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Actually, there were two
people besides them in Silent Hill.
The man had just exited a huge building that looked as if it might be a school of some kind, he was a little far away so the fog was obscuring him; she could make out that he was somewhere between his thirties and forties; his dark hair was unkempt and his gait was weary and cautious.
Buffy watched as the man stopped, looked around and shook his head, his body language screamed of desperation.
“Do you think he’s dangerous?” Willow asked, eyeing the stranger critically.
He didn’t look like a Big Bad, or even a Little Bad; but looks didn’t mean a thing in her world.
Xander walked ahead of them, “Only one way to find out.”
She sighed and checked to make sure the knife was still secure in the sleeve of her leather jacket; if the guy was bad news she wanted to get there before Xander, she didn’t want him to get hurt.
After all, she was a Slayer; she’d recover a lot-
But she’d lost her power.
Buffy faltered; suddenly both Xander and the man seemed bigger and more threatening. Well, the stranger looked more threatening; Xander was still Xander.
Her heart leapt as she felt something brush her elbow, her hold around the small axe tightened but when she looked to her left she saw Willow’s concerned face.
“Buff, you okay?”
She was the Slayer; a slayer in her weak, average-girl body- she’d probably have trouble fighting Andrew
!; and there they were stuck in Silent Hill: Town of Creeps!
How was she supposed to be okay?!
Buffy looked at her best friend’s pale face, and felt a little guilty; she wasn’t the only one struggling with their sudden lack of power, Willow and Xander were probably just as wigged as she was!
She sighed and pasted a smile on her face, “I’m fine, Will. Really.”
Willow was not convinced, she saw that.
She was relieved when Willow turned away, appearing to let the subject drop. She watched as her best friend caught up with Xander, she hung back a little and scanned the area around them; a quick job when you could only see a certain distance away.
Turning her attention to the stranger before them, she scrutinized him carefully; he didn’t really look that edgy, but she wasn’t letting her guard down.
Buffy flinched at the sudden shout and stiffened; her grip on the axe handle tightened yet again but she already knew that she had no cause to attack; he hadn’t sounded angry, or aggressive.
Just desperate, and fearful.
“Hey, amigo!” Xander called, an edge of suspicion in his tone. “You know what’s going on with this town?”
As they drew nearer she watched for any sign of danger or malicious intention, she saw neither, and she felt a little less certain that the guy was an enemy. The man stared at them, now that she was closer he looked a little younger than she’d first thought; he had to be in his early thirties, couldn’t be more than thirty-five.
“Are you real?” The man asked tentatively, his face was ashen and tight with fear.
He’s in shock, she realized.
Attempting to lighten the situation and bring him out of his stupor, she smiled and shrugged, “Last time I checked…”
A choked laugh was torn from his throat, and he glanced around, “It was dark a while ago, it’s changed now- everything’s changed.”
Um… could she just say, ‘huh?’
“This town giving you the heebie-jeebies?” Xander asked, lightly.
The man ignored him, still gazing around, and then he looked at her, “How long have you been here?”
Glad that the man seemed a little more lucid, she replied easily, “A few hours, we were just passing through.”
Was it her, or did the stranger not seem too happy with that?
“Have you seen a girl?” he asked- almost begged, “She’s seven; short, dark hair. Her name’s Cheryl.”
The name he’d shouted out?
Whoa, there was a little kid in this hole?!
“You’re the first person we’ve seen since we got here,” Willow stated, looking concerned, “you know, besides the wacky demon things flying and- and leaping around… although, they’re demons, not people...”
She could tell that Xander wanted to put his hand over her mouth, and smiled in spite of the situation; several years fighting demons and Will still hadn’t got over her babbling, or the resulting blush of embarrassment.
The stranger blinked at the redhead, looking a little surprised; surprise, because of Willow’s babble or because she’d said the word ‘demons’?
The guy had to know about the supernatural… demons, at least. After all, they couldn’t walk down a single street without encountering at least one or two of those creatures. He had
to have seen a few already.
Which was why she felt more than a little worried for this guy’s daughter, Silent Hill wasn’t exactly child-proof; it was a hell-hole.
Buffy shook her head, “We haven’t seen her around here yet. How long has she been on her own?”
Assuming she was
on her own; her mom might be with her, but then why would he ask about his daughter and not her mom too?
She felt a rise of sympathy for the man as he rubbed his eyes, a crease between his eyebrows, she hoped for his sake, and the girl’s, that Cheryl was still alive.
