A Rose by Any Other Name

Finders Keepers

"Wesker!" The scream echoed in the tiny recovery room and sent a sleeping scientist to his feet. Miranda Harley sat up in her hospital bed and gasped for breath, but her eyes remained closed.

"Ms. Harley!" The man shouted, gently shaking her shoulders.

"Wesker!" Her desperate cry only grew louder.

"Here." A soft voice spoke from behind the scientist. Riley Davis hobbled to the bed and sat down, pulling Miranda against his chest. "I'm here."

She gulped on much needed air, but her eyes still didn't open. Slowly her breathing returned to normal. "Safe and sound, Wesker." Riley muttered to the ceiling as he stroked Miranda's hair. "Safe and sound."

For Leon Kennedy his irrational fears of losing Sherry had just become extremely rational. "Sherry!" He shouted to the empty room. But Sherry Birkin would not hear him. She had disappeared without a trace.

"Looking for something, Officer Kennedy?" At the sound of his name, Leon turned.

"You." He was staring into the face of a dead man. "Robert Jacks." Jacks took a small mocking bow.

"I am he."

Leon glared at the man in black. "Where's Sherry?" He ground out.

"It seems to me you have a problem keeping up with people." Jacks snorted. Leon jumped at him and tackled him to the floor. Jacks grabbed him by the neck and balanced himself on Leon's throat. "You're sort of a slow learner, huh?"

Leon's gun at his temple just made his smile broader. "Smile at this." Leon pulled the trigger and watched in relief as Jacks fell to the floor. He was not aware that the bullet had missed his opponent completely. He stood and moved to the door. "Sherry?" He shouted to the hallway. Behind him Robert Jacks rose slowly.

"Mr. Kennedy." He said deliberately. "I've had a very bad life." Grabbing him by his hair, Jacks hauled him backward. "I've been killed more times than you can count and I still keep coming back." Leon grabbed at his wrist to no avail. "I'm about to kick your ass because not only will it boost my ego, it will make me feel a hell of a lot better." He yanked at his hair harder and pulled him backward so he could get a clean shot at his ribs.

The pain arced through Leon like lighting and he gasped. He hadn't known anyone could kick that hard. When Jacks let him go, he fell to the floor and lay still for a few moments trying to focus on anything but the pain. "It won't help you." Jacks whispered in his ear.

"Where's Sherry?" Leon shouted at last, climbing to his feet. Miraculously he'd held onto his gun. "I mean it, asshole. Give her to me."

Jacks stood back and scratched at his chin. "Kiss my…" The gun fired into his shoulder before he could even finish his sentence. He looked down at the wound and then back at Leon, a curt laugh echoing around them. "Don't you listen?" he roared storming toward a receding Kennedy. "I said I've had a very bad life!" He drove the heel of his hand into the soft flesh below his chin and watched as Leon's head snapped backward.

Leon fell to his knees in a daze. His eyes were beginning to glaze over as Jacks stood above him. "Where's Sherry?" He asked again, through his haze.

"I'll put it this way," the deep wicked tone floated unhindered through his mind. "Finders keepers." The fist that connected with his nose went unnoticed. Leon S. Kennedy had already lost consciousness.

The metal cord broke easily in Wesker's fingers and in the same instance he was breaking through the surface. He filled his lungs with air even though it wasn't necessary. He pounded the water with his fist. He couldn't believe he'd fallen for one of the oldest tricks in the book. The anger boiling inside of him was threatening to send him over the edge. Once again he felt like killing something, just to see its blood run through his fingers. He imagined yanking out Chris Redfield's heart. The bloody image did nothing to soothe the monster inside of him.

Wesker slapped his fists on the water's surface and growled in frustration. He didn't see how his day could get any worse. If he didn't kill something and soon, the monster inside him was likely to do the job for him. He'd been keeping it well in check so far, but he couldn't keep it up forever. He closed his eyes. He needed Miranda in more ways than he wanted to admit. She was the only living link he had to Umbrella. She was the key to his future…

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