Resident Evil: A Change In Pace

3: Chris's Sister and Jill's Father

Chapter Three: Chris's Sister and Jill's Father

A.N.: Keeping in with Capcom's tradition of modeling certain characters for their videogames from actors, I'm modeling Dick Valentin after the actor Liam Neeson. I also tossed in another RE5 reference in this chapter, as well as a Street Fighter reference. See if you can find it.

UPDATE: I'm still keeping Liam Neeson as Jill's dad. I'll figure out who to model Jill's mother after later.

A day had passed since the failed robbery at Raccoon National.

Since then, Chris remained at home, resting and recuperating from his knife wound. Wesker had also given Jill the day off, which she had planned on visiting her father. Of course, her dad had heard about Jill's role in stopping the robbery and was interested in meeting her partner, which is why she was back at the Redfield home.

As Jill pulled into the driveway, she noticed that the garage door was already opened. Even more so, there was a motorcycle on the driveway – a restored 1972 Honda Cb 750. Jill parked the truck and stepped out. There was someone working on the bike. As the nearby radio was on, the person did not notice.

“Um...hello?” Jill called out.

The person looked up. Jill saw that it was a female, not much younger than she was, Jill deduced that she was at least eighteen. Her reddish-brown hair was covered up by a bandanna. Her body was covered up by a black coverall uniform. In one hand was a ratchet.

“Can I help you with something?” the girl asked. She then notice that Jill had came with her brother's truck. “Wait...you're Jill, right?”

Jill nodded. “That's right. I'm Jill Valentine.”

The girl placed the ratchet back inside the toolbox. “So you're my brother's partner. He's told me a lot about you.” She removed her right glove and extended her hand. Jill shook it. “I'm Claire. Claire Redfield. Nice to meet you.” She looked at her brother's partner, who stood around her height. “Funny. I thought you were shorter.”

Jill frowned slightly at that remark. She then looked at the motorcycle. “This is yours?”

Claire nodded, smiling, running one hand along the handlebars. “Yup. This is my baby. I love motorcycles. As a graduation gift, Chris and I restored it and he gave it to me. My brother's quite the mechanic," she said with pride in her voice. "He taught me everything I know. I'm probably the only senior in high school who rides a bike."

"Your brother's full of surprises," Jill said. "The part about him being a genius threw me for a loop when he was hired. So where's Chris?”

Claire jerked a thumb towards the house. “Mr. Killjoy is inside. I heard about what happened at the bank. Congratulations on stopping those robbers.”

“Thanks. I do feel bad for Chris getting injured. He took that knife blow for me when he was protecting me.”

Claire shrugged her shoulders. “That's my brother for you. Anyway, it's nice to meet you, Jill.”

“Same here, Claire.”

Jill left Claire with her bike and entered the house through the garage. Hearing the TV going on inside the house's den, Jill followed the sound. The den was empty for the moment, but there were signs that Chris was there. Deciding to wait, Jill turned towards the fireplace, where several photos were placed on the mantle. Curious, Jill walked over to look at the photos.

They were of the Redfield family.

There was one of Chris in his full Air Force uniform, complete with the rank of Second Lieutenant. Jill was particularly drawn to that of a family photo, taken at Chris's military college graduation. Jill looked at his parents. His father reminded her of Barry, given his massive build, while his European-born mother looked matronly in her dress. His sister looked to be about twelve at the time, flashing a V for the photo. Jill also took notice of the Navy formal officers' uniform, complete with ribbons, the rank showing that he was a Lieutenant.

(A.N.: In the military, the officers' ranks of the Navy and Coast Guard are different from that of the Army, Air Force and the Marines. The rank of Lieutenant in the Navy is the equivalent of the rank of Captain in the other three branches.)

Jill looked at the image of Chris. She remembered him telling her that his parents died when he was seventeen, meaning that this photo was taken shortly before their deaths. From the look of things, the family was a close-knit one.

Jill couldn't help but to feel a bit jealous at the family photo. Her father had been in prison when she had completed her training for the police academy, so she had no picture of him with her when she graduated. Despite being partners, to her, Chris Redfield was still an enigma. An enigma that Jill was drawn to.

Heavy footsteps from above announced the arrival of Chris Redfield, who came down the stairs. Jill turned around...

...and was greeted with the sight of Chris, naked from the waist up, running a towel through his damp hair. Jill smelled the body shampoo he used, the smell was that of soap and spice. He did have on a pair of jeans for modesty and his T-shirt was slung over one shoulder. The bandages on his side were still present. Thankfully, they were waterproof.

ill swallowed the lump in her throat. Thankfully, Chris was still drying his hair, meaning that he did not see Jill checking out his muscular frame. The muscles were well-defined, but not as big as Barry's though. She then remembered that he told her that he was a former member of an elite commando unit, and her had the battle scars to prove it (think Abel's minor scars on his upper arms and torso). Jill turned back towards the mantle, praying that the blush from her face would be gone by the time he was finished with his hair.

Chris finished drying his hair and saw Jill looking at the photos. “Morning, Jill,” he greeted as he slipped the T-shirt over his head. “Claire let you in?”

Jill turned around. “Morning, Chris,” she replied. “Yeah, your sister let me in. She's outside working on her bike. So you told her about me, huh? What did you tell her?”

“Only that we're partners,” Chris replied as he combed his hair. “So what brings you here? Came to check up on me?”

