AHHHHHH! It's the last chapter! Oh my gosh, this is such an epic moment! *sighs* Wow. I'm not sure whether I should be incredibly sad about this or jumping for joy. But this isn't really the end, so I'm leaning toward the latter. I can't wait to see what you think of it. Thank you all for following this and all the nice reviews. You guys are more amazing than leprachauns. Remember to go to my profile page and vote on which BTR member is your favorite! I was even nice and let you choose two:) And now on to the last chapter!

Disclaimer: If I owned Big Time Rush this would be on TV instead of the computer, wouldn't it

Kendall, Carlos, and Logan were sitting back at the apartment, staring into space. They still couldn't believe all the things James had said. How could he do that? They'd tried to do everything for him. How could he think that they had purposefully broken their promise to protect him? Kendall thought back to the night before. James had seemed so happy to see him, so insanely glad that he could depend on them. What had happened to him?

The boys looked up slowly as the door opened and James' parents stumbled, leaning on each other and crying quietly. Despite their anger, the boys instantly jumped up, concerned about James. "What's wrong?" Carlos asked. "Is James okay?" The adults looked at them, almost like they were surprised that anyone else was there. "He's… fine," Mr. Diamond said, but the pained look in the two's eyes told another story. "Really?" Logan asked in disbelief. Mr. Diamond sighed.

"Well… we're not sure. We tried to talk to him after you left but… he said some… things. He wasn't acting like himself, and we don't know why. Even though he was just, you know, kidnapped, he seemed almost like he was…" Mr. Diamond trailed off and his eyes widened. His wife looked at him, frowning. "Like he was what?" she demanded. Everyone looked at him expectantly. "Like he was… purposely trying to hurt us. Like he was pushing us away."

Kendall frowned. "But why would he…" Then his eyes widened as a thought hit him. "What exactly did Stenwell say to him tonight?" he asked, looking around at everyone. They stared at him in horror as what he was saying dawned on them. "He was trying to protect us?" Carlos said. Logan nodded. "It all makes sense now. Stenwell must have said something to threaten us when he was with James tonight, so James tried to push us away so that Stenwell wouldn't come after us!" Everyone nodded in agreement. "Well what are we still doing here? Let's get to the hospital!"

Everyone rushed out of the apartment and piled into the Diamond's rental car. Mrs. Knight had gone to pick up Katie from her sister's house, so they were stuck with the small car. The boys squeezed into the backseat while James' parents climbed into the front. Mr. Diamond quickly started the engine and the car sped out of the parking lot, heading towards the hospital. Hang on, James, Kendall thought. We're coming.

James was lying in his hospital bed, staring blankly at the ceiling. He had stopped crying a while ago. He had no more tears to cry. He shouldn't be crying anyway. The only reason he had to be sad he had brought upon himself, willingly. He was just feeling sorry for himself, something that he'd decided he'd done way too much of recently. That was going to have to change, or he would be miserable for the rest of his short life, especially with what he was about to do. He'd made up his mind already.

He couldn't push the ones he loved away anymore. It was just hurting everyone more than it was helping, and Samuel was smart; he'd see what James was trying to do. So James had to get away. He had to put as much distance between himself and the others, because they wouldn't be safe as long as he was around. He had to get away, lead Samuel away, to protect them.

He was healed enough, that he knew. He was still in great pain, but it was better than it had been a day ago. He would be able to manage on his own, as long as he could keep out of Samuel's reach for a few days. He thought back to what he's told himself earlier and realized he'd been wrong: that wasn't the only way. And neither was this. But it was the best plan, and the only one that he was really convinced would work, and that was good enough for him.

James slowly sat up, wincing as he pulled out the IV's. The hardest part was going to be getting past the guard, and he had already come up with a way to do that. At least no one could say he wasn't thorough. His first failed escape attempt had taught him well.

