In Reverse


By Audrey W.




December 25th, 1975

1:20 pm




Roy DeSoto wandered into the locker room in search of his partner John Gage. The younger man had disappeared from sight shortly after they’d returned to Station 51 from a rescue.


He found him standing in front of his own locker, the door shut.


“Open sesame.”


Johnny turned to face the recent arrival. “Huh?”


“The magic word to get things to open on their own. Open sesame.” A puzzled look had him elaborate more. “You know, Ali Baba. . .the forty thieves. . .”


Johnny rolled his eyes. “Very funny.”


A few moments passed and Gage still hadn’t moved.


“So, what’re you waiting for?”


“I’m not sure.” He turned to face Roy. “Remember this morning when Chet said he left a Christmas present in my locker for me?”


Roy nodded.


“Well, I haven’t had a chance to get here to look since. Now that I’m here I’m not so sure I wanna know what it is.”


“Why not?”


“The Phantom may be in on it.”


“Ahh,” Roy acknowledged. “So what are you going to do, stand here the rest of the day, wondering?”


“Actually, I was hoping you’d do me a favor.”


Roy looked at the locker, then his partner. “Don’t tell me. . .”


“C’mon, Roy. Consider it your Christmas present to me.”


“Look, there’s a lot of things I’d do for you, but this?”


“I’d do it for you if the situation were reversed.”


“You would?”


Johnny nodded. “Uh huh. I would.”


Roy gave it thought. “Okay, it’s reversed. I was here to do it for you and now you can do it for me instead.”


The younger man’s jaw dropped in both surprise and protest. But very shortly his mouth closed. He narrowed his eyes. “Okay. . .okay. Well, two can play at that game. Now it’s reversed again, so you can do it for me.”


“Sure, but now it’s reversed again, so it’s your turn.”


Gage pointed a finger at his own chest. “Not if I reverse--”


Suddenly Chet Kelly burst in from the entrance that connected to the dorm room with an exasperated, “You know what? I’ll open it. Just stop reversing!”


He flung Johnny’s locker open and a sproing’ sound filled the room. At the same time, water flew out of the enclosed space and splattered on Chet, soaking his face and shirt front. Without so much as a word or glance at the other two men, he walked over to the sinks. The curly haired fireman pulled a half dozen paper towels from the dispenser below the mirror on the wall, one after another, then quickly left the room the same way he’d come in.


Johnny and Roy looked at one another, smirks on their faces. Once Johnny had seen Chet go into the dorm, he’d set their plan to 'turn the tables' on the prankster fireman and his alter ego ‘The Phantom’ in motion, using his own set-up.  A sort of ‘re-gifting’ for the holiday. Not to mention, the two were quite pleased with their acting.


“Merry Christmas,” Roy said.


“Merry Christmas, partner.”


Both smiled a little wider when they heard a “Bah-humbug” from the other room.






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