(Edited Version)

By The Flaming Dragonfly

I feel that I must preface this story with a bit of background and a strong warning. When I first presented Disbelief, I received some negative feedback. I believe that much of it was based on a childish feud in the Emergency fandom that I stumbled into. I have no desire to get back into that mess. Therefore, let me ask that if you have an issue with this story, please just ignore it. Go read something else. This story is very graphic, and my portrayal of the antagonists is not flattering. I didn't want it to be a pleasant story. I wanted to dig into the depths of post traumatic stress disorder, and according to previous feedback I have succeeded. Thank you in advance for your understanding.

Please be warned that although I have edited the story, it still contains strong language and sexual violence.

The original version of this story cannot be published on this site. If anyone wishes to read the original, email me privately and I will give you the address.

I hate late calls, Johnny thought as he dashed for the squad. Just when the movie had been getting good, too. Chet had gotten them interested in one of his old monster movies, and the plot had been about to reach its climax when the klaxons sounded. An unknown type rescue. Johnny felt a twinge of anxiety when he heard the location. Several skirmishes between the largely unemployed population of the area and the police had occurred in recent weeks. It seemed that the heat of summer, combined with nothing to do, created a sense of antipathy among the residents.

Roy started the squad, and they pulled out, shivering a little in the cool air. The call took them into an old, run down section of the city, on streets that were lined with bars, cheap hotels, and hookers. Johnny searched for the particular bar they had been called to: Melvin's Place.

"There it is," he said suddenly, pointing to a generic, concrete building with a flashing neon sign hanging haphazardly from one corner. Roy grunted in reply, parking the squad as close to the curb as he could manage. Several cars crowded the front of the bar, and groups of men hovered outside. The paramedics pulled their boxes of supplies from the compartments, then made their way through the men.

The bar assaulted their senses with the inevitable cigarette smoke and loud music. Somewhere they could hear a pair of voices raised in what seemed to be a rather boisterous argument, and nearly everyone in the bar paused to stare at the strangers.

Roy stepped to the counter and motioned for the bartender. "We got a call," he said to the disinterested man. "Is someone sick or hurt?"

The man shrugged. "I don' know what wrong wid 'im, and I don' care, but I ain' havin' no mess in here."

"Who?" Roy asked.

The bartender pointed across the bar. "That fool over there. The one who puked all over hisself."

Johnny and Roy looked and saw the man he was talking about. An obviously inebriated man had vomited and now sat on the floor propped up against the wall, his head thrown back. Roy glanced at Johnny, who made a face of resignation before leading the way to the fallen man.

Roy knelt down and tried to rouse the man. "Sir? Sir? Are you okay?"

"Wha—" The man slowly shook his head. "Wha d'you wan'?" he slurred.

"Sir, you've vomited. Do you feel sick?" Roy tried to keep the man's attention. "Sir, do you feel sick?"

"Get your hands off me!" the man said, struggling a little against Johnny's attempts to take his blood pressure. "I said..." He suddenly threw up, catching the dark-haired paramedic by surprise.

"Ah!" Johnny cried, tumbling backward. He grimaced as he surveyed the damage.

Roy tried to stifle a grin. "Okay, Johnny?"

His partner glared at him. "Just great," he growled.

"Uh, sir, we need to check you out," Roy tried.

"I'm fine," the drunk replied as he wiped his face with the back of his hand. "Just leave me alone."

Johnny stood up, holding his arms away from his body. "Sir, are you refusing treatment?"

The inebriated man glowered up at him. "Get outta my face," he demanded, waving his hand. "Get away."

A rumble seemed to traverse the bar, and the paramedics glanced around. The crowd of men had moved closer to them, not overtly threatening but giving warning signals just the same.

Roy climbed to his feet. "Let's just do the MICU and get out of here," he suggested.

Johnny frowned. "Man, I gotta go wash up."

"Well, make it quick," Roy said strongly. "I'll take the equipment out."

"I'll be out in a minute."

Roy picked up the biophone and drug box and started toward the door. The bartender called out to him.

"Where you goin'?" he demanded. "Take him wid you!"

Roy shook his head. "We can't treat him without consent. He refuses treatment."

The bartender glared at the paramedic. "Well, that jus' great. Wastin' my time with you white boys."

Roy sighed, then continued to the door, fighting to make his way through the throng of people. The atmosphere in the bar was going decidedly downhill, with several patrons glowering at his back, and he fervently hoped his partner would hurry. He had a funny feeling about Johnny being alone in such a place.