James picked up the phone from the bedside table and set it down so that it looked as if he'd been talking to someone. He lay back down and screamed. The officer burst in, gun drawn just like before, and looked around. "Bad dream?" he asked. James shook his head and pointed at the phone, trying to look afraid. "He called," he whimpered. "He said he was hiding right outside and that he was going to come for me soon." The officer looked at him and his eyes hardened. "I'll go call security and have them look around," he said, heading for the door. "Don't worry, son. He won't get you." James nodded and watched as the officer left. He sat there for another few seconds before jumping up and running.

He ducked into a closet and quickly traded his hospital gown for scrubs. As stupid as it sounded, he wasn't going to do anything in a dress. Then he slid out of the closet and made his way down the hallway, hanging his head so that no one would recognize him. He made it to the elevator, and allowed himself to relax just a little. He was going to make it.

Kendall, Carlos, and Logan were hurrying towards the hospital. Mr. and Mrs. Diamond had begged them to park the car so that they could get to James as quickly as possible, which the boys had predictably agreed to. Now they were rushing towards the hospital, anxious to see their best friend and assure him that he didn't need to protect them. They were about a hundred yards away when they saw a figure in hospital scrubs walking quickly towards them. His head was bowed, but they all instantly recognized the long brown hair and the lean figure. "James?" Kendall called out. The figure froze and slowly looked up. "James, what are you doing? You should be in the hospital!" Kendall yelled. James looked at them for a second before darting off to the side, sprinting away from his friends.

"JAMES!" they all yelled, instantly taking off in pursuit. James was fast, the fastest of the whole group, but he was still weak from everything that had happened to him. The others quickly caught up to him and Carlos grabbed his arm, trying to stop him. "James. James! Stop running and tell us what's wrong!" James stared at his friends, sadness written across his face, before pushing Carlos back into Logan and Kendall, sending them tumbling to the ground. He instantly took off running again, heading towards the small but tree-filled park that stood next to the hospital. He ignored the shouts of his friends behind him and the sharp stabs of pain that were shooting up his bare feet.

Suddenly something slammed into him from behind and he fell to the ground. Luckily he fell onto grass, so it didn't hurt as much as it could, but someone was lying on top off him, preventing him from moving. "James, what the hell are you doing?" Kendall yelled in his ear. He felt the weight disappear and two pairs of hands grab his arms, pulling him to his feet and holding him in place. He struggled wildly but he was no match for the combined strength of Carlos and Logan. Finally he gave up and stared at the ground, refusing to say anything. "Why, James?" Kendall asked, his voice breaking. He stood in front of his friend, staring hard at him.

James refused to look at Kendall. Instead he spoke to Carlos and Logan. "Let me go," he said quietly. Carlos snorted and reflexively tightened his grip. "You're going to run away again if we do," he pointed out. James didn't bother to deny it. "Yeah, I am. I'm going to leave no matter what you do, so why don't you make it a little easier for us all and just let me go." Logan shook his head. "There's no way we're going to let you walk away from us," he said. Tears sprang to James' eyes as he desperately tried to pull away. No tears, he told himself.

"James, we're not letting you go," Kendall said, frustration clear in his voice. "Now will you please tell us why you're trying to run away?" James looked away, looking at a nearby tree in stubborn silence. "We know you only said the things you did earlier because you were trying to protect us, which, by the way, was incredibly stupid. Is that why you're doing this?" Logan asked quietly. James didn't say anything, but his silence told them everything. "Oh James…" Carlos said quietly.

James' head snapped up and he glared at Kendall, who was the only one of his friends he could see. "You just don't get it!" he screamed. "He will never stop until he kills me, and he'll hurt anyone who gets in his way! No amount of protection will keep him from hurting me or any of you. I can't let that happen. I just can't," he said, slumping in his friends' grips. "James," Kendall said, trying to comfort his friend. "James, running away isn't going to help anything. In fact, it will probably make everything ten times worse." James shook his head, tears flowing freely. "He'll chase after me and leave you alone. It's the only way."

