There's a lot of things in Jill's life that she can't honestly say she saw coming; in fact, her whole life felt like god just threw a few darts around to see how shit would turn out. But the fact that she's not only lived long enough to reach twenty-two, but that she's now a law enforcement agent stops her dead in her tracks that morning. Who could have ever seen this coming? Jill Valentine, a STARS agent. What a life she's had.
The sun is warm on her neck despite the cold March air curling around her figure as she stares up at the RPD. Sure, it's been her office for just about a month now, but the reality of it all has barely landed on her shoulders. Who'd have thought that she was cut out for the life she's managed to make for herself?
"Marvin." She acknowledges him as a way of shaking herself back into reality.
"Everything alright?" He's stopped on the stairs, turning back as he's noticed her hesitance.
"Oh yeah, just kind of lost myself for a second." She assures him, walking into the door he's held open for her, "Have a good day."
"You too." He chuckles with a shake of his head.
The STARS office is empty as it always is at the top of the hour, though she already hears Wesker shuffling through papers in his office. She's pretty certain he never sleeps, or maybe he sleeps standing up like a horse, one of those people who takes naps instead of sleeping a whole night.
She pulls out her own files, taking her seat without ceremony as Barry walks in the door. "Morning Jill."
"Morning Barry, how are you?" She returns, glancing up to catch both Enrico and Brad walking in, shoulders slumped with tiredness.
"I'm alright, you ready for your first training as a STARS member?" He teases walking up to her desk.
"Do you mean am I ready to kick your ass today?" She smirks, "Because I like you Barry, it's gonna be sad for me to see you beaten."
"Bold words, Valentine." Enrico chuckles setting his things down.
"I'm a bold woman." She laughs with him.
"Just don't get partnered with Brad. I don't think he can handle much more trauma."
"Get off your own dick Enrico." Brad snorts taking a seat at his own desk, "But also, Jill would probably kill me on accident, so I see your point."
"You'd thank me for it too." She winks standing up to deliver a file to Wesker's office.
"Atta girl." Barry snorts, turning towards Enrico.
Just as she's about to enter Wesker's office he opens the door, nearly smacking her in the face with it. Barely acknowledging her, he directs his attention towards the rest of the office.
"Enrico, a moment." He says bruskly sparing a glance towards Jill only after the other man has approached.
"Documents from yesterday's report, sir." She says holding out the file to him. He nods but says nothing as he and Enrico disappear back into his office.
There's a low groan that draws Jill's gaze over to none other than Chris Redfield slugging his way into the office and towards their desks.
"Morning." She chuckles, watching as a yawn overtakes him.
"Sorry." He responds tiredly.
"How on earth did you survive morning drills in your Air Force days with an attitude like that?" She teases walking back to their desks.
"Clearly I didn't, all things considered." He chuckles taking a seat, his glassy eyes lock with hers. She fights the instinct to bite her lip as he does so. Jill's not the kind of girl to get involved with office romances...or romances at all, but damn, if she did…
"Don't worry, Wesker will beat that attitude right out of you." Barry comments boredly.
"He can fucking try." Chris scoffs taking a swig of coffee from his thermos.
"Have many tried and never succeeded?" She asks, passing a smile to Edward and Richard as they too waltz into the office.
"Damn right," Chris shakes his head, turning towards the stack of assignments he's yet to sort through.
Despite herself, she takes a moment to stare, the long sharp lines of his features and how effortlessly soft that look in his eye is. Oh yeah, if she were the type to fall in love, she could picture herself falling for this one, hard. It's a good thing they're friends, that all of the STARS members are her friends, otherwise she'd be playing a very dangerous game.
Sure, she's used to being the only woman in a room, she's also used to being the toughest, most determined, hardest working of the bunch. Such is the life of breaking into a man's world, and she likes it that way; likes always knowing her place and then proving them wrong. She's the woman her father raised, she wears that shit with pride.
Chris very nearly catches her staring, but if he does, he doesn't call her out for it. Instead the last of the STARS members trickle in slowly, soon the office is filled with the clicking of typewriter keys and scratching pens. Practically therapeutic and mind-numbing work that makes Jill almost forget it's training day. Almost.
One o'clock comes and Wesker steps out of his office, issuing instructions to meet at a local boxing gym, Jill leans over her desk as he speaks.
"Hey, where is that?" She asks Chris lowly.
"I can take you." He responds just as softly, not moving his gaze from Wesker.
"Thanks." She smirks waiting for Wesker to finish his little speech. She hates that Wesker wears those damn sunglasses inside, it's like he doesn't want anyone to know he's a person. Maybe it's for the best she doesn't see him as human, but he's her Captain for Christ's sake. Can the guy be anymore closed off?