“Yeah. That and the fact that I'm going up to Lakeview to visit my dad. I told him about you and he wants to meet you in person.”

Chris thought about it for a moment. “How far is Lakeview?”

“About two hours from Raccoon. I'll pay half on gas.”

“I got nothing else to do other than wait for Wesker to lift me off of light duty,” Chris said. “Sure. I'll come with you. So what's he's like?”

“You'll see.”

^%$

Lakeview Minimum Security Prison.

Lakeview Penitentiary was a minimum-security prison that was ninety miles away from Raccoon City. It was also the prison where Jill's father was serving a five-year sentence for grand larceny. Fortunately, he was at the tail end of his prison sentence, meaning that he would be up for parole soon.

On the ride to the prison, Jill had revealed to him that her father was originally born in Boston, the product of French parents, but spent his childhood years in Europe, mainly between Dublin and Lyon, as well as in Montreal. When he was a teenager, he returned to America and after drifting around for several years, settled down in Stone Ville, where he met Jill's mother, a Japanese woman who worked as a nurse at the Raccoon Hospital. The rest was history.

Originally, Dick was supposed to be sent to California's infamous San Quentin prison, but the judge decided to give him a break, allowing him to stay within the Colorado penal system.

At the moment, Jill and Chris were inside the prison visit room (think the prison visit room from OZ), seated at a table. Fortunately, they didn't have to wait long, as a guard opened the door and in stepped Jill's father, Dick Valentin. As with the rest of the prisoners, he was dressed in a blue prison shirt and denim jeans. He looked to be in his mid-forties, but was in good shape.

Jill stood up and embraced her father, kissing him on the cheek. “Dad.”

Dick smiled broadly as he returned the embrace. “Jillianne.” Father and daughter released the hug, Dick looking his daughter over. “You're looking well,” he said, his voice laced with his Midwest accent.

Chris raised an eyebrow. 'Her real name is Jillianne?' he wondered.

“And you've gotten thinner,” Jill replied, smiling softly.

Dick shrugged his shoulders. “Oh, you know how prison life is. It's like a holiday. Good food, good wine. That sort of thing.” He turned to Chris. “And this is the man you told me about. Your new partner, right?”

Jill nodded. “That's him.” She introduced Chris to her father. “Chris, my father, Richard Valentine. Dad, this is Chris Redfield.”

The two men shook hands. “Mr. Valentine.”

“Call me Dick,” the elder Valentine said. “I dislike formalities.”

“Only if you call me Chris.”

Dick chuckled. Turning to Jill, he said, “I like him already. Have a seat.”

Taking a seat at one of the tables, Jill and her father caught up on old times. Dick had found out about his daughter's role in thwarting the gang of bank robbers several days earlier from one of the guards, who had a relative with the R.P.D. Despite being a felon, Chris saw that Dick wasn't that bad of a person. For a thief, Dick was laid back, calm and collected. Dick even got to know Jill's partner a bit better, his impression of Chris going up several notches.

Chris then remembered that Dick had addressed Jill as Jillianne. "Your dad called you Jillianne," he said.

Jill made a face. "Jillianne's my real name. My full name is Jillianne Catherine Valentine. I hate it when people call me by my full name," she explained. "Dad's the only exception."

"Jillianne is a beautiful name," Dick defended. "I named you after my late mother - your grandmother."

"I like Jill. Out of respect for you will I not change my name," Jill rebuked gently.

"That makes me feel a lot better," Dick replied. “Yet, you changed your last name.”

“Only slightly.” Jill rose from her seat. "Excuse me for a moment. I need to use the restroom."

Chris and Dick nodded and Jill left the visitors' lounge. “She's quite a woman, Dick,” Chris admitted.

Dick nodded. “She makes me proud.” His smile then faded, replaced with a more serious expression. “Chris, I need to ask you a favor.”

Chris nodded. “Sure. What is it?”

“I love my daughter. More than anything. But Jillianne's too damn stubborn for her own good,” Dick explained. “She doesn't allow herself to get close to certain people, because she fears they will hurt her. She trusts me, but despite being her father, even that goes as far.”

Off Chris's confused look, Dick sighed and explained.

“About two years ago, when Jillianne was in the military, she was dating a college athlete. Lacrosse player. One night, he tried to rape her, but Jillianne fought him off. Sent the bastard to the hospital with a couple of broken ribs and a shattered jaw. Made me glad she took those martial arts classes seriously. Since then, she doesn't allow herself to get close to anyone.”

Chris blanched. Turns out that Jill had her own skeletons in her closet.

“But,” Dick continued, “my daughter trusts you, even though she won't admit it just yet. As her father, I know. Your actions during the bank robbery showed that. She's also smiling more, and I got you to thank for that. Promise me that you will look after her. I will feel a whole lot better if she is with someone she trusts.”

Chris nodded. “I give you my word, Dick. I'll keep Jill safe.”

“Thank you, Chris,” Dick said, relieved. “You have no idea how much this means to me.” From the corner of his eye, he noticed Jill returning. “This stays between us, understand?”

Chris nodded, just as Jill returned. “So...you two been getting along?” she asked as she sat back down.

“Oh, very,” Dick replied as Chris quickly covered up his previous shock. “I like him, Jillianne. He's a pretty stand-up guy. Responsible too.”

Jill smiled. “He has his moments.”

“Funny. Our boss said the same thing,” Chris said.

