It was dark outside and it was raining but all Phoebe could focus on was the roaring fire slowly spreading across the bottom floor towards the higher floors. She knew it didn't take much for a fire to spread – back drafts, the oil…but she still couldn't believe how quickly it was moving. She turned to Susie, who was just staring at the building in awe.
"How could you do this?!" Phoebe yelled, "There are innocent people in there…they've never done anything to you!"
"I don't care who's in there just as long as Chandler is…" Susie whispered; her gaze still struck on the building.
"You're INSANE!" Phoebe yelled.
Many of the people from the bottom floors ran screaming out of the building. Hysterical kids, many of them in their Halloween costumes, ran around searching for their parents.
"Look at the poor children," Phoebe said, watching the chaos around her. She suddenly sprung into action. "Someone call the fire department!" she yelled, "My friends are in there!"
"My son is in there too!" a woman cried
Phoebe turned around to see the woman, who was crying hysterically.
"They're going to be ok," Phoebe whispered, "They just have to be."
"What do you mean we're trapped?!" Monica yelled. She watched Chandler run back down the hallway. "Now where are you going?"
"I'm trying to see where the fuse box is!" Chandler yelled back, "You still can't see in that apartment!"
"But…but the fuse box is down on the bottom floor! You can't get down there."
"Well, I'm going to damn well try!" Chandler said, determined. He walked closer to the stairs, beginning to choke on the smoke again.
"No!" Monica yelled, running down to him. She touched his arm, and he turned around to face her.
"P..please Chandler," Monica whispered, her voicing shaking, "Don't go down there. We'll figure out a way to get everyone down the fire escape in the dark."
Chandler shook his head. "We won't be able to do that."
Monica started to cry, falling into Chandler's arms. She kissed him softly on the lips. "Leave it to the fire department Chandler. I…I couldn't bear it if something happened to you."
"Nothing will happen to me," Chandler said firmly, "The flames are not that high and I'll be careful." He gave Monica another kiss. "Trust me."
Before Monica could say another word, Chandler ran down the stairs into the smoke.
Chandler choked and coughed, glad that the flames had not quite reached his part of the floor yet. He covered the top of his shirt with his mouth, wishing he had kept on that ridiculous costume to protect him from the smoke. He looked wildly around for the fuse box, his eyes stinging from the thick fumes that were engulfing him. "Phoebe!" he yelled, immediately choking again. "Where are you?"
To his horror, he saw a little boy hiding behind the door of one of the departments.
"Oh my god" Chandler muttered, "I thought everyone had left by now." He beckoned to the little boy. Instead of coming out, the boy shut the door behind him.
"Damn!" Chandler yelled, running to the door. He staggered over to the door, choking even harder as more thick fumes and the start of flames began to spread to his end. He banged on the door. "Come on, open the door!" he yelled, "Do you want to die in here or something?!"
When there was no answer, Chandler stepped back and kicked at the door. It burst open and he ran over to the boy, who was cowering underneath a table. Chandler knelt down, and crawled towards him. "Listen," he whispered, "I know you're scared, but you've got to come out of there! Your mother will be worried sick about you."
The boy began to crawl out and Chandler breathed a sigh of relief. "Climb on my back," Chandler instructed him, "You're going to have a little ride…you like that?" The boy nodded and climbed on.
Seeing that the flames were beginning to get closer, Chandler grabbed a coat from a chair and wrapped it around himself and the boy. "That should protect you," he muttered. He ran into the hallway, dodging flames, desperately looking for the fuse box. He found it, and, balancing the boy on his back, Chandler broke it open and fiddled with the switches.
"Yes!" he shouted, coughing harder than before. He held the boy again and staggered back towards the stairs, knowing that there was no way out through the entrance. He felt ready to collapse, and he was afraid he wasn't going to make it. He stopped for a second, finding it harder to breathe. "Are you alright?" he whispered to the boy. A slight movement from the boy reassured Chandler, and he walked on up the stairs.
He heard a shout that sounded like, "Come on Chandler!" He looked up and saw Ross at the top, encouraging him on. Finally getting there, Chandler collapsed on the floor, gasping for air. He felt the boy slide off his back.
"You idiot," he heard Ross mutter, "You heroic, incredible idiot."
