been someone else. And what if they had been killed by Wesker or those monsters in the mansion? Who would have exposed Umbrella? How long would it have taken for someone to catch on? And where would we be now had we not been there? We wouldn't know each other…or all our friends living or dead. The BSAA probably wouldn't exist…and the world could be dead. I wouldn't be married to the best wife a man could wish for."
Jill looked back up to him at those words. His brown eyes beheld her with intensity.
"I have many regrets in my life…but I do believe in fate. I think we were all destined to be a part of this. To be the ones who end it."
"You think we will see it happening in our lifetime?"
"I believe so. It's part of what keeps me going," Chris replied.
He certainly did have a point. They quietly resumed eating and finished breakfast shortly afterwards. Jill picked up a fresh napkin to wipe her mouth.
"I kind of feel bad we didn't bring the kids along to eat," Chris mused.
She paused, looking confused. "Kids?"
"Jake and Sherry," Chris specified, chuckling. "But surely Rebecca got right in there and let them be on their way."
"Not likely. Rebecca is usually extremely busy around this time."
Chris sobered. "Oh…well, it will do Jake good to learn some patience then."
"Jake and patience?" Jill laughed.
"Yeah. I don't think the word exists in his mind. I have never met someone so impulsive in my life."
"Well, he's had a rough life so you can't really blame him," Jill defended.
"True. I just hope we can get a cure to his virus so everything can go back to normal. Jake is a handful enough without the virus as it is."
"What about the threat HUNK mentioned?" Jill inquired, leaning forward on the table to lean her head on her right palm.
"Not sure. He's not trustworthy but he seemed obsessed with something big coming our way. We should make sure we're prepared for whatever it is."
Jill was about to nod at him, when suddenly a strange chill came over her.
There was something foreboding about how the hair on the nape of her neck stood up, and the rise her heart made to her throat. Her heart rate seemed to triple with her pulse was almost going through the roof. Jill felt hot and cold at the same time while breaking out into goose bumps and sweat, and bile came up to ruin her breakfast. Her stomach cramped in nausea and stress. The color drained from her features, and she knew Chris witnessed everything with growing concern. Jill struggled to figure out what was going on. Her intuition tried to alert her, but she had no idea to what. Something ominous...ominous and inescapable. The table seemed to start spinning before her very eyes. She felt weak and ready to collapse...like somebody had just walked over her grave.
"Jill...are you alright?"
"I...I need a moment. Please excuse me." she pleaded, looking more than a little pale around the nose.
She got up from her seat, Chris mimicking her actions. He stood there dumbfounded, as she quickly escaped for the nearby bathrooms. Her hands were shaking, even if she squeezed them shut. She passed Barry on the way without noticing him; he didn't miss her fearful appearance though.
"What's wrong with her?" he asked Chris when he got to their table, pointing a thumb over his shoulder.
"I have no idea, really. She just started feeling sick once we were done with breakfast."
"Must have been those damn scrambled eggs" Barry reasoned, pointing at the half-eaten leftovers on her plate. "They're terrible, gave me gas like hell this morning."
Chris frowned. "I'm not sure, but that can't be it. I ate some, too, and I'm fine."
"Well, good for you, but I wouldn't touch those eggs again for all the money in the world. You just keep an eye on her then. I'm heading out. Jake and Sherry got done and have already left. 'Bout damn time. I was sure Jake was gonna go nuts sitting there waiting. The kid isn't the most patient person in the world, is he?"
"I think it's safe to say that the answer is 'no'," Chris chuckled.
"Heh, he might look exactly like his father, but I guess he isn't like him in that aspect."
"Normally I would say that's a good thing, but in all honesty? His imposing nature really gives me a headache," Chris sighed.
"I can see why. Alright, I'll see you later. Tell Jill to take it easy."
"See ya, Barry."
His old friend left the cafeteria. It wasn't much longer before his wife finally emerged from the nearby bathrooms again. She looked a little better, but was still white like a sheet and looked shaken up.
"You alright, honey?" Chris asked, touching her shoulder. He had never seen her get ill so suddenly before.
"Yeah, I'm fine. I think I'm going home for a bit."
"I'll drive you."