Before Jill could reply to Chris' comment, one of the corrections officers stuck his head inside the visiting room. “Time's up, people. Time to go.”

Dick stood up, as did Jill and Chris. “Well, it's been good seeing you again, sweetie,” Dick said as he hugged his daughter.

“Same here, Dad.”

To Chris, he shook his hand. “Chris. Nice meeting you.”

“Same here, Dick.”

*&^


On the way back to Raccoon, Chris was behind the wheel, while Jill was riding shotgun. “He likes you,” Jill commented. “And he's a very difficult man to impress.”

“Didn't look that way to me,” Chris replied. “Besides, we Redfields are very likable.”

Jill snorted. “Smartass. Your sister is more likable than you.”

“Gee, Jill. I'm hurt.”

“You'll get over it. So what did you and Dad talked about?”

“Said that he was glad to see that you had someone to watch your back,” Chris explained. A half-truth, but it served its purpose.

Thankfully, Jill had bought the statement. "Heh. Even while in prison, he's been trying to look out for me."

"You should have met my parents," Chris replied, grinning.

*&^

The day after returning to Raccoon City, Chris and Jill were honored for their actions at Raccoon National.

The Raccoon Police Department was bustling with activity. Since the Raccoon City Hall Complex was being renovated, the ceremony took place at the Raccoon Police Department. The police station's main lobby was packed with police, the majority of them having taken up space on the second and third-floor balconies.

Inside the Briefing Room, Claire Redfield watched as her brother and her partner went through their final preparations while snapping pictures on her digital camera. While Claire was dressed in a summer dress, hair still in her customary ponytail, Chris and Jill were dressed in the formal uniform of the Raccoon Police Department. The R.P.D. formal dress uniform consisted of a navy blue suit coat, shirt and trousers, spit-shined shoes, and black necktie. The insignia of the R.P.D. was stitched onto the upper left sleeve of the jacket, their R.P.D. badges and nametags were visible over the upper left jacket pocket.

The door to the Briefing Room opened and Wesker stepped in, followed by Barry. Like Chris and Jill, the two men was dressed in the R.P.D. formal uniform, save that Wesker's shirt was white instead of navy blue.

Wesker adjusted his shades. "We're ready here?" the S.T.A.R.S. captain asked.

Jill tied her hair back into her ponytail. "Ready," she replied.

"All set," Chris replied.

Wesker nodded. Then he looked at Claire. "Who's she?"

"She's with me, Wesker," Chris replied. "Claire, my boss, Captain Albert Wesker. Wesker, my sister, Claire Redfield."

Claire smiled at Wesker. "Captain."

Wesker returned the grin. "It's just Wesker. I dislike formalities." He looked at his watch. "It's time."

"Wait! Wait!" Claire shouted. "I want a photo with all of you."

Barry looked at Wesker, who shrugged his shoulders. "Fine," the blond captain said. "Make it quick."

Claire nodded. "Chris and Jill in the middle, and Wesker and Barry on either side."

Once the four S.T.A.R.S. members were in place, Claire snapped the photo. Looking at the camera's screen, she saw that the photo came out very well. After promising them each a copy, Wesker and Barry ushered Chris and Jill out of the room, with claire picking up the rear.

&^%

The police station's main lobby was packed with police, the majority of them having taken up space on the second and third-floor balconies.

Chris and Jill stood before the fountain. Chief Irons, Captain Wesker and the other S.T.A.R.S. members were piled on the left side of the fountain, while the city council was on the right side. Also present was the mayor of Raccoon City, Michael Warren, his daughter Lily Warren, and the Lieutenant Governor of Colorado, who was there in the Governor's place due to an emergency.

Mayor Warren addressed Chris and Jill as the photographers took pictures. "Officer Christopher Redfield...Officer Jillianne Valentine...your actions during the armed robbery attempt at Raccoon National saved twenty-seven lives, and has brought the criminals who had terrorized the state of Colorado to justice. Your act of selfless heroism draws much credit upon yourselves and the Raccoon Police Department."

The Lieutenant Governor stepped forward, along with her aide. "Officer Redfield...Officer Valentine...it is with great honor that that the Governor's Office of Colorado present both of you with the highest of honors: the Colorado Medal of Valor. Congratulations."

The medals were pinned on Chris and Jill's chests, and they were presented with their certificates. Chris and Jill then took photos with Mayor Warren, the Lieutenant Governor and, Captain Wesker, Chief Irons. Finally, for posterity, Chris and Jill did a group photo with the rest of their teammates.

Alyssa got her exclusive interview, as promised by Jill. The award ceremony was front page news on the Raccoon Times the following morning. Chris and Jill were literally treated like rock stars for the following days. for Chris, the local car dealership gave him a brand-new pickup truck, free of charge (since his old truck had broken down for the last time). For Jill, the car repair shop decided to foot the bill for the car repairs. They were offered a chance to tell their story on several morning shows, but they respectfully declined the offers and went back to work.

&^%

Several days later...

After the awards ceremony, things calmed down in Raccoon City. Friday was the day that the S.T.A.R.S. reserved for physical training. Since the Raccoon Police Department lacked a workout room, despite being in a much larger facility, they would commandeer the fitness center located in downtown Raccoon City. Wesker, surprisingly, was absent, citing that he had a 'meeting' with Chief Irons, as well as meeting an 'old friend' for lunch.

