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"Wait a sec, I'm being dragged into this
whole thing?"

Dixie's look could melt steel. "And why not?
You should at least make an appearance as
the head of Emergency Services-Rampart ;  
to show your appreciation for all the hard work
your two best paramedics and their stationmates
have done for us.. Especially this week. Kel, have
you seen their run sheets? They been frought
with fatalities..or else, it's those crazy dumpster fires.
That's bound to be more than just a little frustrating
don't you think?"

"Oh, all right. I guess I can bring a bottle of
wine or two over for a few hours.."  Brackett sighed,
giving in to peer pressure.

"Well all right.." Dix said. "Now we have
to come up with some entertainment."

Mike Morton said, "I can always bring my

"You sing?" Joe said, almost spitting out his
coffee. Brackett tossed him a napkin or
two to clean up before the dribble reached
his collar and white jacket.

"A little.." Morton said defensely crossing his
arms. But his smile was mild as he regarded
his colleagues. "I do a fair job."

"I sing too, doctor. " Dixie grinned. "And I'd
be honored if you'd let me sit in on a few

"Be my guest.."

"Then that's that.." Joe Early said.

Everyone took his cue and rose in their
seats, eyeing the time running out for their
mutual breaks.

"I'll let you know what time this Saturday
boys.." Dixie said as they dispersed back
into the hallway and to their own routines.


John looked up when he felt a tapping on
his shoulder.

"A minute ten. Twenty two breaths
Gage." Chet said, whispering around his
newspaper at the table.


"That's how long and how often Marco
connected with the O2 earlier man. You
said you wanted to know.."

"Oh, yeah. Right. Thanks Chet. Seems to
have worked. He's speaking more
clearly and that cough of his has been

"One more assist in the bag.." Chet
said happily secretive. "His mother will
thank us for going through the trouble
of fussing like this."

"His mother?"

"Yeah, she's the one who called Roy
asking him to check out Marco yesterday
night before we all went to bed."

"You actually talked to Rose Marie Lopez?"
John said with amusement. "I don't even
think I've ever met her.."

"Yes, sweet old thing. And we had a nice
conversation too.." Chet said. "Seems
Marco's in the market for moving out of
the house and into an apartment for the
two of them.."

"He is?" Roy said, munching on a bagel.
"Money problems?"

"No, just getting closer to assisted care for his
mother. She says she's getting on and
would like someone to come in every
so often to help her out so Marco can
free up more of his time to live his own

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"She told you that?" Johnny asked,
in a whisper.

"Yeah, man. Like I said, she's a sweet little
old lady who'll talk your ear off just as
much as she'll fill your stomach with
food you can die for.." Kelly admitted.

"Oh. Maybe we should  ah, should ..ah, help
them out to find ...a place like that, Roy.." John said
when Chet retreated back into his funnies
section. "What do you think...?" he said uncomfortably
rubbing a non existent ache in his neck.

"Johnny, don't even go there. You know
how private Marco gets with his personal life.
If we're having this much trouble getting him
cared for following fires, what kind of trouble
do you think we'll get into prying into his private
affairs?" Roy asked reasonably.

"Well I don't know. I.. I just think we should
help him, that's all.." Johnny grinned and frowned
with no confidence..

"Uh huh.. Easier said than done buddy boy.." Roy
said, and he turned back to his snack, trying not
to catch an irresistable snooze that seemed to
be creeping up on him in the background.

The noon day sun started streaming through the
window onto the couch and Bonnie stretched
out underneath it luxuriously lengthening her
limbs and moaning with a contented whine.

Cap quieted her with affectionate scratches on
her belly without looking around his incident reports.
"Nice job all , on the squad. We're back in business."

Marco piped up from the water glass he was
sipping gingerly. As yet, Johnny's herbal tea,
was untouched. "Anything to keep Brice out
of the station.." he quipped. Then he coughed
a few times, clearing loosening phlegm from his

Johnny and Roy both cocked an ear to hear
how those noises had sounded. Then the two
paramedics both pursed their lips in grins of success
behind their newspaper pages. Things sounded
way better for Lopez.

The phone rang and Captain Stanley rose to
answer it. "LA County Fire Department. This
is Captain Stanley... uh, huh.. " he said
as he listened to his caller. "Uh,.. hang on.."

He turned to the other guys and said.....

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From : Katherine Bird <>  
Subject : [EmergencyTheaterLive] Big Brother..  
Date : Fri, 18 Oct 2002 21:42:50 +0100 (BST)  
"Gage,.. it's a Lydia Montegeaux, calling from
San Bernadino, inside our district..."
For some reason, Cap was beaming ear to

Johnny shot up from his chair quickly to
snatch the phone away from Cap to cover
the receiver before the entire company erupted
into cat calls and hoots and whistles.

"WHeeuuueeEEEeeee, way to go Gage."

"Is this that chick you were trying to call
last night? Man she must be really hung on
you Gage to call back after you didn't."

"Another date? Hey fellas, five dollars down
he doesn't arrange dinner plans during this
phonecall. Put your gatas where your boca is.."

"I'm in.." Mike said, pulling out his wallet and
throwing down a crisp five where Marco was
pointing on the table top vigorously.

Cap just threw up his hands. "You guys
are relentless.. Now cut that out.. Give the
man some privacy.."

They ignored Cap because he was still
grinning and even Roy threw down a rumpled
bill on top of Chet, Marco and Mike's.

John shot acid towards them all ,
hunching over around the mouthpiece
of the phone, turning his back towards the
rest of the gang after hissing a few indignant
warnings to them all to hush down. Then
he completely changed his tone of voice.
"Uh, Lydia, Hi sweety. *Smooch* I love
you too. How's your arm today? Yeah?
The doctors give you a big cast?  Wow,
I can just imagine. " he paused and his
face beamed into a big smile as he
slipped into a bonafide protective mode
with his voice.

The guys piped down when they realized
that Gage was talking to a little girl of
all things. All their mouths hung open,
then one by one, they all retrieved their
betting money back thoughtfully as they
more or less politely easedropped.

Mike started guessing. "Is this a kid
you and Johnny had on a rescue?"

Roy shook his head and shrugged.

Chet said, "Cap, why didn't you tell us
it was a little girl on the phone.."

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