It was during the winter of '97 that Rebecca Chambers was assigned to S.T.A.R.S., the elite special unit on the Raccoon City Police Force, no small feat given she was only 18 years old. She had just graduated college the previous summer as a prodigy, and was reassigned to assist in combating some chemical attacks on the city. She could hardly believe it, she was a cop now, not to mention part of an elite unit. Her parents would be proud of her, if they'd have been willing to speak to her.
Sitting at her desk, she looked around nervously, awkwardly positioning her arm to not be resting on her sidearm. She hadn't been a cop very long when she was abruptly reassigned, and was still after 4 months just getting used to carrying a gun 18 hours a day. The office was decorated in a seasonal fashion what with it being Christmas Eve and all. The decor just depressed her. She didn't have any family locally, and she and her parents weren't on friendly terms. With nowhere really to go and nothing to do, it would probably end up being another night alone in the bunk room at the station. She sighed deeply, and just when she was about to stand up she felt a pair of eyes on her back, along with a hand on her shoulder.
"Why are you still here?" a slightly older voice said.
Rebecca turned around and saw it was Jill Valentine. Rebecca had only met her the night before during introductions, and knew Jill was a veteran member of S.T.A.R.S. and third highest ranked behind officers Redfield and Wesker. Jill came from a military background and it showed. Jill was taller than her, and a fair bit more toned and muscular, without being bulky. She was lithe and stood with the disciplined posture of a former Soldier.
"Uh, no Ma'am, I'm just waiting for my shift to end," Rebecca replied, somewhat flustered.
"Listen," Jill replied only half sternly, "I told you not to call me Ma'am. We're all equal here, you can just call me Jill."
"Er, yes ma... I mean Jill," Rebecca stuttered, trying to stifle the butterflies from Jill's warm smile"
Jill made a small laugh and then put her hand on her hip.
"So tell me why you're still here?" Jill asked. "Everyone else but a skeleton crew has gone home. Don't you have anyone to go home to? Parents? Boyfriend?"
"No," Rebecca replied, sighing. "I don't really have anywhere to be. My parents and I don't speak, and I really haven't any interest in boys."
"Well, that's no good," Jill said, "no one should be spending the holidays alone. You sure you don't have anywhere to go?"
Rebecca looked at her shoes, embarrassed.
"Pretty certain," she replied.
"Well," Jill said, smirking, "we'll have to do something about that then."
Rebecca looked up, her curiosity piqued.
Jill gave Rebecca another one of those smiles that made Rebecca feel all warm inside.
"You can come have dinner with me," Jill offered. "If you're up for it."
Rebecca's face turned bright red, resisting the urge to think of it as a date. She had no way of knowing if Jill would ever even be interested. Just a friendly meal between coworkers.
"Well?" asked Jill.
"Um..." she hesitated, "sure, yeah... I guess, yeah... that sounds wonderful.""
Rebecca nervously fiddled with her belt, and Jill laughed a little.
"No need to be nervous hon," Jill said reassuringly. "Go clock out and get into some civvies, we'll meet at my car in 20 okay?"
"Ok," Rebecca said, smiling a little. "I'll meet you there."
Rebecca practically jumped out of her chair, bolting down to the punchclock to clock out, then to the lockers to change.
Jill crossed her arms absently as she watched Rebecca bolt out of the S.T.A.R.S. office, smiling. She was happy to see Rebecca so excited after seeing her look so sad. She was wondering why Rebecca wasn't speaking to her folks, but didn't want to pry. Besides, Jill didn't exactly hate the idea of sharing a meal with someone so cute.
She smirked to herself and headed down to her car.
Rebecca could barely contain her excitement as she left the station, having changed into, some jeans, boots, and a snug warm jacket. She couldn't believe Jill invited her to spend the holiday with her. Rebecca had always been a loner, having always poured herself into her studies. People didn't really line up to be friends with the nerdy girl, but now she was going to be eating dinner with most respected and decorated female officer of the RCPD.
She spotted Jill standing next to her already started car. Jill was wearing a black leather jacket, along with some dark blue cargo pants and some combat boots. On anyone else it might look a little threatening, but on Jill it made Rebecca practically melt. Even out of uniform, she was a "woman in uniform" as they say.
Rebecca jogged up to the car, as Jill got in. It looked like a late model Nissan, functional and sturdy just like Jill. It was only a two seater, but she figured Jill probably didn't need a lot of room. Rebecca got into the second seat, pulling her seatbelt on and trying to figure out the music Jill had playing.
"So Rebecca," Jill asked, "where do you want to go?"
"Wherever you'd like to go," she replied, smiling.
"Well alright then'" Jill said. "I know this nice little place near my house, by the open air mall."
