Kind of my own personal take on the ending presented in the game,
and to be honest, this game is really grim, very dark and depressing...
To the point that I've been very down, sad and almost depressed ever since
I finished it... it just breaks my heart, and the ending doesn't help one bit...

I wanted this, for my mind to be at peace, I wanted to give them something
that the game didn't give much of; happiness... I told myself
they needed this...
I just wish for them to be happy, and the bonus ending did light a little hope for
me, but not enough... So I decided to elaborate on what was presented in it,
because all they have is each other...

Contains some Alex x Joshua, but nothing of mature content.
To me, it makes perfect sense, and I really can't help myself...
I just love it, and the game makes plenty of hints about it.

Hope at least some of you enjoy this Silent Hill fanfiction.
It's my first time writing some story within the Silent Hill franchise,
and knowing how complex the characters are, it might not be so good...
I'm so terribly sorry for how much out of character they may be...

It's a bit dark, but I feel I need to get this all out of my system,
I feel better now, and I felt like I did what I could to make them happy,
be it in either an romantic context or just a brotherly relationship...

Please don't kill me for writing something so... taboo...

Please Love Me... Once More (fanfiction) © Lombnut
Elle's Theme © Akira Yamaoka and Mary Elizabeth McGlynn
Silent Hill: Homecoming, Alex & Joshua Shepherd, Elle Holloway © Konami


Red.
Darkest of crimson.

My hand is draped in it, the blood embracing it, covering it in the sin. I look down at Joshua, his small body so cold,
lifeless, robbed from all it's light. I clench my hand, the red running in between the fingers, my fingers, as I am only
pressing him harder against my aching chest, throbbing in pain. I want to scream, I want to shout, I want to cry out. My
lips quiver, but my throat won't let me, instead it just makes a cracked sound, broken. My world is spinning, collapsing,
tearing itself apart, I want to hurl, throw up, in disgust at myself, but my throat won't let me, it just hisses, my sorrow
falling on deaf ears. My own body mocking me, denying me. My red eyes sting painfully from my tears, the drops of shame...
I failed... I couldn't save him... Though he brought me this far, to show he forgave me, to show me the real truth,
only so I could forgive myself, but... I can't...

I whisper his name softly, when my voice doesn't fall apart, as I craddle him against me. He's so cold... So pale... I secretly
wish to fade to black, to stop breathing like you, but I can't get my body to move. For my arm to grab the knife, and dare to
hold it in my shaking hands. To slit this unclean skin of mine, to have the sin slowly pulsating out, to join you, to stop breathing
like you. I want to, but I can't... You didn't want this Joshua, did you? You wanted me to live... But how can I live, knowing what I did?

You where the only reason for me going this far, beyond my own limits...
I never came back for Elle, for Mom or Dad, I came back for you, Joshua.

You were my everything. You were my light. You're the only family I've got. Neither Mom nor Dad were there for me like
you were. Every time, every minute. And now, you're forever taken away from me... By my own dirty hands. I whimper, and
fall to the ground with you pressed tightly against me, as I breathlessly let out words of love, only to be heard by myself.
Mom, Dad, I'm sorry... But all I care about is Joshua, for me you're just Lillian and Adam... And this is... I look down at my
brother, my only family, in front of me. Dead.

I don't care about Elle, a part of me never did, because all I saw, all I see, is him.
And he doesn't move. He doesn't open his eyes anymore, even when I wish for him to do so from the dephts of my heart.
He just lies still, almost peacefully, but gone. I can't take it, the sight pains me too much, so I close my eyes and look away.

I am wrong... He isn't just family to me. He's not just a brother to me. If he was just that, it wouldn't feel like this. No, he's
more. And that scares me a lot to admit, but deep inside I know it's true. He's that someone who brightens my day and
takes care of me. He's the one responsible for my actions. Joshua is... my place to run to, my shoulder to cry on, my life,
my love. The only thing to live for... And that is now gone. By my own dirty hands.

That fateful night... I wanted to tell you... I wanted to know, did you feel the same? I was so tired, so sick of pretending, to
keep this little game up, I wanted to come clean. And knowing no matter what, my parents could not possibly hate me more
then they already did, I felt like I had nothing to lose. I rode you out to the lake, just you and me, you remember that Josh?
Oh I'm so sorry Josh, I never wanted this... I just wanted you to myself, for once, but all went wrong. My hand slipped it's grip,
these dirty hands of mine, and you disappeared with a crack, the back of your head crushed against the edge of the boat,
as you sank into the darkness of Toluca Lake... I never wished for this...