While the guys trained with the various equipment in the gym, Jill Valentine was working the heavy punching bag. Dressed in a sleeveless shirt with the S.T.A.R.S. insignia on the back and a pair of blue-and-white track pants, her hair pulled back in a short ponytail, hands wrapped in boxing tape, and a pair of tennis shoes, the former thief unleashed a volley of punches, kicks, knees and elbows at the helpless punching bag.

It was a well-known fact within the Raccoon Police Department that Jillianne Valentine was quite skilled in hand-to-hand combat. She was also very aggressive when it came to fighting. In fact, with the exception of Captain Wesker (who was hardly seen at the fitness center), Enrico and Barry, Jill had fought against the men of S.T.A.R.S. in the ring and came out as the winner, not to mention some of the other men in the R.P.D. Even the teacher at the local dojo took a shot at Jill, only to lose within five minutes after the match began. It also didn't help that the guy was a sexist pig, which earned him a broken nose and clavicle when he goosed Jill.

Chris entered the workout room from the men's locker room. He was feeling a lot better following his last visit to the hospital. The stitches were finally out and Wesker had him lifted off of desk duty. Like his comrades, he was also dressed in warmup clothes, save that his were a tanktop and a pair of combat fatigues. Chris wasn't a health nut like Barry, but he kept himself in excellent shape, given the looks that some of the female patrons were giving him. With him quitting smoking, he felt even better.

Chris noticed Jill at the punching bag. After a few moments, Jill stopped pounding on the bag and noticed Chris watching her with piqued interest. She knew she had some moves on her, but so did Chris. She did felt bad that he gotten injured protecting her, that she had gotten sloppy during the bank robbery. But now the gears inside her head were turning. Chris Redfield knew how to handle himself in a fight. He had proved that back at Raccoon National. His style was professional and direct. No wasted movement, only quick, efficient strikes designed to subdue or in the most extreme of cases, to kill the enemy.

"Wesker put you off light duty?" Jill asked as she continued to pound on the bag.

Chris nodded. "He lifted it yesterday."

"You sure you shouldn't be overdoing it?" Jill asked as she landed a hook onto the heavy bag.

"I'm a lot tougher than I look," Chris replied.

"That I see," Jill said as she stopped punching the bag. "Think you can back it up?"

Chris raised one eyebrow Spock-style. Jill was challenging him to a fight. "You sure you want to test me, Valentine?" he asked.

By this time, the other male S.T.A.R.S. were watching this little exchange, and knew what Jill had planned.

"Oh, I'm sure," Jill replied.

To show that she wasn't bluffing, she threw a punch straight at Chris's head.

Without blinking, Chris's right hand snapped up and caught her fist in his hand. Suffice to say, Jill was surprised. Most guys would either cringe away or duck.

"Be careful what you wish for, Jill," Chris said, a small, it not smug grin on his face. "Normally, I don't hit women. But...since you want a shot at the title, then you got it."

He released Jill's fist and walked over to the mats. Jill followed.

The two begin to warm up with stretches. Jill was on the ground in a split, touching her toes, while Chris rotated his shoulders and cracked his neck muscles. In the meantime, the other male members of S.T.A.R.S. were watching from the sidelines with great interest.

"I don't like Chris's chances for this," Edward said, nudging Brad.

Brad scoffed. "Of course," he replied. "Jill's no pushover. The question is how bad is Chris gonna lose."

"I'll give him three minutes," Joseph said. "Three minutes before Jill puts him down. Loser pays for the drinks."

“I'll take that bet,” Brad said. “I'll give him five minutes before Jill puts him down.”

"Winner's choice?" Edward said. "Bar Jack or J's Bar?"

Joseph nodded.

“In that case, you're on,” Edward said.

Meanwhile, Barry and Enrico were watching the two warm up with interest. "Aren't you worried about Redfield?" Enrico asked.

Barry shook his head. "Nope. Jill's good, but she has too much ego. She's pretty much complacent in her superiority in hand-to-hand combat. Chris is just going to knock her down a peg or two."

"Oh, this I got to see," Enrico said.

Meanwhile, on the mat, Chris and Jill faced off. "Sure you don't want to back out, Redfield?" Jill asked.

"I'm sure," Chris replied. "For the record, I won't hold back."

Jill smiled. "Good. Neither will I."

Both partners assumed a fighting stance. Jill assumed her usual stance (A.N.: her MvC2 stance) while Chris moved into his own stance, which was a basic boxing stance.

Jill inched her way over, while Chris held his ground. When she got within striking distance with her fists, Chris did something that no one was expecting.

He simply dropped his guard.

Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, Jill fired off a left jab to the head. Just as he did earlier, Chris reacted as fast, only this time, he sidestepped the blow, her fist flying past his head his guard still down, the same smug grin on his face.

'He's mocking me!' Jill thought. 'I'll show him!'

This time, Jill came in with a combination of punches - left jab, right jab, right haymaker, uppercut, cross, backhand all of which Chris simply dodged. Chris' expression changed to that of being serious and responded by throwing out several jabs of his own - two with his left hand, a third from his right, followed by several forearms. Only Jill couldn't just dodge the way Chris had done. She was forced to block the incoming strikes, stumbling as she used both arms to block Chris' forearm to the face.

The momentum went back and forth as the S.T.A.R.S. members watched the little brawl unfold, the two fighters feeling the other out.

Jill landed the first blow, introducing her foot into Chris's stomach, causing him to take several steps back. Chris recovered just in time to block Jill's kick to the side of his head, but that was just a mere feint.

