[identity profile] denzilalsene.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] ship_manifesto
Title: Sacrifice
Author: denzilalsene
Fandom: Resident Evil
Pairing: Leon/Ada
Spoilers: Almost all the high points of both of Leon’s scenarios in Resident Evil 2 and a good portion of Resident Evil 4 and Separate Ways, as well. Also, brief mentions of the epilogues of Resident Evil 3, Ada’s mission in Umbrella Chronicles, and Wesker's Report.
E-mail: commander.leonhart@gmail.com
Notes: (Word count is about 1,000 words over the limit. x.x Sorry). My utmost thanks go to both[livejournal.com profile] theskyforwire and [livejournal.com profile] thornsmoke for their work editing this essay, seeing that it got written, and being patient with me as I worked. Thanks, guys. 

 Abstract:



Perhaps the greatest expression of love and devotion is the willingness to sacrifice one’s life for the sake of another. It is an act of the utmost selflessness, a dedication to another person that is so profound that words could never be enough to explain it. For Leon Kennedy and Ada Wong, such sacrifices provide the foundation of their relationship; the eagerness to protect one another at the risk of their own lives is what defines them, what changes them, and what brings them to love one another in the first place. 

I adore this couple. Their relationship is a blend of true emotion, sexual chemistry, and devotion to one another—though the series, it becomes more and more apparent that they truly care about one another. The dynamics between these two characters are what drew me to them in the first place and why they remain one of my favorite pairings of any fandom, ever. But their relationship is never easy: they are rarely able to have quiet moments together, let alone be together for good. There are countless obstacles in their way, barriers that could easily end in both of their deaths. Even so, there’s still hope that they both grasp to—even if they can never be together, they still love one another.  


Summary of Resident Evil:




 For those not familiar with the general story of Resident Evil, here are the basics:

Umbrella Corporation, a pharmaceutical company, started developing biological weapons after the discovery of the Progenitor virus. Through their efforts to construct an unstoppable biologically-engineered soldier, Umbrella created the Tyrant-Virus, a biological agent capable of killing and then reanimating cells in the body. Umbrella scientists used the virus to experiment on animals, discovering as they did that the T-Virus could transform subjects into violent, aggressive monsters. As Umbrella’s ultimate goal was an entity that would be an intelligent combatant, they tried the virus on humans as well—but the T-Virus turned humans into mindless, voracious zombies.

In a series of events that precede even the original Resident Evil game, there is an outbreak of the T-Virus at one of Umbrella’s secret research facilities outside of Raccoon City. Eventually, Umbrella’s scientists are infected and turned to zombies, the virus itself gets out, the test subjects escape, rats spread the virus to the city, and on September 29 of 1998, Raccoon City is overrun by zombies. This is the situation in which Leon and Ada meet for the first time.

Resident Evil 4 is a departure from this plot, as it takes place six years after the Raccoon City incident—but we’ll get there later.  


Leon Scott Kennedy




The hero of Resident Evil 2 and 4 is a good-natured, well-meaning kind of guy. Selflessness is in his nature from the start: a desire to help others is what motivated Leon to become a police officer in the first place. After graduating from the police academy, Leon immediately applies for a job at the Raccoon City Police Department to assist in solving the brutal, inexplicable murders that occurred outside of the city; he naively believes that he can confront the city’s problem himself. Young, innocent, and duty-bound, Leon is eager to see the good in people and has a strong sense of justice—this leaves him with a black-and-white view of the world, which is broken only by his encounter with Ada. She shows him the shades of gray that truly exist in the world, and he matures because of it. What Leon lacks in experience, he makes up for in determination, valor, and intelligence.

The day that Leon arrives in Raccoon City to start his job as a police officer is the same day of the viral outbreak in Raccoon City; arriving to the city late because he overslept, Leon is spared the fate that the rest of the police force fell victim to. He stumbles across Ada as he’s searching the Raccoon Police Department for survivors and a way to escape. 


Ada Wong




Whereas Leon is caring and sensitive, Ada prides herself on maintaining her calm composure in any situation; while Leon is a rookie cop out to rescue others, Ada is a manipulative, calculating spy. She possesses the experience with the cruelties of the world that he lacks and has a reputation for never failing missions. She is cold and efficient, completing her mission without even the slightest unease…That is, until she meets Leon.