I place you carefully, yet lovingly on the rusted metal grating, tender in my movements, silently cursing myself for not
thinking of a way to bring you back with me. I brush your hair lightly, and place my hands on yours, squeezing them
softly, careful to not do it too hard. It's like my body has a mind of it's own, all I can do is feel. You're still so cold... I place
one of my hands behind your neck, feeling the blood seeping down from your wound, as I remove my other hand from
your chest, and place the chain around your neck, giving back what was once yours. I stare at it, this cursed item, trying
to resist the urge to throw it away, it, that caused all this sorrow... but it's yours, so I don't. I softly place my pocket
flashlight on your chest, I know you always loved it, as I slowly rise. I don't want to, but my body has a mind of it's own.
I gaze down on you, my vision blurred, as a sad smile creeps up on me. I didn't think I could possibly cry more then I
already have had, but I did. I manage to sob out a quiet, but audiable;

"I love you, Josh..."

You wanted me to live, Josh.
For your sake, I will.

-o-o-

The engine. Its roar almost drowns my thoughts, as Elle curses besides me. I could tell her everything now, but... I don't
want to. Not yet. Maybe in time, but not now. Some things, are only my burden to bear. I stare over the delapetated
landscape of Silent Hill through the window of the car, becoming lost in my own thoughts. Thoughts of Josh.

'Let him go.'

A voice says to me in my head, but... I can't. I don't know what to do anymore, I don't know how to think anymore, I don't
know how to act anymore, all I know is, I just want home. I feel like nothing, even to Elle my responses are barely audiable.
It seems all I can do is mumble, speak in short sentenses. I realize I'm slowly turning into the state of my mother, catatonic.
It's horrifying what grief can do to a person... As I hear a faint mumbling, I turn my eyes to Elle.

"Alex, I wish you would speak to me... What happened in there? What did you see?"

I stare at her, clinging to the thick military jacket around my shoulders, as I embrace its warmth. It almost feels like Joshua...
Him embracing me... The delusional part of my mind starts to take over, but I try to stay focused, to not snap into another
mental state, so I just silently whisper:

"What I needed to."

She looks at me, worried, sighs and then slowly extends her body so her arms are resting on the steering wheel, her head
in between them, as she too stares into the town of Silent Hill. We both seem fixated by it, it entrances us, fascinates us.
A particularly loud roar from the engine wakes us both up from our current state of mind, as she re-adjusts herself, and leans
back. Grabbing the stearing wheel with certain determination, she pushes the gas down with her foot, and off we go, the
sooner, the better. The town behind us, disappearing in the fog once it came from.

The radio, it's softly buzzing. She smiles at me, saying that she's happy we can at least have some form of entertainment now.
She apparently acknowledged I wasn't in a talkative mood, ha, she always was like that... Observant, she could read me well.
But never too well. I mumble to her about the radio, so she turns the channel dial, trying to find something other then just white noise.

"Turn it up, please..."

I softly ask her, and she does so. It's hard for me to make out the words, my consciousness slipping in and out,
and the signal isn't good either, so it keeps breaking up. This all just feels like a dream. No, a damn nightmare.

So look around
This dismal place...

No, I don't want to see more...

In a town hungry for the lonely
Lost, innocent child
Life, too late for saving

... or just in time.

In my mind, faces keep returning
I still see his smile

My tired mind awake a little, as I read into the lyrics... It reminds me of him...

I feel his breath, coming from the shadows
Streets, almost alive

I heard a sound (I heard a sound)
Familiar voice (Familiar voice)

I need to know
I need to know
I need to know

Familiar words lead me back to my home.
Is he gone? Are you real?
Can I trust who you say that you are?
And who I am now? (And who am I now?)

Too late for me…

... or just in time.

I smile a little... I know I must seem crazy by now, but somehow... It makes me feel safe, this song... I feel a warmth around
me, like something, no, someone, embracing me... But most likely, it's just my mind playing tricks, but still... It feels good.
I feel relaxed, almost... sleepy. My eyes, they feel so... heavy, the noise... just a blur...

It feels good just holding you...
just holding you...
you...

