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Primary Complaint
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  Page Four

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Crouching low, Gil spoke to the woman. "Ma'am. Can you hear me?
This is going to hurt alot. But we're in danger. We all have to leave
now. Including you." he told the face bloodied girl.

"Ok..ok..*choke*.. I..." she gagged. "Fumes!" she coughed. "Can'"

Dwyer gave her his mask. "Take your breaths from this. Easy hon...
No, you keep it. We'll share our air as we go!" he said, indicating himself
and Kelly. Holding his breath after speaking, he took Chet's mask when
it was instantly handed to him and used it aggressively to clear his head.

Seconds later, Chet and Gil dragged the girl out of the car as carefully
as they could. Then they started running with her in a two man arm carry.

Other firemen met them, including Cap, who shoved the trucking papers
back at the driver without reading them. The others holding the water
curtain shifted one side of its arch until it rained liberally over 51's planned
escape route.

Hank started yelling. "Get those water cannons to unmanned settings
right now. Then pull yourselves back! Everybody hear me? Everyone
get back now!" he told them.

The acid fumes fighting firemen in the hot zone got out in seconds.

Panting, but safely on the far side of the bridge, Vince took custody of the
uninjured driver. "What's your cargo?..Come on and tell me.
Those men are risking their lives down there and I'm sure you don't
wanna get anyone killed by whatever it is you're carrying."

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"Uh,, I don't know, mister. I was just filling in for the r-regular guy." said
the balding man with a fake smile and stutter.

"That's a hefty fine. I hope your memory starts improving real fast.."
said Howard, visually making sure the rescue teams were retreating
on the heels of Hank's abandon everything command.

"I'm tryin' to remember.. I'm tryin' real hard. But I must in be shock or
something. Yeah, that's it.." he lied, taking a seat on the concrete
guard railing near the sidewalk.

Vince scowled. Severely. He could see that the truck driver didn't
have a single solitary scratch on him. "I'm giving you one more chance
to get honest with me. What's your cargo?"


Cap was leaning over, his own mask tightly over his face after he had
made sure the last of his team was up the embankment. "How bad
and what kind of an exposure did our victims get?" he asked Gage
while all of them rested.

"Just some HCL vapors on two of them. No direct contact." panted Johnny,
sucking hard off the air supply flowing into his scba mask. He glanced
at his hands for signs of burns after pulling off and abandoning his gloves.
"The rest of us .....seem to be fine." he gasped tiredly, pulling a new pair
of work gloves out of his jacket's pocket.

"All right. Load her into another flotation stokes and then we'll carry her ov--
Wait a minute.." Hank said frowning, looking over the edge of the bridge's
cement railing. "There's a new puddle forming under the second truck."
he told them. "Whatever it is, it's a clear liquid." Frowning, he pulled
a penny out of his pocket and gave it a hefty toss down to the accident
site. It bounced a couple of times before landing neatly into the new
pool of slowly spreading, non-fogging, chemical.

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A ring of turquoise immediate formed around it and bubbles of brown
rose into the air as the coin boiled and began dissolving. Hank's eyes
widened and he lifted the walkie talkie, getting it to his mouth as fast
as possible. "Engine 51 to Battalion One. There's aqua fortis in truck
two. I repeat. Fuming nitric!"

##I read you, Engine 51. Get everybody clear immediately...##

Hank began running. "Go.. go!.. Guys, get the vehicles off the bridge
now! Dwyer, Chet ! Put her on top of the engine. The second truck's
gonna blow up bigger than we thought in a minute or less!"

Gil, Johnny, Vince and the others scattered like chickens, picking either
Squad 51 or the Ward engine in which to make their escape.

Down below, the hose support crews were already gone, having left
behind the automatic water cannons.

Stoker was waiting for a fist's thump on top of the engine cab that would
tell him the girl was loaded safely on the engine's hose bed when he saw
it. "Cap... the second tanker's changing color. The top valve just
blew open. See it?" he pointed quietly, hair trigger tense.