Jill rushed in grabbed him and began to drive her knee into Chris's torso. Once, twice, three times, before throwing him to the mat. Chris landed hard on his side, but recovered just in time to knock Jill of her feet with a reverse sweep.

The feisty brunette managed to get to one knee, just in time to see Chris's fist on a collision course with her chin.

KA-POW!

The force of the uppercut had sent Jill into the air. She landed on her back, stunned.

On the sidelines, with the exception of Barry, the men winced at the impact. Even more so, they were surprised to see Chris hold his own.

Jill, in the meantime, was busy shaking the cobwebs out of her head. 'Crap. He said he wasn't going to hold back,' she thought as she got back to a vertical base. 'Okay, Valentine, the kid gloves come off.'

Chris in the meantime, remained on his guard. Smiling that same smile he gave her the first day they met, he beckoned to her with one finger before returning back to his original stance.

Jill rolled forward, quickly closing in the distance between the both of them. Once again, Chris sidestepped Jill's punches and fired back several of his own. Jill responded with a backhand that connected, snapping Chris's head to the side, followed by a roundhouse that brought Chris spinning down to the mat.

'Shit, she hits hard for a woman,' Chris thought as he rolled out of the way, just as Jill dove at him knees-first. Jill's knees missed the spot where Chris's torso had been moments earlier. Back-flipping out of the move, she went on the attack, only to have Chris close in on her location.

Chris swatted Jill's kick aside and threw several punches aimed at her head, forcing Jill to block the incoming blows. The Rolling Sobat to the head was something that Jill wasn't expecting, Chris hopping into the air, spinning, his left leg outstretched. She managed to block Chris's attack, but it caused her to drop to one knee from the impact, allowing Chris to plant his foot in Jill's chin, knocking her back once again.

Chris moved in to finish the match, only to be caught by a solid punch to the solar plexus, which left him gasping for air. Jill then kicked Chris right in the shin with her left foot, which caused him to stumble, which followed by the shorter woman spinning around to kick Chris with her right foot. Then, showing off her leg strength, Jill lifted Chris clean off the ground, right foot still embedded in his torso, twisting her body so that she was doing a perfect vertical split with Chris still hanging from her extended leg before flinging him to the mat, the older man falling to the ground in a heap.

Jill thought she had the match won. Instead, much to her surprise (and even though she would not admit it to anyone else, admiration), Chris got back to his feet.

"That really hurt," Chris said as he rubbed his neck.

On the sidelines, Chris and Jill's teammates were very impressed with the way Chris was holding his own. Any other man would have been knocked out by that move, but Chris was still standing.

Chris then shifted stances, his right was held closer to his face, the hand not clenched into a fist, but rather open, palm facing downward, which could attack or defend at a moment's notice, while his left arm was extended, bending slightly at the elbow, the hand also open. (A.N.: think the stance K' uses in King of Fighters) Eyes focused, adrenaline pumping through his veins, he began to advance on Jill, who was immediately on her guard.

'What's he doing? What does he have planned now?' Jill thought as she went back into her own stance.

Once Jill closed the distance, she hopped into the air, spinning, one leg outstretched, only to hit nothing but air. Chris had ducked underneath the blow. Jill threw another punch at his head, only to have Chris swat it to the side as he moved in. He quickly responded with two punches to the torso, followed by a quick uppercut and a overhead elbow to the face. Grabbing Jill, he forced the air out of her lungs by introducing his own knee to her torso before flipping her to the mat.

Jill quickly hopped back to her feet. 'Why won't this guy stay down?!' she thought. 'And I thought that Air Force guys were wusses when it came to hand-to-hand!'

Jill decided to end this match. With a yell, she lunged forward, unleashing a volley of kicks. Snap kicks, high kicks, low kicks, even a roundhouse kick, forcing Chris to block and parry the incoming blows.

Which is what Jill wanted. Chris went for a backhand, only to see Jill catch his wrist before going low, elbowing him hard in his chest. With Chris stunned, Jill went into her handless somersault, intending on using her momentum to send Chris to the floor.

Imagine her shock when she realized that when she landed, Chris was on his feet instead of face down on the mat. When Jill went into her somersault, Chris immediately recognized the move from the bank days earlier. Acting on a hunch, as Jill somersaulted, Chris rolled along the mat, which had the effect of messing up Jill's move.

"Whoa!" Jill managed to say before Chris tossed her over his hip, causing her to land on her rear.

She felt one hand being twisted behind her back. When she tried to use her free arm to elbow Chris, he too immobilized that arm, leaving Jill effectively helpless. The arm bars weren't quite painful, but Chris had a firm grip on Jill.

"Don't try and break free," Chris warned. "Otherwise you will end up breaking both your arms if you try." He sounded serious, as Jill noticed, rather than being cocky. "It's over, Valentine. Do you yield?"

Jill tried to struggle, but it was no use. Chris clearly had her dead to rights.

"Okay," Jill conceded. "You win."

Chris nodded and released Jill's arms before standing up. He extended one hand to the feisty brunette. Jill, surprised at this show of sportsmanship, accepted his hand and allowed him to help her to his feet.

"Not bad, Valentine," Chris complimented. "Not bad at all."

Meanwhile, on the sidelines, shock was the dominant expression on the male S.T.A.R.S. members' faces, with the exception of Barry. Jill Valentine had lost her first match. There was more to her partner than it meets the eye.