Jill shook her head. "No, you better head off to that meeting with Trish. I'll be fine, don't worry about me." She rubbed his arm as if to cheer him up. "Claire will be there if she hasn't left to hang out with Leon or her other friends, so I'll be alright."
Chris hesitated, wondering if this was really a good idea, but then slowly nodded. "Okay. But you give me a call if you need anything."
"All I need is some rest," Jill smiled weakly, "I'll be fine again in no time, I promise. And you better stop worrying so much before I get angry, Mr. Redfield." She pecked him on the mouth before turning to get her coat and purse.
"Never!" he called after her.
"Love you, too."
Leon unlocked the door to his apartment while fishing his cell out of his jacket. After getting inside he walked down the front hallway into the kitchen which laid open to the left of the living room. He tossed the keys and phone unceremoniously onto the nearby counter. Raking his hand through his hair, he cast a look throughout his small bachelor pad.
Home, sweet home.
The apartment looked as though he was hardly ever here, which was the truth. Though nicely kept and tidy, it was a bit dusty, and still smelled like a brand new apartment to him. His frequent and prolonged absences were also the reason why the agent didn't own any pets, even though Leon was an animal lover. If it hadn't been for his lack of spare time, he certainly would have called himself a proud dog owner by now.
This morning had kept him running all over D.C. like a headless chicken, trying to scrounge up clues as to where Evan Fox could have disappeared to. He had even stopped by Helena's house to see how she and Ingrid were doing. Leon didn't feel that it was the right time to let Hunnigan go home yet, so he had told her to stay there for the time being. While he was running errands, Sherry was with Jake getting his tests done and Claire had to catch up on some paperwork with TerraSave.
So far, all his running around had gotten him nowhere, and it was starting to get a little frustrating. He walked into his kitchen to start brewing some coffee that would, hopefully, clear his head a bit. The DSO agent didn't have much time before he had to take off again, but felt he could use a small break - and he definitely needed some coffee.
While the smell of the brewing coffee took over the apartment, Leon decided he was going to quickly change his shirt since he had an unfortunate accident with a greasy breakfast burrito this morning.
Guess it's one of these days shortly flashed through his mind as he opened the door to his bedroom while unbuttoning his shirt, his mind already going through the next steps necessary after his short break. Before he had even shut the door behind him, he had already opened his cuffs and pulled out the tails of his shirt. Suddenly though, the blond agent stood frozen in mid stride, his shirt already half off, completely unprepared for the sight before him.
The svelte figure of Ada Wong lay on his bed, flipping lazily through one of his books that she had pinched from his shelf in the corner of the room. She peered at him with an all knowing smile and an amused glint in her eyes at the appealing display of his bare chest. Her eyes shortly strayed to the inviting view south of his eyes before looking up at his face again, if somewhat reluctantly. Obviously she had expected him to come in here sooner or later. The assassin sat up and moved her feet to the floor, flopping the book down by her hip.
"You know, you really need to work on your library. Seriously, books over books on weapon modifications? Not so sexy. Looks like I need to bring by some really good spy novels from my own collection next time. Nothing beats a good spy romance for bedtime reading," she winked.
Leon slowly dropped his hands that were still holding onto his open shirt and blinked, still a little stunned. "How did you get in my apartment?"
He must have sounded really dumb when the words came out of his mouth. He had no idea why he had even asked. It was Ada after all! That was the only answer he really needed. He decided to shake off the confusion and get straight to the point.
"How long have you been here?"
Ada shrugged, slightly smiling as she stood up from his bed. She wore black leather pants with high heeled boots, paired with a long sleeved dark red blouse. A small bruise adorned her forehead, and Leon was sure it stemmed from the ruckus with Jake last night.
"I don't know, maybe half an hour? Oh, by the way, you really need to throw out your leftovers. It's well past due its expiration date if you know what I mean."
"You went through my fridge, too?" Leon grumbled.
"A girl's gotta eat," she smiled impishly.
Leon gave a defeated nod, after all he knew it was typical for Ada to go through his things. "Why are you here? If you came to get your compact back, you're lucky; I kept it for you. Let me get-"
"That's alright," Ada waved off. "It's not what I came here for anyway. Actually, I have something really important I need to tell you."