"Yes, I do, Mike. Cr*p..Looks like it's gonna be sooner rather than--" he
ansed. He got on his HT. "Gil...tell me you guys are almost ready
up there. I'm giving you five seconds tops and no more!"

##Now, Cap, now! She's set! We're set. Go, Stoker!## said Dwyer as
he and Marco crouched over the woman's stokes in their masks to make
sure the stretcher didn't shift as the Ward lurched into motion. Sirens
screaming, Engine 51 and Squad 51 took their hastily crammed in
passengers rapidly off and headed away from the overpass.

The engine's rear bumper was just clear of the gap looking down over the truck
accident site when a colossal explosion ripped the air, sending an acrid
white, brown and yellow cloud of ejected nitric acid, nitrogen dioxide and hydrogen
gas mushrooming into the air. It immediately coursed east along the wind's new
directional path and away from where fire companies were evacuating the
first previously-thought-to-be jeopardized neighborhood.

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Captain Stanley radioed out the frightening new development.
"Engine 51 to Battalion One. Explosive decomposition!  New cloud's drifting
directly east.  All initial rescue crews are clear of the hot zone. I repeat all
crews are safe, present and accounted for and off the immediate scene." Hank
reported. "My station's got three conscious victims inside of and on our vehicles.
Our ETA to Triage is in less than two."

##Hazmat's standing by for them, Hank. As soon as your station's showered
clean and declared available once more, get your men into the new
neighborhood in full scba and start your warnings. Evacuate all potential
life threatened populations out of the area. That includes all homes and
businesses. Choppers are beginning the new announcements now from
the air. Get everybody clear at least a mile and a half upwind. First priority,
there's a school on Maxwell Ave. They're in session. Use your authority to
use their buses and drivers as evacuation vehicles. It'll be faster than
waiting for custody and transportation vans from the P.D.##

"10-4, Battalion.  Get my personnel and my trucks decontaminated,
and then get involved in a response to evacuate Maxwell Elementary."
Stanley repeated. "Copy that."

##Good luck, Hank. Be careful.##

"We will, chief. Engine 51 out."

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**Warning. Medically graphic photos below.
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Station 51 had just pulled up on Maxwell Avenue with both of their sets of sirens
wailing when a panic began full blown on the school's playground. Young
children began screaming in pain and running for the school's open doors.

Just as suddenly, the brownish acid cloud lifted and spun away.

Seconds later, one little girl fell where she was and didn't move.

"Vapors, Cap!" Gage yelled into his radio.

##Get out there!## reacted Stanley, in high fear for those kids.

Frantic, Gage and Dwyer shot out of the parked squad and they
ran fast, motioning for the rest of the children escaping the drifting acid
cloud to keep going. "Close the doors completely shut after yourselves!"
Johnny warned, shouting loudly through his air mask so that he was heard.

Stoker, Kelly, Marco and Cap split up into pairs to begin closing every open
window and door they could find to slow the fumes' penetration into the
brick building.

Gil and Johnny ran to the little girl's side and rolled her over, pulling the
poncho that had covered her face up when she fell, away from her head.

He gasped suddenly, looking away.... "She's...."

Gil confirmed the finding. "...dead. I know." he said, checking for the
pulse that he knew was going to be absent from her neck. "Looks like
acid burns caught her in the face."

"And most likely in her lungs, too. Leave her. Let's go help save the others.."
said Johnny grimly. He rose after covering the tiny body up in the poncho.
He left a reflective fatality marker on top of her for recovery crews to find later.

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Dwyer and Gage ran for the school's back side, seeking a way in. They
found one and hurried inside."Cap.." he reported in on the radio."One
Code F in the yard. Are you guys in here yet?"

