By The Flaming Dragonfly
Disclaimer: I own nothing connected with Emergency! Some days I don't claim this story either.
This story has absolutely no redeeming qualities except that it might cause someone to crack a smile. I am NOT endorsing drug use, so please don't report me. I have enough trouble uploading these stories as it is. This is just a long play on words that happen to belong to the world of marijuana. And Johnny is very, very sorry for what he did.
When the phone rang at one o'clock in the morning, Roy jumped from his bed, wide-awake.
"Hello?" he said into the receiver, his voice worried.
"Hello, Roy? Is that you?"
Roy moved the phone away from his ear. "Johnny?"
"Hey! How're ya doin'?"
"Johnny, where are you?" Roy glanced at Joanne, who had rolled over at the first interruption.
"Roy, I've gotta tell ya, I'm at the best party! And—"
As his initial concern faded, Roy felt annoyance take its place. "You called me at…" Roy glanced at the clock radio. "…at one in the morning to tell me about a party?" he exclaimed.
"But, Roy, you gotta know how good—"
Roy opened his mouth to say something quite rude, thought better of it because of the chance that Joanne may be just awake enough to hear him, and instead hung up the phone with a satisfying slam.
"There's times when I wonder about that partner of mine," he grumbled as he slipped back under the covers.
"What's that?" Joanne's sleepy voice drifted from her side of the bed.
"Nothing. Just a typical Johnny stunt." Roy sighed as he tried to get back to sleep for the final hours before he would get up to begin a new shift at Station 51.
Roy yawned as he changed into his uniform. The yawn reminded him of the hour it had taken him to get back to sleep after Johnny's call, which in turn reminded him of just how tired he was and how exasperated he was at his partner.
Roy turned, already peeved. Johnny stood in the doorway, peering around the corner looking like a guilty spy. "What?"
"Is anybody else in here?"
Roy looked around the obviously empty locker area. "No," he stated, turning back to buttoning his shirt.
Johnny slunk in and flung open his locker. "Roy, tell me if anybody comes in, okay?" he asked, his voice muffled.
"Sure." Roy began tucking in his shirt. "So how was the party?"
Johnny popped from behind his locker door. "The party!" he cried. "The party! You know?"
Roy stared at him. "Well, you called me." It suddenly occurred to him that the younger man might not remember. He looked hard at his partner. "You do remember, don't you?"
Johnny's expression became that of a puppy with its tail tucked between his legs. "Uh…actually…"
"You don't remember, do you?"
"Well, I think I might remember, but…"
"Some party, huh? And on a work night?"
Johnny slowly removed his shirt. "Well, it wasn't planned. I mean, I went on a date, and things…got out of control."
Despite himself, Roy felt his curiosity growing. "And just how did things get out of control?"
Johnny pulled on his uniform shirt. "I—I don't know if I can say."
"Why not? You know you will eventually, so just go ahead and tell me."
"Well…" John once again scanned the still empty room. "Roy, can you keep a secret? I mean, an absolute secret?"
Roy nearly laughed at Johnny's serious expression. "I suppose I can. What is it?"
Johnny sidled to Roy's side. "Roy, I mean it. You can't tell anybody!"
"Okay! Okay! What's the big secret?"
Johnny lowered his voice. "Well, last night I went to a party. I didn't plan on going, but this chick, well, she told me that she had some friends that I'd like, and I thought sure, why not, y'know? So I went to her friend's house, and there was a real party going on, music and dancing and food."
Roy nodded in encouragement, trying to hurry the narrative.
"So anyway, we're listening to the music, and I'm really enjoying myself, and things are looking pretty good, and then…somebody brought it out."
"Wait a minute. Somebody brought what out?"
Once again John looked around. He leaned even closer to Roy. "Pot," he whispered.
This time Roy did laugh. "Johnny, I don't think that's so unusual nowadays."
"Roy…you don't understand." Johnny suddenly couldn't look his friend in the face. "I…I…"
A look of comprehension crossed Roy's features. "Hey, wait a minute. Johnny, you didn't—"
"Shhh!" Johnny cautioned, his finger placed before his lips.