“Holy shit,” Forest said. “She lost. Valentine lost.”

“So much for drinks,” Joseph muttered.

Barry simply chuckled as Enrico closed his jaw, shocked as well that the R.P.D.'s top fighter had lost.

*^&

Later on, as the clamor of the match died down and the other male S.T.A.R.S. members resumed their workout, Chris and Jill were on the sidelines, each holding icepacks on their assorted bruises.

"Ow," Jill winced as she held her icepack on the back of her neck. "I thought you were joking when you said that you were not going to hold back."

Chris kept his icepack on his jaw. "Actually...I did held back."

Jill dropped her ice pack and turned to her partner. "What?"

Chris shrugged his shoulders. "I had to. The way I was taught how to fight, I was trained to disarm, maim, and in some cases, even kill. And I think Wesker and the R.P.D. would look down on me sending you to the hospital."

Jill's anger evaporated. "Oh. Either way, I feel a lot better about losing. Most guys didn't take me seriously. You did. You could have knocked me out, but you didn't. Why?"

"That would have been the easy way out," Chris explained. "So I went for a submission hold instead. When you tried that same trick on me that you did on the robber, I guessed that you used your momentum to your advantage. So I simply reversed it."

Jill was wondering how he managed to get out of that move. She chuckled softly and shook her head. "Unbelievable."

Despite having lost the fight, Jill didn't feel too bad about it. Instead, she had developed a newfound respect for her partner...despite the pain in her jaw.

“You're good at keeping the opponent on their toes,” Chris pointed out, “but your weakness is when the opponent get in close."

Jill frowned. As much as she hated to admit it, Chris was right. "And what exactly do you plan on doing about it?" she asked.

“If you want, I can train you in close-quarters combat,” Chris proposed.

Jill thought about it for a moment. Chris's offer did have some merit. And her kickboxing and her throws could only take her so far. “Okay, Redfield. I'll take you up on your offer. When do we start?”

“Since we got tomorrow off, how about then?” Chris proposed.

“If you're as bad as a teacher as I am a student, then you're in luck,” Jill said.

Chris shrugged his shoulders. “Claire's not complaining. I taught her how to hold her own.”

“Gee. That makes me feel a whole lot better. What time do you want to begin?”

“Noon. I'll train you for three hours here? You game?”

Jill nodded. “Game on, Redfield.”

*&^

The following day, at noon...

Jill had wondered what she had gotten herself into when she agreed to let Chris train her in combat. But here she was, back at the the workout center, clad in a pair of workout clothes – a sleeveless white shirt with the R.P.D. insignia on the back, a pair of blue track pants, and her old pair of workout shoes.

Chris was dressed in a T-shirt and an old pair of combat fatigues. He was stretching, while Jill was on the mat, legs stretched out in a perfect split. Resting nearby, was a dummy handgun and a dummy knife.

"I can handle myself in a fight, Chris," Jill insisted as she stood back up. “Remind me why am I doing this?”

“I know you can,” Chris replied as he picked up the fake handgun. “But a little extra training won't hurt. Besides, I thought Jill Valentine did not back down from a challenge. Was I wrong?”

Jill puffed at that. She was very competitive, a total battle athlete. While she respected Chris for his professionalism and his dedication to the job, as well as the responsibility in raising Claire on his own she also saw him as a rival of sorts. That and he also knew how to 'motivate' her by pushing the right buttons.

“Damn right you're wrong,” the former thief barked out. “Give me your best shot.”

“Good,” Chris said as he tossed the fake gun at Jill, who caught it with one hand. Taking several steps forward so that he was within range, Chris stopped. "Okay. Now draw."

Jill did as she was told. She brought the gun up quick, aiming it at Chris's chest. Before she knew what had happened, Chris had both her arms locked up with one hand, and his other in a firm grip on her throat.

At least Jill was still able to breathe. "What the...?!"

"Pretty cool, huh?" Chris said as he released his hold on Jill. "Thought you might like that. Not only it nullifies the opponent's chance of getting off a shot, but it also stops them from trying to attack you. Alright. Give me the gun," Chris said. Once he had the gun, Chris began to show Jill the steps on how to disarm the opponent.

"Okay, so here is how the hold works," Chris said as he raised the dummy pistol. "First thing you do is sidestep out of the way. Right hand on my gun hand, push it downward and hold. That will neutralize my line of fire. Then take your left hand and twist my left arm around my right elbow, that'll break the hold on my gun hand. Left hand on my throat. Got it?”

Jill nodded. “I got it.”

“Okay, ready...and GO!” Chris shouted as he aimed his gun at Jill, who performed the hold flawlessly, ending with her hand clamped down on Chris' throat. Suffice to say, Jill was a fast learner.

“Like this?” Jill asked, a smug grin on her face.

"Like that," Chris replied. “See how locked up I am? Doesn't matter how big the other person is, once you got them like this, you got them at your mercy. Now some folks like to be creative after they subdue the gunman. Me, personally, I usually slam them to the ground. But like some folks like to improv.”

“Okay...how about this?” Jill said as she twisted Chris' arm, moving so that his arm was behind her before arching her body downward, her leg rising upward, kicking Chris in the back of his head, before going back into a vertical base and slamming her fist into his solar plexus. The impact sent Chris staggering back several steps, the wind knocked out of him.