Leon sighed. "Of course you have. You don't usually break into my apartment, go through my books, or ransack my fridge unless it's something important."
She walked over to stand only inches apart from him. "Remember that threat Rurik was raving about yesterday?"
Leon slowly nodded, already not liking where this was going.
"I found out what it is - and it's not something you're going to like. I need for you to believe me, Leon. Because this threat is real, and it is coming your way real quick."
His face fell, and a strange feeling came over him. He could tell that Ada was no longer teasing but dead serious for once. She wanted to make sure that Leon really trusted her this time. She closed her eyes for a moment to collect herself, took and released a deep breath before opening her eyes again and blurting out what was on her mind.
"Albert Wesker is back. Fully restored and alive. Evan Fox somehow revived him, don't ask me how."
Leon gaped. "What?! I thought he died in that volcano?"
"I thought so, too, but Fox has somehow able to bring him back and reconstruct him. He looks completely unscathed, like he was never even grazed by as much as a bullet. You need to go find Jake, now!"
Leon's eyes had lowered in shock, but at Jake's name, they rose quickly to meet hers. "He's with Sherry. I need to call her!" For a moment, that protective big brother instinct rose within him. "Is he after Sherry? Is she in danger, too?"
"By how protective Jake was of Sherry in Lanshiang, I think she will be fine - but if Albert does try to hurt her, I'm sure there's going to be one hell of a fight. As of right now, Albert and Fox don't know Jake has the virus. But once that's out in the open, I'm certain Albert's motives for Jake will change."
"Damn it! This can't be happening!" Leon made a move to grab for his phone, but realized in time that he had tossed it onto the counter with his keys.
"Believe me, I wish it was just a bad dream. Go find Jake and Sherry. I'll try and figure out what they're up to and let you know. I have to play my cards right though - Albert will kill me this time if I'm caught. I'm not sure what Rurik is going to do. If Albert or Fox finds out he was the one who gave Jake the virus, it's all over for him."
Leon nodded, his previous worries from this morning wiped from his mind. "Alright, I'll get right on it."
Ada kissed him on the cheek. "Be careful, handsome. I'll get back to you with more information as soon as possible."
Leon's mind was jumbled. He barely nodded again as he tried to figure his thoughts. Ada had left his side and was at his open window before he could take another breath. With one last look over her shoulder, the assassin took out her grapple gun and added: "Good luck. Hold onto that compact for me, I'll pick it up next time. Oh, and...as much as I appreciate the thought, but you might want to get decent before you leave."
Then she was out the window before he even had the chance to reply.
"Ada, wait!" he called rushing to the window, leaning out of it to look after her, but it was too late. The red-clad spy had already vanished from his field of vision.
What is it with her and being allergic to doors?!
Cursing under his breath, he slammed his hands down on the window sill once before quickly retreating to run for the counter where his keys and cell phone were. After finishing what he had started and changing his shirt in record time, he was out of his apartment in moments, phone in hand, trying to reach Sherry. He had to find her and Jake, and fast. With her phone going to voicemail, Leon knew it wasn't going to be an easy task.
They had returned to Landover without much hassle. Jake and Sherry talked for a bit in her car as Sherry drove them to the café that she had promised to be a delight. Since it was located along a road full of antique shops and little stores, they had to park down away from all the taken parking spots. They both agreed that it was a nice morning for a walk anyway.
Across the street from all the shops was a very old bathhouse that was closed down and only used for tours. Jake took a moment to consider it, the old, beautiful design reminding him of some he had seen in Europe on his tours as a mercenary. He continued walking with Sherry, never missing a beat of their current conversation.
"So you're really a cat person?" Sherry laughed.
"What's wrong with cats? They're smart, independent, and always land on their feet. They're just like small, furry ninjas, really. I didn't say I didn't like dogs though. Unless it's one of those tiny ankle biters; they're just overfed rats in my opinion."
"You just don't seem the type to like cats," Sherry giggled. "You know, big, tough mercenary and all."
"Well, why do you think the bad guys in movies are always the ones with cats?" Jake inquired with a smirk.
"What about you, Supergirl? Cats or dogs?"
