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About Varied / Student Member CapnHannahSoloFemale/United States Recent Activity
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Hell Yeah! by CapnHannahSolo
Hell Yeah!
I made this 'cause I was sending my friend the full pic via text every time I'm like "Hell yeah, the weekend's coming!" or "Hell yeah, I'm hiding in the break room from my patients!", or "Hell yeah, I just told that lady off on the treadmill!"  Zak's face just sells the "Hell Yeah" part for me.  So I invite you to download this pic (especially if you're a GA fan), and send it to your friends for all those "Hell Yeah" occasions in your life.
Perhaps only a sorceress like the late Hyne could be able to pinpoint when or how such an attraction could come to be.  After all, the mere mortals directly involved hadn’t a clue.  The only most certain thing was the timeline – not so much as when it began, but more like when it definitely began before.
It definitely began before a small band of about four SeeD mercenaries, one sharpshooter, and one leader of a small resistance faction turned sorceress had defeated a maleficent creature of insane power known as Ultimecia before she could fully realize her plan to Compress Time.
It definitely began before those same SeeD mercenaries, the sharpshooter, and the leader of a small resistance Faction turned sorceress had confronted and defeated two previous sorceresses who had been played as pawns in Ultimecia’s game and thusly saved the world from her devious designs.
And it even definitely began before three of those SeeD mercenaries had graduated from their military academy, known as Balamb Garden, via a final exam, which took place in a city called, Dollet with their objective being to push back Galbadia’s invading army.
So, it must have happened sometime in a shared classroom where one party would observe the other as he poured over a textbook with a highly concentrated look on his face, sitting very still except for at least one foot bouncing up and down as his only valve to release his relentless, pent-up energy.
Or perhaps it actually happened one day in the Garden’s library, where she worked to afford the cost of tuition and where on one peculiar day a young man with a muscular physique with a tribal tattoo adorning the left side of his face, and a most singular expression of individuality in his hair style asked how to find a back issue of Combat King.  Maybe it was that day, and maybe it was by way of the wide-eyed, frightened look her got on his face once she began to speak of card catalogues and the Dewey Decimal System that endeared him to her.  Who knows really?  For who can say what a quiet, straight-laced, unassuming, and practically retiring young librarian would see in this poster child for ADHD?  Perhaps when opposites attract, stranger things have happened.

The situation all began to come to a dire head and an interesting turn when the three members of Balamb’s Discipline Committee returned from Fisherman’s Horizon.  This had only partially been their idea as it was mostly Headmaster Cid’s encouragement to them and to the Garden’s Commander, Squall Leonhart, to let them return.
Squall was far from overjoyed at the prospect of seeing Seifer Almasy, and his two-man posse, Raijin and Fuujin, traversing the Garden’s hallways and occupying space in its dorms and rooms again just like none of the students and other SeeDs were, however, whereas Squall wasn’t fond of Seifer, he understood him.  And whereas Squall had recognized some personal changes in himself for the better in the past several months, he hoped that Seifer could have changed too.
Initially anyway, Seifer had shown to have mellowed out a bit, but he still clung to some time-tested bad habits.  Raijin and Fuujin were not much better than their leader in this, and in some ways they all goaded each other on.
The instigating incident that set course of Destiny in motion was a day that found Raijin and Fuujin “disciplining” a young SeeD hopeful after he had stepped on Raijin’s new shoes by accident.  Too frightened by the misstep and Raijin’s reputation, and the fact that perpetrator was currently hanging by his shirt collar from Raijin’s hot, enormous fist, the student could not must an apology which only escalated the already tense situation.
Squall had not witnessed this event, but his good friend, Zell Dincht, the muscular, Combat King reading, tribal-face-tattoo adorned, martial artist and all-around general practitioner in the art of fisticuffs with hair that fashionably mimicked a chocobo tail in the front had seen everything.  Being a tad on the emotional side himself, like Raijin, Zell burst onto the scene with clenched fists and flared nostrils, practically pawing the ground like a Mesmerize about to charge.  The sight had surprised Raijin enough to drop the student.
“You let that kid go, or I’ll whoop your ass!”  Zell had threatened.
“I got time, ya know!” was Raijin’s reply.  Not a second later, Zell and Raijin were throwing their jackets to the floor while a crowd of students formed a ring around them.  Before a punch could be thrown, Squall leapt between them, gunblade flashing (just to get their attention), followed closely by Xu as back up.  “You guys wanna knock each other’s heads in, do where no one has to slip on the blood ‘cause there’ll be no fighting in my hallways!”
Within days, a student took Squall’s suggestion and organized an event, showcasing a fighting match between Zell and Raijin, which was to take place on a makeshift boxing ring in the Quad.  Still fuming and filled with rage, which was being fueled almost hourly with rumors of Raijin saying foul things about Zell’s mother and Zell doing likewise about Raijin’s inability to cook fish properly, both parties eagerly agreed to participate.
. . . Irvine Kinneas and Selphie Tilmitt were doing promotions for the event off-the-record with unconfirmed reports that it was they who had started the rumors . . .  
Now, Rinoa Heartilly and Quistis Trepe urged Squall to not let the fight happen, but Squall thought it better to let the two testosterone-charged fighters get it out of their systems.  If he didn’t, he reasoned, he knew he’d be breaking up fights between them every other day as long as he could even attempt to keep them on opposite sides of the Garden . . . otherwise it would have been hourly.  But Rinoa and Quistis, being of a highly feminine persuasion, failed to see Squall’s reasoning, and believed him to be acting callous and insensitive in taking a chance in letting Zell’s brains get knocked in all for the sake of cleaner and quieter hallways and promptly told the Garden Commander so in the most chiding manner either of them could muster.  By this time though, Squall was used to such talk and tones.
Regardless of the fact that the ladies had said anything, Zell was rudely awakened the next morning at 5AM by a whistle-blowing Squall who was amplifying his rude auditory intrusion with a bullhorn.  He shoved a glass of raw eggs into Zell’s hand and thusly Dincht’s training had begun.  It wasn’t that Zell wasn’t skilled.  It wasn’t that Squall had no faith.  It was solely that Raijin out-weighed Dincht by 50lbs and had nearly as much training.  Squall wanted to give his comrade as much of an edge as he could.
Luckily, in mode with Squall’s designs for Zell, the Garden was not quite so mobile as too many parents had complained to the administration that they no longer knew where their children were.  This allowed Squall some options, and one of them entailed Zell, running alongside a transport, driven by a yawning Irvine, with Squall hanging out the passenger side window, calling out commands, insults, and positive encouragement through the bullhorn at Dincht; it was a sight that greeted many a morning for the residents of Balamb.
Later in the day, Zell would be sequestered in the Training Ground without the use of junctions, pitted against a T-Rexaur.  At a safe distance, sat a still-yawned Irvine, junctioned and prepped with Exeter in hand (just in case) and Squall in lawn chairs, with the latter calling out commands, insults, and positive encouragement through the bullhorn, keeping an eye on Zell’s battle through a pair of binoculars.

While most students and SeeDs only eagerly awaited the upcoming match with rumors, placing bets, and cheering when Zell walked down the corridors, flanked by a very stoney-faced Squall and Irvine, one student kept a very keen watch on him and his training sessions.  She didn’t exactly spy on Zell, but when she witnessed the transport with Irvine and Squall drive by with Zell running alongside, she was compelled to stop and watch.  When her fellow compatriots on the Library Committee had information, no mater how minor, on Zell’s training program, she was always available to hear it.  And when she discovered that Squall was having Zell face a T-Rexaur unjunctioned, this student who worked in the Balamb Garden Library who was known for always wearing her hair in a ponytail, audibly gasped and found it hard to concentrate on her work that day.
Since the news of the Zell/ Raijin match spread through the Garden like napalm, Alexa Edelweiss had tried being more discrete in finding any information she could, however, her friends on the Library Committee knew her and her adoration for Zell Dincht more thoroughly than she’d thought she’d made known.  She’d forgotten how many times she might have mentioned his name in a day.  She’d forgotten that they could see her when she caught sight of Zell in the classrooms, hallways, or in the library and couldn’t keep her eyes off him.  She’d forgotten how they witnessed her go to such lengths to get in another copy of Goodbye Pururun because Raijin hadn’t returned it, and Zell had shown some interest in reading it.  She’d forgotten that they could see that for the past year or more, the library was sure to have the latest edition of Combat King when only random issues had been available before.  And when Squall Leonhart and his comrades had returned from defeating Sorceress Ultimecia, Weapons Monthly did cover stories for every comrade, showcasing their weapon.  When fellow Library Committee member, Bambi had made the mistake of touching Alexa’s Zell Dincht Edition, the effect had been similar to that of someone casting Berserk on her – another incident she had forgotten.
