Part 3: Luis
Fandom: Resident Evil
Series: these ink-stained memories
Warnings: angst, unrequited love, canon death
Word Count: 4821
Disclaimer: If I owned it, everyone would be in love with Leon.
Summary: 5 people who never told Leon Kennedy they loved him.
Part 1 - Claire
Part 2 - Krauser
Luis has never had good timing. He proposes to his college sweetheart two days before she dumps him, tries to publish his life's work the same week another paper steals his thunder, and he doesn't realize that Saddler is an evil bastard until he's in too deep. Luis is too caught up in his research to notice what's going on around him, too obsessed with proving that his theories were the right ones after all. Until the day he looks up from his science and discovers that he helped to start a cult by accident, some sort of twisted hive mind with Saddler in control.
Suddenly his research is all too practical and when Luis finds out what happened to the pueblo’s children, he drinks himself to sleep. But he wakes up in the same nightmare and so even though the scientist no kind of double agent, he sends out a call for help to everyone he can.
The only one who answers is a stranger, a woman with a Mona Lisa smile on her face. She offers Luis a deal based on his information: retrieve a master plaga and she'll get him out alive. The deal is terrible, malo to the core. But Luis is desperate and he doesn't see another choice.
So he agrees. He makes a deal with the woman who se llama Ada Wong. She tells him to be prepared. She tells him to be ready and then she tells him that Saddler has kidnapped the only daughter of the US president. When he hears this, the scientist feels nauseous. He's just a guy who studies parasites; he never meant to start a war. But Luis is an accomplice now and Ada's his last hope to start his life again. So when the woman swears an agent will come to save the señorita and he should use the distraction to complete his mission, he can only nod along.
Luis waits for his moment and then, as usual, misses his timing utterly. The scientist is in the village when that pendejo Mendez starts ranting about an intruder, some Americano who's been slaughtering his men. That's definitely the signal, but when Luis tries to slip back to the castle, he doesn't even make it out the door.
Mendez grabs him by the collar, those awful red eyes pinning the scientist in place. The bastardo looks him up and down and calls him the perfect bait. Before Luis can protest, before he can do anything, he's being swarmed by ganados. He struggles but it's hopeless as they tie him up and slap some tape across his mouth. Mendez orders him bundled off and locked into a cabinet, guarded by ganados to draw the agent in.
Luis does not wait quietly. He kicks at the door with all his strength, his movements getting more frantic when the explosions start. They get closer and closer and eventually he freezes, terrified that Mendez has decided to kill him after all. Luis holds his breath as the cabinet rattles and then he's tumbling out on the floor.
He hits the ground hard and lies there gasping until someone grabs his shoulder and flips him over onto the back. The scientist looks up as his rescuer tears the tape off and his first thought is, Now that's a pretty man.
He wasn't expecting the Americano to be this attractive and a wave of sheer desire overwhelms his terror. So Luis smirks up through his lashes at this tall drink of water and asks him for a smoke, lacing the word with every ounce of interest that he can. It may not be the time for this but that has never stopped him and he's gratified to see a blush form across the agent's cheeks.
However, before Luis can seal the deal, the two of them are interrupted. Mendez springs his trap and guapo or not, the agent is in over his head. He's thrown backward with one blow and the scientist can't even enjoy the feeling of the agent slamming into him, not when it means that the plagas have gained another sacrifice.
Luis tries to stop it. But his silver tongue has no effect on Saddler and his plans. The bastardo simply laughs as he injects the agent and then orders Mendez to knock out the scientist as well. Apparently, his protests have only served to blow his cover; he knew he wasn't cut out for all this spying stuff.
He wakes up tied to the Americano and this really isn't how he wanted to get close to the other man. Especially when the agent starts struggling against the ropes, twisting and turning until Luis cries out in pain. The man relaxes slightly then, introducing him as Leon and slumping back into his bonds. Just as Ada promised, he's here for the senorita. This is her distraction, one less useful than he'd hoped.
And yet, there's still something captivating about this Americano. He talks with a wry humor about getting caught in Raccoon City, discussing his past with more composure than Luis would have expected. More than the scientist would have managed if he'd been in Leon's place.
So while he doesn't want to be here, waiting for his execution, this isn't such a bad way to spend his last few minutes. The agent has a soothing voice, one that somehow promises that things will be okay. It isn't true, of course, but Luis likes the illusion. Leon seems clever despite his missteps, clever and stunningly attractive, and he wishes that the two of them had time.