Roy stood back, his eyes wide. "I never thought you'd ever—"
"Roy…I can't explain it myself. I mean, I was having such a good time with the music and everything, and I'd been drinking a little, and then somebody handed me a joint, and…" He drifted off, his brown eyes ever more puppy-like. "Roy, I—I can't believe I did it."
"Well…" Roy struggled to know what to say. "Uh, how much did you…"
"Well, it's like this. Y'see, we, uh, we passed it around, and—"
Roy held up his hand. "Okay, okay. I really don't want to know." He sighed. "Junior, you really do know how to go off the deep end."
Johnny straightened. "What's that supposed to mean?" he demanded.
"Well, don't shout at me. I'm just observing—"
"I didn't ask for your observations! I just—"
"You what? You came to me for advice, or at least for confession." Roy couldn't hide a grin, which only worsened Johnny's guilt.
"I should've known not to confide in you! I thought you'd understand."
"What's to understand?" Roy returned. "I mean, you messed up! You made a mistake! I'm a little surprised, but hey, people make mistakes. But I'm not going to absolve you, if that's what you're looking for."
Johnny puffed up. "Well, for your information, I wasn't! I just thought that as my FRIEND you'd support me in my time of…of…" He gestured aimlessly, as if his waving arms would somehow convey his meaning. "Oh, never mind. I…just forget it. Forget I said anything." With a huff he turned and finished changing.
Roy watched him for a minute, wondering if his friend's outburst was indeed finished. When Johnny stubbornly refused to further acknowledge him, he left the locker room. A short time later John also left. Neither man noticed that Chet hovered in the apparatus bay, pretending to be polishing the fender of the engine. And since neither had seen him, they couldn't have noticed the grin that hid under Chet's mustache.
The morning was quiet, and the men went about their duties with their usual good-natured chatter. Johnny and Roy pored over the squad, scrubbing away the minute quantity of dirt that had accumulated over the previous shift's runs. Chet watched the paramedics as he swept around the engine, waiting for the perfect opportunity to pounce.
Johnny stopped rubbing and absently flexed his elbow. Chet leaped at the chance.
"Hey, John. Something wrong with your JOINT?"
Johnny spun on the fireman. "What? What do you mean?"
Chet gave his best "butter wouldn't melt in his mouth" expression. "Your elbow. I noticed you seemed to be sore in your elbow."
Johnny gaped. "Ah…my elbow…" He slowly rubbed it. "Yeah…last shift…I hit it. The rubbing…it's a little stiff." He couldn't take his eyes away from Chet's face, but he could detect no guile. "Just a little stiff."
"Okay. Maybe you'd better take something for it. Aspirin or something." He flipped his rag over his shoulder and returned to the engine, whistling cheerily. Yes, this could get very good.
"He knows. Somehow, he knows."
"What are you mumbling about?"
Johnny looked toward Roy as they drove back to the station. "Chet. Somehow he found out. He must've heard us talking this morning."
Roy glanced at his partner. "Your guilt is getting the best of you."
"No, I know Chet. He knows."
"Johnny, no one heard us. You're just feeling guilty, and everything seems suspicious to you."
"Well…I guess." Johnny studied the passing buildings. "Roy…?"
"I…really messed up."
Johnny paused, not expecting Roy to agree so readily. "What I mean is…I made a mistake."
"Yes, you did."
Johnny glared. "What I mean to say is that…it was a one time mistake. Y'know?"
"I certainly hope so."
That did it. "What's that supposed to mean?" Johnny exploded.
Roy never took his eyes off the road. "Just what I said. I certainly hope that it was a one time mistake."
"Well, of course it was! What kind of a guy do you think I am?"
"Oh, very funny, Roy. Very funny!" Johnny chose to ignore the chuckle that came from his partner.
"Roy? Roy, are you awake?"
"I am now."
"Roy, I've gotta talk to you."
"Couldn't we talk while it's daylight?"
"I've been thinking."
