By Audrey W.


It was the day after Father’s Day, and Johnny and Roy were ready to enjoy their second day off in a 48-hour break. Roy sat on his porch, waiting for Gage to pick him up. The two men had made plans for a day of fishing up in the hills at a lake.


Soon the familiar white Land Rover was in sight and DeSoto went out to the sidewalk to meet it. Johnny waved as he pulled up and stopped the vehicle.


“It’s about time,” Roy said as he walked around to the passenger side and got in.


Gage glanced over and gave him a disgusted look. “Oh man, Roy! Where did you get that shirt?”


Roy looked down at the shirt he was wearing. It was an olive-green plaid, with thin purple stripes running through it, and an embroidered trout on the upper left pocket. He agreed it was hideous, but . . .


“It was a gift. I had to wear it.”


“C’mon, Roy. You’re gonna scare the fish away. Who gave it to you, anyway? Surely Joanne has better taste than that,” Johnny snorted, as he put the vehicle in gear and pulled away from the curb.


The blonde paramedic glared at his partner. “The kids gave it to me for Father’s Day. . .yesterday. . .remember? It was a holiday?” Roy shifted his gaze to the road ahead. “Jo said she tried to talk them out of it, but Chris and Jennifer insisted.”


“Oh. . . they did? So what are ya gonna do? Wear it once a week until next Father’s Day?”


“No, just a few times to make ‘em think I like it. They’ll forget about it after awhile, anyway.”


Johnny couldn’t help but laugh. “Man, times like this, I’m glad I don’t have kids.”


Roy turned in his seat to face the dark-haired paramedic. “Now wait a minute. What about those patchwork pants you wore to the lawyer’s office that time we were accused of stealing a victim’s money? Talk about ugly. I can’t figure out what would possess you to buy ‘em, and then even wear them in public.”


Gage quickly glanced at his passenger as he turned onto another street. “Those? I hate those pants. But they were a birthday gift from my aunt,” he shrugged.


“The one in San Francisco?”


Gage nodded.


“She’s all the way up the coast,” Roy said, gesturing with his hands for emphasis. “She’s not gonna know if you’re wearing them or not.” The older man shook his head in wonder. “If you hate ‘em that much, why wear the things?”


Johnny gave an exasperated sigh. “Because, Roy. This way anytime I talk to her on the phone and she asks me if I need new pants, I can honestly say I’m still getting good wear out of the ones she gave me.” Bringing the Land Rover to a stop at a red light, he looked over at his friend. “I don’t wanna lie to my aunt, ya know? Or hurt her feelings.”


Roy nodded and stared at his partner in surprise. “So you do understand.”


The light turned green and the men continued on their way.


“Oh, yeah. I do.” Johnny glanced at DeSoto’s shirt again, his eyes quickly returning to the road. “But the fish may not,” he said, a crooked grin on his face. “Guess now we know how someone came up with the saying ‘it’s the thought that counts’. Only thing is, it’s just as important how much the receiver thinks of the person’s feelings who gave them the gift. So I guess the saying fits there, too, huh?”


Roy thought back to the excited expressions on his kids’ faces when he opened his gift the day before. “You got that right, partner. It sure does.”




Thanks to Kenda for the beta read. :o)