Bed-Stuy, a place that was called home.
It wasn't the most attractive neighborhood in New York City, but it was generally clean and it was pretty safe, something that counted in the long run. That, and it was an affordable place to live comfortably.
Some of the toughest, but nicest people lived there.
Included in that category was an outspoken, but extremely compassionate female paramedic who didn't fit into any of society's rules of conformity. Trying to fit in with everyone else just wasn't her nature or desire.
Danielle had lived in the area for only a short while, but to her, the place felt like home. She had the potential to become a great doctor with her brains and determination.
With long blonde hair and piercing blue eyes, Danielle had immediately made a strong impression on all of her colleagues and everyone around her. They said that she reminded them of someone who once graced the streets of New York, but had since moved away to a quieter area. She was very well cared for, regardless.
However, there were three very good reasons why she, despite completing medical school, chose the career of a paramedic. Danielle's reasons were named John, David, and Ellie. They meant everything to her.
At 28, Danielle had been through a lot of things in life that many had not. Her three children had been the products of a hellish, loveless relationship. Their father was across the country and not involved at all.
John was only 16, but he acted so much older some days, as he was the man of the family and knew the importance of being law-abiding and responsible.
David was at the innocent age of nine, but, like John, his maturity often surpassed his age.
Ellie was her angel and at the tender age of six, Danielle wanted her to grow up in a safe place, a luxury that her brothers did not have as young children due to circumstance beyond personal control.
"Hey, Danielle!" a voice suddenly said. "Time to stop day dreaming and get to work!"
Danielle, who had been staring at the sidewalk lost in her thoughts, looked up and saw that her partner, Jacob Wray, was leaning against the door of the ambulance, watching her with an amused look on his face.
Jacob was 20 years older than her, but he was the closest thing she had to family. Jacob was a husband and father, but his own kids had left the nest long ago, so he was more than happy to have Danielle, whom he affectionately referred to as "Niella" under his wing.
"Sorry, Jacob," Danielle said, looking up at him and walking over to the ambulance. "I was just lost in my thoughts. I'm ready to work now, though."
Jacob grinned, "That's cool, Danni," he said, a hint of affection in his voice. "Dispatch called and we're needed over at the video store. There was a botched robbery not to long ago."
Danielle gave Jacob a disbelieving look, "In the middle of the day?" she asked. "I guess anything and everything happens here at some point in history."
As Danielle got into the passenger seat, Jacob chuckled, "Oh, Nielle," he said, smiling at her as he got behind the wheel. "You are one heck of a person."
Knowing that Jacob genuinely meant it, Danielle smiled at him and, as the ambulance took off down the street, she self-consciously buckled her seatbelt. Jacob's remained undone so he could respond faster when they arrived.
Within minutes, as Jacob had run every red light they had encountered en route, the two arrived at the local video store.
Not surprisingly, the first thing they saw as the ambulance pulled over was that the cops were already on the scene.
As Danielle and Jacob exited the ambulance carrying med-kits Danielle saw that Officer Boscorelli and his tall, but quiet partner, Officer LaRusso, had responded to the call and they were talking to a young boy just outside the store doorway, which was blocked with yellow police tape.
"Boscorelli, LaRusso!, Jacob hollered casually, strolling towards the officers. "Any word on the perp yet?"
LaRusso sighed patiently, but Bosco rolled his eyes, "Us police officers are currently working on that," he said, both annoyed and amused at Jacob's constant attempts to play the part of officer and be involved in solving crimes.
Ignoring the tension between Boscorelli and Jacob, Danielle strolled over to the doorway and, ducking under the police tape, she entered the store. A man with a bloody forehead sat on a chair behind a counter that held a computer.
"Oh, thank goodness, it's the medical people," the man said in a slightly Russian accent, as Danielle approached him. "These little punks came in and shot up my store and started saying swearwords at me. Those little brats hit me in the head and ran off with all of my money."
Danielle studied the wound, it looked bad, "You probably need stitches from Mercy, but I'll clean all the blood off of you first," she said, as she opened some supplies and began to clean the blood off of Jacob's forehead.
By the time Jacob had quit trying to look macho in front of Boscorelli and LaRusso and entered the store, Danielle had already helped Jacob to his feet and was helping him out of the store. There was a blood-stained pad taped to the wound on his head.
"It's about time you showed up to help me, Jacob," Danielle said, as the three exited the store. "If you wanted to be a cop so bad, you should have joined the police academy instead of the firehouse."
Jacob grinned sheepishly, as they got the man settled on the gurney in the back of the ambulance, "My wife won't let me do that," he admitted. "She's worried if I become a cop, I'll end up brutally murdered."
Just then, after having a look at the wrecked video store, Bosco and LaRusso strolled over to the ambulance to see how the guy was doing. After all, they were tough cops, but they DID show compassion.
"How's the old guy doing?" Bosco asked, as he peered into the ambulance.
Jacob glared at Bosco for his crassness, but said nothing, instead choosing to look after their patient and ignore the cops altogether. Danielle, however, smiled at the cops politely and instead of focusing on the strange bandage that Boscorelli had over one side of his face, she focused her eyes on theirs.
"He'll be fine and back running his video store by tomorrow," Danielle said, as she shut one of the doors. "Thanks for all of your help, guys. We'll see you both again sometime, I'm sure."
LaRusso nodded and smiled, but Bosco, who often felt self-conscious about the bandage on his face, turned away and walked back to the store. LaRusso gave the paramedics an apologetic look and jogged off.
Shaking her head, Danielle pulled the other door shut as Jacob, who had gotten into the driver's seat, drove off down the street.
Unknown to anyone, there was a rough looking man named Marco DeLoche hiding in an alley just beside the video store who had not only seen the paramedics, but had recognized the female one from the description of her that was given by his boss.
Marco thought back as to when She was even more beautiful and yet, so much more naïve, than he described her. Danielle was so appealing that Marco almost wanted to take her for himself. However, if he did that, Marco knew that his boss would be angry enough to possibly kill him and take her anyway.
Marco smiled as he watched the ambulance turn a corner, life would turn chaotic very, very soon.