Regardless of how deeply her infatuation ran, Alexa found it hard to talk to Zell.  Being predominantly introverted and shy made the library a great place for her to work, but it was not a place Zell frequented especially since there were no more reports, exams, or any miscellaneous projects that required research and quiet for him to complete since he had graduated.  Also, Alexa was not a fighter.  She came to Balamb Garden to become a medic.  She spent many hours between the library and interning with Dr. Kadowaki, not the training center.  Since his graduation, Alexa knew that she may not be seeing Zell in the infirmary as much as before, even though as time went by and he became more skilled, she’d been seeing less and less of him in there anyway.  Her only hopes now were the cafeteria, or even more remotely the parking garage as he, on rare occasion, could be found there helping with maintenance on the transports.
Since his graduation, although Alexa was genuinely happy for him accomplishing the difficult goal of becoming a full-fledged SeeD, she had become stricken with a growing despondency.  It was difficult coming up with ways to get to talk to him without the library.  Once, she had found a very rare, and very old edition of Combat King.  Taking a chance, and swallowing copious amounts of fear, Alexa called Zell’s mother in Balamb.  Being not just Zell’s mother, but also a “professional” mother, Ma Dincht invited the girl down to the Dincht homestead for some fish.  During their discussion about Zell, Ma Dincht informed Alexa of his intended home visit from globetrotting, trying to find a sorceress.  She knew of this due to Zell’s dutiful letter writing.  In those days, even amidst all the excitement of the pending battles, the Ragnorok was still sure to stop even at the most remote of mailboxes.
Alexa found Zell at the Balamb Hotel and gave him the gift of the Combat King.  Speaking from her heart and not from sense, she asked him to think of her while reading it even if it was just a little.  Zell had seemed slightly bewildered at her request, but didn’t devote much time into meditating on it.  She would kick herself later for being so forward, but the Library Committee quickly reminded her that she didn’t know if Zell would even come back from fighting the sorceress.  This fact made Alexa relieved and upset all at once.  However, she was able to stop kicking herself once he returned for during the celebratory party at the Garden, he hardly noticed that it was her behind the tray of Garden’s signature hot dogs, which he scarfed into a choking fit.  After that, his interaction with her hadn’t changed much, except now he recognized her as the girls who gave him that very handy Combat King, but still hadn’t remembered her name.  In fact, to Zell Dincht, Alexa only held the moniker, “that library chick with the pigtail”.
And so, ever just as infatuated with Zell, but really having little success, the event between him and Raijin presented her with a new opportunity, which the rest of the Library Committee pounced on.  There was a notice placed on the Garden Square BBS calling for medics to be present pre, during, and post event.  The Library Committee signed Alexa’s name to Zell’s medic team naturally.  She was personally too anxious about this to be thrilled, but she couldn’t help but look forward to seeing and being able to be in his presence once again.

The day of the match arrived.  The Quad was packed to near overflowing with students and some camouflaged instructors who were just too curious to not attend.  The Garden Festival Committee had taken over the decorating for the Quad, and had managed to get the place looking like an authentic boxing ring stadium.  The school’s best magic users were called to place an anti-magic field inside the ring that was formidable enough for the D-district Prison.  The atmosphere was crackling with each student’s excitement and anticipation.  It was Balamb Garden history in the making, and every single soul in the Quad knew they were a part of it.
Finally, amidst the dull roar of the students and the flashing screens that were illuminated with the stats of each fighter, Nida emerged from the judges’ table and jumped onto the canvas.  From the center of it, he announced the opponents.  The dull roar became a certified dine of excitement as Raijin and Zell entered from opposite sides to body-thumping, adrenaline-inducing, bass-filled music.
Seifer sat with Fuujin at a cool distance from the ring.
Squall stood within yards of it, arms crossed with a harsh, focused glare to his blue eyes.  His feet kept shuffling as if they would give anything for Squally to allow them to pace the floor.
The fighters met in the middle of the ring.  Nida told them to keep the fight clean.  They shook hands and retreated to their corners.  Raijin was handed his bo, and Zell his gauntlets.  A mere ding of a bell, and the fight was on.
Practically equally matched, the pugilists gave their spectators a more exciting spectacle than any of them could have imagined.  Raijin’s sheer power behind his bo was a definite force to be reckoned with.  Zell’s martial arts combine with his strength did poetic credit to the human form.  Although Raijin was heavier, Zell was quicker and more agile.  As long as Zell could dodge the hardest of blows, he might be able to tire his opponent and whittle him down with his swiftness.  But Zell didn’t dodge every attack, and Raijin broke a few bos, one of them breaking across the back of his opponent as the other was getting up from a previous trick of Raijin’s.  Being much more than a love tap, Zell had fallen to the canvas again and almost didn’t get back up before the end of the count.  A second bo was broken upon Zell’s fist with both opponents taking an equal swing at each other.  When this had happened, the roar of excitement form the crowd had nearly brought down the makeshift walls of the stadium.
Between rounds, Raijin caught his breath and was rehydrated.  Zell had his fists in buckets of ice and got quick pep-talks from Squall as Irvine gave him quick rub-downs to keep the muscles warm.  By the end of forty rounds, both contenders were worse for wear.  Raijin was missing a few teeth, and Zell had needed his Squall to cut his eyelid to let the blood out to reduce the swelling so he could see.  In the final round, the opponents were clearly running on the dregs of adrenaline and the sheer will to not quit.  Suddenly and simultaneously, Raijin brought his bo down hard in the crook of Zell’s neck as the latter delivered a blow to Raijin’s cheekbone that undoubtedly jostled whatever brain cells he had left.  Zell fell to his knees, and Raijin staggered back and to the left.  Both of them fell completely onto the canvas.  Nida began the count.  Raijin stirred, and Zell desperately tried crawling to the ropes to help himself up.  With one eye swollen regardless of being cut and fatigue urging every cell in Zell’s body to stay down, the ropes seemed leagues away from him.  Raijin managed to roll to his side and get a supporting arm underneath him.  The count continued.  Everyone held a bated breath.  Zell’s friends were screaming support to stand, but he could barely discern their voices from the loud rushing sound in his ears.  Raijin pushed himself up and got a foot underneath himself.
And then, by nothing more than absolute stubbornness to not lose, Zell forced himself to his feet without assistance from the ropes, who had been just plain jerks for not being within reach.  The bell dinged, the round was over.  Zell Dincht swayed and fell to his knees, throwing a fist into the air, yelling, “God bless the ring!”  The spectators went wild.
Squall leapt onto the tabletop he’d been sitting behind with the fight supplies.  From the tabletop, he pounced onto the canvas, barely clearing the ropes.  He grabbed Zell before his friend could completely collapse.  Dincht was hardly conscious and relinquished his head and face into Squall’s abdomen as the other was yelling over the chaos at Irvine to help him get Zell to the locker room, and at Selphie, Rinoa, Quistis or whomever was near enough to hear anything to do miscellaneous things.
Seifer pushed his way through the crowd and then through the medics surrounding Raijin.
Squall and Irvine had Zell by each arm around their necks.  Selphie, Quistis, and Rinoa did their best to push the students and SeeDs back so the boys could get through.  Zell’s feet were moving adequately without having to support the weight of his body, but his head was lolling from shoulder to shoulder, while he was mumbling nonsense.
When Alexa, carrying her medic case and bone scanner, arrived at Zell’s locker room, the winner was a little less punch-drunk.  Squall readily helped her set up and bandage some of his friend’s wounds, but after that he was just hovering.  That’s when Irvine went about what he was best at.  Recognizing Alexa for who she was, Kinneas motioned for the girls to leave, and he personally grabbed Squall, dragging him into the hallway by the arm with a, “C’mon, Squall.  Let’s let the cute medic girl do her thing and not be in her way.”
Alexa was alone with Zell.  The Library Committee had made her practice this conversation, but even with that she was almost too nervous to talk, but some higher Benevolent Being gave her a hand allowed Zell to recognize her.
“Hey, you’re the girl who gave me that Combat King in Balamb.”
