This story is in answer to a challenge: did Johnny ever see the summer rerun of ‘Adam 12’?
Hung Up . . . Again
By Audrey W.
Chet smirked as Roy DeSoto and his partner, John Gage, returned from a run. The fireman had been waiting at the table in the dayroom, a TV guide in his hand, hoping that he’d be the one to deliver the good news to Johnny.
“Hey, Gage,” Kelly said, pretending to be looking intently at the magazine.
“Guess what’s on TV tonight.”
Johnny shrugged as he opened the refrigerator. “Let’s see, it’s Wednesday, so that must mean ‘Medical Center’ is on.” He shook his head. “Not what I want to see right now.”
“Sorry, but that’s not it. Try again.”
The paramedic screwed up his face. “I’m not gonna guess again, Chet. Just tell me.”
“C’mon, John, where’s your sense of adventure?”
“My sense. . .?” Johnny looked at Roy, letting the refrigerator door close on its own. “Can you believe that? We go on a rescue where I had to climb up the arm of a crane and he asks me, ‘where’s your sense of adventure’,” he mimicked.
DeSoto couldn’t help but grin at the two men, though he hoped they’d end the exchange soon. “Why don’t you just guess?”
“Hey, you’re supposed to be on my side,” Johnny stated. He then looked to Chet. “Okay, I’ll give it one more go.” He thought a moment, then shrugged. “I don’ know, Chet. I’m drawin’ a blank.”
“That’s no surprise,” Kelly shot back.
“Nice. Now would you just tell me?”
“Okay.” Chet lifted the TV guide up and pointed to a listing. “The Adam-12 episode you missed back during the regular season. You know, the one you drove your partner crazy trying to figure out how it ended.”
Johnny was over to the table in a flash. He pulled out a chair and sat in one swift motion, reaching for the magazine at the same time. Chet pulled the guide away.
“Sorry, this is mine.”
“Chet! Look, are ya sure? Maybe you’ve got the wrong one.”
“Oh, I’m sure.” He read the synopsis out loud. “Reed is held at gunpoint and Malloy has to find a way to free his partner.”
Johnny sat back and grinned. “I finally get to see how it came out.” He turned to look at DeSoto. “See, Roy? I told you knowing would just ruin the summer rerun.”
The senior paramedic was sipping at a cup of coffee. He nodded as he swallowed, then moved the drink away from his mouth. “You just have to hope we don’t get a run in the middle again.”
“Don’t even say that.” Still, it was entirely possible. Gage glanced at his watch. The show came on at 7:00 in the evening. So in eight and a half hours he’d either have the mystery solved, or be left wondering once again how Reed got away from his captors.
Three hours later, the crew of A-shift was getting bored. For whatever reason, it had turned out to be a quiet late morning and early afternoon. Johnny kept looking at his watch, which was driving everyone else nuts.
“Gage, you look at that thing one more time, I’m gonna rip it off your wrist.”
The paramedic frowned. “Shut up, Chet.”
“Why are you so worried about the time?” Marco asked.
“Because, it’s been hours and we haven’t had a run.”
“So?” Mike cut in.
“Yeah, what’s the big deal?” Chet wondered.
Johnny sighed. “Because, the longer we go without a run, the more likely we are to get one later. So I just wanna get it out of the way now.”
“So you want someone to be in need of a rescue just so you can get it out of the way?” Lopez wondered. He was a bit surprised at Johnny. The paramedic was usually more compassionate towards people than this.
“No, of course not, Marco,” he snorted. “I’m not wishin’ trouble on anyone. It’s. . .” he noticed all eyes were on him, Roy’s included. Because the senior paramedic had remained quiet, Gage had no idea what he was thinking. “Look, it’s like this. If you’re on a football team and you’re goin’ for the playoffs, you want a good season. But, if you have a flawless season and go undefeated, then it’s likely you’re gonna lose a game at the worst possible time. . .a time when it really counts. In the playoffs, when it’s all or nothing.”
Everyone sat quietly at the table, staring at Gage and wondering what his point was. Johnny looked around, and sighed again.
“Don’t you guys get it?”
Four heads shook no.
“If we don’t get a run soon, we’re sure to get one later and no telling when we’ll be back. . .I might miss--” he cut himself off when Roy grinned.
