Summary: AU. Murphy breaks into the unsuspecting apartment of Henry Townshend to evade capture by the authorities. Of course Henry being the shut in that he is, just happens to be there and get caught in the middle of the situation.
Warnings: Alternate universe where Henry and Murphy have not entered the horrors of Silent Hill or the other world. Characters may be slightly OOC but not too much. Could be light slash or fluff.
AN/: I plan on a few chapters explaining Murphy's point of view while breaking into room 302. He perceives the situation much differently than Henry and has some other experiences to share.
Also, this is my first fic I've posted anywhere. Try to be kind while constructive if you are going to review or something.
Thoughts or emphasis
There was a sharp corner in a brown paper bag that kept poking Henry in the ribs as he walked down the side of the slow moving street back from his light grocery-shopping trip. As usual, his shopping ventures took place at a small little convenience mart down the street from his apartment. Purposefully avoiding large crowds was something Henry practiced regularly. There was something about being enclosed in an uncontrollable space that worried him. The thought made his stomach ache, like there was an unmovable weight that just lingered there in that moment, like something would just grab ahold of him from the inside and twist until it painstakingly fizzled out slowly.
Henry tried his best to avoid the gaze of most of the oncoming people sauntering down the street, heads held high, appearing unshakably confident. His head hung low when small groups of chatting individuals breezed passed. The sky appeared grey and a thick musk of humid air hung low to the ground. A light fog could be seen in the distance; it mostly sat surrounding the building over the horizon of Henry's vision. Most of the thicker layers of fog dissipated by the time he returned to the street of his apartment building. However, there stood an uneasy feeling in the pit of Henry's stomach the moment he walked out of the store today. It wasn't unusual for Henry's stomach to be making silent flips as he retreated home; it was just that today seemed different. Like there was something he had forgotten, or perhaps it was the unsettling silence that simply was, in between the soft background noise of the street that made his stomach queasy.
He stood there for a moment as the building came into view, but he started again when a group of three women came from around the corner, clad in skimpy outfits despite the cool weather. Their pointy heels clicking on the cold cement as Henry hurriedly maneuvered out of their way. The thin lanky one with a sharp up-turned nose whispered hushed insults about his overtly skittish nature to the other one in the ridiculously short fur coat. The woman in the middle with the transparent top caught Henry's gaze, winking with one of her glittery eyelashes, completing the gesture with a pucker of her over-done glossy lips in his direction. Shifting in his place near the corner, his cheeks immediately flushed and his neck splotched red when the group began to giggle amongst themselves. Subconsciously bringing the bag closer to cover his blushing face, he could faintly understand some of their lewd conversation as they continued away.
"God Cynthia, your such a tease." remarks the thin woman, readjusting her top.
"Did you see his face?" she replies, smiling wickedly as she flips a piece of dark hair back behind her neck. The group busts out into laughter when the third woman makes a taunting jibe about how absurdly still he stood as they stroll off further into town.
The embarrassment stung. He suddenly remembered why he avoiding interacting with the opposite sex. Henry has never been any good with women. In high school, he largely ignored people. He's never had any real close friends either so in turn girls were especially foreign to him. Although just because he was unsure about how to approach women, it didn't stop him from appreciating them. In particular regarding the resident of room 303, sometimes he'd take wait for her to leave for work in the morning just to get a look at her. Once she had emerged from her room all dressed up in a short outfit that still seemed tasteful. Or perhaps Henry just wanted to think so because it wouldn't fit in with the image he thought of her. He had gathered that she was probably attending a party when a small group of her friends came bustling down the hall to escort her. Henry noticed she tended to have a turbulent social life but not one that was intrusive or obnoxious to anyone else in the building. He took specific notice to her backless purple dress on that evening and the sight made him want to preserve the memory on film. He slipped only the camera around the corner and blindly snaps the photo, without the flash of course. The first was blurry so when he tried a second time, making sure to hold it completely still. This shot proved to be near perfect as it brightly shown on the digital display. He particularly cropped most of her other friends out of the picture as the group took off down the hallway, their mindless chatter unconsciously ignored by Henry standing out of their sight, as he zoomed into the photo. Although, he was a little disturbed with himself for so easily disregarding Eileen's privacy, He developed the picture anyways and keeps it hidden between the pages of the book on his desk. Sometimes he'd take it out before bed and imagine what it would be like if they were a couple. He wanted to her to notice him. He wanted to impress her with little things like good conversation. He wants to compliment her when she gets a nice hair cut and ask about her interests. Henry wanted nothing more than to spend time with her, but unfortunately he knows that he's probably not her type. Considering that he's seen a few of the male friends she has invited back into her apartment, he knows that he can't compete with them. So many lost opportunities had flown quickly by, all the times he could have casually approached her but Henry felt far too inferior to try and hold conversation.
