The team was in the middle of practice when the alarms went off, we heard bombing coming from the upper floors of the arena and smoke coming out of the air vents.
Everybody started running to towards the exit, according to the couch instructions, only one of the players took a turn away from the exit towards the upper level offices where his new husband the team's owner worked.
"zero! Where the hell are going?" Derek shouted to the already far away player who didn't bother answering.
Zero ran up the fire exit stairs and kicked the door open as a crowd of people was running down trying to tell him he's going the wrong way.
He saw fire coming from the offices and ran to his husband's office screaming his name.
"Jude! Jude!" he looked at all the faces that ran pass him and couldn't find his husband between them "have you seen Jude?!" he asked one of the staff who nodded his head and kept running.
He got to Jude's office that was already filled with smoke only to find the door open and Jude nowhere to be seen.
"Zero!" he heard a familiar voice and turned to see Lionel running towards him "what the hell are you doing? we need to get out of here!"
"I'm not leaving without Jude!" Zero yelled on top of the voices of panic coming from the staff
"I'm pretty sure I saw him leaving he must be outside by now, let's go find him"
They both rushed away from the flames the ran down the fire escape stairs to the main gate along with everyone else.
As they stepped outside Zero immediately started looking for his husband "Jude! Jude! Has anyone seen Jude?!"
He looked everywhere and couldn't find him "he's not here, he's still in there!" he yelled at Lionel when another bomb went off and caused the flames to grow bigger through the entire building.
Without a second thought Zero ran back in the building as Derek and the fire fighters tried to stop him "Zero wait!" the fire fighters got to Derek but Zero was already too far away and he couldn’t be stopped.
The building was full of smoke as he entered and he immediately started coughing and covered his mouth and nose with his shirt.
"Jude!!" he ran through the smoke and checked every room he passed by.
He ran closer and closer to the flames already starting to feel dizzy but not backing away.
~ 15 minutes earlier ~
I was trying to get some work done in my office when I saw a strange man turning on the fire alarm switch and running away through my office window. I didn't recognize the man, he was wearing a black hoodie and I didn't quite catch his face.
I went to the electricity room to find a way to turn off this terrible alarm.
I looked through the switches when a bomb went off right outside the room causing the wall to break down, I fell back and hit my head on the floor so I had no time react when the entire closet fell down on me and hit my stomach.
It was so heavy and I couldn't get it off me, the room began to fill with smoke and in the corner of my eye I saw flames in the other side of the hall, my stomach was hurting and bleeding so bad and I couldn't do anything but scream for help
"Help!!!" but it seemed as if the entire floor had already cleared.
My head was spinning and everything around me became darker, the weight on my body made it hard for me to breathe, I knew I was dying, I knew no one will get to me in time, all I could do in the moment was think about my life so far, to think about Gideon and about everything we still didn't get to do together, we haven't had children together, we were only starting to build our family together, it can't all be ending now before it even started.
The flames got bigger and closer when another bomb went off and caused the entire building to shake and slowly crumble.
The pain was unbearable, the room was so hot and full of smoke, I wasn't ready to die, I wasn't ready to leave my husband behind, I was so scared and in so much pain that I didn't know which was worst.
"Jude!" I suddenly heard the familiar voice of my husband, I thought I was dreaming, I thought maybe this was it, and then I heard his voice louder and it brought me back to reality "Jude!"
"I'm here! Gideon I'm here!"
A few second later I saw him, I saw the man I love running to me and trying to hold me in his arms.
"Jude! Oh my god Jude are you okay?" he kneeled down next to me.
"I can't move" I cried out pointing at the big closet lying on my stomach.
Zero quickly got hold of the closet and lifted it up just enough for me to crawl away from it, and then dropped it back on the floor with a sigh.
The second the pressure on my stomach was released the blood started flooding like crazy.
"om my god Jude we need to get you out of here"
He took off his jacket and put it on my wound "keep pressure on it" he said as he guided my hand to the clothing and then lifted me up and helped me walk with my arm around his shoulders for support.