"I expect everyone there and ready to go in 15 minutes." He says turning back into his own office without a second to spare.
"Worse than my damn mom." Edward chuckles.
"I can just imagine." Chris laughs grabbing his keys and flipping them in his hand.
"Don't talk about Jill that way." Richard teases with a snort, to which Jill immediately flips him off as she backs out of the office.
"Ready to be one of the boys, Valentine?" Chris asks with a chuckle.
"I think you boys should really woman up if you want my honest opinion." She tells him, holding the door to the parking garage open for him.
"Oh? Maybe I should." He snorts, "Don't mind the mess, it's my sister's shit mostly." He claims as he unlocks the car, Jill wrinkles her nose as she opens the door.
"So your sister exclusively eats fast food?" She asks tossing a bag of garbage into the back seat.
"What can I say? She's a growing girl, about to graduate high school and everything." He snorts, "Also she's missing her eye liner let me know if you find it."
"Noted and acknowledged." She chuckles rummaging through her bag just to make sure she has everything.
"So, you like Raccoon city so far?" He asks, pulling out of the space.
"I think so…" She lets out a breathy sigh, "It's nothing like I'm used to, but I think I like it that way."
"What are you used to? Don't tell me that Jill Valentine is country bumpkin."
"As fucking if!" She lets out a barking laugh, "I grew up in Denver."
"Ah, that explains about 80% of your personality." He says in a sarcastic tone.
"Oh, does it?"
"You bet your ass."
"Tell me how." She folds her arms, interested to hear his answer.
"Army, outdoorsy – don't give me that look you're a hiker I've got you pegged."
"Do you?" She asks with a raised brow and he blushes instantly.
"Not like that!" He says quickly, though Jill has already burst into boisterous laughter. "Fuck me."
"Apparently you're doing the fucking."
"Stop it." He shakes his head. "I also like to hike so I just know okay?"
"Maybe you could join me on a hike then, I haven't braved the Arklays yet." She speaks so easily she almost doesn't realize what she's asked until a second of silence settles in the car. Just as she's about to take it back he nods.
"Yeah, for sure, maybe closer to May it's still pretty cold this time of year." He says it like the words mean nothing and Jill feels relief fill her up inside, thank god he didn't think of it as a date.
They pull into the gym parking lot just as he's accepting her offer, and in they waltz to kick some ass. Going their separate ways, Jill finds herself alone in the women's locker room, she feels a sense of nervousness fall on her shoulders. What on Earth could she have to be nervous about? Blaming the feeling on just being the new kid on the block, she hurriedly changes into her work out clothes.
The guys are all ready when she emerges, Joseph has Brad over his shoulders like a sack of potatoes, Chris, Kenneth, and Edward sit by egging them on. Barry is trying to get them to stop before Wesker can chew them out, but they show no signs of stopping their dickery. Richard sees Jill first and beckons her over to him and Forest.
"Why?" She asks.
"Showboating before they make fools of themselves." Richard chuckles.
"Cute." She smirks, "Where are our fearless leaders? It's been fifteen minutes."
"Probably sucking each other's dicks?" Forrest snorts.
"I don't think Wesker gives anything to anyone." Jill folds her arms eliciting a laugh from Richard.
"So cruel, yet so true." Richard agrees with her as Enrico walks in from the locker room with Wesker close behind, though not changed out of his typical uniform. Jill is beginning to wonder if that thing is glued to his body.
"Line up." Enrico orders taking one last look at his clip board while waiting for STARS to follow his orders.
It's silent for a moment, except for Brad and Joseph smacking each other's arms like little kids. Wesker takes a look at them it's hard to follow his gaze because of the sunglasses that must also be glued to him; but Jill swears his gaze falls on her.
"Valentine take your shirt off." He says it so plainly that she almost isn't shocked by what he's said.
After a second of shock she manages to speak up, "Excuse me?"
He practically sighs, already on to the next thing in his own head. "Take your shirt off, it's too baggy and will get in your way."
"I don't think you can legally tell me to do that." She retorts, face quickly growing hot as she speaks.
"You can do as I say, or you can leave, your choice." Wesker seems bored arguing with her and nips it in the bud that very second.
Jill feels the gaze of her team on her, burning with furry and embarrassment she draws her mouth into a hard line. Stepping out of line, she makes the easy choice, the one where she pulls off the offending garment and chucks it at him. Cold air hits her shoulder blades instantly, and she's grateful that she's at least allowed to keep her damn bra.
He catches it easily, and she feels the harshness of his gaze from behind that stupid tinted glass. The smirk that forms on his lips is not lost on her as she gets back in line, neither is the low whistle from down the line.
"Forest, you have something to say?" Wesker asks looking towards the end of the line.
