Antarctica-or-bust (rata_toskr) wrote,

nothing more than this - part 4

Title: nothing more than this
Part 4: Piers
Fandom: Resident Evil
Series: these ink-stained memories
Pairings: Piers/Leon
Warnings: angst, unrequited love, canon death
Word Count: 5515
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
Part 3 - Luis

Piers never forgets the first time that he sees Leon Kennedy.

He's been serving with Captain Redfield for about three months at this point, working his ass off to prove that he belongs on the man’s squad. Redfield took Piers under his wing when he joined the BSAA and the soldier is determined not to let his captain down. He pushes himself to the limit during training and even harder during missions, doing everything he can to ensure that no one dies.

So Piers is tired to the bone after the latest outbreak, bruised and aching but otherwise unharmed. He's finished showering and is slowly putting away his gear when Captain Redfield leans against the locker next to him.

“You free this weekend, Nivan?” the other man asks. It takes Piers a minute to realize that he's spoken and another minute for the words to register.

“Uhh, yeah?” he stammers. “I mean, I don't have any special plans. Just the usual sort of errands and the like.”

“Great. Then you're coming to my sister's barbecue. I think it's time to introduce you around to everyone,” Redfield tells him. “It starts at noon on Sunday and you'd better be on time. I'll text you the address and tell you what to bring.”

The captain claps him on the shoulder and then marches off, leaving the soldier staring after him in shock. Piers isn't entirely sure what just happened. Did he really just invite me to hang out? But if the captain wants him to attend this barbecue, he's not going to refuse. The man has talked about his sister during training; he obviously adores her and there's no way he'd want to introduce her to a guy he doesn't like.

This is Piers' chance to prove himself outside of training and he wants to make a good impression. So he plans this visit as carefully as he's ever planned a mission. Once Captain Redfield gives him the address, he Googles the directions to find the quickest route. Then he goes to the grocery store and spends a good twenty minutes picking out the perfect wine.

When Sunday comes around, he reaches Claire Redfield's house at quarter till. Better early than on time, his mother always says. His stomach is twisting anxiously as he walks up the front porch and tries to get the nerve to knock.

“Come on, you can do this,” Piers tells himself. “You've fought off crazy monsters. You can handle this.”

The pep talk doesn't help much but the soldier makes himself knock sharply and a few seconds later, an attractive redhead opens up the door.

“Oh, you must be Piers Nivan,” she exclaims with a wide grin. “Chris said you would be coming. In case you haven't guessed, I'm Claire Redfield and it's good to finally meet you. Just head on through to the backyard. You can help his stubborn ass with the grill.”

The woman's personality is intense, far more overwhelming than her stature would suggest, and Piers finds himself trailing after her. The house looks surprisingly normal, although he can see signs of her past experience with Umbrella here and there: a gun safe in every room, combat knives up on the walls, and the wariness that Claire carries in her eyes.

Still, the woman seems quite cheerful, keeping up a running patter all the way to the backyard. There they find his captain swearing up a storm over an old charcoal grill and Piers rushes forward to assist him before the thing blows up. He drops the wine bottle on a table with a bunch of other drinks and then asks how he can help.

Working with his captain is an anchor in this unfamiliar situation and he's more comfortable when being useful anyway. Piers quickly takes over most of the grilling duties when he discovers that Redfield tends to burn things to a crisp.

The other man seems happy to run plates and open packages and that's what he's doing when the other guests arrive. He waves them over to the grill, introducing Piers to a dizzying number of people that he struggles to keep straight. The soldier finds himself starstruck at the names he recognizes – this is a gathering of heroes in the fight against the virus. These are people he admires, people that he grew up hearing stories of.

Although everyone seems friendly, Piers is grateful for the protection of the grill. It gives him something to do with his hands so he doesn't have to mingle awkwardly. He's never been great at making conversation with total strangers; he'd rather watch the party until he's more comfortable.

But eventually the soldier runs out of food to cook. The rest of Claire's guests are standing around the yard in small groups of three and four, eating and talking with each other happily. Piers doesn't want to interrupt them, isn't confident enough to push into their conversations. So he glances around awkwardly until his eyes land on a man who's standing by himself.

The stranger looks vaguely familiar: tall and lean with a shock of soft brown hair falling across his face. He's a circle of stillness amid the bustle of the party and Piers finds himself drifting closer. He's both curious and concerned about this man; no one should look that lonely in a crowd.