##Yes, we are. Help us get them all into the gymnasium. It's away from the vents
connecting the rest of the school with the indoor swimming pool.##

Gage quailed. ::Oh, sh*t, that's right. Nitric fumes'll make cyanide gas
in contact with any form of pool chemicals.:: he thought desperately.
"We're on our way. We'll sweep the library for stragglers."

##Yes. Do that. The air's ok in here.## reported Cap.
Over the frequency, Johnny could hear sounds of crying, panicking
children and adults in the background where they hurried across the
floor of the gym, echoing in confusion behind Cap's voice. ##I've notified
the chief of our predicament. Whatever you do, save what's left of your air
while you two find a way to get to us safely. Avoid any open windows.
The cloud's sunk back down around the school again.##

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From: Cassidy Meyers <>
Date: Sat Sep 30, 2006 1:31 am
Subject: Lock In...

Cap whirled when Gage and Gil burst through a side gym door
and slammed it shut behind them. It startled many frightened
children sitting on the gym floor until a couple of teachers
calmed them down.

Gil shouted. "Cap, nobody's left out there. Library's deserted."

"Good." Hank started forward. "I moved everybody to the
center of the gymnasium. Marco, string up a line from that emergency
fire hose in the wall and charge it. Some of these playground kids
are probably acid burned and don't even know it yet."

Gage gaped in surprise. "Cap, you guys brought in all our gear.."

"We sure as h*ll did. Brought in the engine's resuscitator, too.
And your irrigation bags from the squad. Get to work.
We're gonna have to dike up all the run-off when we start
washing down the worst exposed kids. Use those sandbags
over there that I see under the bleachers. We'll spray all the
stuff right into that janitor's closet. There's a large drain in there.
Stoker, look for any hazards outside the gym that might react to
the fumes that are gonna get into the hallways. Especially check out
the chemistry lab. Last thing we want is a fire spontaneously
erupting on top of the rest of all this mess. Then get back in here
and help Gil and Johnny with any medical care." he said, sweeping
his gloved hand in a gesture over the crowded gym of sniffling,
scared kids and quietly whispering adults.

Stanley got on his radio. "Engine 51 to Battalion One. Here's
our update. The gym is secure from outside air and we're safe
for the moment. But we'll need an immediate Hazmat reconnaissance
to neutralize any unseen chemical threats surrounding us. A
couple of the teachers say there's a chemistry lab nearby full of
Class One reactants that the students were working with today."

##I copy that, 51. Let me know the number of injuries and the total
head count of minors and adults who are with you when you can.
I've two doctors from Rampart suiting up and they'll be joining you
soon to help with your situation directly.They're Doctors Brackett and
Cederstrom from Rampart Hospital.##

"10-4. Have a Hazmat pair bring them through the gym's south fire door.
That stairwell's not yet flooded with fumes."

##I'll tell them, Hank.## said the chief. ##Give us five minutes
minimum to get them in there to you.##

Hank pushed down his HT antennae with a harried frown. He looked
up when Gage began to speak to the gym at large as he and Dwyer
stripped out of their air bottles and turnouts to look less threatening.

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"Listen up kids.. We're just firemen from the Los Angeles County Fire
Department. Let me fill you in on what's happening outside. Now I'm going
to be completely honest with you. There's a pair of chemical trucks
burning on the freeway upwind and that's what's made us lock all of you
inside the gym here right now. We needed to get away from some bad
smoke. But we're nice and safe and air tight so don't worry. Stay calm.
Now next question is for anyone who was just playing at recess when you
saw our firetrucks pull up to the school. Is there anyone who feels like
they're getting sunburned right now?" he asked the cluster of frightened
children seated on the floor in front of him.
"Teachers, if you think you have any kids who do, raise your hands
and we'll check them out immediately. That vapor can be dangerous
even though they're out of it. Kids, don't panic. The worst we'll do to
ya is get you wet, by giving you a free bath by fire hose. Won't hurt a bit,
I promise. Although ...we may get ya a little cold and make your teeth start
chattering." he grinned.