"Well, that's good to hear. Good night."
"What am I gonna do?"
"Sleep would be nice."
"No, I mean it. I mean, every time we went to Rampart today I couldn't look anybody in the face. It was like they all knew."
"Your guilt is getting the better of you."
"I just can't face them, Roy. I—I'm gonna resign. I don't deserve to be a paramedic. I've betrayed everything the program stands for."
"Oh boy." Roy moved up onto one elbow. "Johnny, you just beat all. You can't resign because of one mistake."
"Yes I can. And I'm going to. I can't face Dr. Brackett after what I did. I can't face Dix."
Roy sighed. "Johnny, how many times do I have to tell you? No one knows."
Johnny glanced around the dark bay. "I wouldn't be too sure. The walls have ears."
"Well, if the walls have ears, they're probably wishing you'd be quiet and go to sleep, too," Roy observed dryly. He ducked but couldn't avoid Johnny's thrown pillow.
The rest of the night passed with only one run for the engine, and John and Roy awoke refreshed. The engine had once again been called out, and the paramedics sat at the table reading a divided newspaper as they waited for the next shift to arrive. Johnny finished the sports section and tossed it down with a satisfied sigh.
"Well, I feel better."
Roy grunted from behind the front pages. "Good."
"No, really. Last night I was really ready to resign, and this morning I realized that I was being too hard on myself."
The blonde paramedic looked over the top of the paper. "I don't know if I'd go that far."
Johnny started to answer when they heard the engine back into the apparatus bay. He snatched the sports page up once again and pretended to read as the firemen filed into the kitchen. Cap had retreated to his office, but Chet, Marco, and Mike each settled about the table. Johnny couldn't help but notice that Chet chose to sit next to him.
"Morning," Roy greeted.
"A good morning to you, Roy," Chet replied breezily. "And to you, too, John."
The dark-haired paramedic merely grunted at Chet.
"Coffee?" Marco asked, rising to his feet.
"No, none for me," Chet answered. "That caffeine makes me jittery. You know, I'd almost say that it's like a DRUG."
Johnny nearly lowered the newspaper.
"Yes, although of course I'm guessing as to how a DRUG would feel," Chet continued. He nudged John's arm. "How's the JOINT, John?"
Johnny jerked his arm away. "Just fine," he snapped.
Chet smiled. "That's good. But you guys must know what I'm talking about. I mean, you use morphine."
It was Roy's turn to lower his paper. "We administer morphine," he corrected. "And the amounts we administer are not sufficient to produce a high. They relieve pain, that's all."
"Well, yeah. That's what I meant." Chet stretched. "Ah, that was a long night. And I couldn't get to sleep, what with John talking in his sleep."
Chet now had Johnny's undivided attention. "I don't talk in my sleep."
"Sure you do. Last night you were going on and on about not being able to face someone…Dr. Brackett I think it was."
Johnny's face wavered between green and white. "I have work to do," he finally mumbled, stumbling from his chair and fleeing into the apparatus bay.
Chet grinned, his hands clasped behind his head. "Wonder what his problem is," he said.
Roy studied him. "I wonder," he replied.
Roy found Johnny pacing uncontrollably in front of the lockers. "Johnny?"
The younger man stopped long enough to grasp Roy's lapels. "He knows!" he hissed. "He knows! I told you that he knows!" And he resumed his pacing.
"So what if he does?" Roy countered. "He's just having a little fun with you."
"A little fun!" Johnny's voice positively squeaked. "My career…no, my LIFE is on the line, and you say he's having a little fun!" He ran his hand through his hair. "What am I gonna do?"
"Well, first of all you need to calm down. And second of all—" Roy's second suggestion was cut off by the arrival of the next shift and the exodus of A-shift into the lockers. The paramedics silently changed clothes and left the station.
Johnny hesitated before his Land Rover.
"Roy?" he called.
"What was your second suggestion going to be?"
Roy thought a moment, then shrugged. "I don't know," he admitted. "I guess I was hoping for an interruption."