Well, not really the best time to be thinking of his failings with the opposite sex; the sky's dark clouds are swirling in an ominous weighted pattern.
Rain? He didn't bring an umbrella. Suddenly he feels glad that he's nearly home and takes off nearing the building.
Readjusting the bag in his arms, Henry turns to push the lobby doors open with his right shoulder, while the cloth of his sleeve erases some of the smudgy handprints left on the glass. The door whimpered softly as the cylinder prevented it from slamming shut while Henry made his way further into the lobby. Trying his best to quiet his light clicking steps on the laminate floor, he makes his way up to the third level.
His line of sight automatically reads each of the curly numbers hanging to the front of the doors. Worn brown shoes are lightly brushing themselves on the carpet.
There is an indistinguishable buzzing sound that seemed to be floating through the building. It steadily increases in volume as he reaches his floor, the stream carries a scratchy mummer of beats that rings throughout the hallway. Passing his one of his neighbor's rooms that housed the muffled noise; Henry continued to drag his feet down the hall, letting out a deep sigh as he swayed with his purchases. He didn't find the music appealing but it wasn't an argument that he was going to win if he got involved. Avoiding conflict was something at was very important to Henry. He wasn't equipped physically to win that fight, nor was he emotionally ready to send himself out into a mentally draining situation like that either.
He had been lost in thought about his forced pacifism when sudden jerky fingers crushed the paper as the door across from his apartment wildly swung open, assaulting the adjacent wall and possibly leaving a mark from the doorknob. Richard, hunched over, stomps out into the hallway with rage branded into his fuming face.
"Can't a man get a little peace and quiet?" he roars, teeth gridded together, his neck turning almost scarlet over the collar of his light pin striped button-up shirt. A single strand of greying hair flips out of place as the middle aged man turned to Henry who craned his neck over the top of his items only to hide behind it when he sees Richard advancing toward him.
"So that noise isn't yours? How the fuck can you stand it?" Richard sighed in a way that was more akin to a frustrated growl, voice slightly more human than before as his hand gestures fell to his sides with a rough sounding pat. Henry looks around nervously, avoiding the other man's furious gaze, clutching the wrinkled paper to himself as his mouth opened once but then closed when Richard continued unprovoked.
"All God damn morning I'm gonna give that son of a bitch-" The sharp 180 degree turn made all of Richard's mumbling of curse words unintelligible to Henry but still the young man continued to mutter nonsense anyways that was meant to be agreeable to the enraged Richard.
The sound of Henry's thundering heartbeat became much more clearer than Richard's rantings as the older man stormed off down the hall, sharply beating on the door where the source of the music streamed from. "Hey you! Turn that shit down!" Richard's snarling voice was barely muffled by the U shape of the hallways, in fact it almost echoed due to all of his bellowing. The escalating violent altercation heats up Henry's palms and make his hands lightly shaky. There exists a numb ringing in his ears as Henry shifts the bag over to his left side, quickly trying to yank the keys out of the front pocket in his jeans. Inserting the key upside down, Henry's lack of precision and fumbling slowly progresses negatively as Richard nearly broke the hinges off of the other man's door in protest, one piece of metal shooting free and loudly clattering on the tiled floor of the particular apartment. His throat feels tight and scratchy when he hears the other man uttering useless apologies as Richard continued to force himself into the apartment, deliberately knocking over what sounded like a lamp.
All of the upsetting noise of Richard's barking faded when Henry unlocks and slams his door suddenly, all the overt chains rattling from the inside. Throwing the bag down in an instant, the man began to painstakingly do each pad, cylinder, latch, deadbolt and chain lock fixed on the heavy white door with quick ease on instinct. Each lock clicked in a different variation to give the auditory illusion of a symphony of primitive sounds. When the tedious task was done, Henry slid down the wood of the heavy door onto the carpet, a deep frown ingrained in his expression.