"Well, can't really say. I didn't have many pets growing up. We had a wiener dog one time when I was a kid, but he was mean. We also did have a cat at some point, but it was mostly outside and only wanted attention on its own terms. Uncle Al-I mean…" Sherry trailed off, realizing she was about to drop Wesker's name. Not a good way to spill the beans, Sher!
Instead of admitting that she was talking about his father, she cleared her throat. "I mean, my dad had a close friend who had a Doberman. I just loved that dog! He was awesome. But my dad? He just would bring home some strange critters every now and then. He even brought home this baby alligator one time. Cute little thing, even though it wanted to bite your finger off. But my dad always ended up doing something with them."
They passed a floral shop that looked like it was having a large sale. There were pots of flowers and beautiful indoor plants outside the front of the shop, enticing would-be buyers. As they were passing by the antique store next door, something caught Sherry's eye and she stopped abruptly. Jake took two more long steps after her before he realized she stopped, and turned to join her at the window.
"What's up?" he asked.
Sherry had her fingers on the glass, looking over an old fashioned locket that was hanging on the other side of the window. Normally, Jake would have rolled his eyes over women and jewelry, but there was something about her eyes that caught his interest, and thanks to his virus, he could pick up some unique emotions. It wasn't exactly sadness, but something similar. Nostalgia?
Sherry glanced up at him, and shook out of her thoughts. She seemed to take a moment to get her breath back. "Oh…yeah…you know, it looks exactly like the one my parents gave me a long time ago. I lost it not long after Raccoon City, thanks to the government officials that had me under watch. It had a picture of my mom and dad inside, the only thing I had left of them."
Jake looked to the locket in the window. "I'm sorry to hear that. You can't trust government at all."
Sherry twitched a smile, her palm falling from the glass. "No kidding. Anyway...the café is just around the corner. Let's go, I'm starving."
Jake nodded quietly, giving one last glance to the locket before following his friend. They walked the rest of the way down the block of shops, and turned the corner. There was the café, just like she had described it; it seemed to be crowded and full of activity, so it had to be popular. Sherry was right, the café didn't look like much, but Jake was already inhaling the delicious scent of breakfast like a bloodhound. It seeped from the building like the aroma of an irresistible potion and just made him even hungrier than he already was.
They entered the small café and got seated pretty quickly despite how crowded it was. A young, petite Asian teenager came up to them with a notepad not long afterward. She smiled pleasantly at them.
"Hello, my name is Anna and I'll be your server today. What can I get to drink for you?"
"Orange juice for me, please," Sherry replied.
"Water," Jake added, looking straight at the waitress.
"Alright, here are your menus. I'll be right back with your drinks." She walked off without batting an eye after handing them their menus.
Jake blinked, somewhat surprised. "I seriously thought more people would react to my eyes."
Sherry smiled. "I can see why, but if you look around, D.C is full of strange people. Look at that guy sitting over there, dressed up like a goth rocker: he's got red contacts. Or what about that emo kid over at the entrance, the one with the pink-and-purple hair. Unconventional? Yeah. But not unexplainable. You don't stand out as much as you think, you know? If you'd wear a cape and some fake vampire teeth, people would think you were on your way to an anime convention or something."
"Gee, thanks," Jake replied dully, slowly rubbing a callused hand over his short hair. He was obviously not too fond of the idea.
They looked over their menus in silence until their waitress came back with their drinks. "Alright, are you two ready to order?" she said, laying out two coasters in front of them before placing their drinks on top.
"I'll take the number one. Scrambled eggs, please."
Anna nodded, jotting it down. "Bacon or sausage?"
"Bacon. And could you make it extra crispy?"
"Yes ma'am. And how about you, sir?"
"I'll take the number four omelet. I want everything in it."
The waitress smiled lightly. "Okay, I got it. I'll get those in. Please enjoy your stay!" She picked up their menus before heading off to the kitchen to place the order.
Sherry took a sip of her orange juice. Thoughtfully, she placed the glass back on the coaster before picking up their previous conversation again. "You know, I was thinking…Jill's kitchen got ruined in that fight last night, so...maybe you should pick her up some flowers for it as some sort of an apology? She worked really hard to clean it up, but it still needs some work."