-o-o-

Home. The Shepherd's House. It still looks like when I left it, same for Shepherd's Glen...
Elle left for her home a while ago, not that I minded. Now I could have all the time I needed. Slowly turning the key, I hear
the lock creaking in place and I open the door, only to be greeted by that familiar smell... As much as I hate to admit it, I
missed this place... I almost, out of pure habit, yelled to Mom that I was home as soon as I entered, only to be reminded
that she was not around anymore. Nor was Dad. Or Josh... The sudden feeling of comfort I felt quickly disappeared,
replaced by an uncomfortable silence. I almost felt sick, overcome by grief once more, as I hurled myself back through the
front door only to throw up my emotional sickness onto the lawn. I wipe my teary eyes, and admit to myself that I was
such an emotional wreak. What ever happened to the Alex Shepherd everyone seemed to know? This was so unlike me...

As I turned to once again enter the house, I instantly froze, standing still. There was a puddle of water at the bottom of the
stairway leading to the the upper floor, the hue of the lightest of blue, clear enough for me to see my own reflection in it.
As I look above, I see small wet footsteps... For just a moment, I felt my heart skipping a beat, time standing still as I am
filled with a shimmer of hope. I want to run up those stairs, rush to the source of these small steps, but... I don't. I'm tired
of the chase, tired of the chasing, chasing a ghost. So instead I slowly but steadily walk up the stairway, hearing it squeaking,
cracking, under my weight, as I hold on to the railing so as not to fall. I feel so weak, as if my legs are giving up on me. I just
want to lie down, sleep, rest, I am just so very tired... But I keep on going, my curiosity driving me, that small shimmer of
hope guiding me. I follow those small wet footsteps, traces, to its source. Our bedroom door.

I breath in deeply through my nose, inhale, exhale. My heart is pounding, aloud in my ears, drowning my thoughts. I turn
the knob silently, reminded of the many times I tried to sneak back into my room at night, like a top secret agent on a
mission. It's was a game for me, trying not to wake Dad up, trying to avoid another beating, another scolding. Knowing
Josh would be in there, silently sleeping, gently snoring. Waiting for me. He always looked so beautiful in the moonlight...
That was one of the few reasons I came home so late, I just loved seeing him like that...

The door makes that familiar sound, click. As I gently tug it open, I feel a barage of emotions wash over me. Fills me with
anticipation. But most of all, fear. What if what lies beyond this door is just a lie from my delusional mind, a figment of my
imagination. How do I know what I see is real? And, perhaps I rather embrace the lie, the fantasy, then live in this lonely,
harsh reality... I don't want to go crazy again, but how do I know when I am sane? Help me, I'm so lost... I step forward,
watching me step down the soft fibers of the rug, our carpet. Turn towards that familiar bunk, and I lose it. Mind goes
blank, I drop to my knees. My face in awe, my mind is in disbelief. Too good to be true.

Joshua.

Bright, pure innocent smile. My light.
Blue azure eyes, brightest of crystal blue, shining. Locked on me.
I drown in them, I drown in you. Too good to be true. Disbelief.
Slender body, wrapped in your beautiful colours. Your clothes, still the same...
Those light brown shorts, and that orange t-shirt you used to love. Your colours.
Young, boyish, yet handsome. Beautiful messy dark brown hair, darker then mine.

I stare. And I break, I fall.
But you're there to pick me up.

I can feel you approach me, I sense your soft steps moving towards me ever so slightly, but I can barely see no more.
Tears obscuring my vision. I want to see you clearly, but you're just a blur. Even your beautiful smile. A blur.

"Alex..." he whispers softly, getting down on his knees for me, to be at my level in height, as I sit there. I guess that this
time was the first time I actually showed my true feelings. What hid behind my cool exterior. I feel him... I feel Josh.

Wrapping his arms around my neck. Melting me, showing me it's ok to cry. He embraces me softly, like the way I've always
longed to be hugged by my own parents. They never did. But Joshua did. I wonder if he knew, how hated I was... but you
never hated me, did you? You were there for me, unlike everyone else. I only cling to you tightly, returning your embrace.
Your warmth, I missed it... Your tender touch showing me this isn't a dream, it's real.

"I'm so sorry, buddy..."

I cry out, almost choking on my sobs, knowing all this is my fault. I did so wrong. All that is wrong, it's my fault... But you
don't judge me. You don't hate me. You only hug me tighter. How is this possible to feel this good? You turned my world
upside down, Josh... For the better.

-o-o-

After we wrapped each other in thick warm blankets, I notice how soaking wet he is... It's strange, how he should be cold,
but yet he's so warm... My curiosity arises, and I'm surprised I didn't question this illogical situation before.

"... Josh... " I speak slowly, trying to come up with a good way to question his existence.
"... How come you're here? I just... It doesn't make any sense..."