Jill had held back from causing serious injury to Chris, but she had enough power in the strike to make sure that it sure as hell stung.

“Nice moves, Valentine,” Chris commented as he stood upright. “You're learning.”

Jill smiled from the praise. Maybe this extra training would be good after all.

*&^

Over the next two hours, Chris and Jill played the role of teacher and student. For Chris, he was pleased in seeing Jill take in the training with gusto. Not even Claire was this enthusiastic when he taught her self-defense. Plus, she could incorporate what she was being trained in with her kickboxing, making her even more dangerous.

After two hours, they decided to take a break.

“Funny how we've been partners for a while and you still haven't told me about your parents. I told you about mine. I even let you meet my dad,” Jill said as she took a sip from her bottled water.

“If they were alive, they would definitely like you,” Chris replied. “What do you want to know about them?”

“Surprise me. I'll bet your old man taught you how to fight.”

Chris chuckled. “Fifty points, Valentine. You won a prize. It's true. Dad was the brawn. Mom was the brains. What was said in my dossier was true. Dad's grandparents were originally from Scotland. They emigrated to the States and settled in Montpelier. Dad was the more adventurous type. He joined the Navy, spent most of his time on an aircraft carrier, hopping all over the world. It while he was on leave, that he decided to tag along with some friends to Amsterdam.”

“That's right,” Jill butted in. “Your mom was Dutch. That's where they met, right?”

Chris grinned. “Yup. She was studying to be a nurse when she met Dad. She was twenty-three, he was twenty-nine. Guess the feeling was mutual. She completed her training, then came to America to be with him. They got married in a quiet ceremony, then moved into base housing in Norfolk. I was at least five years old when Dad's tour was up and he and Mom decided to move to Raccoon City. She got a job working as a nurse, while he joined the R.P.D.”

“Let me guess...your dad and Barry were friends, right?” Jill said.

Chris nodded. “That's how I got the job working for S.T.A.R.S. Amazing how family connections can work for you. Barry was a bit green back then. If you'd ask around, anyone could tell you that Lawrence Redfield was a maverick, but when it came down to it, there was no one better to have in your corner.” A sardonic smile spread across his lips. “He was always such a hard-ass, believing in tough love, but he taught me how to stand on my two feet, and how to defend myself. Had to, since I was the only 13-year-old in high school. He trained me in close-quarters-combat and Krav Maga.”

“I thought that style looked familiar,” Jill said. “Disarm the opponent, do as much damage possible, then escape. You're training me in that style?”

Chris nodded. “That and a bit of close-quarters-combat. Dad learned the style while he was in the Navy. He told me that the guy who trained him claimed that he knew the founder of the style.”

“And your mother?”

“She was the brains of the family, as you already know,” Chris continued. “While Dad taught me how to fight, she taught me how to think. She was kind, elegant, and beautiful, but oh, man never piss her off. Smart as hell, too. Could speak several languages, which she taught to both Claire and myself." He chuckled. "One thing you learn first about foreign languages is how to curse someone out. When they found out that I was a prodigy, she took over my education during the summer.”

"So what can you speak?"

"Dutch, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, a little Japanese and Korean and German," Chris ticked off his fingers.

Jill chuckled. Given her mixed heritage, she could speak both French and Japanese comfortably, and kept in practice.

Chris then quoted his mother, adopting her Dutch accent before switching back. "'Always keep your mind sharp. Never stop learning,' she would always say. Pretty handy for when you travel as much as I had." Chris rose to his feet. “So...ready for more?”

Jill nodded. She was definitely getting into this training.

*&^

Redfield Home, Cider District – sometime later.

Claire was inside the den, going over her study material, preparing for her senior finals when Chris trudged in, dropping his sports bag to the floor before plopping down on the armchair.

“Tough day at the gym?” Claire asked, not looking up from her notes. “So how did it go?”

She knew about her brother's intentions to train Jill. From the look of things, Jill had taken great interest as to what Chris had taught her. Claire herself knew that her brother's training methods were pretty effective, since Chris himself had taught Claire how to defend herself.

“Take a wild guess,” Chris said as he opened a fresh bottle of water and took a sip.

Claire glanced at her brother. “Judging how you can't seem to move without flinching, I'd have to say that she enjoys it pretty well.” She grinned. “I like her even more. Not only is she learning from the best of the best, she gets to kick your ass. It's a win-win.”

“Gee, thanks for the vote of confidence,” the elder sibling muttered. “So, honestly, what do you think of Jill?”

In the days following the robbery, Claire had gotten to know the former thief-turned-R.P.D. officer. On the weekend, she even hung around the R.P.D., allowing her and Jill to have several chats together, whenever Claire wasn't at the motor pool getting pointers from the mechanics or at the firing range with her brother.

Suffice to say, Claire liked the woman. “Honestly, I think she's pretty nice. A bit aggressive, but nice.”

Claire had prided herself on being a good judge of character. It was a trait that she had picked up from their late mother. Of course, there was Chris' ex-fiancée, but that was during the tail end of Chris' Air Force career.

“So is it true what they say about her at the police station?” Claire prodded. “That she used to be a thief?”

Chris nodded. “Yup. Back in Stone Ville. Her specialty was breaking into cars. Her dad was more into breaking into houses. You know me, Claire. I don't look at a person's past.”

“I know,” Claire butted in. “It's their character and toughness as a person you see inside. So what do you think about Captain Wesker?”