“I get it.”
“What?” Marco asked DeSoto.
Chet looked from Johnny, to Roy, then back to Johnny. “Oh, this is to do with Adam-12 again, isn’t it? Gage, don’t worry. If you miss it again, someone can always tell you how it comes out.”
Roy got a horrified look on his face. He pushed away from the table. “Yeah, Chet’ll be glad to get you the answer.” Before Kelly could protest, DeSoto was heading out of the dayroom.
Not paying attention to his partner’s reaction, Johnny slumped in his chair and sighed, his chin resting on the palm of his right hand. “It’s not quite the same, Chet.”
Johnny glanced at his watch as he and Roy busied themselves washing the squad. Noticing his partner’s distraction, DeSoto stopped scrubbing and sighed.
“Isn’t it kind of early to be checking the time?”
“You looked at your watch for the fifth time in just over an hour.”
Johnny paused in wiping off the windshield. “I did?”
Roy nodded. “It’s only three o’clock in the afternoon. You’ve got four hours till Adam 12 comes on. It’s too soon to be concerned about the time.”
“I guess you’re right,” Gage said as he began work on the windshield again. “I didn’t even know I was looking at my watch.”
“You really are in sad shape.”
“Well, I’ve waited all this time for--”
Johnny was interrupted by the klaxons. “Station 51, woman trapped, 3123 Sycamore Street, three one two three Sycamore Street, time out 15:03.”
“See? I knew we’d get a run before much longer.”
Roy rolled his eyes and shook his head as he and his partner quickly cleared their cleaning supplies away from the squad. The two men climbed inside and Captain Hank Stanley, who was in his third week with the crew of A-shift, handed Roy a slip of paper with the address written on it, then trotted over to the engine. Meanwhile, the senior paramedic handed the paper to Gage and drove the squad out of the station.
When the men from Station 51 arrived at the scene, a few neighbors came out of their homes, curious as to what was going on. Nothing seemed to be obviously out of the ordinary.
Hank Stanley approached two women who were stepping off the porch of a house next door to the address of the call, as Roy and Johnny went to the place in question and knocked on the front door. The other members of the crew waited near the trucks for word on what to do.
Johnny glanced at the security bars that covered the windows on the front of the home. “I hope we don’t hafta get in that way.”
When there was no answer after a brief moment, Roy tried the knob. The door was unlocked and opened freely. But sill no one could be seen inside.
The captain trotted over to where Gage and DeSoto were about to enter. “None of the neighbors called for us, so it has to be a person inside.”
“They must be in the back part of the house,” Roy commented.
The three men went inside in search of an answer while Chet, Marco and Mike remained by the engine to see if they’d be needed.
As the captain and paramedics made their way into the house, they could hear the muffled voice of a woman swearing behind a closed door in the hallway.
“Ma’am?” Johnny called out, approaching the room with the others.
“Are you with the fire department?”
“Yes, ma’am.” Gage reached for the knob on the door and tried to turn it. It wouldn’t budge.
Hearing his efforts, the woman explained, “That won’t work. It’s not going to open.”
Johnny glanced at DeSoto and Stanley, then asked, “What happened? Are you hurt anywhere?”
“No, I’m not hurt.’ After a quick pause, “This is so embarrassing. . .the door knob’s been sticking lately. My husband was supposed to fix it, but kept putting it off. Now it won’t turn at all, and I’m stuck in here. I can’t believe I even shut it in the first place.”
“Is there a window or does it have security bars like the others?” Roy asked.
“Bars. . .we had them installed on all the windows in March, after someone broke in the house. There’s no way out of here but the door.”
Johnny stood with his hands on his hips, Hank beside him. Roy was already heading away, “I’ll get the pry bar,” he said over his shoulder.
Gage nodded as he spoke to the woman again. “Just hang in there. . .uh. . .what’s your name?”
“Okay, Janine, don’t worry. We’ll have you out of there soon.”
“Okay. I’m so embarrassed,” she groaned.
Johnny and the captain grinned at one another as the paramedic replied to the woman, “No need to be. You aren’t the first one to get stuck in a room and I’m sure you won’t be the last. It happens.”
“Do you think you’ll have me out by four o’clock?”
