A Rose by Any Other Name

No News is Good News

"Bingo!" Miranda's jubilant shout echoed down the dark hallway followed closely by Riley's exasperated sigh.

"For the hundredth time…M…I told you. It's UNO!" The sigh came again. "When you get to your last card, you yell "Uno", not Bingo. Now draw a card."

"Damn." Lighting lit up the empty rooms and cast out eerie shadows on the hallway. For a moment they illuminated the figure of a man walking slowly but intently toward the room where Miranda and Riley sat playing cards. "Bingo!"

The sound of wet shoes stopped Riley from saying more. He sat forward and narrowed his eyes. "Did you hear that?" They were sitting on the bed that Wesker and Miranda usually shared playing cards. While they were recovering, there wasn't much else to do.

"Yeah." Miranda whispered. She laid her last card on the pile. "It's the sound of me kicking your ass again. Bingo!"

"It's not Bingo damn it!" Riley shrugged off the overwhelming thought that something disastrous was about to occur.

Another flash of lighting revealed the form of Albert Wesker in the doorway. His face was set in an angry sneer. "What the hell are you two doing in here?" He was soaking wet from head to toe. Water dripped onto the floor in riotous fashion.

At the sound of his voice, Miranda jumped. She looked at Riley, her own face a well of emotions. Suddenly she smiled. "Bingo." She said softly as she held up some of the Uno cards. "We've been playing Bingo." Riley sighed again.

Wesker didn't answer her. He was staring at the white cotton nightgown that clung to her curves as if even they couldn't bear not to touch her skin. Angrily, he grabbed her by the hips and dragged her off the bed.

Miranda's cry of pain stopped him instantly and he set her down on her feet. Glaring down at her he spoke to Riley. "Get out." Without argument, Riley did as he was told. It wouldn't do to provoke Wesker's anger further. "I'll deal with you later."

As soon as Riley was gone, Wesker yanked the gown up over her hips and scowled. He reached out and gently touched the bandage on her left hip that was rapidly turning red. Miranda gazed at him steadily, but didn't move. "What have you done?" His eyes narrowed as she tipped up her chin in defiance.

"I gave Riley my tissue." She spoke proudly. If he hadn't been so angry, he would have recognized the pride that welled up in his stomach. But for the moment he chose to ignore everything.

"Stay here." He growled under his breath. "I'm not finished with you either." He turned to quickly to see Miranda's mutinous glare.

Standing in front of the Head Office doorway he finally realized what he was doing. The door was already open as if they were expecting him. He entered and stood in the darkness. Not for the first time he wondered why this darkness was almost tangible. It was as if it were somehow alive.

"Mr. Wesker." The female voice greeted him, although her greeting sounded somewhat indistinct.

"Who gave Miranda Harley the authorization to give Davis her body?" He snarled

"We did, Mr. Wesker." The deep male voice spoke in even tones.

"Why?" His own voice lowered to a deadly decibel.

"Why does it matter so much to you?" the other man sounded interested.

"She is mine." Wesker growled softly.

"She does not belong here." The female spoke in a deliberate tone.

Wesker opened his mouth and closed it again. "She is mine." He repeated at last.

"Understandable, Mr. Wesker." The deep male voice added.

"She will pay for your sins." The female warned. Wesker glared at through the darkness and knew she saw his eyes. Without another word, he left them. Whatever they'd meant to tell him had fallen on deaf ears. He'd had his share of riddles to last a lifetime.

"Riley!" Wesker bellowed.

"Wesker!" Riley shouted back, leaning his head out the side lab doorway. "Jacks isn't back, I have a cramp in my other leg, and I think I ate way too many beans for dinner." Slowly but surely, Wesker gave him a half smile. He was winding down a little. "Miranda can cook, bro. Man can she cook. Did you know that?"

"No." He answered harshly. "We have other things to discuss Mr. Davis."

"Listen, Wesker, it was just a game of Bingo. Miranda didn't want to be alone." He muttered defensively. "Her dreams are getting worse."

"I know." Wesker said without looking at him. "But that's not what I came here to talk about." Riley cocked an eyebrow and frowned. He was almost sure the Captain was going to beat the living daylights out of him. He'd been preparing himself for it. "Some one got to Sheena Island before I did and did my work for me."

"Shit." Riley muttered.

"But what I'd like to know is why the hell you never answered the com-link?" He growled.

"Someone shut down communications I guess. I'd been trying to reach you but the link never responded. I thought you wanted to take care of everything alone so I left it alone." Riley answered with a sniff. "I was only doing what I thought you wanted."

"And what of Jacks?"

"I lost communications with him around the same time."

"Was it because you were more worried about getting your tissue than doing your job?"

"You are such an asshole." Riley said sharply.

Wesker chuckled. "I've been told so." Both he and Riley sat silent for a few moments staring at the monitors in front of them.

"I've got some good news and a bunch of bad news." He said at last. Wesker looked at him and scowled.