Henry wasn't sure how long he had been holding that stressful lot of breath but it served well in calming him down quite a bit. His heart rate begun to stabilize and his breathing was no longer being to border on erratic. The serious expression began to lighten into a more neutral one as he hugged his groceries before plucking the one-liter carton of chocolate milk from the bag. He rips one end open before throwing his head back, swallowing more than just a few mouthfuls. He feels his breath awkwardly gliding over the body of the carton as he continues to drink. After becoming satisfied, he breaks away from the carton, wiping his upper lip with the back of his hand and absent-mindedly caresses an accidental factory induced glue spot on the side of it with his thumb.
Henry just sat there for a few moments, the crashes of the fight ceased by now and he was stuck in dull silence with exception of the clock softly lulling in even intervals.
While on the carpet, he went for his shoes; pulling one at a time off with both hands and placing them neatly beside the plain door. With another sigh, the man picked himself from his apartment floor, tossing the bag onto the counter and placing the carton into the nearly empty fridge.
Henry decides to go to bed earlier than usual.
He doesn't shave or even bother to completely dry his damp brown hair. The argument he witnessed earlier really shook his nerves in a way that made his head hurt and his body tired. He has trouble keeping his eyes open and welcomes the coolness of the sheets on his warm skin. Quietly shifting around under the blanket, his torrent of consciousness slows until he is completely asleep in the darkness.
He doesn't experience pleasant dreams.
After spending most of the night staring up at the outline of the ceiling fan, Henry is more than tired. One particular nightmare prevented him from going back to bed. The only positive thing about that was he did manage to develop some photos in the bathroom during his attempt to survive the night. However, the long night yields dark circles under his eyes and when there comes a knock on room 302, he almost jumps. The door reveal's the superintendent's grey hair and dulling features, Mr. Sunderland.
"Woah, you okay son?"
Henry nods unenthusiastically while trying to wipe the blurriness out of his eyes.
"I paid this month right?" he guesses almost slurring on his words, sliding a hand over his sprouting facial hair to appease the itching. Frank Sunderland shakes his head.
"Yeah. It's just that- well… the wife wanted me to check up. Haven't seen you come down in a few days."
"I went out yesterday." Henry pathetically admits, trying to sound much more social than he really is. The tone of his voice holds an almost whiney sort in a childish sort of way but it still retains the usual masculine sound. It reminds Mr. Sunderland of the way his son would respond to his mother's nagging.
Frank smiles at the entertaining thought. Young people are so refreshing.
Until he remembers the original reason he had wanted to approach Henry. A frown settling in on his face, he asks a question laced with worry despite his attempts to mask it.
"Besides that, I was wondering…You haven't heard anything from James lately have you?"
Henry's brown hair shades the melancholy look in his face, his mouth forms into a thin line that is slightly crooked. "No, I'm sorry."
James Sunderland had mysteriously gone missing a month ago. The part that bothered Henry the most was the lack of events leading up to it. It seems like James was harboring all the grief from losing his wife and didn't bother to tell anyone about it. Henry and James weren't the best of friends but when Henry needed to talk to someone, he would always call James up. When he had some really exciting news about something good in his life, he usually always told James about it. They never got into really deep conversations with one another, but Henry never talked to anyone about subjects that weren't safe. To be honest though, Henry felt more grief for James's parents rather than actually losing James himself. They barely really knew one another but it was James who recommended the apartment to him. He was always grateful to James for helping him get out of that one room studio and now thinking back on it; Henry really wished he could of returned a favor for James before his mysterious disappearance.
"Be on the look out if you hear anything."
"I will." Henry's grip on the door tightens slightly, clearly ready to shut it after the superintendent leaves.
Mr. Sunderland begins to trudge down the hallway before looking back.
"Oh and be careful to lock your door."
Henry complies readily, closing it with a small click.
Frank is still highly suspicious of people ever since the Walter Sullivan case. It's been two years since the murder struck last but one of the victims lived here in the apartment complex. People have always gossiped about the strangeness surrounding the former resident's death. Many have said that the apartment was haunted but Henry has never been very bothered by things like that. He doesn't believe in ghosts even though sometimes at night, his imagination does run away with him. In the rare instances when he tells people the apartment he occupies, he is barraged by a load of questions surrounding the case. Henrys never went and looked into it. Mostly because, in the back of his mind, he feels slightly apprehensive of the things he might discover. Henry thinks Frank's much more enthusiastic carefulness is probably due to his son's disappearance.
He doesn't want to think about James anymore. The whole situation is making him feel more melancholy than he already is.