“We got here several hours ago, when it was still dark,” he replied, staring at nothing, “Our car crashed… there was this other girl, she looked thirteen, fourteen maybe- but I haven’t seen her since… anyway, we crashed, and when I came to Cheryl was gone.”
Did Cheryl run off?
Buffy doubted it, most likely she’d been kidnapped by something; maybe the other girl? Christ, how could too young girls survive in Silent Hill? Maybe they were together… maybe Cheryl wasn’t kidnapped; they just went to get help.
Looking around her, she knew that they hadn’t found any.
There didn’t seem to be many people around the town, most likely the kids had run into a couple of demons.
Buffy’s suddenly leapt in her chest, the church bell had stopped; the person wasn’t sounding it anymore. Either because they were in trouble, tired or just got fed-up with it, but she knew that someone was at that church.
And that ‘someone’ could be Cheryl.
“We heard a church bell a while ago,” she said, hoping that the girl had just got fed-up with it, “Whoever sounded it might still be there.”
She wasn’t going to say that it could be Cheryl; didn’t want to get his hopes up if it wasn’t. But she knew that the man was already thinking it himself.
“Assuming it’s a person,” piped up Xander, sagely, “could be a big ol’ demon.”
The man stared at Xander, suddenly looking hopeful, “But, it could be Cheryl.”
For a lot of reasons, Buffy really hoped it was.
The stranger turned away, looking around and started to move away from them; towards whatever or whoever was in that church. Buffy caught Willow’s eyes and sighed, “We can’t let him go on his own, and I dunno about you guys but I don’t feel right in finding our way out until we find these girls.”
Willow shook her head, “Yep, and anyway… I don’t think we’ll find an exit route too quickly; if our entry route has disappeared I’ll bet my entire savings account that every other road out of Silent Hill has gone too.”
Xander sighed and looked pissed, “You think this is the Powers’ way of screwing us over?”
Xander started to followed the man; making the decision they were all going to make anyway, “At least we got some extra man-power; now we’re a Slayer down an’ all.”
Buffy fumed a little at the PTB, if all of this was their idea of a big joke she was gonna kick their asses when she finally got up there; which, actually, might be pretty soon if they weren’t too careful.
They were going back up Midwich Street, she and her friends had left a trail of dead monsters in their wake and she hoped that they wouldn’t be meeting any more. She wondered if the man they were now helping was a good fighter. Did he know his way around a crossbow?
Not that she had one, of course.
As they caught up with him, she studied him; sizing him up, he was about Xander’s height; a little taller maybe. Wouldn’t be too bad in a fight, better than either her or Willow; neither of them had the advantages they’d had back in Sunnydale.
She almost felt as though they were on borrowed time.
Heck, they were all probably on borrowed time. But at least they had another guy fighting in their corner.
What was his name?
They were helping the guy, and they didn’t even know his name.
She looked at the man again and saw that he’d stopped; he eyed them in surprise, rather the way Giles had looked at Willow and Xander when they’d decided to help them fight the demons of Sunnydale.
They’d stopped on the corner of Bloch Street, and so far Willow’s borrowed cell hadn’t alerted them to anything demonic coming their way; she hoped that they’d make it to the church without meeting anything, but she wasn’t going to kid herself.
“You uh… you’re all coming?” the man asked, uncertainly.
What would be the point in splitting up? She didn’t know anything more than he did at the moment; if anything, the guy probably knew more than them- and four heads were better than one!
Xander shrugged, “Yep, we’d like to act all heroic and help the guy find his daughter, unless…”
She didn’t think the man would want to deny any help to find Cheryl, not if he wanted to stay alive.
The man’s eyes had gone wide, “Oh no, that’s great… I’d…I’d appreciate the help… and you’re heroics.”
Buffy glared at Xander and his misplaced humor, “Don’t mind Xander, you’ll get used to his weird jokes after a while.”
The man nodded, almost unsure, “Right… ‘Xander’?”
Xander nodded and took on a look of mock-longsuffering, “’Alexander’, but Willow here couldn’t pronounce it… so ‘Xander’ is was, and still is.”
Willow nudged him, looking mildly embarrassed, “We were four!”
Buffy smirked as her Xander-friend suddenly looked contrite, she glanced at the man they’d just met and saw that he appeared rather perplexed.
Realizing they’d both indirectly introduced themselves, Buffy decided to take the highroad and do more or less the same, “And I’m Buffy.”
The man cracked his first smile since they’d met him, and she was gonna be pissed if it was because her name amused him; it wouldn’t be the first time; it sure as hell wouldn’t be the last.
“Harry… Harry Mason.” ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
Please review if you like it, or if you don't constructive criticism will always be welcomed :)~*~