“Hey, are you all right?” the soldier asks as he approaches, keeping his voice soft so as not to startle him.

For a moment, he feels out of place and strangely terrified as piercing grey eyes look him up and down, like he went to pet a kitten and found a tiger in his hands. But then the man flicks the hair out of his face and smiles and Piers feels his breath catch in his lungs. That smile is gorgeous, soft and welcoming, and it warms him to the bone.

“I'm all right,” the stranger murmurs. His voice is deep and smooth, a rolling timbre that makes the soldier shiver where he stands. “It's just been a long few months and as much as I love them, this group can be a little much sometimes.”

The other man does seem tired when Piers takes another look. There are shadows beneath his eyes, so dark they look like bruises, and he's leaning against the wall behind him heavily. But even as Piers notices his position, the stranger straightens up as though to hide his weaknesses.

“Is this your first barbecue?” the man asks. “I've missed a couple recently, but I'm pretty sure that I'd remember seeing you.”

His smile tilts into a playful grin, teasing but not malicious, and Piers feels a blush spread across his face. He feels young and inexperienced, not sure what to do with this stranger's friendliness, so he falls back on rank instead.

“Piers Nivan, sir. Captain Redfield invited me to come today.”

“Captain Redfield, huh? You must be with the BSAA,” the other man says with a chuckle before holding out a hand. “It's nice to meet you, Piers. I'm Leon Kennedy.”

Kennedy? Agent Leon Kennedy!?

Piers shakes hands on autopilot as his brain shorts out with shock. Agent Kennedy is a legend even in the BSAA. This man is a hero and the soldier can't believe they're actually talking. He can't believe he asked if the agent was okay.

“Did Chris invite you to this shindig and then leave you on your own?” Kennedy asks, frowning as he looks across the yard.

“It's not the captain's fault!” Piers protests. “He did introduce me. Redfield and his sister have both been very welcoming. It's just... I was running the grill and now I'm... done? Everyone looks so busy and I don't want to interrupt. But he didn't just abandon me.”

“No, of course not. He wouldn't ever want you to be uncomfortable,” the agent agrees, his easy surrender taking the wind from Piers' sails. “But sometimes the man forgets that people aren't all social butterflies. Come on then. We'll find you some folks to talk to soon enough.”

“You don't have to do that, sir,” the soldier protests. Agent Kennedy is way too good to be showing him around.

“Please, just call me Leon. I'm no one's sir around here,” the man says with another blinding grin. “And really, it's no trouble. I can't let you be a wallflower at your first barbecue.”

Kennedy doesn't give him another chance to argue. He just throws an arm around Piers' shoulders and tugs him toward the closest group. He's too surprised to resist, the warmth of the other man shorting out his thoughts again. No one ever told him that Agent Kennedy was so damn attractive or so nice to total strangers. Who agrees to show someone around a party just to make them comfortable?

He's still rather dazed when they reach the group, but Claire's other guests make space for the agent without hesitation. A cute blond from earlier – Sherry? – and a boisterous older fellow – Burton. Barry Burton? – both greet Kennedy. They're clearly glad to see him and Piers is half-expecting to be forgotten utterly. But the agent doesn't let go. Instead, he introduces the soldier to those who haven't met him and makes sure that he's included in the ensuing conversation. Kennedy doesn't push too hard. He doesn't shove Piers into the spotlight or force him to talk. But he's careful to give the soldier every opportunity.

Even when the group splits up, the agent sticks with Piers. He guides him toward another cluster that's grown up around the drinks table and repeats the pattern: introduction, conversation, every action welcoming.

The soldier wants to question his good fortune. This kind of thing doesn't happen to Piers Nivan. Attractive men – attractive heroes – don't take a shine to him. But Agent Kennedy has been friendly, kind, and caring from the start. Even though the man is obviously exhausted and seemed to want some time alone, he gave that up to make sure that Piers is comfortable.

He means to say thanks when the barbecue is over. Maybe offer the agent dinner to show his gratitude. But Kennedy slips away while the soldier is deep in conversation with Jill Valentine. He looks away for a moment while discussing pistol mods and when he looks back up, the man is gone.

At first Piers doesn't worry. He assumes the agent will be back eventually. However, Kennedy still hasn't reappeared ten minutes later and a quick search through the backyard proves that the man has disappeared.

