Twenty Four - Finale

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The sound of the main metal doors being forced open echoed throughout the building. The sound of running footsteps filled the air and I realised this was real.

"Let's go to the roof" Chan grabbed my hand and started running, the rest following closely behind.

We sprint up metal stairs for what seemed like forever as the tall building seemed to elongate in the moments when we were the most scared.

We finally brake out onto the roof top and Felix quickly pushes a metal bar through the two handles to try and keep Sunwoo and his guards away.

"We're going to die aren't we?" Jeongin says looking around. We all follow suit and see that the building was surrounded by all types of military vehicle.

"It's okay" Chan smiles sadly.

"What do you mean 'it's okay'?" Felix says looking around nervously.

"We May have only had freedom for a few days but wasn't it amazing? You guys have experienced something that nearly the whole world will never feel. I want you all to blame me. Say I forced you to come. Maybe then they'll spare your lives and you can go back to the city and continue your lives. Jeongin you can see your family again." Chan says placing a hand on Jeongin's shoulder trying to cheer the younger one up.

"You are my family" Jeongin says meeting Chan's eyes

"And we're all going to stick together. No matter what" Seungmin smiles grabbing Jeongin's hand. 

"You in Ash?" Changbin asks me as I was standing a few steps away.

"Of course I a-" I smile walking towards the boys but at the moment when I was walking towards them I saw the door to the roof move.

"They're here" I say quietly it barely coming out as a whisper. Everyone's heads turn to the door as every few seconds the door would push outwards and the metal bar holding it closed began to bend.

Chan takes my right hand and Seungmin takes my left and we start to form a line a few metres from the end of the building. We face the door as the sound of voices becomes more aggressive and finally the metal bar falls from the handles.

There is a surprising silence and lack of movement. My breath catches and I stare at the door willing the coward to come out himself.

Then the doors swing open and out from the door Sunwoo steps out confidently. To my surprise the doctor who administered the test Chan and I took together was following closely to his side. He carries a briefcase and for a moment I allow myself to have hope but I quickly push it away.

"Ash lets go back home" Sunwoo says and Chan squeezes my hand. I squeeze his hand in return without looking at him.

"This is my home." I say as confidently as I can under the circumstances.

"No it's not Ash and these criminals aren't your family. Nico and Lola are" he says taking a step forward and my breath picks up.

"Nico's dying." I say gripping Seungmin and Chan's hands tighter as I try to remain strong.

"He's cured" the doctor says and my facade falls immediately. My grip loosens and my knees buckle.

"W-what?" I say quietly.

"You're lying" Seungmin says beside me.

"Here watch for yourself" the doctor gets a screen out from his briefcase and places it onto the floor. A hologram shoots upwards and a video starts playing. There is a white hospital room and in it Nico is walking around it using a Zimmer frame for support.

As the video plays Chan's grip on my hand becomes painful. He stares at Sunwoo his eyes not focussing. I notice the vein in his neck becomes more prominent and I look back to Sunwoo who was smiling smugly.

"Chan no" I say as his grip keeps tightening. "Not again, Chan snap out of it" I try to desperately break my hand from his grip but he was in a daze that I couldn't break.

I look over at Sunwoo who could tell what was going on all to clearly. Sunwoo raised his eyebrow at Chan almost challenging him and that's all it took for the virus to consume Chan once again. Chan let go of my hand and sprinted towards Sunwoo.

"Chan no!" I screamed trying to get him to stop but it's as if he couldn't hear me.

Sunwoo didn't even flinch as Chan sprinted towards him, hate clear to be seen in his eyes. It took only a matter of seconds before Chan was stopped by guards and held with his arms behind his back. Chan thrashed against them starting to look less and less human.

Sunwoo held out his left hand and the doctor quickly responded pulling a syringe out from his briefcase and placing it in Sunwoo's hand.

"Don't touch him" Woojin said as Sunwoo walked closer to Chan.

"Don't you want us to help him?" Sunwoo says tapping the needle of the syringe.

"We don't trust you" Hyunjin says and I keep my eyes fixed on Chan. I plead inside for him to stop thrashing but he never does. His eyes turn bloodshot and animalistic growls come from his mouth.

Sunwoo continues to walk over to Chan. The guards hold Chan steady so he can't thrash anymore and Sunwoo holds the syringe in place. He looks at us expecting us to do something but we remain motionless.

He injects the needle into Chan's neck and quickly pulls it out after releasing all the fluid.

Chan's eyes return to normal and for a moment he looked okay. Only seconds later he let out a raw scream. He started to claw at where the syringe was injected before his eyes rolled to the top of his head and he fell to the floor.

I place a hand on my mouth to stifle a cry as my heart breaks watching the boy lying on the floor.

"You're cruel" I spit the words at Sunwoo as he claps his hands clean.

"I just stopped the virus and ended your friend's misery" he says coming closer and I take a step back.

"Come back. We'll punish these criminals and you can run the city with me" Sunwoo says and I shake my head.

"You're insane" I say laughing slightly out of nerves.

"I have a role and so do you. And these criminals have to be punished." He says pointing a gun lazily at each of the boys who stood by my side.

"I had a role, I don't anymore. And these criminals," I say looking at the boys "they're my family now. And we won't do anything you want us to. So please leave us be"

"You know I can't do that" he says getting impatient.

"Okay then we'll make this easy for you" Minho says and we all turn to look at him. He faces the end of the building and his toes hang off the edge. Everyone freezes and doesn't move, slowly I walk over to him and stand by his side taking his hand and placing my feet at the edge. Changbin joins us first and slowly the rest of the boys follow suit Felix joining us last.

"You'll regret this Ash" Sunwoo warns getting visibly nervous.

"I regretted not leaving sooner" I reply and turn back to the sky.

—Chan's POV—

"I regretted not leaving sooner" I hear Ash's voice and it pulls me out of the unconscious state I was in. The first thing I notice is that I feel better both physically and mentally. I open my eyes and sit up to see my friends lined up standing on the edge of the building while holding hands.

I see Ash take a deep breath and then I hear her voice again.


"Ash no!" I shout as I see them all step forwards off the building. She quickly whips her head back in surprise and her eyes widen when she spots me running towards her. She reaches out for my hand but it's no use, I can't get close enough before I loose sight of them as they fall towards the ground.

But it's too late. She stepped off the building with my best friends and I wasn't there to hold her hand. I would give anything to hold her hand one more time.

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