The two men glanced at their watches. Seeing it was only three twenty-nine, Hank nodded as he answered. “Sure. We should have you out of there in a few minutes.”
“Oh good,” came a relieved reply. “Tom Jones is going to be on the Mike Douglas Show at four. I’ve been waiting all week to see him and I’d just be heart broken if I missed it. It’s not like they rerun all the shows they do.”
The mention of a rerun reminded Johnny about his goal of seeing Adam-12 later. He glanced at his watch once more as Roy arrived with the pry bar.
After just a few minutes, Janine was freed from the room, minimal damage done to the door frame in the process. The woman stood in the hallway looking at the offending knob that set her embarrassing predicament in motion.
“You sure you’re okay?” Johnny asked, getting her attention.
“Yes,” she nodded. “I’m fine. I guess now Larry has to replace the damn thing, huh?” She motioned toward the bent platelet that the knob catch had been stuck in when a mechanism inside the door handle jammed. “Or maybe we’d be better off without another door period. I’m just glad there’s a phone in there.”
The three men agreed. “Just be sure to get it taken care if any other knobs in your house start doing the same thing,” Roy suggested. “It’ll save you some hassles.”
“Don’t worry. If there is a next time, I’m propping a door open till it is fixed.” She looked at her watch, an alarmed expression coming over her face. It quickly faded as she noted the time. “Fifteen more minutes until the Mike Douglas Show. Say, you guys are pretty good! I still have time to get some house work done before it comes on.”
Johnny once again found himself glancing at his watch. He just had over three hours to go and the show that he’d wanted to see for so long would finally be on again. But another thought came to mind. . .one that he hadn’t had before. What if I don’t like how it ends?
Roy glanced at his partner in the squad cab beside him as they returned from the call. Johnny was looking out at the traffic ahead, but his expression looked as if he was miles away in thought.
“You’re still worried about missing that show, aren’t ya?”
“Hmmm? You say somethin’, Roy?” The younger man asked, turning his head.
“I said, you’re still worried about missing Adam-12 tonight.”
“No. . .well, maybe a little. But I’ve been thinkin’ about it.”
“Yeah? And. . .?”
“Maybe I’ve waited so long and put so much anticipation into this, that it’s gonna be a big let down no matter how it turns out. . .maybe I’d be better off not seeing it.”
Roy gave a quick incredulous look at Gage. “You’re serious? You don’t want to see it now?”
“I do. . .kinda. . .but I’m not sure I’m ready. You know? What if I don’t like how they ended it? Maybe I have a better version of how it could’ve ended in my head.”
“So does this mean after all these months of waiting, you’re gonna let it go?”
Johnny gave it some thought, then nodded, “Yeah, I think it does.” A satisfied smile crept across his face. “This is great! I talked myself out of it. I really don’t care if I see it tonight.” Besides, I can always see it the next time it’s on after this, he reassured himself.
Roy found himself smiling, too. He didn’t have to deal with his partner worrying about a TV show for the next three hours.
Back at the station, the men got out of the trucks after both were parked in place. Chet was the last to climb down from the engine. When he noticed Johnny heading around the rear of the squad toward the dayroom, he hurried over to the paramedic, placing a hand on his right shoulder to stop him. “All you need are a few more quick runs like the one we just had, and your odds of seeing Adam-12 aren’t too bad. But if we get a big one. . .”
“Kelly, I’m not gonna worry about it anymore. It’s only a TV show. . .I don’t even care if I miss it.” He shrugged. “If I do, that’s just the way it goes.”
“Well, that’s a great attitude, John” Chet said as he pulled his hand away and put both in his pockets. “I’m glad it won’t bother you, because if you miss it this time, that’s gonna be it. You won’t get another chance, because then they’ll go on to the new season and reruns of those shows later.” He walked off with a smirk on his face, not looking back.
Johnny stood with his mouth hanging open. He was trying to convince himself it still didn’t matter if he missed the show again. But now that Chet had pointed out the fact that the particular episode wouldn’t be on television again after that evening, it bothered him even more than the first time.
Roy turned around from getting a cup of coffee and saw Chet come in the doorway of the dayroom. He expected to see Johnny right behind, but there was no sign of the dark haired paramedic.
Chet looked over as he pulled out a chair at the table and sat. “Oh, I’m sure he’s on his way in.”
