Thump. Thump. Thump. Hwan couldn’t tell if that pounding noise was coming from his heart, his feet on the pavement, or the throbbing pain in his side. “Guess it doesn’t matter,” He thought. “So long as I stay ahead of the guys who caused the wound.”
“He’s over there!” Judging from the distance of that voice, he was only just barely managing to achieve that goal.
The wound in his side felt like it was dripping. Well of course it’s dripping, it’s a fucking stab wound. He can’t keep running forever. He needs to find somewhere he can hide for at least long enough to call his brothers. Hwan scanned his surroundings. He was in an alley, slim and long with no end in sight. No doors on either side of him- wait!
He stopped just long enough to take in that yes, it was a fire escape ladder, before he started climbing up it. By the time he was halfway up the steps, he heard footsteps from under him. Forcing himself not to look down, he continued up the ladder as quickly and quietly as he could.
Once he reached the roof of the building he felt safe enough to peer down. Nothing. Looks like he lost them.
Hwan pulled his phone out of his pocket and cursed. It was dead. He looked back down at the alley. Still no sign of those goons, but he should still probably wait up here for a few minutes, just in case one or all of them came back to retrace their steps.
With a groan, he sat down against an A/C duct. Now that adrenaline wasn’t flowing through his system, the pain in his side was becoming unbearable. Hwan lifted up his shirt to check the damage. It didn’t look too deep, but it was leaking blood like a faucet. He wondered if he should go straight home, or if he should try and find an emergency room once it was safe to go back down. Which was closer?
He racked his brain trying to remember the layout of the area, when his thoughts were interrupted by a voice. “Hello? Is someone there?”
Hwan froze. His mind raced as he tried to think of what to do. Would this person help him if they found him bleeding on their roof? Or would they call the cops? Should he call out and ask for help? Or should he try and “blend in?”
The wound in his side gave a particularly painful throb. He winced. Yeah, no. He definitely wasn’t going to be able to concentrate enough to pull off his little “trick.” Not like this. “Hello?” There was a beam of light at that last word, probably whoever it was had brought up a flashlight.
Fuck it. Worst-case scenario they call the police, in which case he might be able to get a ride home; or to the emergency room. Preferably both. Just as Hwan decided to ask for help, the light shone in his face. He squinted, trying to make out who was holding the flashlight, when all of a sudden, it was gone, and he could hear footsteps walking downstairs.
Huh. He hadn’t planned for what he would do if they just… walked away. He supposed it was better than them calling the cops, but still somewhat unsettling. However, as Hwan was steeling himself to stand up and look and see if the coast was clear, he heard footsteps again. The stranger reappeared. Without a word, they walked over to Hwan, handed him the flashlight and said “Hold this.” Out of lack of options, Hwan did. They then set down a box, after a bit of rummaging they produced bandages, and rubbing alcohol. “Lift up your shirt.” They said.
“Hey, you could at least buy me dinner first.” Hwan joked weakly, pointing the flashlight at his wound with one hand and pulling up his shirt with the other.
Wordlessly, the stranger set to work cleaning his wound. After they had finished, they wrapped bandages around his stomach. Once it was done they started packing up their stuff and said “It looks worse than it is but you should still probably go to the hospital. You might need a couple stitches.”
Out of a lack of anything else to say, Hwan simply replied “Thanks.” The stranger took their flashlight back, got up, and started walking back down the stairs. Before they were completely out of sight, Hwan yelled “Wait!” They stopped and turned. “What’s your name?”
They seemed to consider the question for a moment before they smiled slightly and answered “Just think of me as a Good Samaritan.” With that, they turned back around and continued down the stairs. Just as they was about to be out of sight Hwan noticed something. They had a tattoo in the shape of a diamond star on their right shoulder.
Later at the emergency room, Hwan recounted the whole incident to his family. His father and three brothers: Tatsuo, Daichi, and Eric. He had managed to find an emergency room as he was wandering out of the alley, trying to figure out where he had ended up. He did need stitches, and they had called his family to come take him home. “Well Hwan, I would be inclined to agree with them. By the sound of it you were quite fortunate to come across this “Good Samaritan.”
“Yeah, otherwise you might’ve bled out on top of a roof by now.” said Tatsuo, scowling.
“Which we are pleased that that isn’t the case. Aren’t we?” said their father with a pointed look at Tatsuo.
Tatsuo rolled his eyes. “Yeah yeah, of course I’m glad he’s not dead. I’m just sick of having to come down here for him all the time.”
“Yes, because you’re one to talk.” Although Daichi said it under his breath, it didn’t stop Tatsuo from catching it, as evidenced by his glare.
“Hey. I don’t get into fights with anyone who doesn’t already have it coming.”
“Hey, these guys had it coming!” Hwan protested. “They were total as- jerks.” Hwan caught himself just in time, glancing nervously at their father. “They stabbed me!”
“Yes, we can see that.” Eric said darkly.
“Oh, so Tatsuo can get into fights but I can’t?!”
“Yes, because unlike you, I know how to fight!”
“ENOUGH!” their father yelled.
The boys fell into absolute silence.
“It is not acceptable for any of you to be fighting unless it is to defend yourself. Not just because it is dangerous and foolish, but because there is a higher chance of you being discovered.” At this statement, the boys looked nervously at each other, knowing what their father said was true. Then there was silence, until a nurse came and told them that they could go.