LONDON'S BURNING

Crazy Little Thing Called Love

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return" Christian, Moulin Rouge.

"What now…? Yeah but… I thought… Uh ok… Can I at least have time to wake up first! Yeah, yeah I'll be there, and it better be important!" he said, putting the phone down.

He was a little annoyed at being woken up so early, especially after a heavy night's drinking, but Katy wanted to tell him something. Katy was another notch on his infamous bedpost, she knew that. In fact she had been the one to insist on the one night stand! It had been ages ago, now she phoned him up, out of the blue, and wanted him to come round to her house.

Actually it wasn't quite out of the blue. It wasn't as if they had just slept together and then never spoken to each other again. She worked at neighbouring fire station, Charlton, so it was a bit difficult for them to avoid each other – especially on large shouts… Like the one they had attended recently.

He decided to go and find out what she wanted, out of curiosity more than anything. She had only told him part of the story, he wanted to hear the ending.


"Fire, St David's nursing home, on Charlton's ground," George waved the print out madly as the sound of the ringing bells echoed through the station.

Geoff Pearce grabbed it off him and checked the status of the red lights mounted on the side of the wall above the Watch Room. "Right, it's both, looks like a busy one. Let's get on with it," he rallied the crews.

Blackwall had gone through some very major changes recently, both in equipment and personnel. They were missing Hyper, who had taken a Crew Commanders post at another station. He decided it was time to leave Blackwall, Adam thought that may have had something to do with the fact Hyper had been feeling a little redundant since Sally had passed her Crew Commanders course. Hyper reckoned he was leaving the way clear for her at Blackwall, where she had now taken up his vacant post.

Hi-Ho had finally flown his family nest, but that had meant a transfer to Euston, where he was living with some girl he had "fallen in love with". Adam had laughed at him for his strange ideas about "love" and stuff. Did love really exist except for in Hi-Ho's imagination?

They had arrived at the shout to find Charlton's crews all ready in attendance, led by Acting Watch Commander Katy Devonish. She quickly informed Pearce of the situation and assigned him some tasks, which needed to be carried out. He didn't seem too happy at having to take his orders from a woman, especially one who was much younger than him! But he turned back to the Blackwall crew to assign them specific duties.

The fire itself had now devoured most of the building. However, a few of the elderly residents were still trapped inside one of the blocks that the fire had not yet reached, although they had been cut off by the overpowering smoke.

Katy wanted to get inside to see for herself what was going on. Pearce was to take over the command of tackling the fire from outside, while she and her crew dealt with the rescue. She requested a couple more bods for a BA crew, Pearce assigned Adam and Sally to her.

"We're going in from this side," Katy explained, pointing towards the ferocious flames. "I've got a crew searching from the far end," she indicated away from the fire as Adam and Sally donned their BA sets.

Katy was already kitted up as she briefed them on what they were looking for. An elderly man had been reported missing, after sneaking off to find his female friend, who had already been rescued.

They entered the building after having their BA tallies taken and recorded by the Charlton firefighter on BA Control.


He found women were the most fascinating creatures to walk the Earth. He couldn't understand why any man would want to be gay when he was confronted with such beauty. But as Hyper had pointed out to him once, not everyone found beauty in a woman. That had left him puzzled as to what Hyper could find beautiful about a man! But when Hyper had admitted to fancying Adam, he decided that maybe there was something to like after all…

He knew he was being a little big headed there. He couldn't help the excitement rush he got when a girl admitted to finding him sexy or attractive. However he didn't get that feeling with Hyper, and had to tell him so. He decided it was more like fancying his own brother, or cousin considering he didn't actually have a brother! Not one that he knew of anyway…

He thought Hyper had taken the knock back pretty well, until Hyper informed Adam of his decision to leave Blackwall.

"Is that because of me?"

"Don't be daft!" Hyper tried to assure both of them.

Adam saw right through him. It was, he knew.


Katy led the way into the burning building, closely followed by Adam, as Sally brought up the rear. The smoke was thick and cloudy, they could not see the flames, but could hear the fire raging above their heads on the second floor.

"Ok there?" she asked Adam.

"Yeah…" he replied. "Sal?"

"I'm OK, Adam."

They pressed on, down the heavily smoke logged corridor.

