"I'll have Carol get everything set up.|
I'll be back in a moment."
Mike made a hasty retreat
and headed for the
nurses' station. A nagging feeling tickled
his brain. Kel's behavior and his
of the "accident" didn't add up. Perhaps there
was a more sinister explanation. "Carol,
on call for psych?"
She consulted the schedule. "Uh, that would
be Dr. Brent Brackett."
The intern sadly shook his head. In the first
place, it would be inappropriate to ask a family
member to consult on a case. But it was also
common knowledge the son and father had a
relationship. Mike was certain the
senior Dr. Brackett was NOT to be contacted in
case of an emergency.
He needed help in assessing whether Kel needed
to be held for psychiatric observation in light
of the deep slashes to his arm. Turning to the
nurse, Mike said, "Page Dr. Early. I need him
as soon as possible for a consult, and tell
him who the patient is." He waved Maggie over to
desk. "I need your assistance in Treatment
They entered to find an agitated Kelly Brackett|
awaiting their return. "What took you so long?
get this over with so I can go home."
Mike removed his glasses and rubbed the bridge
nose. "I had a call I had to take care
Kel impatiently offered his injured arm to
intern. "Well, get to work."
Knowing it would take about fifteen minutes
for Joe to reach
Rampart, Mike carefully
cleaned the wounds and began suturing the deep
gashes. Fearful of antagonizing
he kept conversation to an absolute minimum.
He was enormously relieved when he heard
gentle voice break the eerie silence of the room.
"Hey, Kel. I heard you had a little
How are you doing?"
Mike concentrated on the task at hand, well
aware of the menacing
gaze that was being
directed at him.
"I'm fine," Kel growled. "Did they call you?"
They're a little worried about you,"
Joe said reassuringly.
"Well, they shouldn't be. I only
need a few
stitches and I'll be on my way."
The white-haired physician sat down and folded
his arms. "Kel, think about it from our point
of view. A police officer brings you in.
stressed. You have several deep gashes
on your arm, and you're less than forthcoming
they got there. What would normal
A light bulb went off in Kel's head. "Cr*p.
A psych consult would probably be ordered."
"Do you know why this wasn't done?"
I'm the head of the department and
Mike didn't want to embarrass me?"
Joe informed him, "No.
It's because your
father was on call tonight."
"I don't believe this!" Kel shouted. "I can't
get away from that man!" He wildly jumped
off the table, unexpectedly pushing Mike away
was still suturing the wounds.
"Kel, settle down!" Joe commanded.
"You don't understand.
I just spent a
miserable evening with him. I've spent most
of my entire life trying to break
his grasp. But no matter what I do or where
I go, there is he is!"
was coming into focus. Joe
needed time alone with his friend. "Mike, I'll
take care of this.
Thanks for everything."
After the door closed, Joe began. "Come back
and have a seat and
we'll talk while I finish
sewing you up."
With the enthusiasm of a lamb being led to the
Kel lowered his head and made his
way to the exam table. "I'm sorry," he
"Causing so much trouble for everyone. I
try to keep my personal life private. But I
everyone knows my father and I aren't
exactly on the best of terms."
"What happened this evening
that was so
upsetting?" Joe asked.
"Oh, the usual." Kel tried to sound nonchalant.
each have our own unique perspective on
"That never caused you to put your hand through|
The dark-haired man's temper
and then dissipated. "Well, I think in his own
warped way he was trying to extend
branch, except it was thinly disguised as a
reiteration of my faults since childhood.
Suddenly, it all seemed so infuriating."
His task complete, Joe began applying a dressing.
know, you're a lot alike in one respect.
You're both stubborn."
A small smile crept across
Kel's features. "I
come by the trait honestly."
"Look, this problem isn't going to solve itself.
You're here, he's here, you need to get together
and work this out."
"You sound like Dixie."
Joe grinned, "She's a smart cookie."
"Don't encourage her!" Kel laughed. "She already
she runs the department!"
Kel's mood sobered. "I suppose I need to tell
her about this before she hears it from someone
else." He rose to his feet. "I'll give her a
from my office."
"I have a better idea. You can call her from
my place," Joe proposed.
"That's not necessary."
His colleague firmly insisted, "I want you to
come home with me tonight.
After you call Dix,
I'll give you something to help you unwind and
get a good night's sleep.
Take tomorrow off and
collect your thoughts. In a week or so when you
feel up to it, call your
dad and make another
dinner appointment. Maybe if you're the one
offering the olive branch, you'll
find the peace
terms more agreeable."
"After all these years, I'm afraid to hope," Kel
"But at least you'll be able to find comfort in
knowing you tried."
Tossing his coat over
his shoulder, Kel followed
his friend out the door.
"Linda Taggatz" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 23 Nov 2002 21:31:45 -0600
Subject: Re: Shattered
Kel and Joe soon arrived at Joe's apartment.
It was cozy. In one corner stood a piano.
"Nice place Joe." Kel said as he looked around.
"Thanks." Joe told Kel to take the coat off
toss it on the chair. Kel complied, then sat down.
Kel put his head in his hands. "I
don't know anymore
Joe. I don't know what to say to him. Maybe if we
start talking about mom
things will relax. But then,
he never wants to talk about her."
