Fandom: Resident Evil
Series: these ink-stained memories
Pairings: Chris/Leon, lots ands lots of minor characters in love with both of them
Warnings: ridiculousness :)
Word Count: 2432
Disclaimer: If I owned it, everyone would be in love with Leon.
Summary: DSO agents take their crushes very seriously.
“All right, all right. Settle down everyone. It's time to get this meeting started. First things first, I'd like to welcome two new members. Please give them a warm ILK welcome.”
“Uh, hello. I'm Frank and this Sarah. It's good to meet you all.”
“Would you like to tell us why you're here? I promise we won't judge. Otherwise, we can move on to recent news.”
“I mean…. It was…. It just seems kind of silly. We were on a mission down in Georgia recently. Frank and I were backup, only there to fly the helicopter and offer air support, but Agent Kennedy didn't need us. It was…. the way he moved was the most gorgeous thing I've ever seen. Like some kind of deadly ballet and I don't think he missed a shot. But it wasn't just his skill. I've seen good agents before now.
“I think it was the way he talked across the comms, so upbeat and optimistic even as he fought against living nightmares. And the way he spoke to the hostages. He was so gentle with them and I …. How could I not love a man like that? Of course, my girlfriend wasn't too happy when I came home with some guy's name on my shoulder and that's part of why I'm here. I was hoping you could help me make her understand.”
“Don't worry, Sarah. Plenty of us have been in your position. In fact, that's why we're here. We’re all just idiots loving Agent Kennedy.”
It started as a joke. Diego was in the locker room after a rough mission, still reeling from how close he'd come to dying, when someone put a hand on his shoulder and said, “So Kennedy got you too?”
“What are you talking about?” the agent asked. He twisted around on the bench and saw an older man grinning down at him. Diego couldn't remember his name, but he'd seen this guy around.
“Your mark, kid. Let me guess, you were smitten when he saved your life a dozen times?”
“Smitt-” he started to ask. But when he followed the other man's gaze, panic strangled the word inside his throat. There was a name on his bicep that hadn’t been there when his mission started. LEON KENNEDY written in bold letters as though a warning shout.
“But I'm not….” Diego trailed off. He's not what? Not gay, not in love, not completely awed by Agent Kennedy? The marks didn’t lie and while he wasn't crazy enough to think he had a shot, he couldn't deny that his heart beat faster when he thought about the other man. He could still feel the echo of Kennedy's hand where he'd pulled Diego away from a monster's claws. But there's no way that he'd admit it to some guy he didn't know.
“Relax, kid,” the other agent laughed as Diego stammered gibberish. “Getting Leon's mark is practically a rite of passage around here.”
The man patted his shoulder again before turning to the locker room at large.
“All right, hands up boys. How many of you have Kennedy's name somewhere on your body?” the agent asked, raising his own hand. He grinned at Diego's shocked expression when half of the locker room did the same.
“And who would totally hit that if given half a chance?”
A few more hands went up, then a few more as several agents sighed. There were only a few holdouts and the guy let out another booming laugh.
“See, I told you, kid. You're in good company.”
“My name is Diego, you know, not kid,” he bit out, irritated by the nickname.
“It's nice to meet you, Diego,” the other man said, still chuckling. “You can call me Dave. Some of us are going out for drinks in a few minutes; do you want to come along? You can tell us about whatever ridiculous stunt put that name onto your skin and in exchange, we'll tell you our own stories if you want. I know Jeff would be glad to have a new audience. Most of us just roll our eyes by now.”
“What? Like some kind of self-help group?”
“Sure, we can call it: 'Dumb Fucks Out of Our League.'”
“I still think I've got a chance,” one of the other agents grumbled.
“In your dreams, Jeff. Agent Kennedy doesn't hang out with the likes of us,” Dave told him.
“Yeah, he's got that spy lady.”
“What? No! I thought he was into Redfield's sister.”
“You're both idiots. Kennedy is still pining for his old partner.”
“Oh, yeah, Harper right?”
“No, Krauser. Haven't you seen the mark on his hand?”
“All you saw was a fucking R. That could be almost anyone.”
“Ignore these idiots. Everyone knows that Leon doesn't have the time for love right now,” Dave told Diego with a sigh. “But what do you say? Come get a drink and toast your brand-new mark. Some of the girls will probably join us too.”
This whole thing was weird. Diego had never had a name before – not counting both his parents – and he wasn’t sure why total strangers wanted to help him celebrate. But the other man seemed sincere and the agent could use a few more friends.
So he shrugged and answered, “Sure, why not?”
By the time Diego finished changing, they'd gathered about a dozen people, men and women both. The group headed to a tiny dive bar a few blocks away and took up one whole back corner, shoving tables together like they'd done this sort of thing before. But the beer was strong and his fellow agents were surprisingly good company.
Jeff did indeed tell his story to many groans and laughter, several people mouthing each word along with him. However, it was friendly teasing and after a few shots, Diego was comfortable enough to talk about his own mark as well. He had to admit it was nice to say, “Kennedy's so amazing,” and have the entire table nod along sympathetically.
“Thank you, Jeff, for retelling that old favorite. If no one else has anything to add, we'll move on to current news. How's our mission tracking?”
“I'm happy to report a ninety-five percent success rate in making sure that one of our members is always on hand to provide support when necessary. Mostly pilots and field medics since that's what Kennedy tends to call for, but we have contacts in other fields as well. If we have our way, no DSO or BSAA agent will ever lack for backup.”
“Glad to hear it. Your team has been doing a great job. What about requisitions?”
“Also doing well. We've made sure our local agency is well-stocked with Kennedy's favorite weapons and our sister chapter in DC found a contact who sells oranges and protein bars by the pound. The brass almost never provides its agents enough notice to eat breakfast, but at least Kennedy will be able to grab a snack along the way. No one should be forced to fight B.O.W.s with low blood sugar.”