Roy took a sip of coffee. “At least he finally quit worrying about seeing Adam-12 tonight. I wasn’t sure I could take another three hours of him looking at his watch all the time.” The senior paramedic noticed a wince flash across Chet’s face. “What?”
“What what?” The fireman asked.
“What’s with the wince?”
Chet looked at the others, noticing Mike and Marco both staring, waiting for an answer as well. He cleared his throat and picked up a section of newspaper, holding it in front of his face. Roy heard a mumbled reply come from behind the paper. He set his coffee cup on the counter behind him, then stepped over and pulled the paper down. “Care to repeat that?”
“Uh. . .Gage might be a little worried about seeing the show tonight.”
“Becaaauuse. . .uh. . .he knows it won’t be run again after today?”
Roy exchanged a glance with the others, then returned his eyes to Chet. He opened his mouth to comment when the klaxons sounded, sending the engine to a rubbish fire. Once the others were gone, DeSoto started out of the room and nearly ran into his partner coming in.
“Where’ve you been?”
Johnny shrugged. “Just thinkin’.”
“It’s not my fault,” Gage said, his hand splayed across his chest. “Chet had to go an’ remind me the one I wanted to see won’t be rerun again after tonight. I had it off my mind, Roy. . .off my mind. Almost, anyway.”
“Just don’t go looking at your wa--” Desoto cut himself off when Johnny took a glance at his watch again.
The senior paramedic sighed. “Never mind.”
Shortly after they were sent out, the engine crew was back - just in time to see the squad drive away on a call that involved a shooting victim. Chet shook his head. If Johnny missed his show again now, both paramedics were going to be mad at him for making it a big deal again.
“There it is,” Johnny said as he and Roy approached the scene in the squad. A small group of people stood on the front lawn of a two-story light blue house. Roy brought the truck to a stop and the paramedics hopped out. As they opened the compartment doors of the squad to get their equipment, a police officer trotted over to them.
“You aren’t gonna need any of that stuff. In fact, you shouldn’t have been called in the first place.”
The partners turned to face him, curious expressions on their faces.
“Whataya’ mean?” Johnny asked.
“It was all a prank.”
“A prank?” Roy looked at the people now heading to their respective homes, except for a few.
“That’s right. Seems two teenage boys decided it would be funny to scare the one’s little brother by claiming they’d been shot at, his older brother hit. They used red food coloring for blood. The little brother ran to his parents inside and they called us and the fire department. The little guy was scared and he’s only in grade school, so he never stopped to think about the fact he hadn’t heard any gun shots in the area.”
Johnny shook his head. “Kids. . .”
“Don’t worry, the parents are taking care of the situation. That’s them,” he motioned with his head, “over there with the boys now. I think it’s gonna to be a long time before either teen tries anything like this again.”
The paramedics looked to where he’d indicated and saw one teen boy being escorted across the street to another house by his angry parents; the other was still standing on the lawn under a barrage of lecturing from his father.
“Well, better to have it turn out this way rather than one of ‘em seriously injured. I just wish people would realize pranks like this could have serious consequences for someone else who may’ve really needed us.”
Roy nodded in agreement. “Let’s get going.” He started around the front of the squad. “Thanks, Bob,” he said to the officer.
Johnny got in on the passenger side and picked up the mic. “Squad 51 available.”
“10-4, 51,” came a reply.
Roy climbed in and put the truck in gear. As he pulled away from the curb, he glanced beside him just in time to see Gage take a quick look at the time.
“You’ve got a long way to go yet.”
“Before Adam-12 is on. You were looking at your watch again, so I was just letting you know it’s too early to be checking the time.”
“Roy, I have a solution. If it bothers you so much when check my watch, why don’t ya quit ‘watchin’ me do it?”
The senior paramedic sighed. “I would, except I can’t help it. I think I’m as hung up on you looking at your watch as you are about seeing the show.”
Johnny looked over in surprise, as Roy kept his eyes on the road. A slight grin spread across Gage’s face. Roy understood more than he’d admitted to after all.
When they arrived back at the station, the paramedics walked into the dayroom where Mike was preparing dinner. The engineer stood near the stove, stirring something in a pot with a wooden spoon.