Joe got curious. "Why is
Kel shook his head and said "I wish I knew."
: "patti keiper" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject : Breakfast Banter Buffet Style
Date : Mon,
25 Nov 2002 15:21:22 +0000
There was a brief pause, for the briefest moment,
as Chet walked
through the kitchen doors leading
to the garage bay and the quiescent fire vehicles
Kelly almost whispered his suggestion,
".....Bartholomew." and he trudged morosely towards
Gage and the others froze into place in their tight ring
around Cap. Even Cap's
finger paused, from stroking
the little beagle's sleeping forehead. "W-W- What did
"Oh my G*d. I don't believe it.." Marco said. "He said
"Yeah, but was that a
suggestion for Chester or was
that in reply to Gage putting on a little elbow grease
moustache?" Stoker asked them all.
Cap's eyes bugged out and all his smile lines smoothed
in rapt frankness. "The world may never know.."
The gang chuckled in reply, but not Gage.
Yipp! barked the sleeping puppy in his dream. The fellas
immediately fell to shushing each other and
out of the kitchen, leaving Cap the honor of spending
the first night with the new station
mascot. Johnny's self
satisfied smirk at a successful Chet tease fizzled into
he pondered Stoker's musing. When they
all were well out of the range of young canine ears, Gage
asked his partner. "Whatdidya think, Roy? Whaa -- uh,
which way do you think we should take Chet's
"Careful, Johnny. Don't get into it too much. Or you just|
may have a complex about it." Roy answered
peeled shirt and pants down to boxers and a T shirt
and sailed with an amused clunk onto
his bunk. "You
know how devious Chester B can get when it comes
to getting you back for muscling
around with him."
Johnny's face alternately smiled and fell as he
regarded Chet Kelly slumbering
for all the world
like King Nebenezzer on his bunk with his
fingers laced nonchalantly over his
Gage turned his back on the sight, not sure about
whether or not Chet was smiling or
::Can't tell behind that d*mned moustache..::
he groaned mentally, shifting irritably
shoulder to try and forget about it.
Sleep was a long time in coming.
Breakfast was spread out like a posse's
standard grub with a partial roasting steer
day. The guys, feeling guilty about
tricking Cap into spending first nightwatch
over Chester, fed
him right where he was,
in the armchair. Stoker had even gone out into
the yard and had picked
Hank a magnolia
for a bud vase with the breakfast tray he
hand delivered to him.
you didn't have to do this.." Cap said,
rubbing sleep mussed hair and his face as
he shifted his
weight in the chair gingerly around
the still oblivious Chester Bartholomew lying like
a tiny sack
of potatoes in his lap.
"Oh, yes we do, Cap. I mean, what fireman in
any firehouse is more
self sacrificial than a Cap?
Am I right fellas?" Chet asked, shoving buttered
toast into his hungry
maw. He chewed, puffed
cheeked as he added. "Made an example of
all of us, for ditchin him and
keepin him all last
night away from the comfort of Cap's own bed."
he said. He took a gulp of
his too hot coffee a l
ittle too fast and started choking a bit.
Roy gave his back a thump
or two as he
reached for a green apple from the fruit basket
in front of the breakfast rib roast
had smoking on the spit all last night. "Easy
there Chet. Don't talk, chew." DeSoto said,
taking a half moon bite out of his fruit.
"Yeah.." Gage agreed, his own cheeks big
bagel. "I wanna get through chow without
a still alarm, Kelly, if you don't mind.."
Gage. Tell me something there, uh,
buddy. What uh, what is YOUR middle name if
you don't mind me
turning the tables on ya.
And I'll just ask it since you don't have any facial
hair for me to grab
Marco nearly spit out his fresh squeezed pineapple
juice chortling. Stoker rescued
him with a toss
of a folded towel. When the light laughter bubbled
away into sounds of contented
said, "Yeah, Gage. You don't have anything on
the back of your turnout coat. Just
"My secret.. So shush.."
Chet didn't give him any further clues to answering
Gage's Chet mystery by responding back.
Cap looked up from where he was adjusting a|
china blue bowl filled with steamed water
puppy chow on his breakfast tray
under a ravenous Chester's face. The little one
was eating so
fast, he was snorting and almost
tipping nose up into the food. "Whoops, slow
down there Chester
Bartholomew.. or you'll
end up as fat as ol Henry used to be.."
Chet looked up suddenly from
his paper as
if he was the one addressed. Just as quickly,
Chet shot eyes back down to his plate.
Johnny's eyes narrowed suspiciously when he
saw that reaction. But for the life of him, he
tell whether or not Kelly had thought
Cap was speaking about him or the new puppy.
::I coulda told
that a lot better if Kelly grabbed
his stomach or something too, then, at Cap's
I'll never find out my answer.."
he grumbled to Roy.
The guys laughed.
"Yeah well, this
too, shall pass. No doubt you
and Chet will live to fight another day.." DeSoto said,
which piece of his sliced apple to devour
next with his milk. Then he chose two at the
and followed up with a thick bite
of BBQ beef rib. He was the only one eating
with a fork. The
others were eating off the bone,
including Chester Bartholomew.
"Not if he keeps eating so
fast like that he won't."
Gage said cheek muffled with a beefy spear,
glaring at Kelly.
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