Ada ends up in Raccoon City under orders from Albert Wesker-the villain of Resident Evil-to retrieve a sample of the G-Virus—but to disguise these intentions, she claims to be looking for her boyfriend Jon, a researcher for Umbrella. There is some truth to this: Jon was Ada’s boyfriend, for a time. She used the scientist to infiltrate Umbrella and gain access to information about the T-Virus.

When Leon unwittingly finds her, Ada is trying to find access into the police department cellblock, searching for a reporter (Ben) that could give her a tip about where to find her objective. 


The Foundation of the Relationship 


Resident Evil is not exactly known for having much literary depth, but Leon and Ada are undoubtedly the two most complex characters in the series. They are both multifaceted and three-dimensional—and most importantly, they undergo changes throughout the games because of each other. What makes this couple so awesome is how they impact and affect one another; the way they start out at the beginning of the game is not the way they end up, and the changes are still evident six years later. 

So to best understand the development that Leon and Ada go through and to set up events in Resident Evil 4, let’s take a look at the vital scenes in Resident Evil 2 that show the beginning and progression of this relationship.

[The meeting]

Up to this point in the game, Leon has only met other victims: people terrified by the city’s horrors, people in need of help, or people already dead or dying. Ada is an exception. The first time they encounter one another in the garage of the police department, she shoots at him. This should be the first clue that Ada isn’t just a vulnerable woman in need of a police officer’s help.

However, since Leon is so eager to be of assistance, Ada uses him: “I'm looking for some guy named Ben. […] I've been trying to find another way inside. If we work together, we can move this thing. Give me a hand here, will you?” There’s no fright or terror here—Ada just wants the car that’s blocking her path to get out of her way. She wastes no time in getting to her point across, and Leon offers his help without question, seemingly missing the fact that Ada is also trying to get inside instead of escaping. So when Ada promptly takes off on her own as soon as she can get inside, Leon, confused, can only yell at her to wait. His pleas go unheeded.

For a while, the game continues in this manner: Leon catches up to Ada. Ada runs off without explanation. Leon yells at her to wait. Leon chases after her. Repeat process. Leon never gets the hint that Ada doesn’t need his help. He’s just all the more determined to watch out for her every time she disappears. Ada, meanwhile, is merely after her mission objective and Leon is only slowing her down and being a burden.

But the persistent Leon finally gets his way when he gives her a firm reprimanding for running off so frequently: 

 

Leon: What was that all about? Running off like that was reckless and stupid! Those zombies are everywhere, not to mention that thing that got Ben.
Ada: I was there, Leon, I know.
Leon: Look, Ada, as an officer, it's my job to look out for you, but we're not going to get through this alive if we don't work together. Okay?
Ada: All right, we'll do this your way for now.  

Once again, Ada makes it quite apparent that she’s not afraid of what’s going on in the city and that she doesn’t need his help. Nevertheless, she decides to play along for the time being. 

[Wounded]



After that, the two travel together and make their way down into the sewers below Raccoon City…but as they progress into a lower level, they suddenly come upon a woman in a lab coat. Ada recognizes her immediately and starts to chase, but the scientist turns down a hall and starts shooting on her. Leon, seeing what’s happening, runs down the corridor and jumps in front of Ada, taking the bullet and pushing Ada onto the ground in the process. The woman (Annette Birkin, wife of the creator of the G-Virus), runs off.

The bullet wound knocks Leon unconscious, so the player takes control of Ada…and Ada, rather than tend to the man that just risked his life to save her, leaves to follow Annette. But if the player examines Leon after gaining playable control of Ada, Ada makes the observation that the bullet wound isn’t mortal.

At this point, Ada still hasn’t undergone the significant change that will bring her to care about Leon. Her primary goal is still obtaining a sample of the G-Virus. However, this is definitely a turning point for Ada, as she realizes that Leon is truly committed to protecting her even though they have only just met. Leon has no idea that she has been lying to him about her true motives and identity, but he is devoted to protecting her at the cost of his own life. Leon’s readiness to sacrifice himself for her is what makes Ada begin to question her own priorities and values—it’s what starts the process of her transformation.

Two more pivotal events cause these changes in Ada: the discovery of Jon’s death, and Leon rescuing her yet again. When Ada catches up to Annette, the scientist recognizes her and coolly informs her that Jon is already dead; she is apparently already aware of Ada’s actual goal. After this tussle, Ada is attacked by something else before she can get back to Leon.

