No More Words

By The Flaming Dragonfly

Disclaimer: I own nothing connected with Emergency!

This was written as a challenge to get Johnny and Roy to kiss in a non-slash situation. I wanted to write a funny story, but this version insisted on being written first. Again, this is not slash.

Another note: I wanted to experiment with present tense in an attempt to keep the story as open ended as possible. Depending on your viewpoint, this may be seen as a deathfic. I wrote it as such, but some have seen it differently.

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The dust will never settle. Johnny coughs spasmodically, each eruption tearing into his ribs and belly.

He knows it's bad. One leg useless. His head pounding. Blood everywhere. And Roy lying five feet away.

It might as well have been five hundred feet away. Every movement hurts so much he knows he's going to scream. Lying on his belly, his arms splayed out, his head bobbing like an infant, he eyes his partner and the distance between them and nearly cries.

"Roy?" he whimpers. "Roy? Can—you—hear—me?" Stabbing pain shocks his voice into silence.

"Johnny?"

"Roy!" He lifts his head, straining to see in the dim light.

"Where—are—you?" Roy stammers.

"Right here! Right—here." He stretches out an arm, willing his broken body to slide forward an inch. "Roy, hold—on. I'm coming."

"Johnny—I can't—" Roy groans, turning his head back and forth, then fixing his eyes on John. "Johnny…"

"I'm coming…just hold on." He grits his teeth, feeling his crushed ribs grinding under his skin. "Ah…ah!" He flings his other arm forward, clawing with his hands through the grit and dust and splinters of wood and plaster. "I'm coming…Roy."

But Roy lies silent. Johnny pauses, his face twisted in a grimace. "Roy?"

Distant sounds…might be voices. Johnny rests his cheek on the floor, breathing heavily through his gaping mouth.

"Really…hurts…Roy. I've really…done it…this time." Spittle collects beneath his mouth. He moves his tongue across his lips.

Roy moans. John raises his head.

"Roy? Can you hear me?"

He draws in a breath, squeezing his eyes shut, then lurches forward.

"Shit!" he spits. He draws one arm back so that he can rest his face on it, off of the dirty floor. "Shit…shit…shit!"

"Johnny?"

"I'm coming…I'm coming."

The next inch costs him several seconds of breath. When he is able to exhale, he feels an abrupt cry shoot from his throat.

The pain overwhelms him. One short wail breaks from him. His nose runs. Blood lowers a curtain over his eyes. The sleeve that wipes his face smears red into his hair.

"Roy…I'm coming."

"Johnny…"

Another inch. "Ahhh!" Another. Another.

He can touch Roy's sleeve. Pulling closer. His lip bleeds from his teeth holding it. Closer. He cries. Closer. Another wail. Tears.

"Roy. I'm here."

His partner opens his eyes. "Johnny."

"See…I'm here."

"Johnny…"

"Roy…" He watches his partner—his friend—move his lips, blink his eyes. "I'm here."

"I'm…not…gonna…make…"

"No! Don't!"

"I'm…sorry…"

"No!" Johnny jerks his hand onto Roy's chest, his fingers grasping the clasp of his turnout coat. "No!"

"It's…okay…Johnny."

"Roy…Roy?"

No answer. Roy's eyes slide shut.

"Roy…you can't go." Johnny pauses, fighting for every breath. "I'm not…ready." He chokes, coughs. "Oh God, it hurts." His face rests on Roy's shoulder. "Roy…please…I'm not ready for this."

He hears something…tries to look around. "Chet? Marco?"

More dust floats from the crushed walls and ceiling. He coughs again, wishing he could scream as his body shudders.

Roy's arm twitches. He moves his hand to Roy's face. "Roy?"

Blood collects in the corner of his mouth. He spits. Most of the blood falls on Roy's sleeve.

"Roy…I'm not ready for this. You've gotta hold on." He draws a painful breath. "I can't…do this…without you. Please hold on. Oh…" His jaw clenches. "Roy. I know…you can do it. Somebody'll be here. I know it."

Rumbling. Chunks of the ceiling shake, then tumble. Johnny ducks his head next to Roy's.

"They'll be here soon. Just hold on." He pulls at the collar of Roy's turnout. "Listen to me. I don't know how long…I've gotta tell you something."

Spasms tear through him. He curls his fingers into Roy's coat. "Roy, you…you're my best friend. I know…I've told you…before…but now…well, I need you to know…" Gasping, holding on to Roy, blinking through tears. "Roy…I don't know…how this is gonna turn out, so I've gotta tell you…"

"J—Johnny?"

"Roy! Roy, I'm here. Can you hear me?"

"Yeah…are we…out…yet?"

One sob. "Uh…almost…just another minute. Roy, I need to tell you something."

"What…is…it?"

"I—uh—I need you to know how much…how much you mean to me. How much you've done for me." Johnny's mouth twists. "Roy…"

Nothing. Roy can't respond. Johnny rests his head, smelling the smoke in Roy's coat. He once again gazes into the face of his friend.

"Roy…I want…to say…" His voice falters. He forces himself to utter the last word. "Goodbye."

He moves his hand to Roy's face, cupping the cheek, carefully tilting the head of his friend toward him. No more words. No more explanations. He cries from pain and sorrow as he shifts one more inch closer, then, his grimy face lined with tears, he touches Roy's lips with his own.

No more words. He lies still, his face next to his partner's, his fingers gently resting on Roy's cheek. He has said all.