"Me?!" Jake grunted, leaning back in his seat and placing his hands palms down on the table. "Shouldn't you be asking Rurik? You know, because he started it by trying to kill me? No, wait...scratch that. The bastard did kill me after all!"
"I know. But it would be...a nice thought. Just a small gesture, you know?"
Jake rolled his eyes. "And here I was thinking it was a "nice thought" that I did a good job protecting you, Leon, and Claire. How did you know him, anyway?"
"Back then, he worked for Umbrella, but I didn't know him. He's the one who killed my father... or at least, mortally wounded him and then took off with the G-Virus. My father injected himself with the G-Virus to stay alive, and it turned him into a monster." Sherry sighed, lowering her eyes to her fingers in her lap. "Rurik is right though. That abomination my father turned into was just his true colors. I hated my parents for what they did. They played important roles in this horrible war on bioterrorism. But they…"
She trailed off, looking out the window they were sitting by in their booth.
"They were still your parents," Jake finished quietly for her; his tone had become gentle, even though he had been annoyed just moments before. She nodded, twitching a weak smile. Jake decided to change the subject. "Talking of parents...when's your birthday?"
Sherry seemed confused by the question. "Uh, December twelfth, why?"
"Well yeah, when we first met on Christmas last year in Edonia, my birthday had been just a little over a week prior to it. Speaking of which, since it's September already - I can't believe it's been almost a year we've known each other!"
"Yeah, but considering six months of that we were imprisoned in a medical facility, it's no surprise time would go by pretty quickly."
"True. So when's your birthday?"
Their waitress interrupted them only to deliver their orders. She passed Sherry her plate, and then Jake's before leaving them to enjoy their meals. Sherry smiled broadly at Jake, laughing a little.
Jake chuckled. "Should have known that's where you were going with that."
They ate their meals while quietly enjoying each other's company. Jake was so hungry, it took him mere minutes to down the giant omelet. Sherry was much more polite with her plate, but soon finished hers as well. Jake rubbed his stomach contentedly.
"Ugh, I'm stuffed. Have to admit, Supergirl, this place is dope. Looks sure are deceiving."
"Told ya! It's a great place. Now, are we going to go get Jill some flowers?"
Jake heaved a sigh, rubbing his neck. "Fine, if that's what it takes to get you to stop pestering me. But trust me, flowers won't help much to cover up Redfield's skills as a home handyman." He rubbed his forehead with his palms before offering, "Tell you what, when I'm kicking Rurik's ass for doing this to me, I'll mug him in the process to make sure he's the one who technically bought the flowers."
Sherry shook her head giving him a look. "Really?"
Jake was about to answer, when Anna came up on their table again. "Is there anything else I can get you?"
Sherry was about to answer, when two young children barreled through the café at high speed giggling. They bumped into the waitress as she was handing them the ticket, making her knock Sherry's orange juice over, spilling it all over Sherry's shirt.
"Oh my! I'm so sorry!" Anna clutched her tray to her chest and was simply too surprised and embarrassed to react.
Sherry was stunned by the sudden splash of cold beverage on her chest. Must be one of those days was all that shot through her head before she quickly grabbed some nearby napkins to soak up some of the excess. "It's okay. It's not your fault."
"Yeah, looks like some parents need to put leashes on their kids," Jake snorted, aggravated. He turned around to lean over the back of his chair and shoot a dirty look after the two brats that had already taken off to wreak havoc at the opposite end of the café. "Let me go get you a towel, Sherry."
"No, don't bother, I got this. I'll go clean it off in the bathroom. Why don't you take a head's start to the floral shop? I'll catch up. And yes, I'm paying the bill."
She snatched up the ticket before Jake could grab it. They both stood from the booth, with Anna still apologizing nearby. Sherry smiled to the poor young waitress.
"It's okay, Anna. Really, don't worry about it. Thank you for serving us today." She turned back to Jake. "Go ahead. I'll catch up."
Jake nodded slowly. "Alright. Just don't take too long or I'll end up buying the whole damn flower shop," he joked.
