“We did the best we could,” Roy said quietly. “How many times have we said that to people” he asked his partner.
Johnny watched the somber look on Roy’s face and knew what he was talking about. “Roy we really did” Johnny tried to reason with him.
“If we did then how come it hurts so bad inside when I think of that family that we lost back there?” Roy asked, turning to face Johnny.
“Because we’re human,” was all Johnny could offer as an answer, “and because some drunk thought he could make it home behind the wheel”
“That’s the worst part, it was all so senseless,” Roy shook his head.
Johnny stared out his side window. “I know,” he said in a voice so low that was barely audible.
The rest of the ride back to the station was done in silence as both men were lost in their own thoughts.
By Marty P.
Roy DeSoto clenched the steering wheel, seeking strength to apprise Johnny about a decision that would affect both of them. With his mind made up, he waited for Paramedic Gage to wind down.
“I tell ya, Roy. Brice has good ideas but the way he presents them makes you want to strangle him!” Johnny looked toward his coworker for confirmation.
“Johnny…” Roy began.
Johnny swiveled to get a better glimpse of Roy’s reactions. “And then he has the audacity to tell me I’m right!” Johnny poked his chest to emphasize his point.
“I’ve been thinking about the apartment fire we had recently.” Roy kept his eyes on the road.
Johnny paused and took in the information. “You mean the one where the jet fuel exploded and I almost bought it?”
“That’s the one.” Roy could feel his stomach overproduce acid as he continued on his self-appointed mission.
Johnny needled in a self-confident manner, “Yeah, I told ya I woulda thrown you and the victim over my shoulders and rescued both of you.”
“You’ve mentioned that more than once, Johnny. It got me to thinking.”
“C’mon, Roy. You know I was being cocky and shooting my mouth off.” Johnny noticed that Roy hadn’t looked his direction once since he brought up the subject. Come to think of it Roy had been quieter than Mike Stoker the last several days.
“I’ve decided I’m gonna ask for a transfer to another station.” Roy’s eyes slid to the right as his partner absorbed the news.
Johnny was flabbergasted. “Roy! What did I do?”
“You didn’t do anything! I almost killed you!” Roy’s self-control evaporated. “Don’t you get it? If that Pasadena fireman hadn’t noticed you coulda died in there.”
“Roy, that’s ridiculous.” Johnny’s entire body tensed. “You can’t be serious!”
The senior member guided the squad toward the curb and it jerked to a stop. “Johnny, listen to me. I didn’t say a word about you being in that apartment.”
“Oh, I get it now. You think you’re gonna protect me by separating us?” Johnny narrowed his eyes as it hit him.
Roy pursed his lips. “That’s not it.”
“Roy, last time I checked you weren’t Superman and even he’s vulnerable to fire.”
Johnny peered out the window for insight. “Where was I when you got electrocuted? Nowhere near you. I didn’t even know it happened until Karen told me you were gonna be okay.”
Roy was holding fast. “That’s not the same thing.”
“In our business things go sour fast. Remember when I went into that building to save the security guard and debris fell on my knee? I was in trouble and you knew it. If you hadn’t come in…I woulda been a goner.”
“I was there for you that time.” Roy acknowledged. “But Johnny, I don’t know if I could live with myself if you’d …”
“If I died?” Johnny completed his sentence. “Roy, I want a say in this decision. It affects me, too. We chose a profession rampant with danger. I coulda bought it I when I got stuck in the building Monty Bodine dynamited but you rushed in and rescued me.”
Roy hadn’t even heard Johnny last comment. “Johnny, I let you down.”
“Yeah, you put the victim first. Isn’t that what we were trained to do?”
Johnny rerouted his reasoning. “You want me to get mad at you? That’s twice now you weren’t there for me when you shoulda been. Weren’t you busy with the woman with a hip injury when the gas exploded in the apartment building and I got hurt? It’s your fault!”
“That’s not fair, Johnny.” Roy glared at the man across from him.
Johnny expelled a long breath. “No, it’s not fair. You’re human and the last time I checked that means we’re gonna die one of these days. I don’t know if it’ll be tomorrow or fifty years from now but I know this. I want to work with my best friend, a man willing to accept me for who I am faults and all just like I do him.” Johnny could tell Roy was cogitating on what he’d said.
