The Trainee With A Motive

Chapter 1

First Day Impression

"Sure, Chief, I've heard of Roy DeSoto and Johnny Gage and I'd love to train under them. I've heard they're the best of the best." The young-looking recruit said with his voice full of excitement. Derek Frost was as green as he was young. He had just completed his paramedic/firefighter program and had been eagerly waiting for his first assignment. He was hoping he would be assigned to Station 51. Everyone knew that was the best station and everyone knew Roy DeSoto and Johnny Gage were the best paramedics in the county.

"Good, then you'll start on Tuesday morning at 0700 sharp. I'll call Captain Stanley today and let him know to be expecting you."

The young recruit was so nervous he tripped over his chair and almost fell down. He caught himself by grabbing the edge of the Chief's desk. He looked up at the Chief who smiled as he said, "Take it easy. We've spent a lot of money on your training and would like to get a few days out of you before you get hurt."

"Yes, sir. Sorry, sir. It won't happen again." Derek said nervously as he tried to regain some composure. He couldn't believe he made himself look like such a fool in front of the Chief. He gently closed the door as he left the Chief's office. Little did the chief know this was all an act. Derek Frost had his own motives for joining the fire department and wanting to be assigned to work with DeSoto and Gage.

The Chief shook his head and chuckled as he watched the nervous recruit leave his office. He picked up the phone and called Captain Stanley to tell to expect his new trainee on Tuesday.

When Captain Stanley hung up the phone, he walked out of his office and into the kitchen where the rest of the men were watching the evening news. "Roy, Johnny, can I see you a minute in my office, please?"

"Sure thing, Cap." Roy said as he got up from the couch followed by Johnny.

Johnny slowed down, tapped Roy on the shoulder and whispered, "Hey, Roy, what did we do now?"

"I don't know, but we'd better not keep him waiting." They picked up their pace as they walked into Captain Stanley's office.

"Are we in trouble, Cap?" Johnny asked as he closed the door behind them.

"Why would you think that? Just because I called you into my office, doesn't mean you're in trouble, or do the two of you have a guilty conscious? Is there something I need to know about?"

Roy was quick to answer, "No, sir," as he sat down. Johnny followed his partner's lead and took a seat in the chair next to Roy's.

"I just want to let you know that you will be having a trainee starting the next shift."

Johnny smiled, raised his eyebrows at Roy as a sign of relief, "Is that all?"

"Who is it, Cap?" Roy asked looking a little relieved himself.

"Derek Frost. He just graduated from the paramedic program at Rampart last week." Captain Stanley smiled as he leaned back in his chair and put his hands behind his head, "From what the Chief tells me, we was pretty excited about getting to work with the two of you so be nice."

"Nice. Be nice. Cap we're always nice." Johnny said as he sat forward in his chair.

Just then the tones went off, "Station 51, engine 12 respond for house fire at 2168 Doss Road. Two one six eight Doss Road. Time out 0830"

The three men jumped up and ran out of the office. Roy and Johnny ran to the squad as Captain Stanley picked the mic up and said, "Station 51 KMG365." He ran to the engine and climbed inside. Mike was already in the driver's seat and the other men were taking their positions on the engine. The squad and engine left the station with their light and sirens blaring. The bay doors closed as soon as the vehicles were clear.

On the way to the house fire Johnny said, "Another trainee. It'll be nice to have another set of hands on calls."

"Yeah, he can carry the equipment for a change." Roy smiled as he gave Johnny a quick glance.

They returned to the station from the fire and everyone gathered in the kitchen. "I wish people would learn not to leave stuff cooking on the stove unattended." Chet said as he poured himself a cup of coffee.

Roy poured himself and Johnny a cup of the brew and sat down next to Johnny, "Me too. They were lucky this time, no one was hurt."

"So, Cap says you two are going to have another trainee on the next shift," Marco said as he opened the refrigerator. He looked at the contents as he decided what he was going to fix for lunch.

"Yeah, his name is Derek Frost." Roy said.

Marco had decided on enchiladas for lunch and, as usual, the rest of guys loved them. They always liked it when it was Marco's turn to cook.

