Disclaimer: The episode *An English Visitor* does not belong to me, nor does the character of Jason Channing. Michael Donovan wrote the episode and all belong to him, Mark VII and Universal.
My thanks go to Carol Orndorff for the inspiration. :o)
An English Visitor - Kind Of An Alternate Ending
By Audrey W.
This picks up where Johnny and Jason Channing are getting the needed equipment. . .
Gage pulled on the rope. To the side of him, Jason was helping. The two black boxes arrived at the top, and the men from below watched as Johnny got them onto the platform.
The paramedic untied the boxes. “Go ahead and take these down by the opening of the rock crusher.”
“What about the stokes and the jack?”
“I can handle the rest okay. Just get these down there so they’ll be handy.”
Jason nodded. He glanced at Johnny. Having dropped the end of the rope back down, the dark-haired paramedic was now watching the engine crew below tie the stokes to the rope. The British man figured Gage had to know what he was doing. He and Roy were two of the best in the business.
“It’ll just be a couple more minutes,” Roy assured the man whose leg was trapped in the crusher. He glanced out to the daylight shining through the narrow opening.
Johnny tugged on the rope, letting the excess fall on the platform of the structure as he pulled the other equipment up. Soon the stokes, with the jack secured inside of it, was within his reach. The paramedic was relieved that they almost had all the necessary equipment within hand. However, just as he counted retrieving the stokes a done deal, he lost hold. Gage tried to reach out for the equipment before it fell, but as he leaned on the rail in front of him, it gave way from the pressure, quickly sending the paramedic off the edge of the platform.
Jason set the boxes down near the entrance to the crusher. He peeked inside.
“Roy, Johnny’s getting the stokes and jack now. I’ve got the splint box out here.”
Roy nodded. “We’re ready when you guys are.”
“Right.” The Englishman looked up towards the platform he’d come down from. There was no sign of Gage approaching yet. “I’ll go see if John needs help with anything.”
Jason got to the top of the steps and saw the broken railing at the edge of the flat surface and no sign of his friend. Then he noticed fingers wrapped around one of the vertical posts near the bottom.
With an adrenalin rush kicking in, he hurried over to the side.
Roy heard his partner’s name called out. But from his position with the victim, he couldn’t make out any other sounds that might have given him a hint to what was going on . The urgency in Jason’s voice had him worried, but his job was to keep calm and make sure the injured man with him remained so as well. DeSoto shifted his position slightly.
The victim gritted his teeth against the pain shooting up through his leg.
“Take it easy,” DeSoto said, noticing the reaction. “We’ll have you out of here soon.”
The man nodded.
Captain Stanley and the rest of the engine crew were looking up from below when the railing of the structure broke, sending Gage over the edge. The captain’s heart pounded in his chest as he saw the paramedic desperately grab for anything to stop his fall. Johnny managed to lock one hand around another part of the railing that was still intact. But how stable it was, no one knew. And although they were aware the snorkel truck was on its way, the crew on the ground was also aware that there was no time to wait.
“Kelly, grab a belt and get up there,” Hank directed.
Chet did as requested and started climbing towards the platform as quickly as he could while still being safe.
While the curly-haired fireman made his way up, the men saw Jason Channing come into view and reach for Johnny. Hank knew it was possible Chet wouldn’t be needed, that Jason could pull Johnny up to safety on his own or keep Gage from falling until the snorkel truck arrived. He hoped that no matter what the circumstances, one of the factors would save his paramedic from what would be a bad fall.
Roy knew something had gone wrong for sure or his partner would’ve been back with the jack already. It wasn’t like Johnny to waste time on a rescue. The senior paramedic took the victim’s pulse again, more for a distraction than anything else.
“I’ve heard a lot about. . .you paramedics,” the man said, his voice filled with pain.
Roy kept his eyes on his watch, but nodded. When he was done with his count, he answered. “At first no one quite understood what we did. We weren’t even sure,” he added, recalling the days the program was in its infancy.
“You guys. . .must get in . . .a lot of messes.”
“Yeah, at times.” He forced a grin. “But I guess it keeps the job interesting.”
The trapped man gritted his teeth and gasped. Roy started to move to provide some sort of help, but the victim waved him off.
“It’s okay. Just hurts. . .a little.”
DeSoto nodded again and looked at the opening to the crusher. What in the hell happened out there? He wondered to himself.
Gage now held on to the post of the railing with both hands. The paramedic kept his eyes level, being careful not to look down. He was well aware of how far of a drop it was to the ground and that the fall would likely kill him. He could hear the rail creak as it threatened to break away from the platform.
When he heard the British guest say his name, Gage glanced above.
“C’mon, I’ll pull you up.”
Pull me up? With what? Johnny shook his head slightly. “Can’t. You’ll fall too,” he gasped.
“That’s just a chance I’ll have to take. Give me one of your hands.”
Johnny paused a few seconds, then complied just in time. As he locked hands with Jason, the post of the railing he was holding onto gave slightly, forcing him to release his other hand.
“Let go!” Johnny yelled as he felt himself slipping from the Englishman’s grasp.
Channing strained to pull Gage up. “Are you crazy, mate? Just hold on!”
Down below, Captain Stanley and the others watched, their eyes darting from Johnny dangling to Chet carefully making his way up to help. The captain glanced at his watch, then contacted dispatch on the HT.
“LA Dispatch, Engine 51.”
“Go ahead, 51.”
“What’s the ETA on the snorkel truck to our location?”
A brief pause followed, then came the response. “Engine 51, ETA on the snorkel is approximately two minutes.”
Hank hit the HT against his right hip in frustration. It seemed like the other truck was taking too long to get there, but he knew from experience that traffic didn’t always cooperate and could be what was delaying the snorkel now. His gaze returned to his paramedic whose life was hanging by the arm of an Englishman.