A bubbling murmur of faint giggles rose from the various groups
of gathered students until a single teacher's hand lifted urgently.
"My kids were outside. Please, I have a few not acting normally."

"Which ones?" Gage asked, crouching near the windbreaker jacketed
teacher. "Here, gimme your outer coat, ma'am. It's probably been
contaminated by the fumes." he said, reaching out for it. "Check
yourself over real good for skin problems. Let me know if you find any
redness, itching, or swelling. If you do, let me or my partner know right
away and we'll start washing you down to stop the exposure."

Taking the coat from the woman with his jacket halligan used as a stick,
he tossed it into the closet where the water drain was located.

Gil and Gage began examining the knot of children who had been
outside. They began stripping them down to their regular clothes,
removing shoes and anything else that was clearly an outer layer.
Marco washed these away from the paramedics with the charged
hose and he pushed them into the closet space vigorously.

Some of the children nearby laughed in spite of their fear at
the sight of seeing the shiny polished wooden floor getting soaked
in such a strange way. He took advantage of that. "Say, who'd like
to help my fire captain here build a sand castle of sand bags? We need
a fort around that closet door to hold all the water and all the things I'm
pushing into it. Who wants to help him?" he asked.
A lot of the older kids volunteered by raising their hands.
"Ok, great. Listen to your gym coaches first. I've already told them how
to build what we need. Go on, it's ok, go ahead. This fort's gonna help
the others who are getting set to take their water baths." Lopez explained.

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Gil quickly identified two children in the playground bunch who
were just starting to wheeze. "Johnny, this little boy in light blue's
first. Can you get him on some O2? He's wheezing."

"Yeah. I've got a little girl in green doing the same thing. Chet, can
you get her started on the engine's tank? Be sure to raise her head

"Ok, Johnny." Kelly said, easing the child's upper body into his
lap. "Hi there, little lady. My name's Chet. My legs are gonna be
your pillow for a while, is that ok? Don't worry. Your teacher's
gonna stay right here holding your hand while I put this oxygen
mask on your face so you can breathe in and out a little better.
Guess you earned yourself one of the first hose showers, didn't

The gasping girl nodded sleepily, tears leaking from her acid
reddened eyes. "Uh, huh..."

"I'll get you dried off real fast so you don't get too cold. I promise."
he said to her. "I got a blanket with your name on it waiting right
here next to us, ok? It's real warm. And look,'s got teddy bears
on it." he said, holding it up.

The little girl laughed, but then she coughed liquidly. Chet
glanced over to where the first little boy was getting scoured
under the hose spray. "Johnny.. she sounds wet."

"All right. We'll have Brackett on the line in a minute. Help her
on her inspirations if she needs it. This boy's got our hands full.
He's going out on us." Gage told him quickly.

Soon the male child was stretched out onto the floor again amid
the squad's opened medical gear. Gil put one of the teachers
to work irrigating the boy's acid burns with a running I.V. line
from one of the saline bags. "Don't touch the water that touches
him. Let Marco here wash it away for you." Dwyer instructed.

"Ok.. uh,.. I understand." said the worried coach.

Gage and Gil fell deep into their assessments of the two
critical, fumes exposed children once the little girl had her
rapid decontamination completed.

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From: 'patti keiper' <>
Date:  September 30, 2006. 16:39:07 CST.
Subject: Caught

"Johnny?! Gil?!" came a loud, very welcome voice. It was Dr.
Brackett, peeling out of a Hazmat suit at the entrance to the
school gymnasium.

Dr. Carrie Cederstrom followed him in with a very laden trauma
and surgical pack as she peeled it out of its protective covering.

"Over here! These two first!" yelled Dwyer from the circle of
firemen leaning over the hose water soaked pair of children.

Kel Brackett saw that Hank Stanley had joined Kelly in keeping
the little girl ventilating well.

"What do you have?" Kel snapped out quickly, kneeling in between
both kids.