“Have you seen Agent Kennedy?” the soldier asks Claire Redfield after pulling her aside. “I can't find him anywhere.”

Piers is honestly hoping that the agent was simply sent out on a drinks run or went upstairs to rest. But the question makes Claire frown and he knows he won't like the answer before she speaks.

“Leon had to leave,” she tells him unhappily. “The DSO called him for another mission even though he just got back. He doesn't like to cause a fuss so he never says goodbye. I swear those people are working him too hard. Sherry's going to kick his ass if he doesn't tell them no sometimes.”

“Oh. Well, if you hear from him, tell him thanks, I guess,” Piers says. The soldier is disappointed but it's not like he could have expected something different anyway. Despite the agent's kindness, the two of them are strangers. He was lucky to meet Kennedy at all. So he tells himself he should be grateful and goes back to the barbecue.

However, despite his best efforts, Piers finds himself thinking about Agent Kennedy. The soldier keeps imagining the man on his new mission, exhausted but giving his best effort anyway. Kennedy had seemed so tired even though he'd tried to hide it and Piers knows firsthand how dangerous fighting B.O.W.s can be. One small mistake can be the difference between death and victory and Claire's words about the DSO had not been comforting.

So the soldier worries. He'd met one of his heroes and found him to be human: kind, worn, and beautiful, and he doesn't want the man to die. Piers respects him even more now that the legend has been tarnished – Agent Kennedy has done so much, it should be impossible.

He gets a bit obsessive to be honest, checking the BSAA's reports for any news of Leon Kennedy. Piers doesn't have the clearance for state secrets, but no one gossips more than soldiers. There's always someone who knows someone who has heard everything and one week after the barbecue, he gets word of Kennedy.

Davis told Williams who told Jameson who told Angel that the DSO was running an operation in the Eastern Slav Republic and the agent was sent there. Piers searches the news and finds talk of victory scrawled across all channels: a president stepping down, a civil war averted, and a great blow for democracy. Nothing official mentions Kennedy's involvement but the BSAA grapevine whispers that the agent fought three Tyrants in the field. Although the man didn't kill them, he survived and that's enough to increase the myth of Leon Kennedy. His fellow soldiers whisper about the battle with shocked admiration but Piers just feels nauseous at the thought.

Although the agent lived, that doesn't mean he wasn't injured. That doesn't mean he wasn't frightened and in pain. The other man seems to bleed for everyone – even socially awkward perfect strangers – but who's there to bleed for him? Who makes sure the man is healed and fed and happy when the fight is done?

The soldier wants to be there. Piers wants to be the person who takes care of Kennedy.

He can't stop obsessing about it. He thinks about the other man while preparing for his missions and in that space before he sleeps. Piers keeps his ears open for the slightest hint of gossip, the word of each new operation making his heart beat painfully.

So when he sees Agent Kennedy at Claire's next barbecue, his knees go wobbly with relief. The soldier has to lean against the table for a minute to recover but thankfully no one else seems to notice his distraction. They're all busy talking so Piers takes this chance to examine Kennedy where the other man is standing with Sherry across the yard. The agent still looks exhausted, even worse than last time, but he doesn't seem to have any new injuries. Maybe the rumors had exaggerated the number of Tyrants after all. Or maybe the man is just that good at his job.

When the soldier finally gets the courage to walk over, Kennedy greets him with a smile. The expression is just as gorgeous as he'd remembered, maybe even more so as the agent's eyes light up, and his mind stutters to a halt.

“Piers, right?” the man asks.

“Uhh, yeah,” Piers mumbles, his thoughts a rush of, He knows my name! Agent Kennedy knows my name! He actually remembered me! and Damn, this man is hot.

“Good to see you again. I'm glad you seem more comfortable this time,” Kennedy continues and no one should be able to sound so damn sincere. It's impossible to doubt that the agent actually cares and he'd probably drop everything if Piers said he needed help. This man is impossible. Even Captain Redfield doesn't worry this much about his squad-mates even though he'd die for them without a second thought.

“Of course, you too,” the soldier stammers before wincing at the words. What the Hell are you saying? That doesn't even make sense, you idiot!

But Kennedy just chuckles quietly, the sound sending a rush of lust through Piers from head to toe. He would give anything to hear that laughter one more time.

