Disclaimer:I do not own Silent Hill.
IX. The Ninth Day
A/N: I always knew he was a bombshell under that helmet.
Anyway, on a slightly less than sexy note, this is the last chapter! Thank you so much for sticking with this all the way through. I hope you enjoyed reading Wretched as much as I enjoyed writing it!
For some reason or another, James Sunderland had been driven completely insane.
From what Pyramid Head could see, he kept having hallucinations of Maria being killed by the Great Knife or violated in ways that even Pyramid Head himself would shy away from. And the frequency of the occurrences never really ceased. It seemed that within every forty-five minute increment of the day, he and Maria would hear the far-off, shrill scream of James, no doubt watching another faux execution.
"He thinks he sees two of you now," Maria said glumly as she and Pyramid Head trailed James throughout the Lakeview Hotel.
Pyramid Head grunted quietly.
"And somehow…he's just defeated those two hallucinations of you, because he's getting up and walking away."
And at this Pyramid Head laughed. James Sunderland? Defeating not one, but two of him? There was no way in hell.
"Pyramid Head! He's leaving; come on, we have to go."
And so they did.
And so they watched him fight another mental struggle.
The fight would take longer than expected, so Maria sat right down, beside Pyramid Head, and sighed. "I suppose this means I'll be leaving soon."
Well, he shouldn't have thought any less, after all. It wasn't as if he had expected her to just hang around in Silent Hill after James Sunderland left. No way.
…Even if he was kind of hoping she would.
Then it was all over, and he felt slightly cheated. He thought that the imaginary fight would be significantly longer.
A prick of something—it could have been foreboding, but he wasn't well acquainted enough with the feeling to be sure—suddenly pushed a very disturbing thought into his head: James had actually won.Not only against his insane little deliriums, but also against the entirety of Silent Hill, including himself.
Oh, what the fuck.
Maria turned to him, frowning at his sudden outburst. "What?"
He grabbed her by the waist and flung her over his shoulder, holding her tightly in place by the backs of her thighs.
She let out a surprised yell when he started running toward his destination. "Pyramid Head, what the hell are you doing?"
"Indulging myself," he growled, hopping over a rather immaculately-placed fire hydrant.
"What the fuck is that supposed to mean?"
He didn't answer, and after a couple seconds, she screeched his name and pounded a fist into his helmet. "Put me down!"
The park came into view and he ran in a beeline toward it, disregarding her hands punching him so hard in the head she was probably making dents. Once there, he threw her down onto a planter. She landed with an indignant, "Oof!"
He tossed his spear aside and joined her, using his knees to pin her in place as he hovered above her. "Take it off."
She scrunched her face unattractively, sneering and instinctively covering her breasts with her arms. "Are you insane? I'm not going to strip for you!"
He growled. "Not your shirt, my helmet!"
"You don't have to be such an ass about it." Nevertheless, she reached up and quickly snapped the buckles. He didn't even wait for her to finish, and he pulled the thing off quickly, tossing it behind him.
"So what's this about?" she huffed, her face turning red when he settled his focus on her securely. It was odd, really, but it was a nice sensation to know that he, of all people, could make a sex kitten blush.
"You," he muttered, pushing hair roughly out of her face to kiss her, "and me." She gratuitously returned the favor. "That's what this is about."
"You're not making any sense," she said, trying to speak past his lips. "Why do we need to go to the park to kiss?"
"He'd catch us," he said simply, pulling back only enough to remove her jacket and close his mouth over the curve of her shoulder.
She made a noise: something that was not quite a laugh, not quite a gasp. "So you think I'm just going to have sex with you, hmm?"
He nodded and put the palm of his hand against the side face, resting his thumb against her cheekbone.
"You're such a dick," she said angrily, but she couldn't seem to tear herself away from him, and at this Pyramid Head had to inwardly laugh. "You honestly expect me to give you a nice goodbye fuck or…or something like that?"
"Yes,"he said, pulling back completely to stare at her intently, his eyes locking with hers. "Yes, yes, fuck, all of the above."
She didn't answer for a second, just kept watching him bite his lip and scowl. Finally, she took a deep breath and moved so that she could sit up. He bent with her, so that she was seated in an upright position and he was straddling her lap, legs curled on either side of her.