Leon, meanwhile, has an important moment of his own. Claire (the other main character of Resident Evil 2 that players have the option of choosing instead of Leon), has found Leon sitting up against a wall, conscious, bleeding, and distraught. When Claire asks him if he’s all right, Leon doesn’t seem to care that he’s been wounded—he talks incessantly about how Ada is alone and without his protection. He’s determined to find Ada before something happens to her.

Claire: But you’ve been shot!
Leon: I’ll be okay…It’s Ada I’m worried about. 
    
His determination is both painfully adorable…and a little bit pathetic. Innocent Leon is still completely oblivious about the truth behind Ada.

His fears end up being confirmed. Something does happen to Ada. After Claire gives up and leaves him, Leon hears Ada’s cries further in the sewers. Bleeding and limping all the way, Leon hurries to rescue her. He finds Ada under attack by a T-Virus infected alligator; so he valiantly fights off the monster with his bullet wound open and untreated. When the creature is dead, he collapses in front of Ada and manages to joke about the injury to downplay the pain he’s really in. Ada silences him and says she’ll patch up the wound.




This is the second time Leon has selflessly saved Ada’s life at the risk of his own, and this time, it doesn’t go without appreciation. The discovery of Jon’s death came as a shock to Ada: Annette had implied during their confrontation that Jon had seriously cared about her, and Ada had done nothing but exploit and betray him for her own ends. Learning about his death makes her realize this, and she begins to regret that Jon died without ever knowing the truth. Ada sees that she is now doing the same thing to Leon—lying to him, using him, and risking his life for her sake. She starts to question her own motivation as she grows to genuinely care about Leon. Beforehand, she left him to chase after Annette; now, she dresses his wounds with care.

Before we get to the ending(s) of the game, there’s one more important scene to include. Eventually, Ada herself is badly injured before she and Leon reach Umbrella’s secret underground labs. When she regains consciousness, she and Leon have a moment in which Ada indicates her affection for him:

Leon: Hey, take it easy. […] I'll go find something to treat that wound, so just rest here in the meantime.
Ada: But...I'll only slow you down with these injuries. Go. Save yourself.
Leon: Is it just me, or does everybody always ignore what I say? I told you, it's my job to look after you.
Ada: But...you'll be in danger if you stay with me. I know I've only known you for a short period of time, but I really enjoy being with you. I know I'm not capable of caring about anyone, but I don't want to lose you.
Leon: We're leaving this place together. Wait here for me, I'll be right back.

Leon is as stubborn and resolute as ever to keep Ada well and safe; and Ada is able to admit for the first time that his well-being matters to her, too.
 
[Ada’s Death] 

Unfortunately for the concept of brevity, Resident Evil 2 has two different scenarios that players can choose from when completing the game with Leon—and Ada’s death is different for each of those. Since they’re both important evidence of the relationship between Leon and Ada, I decided not to skip out on either of them.

During the first one, Leon discovers a sample of the G-Virus as he’s searching the labs and Annette Birkin finds him. She tells him the truth about Ada, but he doesn’t believe it. Having full faith in Ada, he’s in denial that she would actually betray him. He rushes back to where he left her, only to find her gone. Since the facility’s self-destruct system has already been activated, Leon suspects that she’s already left to find them a way out. But as he’s making his way to the tram that leads out of the city, Ada stops him and, with her gun trained on him, demands the G-Virus. Leon is shocked, but can see straight through her weak guise. He knows she doesn’t want to hurt him:

Leon: I don't believe this. Annette was right, about everything.
Ada: That's why I told you to leave without me, but you wouldn't listen! Now hand it over. Don't make me shoot you.
Leon: You can't do that.

Defeated and finally coming to terms with her feelings for him, Ada slowly lowers her weapon and hangs her head. And Annette Birkin shoots her from behind.

Ada tumbles over the catwalk and Leon jumps forward in time to grab her hand with his good arm. He struggles to support both of them with the wounds he’s already endured. (Meanwhile, Annette dies from various injuries she’s already suffered.)




Leon: Ada! Ada, I've got you. Don't give up.
Ada: Leon... It's over. Just...let me go.
Leon: Shut up! You're gonna make it!
Ada: It's...too late, Leon. We...both know it...
Leon: No! I promised you that we would escape! You just have to help me out here.
Ada: I...really wanted to escape with you, Leon. Escape from...everything... Good...bye...

Knowing that Leon would keep hanging on until they both fell, Ada lets go of his hand and falls to her death. Leon yells her name and collapses to the ground. If the player inspects the gun that Ada dropped, Leon finds that it was unloaded. Ada never had any intention of shooting him in the first place.