"That sounds great," Rebecca replied. "I haven't really explored the local shops or restaurants yet."
"Right," Jill said. "Forgot you're not a local."
"Nope," she replied. "Graduated in Denver, moved here to accept a job offer from RCPD, promoted after only four months, surprised as all hell."
"Might seem odd to you hon," Jill said, "but you studied a high end field of chemistry no one else on the force is versed in, and we needed that knowledge on our team with all the recent chemical incidents."
Rebecca blushed, fiddling with her purse nervously.
"Yeah, I um..." Rebecca mumbled shyly, "I guess they were impressed by my thesis on dealing with domestic terrorism using chemical weapons. Basically they thought I was really smart, and I guess they probably planned to recruit me to S.T.A.R.S. all along."
"Seems reasonable to me." Jill said, nodding. "Oh look, here we are."
Jill pulled up to the curb by the restaurant, putting change in the meter as they got out of the car. Then they entered the restaurant together.
Jill and Rebecca were quickly seated inside. Being Christmas Eve it wasn't terribly busy, so they got a corner table with no one nearby. Jill was relieved to not have to wait for a table. She much preferred getting straight to the good part of dining out. She looked at Rebecca as the two of them were seated, smiling to herself.
The waitress took their drink orders, with Jill ordering some coffee and Rebecca some tea. The prospect of warm drinks appealed to them both, as cold as it had been of late.
"So Jill," Rebecca asked as she read the menu. "You know a little about me now, maybe you can return the favor?"
"Sure," Jill replied, browsing her own menu. "I joined the army in '92 when I was 18.It was bit too late for the Gulf, so nothing to get excited about. I was deployed to Somalia in '93 though. That whole disaster..." She paused a moment, then continued.
"What I did there got the attention of some higher ups. So in '94 I was brought into the Delta Force training program, which then allowed me into their unit. Then two years later I left the Army because of family problems back home, and... other reasons. I took a job with the RCPD not long after I got home."
Rebecca looked at Jill with a mix of curiousity, awe, and a twinge of sadness.
"You ok hon?" Jill asked.
Rebecca blushed and then ran a hand through her hair.
"Oh, um... yeah..." Rebecca stuttered. "Just... really impressed is all. Your story is a lot more exciting than mine!"
Jill was amused by that. She didn't think much of her time in the Army any more. That was a chapter of her life she'd closed long ago. It did certainly seem to impress people when they heard about it though.
The waitress came back with their drinks, setting them on the table. She then took their orders Jill order a salad, and Rebecca ordered a large burger. Jill was amused and surprised by Rebecca's choice, though she'd certainly seen stranger things.
After more small talk their food arrived, and they ate at a liesurely pace, enjoying both the food and each others' company.
"So Rebecca," Jill asked, "I'm curious. Why are you and your parents at odds?"
Rebecca's eyes widened for a moment, almost choking on her food, before quickly composing herself with a blush.
"Well um,..." she said nervously, "when my parents found out I wasn't exactly... um... interested in boys. They kinda freaked out and said I wasn't welcome there anymore."
"Ooohhhh" replied Jill, having suspected about Rebecca, but sad to learn what coming out had cost her.
"Well," Jill said, "that's very sad to hear, but you seem to be handling it very well."
"Yeah," Rebecca replied. "I'm getting by. Not fun being alone though."
Jill knew what it was like to be ridiculed for who you are, considering she was a woman in the Army, and Don't Ask Don't Tell was part of her reason for resigning. She smiled at Rebecca, putting her own hand on her coworker's.
"Well you're not exactly alone any more," she said. "The whole team should be like your family now. And..."
Jill rubbed the back of her neck shyly and looked away, before turning her gaze back to Rebecca, smiling warmly.
"Thanks," Rebecca said. "That's good to know."
"No problem Becca," Jill replied.
The pair finished their meal then, Rebecca smiling the whole time. She liked Jill calling her that, and the warm feeling had returned to her stomach like the one from before, except now even stronger. The two of them had finished up their food now, deciding to have two slices of apple pie together considering the holiday, with Jill drinking another couple cups of coffee along with it.
"This has been a lovely evening Jill," Rebecca said, smiling.
Jill laughed quietly, taking a sip of coffee.
"Well," Jill said, squeezing Rebecca's hand, "it doesn't have to end... does it?"
Rebecca blushed, feeling Jill's hand on hers, caressing it gently. She gulped nervously and then nodded, smiling.
"No," she replied. "No it doesn't."
Jill gave her another warm smile, giving Rebecca that warm fluttery feeling again, and she smiled back. They got the check, paid for their meal, and left to go to Jill's apartment.