Fireproof #6 - Dunkirk Phase 3 - An Alex Mini Series
3 June 1940
Another day without rescue. I know I promised Alex that I believed we’d survive this beach, but I honestly don’t know anymore. Food and water were almost non-existent. We were freezing our asses off and I didn’t know how much longer I could do this. I felt Alex place a kiss on my head. I smiled a bit leaning against his chest. I was shivering as the ocean breeze made its way through the shore.
“Here take my jacket,” Alex said slipping his jacket off.
“No, you need it to stay warm,” I told him.
“I don’t care about me, love,” he said.
“Yeah, well maybe you should,” I mumbled.
He sighed putting the jacket back on and wrapping his arms around me as he pulled me closer to him. I kept trying to be strong, but with each passing day, my strength was slowly decreasing. I felt tears forming in my eyes and I tried holding back a sniffle, but Alex heard.
“I don’t know how much longer I can do this,” I cried. “We’re just waiting around to live or die and none of us know which one it’s going to be.”
Alex sighed wiping the tears from my eyes. “Baby, you have to stop crying. You’ll exhaust yourself and make yourself even more dehydrated.”
“I’m surprised I’m even producing tears,” I sniffled.
“This is fucking bullshit,” he groaned. “There’s gotta be a way off this bloody beach.”
Alex returned his gaze out to the beach.
I saw yet another ship making its way towards the shore. Y/N and I had to be on that fucking shit, even if the possibility of not making it home was high. It wasn’t safe for either of us being here and I was tired of being a sitting duck. I stood up from the sand and pulled Y/N up with me.
“What is it?” She asked.
“A ship,” I nodded towards the horizon.
There was a brief sign of happiness cross her face, but then the remembrance of the ships from the past few days came back.
“We have to take this chance, Y/N,” I said. “I can’t stay on this fucking beach any longer and just wait until actual help arrives. Either we get on that ship and try to make it home or we die. Or we stay here and die.”
“As long as we’re together, I-I don’t care what happens to us,” she whispered.
I pulled her close to me and kissed her forehead. She was right, at this point we both had accepted our fates in case we didn’t make it home. As much as I wanted Y/N to make it out alive, she was stubborn and would only live if I did. So, it was my mission to make sure we both made it home.
A few hours later, we were aboard the ship. Y/N had recognized some of the nurses, who were handing out blankets and food to the soldiers. I could tell Y/N wanted to help, but she barely had enough energy to take care of herself. I wrapped a blanket around her and got us some toast and jam along with some water.
“Thank you,” she whispered.
“You warm enough?” I asked her.
“Honestly? I’m so numb, I don’t really know,” she said.
“We’ll be home soon,” I whispered.
“Do you really believe that?” she sighed.
“I don’t know,” I sighed.
“I love you,” she whispered. “I-I’ve never loved anyone like I love you.”
“Hey, don’t-” I sighed. “Don’t act like this is going to be our goodbye. Not yet.”
As soon as I said those words, a big boom came about. We had been struck by a torpedo. The ship had started to fill with water and I knew we had to act fast. I grabbed Y/N and pushed our way towards the door. We had to get out of there and soon or we’d drown.
I’d look back to check on Y/N periodically and I could tell the fight in her was gone. When I felt the metal of the door, I quickly tried to open it.
“It’s useless,” Y/N shouted.
I shook my head and took a deep breath before going underwater to turn the wheel of the door. After a few twists and turns, I was finally able to push it open. Water rushed through the door and I grabbed Y/N pushed our way through the opening. We had jumped into the ocean and I hadn’t realized how far we were from the shore.
Too far for us to swim on a good day, much less for when we were exhausted and starved. We were stranded in the middle of the bloody ocean. Maybe drowning would have been better.
I looked back at the shore of in the distance. It was evident on Alex’s face that we were fucked. There was no swimming back to shore and there were no ships coming in the distance. All there was was a sinking ship and a few soldiers who had made it out with us. We were all just bobbing away as we waited.
After what seemed like hours, I felt my eyes beginning to feel heavy. Even though my life vest was keeping me afloat, my body was still exhausted from being in the water. I was freezing and I knew that Alex had to be as well.
“I’m sorry, Y/N,” he whispered.
“For w-what?” I asked.
“Getting you into this,” he sighed. “If I wouldn’t have treated you like I did before I left, maybe you wouldn’t be here.”
“I’m here because I’m nurse, Alex,” I said. “It had nothing to do with what happened between us.”
“I know, but maybe had we been on better terms, things could have been different,” he whispered.
“We can’t dwell on that now,” I sniffled.
“What’s that?” Another soldier shouted.
“Is that a boat?” Another asked.
Alex and I turned around and saw what looked like little fishing boats coming ahead. Everyone quickly started raising their hands trying to get the attention and soon a boat arrived pulling each and every one of us onto it.
“We need ya to pack in it as much as you can,” the captain said. “We’re going to get as many as we can on board.”
“Miss, would you a blanket?” One of the other passengers on the boat asked me.
I nodded and wrapped it around myself. “Thank you,” I said. “W-Who are you?”
“My name’s Andrew,” he smiled. “And that’s my Dad, William.”
“You said you wanted to get as many as you can,” Alex said. “You came here for us?”
“Yeah, we all did,” Andrew said nodding behind him.
All of us turned around and saw a countless amount of boats both bigger and smaller than the one we were on.
By the time night had fallen, the boat was being docked. I helped Y/N off the boat and we made our way to the trains that were waiting on us. There were people handing out blankets and food again as we walked forward. I was grateful to have made it safely, but I had this underlying feeling that these people were disappointed in us.
I had been so worried about surviving and making sure Y/N was okay, I never thought about what we would be coming home too. We were sent to fight in a war against the enemy and technically the enemy had won. They backed us up into a corner and we couldn’t even save ourselves.
Y/N and I had sat down on the train. I didn’t look at her, I couldn’t. I couldn’t look at anyone.
“What’s wrong?” Y/N asked.
“We failed,” I sighed. “We fucking failed.”
“What are you talking about?” She asked. “We survived, how is that failing?”
“We never should have been put in that situation,” I told her. “We never should have backed down to the point where we were fucked there on the beach. We should have done our jobs, the ones we trained for… the ones everyone was counting on.”
“Is that what this is about?” She sighed. “Do you think people are going to think less of you because of what happened?”
“I would,” I mumbled.
“Alex,” she said. “If that was the case, William and all those others wouldn’t have risked their lives to save us.”
“Don’t you get it, Y/N? They shouldn’t have to had to save us,” I snapped. “ We never should have been there, to begin with!”
She jumped a bit, I’m assuming at my tone, which made me regret it instantly, but she didn’t understand what I was feeling.
“Just forget it,” I mumbled. “We’re both exhausted, let’s get some sleep.”
I turned away from her and heard her sigh. She’s probably thinking all these things about what this meant for us now that we were back safely. I should have said something right then to reassure her, but I didn’t.
I closed my eyes and went to sleep for the first time in ages.