“Smells like spaghetti!” Johnny exclaimed as he pulled out a chair and sat down. “How long till it’s ready? I’m starvin’.”
“Just a few more minutes.”
Roy took a seat beside his partner, then looked at the television set across the room. He glanced at his watch. Just another ninety-five minutes and the show’ll be on. . .oh great! He’s got *me* doin’ it now.
Johnny was too busy looking at his own watch to notice DeSoto’s slip with the time check. Both men looked up when Captain Stanley, Chet and Marco entered the room.
“How’s it coming, Mike?” Hank asked.
“It’s ready now, Cap. Just have to set the table and dish it up.”
“Marco, Chet. . .why don’t you guys help get the dishes out.”
The two nodded and went to work as the captain took a seat and leaned back in the chair. “So, anyone object to watching Adam-12 tonight? I missed tonight’s episode last time it was on because we got toned out just as it started. I’ve been wanting to see ever it since.”
Johnny grinned and nudged Roy in the ribs; Chet nearly dropped the dishes that were in his hands. “Uh, sure, Cap,” Gage replied. “We understand about getting hung up on one show, don’t we guys?” He looked around at the others.
Roy didn’t answer. He had a feeling he’d be hearing about it again later.
With the table set and spaghetti, salad and a buttered dinner roll on each man’s plate, the firemen were ready to eat. But just as they got their first bite of the meal, the klaxons sounded.
“Station 51, woman down, 1109 West Carlson Street, one one zero nine West Carlson Street, time out 17:38.”
Their hunger was forgotten as the men pushed their chairs away from the table and hurried out of the room. Hank Stanley acknowledged the call at the podium in the apparatus bay, then quickly jotted down the address twice. He handed one slip of paper to Roy in the squad and took the other with him for Mike.
“I hope this is another easy call and nothing serious,” Johnny said as Roy drove the squad into the street.
Roy stopped the squad in front of the home they were dispatched to, Mike bringing the engine to a halt right behind it.
“Let’s see what we’ve got,” Hank said as he got down from the engine. Johnny and Roy were already getting equipment out of the squad compartments.
“Cap, what do you want us to do?” Chet asked.
“Well, until we know exactly what’s up, wait here.”
“You got it.” He leaned against the engine beside Marco, arms folded, as the captain and paramedics trotted toward the house. Chet shook his head. “I wonder why they sent us along with the squad for a woman being down.”
Marco shrugged. “Maybe what ever she’s down in or on is going to take more than two guys to get her up.”
Both men looked at the house as a man opened the door, and explained the situation to Stanley, Gage and DeSoto. The captain headed over to his crew by the engine, while the paramedics went inside.
“What’s up, Cap?” Chet wondered.
“They’re gonna need the backboard out of the squad. The man’s wife slipped on the tile floor of their kitchen. Apparently she’s having back spasms as a result.”
Kelly nodded and hurried over to the paramedic’s truck to retrieve the item while Hank quickly directed his other two men. “Marco, you come with Chet and I in case John and Roy need our help in getting this lady situated smoothly. Mike, let the ambulance attendants know what’s up and where we’re at when they get here.”
With the backboard under his arm, Chet followed behind Stanley and Lopez as they trotted into the home.
Johnny hung up the receiver of the biophone and Roy began to set up an IV as they’d been directed. He spoke gently to the injured woman while his partner got the backboard from Kelly.
“Take it easy, Glenda. We’re going to give you something that should make you feel better.”
“Okay. I feel so stupid. I mean, I’m the one that spilt the water on the floor to begin with. I should have known to be more careful.”
Glenda’s husband, Jay, stood behind Johnny, listening. “The main thing is that you’ll be okay. I’m just glad I was close to the house in the backyard so I heard you yelling.”
The woman tried to smile, but was still in too much agony. Despite having a c-collar on, she did her best to look to her side where Johnny was setting down the backboard. The dark-haired paramedic noticed and tried to be reassuring.
“It’s all just precautionary. We don’t want to jostle you around and risk more serious injury.”
“I know. I can’t believe this. I almost had dinner in the oven, too.”
“The oven?” Suddenly her husband got an alarmed look on his face when he noticed the meatloaf that was in a pan on the counter, ready to be cooked. Not wanting to see what he was sure he would, he slowly turned and saw the appliance across the room was indeed on, the indicator light having just gone out as he looked. The oven had reached the set temperature. “No!” He rushed toward it.