Josh developed a thoughtful look to his features and was quiet for a moment, his bright smile fading. Pondering. I just sit
there in silence, as I watch the young boy search his mind. Lips parting for a moment, as if willing a good answer to come
out, but closed before anything was spoken. I smile a little, he looks so... smart like that. So cute.

"I dunno Alex," he replies in that rather childish tone, his voice, to me sounding like the sweetest thing.
"All I can remember is me falling backwards, and that I hit my head on something... Then all was black... And
the next thing I know, I'm standing here in the entrance, soaking wet. So I went up to see if you were home..."

I surprise him with an embrace, promising myself to tell him the truth later, but not now. He seemed flustered, unprepared for
my sudden embrace. His round soft cheeks shining in a bright pink, the obvious blush present on his pale skin. I just nuzzle into
his dark hair, tracing my fingers through it, taking him in. His presence. It's real... He really is here. Did the town of Silent Hill show
me forgiveness? Because I repented for the sins... was I given a second chance? I don't understand, this doesn't make any sense...
But it doesn't need to. All I know is I have Josh. Here, with me. Alive. And that is the only truth I need. Because all I need is you.

As I release you from my grip, you just playfully dangle your legs on the side of the bed, your bed. Ha, I can barely
remember the last time I was in your bed. However, it feels good. You giggle a little as I brush the hair from your forehead,
such a childish giggle. I love it. You only stare at me with those beautiful blue eyes of yours, reading me. I smile, and nudge
your forehead with my own, as I hear you giggle awkwardly. Am I making you uncomfortable? I'm so sorry... I'd take my
chance now, to do something forbidden. I'm sorry, I know it's wrong. But I can't just help myself.

"... Close your eyes, Josh..." I whisper, in the silence.

Without a second of doubt, he does so. He trusts me... I pray in my mind for forgiveness, as I lean in and kiss him gently
on the lips. Please don't kill me. As I touched my lips with his, I noticed that he softly fought against it first, mostly in
shock, but moments later, replied without any more signs of objection. For the moment, wrong is right. And there is only
this moment. I never thought this feeling might be mutal. You surprise me once more, with a kiss on the cheek. I feel dirty,
I feel so... undeserving of you. You're so much younger, I'm so much older. You shouldn't love me... But just like me,
perhaps you can't help what you feel... I know it's so horribly wrong, but it feels just right, and for now, wrong is right.
I smile into another kiss, as you smile with me.

-o-o-

Elle lets out a loud shriek. 'Typical women,' I think, and roll my eyes skyward. She hugs Josh violently, almost surprising
me if she didn't break something on him. Well, I'm glad she's happy. Heck, Josh was almost like a second sibling to her,
and taking in account what Margaret did... No, she's not worthy being called by her name, bitch would be a more
appropriate title, what that bitch did... Josh is now her only sibling. I almost laugh a little as I look into Josh's panicked
expression, as he tries to squirm himself out of her grip. Elle doesn't seem to care as she just snuggles him harder. I love
this. She can see him too... she can feel him too. It's not just in my mind, this isn't just a wonderful dream. This is real.

As she softens in her grip, Josh breaks away from her in a swift agile movement, quickly running back to me, and hiding
behind my waist. I just laugh at all this, it's such an adorable sight, plus Elle standing there looking dumbfound is surely
a sight you don't see often, worthy of a laugh. Tugging on my jacket, Josh softly keeps his one arm around my waist,
making me smile at the contact, at his touch.

"So... Elle, what are we doing now?" I ask, really wanting, and needing, an answer.

We couldn't stay here anymore. Sure, the monsters had all suddenly vanished into thin air, but the town was still torn
apart and abandoned. Here was no place for us to be anymore... This was not a place for Josh to grow up in, given its
current state. The creatures, the fog, it was all gone... but the sense of dread wasn't. Giving me a thoughtful look, Elle
wrinkled her forehead, deep in thought, but it wasn't not long until her eyes sparkled with the sudden light of an idea.

"Go pack your bags and meet me here in half an hour," she replied with a little wink.

Watching her skip away after handing me the car-keys, I smiled, knowing we're heading somewhere good. A fresh start.
As I turn to my little brother behind me, he just smiles in agreement. He didn't object. He understood. He's a pretty clever
boy after all, but I already knew that. As I watch him slip into our house, I smile with a warmth like never before.

... Joshua Shepherd...
Thank you, for making my life worth living.