“Well, I promised Sherry here that we'd play cornhole,” the agent says, wrapping an arm around her waist as Piers tries not to burn with jealousy. “But maybe we can talk more later if there's time. It never hurts to know people from other agencies – we gotta stick together out there – and I'm sure I'll be seeing you around.”

“Sure thing, I mean that sounds good. Enjoy your game,” Piers says awkwardly as Kennedy gives him one more smile before walking off with Sherry. He's blushing again, he can feel it, and his face only gets hotter when Sherry glances back over her shoulder to give him a knowing grin. No one else was supposed to find out about this stupid crush of his. It's not like Piers expects anything to happen; he just admires the other man, that's all, and the thought of Sherry telling him makes the soldier want to sink into the ground.

But even his embarrassment doesn't stop him from watching Kennedy play cornhole for two hours. Piers cheers for his captain and the others to make his crush less obvious, but he aches to hug the agent when he grins in victory. And Kennedy grins a lot because the man is really really good at cornhole, reigning undefeated the entire time.

Piers sees a different side of the agent during these games – a trash-talking competitive side that he was not expecting. But if anything, this discovery just makes the soldier like him more. Because it proves that Kennedy is more than just a bad-ass special agent who cares about his friends. This is a man who still has a sense of humor after decades fighting zombies, a man who can laugh and play and have fun when he's not in the field. That's the sort of person that Piers wants to know better, the sort of man he'd ask out if he could.

Unfortunately, he doesn't have another chance to talk to Kennedy that day. Captain Redfield – “Seriously, just call me Chris already” – asks him out for a beer as the barbecue winds down and that's not an invitation Piers feels like he can refuse. To tell the truth, he doesn't want to. The soldier may have an inconvenient crush on Kennedy, but he hasn't stopped admiring his captain. Both those men are heroes and he's incredibly lucky that Redfield is still acting as his mentor. He wants to learn everything that the captain has to teach.

So he tells himself not to be stupid and ignores the twinge in his chest as the two of them leave Kennedy. The other man probably won't notice anyway.

Things continue like this for the next few months. Piers works hard when on the clock and trains hard when he isn't. But even when he's exhausted, falling asleep right on his feet, he perks up at any mention of Agent Kennedy. He collects rumors, collects stories, and then collects a stomach ulcer from all his worrying.

Time and distance are not helping. His infatuation isn't fading – it's only getting stronger – and his heart still leaps every time he sees the man in person. Piers keeps a mental tally of Kennedy's well-being, noting when the bruises underneath his eyes get darker and the way he holds himself every time his ribs are cracked.

Some days are better than others. Some days the man moves freely and his smile isn't strained around the edges from the pain he tries to hide. Because that's something Piers learns quickly. Agent Leon Kennedy never asks for help.

The man is always ready to help others, giving advice on everything from fighting B.O.W.s to playing cornhole to anyone who asks. But he never takes the spotlight, pushing his friends forward to let them shine instead. Kennedy could probably be dying and he'd just keep on smiling, telling those around him that things will be all right.

It frustrates Piers a little. He tries to be supportive, tries to show how much he cares and that the agent doesn't have to be the strong one all the time. The soldier tries and he's fairly certain that the other man does like him – he always smiles when the two of them collide. But Piers never gets the courage to ask the most important questions:

“Are you okay? Have you been sleeping? Can I take you out sometime?”

The soldier always means to. But he just can't spit it out. One look at Kennedy and Piers is still struck speechless, his practiced words dissolving into awkward mumbling. He keeps choking when it matters and after his last failure, he promises himself that he'll just write it down next time.

However, before he gets the chance, his next mission with Chris Redfield goes to hell. Ada Wong betrays them in Edonia and the rest of their squad is turned into monsters by some new virus bomb. In the fallout, Piers loses track of Kennedy; he's too busy trying to stop his captain from running off the rails. Chris lost more than his men, he lost his memory and with it, his foundation. He abandons the BSAA, sneaking away from the hospital and disappearing that same night.

Piers owes Chris too much to just let him self-destruct. So he sets out to find his captain. The mission isn't official, but the soldier has saved up a lot of leave. He promises Claire that he'll find her older brother and then goes traveling.