The squad had a couple of calls during the day which turned out to be pretty minor. One was a ten year old with a small laceration on his hand. His parents decided they would take him to their own doctor after Johnny bandaged the boy's hand. The other call was for an elderly woman who fell and just needed help getting off the floor. She was very nice and grateful for their help.

They had an unusually quiet night and didn't have a single call. They were glad for the rest. Their last shift consisted of one call after the other and they had been up all night.

As they were in the locker room changing to go home after their reliefs arrived, Roy closed his locker and said, "Hey, Thee, do you and Aubrey want to come over for dinner tomorrow night? Joanne and I would love to have you."

"I thought I was Me and you were Thee?"

"No, remember I said I was Me and you're Thee?" Roy smiled as he remembered the first time they had called themselves Me and Thee. It was after meeting the two detectives Starsky and Hutch from Bay City a couple of years ago. It became Roy and Johnny's way of telling each other that they were best friends and so much more than just partners at work.

"Okay, Me. Let me check with Aubrey and I'll let you know later tonight. It would be nice to see the kids again."

Johnny and Aubrey were at the DeSoto's for dinner the following evening. The two families had a nice time together.

When Johnny walked into the station on Tuesday he was greeted by a young man he'd never seen before. He held his hand out and said, "Hi. You must be Derek Frost. I'm Johnny Gage. My partner, Roy, should be here any minute now."

Derek shook Johnny's hand, "Hi. I'm Derek. I gotta say, I'm glad to be working here. Everyone says this is the best station."

"We'd like to think so." Came a voice from behind Johnny. Johnny didn't need to turn around, he knew it was Roy.

"See, there's Roy now." He said smiling. He was always glad to see Roy at work. The worked so well so well together he didn't like having to work with anyone else. A trainee was different because they would still be together.

"Hi, I'm Roy DeSoto and welcome to the best station in the county."

"I'm Derek Frost. I'm looking forward to it. I hope we get some good calls today."

"Our last shift was pretty mundane, but we'll see what we can do." Johnny said smiling as he started walking toward the squad.

They showed Derek where all the equipment was on the squad. They also showed him how they checked everything every shift. Derek was excited when Roy let him call Rampart himself for the daily radio check.

They just finished the radio check when their first call went out over the speaker Squad 51 man down possible heart attack at 1382 Miller Street, one three eight two Miller Street. Time out 0800. Roy jumped in the driver's seat Derek was next to him and Johnny sat by the passenger side. Captain Stanley picked up the mic and replied, "KMG365."

Johnny told Roy which way to go as they zipped through the streets. Johnny knew a few short cuts and they arrived within six minutes of the call going out. Johnny grabbed the biophone and drug box, as Roy took in the oxygen tank and had Derek bring in the heart monitor.

When they entered the house they were met by a very agitated woman who appeared to be in her early sixties. "Please hurry. He's in here."

"Yes, Ma'am. Can you tell me what happened?" Roy asked as he followed her into the kitchen.

"He was eating when he said his chest hurt and now he says he can't breathe!" Her voice sounded very panicky.

The three men followed her into the kitchen and saw the elderly male sitting in a chair. He was obviously diaphoretic and having trouble breathing. Roy put the oxygen mask on him immediately.

Johnny looked at Derek, "Derek, put the patches on him so we can send Rampart a strip." He then squatted at the man's eye level, "Sir, can you tell me where you're hurting?"

The man talked as if he couldn't catch his breath, "Chest, hurts. Left arm." The man put his hand on the left side of his chest then rubbed his left arm.

"It's okay. We're going to help you. Just relax, you're going to be just fine." Johnny said calmly as he watched Derek put the patches on. Johnny then took the man's blood pressure, pulse, and respirations. Johnny noticed that Derek didn't seem to talk to the patient or his wife. He didn't seem interested in the patient at all.

Roy was on the phone talking to Rampart and when he was ready for them, Johnny gave him the vital signs. Dr. Bracket ordered an IV with ringers to be started and to give the patient 10 mg of MS to be administered through the IV for the pain.