She tried desperately not to blush but to no avail.  Thankful that she was bandaging his hands, which allowed her to be close without having to look her adoration in his eyes, she replied, “Yeah.  You know, I thought I remembered seeing some of those moves today from the Combat King.”
Zell scratched the back of his head with the hand she wasn’t working on and kind of grimaced.  “Heh.  Yeah.  Even with all my training they still come in handy, especially the one you gave me.”
Alexa’s cheeks turned crimson, but she had to concentrate.  This was the best time to say what she had to say.  She picked up the rolls of bandaging and retreated to her medic box to put them away.  With her back to him, she swallowed her fear, which was too copious to get down.  She made her move.  “Um Zell, I was just thinking . . . um . . . I’m a student of myomassology . . .”
“Myoma-whatsis?” came Zell with furrowed brows.
“Well, it’s the study of muscles and their tissues. . . .   I’m learning how to mobilize and heal restrictions in muscle tissue.  I was wondering if you’d let me do a clinical hour on you.”
Her words had confused and kind of scared him.  What she was speaking of sounded like it could be painful.  Right now, the look on his face was similar to the time when she tried explaining to him the Dewey Decimal System.  Now, if Alexa had asked him if she could give him a massage, which was precisely what she was asking, Zell wouldn’t have had such trepidation.  “. . . Well, I guess,” he replied.  “How . . . how exactly are you gonna mobilize my tissue?”
“Oh . . . uh, with my hands.”  For some reason, she felt like one of those bad girls that her mother did not raise her to be.
“Why my tissue?”
Alexa finally turned around to face him.  “Well, you’ve just been in this fight where you used your muscles to excess so you’re going to have a lot of restrictions in a couple of days.  If you let those restrictions continue without be addressed, they become hard and almost like scar tissue.  Then you lose mobility.  And for you to be a fighter like you are, you can’t afford to lose mobility.  Besides with your . . . physique, you’re the perfect specimen to be worked on.”  She quickly turned away again.  – Perfect specimen? – she thought, reflecting on his all-too-present muscles.  – I hope he doesn’t catch on that I just called him hot! –
He didn’t.  He just blinked and scratched his head again.  “I sure don’t want to lose mobility.  Yeah, you can mobilize my tissue.”
“R-really?”  She turned back to him.
“Sure,” he replied with a flippant shrug.  “Uh, do you need to mobilize my tissue right now?”
“Oh no.  We need to give your muscles a break; otherwise they’ll become inflamed.  We can do it in a couple of days.”
Zell reached behind himself for his jeans, which were lying on the bench behind him and winced in pain.  “Ow, ow, ow.”  His muscles were already killing him.  He took out his cell phone from his jeans pocket and touched the screen.  “Okay, how do I reach you?”
“You can just call the library.”  Alexa knew she was missing out on an opportunity to give him her number, but her self-depreciating mien wouldn’t let her.  – Besides - she thought – he probably won’t need it again after this is all over -.
“Okay . . . uh . . .” he was embarrassed to ask, but he had to.  “Who do I ask for?”
For a split second, if it weren’t for the reality that Zell Dincht was going to call the library and ask for her, Alexa would’ve started to cry in that moment.  – He doesn’t remember my name? -  “Alexa,” she replied humbly.
Zell typed her name into his phone, linking it to Balamb Garden’s Library number.  “Okay!”
“All right.  Well, I guess I’ll see you in a few days, Zell,” said Alexa with a rush of relief that the conversation was over and she hadn’t shied away from it.  She picked up her case.
“Right on,” he replied cheerily, but trying not to smile too much because his face hurt.
Out in the hallways, Selphie was pointing and giggling at Squall’s shirt.  With the blood from Zell’s eye, nose, and mouth, he’d left an interestingly, yet somewhat gory cameo of himself on it.  Squall was laughing a little too.  With the fight over, Zell winning and not being too horribly damaged, Leonhart could relax again.  And Rinoa, having seen Squall so concerned about Zell even though he allowed the fight to happen, had fallen in love with him all over again, which was actually a regular occurrence, but now she was giving into a fully lover’s gaze at her knight.
Alexa emerged into the hallway, meekly smiled at Zell’s friends and practically ran away.
Squall and company went back into the locker room to see Zell.  With his bloody bits and hands bandaged, he looked much better, and acting more like himself.
“How ya feeling?” asked Squall.
“Great!” piped Zell.  “That library chick’s gonna mobilize my tissue!”
“Oh, nice. . . . Wait, she what?”  Squall was mildly confused.
Irvine just grinned.

Squall had been right in letting Zell and Raijin duke it out.  For the next few days, calm had been restored to Balamb Garden.  In fact, Zell and Raijin seemed to even have developed a new respect for one another.  For the time being at least, Zell could be caught giving Raijin and genuine thumb-up, and Raijin could be seen giving Zell a returning grin that was sans a few teeth.  Internal peace was good.
And as Zell said he would, especially since it was for the good of his mobility, he called Alexa at the library and they set up a time for her to do her clinical hour on him.
She was shaking when she arrived, standing in the hallway in front of his door.  She was relieved that she was carrying her folded treatment table so that he wouldn’t be able to see her shaking.  However, Alexa would soon realize that things were “worse” than she could have imagined.
Zell hadn’t come to the door, but instead had called somewhere inside, “It’s open!” in response to her pushing the buzzer.  Alexa staggered in for the cumbersome bulk of the table into Zell’s living space and was remarked at how clean it actually was.  As she began to unfold and set up the table, she found out why Zell hadn’t come to the door.
Zell appeared in from the bathroom doorway.  He was rubbing his hair vehemently with a towel at first, but then just let it drop to his shoulders.  He was still damp and wearing nothing else but his boxer briefs.  Beads of water were still slowly making their path down his body, which were either being hindered in the process by some toned bulk of muscle, or aided in finding the perfect course in a sinew.  Alexa nearly fainted.
“Sorry I didn’t come to the door,” said Zell.  “I wanted to be all clean before you put your hands on me.”  He returned to bathroom to finish drying off and left Alexa to swoon by herself.  It was then that she realized that she truly might have made a horrible mistake.  For the time being, she wasn’t even sure how she was going to get through an hour of this.
Zell hadn’t meant to come out of the bathroom in the indecent intention of lewd insinuations; his mother had taught him better than that, and in front of girls, that was not his MO (perhaps Irvine’s, but not his).  However, his line of thought had been that because she was a medic here to mobilize his tissue, he had to be mostly unclothed from the start.  Also, it was required to be buck-naked for his SeeD physical with Dr. Kadowaki once a year anyway, and chances were good that this medic had probably handled a jar of his urine at one time, Hyne knew.  So there was really no reason to be a prude about things.  For this medic to see him in his boxer briefs must have been of very little consequence.
Once again that Benevolent Being from above must have lended a divine hand to Alexa for Zell fell asleep for most of his massage.  This was such a relief for Alexa as it allowed her to work in peace without worrying about him judging her work.  She did what was necessary, imparting however much pressure or whichever technique that would get the job done.  There were a couple of trouble spots, like when she arrived at Zell’s glutei and lateral rotators.  At that point, she began reciting to herself the names of the muscles in the hands and feet to keep her attention away from how well-toned Zell Dincht’s behind was.  After she had Zell flip over, she was stuck again at his pectoralis major.  In fact, she debated with herself whether or not it was necessary to address this muscle, but especially from a medical standpoint, this was one of the most important groups of muscles for Zell to have worked on since someone in his position used them quite frequently.  But from a person standpoint for Alexa though, it wasn’t exactly easy to place her hands all over Zell’s immaculate, masculine chest, especially while he laid there peacefully sleeping with a cute and pleasant expression on his face.  She couldn’t help but liken him to an angel – a big, beefy, Adonis of an angel, and then quickly and fervently chided herself.  Alexa took a mental note to not massage anyone she thought was hot and had a crush on anymore because this was ridiculous.
She had just finished working on Zell’s head, which was an area she rarely working on anyone who didn’t suffer from frequent headaches, and looked at the clock to make the startling realization that her clinical hour had turned into two.  She had been concentrating on so many things all at once that time slipped away like a cat burglar in the night.  Except for the few seconds it took Zell to flip onto his back, he’d been asleep the whole time, and was still sleeping now.  Scared that he would be irritated and hate her with a passion for the rest of her life for taking so much time, Alexa debated not waking him and just making a beeline for the library where the committee members made her promise to go directly there after the massage to spill the details.  However, she couldn’t just leave her equipment there.  She sighed, rubbed her temples, and prepared herself to apologize profusely.