Even with amnesia, the other man has skills and it takes the soldier six months to track his former captain down. The man seems to be doing his best to drink himself into oblivion and yet he manages to stay one step ahead of Piers anyway. The soldier keeps hoping that Chris will recover on his own, but when the BSAA gets a new mission, Piers knows he can't afford to be patient anymore. This mission is their chance to capture Ada Wong and Captain Redfield needs to lead it. He's the only one who can.

So Piers calls in some favors and gets a group of BSAA agents to help him ambush Chris in yet another bar. The man is a violent drunk, surly and belligerent, but without the chance to run, he eventually sees reason. The soldier convinces him to lead a team to China to help stop Ada Wong.

The flight there is tense on every side. Although Piers' captain was always stern, he's lost all hint of friendship, the camaraderie that underlay his instructions in the past. Now he's simply angry and Piers distracts himself as best he can so he doesn't have to think. The soldier looks through mission reports and tries to get some sleep before the plane arrives. He wakes up as they're landing and then pulls out his tablet to check the news reports. But the most recent update makes Piers gasp out in shock.

The entire town of Tall Oaks has been destroyed due to a new virus outbreak. The US President was killed and Agent Leon Kennedy is both a major suspect and presumed deceased as well.

This news hits him like a bullet, his tablet slipping from numb fingers as he sinks back into his chair. It can't be true. The soldier knows he didn't do it. Leon has spent decades fighting against the virus, there's no way he'd cause an outbreak after what he saw in Raccoon City. It's just not possible. But more than that, he can't be dead.

I would know, Piers thinks, every cell in his body screaming out a denial. I would know.

The thought is certain, absolute, and in this moment, the soldier knows that he loves Leon Kennedy. Because that's the sort of certainty only a mark can give him and Piers wishes he had time to find the name upon his skin. He would have liked to see it before his fight begins.

But their plane has finished landing in Lanshiang and the soldier can't afford to be distracted. These new B.O.W.s are smart and dangerous and the fight for his life shoves all thoughts of Leon from his mind.

Their squad rescues a group of hostages before chasing after Ada Wong and one by one, his fellow soldiers are struck down. Each death only serves to make them more determined and eventually Piers and Chris manage to pin the woman down. His captain wants to kill her and Piers can't really blame him even though he knows that she's more valuable alive. Before he can say anything, another man bursts in to stop them. He fights Chris to a standstill and Piers should probably be angry, but he's just too happy to see Leon Kennedy.

The man looks rough, bruised and battle-worn as he stands before their target. Leon and his captain have each other held at gunpoint and Piers honestly isn't sure which one he'll shoot if this argument goes wrong. He really hopes he doesn't have to find the answer out.

“I lost my squad because of her!” Chris shouts, motioning at Ada.

“And I lost seventy thousand people and the president because of Simmons!” the agent snaps back, the grief in his voice making the soldier's chest ache in sympathy. Piers remembers hearing that Leon and the president were friends and he knows that if the other man did kill him, it's only because there wasn't any other choice.

Thankfully, Leon's words seem to pierce his captain's rage. Chris starts to lower his gun only for Ada Wong to throw a flash-bang and escape. The men are forced to separate, Piers and his captain heading after Ada while Leon goes after the outbreak's true mastermind. However, when Piers and Chris find Ada, the woman is killed by a sniper before they can bring her in. Although they do their best, the BSAA agents fail to stop her final weapon – a missile of the C-Virus that's launched into Lanshiang to infect the populace.

His captain calls Leon and warns the agent to get out immediately. But true to form, the other man tells Chris not to worry. Instead, he orders them to rescue Sherry and Jake Muller, telling them that Wesker's son has antibodies in his blood.

Piers wants to disobey him. He wants to rush to Leon's side and makes sure that he survives. But the soldier knows he can't. Leon is right. The world is more important than his feelings and the agent would never forgive Piers if he let Jake and Sherry die. So he stays with Chris, trying to trust that the other man will find his own way out.

He's gonna make it, the soldier tells himself. He's gonna survive, we'll stop the virus, and then I swear I'll ask him out.

This promise burns within him as they travel to the undersea facility. Along the way, his captain decides that this is the perfect time to start talking about retirement and passing the torch to Piers instead. Although the soldier is sincerely flattered, he can't imagine the BSAA without his captain at the helm. Especially not when Chris only just returned. However, that's a discussion to have another time. He knows it will take work to change his captain's mind.