“Good, good…. Do you have a question, Frank?”
“Well, not exactly. I do know some folks in Georgia who would be happy to help with your supply lines so we should probably discuss that afterward. But honestly, I wasn't expecting you to be so organized. Thought there'd be more gossiping.”
“We started out that way. But once we realized that the DSO wasn't supporting its agents properly, we decided to step into the gap. We may not have a shot with Kennedy in real life, but we can damn well make sure the man is fed. Of course, that said, if you've got some juicy gossip, please do share.”
“Well, I don't know how current this is or if y'all know already, but I'm pretty sure that Kennedy is dating Captain Redfield now.”
Diego had no idea how going out for drinks one night turned into tradition. Sure it was fun but the way DSO agents moved around, he figured that he'd probably never see those folks again.
However, he'd severely underestimated how small a world zombie-hunting actually was. The agent ran into Dave on his next mission and Dave, well he knew everyone. So one night of drinks turned into regular post-mission bitching with whoever was around.
Suddenly Diego had something to look forward to while ankle-deep in B.O.W.s and a new favorite topic to shoot the shit about. It was nice to talk to people who understood how a leather jacket and well-cut bangs could make his heart start pounding and there was usually at least one person who'd been on a mission with Kennedy recently.
It was strange how the senior agent was always on active duty and after several months, their little support group began to paint a picture that no one was pleased about. Because a bit of digging revealed that Leon Kennedy hadn't gone on a real vacation in at least ten years and it didn't take a doctor to see the strain around his eyes. The man was still kind to his subordinates and had yet to fail a mission but he was obviously exhausted and even the most badass secret agent needed a break sometimes.
So while Diego still isn’t sure who first broached the idea, Kennedy's admirers began to organize. The name was an inside joke but the agents took their mission seriously and thus Idiots Loving Kennedy Anonymous was born.
While none of them had the leverage to get him that vacation, they could at least ensure that someone was always ready with an evac and a powerbar when the agent called. Soon I.L.K Anonymous had chapters in every major city where the DSO had bases and was working on cross-agency cooperation too.
Apparently BSAA agents felt much the same about Chris Redfield as the DSO agents felt about Leon Kennedy. So the members of the Chris Redfield Appreciation Society swapped notes and strategies with Idiots Loving Kennedy and sometimes Diego – now unofficial treasurer and vice-president – couldn't believe this thing they made.
However, the monthly support group was still a safe place for people to ask advice from others in their situation. To trade strategies for explaining Leon's name to a new girlfriend or sigh over their hopeless crush without being told they should move on.
Indeed, the primary rule of I.L.K Anonymous, the only one posted on the wall at every meeting was: “There will be no judgment here.”
“Leon is dating Redfield? Are you sure? I mean, they've always had that belligerent sexual tension but it's never come to anything.”
“Honestly, I thought they hated each other; you should have heard them in New York.”
“That's just because Redfield doesn't get our agent's awesomeness.”
“Really? I always figured they both just needed a damn hug.”
“You think everyone needs to hug it out.”
“Hey, if those two have started dating, I'm not wrong.”
“Okay, okay, settle down. Are you sure about this? Agent Kennedy hasn't dated seriously in years.”
“Pretty sure, yeah. I think it's recent but they were joking about first dates across the comms in Georgia and Kennedy fell asleep on Redfield's shoulder on the flight back to base.”
“You should have seen his face. I would kill to have a person look at me like that.”
“Wouldn't we all? But it sounds like that's enough to start with. You know what this means, Diego?”
“Yup, it's time to start the phone tree to ask for confirmation and spread the word around.”
“Make sure you get in touch with the folks at CRAS. Whether this works out in the long term or not, it's our job to make sure that no one interferes.”
“You know, they really prefer that you pronounce their name as an initialism. There was a memo and everything.”
“If they didn't want me to pronounce it crass, they shouldn't have named themselves the Chris Redfield Appreciation Society. It’s not like we mind when people call us ILK.”
“That's because you started it.”
“Yeah, yeah. But if it helps make CRAS cooperate, feel free to tell them that I'll change my awful ways. If those two men are really dating, I want to ensure that their next attempt doesn't get interrupted. Hunting B.O.W.s is not romantic.”
“Sounds like it is for them.”
“Why should we help Redfield? Leon deserves better.”
“That's not really the point, Wong. Kennedy deserves what Kennedy wants so as long as the relationship is healthy, we have no place to judge. That's the main rule of ILK, remember? And I for one would be glad to see our agent happier.”
“I suppose I can't argue with that. The man has been jerked around long enough. Redfield had better treat him right but otherwise I'm in.”
“Yeah, me too.”
“Let's get our man his man.”
“I appreciate the enthusiasm but let's not go overboard just yet. ILK will be running interference not creating obstacles and we'll send out an official notice once we've worked out a plan. And don't forget our only other rule: Agent Kennedy cannot find out about us. It would be much too awkward if he knew what happened here.”
“Hey, if Leon and Chris do fall in love and everything, are we going to disband?”
“Are you kidding? We'll need this group more than ever. I know I'll want my friends around while I nurse my broken heart.”
“She's right. We'll probably get an influx of new members, folks who were holding out a bit of hope for Kennedy noticing.”
“Besides, we've been doing good work and I see no reason to stop now. Whatever happens with Redfield, my feelings won't go away and someone has to make sure that the poor bastard's fed.”
“Jeff is right. Leon would die without us and I for one would rather live in a world where he's alive.”
“Amen to that, Wong. Amen to that. So let's wrap up this meeting. I.L.K. Anonymous has a brand-new mission and we've got plans to make.”