However, when a ganado finally shows up dragging a blood-stained battleaxe, fear quickly washes all thoughts of romance from his mind. There's only the driving knowledge that he doesn't want to die.
Luis scrabbles for escape, yanking at the ropes around his wrists. But even while he's panicking, Leon keeps his cool. The agent somehow twists them both into position so that their would-be executioner severs ropes instead of skin. Once free, he kicks the ganado into the wall and snaps its neck with one quick move.
His skills are honestly impressive but Luis' only focus is on getting out of here. So he dashes for the exit, barely hearing Leon as the man calls after him.
He returns to his senses a few minutes later, his arms scratched and bleeding from the branches he ran through. Now that his fear is fading, the scientist is starting to feel guilty about leaving the Americano to face an army on his own. He should have stayed to help the agent. Leon is on borrowed time now that he's infected and no one deserves that. No one deserves to lose themselves to Saddler's control.
So Luis goes back. He finds the building empty but Leon's path is obvious. The agent has left a trail of bodies in his wake, the sound of gunfire guiding the scientist along. When he finally sees the other man, Leon is tearing through ganados like a chainsaw and Luis thinks that maybe his assistance isn't needed after all. Mendez caught the agent by surprise, but he seems to have no trouble dealing with his forces now.
The scientist stands transfixed as Leon ducks and weaves and slices through his enemies; the man is as deadly with his body as he is with bullets and Luis has never seen anyone move like that before. It's... really quite distracting. This Americano is something else and attractive guys with guns have always been a fantasy. He'd like to follow Leon, like to show his appreciation and see how far that blush goes down. But Luis still has a mission of his own.
If he wants to survive – wants to get out free and clear without ganados on his trail – then he still needs Ada Wong. The woman clearly has connections and for all his skill, Leon won't be able to fight the plaga off for long.
So Luis tries to put the agent from his mind. He sneaks back toward the village, looking for a weapon, and stumbles on an armorer instead. The scientist remembers this man. He had been a villager, one who collected firearms, and he should have been off chasing after Leon with the rest. But instead the man is here, peddling his weapons, and Luis' fingers itch to record his observations. According to his work, this sort of anomaly should be impossible.
However, Luis is hardly going to attempt to publish his research now. So he doesn't question his good fortune. The scientist just spends all his pesetas on a pistol and he feels much more secure with a Red 9 in his hands.
But even as he leaves again, his mind turns back to Leon. If this strange weapons merchant can resist the plaga, maybe the agent has a chance. Maybe that gorgeous man doesn't have to die.
The idea sticks with Luis as he travels toward the castle. He wants the Americano to succeed. He wants the hero Ada promised, one who can rescue his fair damsel and the scientist as well. The man was so controlled, so tightly-wound, but he was clearly interested and in Luis' experience, it's usually the stern ones who burn with pasión in bed. He would love to be the center of that focus, love to hear that rich voice cry in pleasure instead of pain.
So he does what he can. The scientist leaves Leon notes on his way through the village, telling the agent to be careful and warning him about the dangers as best he can. Luis doesn't know much about del lago or el gigante, but forewarned is forearmed, his abuelita always said.
Knowing the area certainly helps him. Luis stays out of sight as much as possible, keeping to the back trails so he doesn't have to fight. The scientist can handle one or two ganados but more than that would be a struggle to survive. Of course, when Ada finds him, the woman smells like rosas and she smirks when he tells her that they'd be safer as a pair.
“Don't be a coward,” the woman says with no sign of sympathy. “You have a weapon and your research; you'll be fine. Just go steal that sample while I keep our man alive. You should have no trouble with Leon drawing Saddler's eye.”
There's something in Ada's voice when she talks about the agent, something almost fond. Luis thinks that she must know him, though he doesn't dare to ask. This is clearly not a woman who gives out información for free.
She leaves the scientist still pleading for them to work as allies, leaves without a backward glance. Luis spends a moment grumbling about spies and expectations and then keeps hiking toward the castle until his luck runs out. He only knows of two routes forward and both of them are blocked. To one side the roar of chainsaws and to the other el gigante, neither is a foe he has the skill to overcome.
So Luis holes up in a nearby cabin and takes a moment to regroup. The scientist only means to rest his eyes for a few seconds, but he startles awake to the sound of chanting and sees that the sun has set outside.