Dr. Kadowaki had showed a little trick in waking up SeeD mercenaries or student who were in their last requirements to becoming SeeDs, which fascinatingly enough did not work on other students.  It was a technique that was much easier than shaking someone and screaming their name.  Alexa reached down and lightly stroked Zell’s face.  He woke up with a start, practically leaping off the table with still-bruised fists poised.  Seeing Alexa and his dorm room, he quickly remembered the situation.
“Oh!  Sorry about that.  I guess I fell asleep or something,” he said grimacing and scratching the back of his head sheepishly.
“That’s perfectly all right,” she replied, pulling the sheets off the table.  “How do you feel?”
Zell moved his shoulders and neck and threw a few punches with his newly mobilized tissue.  “I feel great!” he exclaimed.  “I feel lighter and like I can more easily than before!”
Alexa smiled, and began to dismantle the table.
“I probably should have had this done before I fought Raijin!”
“Well, actually,” rejoined Alexa, “if you had you probably would have lost the match since you’re not used to fighting without tension residing in certain areas whether you’re conscious of it or not.”
“Oh really?” he replied, slightly puzzled by this fact.
“You’re used to your body only being able to move certain ways.  If I had given you a massage and then all the sudden your body moves differently, even though it’s more efficient, you’d have to change little things about the way you fight that you’re not used to doing or feeling.”
“Wow!”  Zell was impressed.  “You sure know a lot about this stuff.”
“Not really,” returned Alexa, looking down and away to not allow him to see her blushing at his compliment.
“Can I help you with that?” he offered, watching her dealing with the bulk of the table.
“Maybe you should get dressed,” she replied, relieved to be able to suggest something to rectify the situation of a Zell Dincht still standing in his underpants, intimidating and tantalizing her with his captivating form.
“Oh.  Good idea.”  He left to go find some clothes, being none the wiser of his intimidating, tantalizing and captivating form.
From another part of the dorm, presumably wherever Zell kept his clothes, Alexa heard him call out, “Whoa.  Do you realize you spent two hours on me?”
She bit her lip and prepared her apology.  “. . . Um  . . . really?  I’m sorry.”
“It’s okay,” Zell called back without any malice.  “Who knew I had so much tissue to mobilize?”
Alexa sighed in relief.
When Zell came back out, Alexa had finished folding and packing the table back into its case and was heading for the door.  She asked Zell to sign her clinical form, which he did happily, then she meekly said her thank yous and good-byes, which he returned.  She left the dorm, but as she got into the hallway, his voice arrested her, “Maybe I should have you mobilize my tissue again sometime.”
Alexa wasn’t sure if she could handle it again.  She felt she barely made it through this time.  “Well . . . it would be a good idea,” she admitted, thinking only of his benefit.
“Would I be able to ask for you again?”
Her heart stopped beating for a few seconds.  “You could . . . but there are a few other students with a focus in the myomassology course.  You wouldn’t have to get me.”  She knew the other member of the Library Committee would have pounded her if they knew she had suggested another student could work on him, not taking such a gaping opportunity to get closer to Zell like this.  But she felt that she hadn’t taken a breath in almost two hours, and if Zell could find someone who did a better job than she could, she preferred it if he kept that person.
“Yeah, I guess I could,” said Zell looking at his feet thoughtfully, “but I like your touch.  See you later, then.”  He moved away from the door allowing it to slide closed.
And for the second time that day, Alexa nearly fainted.
FF 8: Love Lessons from A to Z (part 1)
Final Fantasy VIII was the first video game I had played where the characters and the story got under my skin (in a good way).  It was difficult to stop playing it once I had started, and since that first playthrough, its the game I've probably played the most in my whole game collection even after the advent of the PS2, PS3, and now the PS4.  I suspect that in going back to this story and finally working through to finishing it, I'll probably be inspired to play the game again . . . for the sixth or seventh time.  I just love these characters and their interactions so much.
Anyway, this particular fan-fic is basically the fruition of Zell's relationship with the "girl from the library with the pigtail" who manifests in the game with specific side-events, revealing that she has a crush on Zell.  Although the story is mostly about this relationship, the love relationships and friendships between all the other characters are definitely explored as well, as they help Zell navigate his way through his own ordeal.  A long time ago, I found a Deviantart pic someone had done of the girl from the library, and I remember them saying that they felt that her name should begin with an A.  For some reason, I couldn't help but agree, and I think it's because it fits her being the opposite of Zell; he's loud and energetic, she works in a library and seems shy in talking to him, his name begins with a Z, so why not take the opposite of that and give her a name that begins with A.  I chose her last name as I did because it sounded like a similar nationality to Zell's (although we're dealing with a fantasy world) to show that although opposites, they're compatible . . . kinda like in theatre when they dress romantic couples in the same palette, y'know?  Anyway, hope you enjoy the first part.
Oh yeah, and Zell yelling "God bless the ring" is an in-joke to another video game Squaresoft did called, "Ehrgeiz: God Bless the Ring" which as you may know, Ehrgeiz is the name of Zell's ultimate weapon.
The drive from his sister’s house was at least a few hours, and during that time, Chris tried not to think about what was awaiting him at home, or of Claire’s strange request.  In fact, he thought about not honoring it for the sake of all the turmoil he’d recently caused his ex-partner.  When Chris got back to his house, he stood at the foot of the staircase, looking up at Jill’s room for a while, deciding.  Ultimately, something aside from Claire’s request was urging him to go.  Oddly, he remembered Jill saying when she brought him home that she didn’t have a problem with him being her room . . . he felt that it was an excuse, but he’d take it.  Chris ascended the stairs.
Upon opening the door, Chris was struck with the peculiarity of everything.  For one thing, he’d never known Jill to want to sleep in such a large bed, and for another, although nicely decorated, it didn’t have the specific trappings of a woman’s room as it seemed like it didn’t want to commit to décor that was gender specific.  In fact, the basic décor – the curtains, bedclothes, and chair upholstery – as sophisticated as it was, wasn’t even specific to Jill’s feminine tastes as he remembered them from her bedroom in her apartment years ago.  
As he kept looking around, he noticed other strange things.  He recognized her vanity, that was flanked on both sides with short dressers at the front of the room, which were not strange by themselves, but what did seem out of place was the additional tall dresser at the side of the room.  He’d never known Jill Valentine to be anything of a clotheshorse, so what could she possibly need the extra furniture for?  Something drew him there.  With unsettling familiarity, he pulled open one of the drawers from the tall dresser to find men’s clothes inside . . . no, not just men’s clothes, but his clothes, mostly seasonal things that he wouldn’t have needed before he left for Edonia.  Chris found it odd again that he’d have recognized that they were things that he wouldn’t have needed before then as if any of that really could have any importance, but yet, . . . it made sense.  He pulled more drawers.  Some of the contents had more seasonal things, but as he got toward the bottom, he found some with much fewer items and some with nothing in them.  Could it be possible that he just stored clothes he wasn’t wearing in Jill’s room?  Somehow that question didn’t make sense.  Those missing contents in those drawers were in the dresser in his room . . . a dresser that, up until now, had never seemed peculiar to him that wasn’t completely full of clothes.
Chris put his arms on top of the dresser and buried his face in them.  Something inside was desperately trying to wrest itself from the shadows of his mind to come to the forefront, and he had the feeling he would rather not see it.  He stood there like that for several moments, trying to come to grips with something he didn’t understand, before he realized that he’d never understand it until he found the missing piece that would make sense of all of this.  He decided to keep looking; and with that decision, he picked up his head, and found himself staring at Jill’s vanity again.  His intuition was urging him, so much so, that he was surprised when he found himself standing in front of it, apparently not being aware of taking the physical steps toward it.  But once there, he stood still, staring at it, not daring yet to touch anything.  His eyes landed on her jewelry box.  Jill rarely wore jewelry, and when she did, it was always something very simple: earring studs or a chain.  But Chris was aware, that Jill had a habit of putting things in her jewelry box that were important as long as they were small enough to fit.  Chris tried to tell himself that he was being stupid.  So what?  So Jill sometimes put important things in there; that didn’t mean that whatever clue he was looking for would be small enough to fit inside her jewelry box. . . .  And once again, he wasn’t aware of his actions until he saw his hand lifting the lid.