We struggled through the smoke all the way to the main entrance walking as fast as we could supporting each other. My head was spinning, my lungs must have filled with smoke by then, we were both coughing the entire way, trying not to inhale too much smoke.
When we finally got to the entrance, the gate was just a few more steps ahead I saw people running towards us outside in the distance.
The second we stepped foot outside of the arena a bomb went off right next to us and caused me and Zero to be thrown down the stairway by the blust. Everything went pretty much dark after I was stripped away from Gideon and hit stair after stair all the way to the ground.
I heard nothing but a loud ring in both my ears. Through my blurry sight I saw a bunch of people rushing to me. The last thing I saw before I passed out was Gideon lying a few feet away from me on his back looking hurt as much as I was, trying to keep his eyes open so he could look at me.
"Jude!" I woke up screaming, right before I felt the sharp pain that went through my entire body and laid back down. I then felt pain focused on my left ear and I heard a loud ring.
I looked around breathing heavily when a figure I later recognized as Lionel rushed to my side.
"where am I?"
"you're in the hospital, you got hurt really bad in the fire, do you remember what happened?" I barely heard her through the ring in my ear.
"where's Jude?" I ignored her question "please tell me he's okay"
"we don't know yet… he's still in surgery, he was in a really bad condition when he got here"
"oh my god…" I sighed in despair, feeling the tears filling my eyes.
"The bomb went off very close to you and damaged you ear, the doctor said you probably won't hear anything from your left ear again" she yelled, but it sounded like a whisper. I didn't care, all I could think about at the moment was Jude.
"you saved his life, zero" she recognized the concern on my face "he would have been long gone right now if it wasn't for you. You ran into a flaming building for him without even a second thought, I've never seen anything like it"
I didn't know what to say, I just looked at her with teary eyes thinking I would have done it again if I had to, I can't live without Jude I'd do anything for him, the thought of living without Jude was far scarier than running into a flaming building.
"I love him so much" I basically cried as I said that.
Lionel giggled to herself "yeah I think you've made it pretty clear"
After two days I managed to get out of the bed and could move around on a wheel chair, I asked Lionel to help me get the room where Jude was still recovering after his surgery.
Jude was still unconscious, his face was hurt from the impact when we fell on the ground, his nose was broken, but the serious damage was the wound in his stomach that almost caused him to bleed out and not the mention all the smoke in his lungs.
The doctor came into the room and explained to about the surgery, he said they lost him for a few seconds but managed to bring him back, but he added the he should expect a full recovery in a few months.
I had to ask Lionel to repeat everything the doctor said after he left since I didn't hear most of it and didn't want to ask "what?" for the fithe time. Then with the help of Lionel I rolled to his bed and laid down next to him, taking in his scent and the warmth of his body, I laid the right side of my head on his chest so I could hear his heart beating and fell asleep like that.
A few days later, I had already managed to stand on my feet but wasn't allowed to walk around too much since my body was still very weak from all the smoke in my lungs.
I was taking a nap beside Jude on his bed when I felt his strong hand sliding up my back and I looked up to see his eyes open looking at me.
"hey" he whispered and I couldn't hear him but I managed to read his lips.
Without a second thought I leaned up to kiss him, hard and long. We were both breathing heavily when we broke the kiss and just let our foreheads lean on each other.
"thank god you're okay" tears began to stream down my face "I don't know what I would have done without you"
His face fidgeted as if he suddenly noticed the pain, "shhh hey, take it easy"
He then mumbled something I couldn't understand "oh I should probably fill you in, my ear doesn't really work anymore so we're going to have to deal with that" I giggled and smiled at him "but it can wait, I'm just glad you're okay" I stroked his cheek.
"I love you" I managed to understand "I love you too"
A few months have passed since the fire and there's still no lead in the investigation on the arson.
"I don't know who else could have done this, I gave you my list of suspects are you sure you've investigated all of them?"