When Luis looks through the window, he sees a huge mob of ganados and a familiar agent running toward the cabin door. Despite the threat to his own safety, he's happy to see Leon; the knowledge that he's still alive is strangely comforting. It means las plagas can be beaten and judging by the man's blonde shadow, he freed his señorita too. The pair is getting close now so Luis heads downstairs to meet them, throwing Leon a club to bar the door as soon as he's inside.
“Small world, eh?” he asks, grinning at the agent before looking his new shadow up and down. Luis knows the girl has been infected – he heard Saddler brag about it – but she's not showing any signs of the plaga yet.
The scientist doesn't want to scare her so he disguises his interest as a leer and in truth, she's not exactly unattractive. Luis likes her even more when she snaps back sharply, demanding that he introduce himself before making overtures; he's always liked his ladies fiery. She's definitely his type, but even her ample charms can't pull his eyes from Leon for very long. Although he looks a little worn, the man is still magnetic and he's worried that the agent doesn't know exactly what he's dealing with. The scientist should tell him but he can't bring himself to say the words aloud. Instead, Luis hints at the girl's infection, trying to be subtle and failing utterly.
It's... awkward. Que bueno, the whole situation is awkward and it's not helped by the utter lack of comprehension on the agent's face. Apparently, Leon is not a person who reads between the lines. However, before the scientist can make his point more obvious, the senorita interrupts.
“Look!” she shouts, pointing out the window and Luis sees the ganados approaching from all sides.
“Ashley, upstairs!” Leon orders as he pulls out his weapon. Luis does the same and together they turn to face the coming tide.
He helps the agent block the windows, trying to slow the ganados as much as possible. But cabinets and chests of drawers don't stop the beasts for long. Soon they're pouring through the openings like a plague of locusts as the scientist just struggles to survive.
He's down to basic instinct: friend vs. enemy, but he and Leon fight together like they've been doing this for years. When the agent falters, Luis is there to save him. When the scientist goes down beneath a pack of ganados, a well-placed grenade loosens the hands around his neck. Leon pulls him upright, strong and solid as he leans into the agent's warmth. Only for a moment before the sound of breaking glass draws them to the second floor.
Luis isn't sure how long they fight. He only knows he's running low on bullets and running low on energy. The scientist is bleeding from half a dozen places, his thoughts a monologue of horror. He knew about the plagas but seeing them explode from these ganados makes his gorge rise in his throat. But the flash of light grenades disintegrates the monsters, turning them to dust as they swarm across Leon's skin.
The world narrows to the battle and the fight for both their lives, but eventually the scientist runs out of enemies. The surviving ganados turn and flee and when the men run back downstairs, there's only littered weapons to show their foes were here.
“We made it,” Leon mutters as he slumps against the wall. The man looks utterly exhausted and Luis wants to ease that burden; he wants to offer comfort, two lost souls against the dark.
So the scientist moves closer, reaching out to brush the dirt from Leon's cheek. The agent leans into his touch and lets out a quiet sigh, a faint smile on his lips, and that's all the permission Luis needs. He kisses Leon, gentle but insistent, and he swears no one else has ever tasted quite so sweet. The Americano should taste of dirt and sweat and blood and there's a hint of all those things. But underneath is spice and coffee and something distinctly masculine.
Luis kisses him again, pressing their chests together. Leon melts into his touch, longing, almost desperate, and the scientist can feel the passion held beneath that staunch control. He wants to take this man to bed. But Luis settles for another kiss before he pulls away.
Leon's face is soft and open and his professional mask is nowhere to be seen. Luis thinks those softened edges only make the man more tempting, but he also feels a stab of guilt. Because the agent seems to trust him and he's been lying all along. Not about everything, but lies of omission are still lies and Leon would probably hate him if he knew this was his fault. If the Americano knew that Luis' research is the reason for the plagas, he would probably shoot him now.
He needs to make this right. Even if Leon would forgive him, his own conscience cannot bear it, to kiss this man and know that he's been hurt because of him.
So Luis makes his excuses once the agent and his charge are ready to move on. He can't travel with them, not without explaining, and he can't bear to do that yet. Better that he works alone until he finds a way to help them – he'll be more useful as a scientist than another gun right now.
“I forgot something. You guys go on ahead,” he says, leaving the cabin and ignoring Leon calling after him. The man cannot get his name right, calls him Louis every time, and the mistake should make him angry. But he just finds it charming and he knows he's fallen far.
