Disclaimer: All the usual ones apply, of course. Many thanks for allowing me to write once again about my favorite guys.
Sometimes It’s the Little Things
By: Vanessa Sgroi
Joanne DeSoto answered the telephone on the third ring and was surprised to hear her husband at the other end of the line. It was just 9:30 in the morning.
“Joanne, you have to come down to the Station.”
“What? Why? Honey, I have things to do today.”
“I know. But, you gotta help us. We’re desperate.”
“Yeah. See, it’s . . . it’s Johnny.”
“Oh, no, he’s not hurt is he?”
“No. No, nothing like that. He’s . . . um . . . depressed . . . because he doesn’t have a date for Valentine’s Day tomorrow. And . . . and . . . he’s driving the rest of us crazy. You know, because he’s so grouchy and all.”
“Roy, I feel bad for you and the other guys, but what in the world can I possibly do?”
“Well, I was hoping you could bring him some of your Cherry Cheesecake Brownies. Those are his favorite, and I thought they might cheer him up some.”
After mentally revising her list of chores for the day, Joanne answered.
“All right, I can do that. I could be there around 1:30 p.m. Will you gentlemen survive that long?” She couldn’t keep the smile from her voice.
“Yeah, yeah. I think we’ll survive. Thanks, Jo. Love ya.”
Roy placed the handset back in its cradle and turned to his partner with a wide smile on his face.
“We’re all set. She’ll be here at 1:30 p.m. With luck, so will we.”
Johnny grinned and clapped his hands together, excitement lighting his face.
“Great! I’ll tell the guys so we can get everything ready.”
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
It was a little after 1:30 p.m. when Joanne, with the life-saving brownies firmly in hand, approached and knocked on the back door of Station 51. Her knock was promptly answered by Captain Stanley.
“Hi, Hank. I understand things are a little rough around this place today. I brought the requested comfort food, and I made enough for everyone.”
The captain thanked her and invited her inside, all the while smiling softly.
Joanne crossed the threshold and stopped in her tracks at the sight that greeted her. The kitchen table was covered with a snow white cloth and sparkling crystal as well as delicate china graced two place settings. Fresh daisies and candles completed the ensemble. The sight was so incongruous with the usual utilitarian air of the station that Joanne felt her mouth drop open a bit.
Her husband spoke from his position behind one of the chairs.
“Jo, come and sit down.”
“Roy, what in the world?”
The dark-haired woman stared at her husband and then glanced at the other members of A-shift before moving forward and sinking into the chair Roy held for her. On the plate before her lay a box of gold-wrapped chocolates from an exclusive candy shop in the city.
“Happy Valentine’s Day, Honey.”
“But . . .”
“I wanted to do something totally surprising for you. You’ve been so down since your friend, Kathy’s, death. Johnny sorta came up with the general idea, and they all pitched in to help me pull this off.”
Joanne felt her eyes fill with tears at the thoughtfulness of not only her husband, but his shift mates as well.
“Captain Stanley provided the crystal and china. Johnny was in charge of the flowers, the candles, and the box of chocolates. Chet brought some music. Mike cooked us a wonderful lunch, and Marco brought dessert.”
“Oh, you guys are just something else, do you know that?” Joanne jumped out of her chair and hugged each of the men, bringing a blush to all their cheeks.
Roy cleared his throat before continuing.
“And I . . . I was in charge of the gift.” Her husband handed her a small jewelry box.
Joanne opened the small box and gasped in delight. Inside lay a delicate gold chain with a small charm shaped like a fire truck. Encircling the truck was a silver heart. Nearly overwhelmed now, Joanne wrapped her arms around her husband.
“Gentlemen, I suggest this is where we make our exit.” Hank’s baritone voice drifted across the room.
Chet started the music while Marco lit the candles. That accomplished, they followed the captain out of the room. Mike and Johnny quickly served the couple their lunch before making themselves scarce as well.
“I hope you liked the surprise, Jo.”
Joanne reached out and took her husband’s hand in hers. “You are a wonderful man, Roy DeSoto. And a terrific husband.”
Joanne turned her attention to her plate and enjoyed every bite of the superb meal put together by Mike Stoker. Boy, that man can cook! I really need to get more of his recipes. She was pleased to see that her husband had enjoyed the food as well.
Though their luck held long enough for them to eat, the klaxons sounded just after the two of them finished dessert. She watched as her husband raced for the squad. The pounding of feet, slamming of doors, and the rattle of the apparatus bay door ascending echoed throughout the station for a few short minutes before it once again fell quiet.
Joanne rose from the table and began to clean up the mess from lunch. She thought of the men who had gone out of their way to make such a special day for her and smiled. Who needs jewels, mansions, and riches? Sometimes it’s the little things in life that are the most fantastic things of all.
♥♥♥ The End ♥♥♥
Many thanks to Audrey W. for beta read and the much needed support. Thanks, too, for issuing the challenge in the first place. vbg
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