"No sir." He claims.
"In that case, Jill Forrest you're up first." Jill turns to Forest with hard steely eyes, he makes no attempt to hide his raking gaze.
"You ready to get your ass kicked?" She asks harshly.
"Sure am." He snorts, as if he doesn't believe her, how very typical. It's a simple spar really, but she'll be fucked if anyone thinks she'll go easy right out the gate.
They get in the ring facing one another. Jill's on offense, Forest on defense, she takes a deep breath trying to calm down so she doesn't actually kill him.
"Whenever you're ready." Enrico says stopwatch in hand. Jill takes one step forward practically throwing her right leg off the ground, Forest barely manages to catch it before her foot collides with his face. She'd been hoping for this as the second she feels his hand she jumps up twisting herself so that her other leg wraps around his neck.
He collapses on his back instantly while she deftly poises herself over him, one leg pinning each arm.
"Oh sorry, did I win?" She taunts, watching as he tries to catch the breath she stole. He says nothing, merely bucks his hips up to which she throws her elbows back and directly into his thighs.
"Fucking gah!" He shouts, hips dropping back. Jill doesn't have to take it one step further, but she does anyway. Grabbing each of his knees and pushing them so swiftly they knock against the floor; she gets right back in his face.
"Give up yet?" She asks.
"Fuck sure! God just get off of me!" Forest winces in pain as she stands up in one swift motion. "You could have killed me."
"That's kind of the point." She reminds him walking back to the others.
"Not in here it isn't." He grumbles pulling his legs back together agonizingly slow.
"Forrest, out of the ring." Wesker says with the closest thing to a smile Jill's ever seen on his face.
"Where'd you learn to do that?" Chris asks.
"Is Denver a sufficient answer?" She smirks prompting him to laugh as she climbs out of the ring herself.
"Remind me to visit." He looks like he didn't mean to say it, or maybe he's just checking her out in leggings and a bra. She can't say she minds either option, but she has to keep up appearances.
"Eyes up here Redfield." She taps his chin to guide his gaze back up, nodding towards a still struggling Forest "Unless you're next."
She can't be certain she hears it, but she swears his response is, "Sign me up."
"Chris, Edward, you're up."
He's in the ring before she can say anything else and she thinks that's probably for the best. The rest of training goes by quickly, conditioning feels good and she notes boldly how she's finally breaking a sweat. By the end of it all she's using the shirt she'd discarded as a sweat towel, much to her annoyance that Wesker's insult actually benefited her somewhat.
Chris is waiting for her once she's changed back into her uniform, he's got a sideways smile that she'd call flirtatious if that were their dynamic.
"Ready to go, princess?"
"Don't call me princess." She pushes passed him, out the door he holds for her.
He chuckles, "Sorry, thought it was an appropriate mob name for you."
"Mob name, huh?" She asks getting into his car.
"Yeah, you know, the 'opposite-of-what-you-are' kind of deal?"
"Should I be offended or do you want to take it back?" She gives him a smirk to which he rubs the back of his neck.
"I'll uh, take that back."
After a spell of silence, he speaks up, "Sorry Forest is a jackass."
"I'll apologize in a week." She waves him off.
"No really, I'm sorry."
"It's fine, Chris."
"It wasn't fine, how he acted I mean."
She shakes her head, "It's hard for him to have me here, isn't it?"
"No, he just isn't capable of understanding human interaction. He didn't mean anything against you, I'm sure of it. Wesker, who the hell knows, but Forest is just an idiot."
She laughs at that, "I'm a big girl, Chris. I can handle myself."
"Clearly." He chuckles, "You nearly killed him."
"Gotta stop that kind of behavior when it pops up." She claims, "I was in the military, I've dealt with worse."
"That's not good."
"Nope." She pops the p, but Chris doesn't laugh. "Anyway, hopefully tomorrow's a slow day, I haven't worked out like that in months."
"Getting back on the horse?"
"Guess I really should find a gym."
"Who needs a gym when you could use the great outdoors, I for example, punch boulders for an hour straight every morning."
Laughing Jill turns towards him, "Somehow, coming from you, I believe it."
"Ooo my pride felt that one."
"Tell your pride I'm sorry." She smirks as they pull back into the parking garage, after directing him to her car she starts to get out.
"You have everything?"
"Yeah, thanks for the ride."
Before she climbs out she turns to look at him, "Don't forget to take me hiking."
"Trust me, I won't." A second of quiet passes between them, nothing but soft smiles and nervous energy floating between them.
"Good." She says stepping out of the car, "I'll see you tomorrow, have a good night."
"You too." His voice is soft, as if he's barely able to get the words out.
As Jill climbs into her car she smiles to herself; she has always liked having that kind of power over men.