The second death scene is what is generally accepted as canon, and what the game makers themselves have indicated is game canon. As Leon is exploring the labs, instead of finding the G-Virus, he’s attacked by an Umbrella creation called a Tyrant. The creature was sent by Umbrella to retrieve the G-Virus, and in this scenario of the game, Leon and Ada found a sample much earlier in the game but were not aware of what it was (it was hidden in the locket of another character). The Tyrant, then, pursues and eventually corners Leon.

Ada, though already gravely wounded, rushes to his aid, distracting the Tyrant away from him and yelling at him to escape. The Tyrant seizes Ada and throws her against the machinery of the lab, and the resulting electrical explosion is enough to send the Tyrant tumbling into a lava pit far below.

Leon runs to Ada’s side and takes her in his arms, but she’s already beyond saving; her wounds are simply too great. In return for all of his efforts to protect her, Ada ultimately sacrifices herself so that Leon can make it out of Raccoon City alive.

Ada: Leon...please... Escape...
Leon: No. We're a team. I can't just...leave you behind...
Ada: I'm just a woman who fell in love with you, nothing more.


 
The two share a kiss before Ada dies in his arms. Leon screams her name—and then the self-destruct system kicks in. Without much time left, Leon rises to his feet, giving her a final good-bye and swearing that he will never forget her.    

 

[Escape From Raccoon City – Umbrella Chronicles, Wesker’s Report, and Resident Evil 3 Epilogue] 



Umbrella Chronicles features a single mission for Ada, in which she is struggling to escape from Raccoon City. How she survived her death scenes remains a mystery to Resident Evil fans, but Umbrella Chronicles follows her escape from Raccoon City.  
 
The most important detail that’s relevant to this discussion is her opening account of the mission:

“It is important to remain calm and collected, even in the most extreme situations. In Umbrella’s underground laboratory, I forgot that wisdom. Something about the meeting with Leon changed me.”

Later in the mission, when Ada gets in contact with Wesker, he is already aware of what happened:

“And you Ada…You have also failed. Your actions in betraying us and helping that Leon fellow will have consequences for our organization.”

He says something to the same effect again in Wesker’s Report, a non-interactive DVD that was released with some versions of Resident Evil: Code Veronica:

“A spy's obligation and priority is in the mission; to carry out the mission like a machine without any emotional interference. But through her interaction and involvement with Leon S. Kennedy, there had been an affection growing inside her. […] Even though Ada almost had her hands on the G-Virus, which Leon had acquired from Sherry, that affection of hers drove her to her death. But she was still of some use.”

In Umbrella Chronicles, Ada recognizes that Wesker only saved her because she was still useful to him, and she acknowledges that he will only keep her around as long as she stays useful…But some day, that use would run out. This is likely what begins Ada’s process of betraying Wesker and his organization.

Yet another indication of the change in Ada comes in her epilogue file at the end of Resident Evil 3. Each of the main characters from the first three games had an epilogue to show what happened to them after the incident in Raccoon City.

 


For the first and only time in Resident Evil, we see Ada cry. The scar is either from her death scene or her earlier wound; either way, it remains as a reminder of Leon. From this image, it’s obvious that her meeting with Leon has deeply affected her—she misses the person that she had been when she was with him, and she regrets having to leave it behind and continue to a new mission.


Resident Evil 4 and Separate Ways


Resident Evil 4 takes place six years after the outbreak in Raccoon City. Because of the time gap and the fact that RE4 has an entirely new plot line, there are a few details to cover before we jump into the scenes with Leon and Ada together.

Separate Ways is an add-on game to the Playstation 2, Wii, and PC versions of RE4, in which players are able to take control of Ada and follow her actions throughout Leon’s progress in the main game. It fills in a number of gaps in the plot, reveals a great deal about the enigmatic spy, and gives us more evidence of the characters’ affections for one another—affections that have lasted six years.   

[The New Storyline] 

 Leon returns as the protagonist in Resident Evil 4, having quit his job as a police officer the day after the Raccoon City incident. He is now a top-ranking government agent, whose duty is to protect the president’s family. When the president’s daughter—Ashley—is kidnapped by a religious cult, Leon is sent to investigate in rural Spain. Leading up to this point, Leon has worked extensively in anti-Umbrella activities, working to bring the pharmaceutical corporation down for good.
 