“Wha--” Hank Stanley began, everyone else looking around, puzzled. Glenda couldn’t figure out what was wrong either. But before Jay could explain, the occupants of the room found themselves under gunfire as live ammunition exploded out the front, sides and top of the stove, first one here or there, then suddenly the bullets were constant. Jay dove for cover under the table with the first sign of trouble, hollering to the others to duck. Chet and Marco scrambled in whatever direction they could for safety. Johnny shielded Glenda with his body by leaning over her, almost lying across. Hank and Roy stayed beside them, lying flat on the floor in hopes of not getting hit. After fifty bullets had gone off, all was quiet.
Mike heard the explosions coming from inside and immediately ran toward the house. Without taking the time to think about the fact he didn’t even know what he was getting into, he rushed inside. The only thought in his mind was that the crew was in some sort of danger. The engineer met into Chet coming from another room in the house.
“What’s going on?”
“The oven, man. It just. . . started shooting!”
“Yeah,” Chet was breathless, his hands shaking. “Bullets started. . .flying. . .everywhere.”
It was then the two men suddenly realized the house had been quiet for several seconds, no more of the explosive sounds coming from the kitchen. No sounds of anything . . .or anyone.”
Both stared ahead, then ran toward where Chet had come from as an officer entered the house at the front door, the ambulance attendants with him.
Jay laid on the floor under the table, his hands over his head. When the gun fire stopped, he slowly raised his head in shock. Marco was across the room on his hands and knees, just braving a peek from behind a portable dishwasher with several bullet holes in it.
Roy lifted his head and carefully rolled over, not sure it was a good idea to sit up quite yet. Hank held a hand on the back of his right thigh, blood seeping from between his fingers. Johnny was sitting beside Glenda and wincing as he held a bloody hand away from his right shoulder which had been grazed by one of the bullets. His other hand was reaching for a wound on her right calf. There were bullet holes in many places around the room; in the refrigerator, the walls, floor, cupboards and pantry door. The stove looked like Swiss cheese. The room remained quiet as Roy immediately got to his knees to check the others. Jay and Marco crawled out from their hiding places and got to their feet, rushing over to help.
“I think you’re gonna need a landline,” Johnny commented.
Roy looked to where the biophone had been sitting on the floor. It wasn’t there, but was now a few feet away, numerous holes in the casing. Chances were Johnny was right. Luckily the drug and trauma boxes had faired better, although they didn’t escape damage completely. The oxygen equipment was behind the paramedics and by chance wasn’t hit at all.
DeSoto was amazed he and the others in the room were all still alive.
Mike and Chet burst into the room and stood in shock a moment at what they were seeing. The officer stepped up behind them. Like the others, he was caught by surprise. He’d been sent on the scene as a routine follow up to the fire department being called out.
“What in the hell happened?”
Chet glanced over his shoulder while he and Mike made their way inside. “The oven started shooting at us.”
“The oven. . .?”
Jay looked from where he now knelt beside his wife, who was in even more pain than before. “It’s my fault,” he said, getting to his feet again, his hands and body still trembling.
“Well, maybe you’d care to explain it to me.”
He looked woefully down at his wife and the others, then to the officer. “I. . .I bought a hand gun today. And ammunition. Glenda, my wife,” Jay motioned toward the woman on the floor, “was against owning a gun, so I hid it in the oven when I got home because she was coming into the room. I was gonna move it to a closet, but I got busy and forgot all about it. . .till she mentioned cooking dinner.” He looked at Roy and the other firemen already at work on the others. “By then it was too late.”
The officer stepped in further and began to take a closer look at the damage. “I’ve never seen anything like this before.”
Despite being shot, Hank Stanley held his handie talkie up to his mouth and called in a Code I times two to dispatch, also requesting another squad and ambulance be sent. Roy continued to work on Glenda, getting her situated on the backboard with the help of Chet and the ambulance attendants. The senior paramedic had already taken care of covering the bullet wound in her leg. Mike was helping to take care of the captain; Marco had Johnny. Roy glanced at his partner.
Johnny winced and slowly looked around the room with pain filled eyes as Marco secured a pressure bandage on his shoulder. “Man, I can’t believe we’re all still alive.” He stared down at a couple of bullets lodged in the floor that had come very close to hitting him directly.