Chandler slowly stood up, and walked back to his apartment. He saw Monica there, and many of the other guests gathered around the door.
Monica flung her arms around him and he collapsed in her arms, still coughing for air. "Are…are the lights working?" he muttered. "Where's the boy?"
"The boy is fine," Monica whispered, smiling proudly at him, "You saved his life…you saved everybody's life. With the light on, they can make their way to the fire escape on the balcony! Just don't ever do that again! Lets go!"
"Uh…uh," Chandler shook his head, collapsing on the floor with exhaustion, "Can't…go…on anymore."
"Don't give up now!" Joey shouted, pulling him back up again. "Everyone is outside thanks to you! All you've got to do is go a little further!"
Chandler nodded slowly and started to walk back into the apartment. He stopped, looking all around him. "Where's the boy?" he asked slowly.
"Oh no…" Monica's hand flew to her mouth, "He was here a minute ago!"
"I'm here!" a little voice shouted from near the stairs, where the fire was slowly creeping up.
"Get away from there!" Chandler shouted, running over and grabbing him. He lifted him up in his arms and ran back to the apartment.
"Right…" he whispered hoarsely, "Where's that fire escape?"
"Over here!" A voice called from the balcony. They all looked over to see a group of firemen running towards them.
"About time too!" Ross yelled.
"Someone help Chandler!" Monica screamed, as he collapsed on the floor again.
The firemen acted swiftly, grabbing the boy from Chandler's grasp and then taking them both to safety.
Phoebe breathed a huge sigh of relief when she saw her friends come out of the building. She ran over to them, and gasped in horror at Chandler's unconscious form on the ground.
"He's still breathing…just," a fireman told them, "He needs some oxygen in his lungs."
A mask covered Chandler's face and the friends watched anxiously, waiting for him to wake up.
Monica kneeled down next to him, "Come on Chandler…please." She whispered, tears rolling down her cheeks. "You've got to wake up. I love you so much!"
Chandler's eyes began to flicker and they opened slowly. He raised his arm slowly and pulled the mask off, "What's going on?" he whispered.
"Too much for you to understand at the moment," Monica cried, hugging him tight, kissing him on the lips. "All that matters is that you're alive. I love you."
Chandler smiled weakly, "l love you too." He said, lifting his hand to stroke her on the cheek.
"Wow…" Rachel murmured.
"Ok…um…Pheebs, you're alive!" Chandler turned back to the rest of his friends, who were just staring at him and Monica in awe.
Phoebe nodded, smiling. "I'm alive." She answered.
"Who…who started the fire?" Chandler demanded.
"It's a long story, a sad story really," Phoebe replied, "You'll find out soon enough."
"There they are!" a voice shouted from behind Phoebe. The group turned to see the boy Chandler rescued, the woman that Phoebe had heard crying earlier, and to their amazement, Mr Gonzales running towards them.
The boy pointed to Chandler. "Mother…granddad!" the boy shouted, "That's the man who saved me!"
"You again!" Mr Gonzales shouted. Then he burst into a huge grin. "Thank you for being around this time. You saved my grandson."
Chandler stood up and shook Mr Gonzales' hand. "It's nothing that nobody else would've done." He said, shrugging. "…and I'm so glad you don't seem to be like Mr Heckles!"
Mr Gonzales shook his head and walked away, chuckling, "Poor kid had too much smoke!" he said. "Who's Mr Heckles?"
The group laughed at the old man, the woman and her son walking away.
Chandler wrapped his arms around Monica and turned to Phoebe, "Are you going to tell me who started the fire?" he asked.
"It was Susie Moss." Phoebe answered simply. "She did all that other stuff too. The police have took her away and hopefully they can give her the help she needs."
"Su…susie Moss?!" Chandler shook his head, trying to clear it. "I'll hear about it later…" He turned to the rest of the group. "You know what? Let's never have a scare war again!" he announced.
"No Halloween celebrations at all!" Ross added, "I'm a palaeontologist after all…"
"Shut up!" the rest of the group yelled.
:I hope you liked the ending. I've come up with another fanfic idea, and I just need to ask something. I call my mother 'mum', but I know the characters are American so I should put 'mom'. Which do you prefer to see…my 'brit speak' mum or the American 'mom'?