"And what might that be?"

"The bad news?"


"We'll start simple." Riley muttered. "I've finished the Hunter prototype that I was telling you about." Leaning forward he pulled a small remote out of the drawer. "Push the button." Wesker did as Riley asked and instantly the camera machine in front of them came to life. A projector-like light illuminated him and suddenly and earsplitting alarm began to sound. Riley tossed him a gun and Wesker gave him a confused glare.

The Hunter burst into the room with lighting speed and made a dive for Wesker. But the man was quicker than the beast as he pulled the trigger. The Hunter fell to the floor and was immediately asleep. Slowly a wicked smile spread across Wesker's face and he began to laugh depravedly.

"You are a genius." Wesker said patting Riley on the back. His wicked smile remained. He was already thinking of the myriad of ways to use this device in the destruction of Chris Redfield. He would never suspect a machine like this one. "Now what about the bad news?"

"The head office has started talking about Miranda not belonging with us. They claim she's going to "pay" for your sins. I haven't been in their office since you left that they haven't said something about it."

"It doesn't matter. Miranda Harley is nothing but extra baggage. If something were to happen then that is of no consequence to me." He lied.

"How can you say that?" Riley said silently.

"She is a hassle and tends to be more of a hindrance than help. You have a tendency to be that way yourself." He snorted. "What else?" His patience was beginning to run thin.

"You remember Marcus Baker?" Wesker didn't answer him, they both knew he did. "Well I failed to mention that he's…well…he's a zombie."

"So?" Wesker's voice was deadly.

"It's your fault. I mean…you were the last one to come into contact with him."

"Let me see him."

Marcus Baker sat in a small room the size of a linen closet chained to the wall. At this time of night he was feeding on a small rat that the staff had left for him. He wasn't himself to say the least. As Riley and Wesker opened the door, his head snapped up and his sightless eyes snapped open. He moaned loudly.

"We've been keeping his body from deteriorating using muscle enhancers and feeding him some sort of live meal every twelve hours. So far he's come out all right."

"Why?" Wesker hadn't taken his eyes off the zombie who had once been a smart mouthed scientist who thought too highly of himself.

"We've been studying him to find out more about you." Riley answered. He couldn't stand to see Marcus this way. Even if they weren't friends he didn't think anyone deserved to end up this way. Anyone except Umbrella, that was. "The virus is growing and somehow mutating inside you. For some reason, you can infect others. I'm not sure if that same way the zombies do or you have some other method. We'll have to find that out as well. But you need to be careful."

Wesker narrowed his eyes in anger. "Why should I?"

"I only meant that…oh hell…never mind, Captain…Kill us all." Riley muttered. He slammed the door to Marcus Baker's room and stomped off down the hall. Wesker stared after him for a long moment wondering what had gotten into him. Finally he turned and headed back to his own room. It was time to deal with Miranda.

Miranda Harley had always loved taking a bath. She loved the feel of water on her skin and as she sank into the steaming water, tonight was no exception. She barely even recognized the sting from her stitches. They would heal in a few days.

Closing her eyes, she slid beneath the water and let it wash over her in healing waves.

Albert Wesker stood over her watching her. He couldn't keep himself from touching her any longer. Kneeling he placed his hand into the warm water and let it rest on her lower belly….

"Push, Ms. Harley." A doctor was shouting. Wesker opened his eyes to a scene that he was only an observer to. Miranda lay on a table; her sweat drenched hair plastered to her forehead.

"Doctor." A nurse whispered trying to keep Miranda from hearing. "The baby is breech. It would be best to take it by C-section."

"Wesker." Her voice was strained and it sounded as if she were about to cry. He wanted to tell her that he was there, but just like it had been with Sherry, it would be pointless. "Oh god it hurts." She bit her lip to keep from screaming and Wesker felt his insides tighten. Why hadn't she told him she was pregnant? Had she been so sure she knew what his response would be?

"It's too late," The doctor said. "She's already lost too much blood. We may lose her as it is."


He jerked his hand away at the sound of her weak voice. "Wesker." Miranda was sitting up staring at him. He steadied himself before looking at her again. She'd almost died and it was entirely his fault. Was the head office right? Was she going to die for him again?

Her hand reached out and she gently touched his wrist. It was all the incentive he needed to lean forward and cover her lips with his own. Miranda sighed contentedly. "I missed you." She whispered.

"I know." He no longer had control over his actions. He removed his shirt and pants and slid into the water above her.

"Wesker…"she protested. "The water…"

"Is irrelevant." He said softly. He ran a hand through her hair and gave her a dark look. He would have her at any cost and that was punishment enough….

Hours later as they lay on the cool sheets and her fingers dug into the skin of his back, he watched her sea green eyes grow stormy with passion.

He kept his eyes on her as she arched her back against him and called out his name. For that moment the world revolved around them. Not even death could take her away from him. He would storm heaven and hell to have her here in his arms.

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