Here, have a ficlet which was determined not to be written despite its tiny size, inspired by this lovely, lovely artwork. Also known as an excuse to write protective!Chris and Leon!whump.

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It was supposed to be a peaceful conference. Chris Redfield had the date circled on his calendar: his baby sister was scheduled to represent TerraSave at the conference and he planned on watching her speech to the UN. Leon was scheduled to be there as well, although in a far quieter position, and it had been weeks since he last saw his lover due to an increase in terrorist activity.

Considering the suspicious silence immediately before the conference, Chris knew he should have suspected something. People from around the world planned on attending the conference. Big names in the BOW world -- both public ones and those who acted behind the scenes -- would be present. They couldn’t have painted a bigger bullseye on the event if they tried.

Piers remained steady at his side, but Chris lost sight of Claire and Leon soon after the first explosions rocked the conference. Two hours later, the terrorists were dead, the conference was on fire, they were hunting the last of the BOWs, and there was still no sighting of either Claire or Leon.

“West and north clear, Captain,” Piers reported, hand dropping away from his ear bud. Chris grunted and watched the BSAA herd another group of reporters away from a BOW’s corpse. Those suckers liked to explode after death. 

“Hopefully Claire is in one of those sections,” Chris said, letting his gaze roam the room. Two hours ago, it was a nice conference room, complete with a table full of snacks. They had a fancy name, but Chris just thought of it as the “fancy snack table.” The last time he saw Leon, Leon seemed to agree, with the man surreptitiously munching as he scoped the room. It had been Leon who realized something was wrong. 

Piers grunted, and Chris spared him a glance. The man’s face was tight, jaw clenched so hard Chris’s ached in sympathy. Gently, Chris bumped Piers’s shoulder with his own. Piers’s remaining eye flashed his way, too dark. “No one has been able to contact Agent Kennedy yet,” Piers continued quietly. “Agent Birkin reports that they keep trying to raise him on the radio, but nothing so far.”

Nothing surprising, Chris told himself. If someone had been able to contact Leon, he would have heard already. Still, he exhaled shakily and forced his fingers to relax on his gun. “We’re going east,” he said. “Tell Harris and Abrams to head south.”

Piers nodded, but his shoulders never loosened, the lines around his eyes clear even with the eyepatch. “On it, Captain,” he said, hand going back up, and Chris had to look away. Instead, he stared at the dark doorway leading to the eastern corridors, where several of the smaller conference rooms were. Several smaller monsters chased attendants that way earlier, but they had been too busy with a bigger BOW to follow.

“I’ve got your back, Captain,” Piers said quietly. Chris’s chest hurt. He almost reached out, squeezed Piers’s shoulder, but controlled himself. He stared into the darkness where Leon possibly waited, possibly needed help.

“Yeah,” Chris said, just as quietly, and straightened his shoulders. “Let’s go.”

xoxoxox

Based on the trail of bodies, Chris guessed Leon went this way.

Monsters, killed by bullets and blades and some, he suspected, by Leon’s boots. Leon’s legs were terrifying things. He had seen Leon break a monster’s spine with a single kick before. 

Piers stayed steady at his side, blazing warm in the cool hallway. He never stopped moving, pointing his gun at every body just in case they moved again, his arm occasionally brushing Chris’s. Chris felt too sensitive, nerves wound tight, too much at stake and of all his people, only Piers’s location and well-being known. Two of his most loved people were lost, locations and health unknown, and it made Chris want to reach out, touch Piers’s arm, assure himself that at least Piers was all right.

If Piers knew what he was thinking, he would rip into Chris, so Chris kept his mouth shut and kept moving forward. Distractions weren’t surprising, all considering, but they could be deadly. He promised himself after China that he would never allow his personal feelings interfere with his mission again, and he had promised both Piers and Leon that he would never repeat those awful mistakes. He owed them both more than that.

But fuck, it was getting harder. They passed a disgusting blob on the floor, the remains of a new BOW, and several feet away, a blood handprint smeared the wall. Chris told himself that it wasn’t Leon’s size. Not at all.

“Captain,” Piers said quietly. “Chris. We’ll find him.”

Chris only nodded, not trusting himself to speak. His jaw was clenched so tightly it hurt, pain throbbing in his temples. Every time his lover vanished on a mission, damned government secrets keeping all information out of Chris’s reach, he feared Leon would fall alone without anyone at his back. Now Leon was in a building filled with BSAA soldiers, with Chris there, and it didn’t mean shit.

He wished Leon left at least one bastard alive for him to kill. He wished Leon would walk around the next corner, hair falling in his face in a way unbefitting of a soldier and with a smirk on his handsome face. 

Where are you, you sonuvabitch?

The farther they walked, the quieter it grew, and the more bodies they found. A massive body, the size of a damned elephant, blocked the end of the hall. Even as Piers and Chris worked together to shove it aside enough to slip through, Chris couldn’t help but think of Leon facing this monstrosity alone. He ground his teeth together and focused on shoving the ugly bastard aside.

I fucking swear, Leon, after this, I’m not going to let you or Claire out of my sight ever --

Piers slipped through the opening first. Chris heard his breath catch. Adrenaline flooding his veins like acid, Chris muscled his way after him and immediately ran into Piers’s back. Piers didn’t seem to notice, already cursing and reaching for his radio. With a curse of his own, Chris looked over Piers’s shoulder. He barely heard Piers snap orders for a medic before he found himself running past him.

A garish red trail led from the BOW’s corpse to the middle of the room. There were the remains of zombies scattered throughout the room, but none moved so Chris didn’t give a damn. All he cared about was the limp body at the end of the blood trail, and how that didn’t move, either.