"Why?" she asked, uncertainty plaguing her voice. "You don't owe me anything, and I don't owe you a damn thing, either."
"But it's not about owing," he said, his voice scratchy and unused to the labor he had put it through in the last few days. "Because I don't want you to leave."
Her face softened a bit. "Pyramid Head…sex isn't going to make me stay." She smiled sadly and pulled him into a tight embrace. "But it was a nice try."
His fists clenched and he pulled her to him tighter, snarling under his breath and fighting back the demons in his mind that told him to kill her. Because if he killed her, then surely she would have no other choice than to stay for ever and ever, right?
But…Maria being with him alive and Maria being with him dead were two completely different things, and he knew this for certain. He'd already experienced something frighteningly similar to the impact that her death would have on him, and it wasn't a pleasant journey in any sense of the word.
"Maria," he said, pushing her away harshly and standing up. "You—"
A bullet sailed past his ear, making it ring unbearably, and he whirled on his attacker.
James Sunderland stood before him, holding a quivering gun at eye level. His face was dirty and twisted into a feral frown. "Get away from her."
The first thing that flashed through Pyramid Head's mind was that he didn't have his helmet on and that he had tossed his weapon aside in his haste to bid a less-than-loving adieu to Maria.
He dodged another bullet, and he heard Maria scream somewhere behind him.
"James, stop it!"
"Maria, back up!"
He was beginning to see a pattern as Maria reached for Pyramid Head's spear and tossed it to him: James's fights never seemed to last very long.
Before he even got a chance to stab the spear through his heart, he backed up and tripped over an outcropping of the broken concrete, teetering dangerously over the ledge.
"James!"Maria shouted, diving to help James as he fell over the edge and toward the dark water of Toluca Lake. Pyramid Head caught her by the shoulders before she could make it there.
"Let me go!" she shouted, angry tears falling down her face. "Let me go!"
Pyramid Head shoved her backwards. "Do you want to die, too?"
"I have to save him!" She made another mad dash for the edge, but he grabbed her by the wrist at the last moment and swung her around to meet him. "Let go!"
"I'm not going to fucking let you die!" he shouted, rage pounding through his veins and making him hot.
She made one last move to escape from his grasp, but to no avail. So instead she buried her face in his chest, varying between screaming in frustration into the fabric of his butcher's apron and wailing loudly. Soon, the sobs died to piteous sniffling.
After a while, he let go of her wrist, and she walked quietly out of his arms and toward the exit to Silent Hill, her face a pathetic array of dried tears and a tragedy-laced frown.
He trailed her closely, not even thinking to replace his helmet, though he still kept the spear clenched tight in his right hand. Oddly enough, no monsters tried to assail her on her way out. He didn't dare walk out any farther than the rest stop, though, and he watched as she swung open the door of the dark-colored sedan, flinging open the glove-box and pulling out a key.
He didn't really want to believe it when she stuck the key in the ignition and turned it. The car came alive with a rolling sputter and then settled into a steady humming rhythm. She looked over her shoulder as she backed it up, stopping near where he stood.
He stared at her and she stared back through the driver-side window, blue eyes meeting brown. She opened her mouth to say something, but a very unhealthy-sounding cough disrupted her train of thoughts and she settled her gaze on the road ahead of her. The car took off with a screech, and the wake fluttered some papers around him as well as his bangs, forcing small flaxen strands to partially obscure his vision.
She prattled on down the road without even so much as a goodbye.
He smiled in a most wretched manner and turned back towards Silent Hill. Whether she liked it or not, she'd be back. No matter how much she tried, she could never really escape the town—could never really escape him.
He was proved right five years later as she walked slowly back into town, slightly in a daze.
Pyramid Head was there to meet her, his helmet back in its rightful place as he leaned against the gate, still blockaded even after so many years.
She saw him and stopped in her tracks.
He straightened up and held out a large hand. "Well?"
Her face broke into a smile and she accepted the offered hand. "So happy to see you again."
She pressed her side against his and sighed as they walked on. "I'm dead, aren't I?"
His nod was slow and deliberate.
She sighed again, louder this time, and looked up into the grey sky. "Fucking disease."