By Audrey W.





John Gage climbed out of Squad 51 and came around the front of the truck to join his partner Ro DeSoto near the driver's side. The two paramedics had just returned from a rescue call that was cancelled halfway to their destination.


“Ya know, I had a feelin’ when they said ‘woman stuck on elephant’ that it’d get cancelled before we got to the scene.”


Roy gave a slight smile. Being married, he hadn’t been so sure. He’d pictured an incident where a mom had maybe gotten on a live elephant ride with her kids and perhaps they got down okay afterward, but she was afraid to move. He could imagine a husband making the situation worse by yelling at the wife.  Of course, his summary of the situation could’ve been totally wrong, especially since the call had gotten cancelled. Now they’d never know. However. . .


“It’s a shame we didn’t at least get there before they cancelled. Who knows? Maybe you could’ve gotten a free birthday ride on one.”


“Ha, very funny.”


It was Gage’s twenty-fifth birthday and thus far the dark-haired paramedic hadn’t had a chance to celebrate it. Yet. . .


“Let’s get some coffee,” Roy said as he headed for the dayroom.


As soon as the pair came through the doorway, they heard Chet Kelly yell, “Now!”


He and the rest of the crew, along with a few guests, hollered “Surprise! Happy birthday!”


Very surprised, Johnny looked around, his gaze finally coming to rest on the chocolate iced cake on the table with candles already lit. A few wrapped gifts were at the opposite end.


Roy’s wife and kids were there, as were a few of the guys from other shifts of Station 51.


Johnny looked to Roy.


“Did you know about this?”


“Well, I knew it was coming, I just thought it’d be awhile when we got that call.”


The newly-turned-twenty-five-year-old just glanced at all the cheerful faces. He couldn’t help but grin himself.


“Well, c’mon, make a wish and blow out the candles before we have to get the fire extinguisher,” Captain Stanley urged.


Still a bit unprepared for the moment, Johnny complied, Roy’s little boy and girl singing a sped up version of happy birthday to him just before he closed his eyes to make a wish.






As they ate some cake from paper plates, Johnny talked with Chet.


“So was it your idea to yell ‘now’?”


“Sure was.”


Now? What kind of word is now?”


“It was the key word, Gage.”


Johnny was thinking he could’ve been a little more original with his choice of words, but with Chet’s point bluntly made, he just dropped the subject and enjoyed the party.




This was inspired by an E! birthday card my sister made for me recently. I got her permission to use the theme. :o)





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