“You mean that, don’t you Johnny?”
“Yeah, Roy, I do. As if my life depended on it.”
For the first time since the topic arose, Roy relaxed. “Guess, we better get back to work then, partner.”
I do not own the characters in this story. They belong to Universal Studios. For additional information, see the following episodes: Mouse, Promotion, Indirect Method, Surprise and Women.
A Tough Decision
(story is linked due to length)
by Wanda CH
"Nooooooooo! Please don’t" Johnny screamed, terrified, he knew was about to happen.
Roy DeSoto and John Gage were headed back to the station after being sent out to the boonies for a false alarm. Ahead of them lying in the middle of the dirt road was a body. Roy slammed on the brakes just a few feet from the downed man. Johnny was first to react, jumping from the squad and racing toward the victim.
Roy reached for the mic to call in a possible hit and run, when a masked man pointed a gun at his head and said, "Don’t. If you want to live."
Roy turned to face the ski-masked assailant, noticing the baretta being held not more than six inches from his head. He put the mic back on its holder and slowly returned his attention to the person that was of threat, while wondering about his partner’s welfare.
Johnny quickly made his way over to the fallen man. As he got closer, he noticed the ski mask. Just as he reached down to feel for a pulse, a hand grabbed the front of Johnny’s uniform shirt and the other shoved a gun in his face. "OK, pretty boy, you play your cards right and I’ll let you live," the yellow toothed thug growled.
Johnny knew now was not the time to try and reason with the man. Not only was his life was at stake, but that of his partners. Risking a quick glance in the direction of the squad, Johnny could see that Roy was in the same situation; masked man and gun.
"OK, pretty boy, this is what we’re gonna do. I’m gonna get up real slow like and then we’ll make our way over to where your boyfriend is waitin’. If you try anything, my buddy over there will off your friend and then you will suffer the consequences of your actions. Understand?" the gruff voice threatened.
"Uh, yeah, yeah. I understand," Johnny stammered.
Roy could hear voices outside the squad. He turned away from the man holding the gun on him to see what was happening to his best friend. What he saw was Johnny being held by his shirt with a gun in his face.
Any hope Roy had that Johnny was alright was gone. He hoped that his partner would, for once, hold his tongue and not aggravate his aggressor. Roy let out the breath he didn’t even know he was holding, as he watched Johnny obey the demands that had been issued.
Slowly, both Johnny and his ‘victim’ made their way over to the driver side of the squad to stand next to the other gunman. The door jerked open, "Get out! Slow and easy, I’d hate to have to kill ya right here and now." the man spoke to Roy with desperate menace.
Roy obeyed. As he stood next to his partner they looked at each other. Their eyes each holding the same emotion, fear.
Beep, Beep, Beep....
A car horn blared, startling Roy out of his daydreaming state.
"Roy, you ok?" Johnny questioned.
Glancing over at his partner, Roy smiled.
"Yeah, Junior, just thinking."
"Oh?!? Anything you wanna share?"
"Nah. How bout we stop at Wally's Wild Wiener's for lunch?" Roy suggested, hoping to tantalize Johnny with food and away from probing questions that could and would only lead up to an embarrassing situation for himself.
"Sure, I am a little hungry," Johnny agreed.
"Johnny, you're always hungry," Roy replied with a tinge of humor.
"Too!" the good natured bantering continued.
Johnny keep up his endless rant of how his metabolism was different then most, therefore, needing to eat more and often. While Roy pondered how he was going to continue the next chapter in the saga of, 'The Misadventures of Pally & Junior'. He needed to make sure there would be just enough hurt/comfort and angst moments to hold his readers attention and action to keep it from being a PWP.
Roy hoped that one day there would be a medium that would cater to his love of writing fiction based stories on beloved characters. Knowing that with Johnny and the rest of Station 51's crew to draw his inspiration from, his hunger to write would never be sated.
Roy DeSoto ran his tongue over his throbbing tooth. "Joanne made an appointment for me--Monday at 2:00. Don’t let me forget, okay?"