"Nitric acid byproducts exposure, gaseous form. Both were in breathing
contact with a concentrated cloud for a minute or so." replied Captain
Stanley, thinking hard as he remembered the first moments that he had
witnessed storming onto the playground scene. "The fumes were bad
enough to kill people, doc."

"Even glancingly, less than a minute's long enough to cause some real
problems." said Cederstrom. "How about any of the rest of these children?"
Carrie asked, glancing around at the teachers and elementary school
students watching them quietly from the other side of the gym.

"They're fine so far." Gage answered, looking up from the stethoscope
that he had placed over the little boy's ribcage. "Doc, the girl's in a lot of pain.
The boy's got acute signs of PE and wheezing developing that's equally
distinct on both sides. She has some, too, but it's to a lesser degree."

"How so?"

"Hers isn't audible in the lower fields."

Kel ran over his fast triaging list. "Ok, how about these burns?"

"We're seeing regions of eschar, on their faces, heads and hands in areas
that were air exposed and out of their clothing." Gil answered.

"Tissue dessication already?" Carrie sighed sadly. "All right. We'll get these
two airway secured first. Then, captain, please continue their decontamination
washing." she told Hank. "As for the rest of you.." she addressed the others
of Station 51. "Be vigilant for signs of laryngeal edema developing on anyone
else here. If you find someone who can't or is having trouble talking, bring them
to us immediately. They'll need inhalant counteractives."

Brackett nodded at Carrie in agreement, drawing out a pediatric endotrachael
tube and laryngoscope from his jump bag, sized for the little boy. "Johnny, Gil..
treat their acid burns as thermal burns. Use non-adherent gauze and wrapping
to cover them up after you finish scrubbing off all the chemicals. Then give me
some vital sig---"

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"Doc,.. she's obstructing on me.." said Chet Kelly, glancing up quickly from
where he was lightly demand valve triggering breaths into the little girl.

"Carrie..Get over there..." Brackett ordered bruskly."If you can't get a tube down.."

"I know." Cederstrom said urgently. "I've got a cricothyroidotomy kit already laid
out." she told him. "Fireman, try repositioning her head." Carrie instructed
when the child began to struggle in a panic.

Chet retilted carefully, trying to ignore her weakily flailing arms and legs.  
He tried actively to force oxygen into her lungs with a new technique, using
a rapidly placed ambu, with Cap helping him, but.."It's not working, doc. Not
at all." said Kelly as the little girl finally passed out from anoxia. The child's
features started turning dusky as all of her breathing attempts ceased.
"She swelling up too much. Now, I've got no chest rise whatsoever."

"No chance endotracheally now. All right. I'm going in for that cric." Cederstrom
informed them. "Prep her neck, Mr. Dwyer." Carrie said, glancing at Gil's name

Gil flew, reaching for the surgical bag the doctors had brought with them.

Just a betadine splash later, the scalpel and trailing narrow needle guide
gripped deftly in Carrie's gloved hands, sliced down...

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Outside in the hallway, the roving Hazmat crew startled. They found a
fifty gallon metallic barrel full of turpentine that had been in the
process of being delivered by a UPS man for the art department.

Working swiftly, the team took great care in removing the container from
the school.  

They set it out into the open where they used water spray and fog to keep
it cooled down.They made sure they didn't get any water inside the drum
where the nitric acid fumes that were still drifting through the neighborhood
would be able to exothermically react to it.  The potential for a large explosion,
was averted.

But the swimming pool store room wasn't so fortunate. It ignited spontaneously
when acid gas found a roll of aluminum foil and the new fire, spreading quickly
to the roof through the ventilations shafts, created another problem for the fully
suited up Haz mat crews to handle when they shifted gears to aggressively
protect all the people still trapped inside the school's gym.

Hank and the other firefighters looked up at the sound of a muffled explosion
breaking out from somewhere inside the school.

Kids began to quietly panic and mill about numbly at the noise.