Hang on, pal. Hang on.
Although it seemed like forever to everyone on the scene, only a two minutes had gone by since the stokes was sent up on the rope.
To Johnny it felt like an eternity since he’d fallen off the platform. Although he was concerned about the delay of getting the equipment to Roy and the victim freed, he just hoped to be alive to get chewed out for getting into trouble.
It wasn’t his fault that the bar of the railing had failed, but the paramedic didn’t see it that way. If he could have it to do over again, he would’ve had Jason help him with the stokes.
Johnny’s arm trembled from the strain on it as Channing tried to pull him up. Gage could only imagine how the other man felt.
“Jas. . .Jason,” Johnny said through a clenched jaw. “Don’. . .don’t. . .”
“If you’re going to tell me to let go again, forget it.” He pulled harder, knowing his arm was tiring and he was indeed losing his grasp. If he didn’t get Johnny up very soon, that could be it for the paramedic.
With one final effort, Jason got Johnny up to where his waist was level with the platform. Gage could now help more and worked his way onto the surface, his legs and bottom still suspended in air. Jason reached for the paramedic’s belt and continued to pull as Johnny wiggled his way forward.
“C’mon, John, you’re almost there.”
After a few more seconds, Gage was lying on the top of the structure, relieved to be alive and on firm ground. As he got adjusted to a sitting position, the siren of the snorkel could be heard as the truck approached. Johnny sighed and glanced at Jason sitting beside him.
The Englishman nodded. “You okay?”
“Yeah.” Johnny said as he looked at his forearms. They were both scratched, but otherwise fine.
“Hey, Gage!” Chet yelled as he finished his climb. “You better not. . .” his voice trailed off when he saw the two men together. “You mean I came all the way up here and you don’t even need me?” The relief in Chet’s voice was obvious.
Johnny grinned and shrugged as he got to his feet with a hand from Jason. He brushed off the seat of his pants and looked over the edge to the men below. The snorkel truck was just pulling up to the scene.
“Cap, can you send the stokes and jack up on the snorkel?”
“Of course! Hey, you okay, pal?”
Gage next turned to face Channing and Kelly who were right behind him. “Go down and see how Roy’s doin’. Let him know the jack’s on the way.”
“Only if you promise to stay away from the edge,” Chet said, pointing to the broken rail.
Johnny shook his head. “Believe me, Chet, that’s the last place I want to be right now.” As he watched the two head toward the steps, he had to admit. He was grateful to see Kelly, teasing and all.
Once they had the victim ready for transport, he was loaded onto the snorkel to be taken down to where the ambulance was waiting. Everyone considered it lucky he wasn’t more seriously injured. With Johnny’s near deadly accident, the time in getting him out was longer than anticipated.
Roy rode in the ambulance with the victim while Johnny and Jason were to follow behind in the squad. Captain Stanley trotted over to Johnny as he and Channing were about to get into the truck.
“You sure you’re okay?”
“Yeah, Cap. I’m fine.” Johnny glanced at his arms again. “Just a few scratches. And a few tired muscles.”
Jason nodded in agreement. He figured he was going to feel the strain his muscles went through later.
Hank eyed the scratches that had been wiped off with antiseptic and sterile gauze. “I don’t doubt the sore muscles one bit.” He turned to Channing. “Good job up there.”
“Couldn’t let anything happen to one of the best paramedics in the county.”
Johnny had already apologized to his partner, the victim and the captain for his fall causing a delay with the rescue. But it hadn’t cleared him of feeling any guilt even when he’d been reassured that it wasn’t his fault. That it was just one of those things and the only thing that mattered to them. . .he was still around. One thing for sure, Johnny wasn’t feeling like one of the best paramedics in the county at the moment.
Seeing the man was still bothered by what happened, Captain Stanley clasped a hand on Johnny’s shoulder. “It all worked out. I’m just glad the rest of the railing didn’t give out and that Jason was up there.”
“You and me both.”
Gage and Channing climbed into the squad and headed for Rampart.
Johnny and Jason met up with Roy at Dixie’s desk. The senior paramedic glanced over his partner as the two men approached.
“How ya feelin’?”
“I heard we could’ve lost you today,” Dixie said solemnly.
“If it wasn’t for Jason here,” Johnny said, motioning towards the Englishman with his head, “I would’ve been history.”
“It’s a good thing he was there,” Roy agreed.
“How’s our guy doing?” Johnny wondered.
“He’s fine. A broken leg is all.”
Jason looked down the corridor beyond the paramedics to the elevator. “Have I got time. . .?”
“Sure,” Johnny answered, knowing what their guest had in mind. “Go ahead and see her . . .make a date.”
“Thanks.” He smiled and headed towards the elevator.
Dixie and Roy looked at Johnny in surprise.
“You just sent him up to Orthopedics?” DeSoto asked.
“Where your latest obsession works?”
Johnny rolled his eyes. “She’s not an obsession, Roy. I just. . .have an interest in her. . .a strong interest. But I figure, I owe Jason one.”
Dixie smiled at Roy. “I guess a close call put a new perspective on things.”
Johnny straightened up. “Hey, it sure did. Besides, Jason won’t be here but a few more days. . .and I can make my move after he’s gone. She’ll need some company then.” He clapped his hands together and headed for the lounge, a big smile on his face.
Roy and Dixie exchanged glances.
“I think it’ll take more than a close call to change his perspective on women,” Roy commented.
Dixie nodded in agreement. The two watched as the younger paramedic went into the lounge down the hall, holding the door open for a nurse to go in ahead of him.
“Maybe an out-of-body experience,” Roy added as he went to join his partner.
Thanks to Jill Hargan for the beta read! Any mistakes are mine.
*Click on the picture of Johnny to send Audrey feedback