Derek's eyes got big and Johnny knew that he wanted to start the IV himself. Johnny nodded at him and watched as his trainee started the IV as if he'd been doing it for years. The strip was sent to Rampart and when the ambulance arrived, Roy let Derek ride with him to the hospital. In the ambulance, Roy thought the same thing Johnny did; Derek didn't seem interested in the patient.

Before they left the hospital, Dixie said the man was going to make it because of the excellent care he received on the way to the hospital. It made Derek smile to know that he helped save the man's life. Roy and Johnny showed Derek where they restocked the supplies used on calls. Derek paid close attention to where the supplies were kept and what the procedures were for checking them out. He paid real close attention to where all the medications were kept.

They had four more calls during their shift and on the last call Roy let Derek restock the supplies himself. Roy checked behind him and Derek had picked up all the right supplies. They thanked Dixie and left the hospital.

The next morning everyone had left except Johnny and Roy. Johnny said, "You know, Roy, I don't know what it is about Derek, but something is bugging me about him. I can't put my finger on it."

"He seems to know what he's doing, but I think you're right. There is just something about him. Maybe he's just nervous about getting to work with the best." Roy replied as he closed his locker and bent down to tie his shoes.

Johnny chuckled, "Yeah, maybe we are a little intimidating. Hey, are you Joanne and the kids coming over tomorrow?"

"Wouldn't miss it for the world." As they started walking out of the locker room Roy put his hand on Johnny's shoulder, "Next shift let's try not to be so intimidating." Johnny laughed and nodded.

On his day off Derek met with an older man in a run-down looking apartment. "I told you that I need time. I can't just go grabbing stuff my first day on the job now can I? I told you this is a good plan but we can't take too much at a time or someone will get suspicious. I know where the supplies are now and when I go back on Friday I'll see what I can get."

"You'd better. I'm paying you good money for this and you'd better come through."

"I said I'd get it, now get off my back!" Derek slammed the door as he left.

Chapter 2

Missing Supplies

Johnny and Roy decided to arrive early for their next shift. They relieved the C-shift and checked the squad before Derek came. During their days off they had talked quite a bit about what was bothering them about Derek. They didn't think it was just nerves. It occurred to them that Derek seemed too interested in the drugs. The drugs that were on the unit and the drugs they had access to at the hospital. They didn't have any proof of anything and nothing was missing so they knew they couldn't go to anyone with their concerns just yet. If they were wrong, they could ruin a young man's career. No, they would wait and keep an eye on their young trainee.

Roy and Johnny decided they would keep an extra check on all the supplies, especially the pharmaceuticals. They didn't carry very much on the unit but they were responsible for every drop of it.

They had just finished the check when Derek came strolling in. He didn't appear to be as eager as he had been for his first shift. Roy said, "Hey there Derek, how's it going?"

"Oh just fine, Roy, just fine. Hi, Johnny."

"Hi, Derek. Did you enjoy your days off?"

"Sure did, but I'm ready to get back to work."

One by one the rest of the A-shift came in and Captain Stanley assigned them to their daily chores. It was Johnny's turn to cook and Derek offered to help him. Johnny was never one to turn down help, especially when it came to cooking.

Roy glanced at Johnny then Derek and said, "Hey, Derek, let's check the squad out before we get a call."

"Hey, guys, do you mind if I check the squad out by myself. I'm going to have to do it sooner or later anyway, right?"

"Sure. Just let us know if you find anything missing." Roy said as he walked into the kitchen. Johnny followed him.

Derek looked through all the equipment paying special attention to the drug box. It would have been easy to take one of prefilled syringes now, but thought he'd better wait. His target wasn't the drugs on the squad. He was after more than what the squad had to offer.

The tones went out for 'Squad 51 respond to 126 Morris St for a seventy-year-old female possible broken hip.'

Derek put the drug box back in the cabinet. Johnny picked up the mic and responded, "KMG365." Roy got in the driver's seat and Derek sat next to Roy. Johnny took the seat on the passenger side.