“Leon, Leon,” Chris heard himself gasp but couldn’t stop himself from chanting Leon’s name. The man was curled up on his side, back to Chris, and oh god. Chris could see a small pool of red under him. Chris couldn’t see if he was breathing or anything. 

Please. Please, Leon.

Chris skid to a stop beside Leon’s still form and fell to his knees. No reaction. No movement. Leon’s bloody hair hid his face. Chris’s pulse roared in his ears as he unthinkingly reached out for his lover. His shaking hands remained gentle as he touched Leon, carefully pulling his lover close. Leon stayed curled up in a ball, even as Chris pulled him into his lap, and for one terrified moment, all Chris could think was that it was too late. Leon was gone. His fierce lover had already gone stiff and cold.

Except those beautiful blue eyes were open, if only in mere slits, and were glaring at him. “Asshole,” Leon wheezed. “Don’t move the wounded.”

Chris swore he could hear an angelic chorus above him. If it wasn’t for Leon still glaring at him and the reminder that Leon was wounded, Chris would have yanked him to his chest and held him as tight as he could. “How bad is it?” he demanded. Leon remained curled up, making it hard to see. Whatever it was, it was bleeding and Chris needed to fix it.

Leon grimaced and nodded toward his stomach. There was a streak of blood on his white cheek, staining his long bangs. “Waist. A claw. I --” He bit his lip and squeezed his eyes shut.

A possible gut wound. Panic swelled inside Chris. “We can fix that,” he promised, adjusting his arms around Leon. With a soft grunt, he stood, holding Leon in his arms. The man made a soft noise but didn’t protest. Chris fought to keep his growing terror in check. Leon should be kicking and squirming and possibly flipping Chris onto his back, not accepting it.

“Medics are waiting for us at the entrance, Captain!” Piers called. Captain. Chris couldn’t let himself forget that. Not again. “Claire’s there and waiting for us, too.”

Claire. Chris swallowed and straightened his back. Fuck, he just wanted to hold them -- all of them -- close and never let them go. “Copy,” was all he let himself say.

Then Leon shifted, arm still protectively around his waist, so he curled against Chris instead of curling into himself. Eyes still closed, Leon rested his head on Chris’s shoulder with a sigh. Chris thought he heard something shatter in his chest. For one damning moment, he couldn’t move, could only hold Leon close. 

“Captain,” Piers repeated, voice sharp, and Chris looked up to see his second-in-command with his scars and eyepatch -- all Chris’s fault, forever Chris’s fault -- and he made himself nod. He was still Captain Redfield. Later, when this mess was behind them and his uniform was tossed on their bedroom floor, Chris could let himself go. Not yet.

“Let’s go,” he said, walking back to the entrance. 

Captain or not, though, Chris couldn’t help but hold Leon to him, couldn’t help but focus on Leon’s soft breaths against his neck. The weight of Leon in his arms. His warmth.  I got you, Babe. We’re going home. I swear it.

We’re going home.

xoxoxox

Of course, prior to home, there was a pitstop at the local hospital. Later, Chris wasn’t sure who hated the place more: him or Leon.

“I feel fine, Chris.”

“Those are the drugs.”

“I’m taking up a bed for nothing. I can recover at home.”

“There are plenty of beds and you have a literal hole in your side, Leon.”

“I had a literal hole in my side. Had.”

A hole which required surgery and far too many stitches to fix, but there was no need to tell Leon that. Leon stretched out on the hospital bed, arguing about going home even as he struggled to keep his eyes open. When Chris gently brushed the hair away from Leon’s heavy eyes, his palm scraped a bandage tucked at Leon’s hairline.

Surgery, too many stitches, bandages everywhere, and one foot was wrapped up from where a BOW had apparently tried to chew through it. More than drugs flowed through Leon’s veins: on the other side of Leon’s bed, bright red blood flowed through the IV, trying to restore some color to his lover’s pale face. 

Yeah. Leon wasn’t going anywhere for a while. Carefully, Chris held Leon’s IV-free hand and kept brushing Leon’s hair back. Leon’s morphine-blown eyes never wavered from Chris’s face. No wonder the man thought he could go home: Leon was feeling no pain right then.

“I want to go home, Chris,” Leon insisted. “I’m fine.”

Unfortunately, no amount of morphine could combat Leon’s hatred of hospitals. “You have to stay here a little longer,” Chris said, just like the last two times Leon awoke drugged and annoyed. “Don’t worry. I’ll stay here with you.”

Leon frowned at him, and nothing in the world could have stopped Chris from leaning down and kissing him then. 

Chris had been confident that his loved ones were safe. Claire would dazzle the UN with her speech and Leon would see how many snacks he could sneak while the BSAA surrounded them, keeping them safe. It was supposed to be a good, if boring, day.

Instead, Chris almost lost them both. He kissed Leon again, and even drugged and barely awake, Leon kissed him back. 

Chris wouldn’t let himself be that cocky again. He wouldn’t let himself lose his head during a mission, and he wouldn’t let himself that anywhere was safe as long as any part of Umbrella survived. So for now, he stayed with Leon and watched him fight sleep, Piers in the cafe with Claire. 

“I can’t lose you,” he murmured against Leon’s mouth. 

“Idiot,” Leon returned.

Helplessly, Chris smiled. Soon, Piers and Claire would be back with terrible hospital food and most of his people would be within immediate reach. It wouldn’t be all right, but it would be better.

“I love you,” Chris whispered. Like it could possibly be a secret.

“I love you, too. Now can we go home?”