“Wesker?” Chris thought about that for a moment. “On one hand, he is my boss. On the other...my gut tells me that he has something to hide.”

Little did Chris know was that he would soon be right.

*&^

Raccoon City, nighttime.

It was three-thirty in the morning and Chris Redfield was fast asleep. Of course, no one could tell since the duvet had covered his entire body. Claire was also asleep, snoring gently from inside her room.

RING...RING...

Out of the jumble of covers, a masculine hand reached out from the bed. After several attempts, the hand managed to grab the cellphone and brought it back into the covers.

"Yeah, Redfield, here," Chris mumbled, still half-sleep, and slightly pissed that he was brought out of a rather nice dream of a certain short-haired, blue-eyed woman seated in front of a Stetson piano, wearing only a tanktop and a pair of panties idly playing 'Greensleeves.'

"Chris? It's me."

Chris slowly rose to a sitting position. He looked at the alarm clock on the nightstand. "Jill?" he grumbled. "It's three-thirty in the morning."

"I know, and I wouldn't call you if it wasn't important, but I got nowhere else to go," Jill replied.

That caught Chris's attention. "What happened?"

"My apartment building caught fire. Half of my floor is gutted, including most of my place. I managed to save most of my clothes and other items," Jill explained.

"Okay, give me a moment," Chris said. "I'll be there in five minutes."

"Thanks, Chris. I owe you one."

&^^

Five minutes later, Chris pulled up as close he can to Jill's apartment building. Sure enough, the Raccoon Police Department, as well as the Raccoon Fire Department were present, as well as several reporters who were covering the story on scene.

Chris looked at the old brick building. The top three floors were gutted as the Raccoon Fire Department worked to get the blaze under control.

"Hey! Chris!"

Chris turned to the source of the voice. Sure enough, it was Jill. Two garbage bags were at her feet, along with a gym bag and a knapsack - items and clothing she had managed to salvage once the fire department had cleared her to return.

Flashing his badge to the police officers, Chris was allowed access.

"Thanks for coming, Chris," Jill said, a grateful look on her face.

Chris yawned. "Don't mention it," he groused playfully. "I don't mind being woke up at three in the morning because some idiot barbecued your building." He looked at Jill's belongings. "This is it?"

Jill nodded. "Yeah. The rest was too damaged to take along. It's mostly clothes and some personal stuff."

Chris picked up the two garbage bags while Jill retrieved her gym bag and knapsack. After placing them in the truck's bed, Chris and Jill were off.

*&^

Redfield Home.

After returning home, Chris had showed Jill the guest room, which consisted of a king-sized bed, a dresser and nightstand, as well as a walk-in closet. Once Jill was taken care of, Chris excused himself and returned to his room. Suffice to say, he was out like a light when he fell to his bed.

Jill was still awake. She felt a little tired, but was still alert. So Jill decided to do a little exploring. Old habits were hard to break. Besides, looking around was harmless, as she had stopped being a thief a long time ago. One thing her father had told her was that you can see a person's character by checking out their house.

Stepping out into the hallway on soundless feet, Jill could hear the gentle snoring of Chris' younger sister from her room. She walked down the hall and down the stairs, where she found herself in the den.

There was a study that Jill had passed, so she decided to check that out. The door was unlocked, so Jill opened the door and stepped inside. The study was big. Not as big as Chief Irons' office – and without those stuffed animals he loves so much – but very homely. A bookshelf was behind the desk, its three shelves loaded with books and stacked magazines.

Jill walked over to the bookshelf and inspected the contents. 'Hmm...,' she thought as she trailed a finger across the books. 'The Art of War by Sun Tzu...The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli...military tactics by Halsey...Puller...Patton...a couple of Stephen King novels...some Tom Clancy books...books on advanced physics and science...books on several languages..'

She reached out and pulled out a comic book. Jill smiled. 'He's a comic book collector,' she thought as she placed the book back on the shelf. Jill also saw several gun and knives magazines. 'That's right. He's also a knife aficionado,' she added as an afterthought.

Several pictures were on the desk, aside from Chris' laptop. Jill looked at the pictures. One was of a teenage Chris and a younger Claire. Another photo was that of Chris' parents on their wedding day. One photo of Chris and Claire made her laugh. It was a Halloween photo. Chris was dressed as a sailor, while his four-year-old sister was dressed as a princess. Chris' dad was dressed up as Indiana Jones while his mom was dressed as Marion Ravenwood.

'Cute,' Jill thought.

By this time, the adrenaline in her system was replaced with fatigue. Jill looked at her watch. It was almost 4:30. At least she and Chris had the day off, so she could sleep in.

The former thief exited the study, walked back upstairs and into her room. Changing into a oversized T-shirt and a pair of shorts, Jill climbed into the bed. 'Hey...even the mattress is soft,' she thought. 'I could definitely get used to this. Feels a lot more softer than my bed.'

With that final thought, Jill fell fast asleep.

A.N.: Saw the second RE5 reference? Remember in the cutscene titled Two on Two, Jill catches Chris in a nasty chokehold. Sheva tries to intervene, only to be bushwhacked by Wesker. I'm not saying anything about the SF reference. This will be the last chapter until the new year, as I have to look over the other chapters to this fanfic.

Next Chapter: Claire vs Forest...in a marksman contest. Chris has a run-in with his ex-fiancee. Jill has to deal with an overzealous Sheriff.

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