The box contained rows of velvet-lined sections holding exactly the kind of things Chris expected to see; earrings, chains of gold and silver, some with pendants some without, and a few random rings.  He was about to close the lid again . . . but one section’s contents caught his eye for the thickness of the simple gold band that was a size much too large for Jill’s slender fingers.  He picked it up to find a much smaller one had tried to come with it as the larger band was wide enough to encircle around the smaller one.  He jostled them in his palm to let them separate from each other.  They matched in design, but only the smaller one could possibly fit Jill.  Chris puzzled for a minute as he ignored that thing which was trying to worm its way uncomfortably into his conscious mind.  Once again, while it couldn’t find its way from the shadows, it found control of his body as it drove Chris to place the larger ring on the appropriate finger of his left hand.  
Like puzzle pieces rearranging or finally materializing to suddenly fall into their empty spaces revealing an image that had no relevant context until now, it came back.  It all came back. . . .  It . . . all . . . came . . . back. . . .
And Chris Redfield realized that which he didn’t want to remember.

Jill had been eager to get home.  For one reason, he wanted to see Chris.  For another reason, she needed to see Chris.  And for a third reason, while on her way to the house, she’d received an odd text message from her sister-in-law that had read, “I’m sorry” which Jill worried had something to do with Chris.
She quickly parked in the driveway, and hurried into the house especially after noticing his Hummer was there.  She called his name, but there wasn’t an answer back.  She quickly searched the first floor and then ran upstairs, calling for him again.  She quickly walked down the hallway toward his room, and called his name once more.  She didn’t need to make it to his room before she heard him answer: “I’m in here, Jill.”  She realized by the sound of his voice that he was definitely not in that particular room, but much closer in a more unnerving location.
Jill tried not to seem apprehensive upon entering their bedroom, especially when seeing him sitting in the chair across from her next to his dresser with his elbows resting on his knees and his eyes down, refusing to look at her.  Before the moment could linger, she spoke first.
“Hey, I need to talk to you-“
“I’ll bet you do,” he replied looking at his closed hand instead of her.  “I just need to ask you . . . when I had offered you a way out, why did you try to do it like this?”
“. . . Do what?”
He looked up at her and opened his hand to show her the two golden wedding bands.
Jill inhaled deeply.  She put her palms together and placed her hands to her lips, meditating on how to say what she needed to, praying that he would believe what he refused to three weeks before leaving for Edonia.
He turned his head to look away from her.  “If you didn’t want to be with me, why didn’t you just accept the divorce?”  He clenched his jaw and swallowed back a lump of emotion.  “It would make more sense than living with me for nothing.”  He dropped his eyes to the floor, not wanting to see her feelings of guilt and the surprise on her face.
But he wouldn’t have seen them if he’d dared to look because her intentions toward him could never be as cruel as he was imagining; her feelings for him went much deeper than he believed.
“That’s not what this was about, Chris.  This is not at all how I wanted you to find out.”
“Finding out isn’t the problem, Jill,” he replied forcefully as he stood up from the chair.  “It’s why you didn’t tell me – it’s why you even took off your wedding ring in the first place so I wouldn’t remember, or why you put me back in the guestroom instead of our bedroom!”
“Well, at that point, I didn’t know what else to do!  I was still too afraid to tell you!”  Her defense sounded feeble as her own words rang in her ears.
“Afraid of what, Valentine?  Afraid that you couldn’t be rid of me sooner?”
“No!  Of course not!” she quickly rejoined, trying to not notice that he called her by her maiden name.  “And would you listen to yourself?  If I wanted you out of my life, does it make any sense that I would still let you know that you lived here?”
“All my shit is here - you wouldn’t have had any other choice!  Besides, you’ve made it clear that you respect me, so out of that respect, I doubt you’d have kicked me out of our house, but it’s just fitting that you kept me out of our bedroom.”
The right words that would convince him still weren’t coming, and out of her impatience and frustration, all Jill could reply with was, “That had nothing to do with anything!  I truly didn’t mean for you to find out this way!”
“Well what ‘way’ were you going to tell me, Valentine?”
She cast her eyes to the side of room, looking for hope in the absence of answers, looking for eloquence in the abundance of that which was ineffable.  “I-I don’t know.  I hadn’t figured that out yet.”
Chris sighed and slowly shook his head at her.  He didn’t want to feel like a bully, grilling her for answers like he was.  He was aware that he had backed her into some kind of a corner, and this was a position they had never been in before, which definitely made it just as uncomfortable for him as he could see it was for her.  “Jill,” he said more quietly.  “I’m not looking for anything other than straight answers; I don’t want a convenient lie just to make the both of us feel better about what’s going on.  I just want you understand that regardless of your respect for me and my feelings - that you don’t have to hide anything.  I just want you to realize what you’re really feeling so we can just get this over with.  But I need to hear it from your lips, otherwise I won’t have the strength to leave you on my own.”
She rolled her eyes and released an exasperated sigh, but those actions weren’t cathartic enough to stop the tears from welling up.  “But that’s what I can’t ever seem to get across to you!  I don’t want anything other than this life!  I don’t want anyone other than you!  I tried telling you that before, but just like now, you never seem to understand that!”
His volume increased with his agitation, “And how am I supposed to understand that when I come home from losing my memories and my wife sticks me in the guestroom?!”
“Because I didn’t want you to remember this – this fight!” she replied matching his volume.  “Because I know that you love me so much that you’d give up everything you’ve wanted just so I can be happy!”
“That’s right,” he said with a steady calm.  “I do love you like that.  And the fact that weeks before I left for Edonia, you told me that it wasn’t love but respect for me that got you agreeing to this marriage – the fact that you didn’t tell me we were married when I came back, leaves me with no other choice but to believe that you’re denying that now only because you genuinely don’t want to hurt me through that same respect and that the best thing I could do for you is to free you from this.   That’s what I understand from all of this, and what you don’t seem to understand is the pain I feel from your loveless respect – the pain of knowing that you never returned my love for you, knowing that every time we’re intimate that you don’t want me as much as I want you, knowing that no matter how much closer it seems like we are, we’re still only as close as we were as partners in combat.  And that’s not the life I thought I was giving you.  If I had realized that sooner, there would have been no point in us promising our lives to each other.  And out of principle and how I feel about you, I can’t stay here and keep you from feeling as fulfilled as I did before all this happened.”
The tears were flowing freely from her eyes now in silent streams.  She was desperately afraid of the outcome of this, and there was only one antidote that had always worked at overcoming her fears, and it was standing in front of her.  She came up close to him, and touched his arm.  He pulled back, and turned away from her.  “Chris,” she whispered, her voice quavering.  “Please . . . I – I need you to hold me.  Please.”
In spite of his pain, Chris could not ever refuse a request for help and security from Jill Valentine, especially a tearful one.  He knew it was going to make this harder, but he was compelled to aid her.  He turned back toward her, and gently enfolded her into an embrace, feeling her body relax into his, and her arms pulling him closer.  He sighed, and rested his head onto hers.  The amount of pleasure and contentment he received in holding her completely disregarded all his feelings of emotional pain.
“Christmas morning,” Jill began tearfully, “when Claire and I got the call from the BSAA about what happened to you, before they could tell me that you were safe and alive, a million thoughts raced through my mind at once about how I was going to live without you and even whether or not I wanted to.  I don’t even remember what life felt like without you being here.  And afterward, I felt so guilty about what happened to you because I wondered if I had caused it – that if I had understood myself better, if I hadn’t said what I did in the way that I did, that it wouldn’t have been in the back of your mind, possibly making you a little careless about your self-preservation.  Piers told me and Claire what happened, and I had to ask him if you had said anything about me or the fight we’d had.  When we came back, your sister asked me why would I have asked Piers something like that, so I told her.  She asked me a bunch of questions, and I answered her honestly.  She basically said that I do love you, but I had been confusing it for respect because until you came into my life, all I had to go on to model male and female relationships on was what I saw from my mother who never respected any of the men she was with. . . .”
“. . . Okay . . . .”  It was an emotionless and unsatisfying reply from him.
“I’m telling you this so that you understand that I’m not changing my story to get you to stay or to be diplomatic.  I only had to understand it better myself so now you can understand.”
