Heather never wants to go to Silent Hill again, but she knows there's one last thing she needs to do there.
Which was why it would be such a surprise to anyone who asked her that the first thing she did after getting Douglas to a hospital the next town over so his leg could be taken care of was grab his keys and head straight back, going around to the old side of town this time, the area she'd once grown up in.
She tried hard not to look at anything but the road in front of her and the street signs on the corners as she drove through the city. Every time she glanced up at the buildings she would suddenly find memories sparking across her mind; here was the store where the shopkeeper had once been nice enough to give her and Claudia a candy bar to share when they'd ducked into it to escape some of the bullies from school, there was the street corner where she'd once tripped over the curb and sliced open her palm on a sharp rock. On and on they went, the memories of that girl who both was and wasn't her.
It was only when she entered Alchemilla Hospital that the memories stopped coming. There almost all of her memories were focused on just one area and one person. The room she'd been hidden in she didn't plan on visiting. The person...
She could feel her, even though they were in separate dimensions. Didn't know how she couldn't have always feel her when the only thing Alessa had been able to hold onto even in the depths of her madness was trying to keep her herself, until Dahlia's magic had stolen away the powers making it happen.
She walked through the hospital, following that presence, until a door was all that separated her from it, then she closed her eyes. She didn't know whether she was pulling it to her or pulling herself to it, but then there were sirens sounding in her mind and when she opened her eyes the walls were bloodstained and crumbling.
She could hear a hoarse whispering through the door, that sounded like the person on the other side had spoken until their voice went out. "Harry," it said, dry as dead leaves and Heather almost bent over from the pain of the grief that tore through her at just his name. "Please don't go. Come back... Harry..."
Heather took a deep breath and opened the door, bracing herself for whatever horror she might see on the other side.
But it wasn't horrific, really. After everything she'd been through, a blood-covered woman was nothing. Even a blood-covered woman who lurched forward to attack her the moment the door was open, until something inside of Heather that she could now recognize as Alessa twisted and she stopped in her tracks, then stumbled backward.
"You... you're not..." she stammered fearfully, then took a deep breath and worked up enough courage to get a full sentence out. "Who are you?"
"You know me, Lisa," Heather said, beginning to step forward then stopping when the blood began flowing down Lisa's face in spurts and gushes. "You've got to know me. Don't you?"
Lisa squinted at her, not even really seeming aware of the stream of blood that ran right over her left eye. "I... I'm sorry, I don't... You know /me?/"
Heather took a deep breath. "I'm here to set you free, Lisa. I should never have made you stay around like this to begin with.
She could see the moment that comprehension dawned on Lisa's face. "/Alessa?/" she breathed.
Heather closed her eyes for a long moment, then walked forward, reaching out to rest her hands on Lisa's shoulders. "I just wanted you to be able to keep the life you'd lost because of me. Even if you couldn't be in the real world anymore, I was going to make this one better once everything was fixed. I was going to make it so you'd never even notice you weren't in the normal world. For you. I was going to do that for you." Heather could feel her mind fragmenting, knew it was Alessa rising to the surface and taking over her mouth, but just this once she wouldn't try fighting it down. Alessa was really the one that this was important too; they might be the same person soul-deep, but this all happened before Heather became herself.
As Heather touched her the blood faded away, leaving Lisa the pretty young nurse she'd once been again. "I can't leave the hospital," she said, looking fearfully out the door to the room. "I did once, when everything was ending, but it was /awful/. How can I be free?"
Heather forced herself to smile, though it was the last thing that she felt like doing, and pulled Lisa into a hug. "You don't need to do anything. I'm so, /so/, sorry that I did this to you, and left you here this long. Thank you for everything you did?"
"Thank you? But I wasn't strong enough to do anything."
"You couldn't do anything?" Heather couldn't hold back a small, almost hysterical, burst of laughter at how incredibly wrong Lisa was. "I never would have been able to hold back on killing Silent Hill for as many years as I did without you, even if I didn't manage to keep it up forever. I never would have cared enough to try fighting back against the God if you hadn't shown me that people could be kind, that there were things in the world worth saving after all. I'd stopped believing that after what mama did to me." She squeezed Lisa more tightly as she felt out the strings of power that she'd used to bind her ghost to the world so many years ago and broke them one by one. "You could say you saved the world, Lisa," she said as the last one snapped.
Then Heather was all alone in the room, and, even though she knew she'd done the right thing, for the thousandth time that day she felt like bursting into tears. But she'd drained herself dry hours before, once her fights against Claudia and the God had finally ended and there was no longer anything driving her hard enough to push back her grief. There were no tears left in her for a woman who she should have let go of a lifetime ago.
So she just turned her back on the room, and, for the last time, she left Silent Hill behind her.