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Captain Stanley immediately soothed them. "It's all right, kids. It's all right!
That isn't anywhere near us!" Then he got on his HT with the Hazmat crews and
Battalion and got a full report from the source itself.

Gil and Johnny had finished stringing up I.V. lines over the two
stabilized children now lying in plastic stokes under burn sheets that were
covering them to keep them warm and out of uncompensated shock.

Both were breathing and being closely monitored by new attending
firefighters while everyone waited for the all clear signal from Hazmat
that things were safe enough outside to begin their evacuation of the

Carrie was cleaning up in a bowl of antiseptic.

"That was fine work, Doctor Cederstrom.." Kel complimented her.

"I should say the same thing to you, Doctor Brackett.." she teased.
Then she cast a worried eye on her young patient. "Did I ever tell
you how much I hate chemical induced injuries?"

"You have. Frequently." Kel said, giving her a squeezing hug in congratulation.

"Hmm..That's so nice." she crooned, pulling away affectionately. "Wow," she
said, stepping back. "Blue becomes you." she goggled as she admired the
color of the triage jumpsuit Kel was wearing. "I like the way it brings out
the color of your eyes."

"Do I have to become a surgeon then, to keep on wearing it so I won't lose
you?" he teased.

"Fat chance of that happening." She didn't elaborate on which aspect of the
question she was commenting on. "Speaking of which, shouldn't Roy DeSoto
be fully awake now following his ear surgery? It's been six hours since."
Carrie wondered.

Kel looked at his watch as he put away the biophone that he had used to order
tests through Dixie that he wanted for the kids that Carrie and he had airway
saved for when they finally flew into Rampart. "He is. Dixie said so. His bilateral
tympanoplasties finally decided to quiet down without a hitch. That odd,
new vertigo of his has gone away. Tell everybody with Station 51 that Roy's
completely comfortable now and that he's been absolutely guaranteed by
his ENT to make a normal, and very fast recovery."

"I'll go tell them now. They need a stress reliever. And so do I." she smirked.

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  Click the animation for a music change.

McCall met the two doctors' chopper when it finally arrived at the hospital
along with their two tiny patients. "Kel, Radiology's ready to get those
chest and upright abdominal films as soon as you're inside. And yes,
I've ordered the labs to get their complete blood counts; EKG;  electrolytes;  
glucose; liver and renal functions; and type and cross-matches for whole fresh
plasma right when you four wheel them into Treatment Two.." she said.

"You're a miracle worker.." Kel smiled, affectionately grasping McCall's
elbow as the nurse hurried back out of the rotor wash zone along
with everyone else.

"Careful, Kel. I may start believing that."

"Too late. You're pretty full of yourself already." Cederstrom chuckled.

"It serves its purpose." McCall shrugged. "Long hours with short pay...
That's a pretty tough thing to survive with around here. Who knows?
Maybe being inwardly and outwardly conceited keeps me cool." she
laughed, winking at Carrie with amusement.

"I'll vouch for that." Kel said. "Crustiness has always served me well."

Dixie just rolled her eyes as she brushed the hair away that was getting
sharply helicopter blown into her face. "Ughhh..Doctors..." she chided in
mock sarcasm. Then she gestured to the orderlies that she could see
coming from the hospital to get them to step things up a little.

Gil and Gage quickly helped the hospital men steer their patients'
stretchers into Emergency as fast as they could go.


It was several weeks later.

A fully healed Roy, Gage, and Dixie were relaxing in the nurse's
lounge over hard won cups of coffee during a break in yet another
hectic day of rescues.

Dixie blew air over her mug to cool it. "So,.. how do you really
feel about Carrie Cederstrom..." she baited.

Johnny practically spat out a mouthful of coffee in shock and surprise.

Roy deftly handed his partner a napkin from the dispenser so he could
clean up his face.

Gage sputtered in surprise. "Shouldn't I be asking you the same thing?"
he challenged McCall.