Johnny's jaw dropped. "Well, some friend you are!" he spluttered. He was still mumbling as he drove away.
The following shift started with no mention of the incident. Indeed, Johnny seemed to have forgotten that it had ever happened.
Chet took care of that.
Johnny realized that something was up as soon as he saw Chet saunter into the kitchen. The look in the shorter man's eye sent chills down John's back. They stared at each other, neither speaking but sending volumes of information, and Johnny nearly jumped out of his skin when the claxons sounded, calling the squad out.
The call was simple and quick, and when the squad backed into the apparatus bay and came to a stop, Johnny remained in his seat, knowing that he would have to face Chet if he got out.
"John! You're back!" Chet's jovial face beamed in the window next to him. "I was wondering if you'd get back soon."
"Yeah, yeah," Johnny replied, pushing the door into Chet. "Watch out. I've got work to do."
"Oh, by all means. I mean, we don't want you to let any GRASS grow under your feet." Chet patted John on the back as he passed by.
John stared after him, his lower jaw hanging.
"Roy? Uh, Roy?" He gathered his senses and rushed into the locker room. "Roy?"
Roy emerged from the toilet stall. "What?"
Instead of answering, Johnny went to his locker and opened it. "I'm ruined, that's all there is to it. I'm as good as dead." He started pulling out his civilian clothes and piling them on the bench. "Might as well change now. Cap's gonna let me go any minute now. Just as soon as Chet tells him. I'm a goner."
Roy picked up the clothes and handed them back to Johnny. "Put those back. You're not going anywhere."
Just then Chet found a reason to come into the locker room. He sauntered past the paramedics, whistling a nonsense tune, then singing impromptu lyrics.
"I'm so busy…so so busy…
No time to waste…
No GRASS to grow
Under my feeeeet…"
Johnny jumped at the shorter man. "That's not funny, Chet!"
Chet looked up at him. "Well, it's not supposed to be funny, John. Consider it a lament," he gestured with his hand, "on the difficult life of a fireman."
"Oh…" John looked helplessly at Roy, who merely shrugged and went to the sink to wash his hands. Chet meanwhile strolled about the room, tunelessly singing the same bad lyric. Johnny stood it for as long as he could before finally realizing that he didn't have to just stand and listen to Chet's singing.
A series of runs kept the men of Station 51 busy for the rest of the day until nearly dinnertime. It was Chet's turn to cook, and he clattered noisily in the kitchen while the others relaxed around the table.
"Say, John," Chet called, glancing over his shoulder. "You cooked last. Have you seen that POT that Marco uses for his Irish stew?"
Both Roy and Johnny flinched, and John couldn't help but look over at Cap.
"Well?" Chet went on. "Do you know anything about that POT, John?"
Johnny slid his chair back, the legs screeching. "Chet! You…you just stop it!"
Chet's angelic face expressed shock. "Stop what? I was merely asking about the POT, John, and you—"
"Stop it!" Johnny fairly screamed. Cap finally looked up.
"What's going on, gentlemen?" he asked, his voice calm but his face showing his growing irritation.
"Er—nothing," Johnny answered meekly, sinking into his chair as far as a solid object would allow.
Chet, meanwhile, triumphantly help up a large pot. "Ah ha! Found it!" He carried it over to John. "See, I found the POT!"
Their eyes met, and Johnny knew without a doubt that Chet had him and wasn't going to let go until he had had his fill of fun.
"I knew I'd find it," Chet told him. "It was just a matter of time."
After dinner the men settled down to watch television. Chet unobtrusively studied Johnny, waiting for the right moment. And with the airing of the first commercial, that moment presented itself.
"Wow, that's some kite the kid's flying," Chet observed, pointing at the screen. "You know, I've always been amazed by kites. I mean they really are amazing."
Johnny eyed him suspiciously. "So what?"
"Well, just think for a moment about how great it would be if we could fly as HIGH AS A KITE. I mean, what a great deal it would be to fly HIGH AS A KITE." He grinned maliciously, and John felt as though his cheeks would burn lead.
"I'm turning in," he announced to no one in particular as he got to his feet.