“It’s pretty miraculous.”
“I can’t. . .believe it either,” Hank said from where he was lying on his back on the floor. By luck the bullet that hit him had gone cleanly through his thigh, missing the bone completely. He swiped at sweat beading up on his brow with the back of his right arm. “I’ve only been. . . with you guys. . .a short time. Is it always this. . .exciting for you?”
The men all glanced at one another. They were wondering the same thing about him.
“Guess you’ll be doin’ some remodeling,” Chet remarked to Jay as the husband stood looking around once again, still in shock at the turn of events. Jay groaned. He then reached out for his wife’s hand as she was wheeled by on the stretcher.
“I’m sorry, honey. I’m so sorry.”
“I want that gun out of this house,” she said through clenched teeth and tears, her voice muffled by the oxygen mask over her nose and mouth. “Get_rid_of_it.”
Her husband looked at the trashed stove. “I don’t think that’ll be a problem.” He somehow doubted the gun was of any use after all that anyway. Nor did he want to look at one or ammunition again for a long time.
Soon Roy was on his way in the ambulance with Glenda and the paramedics from Squad 8 had Johnny and Captain Stanley ready to be transported to Rampart as well. With a small crowd of people from the area still milling around several feet behind him, Chet leaned into the second ambulance before the doors were closed.
“Hey, Gage. Looks like you missed Adam 12 again. You want me to find out how it came out?”
Johnny turned to look from where he was sitting on a bench inside. “Are you kidding me? Malloy and Reed should’ve been watching us. I don’t think anything they did could top this.”
Chet just looked on, a bewildered expression on his face. He wasn’t sure he should remind Johnny that the police officers were characters on television and this was real life. He assured himself the paramedic was joking. Johnny caught the uneasy look and forced a smile as Chet stepped back so the doors could be closed.
He doesn’t have to know it’s gonna drive me nuts not to know how it came out, Johnny thought to himself. He glanced down at Hank on the stretcher and remembered the captain had wanted to see the show as well. Maybe he’ll find out and fill me in.
“. . .and that’s how it ended,” a pretty nurse at Rampart named Katie said as she finished her check on Hank and Johnny. The two men were being kept overnight for observation and had found someone who’d seen the Adam 12 episode they’d missed.
“That’s it?” Johnny asked.
“Uh huh,” she started for the door. “I’ll be back in an hour to see how you two are doing. Just press one of the call buttons if you need anything in the meantime.”
Johnny nodded, figuring he could tell Katie all about their exciting evening later. Maybe over dinner sometime. Once she was gone, he looked over at Hank in the bed next to his. “Well. . .what did you think of the ending?”
"I liked your idea. Reed and Malloy should have been watching us today instead."
The paramedic furrowed his brow in thought and leaned back into his pillow. It’s true. . .our night was *a lot* more exciting than ‘Adam 12’. Heck, a lot of our shifts are. . . He worked his way to a sitting position, anxious to discuss it more with Captain Stanley. But with a quick glance, he noticed the man was drifting off to sleep, his latest dose of pain medication taking effect. Alone with his thoughts, Johnny slouched down again and began to give it more consideration. Hey. . .I’ll bet a show about firemen would be *much* more exciting than a show about cops. . . they could go on water rescues, rappel cliffs. . .put out fires, of course, he thought with a nod. And maybe even get held hostage when they go into some hairy situations to rescue someone. . . I wonder which network would pick it up? Johnny yawned, feeling tired from the days events and the medication given to him. All the various cop and detective shows that were on each of the TV channels flashed through his tired mind. Oh well. . .maybe it’s just too exciting for anyone to believe. . .The paramedic’s eyes closed as he slowly fell asleep. Maybe I oughta toss the idea at Roy. . .
Many thanks to Jill Hargan for the beta read and her suggestions of ideas for the final paragraph of this story. Sometimes it’s hard to get just the right line at the end and another’s ideas help tremendously. Also, thanks go to my husband for listening to and answering my questions on ammunition and a hot oven. The final rescue was inspired by a news article (thanks to Whisper for sending it my way), but does not depict what happened in real life. It just made me realize that it could happen and became another story challenge. :o)
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