Due to the zombie outbreak in Raccoon, the US government issued an indefinite suspension of business on Umbrella. Its stocks plummeted, and the corporation was as good as dead. Albert Wesker, however, is working behind the scenes to revive the company. The religious cult that has kidnapped Ashley is in possession of a mind-controlling parasite; one of Wesker’s agents—Jack Krauser—snatched Ashley in the first place as a way to coerce the cult into giving him a sample of the parasite. The agent, having difficulty in persuading them, calls in Ada for help.
 
Ada is still one of Wesker’s accomplices, but as Separate Ways reveals, she’s really on the way to betraying him. Though Wesker has ordered her to retrieve a parasite sample, she’s now a double-agent working for a different organization…which is now one of the biggest and most hotly-debated mysteries in Resident Evil. The games have not revealed what the organization is, what the nature of it is, or whether Ada is working on the “good” side or “bad” side.
 
Two things remains certain amid all these questions: Ada is still committed to Leon, and Leon hasn’t let go of her either.

[The Reunion] 

As Separate Ways reveals, Ada spends a great deal of time monitoring and following Leon throughout the game.  When she discovers his presence for the first time, she sighs his name; when he’s captured by the villagers, she watches on worriedly. She does express at one point that she must make sure that Leon thinks he’s the primary player in order for her own mission to succeed; but on occasion, her feelings for him encourage her to interfere.



The first time Ada interferes is when the village chief attacks Leon. Leon, unarmed and vulnerable, has little option for escape—until Ada suddenly comes to his aid, shooting through the window at his assailant before disappearing just as quickly. (Her antics cause her to be caught by the villagers and nearly killed as a result.) 

But Ada waits until much later to reveal her presence to Leon, whether from meticulous planning or from an impulse decision to see him again.

Since this scene is just that important, here’s a video: http://youtube.com/watch?v=j8dtslz5_Fo

Let’s start with some basics. Ada has finally decided to make herself known to Leon, flirting with him in a way that only she could. He plays along at first, and then the tension sets in. Leon (thinks that he) knows what she’s been up to; and as Ada points out, he’s been doing his homework if he managed to find that out. From this, it’s pretty obvious that Leon already knows that she’s been alive for the past six years, so he’s hardly surprised to see her there. He does sound a bit doubtful…hurt, even—and Ada, refusing to give in and tell him the truth about what she’s doing, uses a quick escape mechanism. The point here is to make her presence known to him and get out without any trouble. 

Ada is a strong and independent person—she knows she’s going against Leon to complete her mission, but she also knows that Leon is the type of man that, if he knew the truth, would try to get involved to protect her no matter what. Ada is constantly working to protect him; allowing Leon to get involved in that manner would only put his life at risk, and she knows this. She leaves quickly because she has to keep herself as emotionally detached from him as possible. Permitting herself to be too close to him would endanger them both…And it will soon become apparent why.

But we’re not done with this scene quite yet. The reunion is full of romantic and sexual imagery. It’s difficult to gather from this video alone, but Ada has chosen to reveal herself to Leon in the castle bedroom (I don’t think I need to explain the significance of that). The carpet, curtains, and bed sheets are red—a color not only often associated with Ada herself, but one that represents passion and desire. With the moonlight shining through the windows, and the castle garden as the view outside, Ada has picked a fitting place to reunite with Leon.

 And did you happen to notice the painting in the background of the scene? 



The painting in the left of this picture, and what appears throughout the scene, is Sandro Botticelli’s Primavera (1482). 

This Renaissance work—like the scene itself—is full of romantic and sexual imagery. Here are just a few details of what can be seen in this paining: Primavera depicts a scene in the spring. The central figure is Venus, the Roman goddess of Love, Beauty, and Fertility. Above her, Cupid is aiming his arrow. Off to the right, Zephyrus, the god of the winds, is pursuing the nymph Chloris; according to myth, he abducts and later marries her.

Why would the game-makers include such a meaningful painting into this scene? Why, if it wasn’t to add to the atmosphere and mood of such an important reunion?

In Separate Ways, we get some insight into Ada’s motivations behind some of her actions. When Ada escapes into the courtyard, she receives new orders from Wesker. He wants her to kill Leon. As we know (but Ada doesn’t) Wesker is well aware of her feelings for Leon. It’s as if he’s merely toying with her, testing what she’ll do. When she affirms orders and turns off her PDA, Ada casts a worried glance back towards the castle and whispers Leon’s name. 

