Equally Matched

(title subject to change)

This story is based on the 2007 remake of Halloween. It is set in an alternate universe in order to accommodate Emory's presence, but otherwise follows the basic plot of the movie. Reviews are always welcome.

Screams echoed down the pale, sterile hallways of Highland Hospital in Charleston, West Virginia. On the fifth floor, in the East Wing, Dr. Emory Brighton stood outside of Damien Brighton's room, watching him silently through the narrow glass panel in his door.

He was sitting on his bed, staring at the wall. She couldn't see his eyes, but she knew they were blank and quiet.

"How is he, Mel?" She asked, glancing over at the nurse who stood at her side. Her childhood friend, Melanie Stilton, who had stayed in their hometown when Emory had left for college.

Mel just shook her head.

After another long pause, Emory nodded.

"Let me in," she said.

Melanie frowned. "It's not safe, Emory. He's unstable - "

"I don't care," Emory snapped. "I want to talk to him."

Melanie's expression grew hard. "Look, I know you're a doctor, but you're still human. You're not even supposed to be here without Steven." Emory's lips thinned to an angry line. Steven Cline, Highland's Chief of Staff, had refused to let Emory treat Damien. Her own brother, for Christ's sake! He had even taken steps towards refusing to let Emory see Damien.

"I'm not going to ask you again." The same steely determination that had made Emory the top in her class at Stanford, and the youngest practicing psychologist in on the Eastern Seaboard, now focused itself on Melanie Stilton, in all its overwhelming force.

Melanie sighed. "Fine. But I'm going to bring Security up on standby."

While Melanie made the call on her two-way radio, Emory returned her gaze to Damien. He had not moved once in the ten minutes she'd been watching him.

Inside, her heart ached for him. Her sweet baby brother. Damien had been so happy when she had left for her internship! Laughing, joking, charming everyone around him like a piper.

He had been the perfect student, the coolest little brother, and the doting son.

Oceans of red, splashed across the walls and floors. White chalk outlines. Hell. She was in Hell.

Emory blinked, forcing the memory back into the depths of her heart. Melanie pushed open the doors in the hallway and approached, flanked by two security guards. She unlocked Damien's door and pulled it open. He wasn't a runner. He wouldn't try to escape.

Emory slipped into the room.

"Damien?" She asked, voice soft. When he did not respond, she took a few steps forward. "Damien, it's me, Emory. Do you remember me?" No movement, not even a flicker of recognition in his eyes. Emory swallowed the lump forming in her throat. She'd dealt with countless Fugue patients. It was her specialty. She'd gone to medical school because of Damien.

So why was this suddenly so difficult?

"Damien, they told me you attacked another nurse. You need to wake up and talk to me." She added a hint of steel to her voice, a half-command. "Please, Damien. I want to help you."

Something flickered to life in Damien's eyes. He turned his head slowly, and his gaze locked onto hers. Emory smiled.

"I know you. Are you my doctor?"

Emory blinked back the blur of tears. "No," she whispered. "No, I... I just came to visit you, Damien."

"Please stop calling me that." Damien returned his gaze to the wall. "My name is Jack."

Jack. Emory bit her lip. Jack, the Fugue personality. He had told her once that he had named himself after Jack the Ripper.

Blood and chalk. Oh, God, Mama!

Emory grit her teeth and hissed out a trembling breath. It felt like someone had stuck a knife in her heart. "Your name is Damien," she said, hating how agonized her voice sounded. "You are my brother." She took a step closer to him, reached for him. "Please, Damien, look at me." Her instincts screamed at her to stay back, but she was long past instinct. Her heart was in charge, now.

Like lightning, Damien lunged for her, face twisted in a demonic snarl. Emory had enough time to throw her hands up to ward him off before he slammed into her.

She heard her skull smack against the concrete wall, but she did not feel it.