Chris sighed heavily.  It made sense, and he wanted to believe her, but the pain was still freshly churning, and he couldn’t shake the upset she had caused him and could have avoided had she just done something as simple as not take off her wedding ring so he could have remembered everything.  Would the fight have started all over had she walked into his hospital room that first day?  He couldn’t tell.  Either way, it was an odd thing for her to do.  For Jill to choose such a strange action, Chris knew that she was either telling the truth and had been so fearful of losing him right away that she took this risk to desperately keep that from happening, or she really had hoped that he would never remember and keep on as they had been for reasons only she could really know.  Neither action really sounded like Jill, but the first only didn’t sound like her because he wasn’t used to the idea; the second didn’t sound like her because she was much more intelligent and didn’t leave things to chance like that.  The odds were better for the former, but still, it was difficult to internalize.
“Okay, Jill,” he said again, just as devoid of discernible emotion as he had before.  He stroked her head as it lay on his shoulder.  “Okay.”
They would eventually separate from the embrace, and Chris would wipe away the remnants of her tears just as he always did, but for hours later, things wouldn’t feel the same.  There were no more words of separation or divorce, but the resolution was wholly incomplete.  Chris felt that this was his fault, but he didn’t know why he couldn’t just let it all go and resume their lives as they had before the fight several months ago.  Jill felt it too.  Relieved that he seemed to believe her, but knowing that something was still off, she didn’t press the issue any further because her husband never reacted well to being pushed.
That night found Chris Redfield putting his clothes back inside the dresser of the master bedroom.  He closed the drawer, and didn’t move for several seconds.
Jill was sitting upright in bed, rubbing lotion on her hands, and had been observing him the entire time.  “Something wrong?” she made sure her tone was gentle.
“Are you sure this is okay?”  He didn’t look at her, and didn’t know why he couldn’t.
“Of course.  It was your idea to move into the guestroom originally, remember?”
“Yeah,” he said quietly.  Chris walked over to the bed, and silently got in, settling into the very familiar pillows and sheets.  His body remembered how odd the guestroom bed had felt in comparison to this.  It was this intimate setting – the soft lighting, the bed, and Jill beside him that made him realize why he still wasn’t at ease with the whole situation: despite everything she’d said to him yesterday and today, she never said the actual words that expressed what he once took for granted, but after all this, needed her to physically say it.  He closed his eyes, and told himself to let it go.
He heard the click of her bedside lamp as she transitioned the switch.  He realized then that he hadn’t turned off the lamp on the nightstand beside him, but just as he opened his eyes to do that, he felt Jill’s body slide across him and turn off his light.  In the darkness, he felt her nestle close against him between his side and his arm.  Her warmth and closeness felt good, and Chris reminded himself that he didn’t need to feel uneasy; after all, their altercation was over.  He tried to force himself to let go of all the emotional turmoil, but it wasn’t working.  He had no reason really to not trust his wife’s explanation for her true feelings not being communicated properly, however, he realized that he didn’t truly have a foundation of words or actions from her to fully trust that explanation either.  He quickly searched his memories but couldn’t find anything from her founded in love that could be separated from the inspiration of respect.  Love and respect were too good of a combination together that one really shouldn’t be able to separate them anyway.  Since he couldn’t figure it out, and since she felt too good lying against him, Chris allowed himself to bring his arm around her.  He heaved a sigh.
Jill brought herself a little closer to lay her head on his shoulder and her hand on his chest.  “. . . You know . . .” she began quietly, “you’ve been home months now, and we haven’t ‘celebrated’ properly.”
It was the first time she had ever brought something like that to his attention.  During the past few years, when he hadn’t questioned her feelings, when it was possible for him to feel welcome to her affections, when he came home from missions, he always instigated their amorous encounters.  Her statement sounded like a suggestion, but it felt like a guilty move on her part, born from tradition and duty just like the night before he left. Just like months ago, Chris could admit to himself that he really would have liked to accept her offer, but he just couldn’t – not under the recent emotional circumstances.  “It’s all right,” he replied.  “Don’t worry about it.”  His own words of refusal caused an ache in his chest.  The purely physical parts of him accused his heart and mind of being insane, masochistic terrorists against the union.
Jill couldn’t help but see a parallel to tonight and the night before Chris left.  Back then, she had wished she had tried harder, although knowing that he still would’ve refused her.  She now realized what piece had been missing.  She summoned up some courage and let it mingle with her vulnerability that she knew her husband couldn’t resist.  She pushed herself up onto his chest, tenderly kissing it and slowly bringing herself closer to his face.  She felt him grab onto her to stop her ascent to his lips, then relent as his resolve wore off, then regain himself and resist her again.
“Jill, please.  You don’t have to do this.”
She stopped and looked up at him.  “But what if I want to?  What am I supposed to do when I need you?”
He regarded her and her words steadily in the darkness for a moment.  He had answer for her, in that while keeping her close, he gently pushed her off so he could position himself on top of her.  Wrapping his strong arms around her smaller frame, he pulled her into himself and a long awaited, unrestrained, passionate kiss.  Jill received it and gave it back to him, matching his intensity, bringing him as close as she was physically able.
Suddenly, Chris pulled back from the embrace, ushering in a blast of cold in the absence of his warmth.  He cast his face downward so she couldn’t have access to it.
“What’s wrong?”
He needed her to know that although he was doing this for her, that it wasn’t devoid of his most powerful feelings for her even if he felt that she couldn’t truly return them.  He looked back up into her eyes.  “I love you, Jill Valentine.”
Relieved that he wasn’t intending to stop, she smiled and touched his face.  “That’s Jill Redfield to you, buster!”
It was enough to break some of the tension, and she saw Chris laugh a little at her playful feistiness.  “Oh, excuse me, then,” he said and began to kiss her neck.
“Yeah, you better ask me to excuse you,” she replied, lavishing in his long-awaited affection.  “My husband will kick your ass.”
“I highly doubt that, Mrs. Redfield.  I’m pretty strong,” said Chris in a heavy breath before he returned to find more available places on Jill that could use some attention.
“Yeah, well, my husband’s a big, sexy, beefcake who knows more ways in how to kill a zombie, save the world from bioterrorism, and please his wife than you know about . . .” she was struggling for words as it was becoming more difficult to think about anything other than what Chris was doing.  “Folding socks!”
Chris stopped and looked at her, amused, knowing how her concentration was being compromised.  “Folding socks, eh?”
“Yeah?  Well . . . I know a lot of different ways to fold socks.”
“I know,” she breathed.
“Your husband sounds insane, Mrs. Redfield.”
“He’s that too.  And he’s amazing, and I love him more than anything.”
“. . . Really?”
“. . . Yes . . . really.”  She returned Chris’ gaze.
He could clearly see her sincerity even in the darkness, illuminated only slightly by moonlight through the blinds.  As usual, when Chris was truly touched by something powerful from within, he had a difficult time keeping it to himself.  He tenderly caressed Jill’s face with one hand, and she smiled contentedly.  “That’s all I needed to know.”
Jill pulled him close again, wrapping her arms around him.  They both nestled deeply into the curves and sinews of the other, acknowledging the need they both had for each other that was founded in great respect and immeasurable love.
RE: Bio-Memory Recall Pt. 6 (End)
Whew!  Finally finished this thing!  I think this one took me the longest to finish. I knew how I wanted to do it, but it needed to feel organic.  This time I just sat down and did and trusted whatever came out.  Then finessed it and polished it a little.  I think I'm happy with it and hopefully those who have been reading it and have been following my RE fanfics are as well.
. . . Oh yeah, the last scene . . . well, . . . you can think whatever makes the ending work for you. ;)
After that day, Chris refused to ask any more revealing questions of Jill for fear of the answers.  As the weeks went by, the visions came with more regularity and sharpness, and he was appalled with himself at their cause even though it was still a mystery to him.  At this point, he didn’t want to figure out their origin as he deeply felt it could only lead to something painful.  The only action he could take to quell his guilt was to remove himself from Jill’s presence as much as possible to stop encouraging whatever it was that was creating the visions.  Whether the visions were founded in memories of actions done on his part through the abhorrent and shameful mix of misinformation and moments of unguarded and unbridled lust thrust upon his partner during the time of her compromised mental clarity, or whether they were simply the stuff of repressed longing manifesting into very vivid and uncontrollable fantasies, keeping himself away from her was the least he could do to try to uphold his partner’s dignity in his subconscious mind.
