Disclaimer: The boys from Emergency! do not belong to me. They belong to Universal and Mark VII. I’m just taking them all out for a spin.
Let Them Eat Cake
~~ A Valentine’s Day Treat ~~
By: Vanessa Sgroi
John Gage burst into the fire station locker room with a smile on his face and a brown grocery bag in his arms. He sat the brown bag down on the bench and opened his locker. He began pulling a uniform of a hanger with one hand while simultaneously yanking his green-stripped shirt out of his jeans with the other. In less than a minute, he’d donned his shirt and pants. Plopping down on the bench next to the bag, he shoved his feet into his boots and quickly tied them. Bouncing back up, he grabbed his bag and headed for the door. The door met solid resistance when he pushed it open.
“Hey, Roy, man—I’m sorry. I didn’t see ya.”
Roy DeSoto rubbed his chest where the door had caught him and glared at his errant partner. “That hurt. What’re you in such an all-fired hurry for?” he grouched.
“Hurry? What makes you think I’m in a hurry?”
“Maybe the way you just came barreling through that door?”
“Geez, I said I was sorry!”
“Fine. Fine.” Roy eyed the bag Johnny was clutching. “What’s in the bag?”
“Bag?” Johnny unconsciously pulled it closer to his body.
“Yeah, the bag in your hands.”
“Oh. Oh—it’s a surprise.”
“A surprise? Somehow I don’t like the sound of that.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Your surprises usually involve practical jokes and the Phantom.”
“Yeah, well, not this time.”
Roy raised an eyebrow and just looked at his partner.
Gage wasn’t going to say anymore, but when Roy just continued to look at him, he caved. Grabbing DeSoto’s arm, he pulled him into the locker room.
“I’ll tell you, but you can’t tell the rest of the guys.”
* * *
Later that morning, the blond paramedic was busy polishing the squad in the apparatus bay. Johnny, meanwhile, was secreted away in the kitchen.
It had been a fairly quiet morning for the paramedics, with only a couple of minor medical calls. Not so for the engine crew. They had been called out once for a trash fire, which was immediately followed by a car fire. Once back at the station, they hadn’t even had a chance to clean up when they were summoned on a mutual aid call with Stations 75 and 12 for an abandoned warehouse fire. The crew was due back any minute.
DeSoto jumped as a clatter arose from the kitchen.
“You need help in there?”
“I said—do you need help in there?”
“No, no, I got it. I got it.”
The rumble of the bay door announced the return of the rest of the crew. In moments, four weary firefighters exited the vehicle.
“Hey Mike, Marco,” Roy greeted the two men closest to him, “you all look done in.”
Marco groaned and ran a hand over his face. “Yeah, hard to believe it’s all been before lunch. Can’t wait to get some going either. I’m starved.”
“Uh . . . you . . . uh . . . you might want to wait on that for a bit,” muttered Roy.
Captain Stanley, who’d just rounded the front of the engine and joined them, scowled.
“What do you mean, Roy?”
“Well, uh . . . Johnny’s working on a . . . a surprise for us.”
“Yeah,” the paramedic drawled the word, “I . . .”
“Gage has a surprise? I bet he thinks he gonna get back at the Phantom,” Chet snorted, “but I’ve got news for him. Boy, he thinks . . .”
Chet’s rant was cut off by a thump in the kitchen, which was followed by a couple of not-so-nice words. Captain Stanley’s eyes swiveled from Roy toward the kitchen and back again.
“So, about this surprise.”
Before the paramedic could say anything, a tremendous crash echoed throughout the station.
“What the hell is going on in there?”
Roy sighed. “Johnny’s trying to bake a cake . . . from scratch. He wants to make one for his new girlfriend, Jeanne, for Valentine’s Day. He thought he’d practice on us first.”
“A cake? Johnny?” The captain couldn’t help but roll his eyes.
“OH, I see,” Chet chortled, “we’re his Guinea pigs! Better keep the drug box handy.”
Stanley silenced Chet with a look.
“Well, I suppose we can let him experiment. Dessert sounds good. Let’s leave him to it.”
Suddenly from the kitchen came a startled yelp, followed by another, even louder, crash.
“Then again maybe not,” with a resigned sigh, Hank bolted for the kitchen, with Roy and the rest of the guys hot on his heels.
The scene in the other room was surreal. They discovered Johnny flat on his back, covered in flour. The powdery substance also covered nearly every available surface.
Skidding to a stop by his hapless younger paramedic, Stanley said, “Gage, are you okay?”
Spitting flour from his mouth, the dark-haired man sputtered, “I’m fine, I’m fine.”
Accepting Hank’s offered hand, Johnny pulled himself to his feet. With a groan, he looked at the abominable mess.
“Gage, I’m not even going to ask. But it looks like you’ve got a bit of cleaning up to do.”
There was no mistaking the hint of an order in Hank Stanley’s voice.
“Try to have it done by the time we get showered and changed so we can get some lunch around here.”
As the engine crew trudged off to the locker room, Roy grabbed a towel and started running water in the sink.
Puzzled, Johnny said, “What are you doing?”
DeSoto shrugged. “I figured I’d help you clean up this mess.”
“Hey, thanks, man. I’ll just put this in here,” Johnny shoved a filled cake pan into the oven before busying himself setting the kitchen to rights.
* * *
It was some time later when the crew returned to a sparkling clean kitchen. However, they discovered a dejected Johnny sitting and staring morosely a heart-shaped lump of “lead” on the table in front of him. Roy was pouring himself a cup of coffee.
The guys dropped down into their chairs.
“THAT’S your cake, Gage?” muttered Chet.
“I . . . I just don’t understand it. I followed the recipe exactly. EXACTLY. It shouldn’t look like this.”
Chet snorted. “Looks like you just burnt it to me.”
“NO! No, I baked it for the right time. It HAS to be something else.”
Roy sat down next to his partner.
“I got it!” he grinned and snapped his fingers, “why don’t you have the lab at Rampart analyze it for you?”
“Not funny, Pally,” growled Gage, “So much for impressing Jeanne.”
“Hey, Junior, it’s not so bad. You still have a week to go before Valentine’s Day. Plenty of time to think of something!”
“Yeah,” suddenly Johnny brightened, “Yeah, I’ve got a week—a whole week! Plenty of time to keep practicing this cake.”
With Johnny’s declaration, visions of the coming kitchen disasters filled the crews’ heads and a collective groan rose around the table.
* * * The End * * *
*Click above to send Vanessa feedback
Happy Valentines Day!
Valentines Stories Stories by Vanessa