Luis jots down a quick note for Leon about the separate pathways forward and then heads back toward the village. He has a vague memory of another route into the castle, thinks he saw a deer trail along the cliffs while getting air one day. It's not enough to bet on, not enough to mention to the agent until he knows for sure. But if he can get into the castle, get back into his office, then he should be able to slow the plaga's growth in Leon's veins.
Although the scientist is certain that Saddler asked for an antidote only to make his creatures stronger, it should still give the agent time. Time to escape with Ashley, time to kill the plaga before his control is overrun. If Luis could be sure that his machine was still intact, he'd send Leon to the island to save the agent's life.
But he can't be certain. Luis won't send the man into such danger on a long-shot, not when time should be enough. Once he has the sample, they can all escape together and he still has the schematics in his head. The scientist can build another machine; he can destroy the plagas and correct his worst mistake. Maybe then he will feel worthy of taking Leon to his bed.
Guilt drives Luis forward even when the deer trail dissolves into rocks and cliffs. The scientist scrambles through narrow crevices, scraping his knuckles and nearly falling at least a dozen times. He curses his lack of exercise, curses every cigarette, but eventually he pulls himself onto the castle's plateau and lies there panting heavily.
Once he's caught his breath, Luis sneaks around to the side entrance, the servant's door he's praying has slipped the ganados' mind. In this, la fortuna still smiles down on him and he makes his way inside the castle without further incident.
The journey to his lab is surprisingly easy. Although he runs across Salazar's minions now and then, his foes aren't trying to be quiet and their chanting gives him time to hide. Crouching in a closet while ganados pass him by isn't exactly the most dignified solution. But Luis would rather be alive than be a hero and sneaking through the castle lets him reach his destination without a single shot. He finds his lab still locked and pulls the key out of his pocket, cracking the door open carefully.
This was more of an office than an actual laboratory, his notes and research still scattered across his desk. Luis shuts the door behind him and then goes straight to the cabinet, looking for the box that he'd stashed in the back.
“Gracias a Dios,” the scientist mutters as he opens the lid and sees the anti-plaga pills exactly where he left them. He grabs an empty bottle and shoves the pills inside before tucking the container into the pocket of his waistcoat. There's nothing else of use here, just research notes and theories, so he leaves them where they lie. He's already dreaming about his reunion with the agent, imagining the gratitude on Leon's face when he tells him he can help.
Relief makes Luis careless. He opens the door without listening for enemies and he regrets the act immediately. Because there's a ganado passing by, one of Salazar's robed cultists, who points at him and screeches, “Mata lo.”
The scientist curses and yanks out his gun, placing a bullet between the cultist's eyes. But one shot doesn't kill him and Luis can already hear reinforcements further down the hall. So he dashes past the ganado, running in the other direction as fast as possible. The scientist takes a winding route toward the castle entrance, ducking through side passages to lose the cultists chasing him. Luis shoots a few to slow them down, but he's running low on bullets so he sticks to speed and hiding as much as possible.
Indeed, he's tucked into another closet when the whole castle rocks with an explosion and he knows that Leon's here. The scientist runs toward the noise and he finds himself grinning as he bursts through the door.
“Leon!” he calls and the other man answers him in kind.
“I've got something for you guys,” Luis tells him and reaches for the pills. But the bottle isn't there. He runs his hands across his waistcoat, checking every pocket frantically. “Shit, I must have dropped it while I was running away.”
“Dropped what?” Ashley asks from behind her rescuer.
“A drug that will stop your convulsions,” he says, deciding that he might as well be blunt. “Look, I know that you're both carriers. You've been coughing up blood, right?”
The scientist is hoping that the answer isn't yes. He knows the chance is slim, but his heart still drops when Leon mutters, “...Yeah.”
“Damn it! The eggs have hatched,” he curses. “We don't have much time.”
“What are you talking about?” Leon asks but Luis can't bring himself to answer. He doesn't want to increase the agent's burden; he doesn't need to worry about things he can't control. Better to tell the truth once the plaga has been slowed.
“I have to go back and get it,” the scientist says and turns to leave again. If he retraces all his steps, he'll find the pills eventually and he waves the señorita off when she asks to join him. She's better off with Leon; there's no way Luis can manage to protect the girl as well.
“Why are you...?” the agent starts but he interrupts the question.
“It makes me feel better. Let's leave it at that,” Luis tells him quietly. He leaves the other man with a wave and a blown kiss to raise the mood before he heads back into the castle. With Leon here, Salazar is bound to be distracted but the scientist can't afford to drop his guard.