Zero was in the local police station for witness questioning, and was in an investigation room along with two detectives from the LAPD.
"every suspect on your list of suspects is very high profile and we don't have enough evidence to investigate much further since it seems they all have a solid alibi"
Zero sighed in frustration and leaned back in his chair. Of course, the LAPD couldn't get through Oscar's army of lawyers or any of the other team owner who put an eye on the Devils for a while.
His head ached, he hasn't gotten used to his hearing aids but could barely manage without them. He and Jude have been trying to learn sign language during their recovery but it's a slow prosses.
"isn't there anyone else you can think of who might have had an intention to harm you, your husband or the Devils organization?"
"no, I'm sorry I don't, everyone have been getting along for a change, I don't think anyone inside the organization did it"
"your husband reported that he noticed a tall, white man in a black hoodie setting off the alarms, can you think of someone who matches this description?"
"half the players and staff are white men who probably own a black hoodie, it's not much of a description, but I don't recall anyone wearing a black hoodie that day, it was a hot day and all the players were in practice so couldn't have been one of them anyway"
"whoever it is, he had access to the arena"
"Or maybe there's another way in"
"we looked through the entire arena and couldn't find unguarded entrances, unless you know another way"
"I don't, but Jude might"
"Jude Kinkade, you're the owner of the arena, you know it inside out, your husband said you might know about an unnoticeable entrance"
"well yeah there is one, when I was younger and my father was the owner of the team, I used to sneak into the arena, but I had access to the arena's entire design plan, and I never told anyone about it, whoever found it must have done some serious research"
"and where is that entrance exactly?"
"right outside there a storage room that belongs to the near coffee place and in the inside part of the room there's a ladder that leads the weather room of the Devils arena, no one goes in there and it leads right into the court"
"isn't the coffee place's storage locked?"
"only at nights when it's closed, they don't bother to lock it during the day"
"that's smart" the detective raised his brows "well thank you Jude you've actually been very helpful"
"no problem, am I free to go now? I have a doctor appointment"
"sure do, but we'll stay in contact in case we'll have any further questions"
"well how did it go?" Zero was waiting in the hall as Jude exited the police station.
"I think they finally have a lead, I can't believe you sold me out on the secret entrance thing tho" Jude giggled.
"anything to get this investigation going, whoever did this needs to pay, it almost cost me you, it's a miracle everyone got out of there alive"
"thanks to you" Jude stepped closer and stroked Zero's biceps.
"ready to go to the torturer?"
"nooo" Jude dropped his head in despair.
"come now it's the last session" Zero took Jude's hand "you got this"
Since Jude got a lot of burns, some his skin has died and burned so he needed to peel it off in order for new skin to grow, so he's been going to his doctor every week to peel section after section each time since it had to be done carefully and extremely painful, that's how his doctor got the nickname "the torturer"
"good morning guys, Jude are you ready to finish this once and for all?" the doctor welcomed them as they entered the clinic.
"I never want to see again in life after today doctor" Jude said as he sat on the adjustable chair and Zero took the stool next to it already reaching out his hand to Jude since he knew Jude's going to need it.
"don't take it personally to you, it's just that every time I see you I have to go through unbearable pain"
"non taken, in fact I also hope to never see you again, hurting you does not give me joy what so ever"
Jude giggled and reached out his burned arm, where the last section of burned skin was "let's get this over with"
The doctor started peeling slowly and carefully as Jude closed his eyes, bite his lip so he won't shout, held onto Zero's hand and tears slipped from his closed eyes.
It went on for about fithteen minutes since they took a break every minute for a couple of seconds.
When they were finished Zero blew a whistle he apparently been in his pocket for the very moment as he signed the word 'congratulations' in sign language.
"look at you, you're learning" Jude both signed and said out loud
this whole medical scene is based on knowledge i gained from this one episode of gray's anatomy a few years ago that i barely remember so it's probably bullshit, but hope you enjoyed it anyway :) i miss Zude!