Trying to escape the tension that lingers in the room, he picks up a novel on the coffee table; his fingers brushing lightly over the slightly upturned corners. He has a difficult time getting into the book and comprehending the words. Each sentence is painful when he glosses over the English written there and his mind cannot seem to process the imagery presented. The words begin to morph and twist together on the slightly yellowing pages. Eventually after a long chapter or two, Henry becomes frustrated and throws the small book back onto the table.
A potent headache is brewing in his temples. It makes him frustrated. He ends up pacing, restless, back and forth from his bedroom. All the while trying to occupy his mind with thoughts other than those of his past failings.
Henry couldn't recall what woke him up; he was barely aware of the loud roaring outside. A high pitch whining was also ringing in his ears.
Oh it's pouring rain. A bright light flashed through the window making Henry's face scrunch up in grumbling to himself, he turns over, pressing the pillow to his ears. Frustrated as he was by the storm interrupting his sleep, the fluff of the pillow did nothing to significantly help with the noise. Irritated, he throws the pillow away across his bedroom and rolls over on his back, staring up in the darkness at the outline of the ceiling fan. He listens to a few consecutive thrashing bursts of the storm and it's howling wind seemed to wind up in a more audible fit for a moment or two before
Henry's dark brown eyes shoot open in time with the lightning flash, giving him a brief view of his bedroom before it fads to black again. The sound was very clear to Henry. It almost sounded like-
No, that's stupid.
He dismisses it as rattling windows. They were whipping up a torrent of violent crashing throughout his apartment anyways, it seemed plausible. However, his prying mind was still curious of the sound's origin and was still avidly nipping at his heels, urging him to get out of bed and investigate. He stilled almost completely in his bed, his chest slowly rising and falling being the exception. Waiting for a few more moments, his mind began to wander. His senses heightened, every small and even nonexistence sound made him worry. With one more violent crack of lightning his decision had been made. Inwardly sighing, he threw the covers off of his body and decided that there was no harm in looking. It's not like he would be able to sleep during this storm anyways. Groggily tousling his brown hair, which was more akin to bird's nest, and trying to wipe the sleep from his eyes, he didn't bother to put slippers on.
It was almost like his feet moved on their own, stepping nearly out into the pitch dark hallway. Fumbling around in the dark was something Henry was used to, living alone for so long did that. However, there was a nasty feeling in the air this night as Henry made his way further into the apartment.
Another flash of lightning revealed a completely empty living room for a fleeting comforting moment.
However, Henry was almost certain he saw another light illuminating the tiles on the kitchen area briefly after. He was more certain of distinct singular tap that originated in that area as well. Although being still half asleep didn't help his normally acute senses. Being only partially aware of his surrounds, he deemed it is a ridiculous notion that an intruder, if successful in breaking and entering, would be rummaging through his kitchen on first instinct but the feeling in his gut told him there was something scampering around the floors of his apartment, waiting for him to find it. His imagination produced an absurd type of morbid creature lurking in the darkness with ease, ducking behind the armchair and darting behind Henry only to tear into his legs and take him down to reach eye level with a hideous sickly-looking being-
That's stupid, things like that don't exist.
Henry repeated the phrase in his mind, trying not to frighten himself further. His brain would be the one to torture him like this in this already unnerving situation. Why must his imagination be so cruel to himself anyways?
That is when a grueling sound peeked Henry's horrified ears. It made his skin crawl, the fine hairs on the back of his neck stand up and his whole body stiffens. It was a gross squelching that rung out in between the roaring thunder in infrequent intervals.
Oh god, what the hell is that?
His brain recalled the image of the monster that it had previously conjured, only this time it wheezed the broken gurgling that resonated from the other side of the room.
Slowly moving to the right, the sound began to trail with him until he neared the couch; it stopped completely after that. Although a new sound brought the man out of his concentration, one that made his whole body jump before he identifies as a pot rattling on the tile. All rationalities of hoping that 'it was just the thunder' were lost at this point and his knees were almost shaking as his feet dragged him toward the kitchen and over the threshold of where carpet ended and tile began. His heart rate began to climb as he made his way around the counter, only to see no one. This didn't alleviate the fast rate of his heart, especially when his foot brushed up unexpectedly against something cold and wet.