Katy hadn't said a word to Adam about their "casual sex" as she had put it that night in the Twist. And he hadn't brought the subject up with her. He thought that was the last he was going to hear about it, as with all the women before her. He didn't often go back for seconds, but there was something about Katy. She seemed different, special in some way. Then he realised he was starting to sound like Hi-Ho, and quickly changed his train of thought.


He didn't know if he should feel guilty for making Hyper leave. For making him move to the other side of London so that he wouldn't be reminded of what he wanted but couldn't have.

Perhaps that was for the best though. Adam decided he couldn't be gay, it just didn't do it for him. He was as straight as an iron rod. Hyper knew that.

Hyper had given in to the pressure, both personally and professionally, his solution had been to move away.


The rescue attempt came to an abrupt end when part of the ceiling collapsed, almost on top of Katy, who was knocked to the floor, but managed to avoid the falling masonry.

"You ok?" Adam asked, concerned as he and Sally helped her up.

"Yeah, yeah," Katy dusted herself down.

"Let's get out of here," Sally wasn't too sure about the safety of the remaining ceiling.

"Good idea," Adam helped Katy as Sally led the way back outside.


"It was that shout wasn't it?"

"No…"

"But I didn't know…"

"Neither did I…"

"Katy, look…" he started.

"I think you should go now, Adam."

"But… Wait," he paused. "I don't want to."

"I want you to leave."

"Do you?" he thought he could sense some uncertainty in her voice.

"Yes," she tried to make it sound as if she really wanted him to leave her alone.

"I can't," he found himself admitting.

"Please Adam…"

"Why did you call me then?" he wondered.

"I wanted to tell you about… I just thought you should know, that's all. I wanted to tell you before work, because…" she trailed off.

"Why?" he pressed.

"Because I'm leaving… I'm moving away from London, Adam," she refused to look at him.

"You can't! I mean… I don't want you to…"

"You're better off without me," she sounded as if she was trying to convince them both.

It was exactly the same as Hyper had sounded when he told of his transfer. He didn't really want to go, but decided it would be for the best because he felt he couldn't control himself where Adam was concerned. He was worried that they may do something they would both live to regret. He reckoned he was fighting a loosing battle and had decided to drop out all together.

"You should find a nice girl to settle down with. I can't give you what you want," Katy was telling him.

"But I don't want all that…"

"You will later, trust me."

"I don't want kids, I want you!"

"I bet you say that to all the girls!"

"Yeah, but I don't mean it like I do now…" he trailed off as he felt his words were becoming way too soppy.

He knew he was in definite danger of sounding like Hi-Ho now!

"I have to leave, Adam, you don't understand…"

"So tell me."

She looked away again. Not that she had been looking straight at him much, in fact she had refused to make eye contact at all.

"What's going on Katy?" he asked, sternly.

"I lost the baby because… Because I…" she took a deep breath to steady her shaky voice. "I've got cancer…" she looked right at him this time. "I'm dying Adam."

It took him a while for the revelation to sink in. He moved his lips but no words came out. Finally he found his voice and said:

"You what?"

"I'm dying," she repeated.

"But you can't! I mean… isn't there anything they can do? Doctors… they do all this great stuff don't they? With drugs and that…"

She stopped him. "There's nothing."

"But you can't just give up!" he refused to let her go. "I love you!" he declared as if it was the perfect reason for her to fight.

He took her in his arms, wishing he could get whatever it was out of her body and make her better.

"I'm not going to let you give up. You're going to fight this, we're going to fight it, you and me, together."

She looked up at him and managing half a smile, she thanked him for his support. He continued to hold her. There were loads of questions that suddenly popped into his mind.

But Katy wouldn't be able to answer any of them at the moment as she had fallen asleep in his arms as they sat on her sofa together.

He stayed with her, ignoring the clock on the wall, which informed him that he was already half an hour late for work. He decided there were more important things in life – like living and not giving up at the first sign of trouble. The clock slowly ticked on. His mobile rang several times, but he ignored it.

No matter how tough it would get in the future, he was going to keep fighting for her, he wanted her to do the same. No matter how tough things would get, no one should just give up their precious gift of life without putting up a half decent fight first. No one should give in. This was going to be one fight which the Grim Reaper would not win. He was determined to help her, but as he held her, he knew it was already too late.

A tear trickled down his cheek as he bowed his head to kiss her soft blonde hair lightly. She looked so peaceful as he lay her down gently on the sofa and reached for his mobile phone.