John Gage turned to his friend and frowned. "I wish you wouldn’t ask me to remind you not to forget. I always forget to remind you. And, then, you blame me for forgetting to remind you not to forget."
DeSoto cocked an eyebrow and shot his partner a strange glance.
Gage sat there, in thoughtful silence, for a few blocks. Then, he turned to his friend again, this time, looking smug. "I think I’ve figured out why you’re always forgetting to remember your dentist appointments. You prob’ly have a subconscious mental block about dentists...prob’ly because of a traumatic experience you once had, as a child, in a dentist’s office."
The Squad’s driver looked extremely doubtful. "I don’t recall ever having a traumatic experience in a dentist’s office."
His passenger looked disappointed, but then brightened. "That’s prob’ly because your subconscious has blocked the experience out--causing you to forget you ever had one."
DeSoto looked even more dubious. "Tell me, Sigmund, where did you pick up all the psycho-babble? Psychological jargon," he translated, seeing his partner now looked completely lost.
"Oh." John turned to gaze out his window. "I dated a girl once, who was studying to be a shrink."
"Oh yeah?" Roy looked curious--and, more than a little lost, himself. "How come you’ve never mentioned her before?"
"What?" Gage turned back to DeSoto and stared at him, in disbelief. "You expect me to tell you about every girl I’ve ever dated?"
"Up until just now, I thought you had."
Gage aimed his annoyed gaze back out his window. "Anyways, she told me the reason I kept forgetting her phone number was because I had once had a traumatic experience with numbers, as a child. And, now, my subconscious has a mental block about them." His annoyance suddenly gave way to amusement. "I always figured the reason I kept forgetting her number was because her idea of a really exciting evening was attending a guest lecture...or, going to the library...to study!" He glanced at his partner again and the two ‘guys’ exchanged grins.
"Yeah...well...I figure the real reason I keep forgetting my dentist appointments is...because I’ve basically got a lousy memory." Roy glanced at his passenger and the two of them swopped grins again.
They reached the Station. Roy backed their rescue squad into its bay. Mike Stoker parked Big Red right beside them.
John jumped out and intercepted Chet Kelly, as he came around the back of the Engine. "Don’t let me forget that I’m supposed to remind Roy that he’s got a dentist appointment--Monday at 2:00," he requested, and then disappeared into the day room.
Kelly turned his unhappy face to Marco Lopez, as he came up behind him. "Remind me that I’m supposed to remind Gage to remind Roy that he’s got a dentist appointment--Monday at 2:00."
Marco’s frowning eyes followed Chet, as he retreated into the rec room. Then, his countenance brightened, as he spotted Mike Stoker stepping down from his Engine. "Hey, Mike! Remind me to remind Chet to remind John to remind Roy about his dentist appointment--Monday at 2:00!" he called out--and then fled, before Stoker could refuse his request.
Mike looked thoughtful and turned to his Captain, as he came around the front of his beloved Big Red.
Hank Stanley gave his engineer a roll of his eyes--and a reluctant nod.
"Thanks, Cap!" Stoker said with a smile, and headed for the day room, himself.
Stanley shook his head and disappeared into his office.
Two minutes later, all eyes looked up, as their Captain entered the day room. They continued watching, as he proceeded to post a note up on the Station’s bulletin board.
The guys got up and gathered around, to read the notice. It simply said: ‘Mike, don’t forget to remind Marco to remind Chet to remind John to remind Roy that he’s got a dentist appointment--Monday at 2:00’.
Their Captain just stood there for a few moments, looking extremely pleased with himself. "There, gentlemen. I am no longer responsible." He turned to his senior paramedic. "If you forget your appointment NOW, you can’t blame me."
The guys glanced at each other and grinned. Well, everybody but the person with the dentist appointment, that is. Just then, the alarm went off.
The paramedics piled into to their rescue squad.
Roy turned to his partner, looking more than a little miffed. "Why didn’t you just call the dispatcher and have him announce it to the whole department?!"
John’s face suddenly lit up. "Of course!" he exclaimed, with a loud snap of his fingers. "Roy, remind me to call headquarters--just as soon as we get back! On second thought, I'd better write it down. Cuz, you're bound to forget."
His partner passed him the call slip...along with an annoyed glare.