[Protecting Leon]

 
When Ada returns to the castle and catches up with Leon, she watches him fighting off a group of cultists. Alone in the corridor, she speaks remorsefully: “Leon, I’m sorry but I can’t be seen with you.” Moments like these give us insight into Ada’s emotions—without anyone seeing her, without any need for guises, she is able to admit how she really feels about Leon, how she cares about him, how she wants to help him. Soon afterwards, Wesker asks if she has managed to kill Leon yet; she claims she hasn’t had an opportunity. Fortunately for Ada, her employer lets it slide…for now.

 

For a while, Ada continues to aid Leon in more roundabout ways to avoid detection. Every now and then, she leaves him a note with a hint or some advice. Each one is sealed with a kiss, as if she’s sending them with love.

The pair isn’t able to have another moment together until after the ending of the castle section of the game. Leon finds Ada in a motorboat, waiting to transport him to the island to which Ashley has been taken. She turns to him, smiles, and asks, “Need a ride, handsome?”  Of course Leon accepts (in a very husky voice that has dropped at least an octave).

 


If he is bitter about Ada avoiding his questions and not telling him the truth, Leon certainly doesn’t show it. As Ada drives, he quietly watches her with a dreamy look on his face. When he sits up as if about to say something, Ada notices and whips the boat around, jarring him. She uses a grappling gun to scale the cliff side…but not before giving him coquettish farewell (consisting of giving him a full view of her leg exposed by the slit in her dress, making Leon gawk, and then causing the boat to slam up against the rock wall).

Ada disappears again until well into the island segment of the game. When she eventually shows up again, she’s being confronted by Krauser, Wesker’s other agent. He makes it clear that he doesn’t trust Ada, that Wesker doesn’t either, and that he’s willing to kill Ada if she tries anything. Ada waves off the comment indifferently and leaves…Only to receive a message from Wesker a few moments later. Wesker is once again determined to kill Leon—but this time, he informs Ada, he’s sent Krauser to get the job done. After the conversation, Ada says that she doesn’t always play by Wesker’s rules, and breaks into a run to rescue Leon. 

The implications of this action are immense and far-reaching: Ada is expressing irrefutably that she’s willing to sacrifice herself and what she’s working for to protect Leon. Krauser has already told her that he’ll kill her if she betrays Wesker, and she is going directly against Wesker’s orders to save Leon’s life—for Wesker to find out could have disastrous consequences, likely ending in the failure of her ultimate goals. She rushes to rescue Leon anyway—his life is what’s most important to her.

 


Ada arrives just as Krauser is about to drive his knife into Leon’s throat. She shoots the gun out of Krauser’s hand, providing Leon the opportunity to kick the soldier off him. Krauser, outnumbered, makes a retreat; Ada herself leaves before Leon can demand too much out of her. In a following scene in which Krauser and Leon fight once again, Krauser confronts Leon by asking “So you two are all hooked up now—is that it?”

The final time Ada comes to Leon’s rescue is when the leader of the cult, Osmund Saddler, traps him. She orders Leon to leave while she holds off Saddler alone. In the ensuing battle, Saddler catches Ada off-guard and is able to subdue her. 

[Another Farewell]


Instead of killing Ada, Saddler ties her up and uses her to bait Leon. Now it’s Leon turn to come to her rescue. As soon as Ada is freed, Leon wants to know if she’s all right; he tells her to stand back, ready to fight Saddler on his own. Ada seems to heed his command, as she hurries off in a different direction—but, as per usual, she has a mind of her own.

 

As Leon fights, Separate Ways gives a different view of the battle. Ada finds an overhead vantage point, searching for some way to help him. Far below, where Leon has left her behind, Ashley observes Ada’s sudden appearance—the game makes a point of focusing in on Ashley as she watches Ada. The spy is concentrating completely on the fight, a worried expression on her face. Ashley notices this. Keep that in mind.

Soon, Ada spots a rocket launcher on the other side of the platform. She fights through Saddler’s followers until reaching the weapon and tosses it to Leon. With it, Leon kills Saddler.

 

Leon spots the remaining parasite sample near Saddler’s body and crouches down to pick it up. But before he can rise, Ada has a gun pointed at his head. She smiles and demands that he hand over the sample. As he gives it up, Leon asks if Ada knows what it is—to which she gives a cool affirmation. He offers no resistance, but before he can respond, Ada turns around and runs off the side of the platform.