For now, Piers simply follows the other man down beneath the water. They fight their way to Jake and Sherry, freeing the pair and then heading back toward the elevator. However, before they arrive, the simmering tension between his captain and Wesker's son explodes. The soldier wants to curse when Chris tells Jake that he can shoot him now to avenge his father's death. Being willing to die to save the world and asking it to kill you are two very different things.

Thankfully the younger man sees reason and they're almost to the elevator when another B.O.W. attacks. The monster rips free of its bindings, lightning sparking across its body, and Chris orders Sherry to get Jake out of here. Then the captain starts firing, drawing the B.O.W.s attention as he signals Piers to help him cover their retreat. The soldier would have made the same call in his position; he knows the stakes and they can't risk losing their best chance at a vaccine.

Together Chris and Piers force the creature back beneath a hail of bullets, slowing its advance and giving the others time to flee. The BSAA agents lure the B.O.W. away from the elevator, heading toward the escape pods at the top of the facility.

The soldier keeps on shooting but the monster just won't die. The B.O.W. keeps coming back, smashing through walls and ceilings until an automated voice starts warning about the loss of structural integrity.

Piers and Chris pick up their pace and their almost to the escape pods when the soldier's luck runs out. The creature bursts into the chamber and its claws rip into his shoulder, tearing through skin and bone with a sharp stab of agony. He's thrown into the wall, shock and pain driving the breath out of his lungs. His arm is useless, ruined, and bile rises in his throat at the bloody stump that's left behind. The soldier tries to stand, but he's too weak to manage as his vision starts to grey.

Instead he watches helplessly as the B.O.W. grabs his captain in one enormous fist and starts to squeeze, a cry of pain making Piers wince in sympathy. He's not afraid of dying; his life to stop the virus seems like a fair trade. He didn't join the BSAA for safety after all.

But Piers doesn't want to die like this. He doesn't want to sit here, bleeding out and useless, able to do nothing while Chris dies. The soldier coughs, blood spilling from his lips as his eyes land on the virus sample that they took from Ada Wong. Piers doesn't want to be infected. The thought makes his skin crawl. But he knows he's dead already and if there's any chance to save his captain, the soldier has to try.

So Piers uses the last of his strength to jam the syringe into his arm and he swears he can feel the virus rushing through his veins. His injured arm explodes into a twisted claw and the soldier charges forward to attack the B.O.W. The sudden onslaught takes the monster by surprise and Piers manages to free his captain with a few quick strikes. They fight off the B.O.W. together and he pretends he doesn't see the horror in Chris' eyes.

The other man is in denial. He keeps saying that they'll fix this. That they'll escape and get Piers help. The soldier doesn't argue because his captain needs the comfort, but he knows the words are lies. He can feel his body changing by the second, stress and blood loss helping the virus take control. He's a dead man walking but his captain has a chance. Piers will promise anything to make sure that Chris gets out.

The facility is counting down toward the total loss of pressure as they sprint toward the escape pods, first minutes left, then seconds before the place explodes.

“Come on!” his captain shouts as he opens up the pod. Piers knows he won't leave willingly so the soldier doesn't ask. He shoves Chris inside the pod and slams it shut behind him, hitting the activation switch before his captain can react.

“Thank you, sir, for everything,” he whispers as their eyes meet through the glass. The other man's expression twists with sorrow, denial and betrayal running across his face. Piers hates to see it, but he'd do the same again without hesitation. Saying that he's sorry would only be a lie.

“Goodbye,” the soldier murmurs instead as the pod shoots toward the surface.

This is it. The end of the line and when the facility starts to collapse around him, the soldier allows himself to think about Leon Kennedy. If he has one regret, it's that he never told the other man just how he felt. Piers should have found the courage sooner. Sure he might have been rejected – though he knows that Leon would never have said the words unkindly – but at least the soldier would have tried.

It's probably better this way, he thinks with one last stab of longing. At least this way the other man won't feel it when he dies.

I hope that someone feeds him, flickers through his mind as fire blooms behind him and debris start raining down. The smell of burning flesh chokes in his lungs and the soldier should be screaming out in agony. But in truth, he barely feels it. All Piers can see is the bright mark splashed across his arm. The letters are a shining gold, as warm as Leon's smile, and when the fire finally takes him, Piers can only thank the lord that the other man survived.

Part 5: Ada

Tags: angst, fic, leon-ship, mid-series, minor pov, nothing-more-than-this, resident evil, these ink-stained memories*
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