"Already?" Chet questioned. "You sick or something?"
"Yeah," John replied. "You could say I'm sick of something."
"That's too bad, John, because there's this great old movie on tonight. A real classic."
Johnny bit. "Oh, yeah? What is it?"
Chet leaned back, his round face cherubic. "REEFER Madness. Ever heard of it? Y'see, it's a warning of the dangers of MARIJUANA."
Johnny backpedaled. "Er—yeah, some other time."
Chet started to protest but decided to allow his pigeon to win this round. There would be plenty more.
The next shift as Cap assigned duties, Chet raised his hand.
"Uh, Cap, as a conscientious member of this station, I would like to bring it to your attention that there is a problem in our midst."
Johnny swallowed hard and briefly looked over at Chet before staring straight ahead, determined to take his medicine.
"Yes, Kelly, what's the problem?" Cap prodded impatiently.
"Well, I believe John knows about it as well as anyone."
Johnny swallowed again, choked on his saliva, and coughed violently as Roy patted him on the back. Cap waited for his coughing fit to pass.
"All right, John. What's the problem?"
"Uh…er…well…actually, Cap…uh…" He stopped, utterly unable to complete a sentence, and Roy tried to take up the slack.
"Well, you see, it really isn't a problem…that is, it isn't something that you need to worry about…you see…" Roy also lost his words, and he glared at Chet.
Cap looked from John to Roy to Chet. "Would someone please enlighten me, because I would like to finish roll call sometime this century."
"Well, Cap, it's like this. Every day people drive and walk by our station, and the front is looking a little untidy. I mean, we have WEEDS everywhere, and the driveway looks like it's been STONED or something."
"Why you—" Johnny gurgled before lunging at the stocky fireman. Roy grabbed his partner before he actually touched Chet, and quickly pulled him backward.
Cap stood silent, watching and waiting for his men to compose themselves. Roy jostled John back into line, while Chet managed to look smug and frightened at the same time. Marco and Mike just shook their heads in wonder.
"Are we ready to continue?" Cap finally asked.
The men nodded in unison and Cap doled out the duties. "And last, but certainly not least," he finished, "let us make sure the front of the station looks tidy. Let's pull those WEEDS and sweep up the STONES." With a sly glance at Johnny, he dismissed the men and retreated to his office.
"I'm gonna be sick," John whispered.
"C'mon," Roy said, pulling him by the arm. "Let's get the front done."
The men worked in silence, but Roy knew it was a matter of minutes before John either spoke or exploded.
"Roy, I can't take it anymore! I'd give anything if I'd never gone out with that chick. It's just not worth it, man!"
Roy straightened up, a limp weed hanging from his hand. "Johnny, you just need to relax. Chet's having a ball at your expense because you let him. If you'd just ignore him he's eventually get tired of the game and leave you alone."
Johnny's shoulders slumped. "Yeah, I guess you're right. I've been so guilty and afraid that Brackett and Cap would find out what I did and fire me."
"Listen. You know it was a mistake, and you know that you're never gonna do it again, right?"
"All right, then. Forget about it and go on with your life." Roy dropped the weed into a plastic bag. "Because if you don't, I may turn you in myself, just so I can have some peace and quiet!"
"Wha…you…" Johnny spluttered. "But…Roy!"
Roy allowed his hidden smile to show. "Will you calm down? I'm just kidding! Y'know, I'm starting to see why Chet rides you so hard. You're hilarious!"
With considerable grumbling under his breath, Johnny returned to work. A minute later, Cap called to him from the doorway.
"John, aren't you done with that yet? You've WASTED enough time. Now stop letting GRASS grow under your feet and get those WEEDS picked up!" With an expression that could have been amused but which may have been perturbed, Cap left the doorway.
"It can't be!" Johnny grabbed Roy's arm. "Roy, tell me that it can't be!"
Roy shook his head. "I'm not saying a word, Junior. Not a word!"
Just a complete waste of time, but loads of fun to write. I take no responsibility for the questionable content. ; )