A/N. This is an extension of Stolen Dreams. The last J&G scene was just so lovely, so I've added a bit on. Enjoy!
The scene was of utter devastation. The once popular arcade was now a pile of burning rubble, smoke billowing from every gap it could find, flames still burning brightly, despite the firemen trying to extinguish them with everything they had.
He tried to take in what had just happened. Looking round frantically, trying to understand. He simply couldn't. He looked at his wife, in complete shock, stumbling, her eyes full of fear. Unable to take in what had just happened, instead burying her head into his. He stood in front of her, shielding her from the horror behind him. Neither of them could speak. Her tears trying and failing to make an appearance.
He scanned the area with his eyes, Suzie being comforted by one of the ambulance drivers. Louise's dad sitting on the floor, sobbing uncontrollably. The others standing in complete shock and disbelief.
His thoughts returned to Jill, who hadn't moved, and was holding onto Gordon tightly with both hands, not wanting to let go. The strength she'd tried to regain over the past few months was rapidly disappearing. She was taking it harder than most, which concerned Gordon greatly. He didn't want to be a doctor. He wanted to concentrate on Jill.
There was nothing more anyone could do, except offer comfort. Comfort which would be of little use to anyone. They weren't coming back, or miraculously be pulled from the wreckage. No. The fire had ripped through the building, destroying everything in its path.
She hadn't said a word. Just clung to him, showing no signs of letting go, her jacket covered in dust, her face a ghastly shade of white. All he could do was hold her, and wait. Wait for her to say something. He was keen to get her home. Away from this. His priorities had changed. His focus has changed.
They stood, in silence for several minutes, during which the people had begun to head back to The Royal, where news of the explosion had reached the staff there. Soon, Jill and Gordon were among the last to leave.
"Oh love. Why don't I take you home eh? Come on love, it's ok." Nothing, only quiet tears. Her breathing still heavy, hands still shaking. Her distressed state was something of a concern, having not seen her quite like this before. It was clear she was struggling with the situation. Struggling in a way nobody could have predicted.
"Let's get you out of here. Yes?" He whispered, using his legendary charm to try and prompt a response. His eyes were softening, trying not to think about what was happening behind him. The fire was dying down, just smouldering timber was all that was left. Charred metal. The arcade was now unrecognisable. The smell overpowering. Jill was oblivious.
"We can't do anything here. We've done all we can. There's nothing we could've done. Let's go home eh? I'm sure the others will understand. I can't let you go back to work like this." She nodded, agreeing with Gordon. They couldn't stay. The area wasn't safe. He would ring The Royal when he got home. He couldn't take her back. Facing the others. All the sadness. It wouldn't be fair.
Still holding on tightly, she followed him away, back towards her car. Being in no state to drive, he took her keys, and unlocked the car, helping her in, before getting in the drivers side. Placing his hand on her wrist, he could feel her heart racing, breathing wasn't getting any easier, yet he knew he could call on Nick if needed.
The journey home seemed longer than usual. She hadn't said a word, Gordon offering words of reassurance, having convinced himself that physically she was ok. Emotionally, she was broken. The shock showing no signs of easing.
"Let's get you inside. You're safe now. Oh darling it'll be ok." Helping her inside, he had a feeling a long night was in store for them both.