His entire body makes a visible jump as his breath hitches when his sock found the trail of wetness leading into or perhaps out of his kitchen. He tried to come up with a trivial answer for the puddle on his carpet. Maybe it was a trail he has left when he got out of the bathroom. Even though Henry was not the type of man to do that. Everything in his apartment had to be immaculate. Perhaps the roof was leaking? No. Frank would never allow the building to get into such a bad shape. Henry follows the wet path onto his carpet and to the other side of the room slowly traveling near the chest next to the television only waiting for another flash of light from the storm to survey the area. He tries to smooth down the now vertical hair on his forearms as he shivers in the darkness. His stomach felt nauseous at this point.
When he reaches the bookcase, he is abruptly grabbed from behind by the shoulders. His whole body shoots nearly off his feet, muscles lock into a frozen state and his brown eyes fly open, the nervous sweat peppered on his face glistening in the low light. With breath stuck in his throat he reacts on instinct. Propelling himself to the side, he spins the other man into the coffee table who lets out a pained grunt. Trying to make another break away from the man, Henry shoves him toward the armchair and they both tumble over it together in a useless heap of tangled bodies. The world seems to be spinning as they quickly recover from the fall. Hoping to subdue Henry again the other man attempts to restrain him by smashing one of his fists into Henry's jaw who groans on impact. They only roll over each other once, the rest of their struggles are futile as their fight for dominance is successfully countered by one another. Henry successfully throws a fist just under the intruder's eye. The strong hit causes the man to curse before Henry barely manages to make it to his feet once again, wildly dazed. While swiftly trying to regain his composure, the intruder actively achieves in pulling his own drenched person up with the help of the short table and crushes his knuckles into Henry's stomach, who involuntarily snaps forward, doubling over, clutching his abdomen.
"what the hell man?" Henry manages to sputter loudly, his chest heaving, a small trail of blood smeared on the corner of this mouth.
The invader pulls him close to his drenched body despite Henry's desperate thrashing around. His quick jab of his elbow into the other man's side proves to ineffective as he quickly tries to gain the upper hand once again. Henry opened his mouth to yell a coherent word instead of useless surprised outbursts, but the intruder swiftly places a freezing, slick hand over Henry's mouth.
Henry's whole body stiffens once again when a cool metal threatens at his throat. Withdrawing the prison shiv slightly, the other man harshly whispers a string of flakey commands to be silent.
"Shhhhhhh. Be quiet." The man growls from behind him, pulling him into a more secure hold. Water droplets cascade down the intruder's person onto the apartment's light colored carpet that has been now sullied with slick mud near the window. The proximity is far too close for Henry's comfort as he feels the other man's hot breath pass over his neck unintentionally. The man behind him is shaking and his face is so close that Henry can almost feel his thin facial hair with each breath taken. This causes Henry to squirm even more, roughly trying to jerk away from the deeply uncomfortable cold wetness soaking through into the backside of his clothes.
"Fuck, hold on a second." The other man mutters softly, almost stuttering on the last word as his chest unwillingly makes a near crippling spasm spring from the cold. "Don't move." He added, as his labored breath shows no signs of evening out. There is one handcuff attached to the man and dangling in front of Henry's chest as he tries to move away but the other man is clearly stronger in his upper body.
It was then that Henry became very aware of a police siren ringing outside, almost covered up by the sounds of the storm. They stood there in the dark together for maybe a minute or so until the siren fades out and the many rays of fleeting lights dancing around room disappear completely.
"Give it a minute." The other man states in a somewhat pleading tone as his breathing slowly becomes effortless once again. They continue to stand there together and Henry even stops struggling for the moment even though the intruder's wet clothing had seeped into his own by this time.
There's a revolver in the chest. A sudden thought reminds Henry.
When another few moments of silence pass and Henry continues to remain stiff against the other man, who lets out a tremendously grateful sigh when the sirens seem to fade out completely. He even softly smiles in the darkness slightly until Henry shoves him away, sprinting for the chest that was slightly ajar. The other man's slight smile vanishes in a split second and he trails directly behind, still wet clothes smashed up against Henry's back until the barrel of the revolver is firmly pressed into the intruder's stomach.
"Back up." Henry commands in a stern tone that even surprises himself. When the intruder complies reluctantly, he mutters a request not to be shot and that he really had no intention of hurting him. He displays his open hands in front of his person while making slight gestures as he tries to explain. However the words flew over Henry's head as he continues to ignore the invader's pleas.
"Who are you?"
"My name's Murphy."
Henry sputters out of surprise in his passivity to tell him his name.
AN/: Richard smash.