Disclaimer: The characters of Emergency! belong to Mark VII Productions and Universal Studios.
After hanging up the phone, Roy leaned back against the brick wall for support. The news he’d just received from his wife was what sent an overall feeling of dread throughout his body. He was now sweating profusely and trying to control the nausea he was experiencing.
Johnny Gage, Roy’s partner, noticed the distress his friend was having. He walked over to the now ill man.
"Hey, Roy, what’s wrong?"
Roy was unable to respond to Johnny’s question. It was all he could do to keep from being sick. He slid down the wall until he was sitting on the kitchen floor.
"Roy? Man, are you OK? Come on, talk to me."
His breathing increased to such a rate that Roy thought he was going to pass out. Johnny grabbed a brown paper bag from a drawer and placed it over Roy’s mouth and nose. He helped hold the bag in place, and rubbed his back trying to help soothe the agitated man.
The rest of the members of the A-Shift crew returned from the run they had been on. Upon entering the kitchen, they observed Johnny caring for Roy.
"What’s going on, John?" Cap questioned.
"I don’t know, Cap. All of a sudden he started sweating and hyperventilating. I’m trying to get him calmed down," Johnny replied.
Roy was still having trouble catching his breath. His heart felt like it was going to beat right out of his chest, and his whole body was drenched with sweat. This was an all too familiar reaction; one he had yet to overcome.
Johnny turned back to his partner, the symptoms where almost like one having a heart attack. That scared the dark-haired man. Then he saw the fear in Roy’s eyes and that was almost his undoing.
"Cap, could someone get me the bio-phone and drug box?" Johnny requested."Sure, John, anything you need," Cap responded. "Marco!"
Before Marco could leave, Roy placed his right hand on Johnny’s arm and shook his head no.
"Roy, you need help!" Johnny pleaded.
Again, Roy shook his head no. With a strained effort, Roy said, "I’ll be OK! Just give me a minute."
Johnny didn’t know what to do. He’d asked Marco to get the equipment, then added for Roy‘s sake, "Just in case." He didn’t want to upset his distraught partner anymore than necessary. Seeing his best friend in this much distress scared him.
Johnny recalled this happening once before. Could it be the same thing? That definitely would cause this reaction in his stoic partner.
"Roy, are the kids and Joanne Ok?" Johnny asked, knowing he’d just hung-up with Joanne.
Roy nodded his head yes.
"Oh no," Johnny mumbled.
An affirmative nod from his partner was all Johnny needed to realize what was happening to his friend.
"John, what’s going on? Is Roy going to be alright, pal, or do I need to call in a code I?" Captain Stanley asked.
"No, Cap, I think he’ll be OK. Maybe you could stand us down for 30 minutes. That should be enough time," Johnny answered.
Hank called the squad out of service and returned to the kitchen. Roy was beginning to calm down and the bag had been removed from his face, a sign he was no longer having trouble slowing his breathing.
"Now, John, tell me what’s going on," Captain Stanley requested.
Mike, Chet and Marco all had worry etched on their faces. The concern for their friend was evident. They waited for Johnny to answer Cap’s question.
"Well, Cap, what I saw in Roy’s eyes was pure unadulterated fear. I’ve only seen that look when something has happened to either Joanne, one of the kids or when I’ve been seriously injured. Also, when his mo…." Johnny stopped in the middle of his explanation when he saw how Roy was reacting to the word he started to say.
"Roy, pal, are you alright?" Cap glanced at his junior paramedic. "John?"
"He’ll be fine, Cap," Johnny supplied.
"What caused him to react like that? What were you about to say when he became so agitated?" Cap inquired.
Johnny noticed that Roy appeared to be calmed down and that his breathing was almost back to normal.
"Uh, well, Cap, Joanne called and from what I have deduced from Roy’s behavior, her mother is coming for a visit," Johnny announced.
"Her mother….ah…." Cap began.
"Yeah, Roy has this phobia called, Pentheraphobia," Johnny supplied.
"What’s that, Johnny?" Chet asked.
"Oh, you’ll find out one of these days, Chet, you all will," Cap declared.
"What is Pentheraphobia?" Marco queried almost afraid to find out.
Mike was just as curious as his crewmates. The fear that had befallen upon a man such as the likes of Roy DeSoto, must be horrific.
Johnny looked at his co-workers with a grim expression on his face. He’d met Joanne’s mother, and the thought of her caused a slight tremor to run through his body. He knew what Roy was in for, and what his best friend would have to put up with when the old hag came for a visit.
He glanced at each of the guys before saying, "Fear of Mother-In-Laws!"
Thanks to Audrey for the phobia challenge and Heidi for the beta.
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