Fandom; Resident Evil
Word Count; 2,235
Rating; R, but more for the exuberant word of 'shit' than anything. Although Claire is naked for the duration of the scene.
Suggested Listening; Look At Me; Keri Noble, I Can't Be Your Friend; DHT.
Notes; This is just the first chapter in an idea I'm formulating. We'll see how well it goes. It's possible that this will be the only part to tie into letter_love but if I'm good, we'll see how many I can tie in and cheat with to get the challenge done. >.>
This is obviously going to be heavily Leon/Claire, so if you hate the pairing, don't read it. Or go ahead and flame me. I'll just ignore you. :D
Leon fucking hated it when she did this.
Mostly because he couldn’t bring himself to keep the hell away from the bathroom whenever she was in there, taking her routine shower. She always left the door open. Not like, accidental open, the lock unhitched oops. Full-blown open.
Granted, the shower in the small bathroom of the tiny apartment that Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield were currently sharing in downtown Washington DC was sectioned off from the rest of the room by a sliding mirror panel on one side and heavily distorted Plexiglas on the other…
But he could still catch that silhouette, whenever she moved past the distorted glass. Maybe that’s why she did it. She knew he could see her, and she knew damn well what that figure did to his hormones. Hell. She was probably really aware what she’d always done to his hormones. He’d all but forgotten it himself, up until a month ago, when she’d shown up on his doorstep.
It had been about two weeks after his successful recovery of Ashley Graham to the presidential estate. He’d been enjoying the quiet, knowing full well that something was blooming on the horizon. Hunnigan had been working around the clock, notifying him when she needed to, but he’d wanted a good healthy hiatus before he had to dive back into that shit again.
He’d expected he’d have to get in touch with the Redfields, Valentine, Burton, Chambers, and the rest of their rag-tag crew of superheroes. Krauser had uttered the name Umbrella, and if the corporation really was making a comeback, they’d be right at the top of the shitlist. Claire would have been the easy one. She’d always kept in touch. He hadn’t seen her in well over a year, but she sent him regular emails, detailing the life and times of a twenty-something job-hopper.
She’d never answered the email he’d sent asking her to get in touch with him over a secure network at her earliest convenience.
Instead, a week after he sent it, he was sitting at home, watching the news when the buzzer to his apartment had gone off. Expecting it to be one of his buddies from work, calling on him to try and drag him out to a bar, despite the torrential downpour, he’d been nothing short of shocked to hear the female voice on the other end of the receiver.
“Leon, its Claire. Let me in.” He’d buzzed her up, and two minutes later he was opening the door to a drenched, shaking woman.
She’d stared at him for a long moment, her clothes dripping as if she’d been out in the rain for hours, her eyes almost looking haunted. Just when he’d been about to ask if she was alright she’d lurched forward and hugged him so tightly he’d thought he’d heard a rib crack.
During that hug, she’d given him just about all the information he needed. Chris had uncovered something in Utah, was looking into it, would let them know when he’d heard anything. He’d sent Claire off packing from where she’d been a few miles away from Sherry’s new home so fast she’d barely had more than a bag full of clothes and the money to get her here, in cash.
If Chris had found something, Claire knew she didn’t want to be anywhere near Sherry. The teen had been through enough. Claire didn’t want Sherry ending up in anything again, unless it was her own choice to get involved.
After that, she’d asked if it was alright to spend the night. Leon had told her she could stay as long as she wanted.
And here they were, a month later. Leon brushing his teeth at the sink, Claire lying down in the bathtub, the shower running.
She was smiling a little, scrubbing her legs off with a loofa, listening to the water in the sink splash around as he caught sight of her legs as she raised each one in turn, being careful not to miss an inch.
She really should start closing the door, but she never did for two reasons. One. She didn’t want to disturb Leon’s regular routines by invading his life. Two. She got a silent kick out of him being in close proximity of her naked form.
Or as close as being separated by a glass wall could be, anyway.
She’d known Leon for a long time, now. He’d been there for her in Raccoon, saved her ass more than a few times. She’d come to peace with Steve’s death with Leon’s help. Chris was… Chris couldn’t help with that. He hadn’t lost someone he’d survived hell with. Leon was the only person in their tight-knit circle who utterly understood how she felt.
He’d lost Ada. She’d lost Steve. Once she’d returned from Rockfort, after hearing about Umbrella’s apparent demise, she’d spent two weeks with Leon, seeking his comfort, his companionship.
He was the closest thing she’d had to a friend at the time. None of her college friends would have had a clue what to tell her. Probably go out, get laid, move on.
Leon had talked with her, listened to her, and she’d listened to him. He’d held her while she cried in frustration, and he’d leaned his head against her shoulder when he was overwhelmed with emotions of his own.
It might be because of all that why she’d tried so hard to keep in touch with him, even though their lives led them in two separate directions. He was a part of that painful past she wasn’t willing to let go.
As fucked up as Raccoon and Rockfort and Umbrella had been. It had led her to one of the few people she had ever met who understood and accepted her completely. And it fucking blew, because she fell in love with him for that.
She wasn’t the type to push her feelings on others, though. Once Leon discovered that Ada Wong was still alive… well.
She knew how angry he was when he’d found out. She was working with Wesker. But she knew, somewhere under his anger he still cared for her. So she’d gotten a little bit farther away. Made it a little bit harder for him to see her, face-to-face.
After getting his email, and then Chris’s notice, she’d pretty much said fuck distance and came running back to him.
And she couldn’t really peel herself away again. Chris wanted her to stay put, and she wanted to stay put.