"But it's not the only way! I know you think that the police aren't going to be able to keep us safe, and maybe you're right, but if we're together everything will be okay. As long as we're together, Stenwell can't get us. If he tries, the other three will be there to stop him. But if you run away, no one will be able to help you, and he'll get you. Don't do this, James, please. Do it for us, and your parents, and everyone else who's trying to help you. Please," Kendall finished his lecture and watched James carefully, looking for his friend's reaction. James stared at Kendall, trying to pretend to be angry, to push them away so that he could salvage his plan, but it wasn't working. He let himself go limp in Carlos and Logan's arms and broke down sobbing.

"I'm sorry," he repeated over and over. Logan and Carlos gently lowered James to the ground and sank down beside him, hoping, no knowing, that he wasn't going make a break for it again. Kendall joined them on the ground and they surrounded James in a hug, pulling him close and letting him cry it out. "Shhh, it's okay, James, it's okay. Everything is going to be okay."

The boys got James back to the hospital in one piece, more or less. He was still shaking and crying, and his friends were half carrying him as they brought him through the door. Everyone was in a panic looking for James, and as soon as they saw him they were all surrounding him, trying to push his friends out of the way to question him. But Carlos, Kendall, and Logan wouldn't have it, and pushed back, telling them that James would answer their questions later. When they heard that James had told his guard that Stenwell was on the premises they quickly assured them that it was a false alarm. Without another word they led James back to his room and allowed the doctors to check over him.

A few days later everything had been sorted out. Although the police weren't happy that James had lied about the phone call, they were still guarding him 24/7. James' parents had reluctantly gone back to Minnesota. As much as they had wanted to stay, James had encouraged them to go home, assuring them that he would be safe. Between the police, who were still protecting him, and his friends, they were sure that he would be safe. He still thought otherwise, but he wanted his parents to go home where their lives were, and where they would be safe.

Katie was back, and the minute she saw James she jumped on him and gave him the biggest hug she could, before releasing him and blushing in embarrassment, much to all four of the boys' amusement. She didn't know all the details, but she knew that James had had a rough time and that it wasn't over for him, but she was happy to see that he was okay.

The doctors had assured the everyone that James was going to be fine and were convinced that he would be able to leave in another week or so. The boys spent every moment with James, most of the time together. The doctors had told them that only one of them could spend the night with James, so they took turns, and the others came first thing in the morning. James often woke up in the middle of the night screaming, and it made him feel a lot better having someone there to comfort him.

A lot of people came to visit him. Camille, Jo, Stephanie, Tyler, Kelly, and even Gustavo. Griffin sent Mercedes to let James and Mrs. Knight know that the record company was going to cover all the hospital bills, and even though it was no big deal to Gustavo's boss, it meant a lot to James. Gustavo had put everything on hold until James could come back, so the boys spent all of their time at the hospital. He pretended to be annoyed, but he was secretly glad, something that everyone noticed.

James sighed contently as his friends talked about random things. His body was healing well, and he was no longer in constant pain. In fact, only a few small scars and the memories reminded him of what had happened. But that was enough. He frowned to himself before quickly smiling, not wanting to worry his friends. They were going to keep him safe, they had promised, and with all the time they spent with him he was really starting to believe it. But there was still a cloud of doubt, torturing him. He still had constant nightmares about Samuel, and whether or not he liked it, he knew that they were going to meet again. He just had to make sure he was ready.

Samuel watched the boys laugh in James' room as though they didn't have care in the world and smiled to himself. If only they knew what was to come. Laughing evilly, he lowered his binoculars and melted into the shadows, planning his next move. There was going to be hell to pay. That was a promise.

And it's... done! Wow, this was the longest chapter so far, and it was the last. Oh, the irony. Anyway, the sequel will be up either tomorrow or Saturday, and it'll be called 'Repercussions'. Until then, review and make my day!