Jake left the café, heading for the floral shop on his own. The street wasn't crowded with shoppers like before, though there were a few still roaming about. As he was passing the shop with the locket, he suddenly stopped in his tracks. He looked to the pretty piece of jewelry, thinking on it. Sherry had looked as though she really missed hers. He could never replace the picture that was inside the old locket, but maybe she would still like this one since it seemed to remind her exactly of the one she had. Jake owed Sherry big after how he had treated her after he had transformed from the virus. His conscience told him that he needed to make up for pushing her away and hurting her feelings like that - she was his friend after all; the best he'd ever had.
The young man rubbed his chin thoughtfully for a moment longer before he made up his mind and went inside the antique shop. He pulled out his wallet, and snagged the locket off of the display from the window. Jake carried it to the shop owner on the other end of the store behind the counter.
"How much for this locket?"
The older man smiled. "Ahh, that's a rare find, my boy. It's an antique Victorian locket, real gold with three European cut diamonds. I have it down for $200."
Even though that was just pocket change to him, he normally didn't spend that much on something like a locket. However, he could tell this locket was authentic, and Sherry seemed to really have liked it. So he pulled out two hundred dollar bills and handed them over to the shop owner, not even bothering with haggling. The redhead turned to leave after thanking the shop owner and left, knowing he better got over to the floral shop before Sherry spotted him. He stepped out of the antique shop, pocketing the locket in his jacket before passing by a small shady looking back alley that separated the two shops to get to the flower shop next door.
When he arrived there, he looked somewhat helplessly over the seemingly endless assortment of colorful flowers, potted, dried and otherwise. He thought he had even sighted some bonsai trees and flesh eating plants among all the other petaled beauties in this vast sea of flowers before him. He snickered in his mind for a moment when he toyed with the idea of getting one of the flesh eating plants for Jill's kitchen. How he would love to see one of those exotic potted sundews snap off Redfield's nose with a hearty crunch once he got too close to smell the flower...
He quickly dismissed the childish but tempting thought though, thinking of his friend that would soon be joining him in the flower shop; Sherry wouldn't be too pleased about his idea and would give him hell for even thinking about it, so the thought was dropped, if somewhat reluctantly.
Jake had hoped that Sherry would have caught up with him by now, but she obviously took her sweet time. How long can it possibly take to clean up that shirt? He hoped that she didn't forget her wallet back at home, or she'd be stuck washing the dishes at the café and he would have to pick her up later.
Getting back to the matter at hand, Jake stepped into the shop to see if he could find a competent salesperson that might be able to help him choose since Sherry wasn't there yet. If he had thought the selection was huge from what he had seen in front of the shop, then he was completely overwhelmed by the view that presented itself to him on the inside. To call it a green hell would be an understatement. Jake wondered how it was even possible to fit that many plants into so little space.
Standing in front of row after row of flower pots, he facepalmed - inwardly and outwardly. Where the hell was Sherry when you needed her? His clueless look obviously caused the only shop assistant present to take pity on him. When he finally let his hand slide down his face, the older woman in a green apron approached the potential customer with a broad, businesslike smile. Her brunette-and-grey hair was stashed away nicely in an old-fashioned bun, and horn-rimmed glasses sat on the bridge of her nose.
"Hello, can I help you, sir?"
"Uh, yeah. I need flowers."
The toothy smile of the older saleswoman took on epic proportions as she proudly beamed at him. "Of course, sir! We've got a large selection of flowers." She spread her arms, indicating the overflowing flora surrounding them. "Just look around! I'll gladly help you pick something for that special lady of yours."
Jake was quick to raise his hands defensively. "Hold on, hold on, lady. This isn't for my girl. I mean, it is for a girl, but she isn't my girl if you know what I mean."
"Ahh, so it's complicated, I see, I see." The saleswoman, whose name plate claimed was called Linda, gave him a conspiratorial wink and rubbed her palms eagerly against each other.
"What? No! No, no, no! Don't get any ideas, lady. Listen - I just need some potted greenery, that's all! Just give me something with leaves. Something tasteful. Something...something that would look good in a kitchen. Okay?"
"I see, I see. Well sir, I'm sure we can find something for you. You just let good old Linda here pick something for your girl." And with that, she patted his arm twice, turned on her heel and walked off, obviously expecting him to follow her.
"I just told you, this isn't for my girl!" Jake called after her, but trailed off when he noticed that the older woman wasn't even listening but waved impatiently for him to follow her. With a defeated huff, the young man dropped his shoulders and trotted after her.
