"Your wife?" Leon nearly exclaimed.
"Yeah, as of January 2009. After all we'd been through with Wesker and my disappearance; we decided we'd been through too much to not be meant for each other." Chris said he never wanted to lose me again and we eloped a week after his proposal." Jill explained.
Leon was speechless. He had always known the two were destined to be together, everyone had. It was the manner in which they chose to go about it that had him floored.
"We just saw Claire the other day and she…" He said, finally finding his voice.
"She doesn't know. And I'd like to keep it that way until we can tell her ourselves. I don't wear my ring on most missions as it is, sure as hell glad I didn't when she turned up in Russia."
"Anything else you'd like to tell me?" Leon asked, rubbing a hand his face.
"No, we're good. That's the only secret we've really kept."
"Not yet anyway." Jill giggled. "That we'd feel guilty hiding from anyone, especially Claire."
"Well, we have until morning to worry about the mission. I take it that was Hunnigan's way of saying they're spending the night catching possible leads to chase. Anyone want a beer?" Helena said, standing from her seat.
"Sounds like a plan. I'll give Claire a call since she's in town, maybe we can bring her up to speed on everything." Leon said, pulling out his phone.
As Chris and Leon talked about their previous mission, Helena and Jill decided to hang back and get to know each other. They walked the dimly lit corridors as they made their way to the parking garage.
"So, Leon finally met someone to commit to." Jill said, holding back a smile as she spoke to the younger agent.
"I…" Helena began, testing the words to say. "…I suppose."
"Suppose?" Jill nearly stopped mid-stride. "That's no way to talk. What's wrong, if you don't mind me asking?"
"He just…I don't know. I've heard so many stories about him…that he's a ladies' man, he'll never completely be over Ada, and I just don't know what to make of any of it. Even if he does want to move in together, what's to say that's just to try and commit."
"My opinion? This is the biggest commitment he's ever came close to going through with. I don't know how you did it, but he's yours." Jill said with a smile. "Believe me; we've known each other long enough."
"I hope your right." Helena mumbled before all four got on the elevator. They were silent for most of the ride down, and once stepping into the garage, Chris hit Claire's number on his speed dial and told her to meet them at O'Connors, a local hole-in-the-wall bar they frequented when work wasn't a priority.
They took separate vehicles, and as Helena sunk into the passenger seat of Leon's car, she closed her eyes in thought for a moment, not realizing Leon was silently studying her while he waited for the car's engine to warm up.
Finally he asked, "Lena, what's wrong?" in a softer tone than she had heard before.
She glanced at him, taking in the dark circles under his ever reddening eyes that she hadn't noticed before.
"Just…lost in thought is all." She replied before turning her attention to the radio dial. He grabbed her hand before she could switch it on.
"Please tell me."
Helena gave him one more look before taking in a deep breath and admitting her fears.
"I'm worried I won't be enough for you. I'm no Ada Wong after all, we don't have that kind of history. These other women around the office talk when they think I can't hear them. They say things about you being a womanizer and that they've never seen you with anyone longer than a few weeks. I know that we've been together a lot longer than that but it's still a lingering thought and it's always in the back of my mind. I just…I don't want to lose this."
Leon laughed; a course sound. He didn't mean to sound so callous, but the truth was far from her fears.
"That's absurd." He began, "First off, those women you're referring to, I have a feeling I know who they are, and they're nothing more than jealous. Yes, I have had a few flings, but a lot of now happily committed men have. Second, you're completely right, you aren't Ada Wong, and for that I'm thankful because I really am getting too old to chase anyone.
I have no plans on leaving you, not unless you want me too. To be honest I'd put up a hell of a fight to stay if you tried. Helena Harper, there is no place else I'd rather be than with you. Please take my word on that because it's the absolute truth."
Helena smiled as he placed a hand on her cheek.
"Okay," She said, "Your word."
He returned her smile before giving her a quick kiss and putting the car in drive. They did have friends to meet.
O'Connor's was fairly dead, as always. Claire had arrived first and grabbed a corner booth as Jill and Chris walked through the door. The three had an extra chair waiting at the end of the table by the time Leon and Helena got there.
"Did you hit traffic or something?" Claire asked as she took a sip of her beer.
"Or something." Helena replied, Leon took the chair at the end as he returned with two beers from the bar, sliding one to his partner as he settled into his seat.
"So what's up?" Claire asked.
"Well remember the scientist from Russia?" Leon asked.
"He's gone. Someone helped him escape BSAA custody." Chris said, sliding a file over to his sister.
"You've got to be kidding." She said, opening the file and reading over the report Hunnigan had typed just a few hours earlier. "So, what? Ada's behind this?"
"She's a person of interest." Leon said, bitterly.
"Then track her ass down and question her."
"Claire, you've clearly been out of the loop a long time. Ada is a master of escape. No one can hold her for long." Chris turned the page for her before landing on a still taken from surveillance. "She did manage to get through a whole lot of armed guards and alarm sensors."
Claire glanced at the photo, but her attention was held by the silver band on her brother's ring finger.
"Chris, what's that?" She asked, pointing to the ring.
"Oh, right. We were going to fill you in after we, well, 'filled' you in."
"Fill me in on what?"
"Jill and I, well we're married."
It was hard to rendered Claire speechless, but Chris had managed to do just that. She looked between the two of them in disbelief.
"We'll let you know as soon as we wrap this up. It's of a little more importance that we, you know, save the world." Jill said, tapping the file folder.
"Right, yeah, continue."
They retold Claire everything Hunnigan had briefed them on. She leaned back in her seat and finished her drink before shaking her head.
"So, what do you want from me?"
"We want to know if you're in."
Being the humanitarian she was, it was difficult to consider assisting in tracking a man; but then again, she had dedicated her life to the welfare of others and if this guy was capable of what everyone assumed he was then it was justifiable.
"Chances of undead encounters?" She asked.
"More than likely." Leon responded.
"And the chance he could infect himself." Helena added.
"Fine." She said with a sigh. "I'm in. Just tell me what I have to do."
"Hunnigan will fill you in during tomorrow morning's briefing. Until then I do belief we owe you an explanation." Jill said, holding up her left hand.
"I think we'll leave you three to your business. Let's go Helena." Leon said, taking the last swig of his beer. Helena did the same before grabbing her jacket, her arm caught by Jill as Leon searched for his keys and Chris delved into his story.
"Remember; trust." Jill whispered, smiling at the brunette before turning her attention back to the others.
"Have a good night." Claire said as Helena and Leon walked out of the bar. Leon waved over his shoulder as he opened the door for Helena.
Once outside, he took her hand and walked her toward the car. "You want to stay the night again?"
"I meant every word I said." He added.
"I know." Helena smiled, though it was unconvincing.
As Leon opened the passenger door and held it for her he said, "I'm serious."
"I know." She said once more before he closed her door and got behind the wheel.
"Let's go get some sleep. We have a long few days ahead of us." And with that, they bid the world goodnight.
AN: Again, sorry for the delay, I've had a very busy and complicated personal life. All errors in this chapter are my own.