But Jill couldn’t know about Chris’ burgeoning memories that he didn’t understand for lack of proper context, nor of his crushing guilt for having them, but she did notice his lack of presence around her as well as her own building desire to be close to him.  But it wasn’t just desire she felt as it was also her own guilt – the guilt of not telling him the truth that would allow her to help him face the particular demons that often came within this type of recovery.
Chris had come down from the sanctuary of his room into the kitchen to take some medication prescribed by Dr. Mangus, and he believed that he had made a successful covert maneuver in that Jill didn’t hear him, but being on watch for him, Jill made a covert maneuver of her own as she was just then standing silently in the doorway undetected, thinking of her next move.  And it was as she stood there, watching him with his back toward her, that she began to feel the full realization of how she had been abandoning him to fight the demons alone.  She felt her intense want to make amends for this and mollify her own need for him.
She watched him going through the orange prescription bottles full of anti-depressants and things claiming to relieve anxiety to dole out the little pills in his hand – a hand that was part to a whole body that had given itself over completely to the war against greed and bioweaponry, and for the protection of innocents.  It was a body owned by a man who had already given and suffered so much, but who she knew would go back out and do it again to give and suffer until there was nothing left of him.  He was a man that was labeled a hero time and again, but the man never accepted the title in his own mind.  Although he’d had partners and a team beside him through much of the physical and worldly struggles, he was alone in his mental and emotional struggles, not because he had to be, but because the one person who could help had deserted him.
Jill thought back on how much he had been there for her, supporting her in every way he possibly could in her rehabilitation after Kijuju, opening his home and life to her.  He made sure she was never alone with her internal turmoil – he had never abandoned her.  Tears stung her eyes, she momentarily pressed her lips together and swallowed back the lump in her throat.  It was time for her, the one person who knew his pain the best, to make things right.
Before Chris knew it, he felt slender arms wrap around him and a female body rest against his muscled back.  The hands, much smaller than his, rested themselves on his broad chest and pressed him closer.  He could feel Jill’s curves and softness that were ushering in similar feelings that the visions tended to cause.  He pushed them away for the sake of Jill’s dignity and safety, consciously reminding himself how much he honored her and how much more she was worth than being relegated to the world of his lustful “fantasies” or being the victim of them.  He needed her to stop touching him, but he knew he couldn’t just push her away for the sake of upsetting her.  Regardless of his own foulness, he somehow knew that physical affection from Jill was usually unprecedented, or at best, something she didn’t initiate; he had to be receptive to whatever her emotional need of him was right now for something couldn’t be right if she was doing this.
Chris placed a warm hand over one of hers.  “Are you okay?”
He felt her inhale deeply which momentarily pressed more of her body into his.  He tried to ignore the sensation.
“I’m so glad you’re home,” she whispered.  Those weren’t the words she wanted to say, but she couldn’t say the right ones without confusing him.
“Yeah . . . me too,” he replied, gently rubbing her hand.  Knowing Jill like he did, who didn’t tend to let moments linger, Chris believed that was the end of it, and she’d let go and walk away.  It surprised him that she didn’t.
“But you don’t understand . . . .”
Even though she was still whispering, he could hear the quavering in her voice, and it worried him.  He focused all his energy on how to help her instead of what she was unconsciously physically doing to him.  “What don’t I understand?”
“How much I miss you when you’re gone.  How much I worry that you won’t come back.”
Jill’s words coupled with her tone were foreign to him, even when filtered through the mists of his clouded unconscious where there were memories still yet to be reclaimed.  He didn’t know what to do with those words.  “Well . . . I . . . I’m here now,” he replied feebly.
“It just frightens me,” she continued, “because I know you.  If something happens, you won’t stop when the missions over.  If you think you can do something, you won’t stop until the threat is neutralized even at the cost of your life.  Even though you still didn’t have all of your memory back, you did the same thing in China – you didn’t stop until it was truly over.  Back when we were partners, I felt the same way, and I’d have been by your side through anything and everything.  But now that I can’t be with you, when you leave, I find myself praying that the mission won’t lead you to such lengths just so I can have you home safe and alive.  And then I feel guilty for wanting that because I also know that if there’s one man out there who will do whatever’s necessary to save the world, and might be its last hope, it’s you.”
Chris needed a moment to respond, as Jill had never spoken such words before.  She was a warm and kind person, but in all their thirteen years of history, she’d never verbally revealed such sentiments toward him.  He recognized that he wanted them to mean something that she probably wasn’t truly saying even when coupled with such physical closeness.  So he replied in a way to goad her into clarifying what he knew she must have meant.  “Yeah, but . . . like you said, you’ve always felt the same way as I did when we were still partners.  You wouldn’t stop either.”
“I know.  I understand how you feel when you do that, and if I could still be out in the field, I truly would still feel the same way.  It’s just different now.  It’s just that . . .  being separated from you like that makes me think about being separated from you for the rest of my life, and how much I don’t think I could face that.”  She quickly buried her face in between his shoulders to hide her tears.
Chris felt the heaving of her chest from her quiet sobs and was very aware she was crying.  He’d seen her cry in the past, but he was never the cause of it before.  He pulled her arms off himself to turn around and face her, wrapping a strong arm around her, pulling her close, and wiping her tears with the other hand.  
“Hey, c’mon,” he said tenderly.  “This isn’t like you.  You’re usually the positive one, remember?  You’re the one who was always telling me how things aren’t hopeless whenever I got down.  I’m not really sure what brought all this on, but I don’t think it’s worth you crying over.”
Jill released a deep sigh, feeling some relief from her husband’s touch.  She reached up and placed her hand over his on her cheek to keep it right where it was.  She wanted all the confusion, the lack of intimacy, and the myriad of all related things to stop.  She wanted her husband back, the fear to leave, and the peace she had enjoyed with him before their fight prior to Edonia to return.  Jill looked up at him deeply with moist eyes.  “But you’re worth everything to me, Chris.”
He couldn’t speak.  Her words were echoing in his heart and mind, touching places and provoking memories to come into the clear from the shadowed recesses, however, the body was remembering before the mind had time to sort through history and acknowledge what was Truth and what was fantasy.
Jill saw the shift in Chris’ eyes, a storm of confusion and hope.  She stood firm against that storm, baring her vulnerability to it with her own eyes that she kept to his.
And, like he had once before only a few years ago, Chris Redfield, who didn’t trust his own words to convey anything properly in times such as this with so much on the line, allowed his actions to do all the speaking.  Jill felt a rush of elation the moment his lips found hers and he pulled her into himself, close enough to feel the pounding of his heart against her chest.  She reached up to place a hand in his hair for a small action to keep him close and surrendered herself to the torrent of his passionate affection for her, and hers for him.  After being exiled to the desert for so long, she had found an oasis.
But the relief, no matter how gratifying, was short lived.  Suddenly Jill felt Chris’ muscular arms untwine themselves around her, and strong hands grab her arms and rip her away.  This time, from this rejection, Jill would’ve rushed back into his arms, but he was holding her fast as far away as they were physically able.  
Chris was trying to catch his breath with his head hung low, knowing he was unable to tolerate Jill’s eyes in that moment.
“I’m so sorry, Jill,” he panted.
She didn’t know it, but tears were beginning to stream down her countenance.  “Why? . . . F-for what?”
“I . . .” he searched for the right word, “respect you more than this.”
But that word haunted her.  “I – I know.  I have to talk to you about something that we should’ve talked about as soon as you got home, but I just didn’t know how to say it . . . .”
He let go of her, but turned away and began leaving the kitchen.  She tried to follow him, but his long strides were difficult to keep up with.
“You don’t have to say anything, Jill.  In fact, I don’t think I can bear to hear it right now.”
“No.  Please listen to me - ”
“I’m sorry.  It’s not happening.”  He grabbed his keys off the small, decorative table next to the front door.
She realized his intention.  “Where are you going?”  But before she could even complete the question, Chris had closed the door behind him.  It took her several more strides to reach it, only as soon as she was able to get it open, she saw her husband’s Hummer quickly backing out of the driveway, and peeling down the street.
Softly, she closed the door, well aware now of the steady rivulets of tears on her face.  Jill leaned her forehead against the door and began sobbing with the heavy pall of remorse closing in around her.