Leon jogs to the edge of the platform as a helicopter rises up to his level. Already seated within, Ada activates a device that will blow up the island. She tosses him the key to a jet ski, and with a wave and the final enticing words of “See you around,” Ada leaves Leon once again. Leon and Ashley race through a tunnel to find the vehicle that Ada had left for them—so in the end, Ada made certain that Leon had an escape route off the island. 

When Leon and Ashley are well away from the island, Ashley asks Leon for some “overtime” when they return…To which Leon replies “Sorry.”  Ashley says she knew he’d say that—and then immediately asks “So, who was that woman anyway?”  (Recall that Ashley took note of Ada’s efforts to aid Leon during the final battle with Saddler. This might explain why Ashley asks in the first place.)

Leon’s answer: “She’s like a part of me I can’t let go. Let’s leave it at that.”

And with that line, Resident Evil 4 comes to an end. 


The Future of Leon/Ada?


A few days ago at Comic Con, Capcom released the second trailer for Resident Evil: Degeneration, a CG movie that is meant to follow the game canon and fill in some gaps in the plot. Leon is already a confirmed character, which gives Leon/Ada fans hope that Ada will be certain to show up, too. Perhaps we will see more from these two (together) soon, and finally learn more about what exactly Ada is up to. Until then, we can only continue speculating.


Final Analysis and Closing Remarks


 So what is it that I find in this pairing that makes me so dedicated to it?

The characters themselves are both amazing. They’re passionate, strong-willed, indomitable people. They are both complex, intricate; their interactions, their dynamics are at once tense, flirting, affectionate, and sometimes so intense and meaningful that words hardly do them justice; their relationship is complicated and always difficult for them both. There are countless threats to them from all sides, all because of the affection they share for each other. But in spite of the hardships, they remain devoted to each other so much so that they’re willing to die for one another.

A symbol that is commonly associated with Ada is the butterfly, from the design on her dress that appears in various forms throughout the game. This symbol embodies the couple itself for a number of reasons—most importantly, from the concept of metamorphosis. From the first game in which they are involved to the second, they undergo a great deal of changes from their initial encounters with one another. Each matures, each transforms from the lessons learned from the other. They learn to love one another despite what divides them.

With Ada’s Chinese heritage in mind, the butterfly image conjures up another meaning: that of the Chinese story of the Butterfly Lovers. In the story, a young man and woman fall in love with one another—but the woman is already betrothed to another man, so the lovers can’t be together. They end up committing suicide to reunite in death; they became butterflies, free to love one another in the afterlife.

Like the pair of this story, Leon and Ada still have so much in their way that keeps them from being together. In “The Art of Courtly Love,” by Andreas Capellanus, one of the rules of courtly love is: “The easy attainment of love makes it of little value: difficulty of attainment makes it prized.” I absolutely believe that that is the case here. These characters have been through great turmoil for one another; and maybe, someday, they’ll get that prized attainment of love that they deserve from the sacrifices they’ve made to be together. 


Fandom Guide


Fanfiction:

Timeless: My absolute favorite fanfic of any fandom, and Ada Adore is the best writer this fandom has. If you want to understand how these characters feel about each other, the lengths they will go through for one another, and truly know what makes this couple so amazing, read Timeless. It's a beautiful story, post-game, and gives plenty of insight into Ada, especially. This is a must-read for this fandom.

Hope: Another fanfic by Ada Adore - her first one, in fact. This story has a sequel, but this is another good place to start.

Chiaroscuro: A staple of Leon/Ada fanfic; the single most well-known and well-loved oneshot in the fandom.

Another Time Leaving: To round things off, a quick but meaningful drabble.

Fanart:

Asia Airport: The site's a bit difficult to navigate since it's in Japanese, but if you give it a thorough searching, you'll be rewarded with some awesome Leon/Ada fanart - the best out there.

Sites:

Another Woman: This site is technically a shrine for Ada, but it's definitely pro-Leon/Ada and has plenty of stuff about them both. It's the best place to go for detailed analysis and information on the characters and the games in which they are involved.

Communities:

[livejournal.com profile] ada_x_leon: The Livejournal community for the pairing. Not too terribly active, but there's some good stuff posted here every now and then.

Another Order: Fanfiction.net's Leon/Ada forum, this is actually quite active. A good source for finding good fanfiction and a good way to meet other fans and get introduced to the pairing. 

 
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