She knew Leon had met up with Ada again. He’d told her as much as he was able about his mission in Spain, and he’d seemed grimly okay with it. It had surprised her. As much as she’d figured he’d go back to Ada and pining away once he discovered she wasn’t as dead as Steve certainly was…
She’d been a little surprised he hadn’t. It had made her reevaluate things between them.
So maybe there was a third reason why she always kept the door open. Because as much as they talked, she could talk to him through the shower stall. Face-to-face was hard for emotions.
It was a little like a confessional. Too bad Claire was Protestant.
“…Hey. Leon?” She curled her legs back down to the bottom of the tub, washing them clean of the sudsy foam.
She heard a grunted response and smiled again, imagining him looking up at the mirror hanging over the sink, toothbrush hanging from mouth, back at the door of the shower.
“Do you think we ever would have met if this shit hadn’t happened?” She tended to generalize when she talked about their past. It was a lot to lump into one category. Six years of wounds, death, blood, recovery.
She heard silence, which she took for him contemplating, probably twisting the toothbrush in his mouth. Heard him spit, the faucet running once again, before she was rewarded with an answer, his deep voice floating to her through the thin glass of the mirror.
“I don’t know.” He replied, and she imagined he was shrugging his shoulders, moving to sit on the toilet seat. “Maybe.”
Claire smiled, leaning back against the plastic back of the tub, smoothing her partially wet hair back with her soaked fingers and closing her eyes.
“You’d have been a cop in Raccoon. I’d probably have seen you a few times in the station, whenever I went to visit Chris.” She shifted her legs, unconsciously walking her fingers down her naked form. “I’d probably think you were pretty cute, but keep that to myself. Chris’d kill you if he thought his baby sister had the hots for a rookie.”
She got a laugh from that, and she chuckled a little herself, continuing with her imagined scenario. “I’d probably still talk to you. Say hi, introduce myself, wink in your direction every now and again…” she slid her fingers over her kneecaps, and then back up again.
“Eventually they’d figure out how damn useful you were. Maybe promote you into S.T.A.R.S….” She reached for the loofa again, scrubbing her arms. “They’d throw you one hell of a welcome party. We’d talk. Drink. You might ask me back to your place.” She could practically hear him roll his eyes.
She smiled, continuing with what she was doing. “We’d just talk. I’m not an easy lay, you know.” She heard him laugh at that. She even thought she heard him mutter ‘oh, I know’ under his breath, although she couldn’t be sure, under the sounds of running water.
Then she stood, reaching for the shampoo sitting atop the door track.
“Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield. Dating and having a normal relationship.” She laughed a little, pouring the gooey stuff into the palm of her left hand, tipping her head back into the stream of water and drenching it before working the soap into her auburn hair. “They’d probably date for a while, until they broke up for one reason or another. Long-distance relationships… they don’t work out.”
“Why wouldn’t it?” She smiled at Leon’s question, turning idly in front of the thick Plexiglas, catching view of his distorted silhouette. She could tell he wasn’t looking directly at her, but he could see her. She made a show of sighing a little, tipping her head yet again back into the stream of water, letting it wash the soap away from her hair.
“I wouldn’t go to school in Raccoon… You’d stick around. We’d only see each other once a month at the most. I’m not the type of girl a guy like you waits around for.” She bowed her head slightly, closing her eyes. It was true enough. She wasn’t that great. She’d seen pictures of Wong.
Wong was statuesque. Full curves, lips, ass, looks. Asian goddess, or some shit like that. Claire had heavily Scot-influenced bloodlines. She burned in the sun, and she knew guys hated it when their girl could drop them to the floor in a matter of a few well-positioned hand-twists.
She could see Leon rubbing his chin thoughtfully through the distorted glass, and absently rested her palm against it for a moment, a small gesture of longing, as much as to steady herself while she raked her other hand through her hair to shake out soap the water may have missed.
“I think it could work out. Even as a rookie, I’d know a good thing when I saw it.” She saw his head turn, and knew he was looking directly at her. Feeling self-conscious suddenly, she moved away, standing behind the mirror portion of the shower, away from the stream of water, reaching now for the conditioner.
“You so sure about that?”
“Yeah. I am.” She didn’t respond after that, went about working the conditioner into her scalp and down to the tips of her hair, considering for a long time.
They’d lived together a month now. There’d been no word from Chris. No actions taken on Umbrella’s part that Leon had heard of.
“How come it never worked out in this reality?” She had enough of tiny touches and staring at each other when the other wasn’t looking.
He’d apparently stood to leave, and she heard him pause, turn back to look at the shower again.
“..I. Didn’t think you were interested.” Claire scoffed, turning her head to the water again, washing the conditioner from her hair.
“You never asked.” She heard him take another step back into the bathroom.
“…That’s it? All I had to do was ask?” Claire pushed her lips together, closing her eyes and combing her fingers through her hair.
“Try it, and see where it gets you, Kennedy.” She could hear him considering, and meanwhile finished her hair, pulling it away from her face and ringing it out a bit behind her, reaching for her loofa yet again.
“Leon. Can you wait until I’m out of the shower, at least?” Claire laughed, and saw him scratch the back of his head and turn away from the door of the shower, embarrassed. She smiled, tilting her head at his distorted form.
“I’ll be out in five minutes, okay?” He sighed audibly, and nodded.
“I’ll be in the kitchen. Drowning myself in the sink.”
“Have fun with that~” Claire almost giggled. But that wasn’t her style, so she just grinned, and continued with her shower.