This is a follow-up story to the episode ‘Nurses Wild’. No copyright infringement is intended. 





A Different Tune

By Audrey W.




You aren’t gonna believe this!”  John Gage called out to his partner Roy DeSoto.


He’d just come into the dayroom with an envelope in hand, where Roy was waiting near the kitchen counter for their captain to summon them to the apparatus bay for roll call soon.


John pulled a folded sheet of paper out of the envelope and let the latter drop to the floor as he opened the other.


“You finally won the Irish Sweepstakes,” Roy guessed , sounding amazed.


“Nope. Better.”


“Better than winning money?” There was only one other thing his thrifty friend could be this excited about besides having extra of the green stuff. “A girl.”


John gave a wide lopsided grin. “Not just ‘a’ girl. The girl.”


The girl? Which one is she?” 


After all, Gage had been interested in . . .well. . .several over the past few years. Each time the usual description was ‘incredible!’


John held the paper out in both hands for Roy to see. “Ellen Bart.”


DeSoto pulled back in surprise. “The one Dixie said practically marched to the beat of her own fife and bugle corp she was so different?”


“Uh huh.”


“Didn’t she break your one and only date so she could go on the high seas as a nurse on a cruise ship?”


“She sure did,” John admitted, oddly a smile once again on his face.


“Don’t tell me. . .she’s ready to go on that date now. Three years later.”


John’s smile faded. “Somehow when you say it, it doesn’t sound as right. . .”


“She really does?” Again he pulled back in surprise.


“Well, yeah. She wants me to call ‘er. Says she found my address in the phone book.”


“Why didn’t she just call you?”


Now it was John’s turn to pull back in surprise.


“Roy! A chic can’t call a guy for a date! It’s gotta be the guy calling the girl. It’s just not cool the other way around. It’s not cool at all.”


“But it’s ‘cool’ for the girl to write a letter and tell the guy to call her?”


“Well, I don’t know if I’d call it ‘cool’. . .” He sighed in frustration. “Look, she had to let me know somehow she was still interested after all this time.”


“And just where has she been all this time?”


“I don’ know. The letter doesn’t say. I guess I’ll just hafta find out.”


“Wait. You’re not actually going to hook up with her again, are you?”


He didn’t get an answer, which was ‘answer’ enough.


“You are going to hook up with her again.”


“Roy, don’tcha see? This is Ellen Bart we’re talkin’ about,” he said as his hand came down and hit the paper for emphasis. “The hot nurse who was really gonna go out on a date with me, if she hadn’t found her calling that week. I mean, this is really incredible. She still wants ta go out with me. Me. It’s incredible!”


Roy shook his head. “I think I’da rather won the Irish Sweepstakes.”


John shook his head. “You’ve just been married too long to understand.”


He eyed the letter again, a smile back on his face. He was going to get his date with the blonde nurse of his dreams after all.


This is gonna be far out. . .






Five days later, the paramedics were back on duty for the third time since John had heard from Ellen Bart and second since he’d lined up a date with her. Roy was in the process of getting changed into uniform when the door from the apparatus bay opened and his partner wandered in, whistling a happy tune.


Roy glanced at the younger man who now stood in front of the open locker beside his.


“I take it the date went well?”


John unbuttoned his brown shirt and pulled it off. “What date is that?”


Roy’s mouth dropped open. Did he really have to explain?


“The one you were so excited about. The one that came three years late.”


“Oh that one.” John put his blue uniform shirt on over a white undershirt, then shook his head. “It didn’t happen.”


Done changing, Roy closed his locker, his gaze never off his partner.


She did it again!


He couldn’t believe it. What was that girl’s problem? Did she enjoy breaking a guy’s heart?


“What’d she do? Stand you up to go back to the cruise ship?”


“Nope. I called it off before we ever got together.”


You? You cancelled on her?”


Gage grinned. “That’s right.”


Roy was baffled. “What happened to ‘incredible’ and all that?”


The dark-haired paramedic stepped out of his blue denim jeans and shrugged. “I just gave it more thought. That’s all.”


“And. . .?”


As he put on his uniform trousers, John explained, “I got to thinkin’ that a chic who ‘marches’ to the beat of her own fife and bugle corp, may not be the best one to hook up with after all. I mean, who knows. She could decide ta go off tomorrow to meditate on some mountain top for another three years,” he said with a wave of his left hand.  “So I decided it was time I played a different tune of my own an’ became the breaker instead of the breakee.”


He went back to whistling as he fastened his belt, then flashed a grin in Roy’s direction as he sat on the bench in front of their lockers to put on his shoes.


Roy shook his head and started toward the door. He was glad his friend had done what he did. But he doubted he’d ever fully understand the younger man, no matter what ‘tune’ he was playing.    



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