"Well, I don't see why not. Turnabout's fair play." she admitted.
Then she thought over things carefully. "She's good for Kel. And what's good
for Kel, is good for me. I had my shot at him... and... if it means I have to bow
out gracefully, then so be it. They both deserve to be happy."

"Well are YOU?" Johnny asked, boldly.

Roy nudged Johnny in the ribs for his insensitive jab.

"Yes, and no. I'd be inhuman if I said I never wondered about what
could have been between him and I if things ever got different."

"I guess.." Gage said, uncertain.

"So how about you?" Dixie fired right back.

"How about me what?" Johnny looked at McCall in confusion.

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"Are YOU happy about how you're handling how you feel about Carrie

"Well, I uh.. Should I even be concerned about that? I mean-" Johnny
shrugged nervously, rubbing his face in self consciousness.

 "Yes." said both Roy and Dixie at the same time in exactly the
same tone of voice. Nurse and paramedic looked at each other and
chuckled in companionable irony.

Then Dixie added more. "You did give her a ride home to Kel's the
other night after taking her out for coffee."

"You did what?!" DeSoto's mouth flopped completely open. "Johnny,
that's hedging the bet a whole lot, you know that? Do you really wanna
win one over on Gil that badly, that you're resorting to subterfuge?"

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"I never.. I didn't.... I...wasn't ...t- taking Carrie out on a date. I was...
thanking her for saving your hearing, pal." he finished lamely. "Dr.
Brackett said that he trusts me absolutely with his chick. Heh." he sighed,
leaning back into his chair. He immediately sat back forward again,
getting mad. "Is this the thanks I get for showing your new
trauma doctor a little bit in the appreciation department?"

"Hey, what about me? Who do you think was holding the puke basin under your
partner's chin when he was still upchucking his guts out after his anesthetic?"

Johnny immediately began to look uncomfortable, as if he were
about to become sick himself.

"Were you there at all, Johnny?" Roy wanted to know.

"Well, I  uh.. No.. I.. I.. I was working." Gage said defensively. Somehow,
he didn't see the smirk of anticipated set up beginning to spread over
Roy's face where DeSoto sprawled next to him on the couch.

"So was I." Dixie glared right back through tight lips. "So when's my date of
appreciation for a night on the town with you gonna be, huh? Don't you
find me attractive?"

Gage went completely speechless at that one and he blushed five
shades of red that was clearly visible even through Johnny's natural
skin tones. Roy didn't miss the telltale fidget of his fingers on the
table top and neither did Dixie.

Johnny shot up out of his chair swiftly and he began backing away
to the door."Uh,.. excuse me, both, would ya? I think I.. drank a little
too much coffee..Nature's calling." And he bolted from the lounge
like a jack rabbit out of a smoked out hole.

DeSoto blinked matter of factly and took in another sip of his
coffee. "Boy do I know that one to be true.." he mumbled.

Dixie smacked her hand on the table in front of him derisively to
get his attention."A bet's a bet. You owe me five bucks, Roy. It
sure looks like he does." she said with an amused chuckle and
a very significant emphasis.

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Roy took a deep breath, lowering his eyes, thinking, the smile
still on his face. "You know, Dix.. I'm not so sure I just saw what
you think you've just seen."

McCall leaned in on Roy, real close. "Come on, quit kidding. I'm
a very mature woman. You can't fool me with any such line.
Chet Kelly told me all about what to look for on him." She
tweeked DeSoto on the nose with a long fingernail.  "Do you know
what Chet told me that gave him away?"

"No.. what?" Roy said meeting her eyes with trepidation.

"He told me,..'The hands never lie.' So pay up if you know what's
good for you, Roy. Or I may get ugly." Dixie promised.

"Not in a million years." he said, not meaning the money at all.

Slowly then, with good natured resignation, Roy reached for his


Season Five Episode Thirty Seven
Primary Complaint

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