“Er . . . no, I haven’t seen him,” said Claire, biting her lip with her cell phone to her ear.  “How bad was the fight?”  She waited for the response, although she knew what to expect.  “Oh.  I see,” she said.  “Okay, well, I’ll call you back if he shows up for sure.  Call me if – uh – when he comes home.”  She waited again.  “All right, bye.”  She pulled the phone from her ear and tapped the screen.  Claire looked with some disdain across the kitchen table from where she was sitting.  “Don’t you ever make me lie to her like that again.”
Chris doggedly looked away.
“She sounded like she had been crying.”
“. . . Yeah.”
“’Yeah’?  That’s all you can say?”
“What do you want from me, Claire?  I feel like shit enough as it is!”  He quickly removed himself from the chair and turned his back to his sister.
“I want you go home and resolve this.  That’s what I want.”
He sighed heavily.  “I can’t right now.  I . . . went too far.”  Chris rubbed his temples with one hand to calm a headache born of too much emotion in too short of time and the guilt of his resulting actions.
“Well, what happened?  You’ve been here for twenty minutes now, and you still haven’t told me.”
He was reluctant to tell the tenacious redhead anything, although he knew she’d get the truth out of him sooner or later regardless.  He turned to face her.  “I – I kissed her, okay?” he stated, trying his best to bury his hurt and present it as anger.  He expected Claire to react, but she only blinked from her steady gaze.  “You know how I’ve felt about her –“ he was struggling for understanding, more from himself than from his sister.  “She was saying something about how she was scared about losing me, and . . . I kissed her.  A full on . . . make-out, seconds-away-from-taking-her-to-bed kiss!”
Claire knew she had to be very calm and docile for her brother’s and sister-in-law’s sake.  “So then what?”
“Once I realized what I was doing, I pushed her away and left.”
“You pushed her away?”
Claire bit her lips and averted her eyes for a moment before returning them to his.  “. . . She loves you.”
“Don’t start with this!” he warned.
“Chris,” she began steadily, “this isn’t just about me wanting you to make Jill Valentine my sister-in-law or even simply teasing you about your feelings.  Jill loves you.”
“No, she respects me!  That’s all there is to it.”
“Why are you so sure?”
“Because I just know.”
Claire leaned back in her chair.  “Then why would she allow you to kiss her?  You stopped it, right?  Why was she willing to let it continue at least for longer than you were?”
Her questions unsettled him, but his convictions were stronger.  “I don’t know, Claire.  Maybe because she’s a human being with needs she hasn’t acknowledged in thirteen years.  She’s comfortable with me.  She got desperate, and I’m available.”
Claire shook her head.  “No.”
“No, that’s not what’s going on.”
“Uh, I think I know my ex-partner a little better than you do.”  He crossed his thick arms over his broad chest to help shield his heart.
“Chris, . . . does that even sound like Jill?  That she would be callous or selfish enough to manipulate you into making out with her?”
He turned his head away, searching for an answer in the corner of the kitchen floor, but it wasn’t hiding there.
“. . . Well?”
“Okay, no, that doesn’t sound like something she’d do.  I took her off-guard, and I’m so much stronger than her, I probably didn’t notice her resist me.”  He pushed away the memory of the sensation of her hand in his hair that denied his claim.
“Geez, Chris,” released Claire in a sigh, hanging her head as she shook it.  “You’ve never been selfish enough when it came to Jill to not be aware of her.”
“Well, y’know, it’s been thirteen years of holding this all back.  And I’m learning that if I’m capable of killing every young man on my team, then I’m capable of being selfish enough to do something like this.”
Claire’s eyes narrowed at the gravity of her brother’s words.  “Don’t you ever talk about yourself like that,” she warned.
“It’s true though!”
“No, it isn’t!” exclaimed Claire, finally standing up to make herself more of a force to reckon with.  “First off, you didn’t kill those boys – it’s part of the job, and secondly, why the hell can’t you accept the sheer possibility that Jill is actually in love with you?”
“Because she just isn’t!”
“How can you say that with such conviction?”
“I don’t – know.”  Chris was struggling for words again.  “But I just know it.  I feel like she told me that at one time – that respect, as wonderful and at such a high level she has for me, is the only thing that she feels for me.  And because she has such high respect for me, it often looks like something it isn’t, but it’s not love!  It’s not.”
Claire stepped back and sighed.  She couldn’t help but look at him with sadness and compassion.  She understood, that although Chris couldn’t remember the details or access the exact memory of the altercation he’d had with Jill three weeks before he left for Edonia, his perception of her words to him then had cut him so deeply, the wound was still very relevant.  Although the memory was lost in the recesses, the feelings were at the forefront of his mind.  The realization made Claire wonder if that was why the recovery of certain memories seemed to be taking so long, and why certain other clues he must’ve seen around him about his life weren’t awakening specific memories properly, or at best, were placing them in strange contexts.  She wanted to tell him the truth about everything, but knew that it wasn’t her place to do so.  Claire prayed that any guidance that came out of her mouth next, wouldn’t be too out of her jurisdiction.
“How long are you staying here?” she asked.
“I don’t know,” he replied, looking away again.  “I’d feel the best if you let me stay the night.”
“She’s going to worry about you.”
“Can you just do me the favor of letting me stay here since it’s a long drive anyway and calling her for me?”
She shrugged.  “I guess.”
“I just don’t think I can bear to hear what I think she has to say to me in the light of what’s happened.”
“What do you mean?”
Chris sighed and momentarily averted his eyes to the ceiling.  “Before I left she’d said something about needing to talk to me about something.  I know what it’s about, and I just don’t need a lecture from her, no matter how respectful, on how she doesn’t feel about me.  I’d just rather forget the whole thing happened.”
“But what if, that’s not what it’s about?” Claire asked quietly, knowing exactly what Jill needed to say to him.
“It is,” her brother insisted.  “She’s pushed me away in that context for thirteen years, why would it be anything different now?”
Claire looked down in thought.  She supposed that she couldn’t really trust that what Jill needed to say to Chris was definitely the reveal of their marriage; it was just an educated guess.  And it wasn’t really Claire’s business, however, looking at all the pain this situation was causing, she didn’t want any chances taken.  It had to end.  “Okay.  Well, then, since I’m letting you hide out here tonight, can you do me a favor?”
“Does Jill have a place where she stores important personal things?”
Chris furrowed his brows, and wasn’t sure how he knew the answer.  “Yeah.”
“Okay.  When you get home tomorrow, since by the time you get there, she’ll still be at work, I want you to look in that place.”
Chris scowled.  “You want me to spy on her and break her trust?”
“I’m not sure that you actually will be when you find it.”
He blinked slowly.
“Just . . . trust me.”
RE: Bio-Memory Recall Pt. 5
. . . It's not that I haven't been writing . . .  it's more like, I was trying to finish to get the end all in one chapter, so I've been sitting on this a lot.  I seriously have a few paragraphs or less to go to have it finished, but it's difficult getting the right mood?  Essence?  The right amount of believability for a clean resolution?  I'm kinda going for all those things, so I've been meditating on it a lot.  Maybe I'll get it, maybe I won't.  Either way, not that I've broken the ending up into two chapters, I'll probably finish the last one today and have it up, like I'll magically know exactly how things need to happen.  Yeeesh. 
So, until then (even if it's only by tonight), enjoy!
The Gyms of Eternia by CapnHannahSolo
The Gyms of Eternia
It's been a long while since I photoshopped any Ghost Adventures stuff, and I seriously was doing one like once a month.  Ah well.  Just haven't been very inspired lately, but I am on a Skeletor and MOTU kick.
I didn't create the graphic on Zak's shirt.  That was done by WEWEX, someone much more talented (and probably inspired than I am), but you can buy your own Snake Mountain t-shirt from the original artist right here:…



Artist | Student | Varied
United States
Current Residence: Eastpointe, Mi
Favourite genre of music: Rock, alternative and all their deviations.
Favourite style of art: Man, I don't think I could have a favorite.
Favourite cartoon character: Master Shake from Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and Peanut from Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law.

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LimonTea Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thank U very much for the fave!
Find a minute to take a look at other my arts:…
FlygohrEmeraldine Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thank you for the fav :D
Lilinebaka Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2013
Thank you for fav.:)
CapnHannahSolo Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2013  Student General Artist
Thanks for making cute Valenfield-esque artwork for me to appreciate. ;)
Joe-Roberts Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for faving Nightmares Reign [link] :)
AngelicaShadow Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2009
Thanks for the fave!
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diekusse Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for the :+fav:. I appreciate it.
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Thanks for the fav ^_^
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