What followed was a marathon through the shop with Linda constantly peppering him with questions. What colors did she like? Did she like strong smells or not? Did she mind whether her plants were high maintenance or not? Did she prefer something that looked pretty or something that was also useful? Oh, and did he know they were having a large sale going on right now? Why not buy several flowers for his lady? You could never own enough flowers anyway - at least according to Linda, that is.
Jake already felt exhausted only two minutes into her monologue, going on and on about all sorts of flowers that she had on offer, and soon he sort of zoned out and his head was beginning to hurt. His stomach felt kind of funny and his vision started to blur. The young tyrant felt like gagging. It must have been the multitude of smells, shapes and colors in this shop that was practically mind-blowing to his expanded senses. It was either that, or Linda's constant chatter. Jake gloomily suspected it was the latter.
"...and that's just what I have here in the shop. We've got even more in our warehouse down the road if you...are you alright, sir? You look a little pale." Linda interrupted her lecture about plants for a moment to give him a worried look over the rim of her glasses.
"Hm?" Jake pinched the bridge of his nose before he focused back on her saleswoman. "I'm alright, I'm alright. Just...just give me anything you think a lady would like in her kitchen. I don't mind what it is. How about...how about this?" He pointed at a row of plants lined up behind her.
She turned and picked up a potted, leafy green thing that looked almost as crushed and lost as Jake felt.
"Oh, this? This is just some basil. Potted, fresh and very tasty! Does your lady like Italian cooking? I bet she likes cooking. Everybody loves cooking!" Linda raised her hands dramatically for emphasis and cackled matronly, sounding just a wee bit crazy - enough to have Jake worried and on his toes, just in case she should suddenly try to tackle him and force-feed him the innocent basil until he choked on it.
He always ate his greens. Now that would sound funny on his gravestone.
"Fine. I'll take it, I'll take it!" he assured with only the slightest hint of panic.
Relieved that he had finally found something he could buy, Jake hastily took the pot out of her hands and pulled out his wallet before this flower-crazed person before him could change her mind.
"See, that wasn't so hard!" Linda chirped. "And you thought old Linda here didn't have what you need!" She poked him in the chest with her gloved forefinger. "Do you want me to wrap it for your lady? Something nice and pink maybe?"
"I told you, she's..."
"Alright, pink it is then!" Only half-listening, Linda snatched the pot back. Off she went to wrap the unsuspecting plant in a pink monstrosity of what seemed to be some sort of gift paper.
"...not into pink," Jake finished lamely. Deciding to give up and just hope for the best, he slapped his palms against his jeans clad thighs with a defeated shrug and followed the saleswoman to the counter, where she was already busy wrapping up the plant.
Sherry better appreciates me doing this. After all, he didn't do this for Jill, let alone Redfield. He did this simply because it was important to Sherry. And maybe, just maybe because he felt a little bit bad for Jill. Jill, but not Redfield. A wrecked kitchen was the least he could do for him. Jake pushed all thoughts about Chris aside; he should really be the last thing on his mind right now. He had bigger problems, and he didn't even know the half of it yet.
While Jake had been dragged back and forth through the shop by the overly enthusiastic Linda, whom he had decided just had to be high on chlorophyll, gloom and doom had been brewing outside the store. A busload full of tourists had arrived at the shop, mainly old ladies from the looks of it, and they now streamed into the shop like a burst enema. The level of noise in the shop became almost nauseating to him. Unfortunately, a flower sale just seemed like too sweet of an opportunity to pass by, so wave after wave of chatty old ladies slowly filled the shop while Linda put the last finishing touches on Jake's gift with a gaudy pink bow, to add insult to injury. Jake cringed inwardly, but thought it to be the smartest thing to just pay and get the heck out of here before she came up with something even worse.
After Jake had slammed down a fiver on the counter and told Linda to keep the rest, he grabbed his purchase and turned to leave. Quickly though, he had to realize that he was surrounded by a mob decked out in compression hosiery and armed to their dentures with at least one potted plant or bouquet. The grannies were hell-bent on putting the sale to good use and all gravitated towards the counter, effectively keeping Jake from heading back to the main entrance. It looked like he was going to have fight his way out somehow if he ever wanted to see Sherry again. Jake shortly wished he still carried the knuckle-duster that he had owned a few years back, but it probably still laid in the same Ukrainian backstreet where he had lost it back then.