He sneaks back the way he came, keeping his eyes peeled for a flash of red and white. Luis hears the castle come alive behind him – Salazar must have realized that he has visitors. But the scientist forces himself to stay on track, forces his thoughts away from Leon; the man will be just fine as long as Luis can do his part.
So he searches every inch of the castle's hallways and eventually he spies a glint of glass. The bottle had fallen in a planter, one he remembers ducking under when cultists got too close. Thankfully it hasn't broken, its cargo safe and sound.
This time Luis makes sure the bottle won't be going anywhere. Now he just needs to get to Leon, following the sound of bullets and shouting through the halls. However, before he can find the agent, Ada finds him first. The woman reminds him about the sample rather pointedly, too classy for a blatant threat, but her meaning obvious. Deals with el Diablo are not broken easily and Luis cannot afford to make another enemy.
“I'll get it now,” he promises.
“See that you do,” she tells him and the scientist shivers beneath her frozen glare. “Get the sample and I'll find you. Don't be late.”
With that warning in his ears, Luis decides to take a detour. He won't be able to help Leon if Ada shoots him first. At least he has the pills now when he finds the man again.
So the scientist travels deeper into the castle. Salazar would never leave the Master Plaga anywhere except his chambers; the man is much too arrogant for that. Luis detested him from the beginning, even before he knew about Saddler's true plan. However, he had considered the man's butler something of a friend. The man had shown him several of this castle's secrets before he disappeared and that loss had been the start of his uncertainty.
Which is why Luis knows there is a servant's stair leading to the master bedroom. He slips through the passage undetected and then into the room itself, listening first to be sure no one is there. The sample is displayed in pride of place on a center table, one unnatural purple vial that makes the scientist's skin crawl. The plaga seems innocuous trapped in glass but he knows this thing is evil distilled to its true form.
Luis swipes the sample quickly, trying not to think about what he's holding in his hand. He's half-expecting an alarm but there's only silence and the sound of his panicked breathing. Apparently Salazar is too secure in his own power to think that anyone would dare.
Then it's a quick dash down the stairs and through the halls on Leon's trail. The agent still isn't hard to follow. Spent shells and scattered casings, splattered blood and broken locks show where the man has been. Soon enough, Luis hears gunfire up ahead and his steps quicken eagerly. He doesn't even question why the merchant is standing behind a makeshift storefront in this hallway, just follows the man's pointed finger into the next room.
“Leon! I got it!” he calls as he pushes the door open. The other man is standing on some sort of balcony but he spins around at Luis' cry, a smile of welcome on his face. However, that smile turns to horror when he glances past the scientist.
At first there's only pressure, Luis' breath knocked from his lungs as something slams into his back. Then there's pain, a sharp piercing agony that cuts straight though his chest, and what little air he has is choked out on a scream.
“Luis!” the agent shouts. He wants to ease his worry, wants to say that he's okay. But the pain is overwhelming, only pure will and stubbornness keeping him awake. The sample slips out of his fingers before he's slammed back down onto the floor, his vision whiting out in agony. Luis sees Saddler with the sample but can't hear the words he's saying past the ringing in his ears, and then there's Leon's pretty face staring down at him.
“Stay with me, Louis,” the man begs and he wishes that he could.
“I am a researcher... Hired by Saddler,” the scientist gasps out. He's fading, he can feel it, and he wants Leon to know the truth before he dies. “He found out what I was up to.”
“Don't talk,” the agent says, his voice rough as he tries to staunch the wound. The man just doesn't give up and Luis could love him for it. If only they had time.
“Here,” Luis chokes out. He drags the bottle from his pocket with the last of his strength and shoves it into Leon's hand. “This should suppress growth of the parasite. The sample... Saddler took it. You have to get it back.”
“Louis! Louis!” the agent shouts as he falls silent, calling the wrong name even now.
I would have liked to take you home, Luis thinks and it feels like a revelation. Because he's not imagining the sex, though it was sure to be fantastic. He's thinking about breakfast afterward. He's thinking about dates and the joy of teaching Leon to pronounce his first name properly. Luis is dreaming about romance: the aches and pains of meshing with another person's life. He's dreaming of forever when forever's passed him by.
Luis could have loved Leon. He's certain of that now and he thinks the feeling's mutual. Because the agent's eyes are wide and wounded, full of emotions he can't hide and if he has to go, at least he is dying loved in Leon's arms.
Part 4: Piers