Disclaimer: These boys aren't mine, in fact, they were promoted to captain before I was even born.

"Paramedics are weird. Most of the time, the only one that can communicate with them is another medic" Medic 660, Clay county EMS

Roy DeSoto knew his partner was going to be angry, the question was just how angry he would be. The words the patient's husband had yelled at them infuriated him as well, but he knew his young partner let things get to him even more. He felt things deeper than most, and Roy knew he would be seething. The passenger door off the squad was ripped open violently, and John Gage flopped his skinny frame into the seat with the force of a 300 pound body-builder. Roy sighed as he pulled the squad out onto the road.

"Squad 51 clear," Johnny said into the radio, and clicked it back into place, turning back to stare out the window. Roy ticked the seconds off on his fingers as he counted. He knew it wouldn't be long before Johnny exploded and everything he had held inside when the man was screaming at him. On seven, it started. "Playing God, Roy! He said we were playing God. We saved his wife, and didn't even get an apology!"

Roy sighed again, knowing the words had hurt and angered his partner. Hell, they had hurt and angered him. "I know. But you know people…they'll say anything at the heat of the moment."

Johnny drew his mouth into a grim line. "People are stupid sometimes."

Roy looked over at him sharply. "Johnny!"

The younger man shrugged. "Well, they are! I mean, they call us for help, then act like children when we try to help! That woman was having a heart attack Roy! She would have died if we didn't do what we did! She would have died, and he's yelling at us to stop playing God and get her to a hospital." He took in a deep breath, spent.

Roy winced. He felt it too, and understood that Johnny needed to vent, but he had to help him gain a little perspective. "Yeah, Johnny, but you gotta look at it from his perspective. His wife, the most important person in his world, was very sick. She needed a hospital. Then there we were, playing around." Johnny opened his mouth to object to that, but his partner held up a hand to cut him off. "I know we weren't playing around. I know we saved her life. And when Dr. Brackett is done with that woman, her husband will know that too."

"You really think so?"


They rode in silence for a few moment, each lost in separate but similar thoughts. Without looking back at Roy, Johnny conceded. "And I guess some of the things we were doing looked pretty scary. Needles and the monitor and stuff."

"Yeah." Sometimes it was best to just let Johnny work his way to the conclusion with minimal shoving.

Another few minutes of silence, and Johnny voiced the question that Roy had certainly not expected. "Would you have acted that way if it had been Joanne?"

"What? No!" Stopped at a red light, he looked over at his friend again. There was no crooked grin, he wasn't making fun of the "old married man", he just genuinely wanted to understand. "No, Johnny. I wouldn't. I understand what we do and why we do it, which is an advantage that last man didn't have. He thought we were just playing. But I don't think I would be able to be the one to do it. Don't get me wrong, I know it would have to be done. But I don't think I could start an IV in Jo, or God forbid defibrillate her. I would be as useless as that man back there was."

Johnny nodded. "If that ever happened, like you said, God forbid, you'd probably want Brice there, wouldn't you? I mean, as annoying as he is, you know he'd go by the book. He'd take good care of her."

Roy pulled into the station, but didn't get out of the squad. Instead, he put his hand on Johnny's arm. "You do know better than that, right?"

Johnny looked genuinely confused. "What do you mean?"

Roy looked his partner and best friend in the eye. "If Craig Brice comes anywhere near my wife with a defibrillator, I'll kill him with my bare hands. If anything ever happens to Jo…or Chris or Jen…or me, I want you to be the one to help us, you got that?"

Johnny's eyes widened. "What? Me? Roy, I…"

Roy nodded. "I trust you with my life every day. I know what you can do and I know that more importantly you would do everything in your power and even a few things that defy the laws of physics if necessary to protect me and my family. And I know that if you couldn't save them, it just couldn't be done. And I know that if you couldn't save them, it would hurt you as badly as it would me."

Johnny simply stared at him for a few seconds. "Roy, I-I don't know what to say…Man, that's…Are you putting me on?"

"Absolutely not. If anything ever happens to my family, you're the only one I trust with them. You got it?"

Johnny swallowed, trying to find words and hide the tears filling his eyes, and nodded. "Okay, Roy. Thank you. I won't let you down."

Roy smiled. "I know, Junior. Remember, I taught you everything you know!" With that, he was out of the squad before what he said sank in. A split second later, he heard Johnny shout, "Hey!"