Then again, it was only a thought. Didn't desperate times call for desperate measures, after all?
He had already accepted his shameful fate of having to wait for and being rescued by Sherry like a male damsel in distress, when his eyes fell to the side entrance of the shop. It seemed easier to reach than the main entrance since not too many of the old hags were blocking that way out. So this had to become his escape route.
Alright, here we go! Now or never.
With a determined jerk of his jaw, Jake gripped the potted basil closer to his chest and mowed his way through the chattering crowd of old spinsters. While he was fighting his way through the herd of blabbering crones towards the side entrance, he ended up carrying the potted basil high above his head. The redhead could have sworn that somebody even groped his butt, but the moment was over too quickly to be sure, and all that he really cared about right now was to get the hell out of this green nightmare anyway. Clinging onto dear life by a few leaves and a ridiculously frilly pot of basil, he slowly shoved himself towards the side entrance while the tide of grannies ever kept pushing him in the opposite direction.
After what seemed like forever, he finally made it out the side entrance of the shop into the dingy alley and stopped for a moment to close his eyes and catch a breath of fresh air. That was close! A few deep breaths later, he had recovered from the overpowering smell of lavender perfume and rheumatism ointment and continued on his path.
When he had walked a few meters down the gloomy looking alley towards the sunny main road, something - or someone - dropped down behind his back with a soft, but audible thud. Jake's head shot up and he came to a sudden halt. His heart reeled, and for a moment he felt sick again. Something was terribly wrong.
Slowly, ever so slowly, the young tyrant turned around. What he found was a tall, coated figure standing in the shadows of the alley, just a few meters away. Alex? But I haven't even called him yet...his thoughts drifted off when the person slowly moved forward in his direction, only to stop again right before he would have stepped into the sparse sunlight falling into the alley from above. Even though he was still pretty much hidden in the shadows, Jake could tell that the stranger was staring right at him, his eyes seemingly drilling holes into his skull. Annoyed by the creepiness of the still, unmoving figure, Jake shielded his sensitive eyes from the few dim sunrays that shone into them to get a better look.
"What the fuck are you looking at, pal? Why don't you take a picture? Asshole..." Jake snapped at the shady looking character, about to turn around again and be on his merry way to meet up with Sherry. Something about the tall shadow kept him rooted to the spot though. There was something…peculiar about him.
His mind derailed when the silent stranger finally decided to step into the light with slow, deliberate steps, revealing his handsome face to him. Jake heedlessly dropped the carefully wrapped pot of basil that he had been cradling and gaped. The pot fell to the floor and was smashed into dozens of pieces, but Jake didn't even notice. He was sure his eyes were betraying him. This had to be some sort of attack from the virus in his body; it couldn't be true what he was seeing. The young male cursed and rubbed vehemently at his eyes.
"What the fuck?!"
The familiar looking stranger in front of him slightly cocked his head, sunglasses now glaring from the few slim rays of sunlight that fell into the bleak alley, and a deep, mocking voice that raised the hair on the back of Jake's neck met his ears.
"Well, well. If this isn't my bundle of joy..."
And behind black shades, red golden eyes glowed like two setting crimson suns.
A/N: OMG it has been FOREVER! I am so sorry for the delay on this chapter. Summer is always hectic for me, but now that things are settling back down, I will be back on again more! To make up for being a recluse, I made this chapter freaking LONG lol. And I know everyone has been waiting for this moment when father and son would finally meet! Next chapter is gonna be so juicy! Mwahahaha *rubs palms together* Ahem, but seriously that last scene with Jake dying in the floral shop? That was done by the brilliant mind of my good friend Ravenlaughter! As well as her editing skills. I should really put on there that this story is co-wrote by us, because she really does so much for me! Thanks again Ravenlaughter, you are the best! :) Okay, thanks again everyone for being patient, and I promise the next update for this story and other stories are not going to take near as long! Thanks for reading and reviewing and have a great weekend! :D