They arrived on scene and knocked on the door. There was no answer, but they could hear an elderly woman yelling, "Please, help me." Her voice was weak and she sounded like she was in a lot of pain. Johnny looked through the window and could see her. She was in the kitchen lying on the floor.

"Can't we just break the window?" Derek asked as he looked through the window.

"No, but the police will be here in just a minute."

Just then Vince walked up, "Whatya got, guys?"

"There's a woman hurt lying on the floor. We need to get in." Johnny said as he looked through the window again.

Vince looked and saw the same thing. He took his flashlight out of its holder on his belt and broke a small window pane on the front door. He used the flashlight to remove enough of the glass to be able to reach his hand through and unlock the door.

Roy went in first followed by Johnny and Derek. Roy opened the orange box and set up the link to Rampart while Johnny handed Derek the equipment to take the patient's blood pressure. As Derek took the blood pressure, Johnny looked at the woman's right hip. He could tell the hip was probably broken by the way it was rotated outward and it was shorter. She denied any other pain, but could not move her right leg without crying out in pain.

Dr. Brackett gave Roy permission to start an IV and to give 5 mg morphine IV to start with and if she was still in pain he could give her another 5 mg.

Derek started the IV and Roy drew up 5 mg in the syringe. He allowed Derek to push it telling him morphine needs to be pushed slowly.

The ambulance arrived as the morphine started showing signs of its desired effect. The patient was transported to the hospital. Johnny and Derek rode in the ambulance with her. Johnny watched Derek carefully and again, he didn't seem to pay attention to his patient. Johnny held the woman's hand and reassured her that she was on the way to the hospital and she would be well taken care of. She said she was not hurting right now and thanked Johnny and Derek for helping her.

Roy and Johnny were telling Dixie the patient had been lying on the floor for about twelve hours before she could get to the phone to call for help. As they were talking to her, Derek was restocking the supplies. He was alone in the drug cabinet for the first time. He looked at everything and picked up the supplies that had been used on the run. He looked around to make sure no one else was watching him and he picked up a couple of extra vials of morphine. He stuck the extra supplies in his jacket pocket and hurried back to Roy and Johnny.

Dixie and her relief nurse were counting the supplies in the drug cabinet and the count was coming up short. They both counted everything several times. Dixie had no choice but to call the head of security and report the missing morphine. The security officer filled out a report.

Dixie went into the break room and talked to Dr. Brackett and Dr. Early. She told them everything and was obviously very upset about the whole incident. This had only happened one other time before and that was when a man dressed up as an orderly and stole supplies from different parts of the hospital.

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. The squad had a couple of minor calls and they did not need to return to Rampart. Station 51 had a long night. They had been called out to a paint store that was fully involved by the time they arrived. Everyone was out of the building and no one had been injured. It took them a few hours to put the fire out and when they returned to the station they had to clean the hoses and other equipment. They never went to sleep and everyone was very tired and relieved when the other shift came in.

Chapter 3


As Derek opened the door to his car he dropped a couple of the small vials he had taken from the hospital. He looked around to make sure he wasn't seen and bent down to pick them up.

He was seen. Johnny recognized the morphine vial when he picked it up. Johnny pretended to look away and started walking back into the station. Unfortunately for Johnny, Derek saw him and stopped him. Derek pulled a gun on Johnny and told him to get into the driver's side of his car. Johnny looked around hoping someone else would see what was going on, but they were alone in the parking lot. Everyone had already gone except for Roy and he was in the shower when Johnny left. He knew Roy would notice his vehicle was still in the lot when he left, but would he know what happened?

Johnny just stood there looking at the gun that was pointed at him. He didn't want to get in the car. "I said get in, Johnny." Derek said with a tone that let Johnny know he meant business.

Johnny moved slowly toward Derek's car, "Okay, okay, just put the gun down will ya, before that thing goes off." Derek lowered the gun and Johnny opened the car door and got into the driver's seat. "Where to?" He started the engine.

"Take a left out of the parking lot."

Johnny made a left turn out of the parking lot. Derek told him to keep driving out of town. "What are you going to do to me?"

"I don't know yet. I wish you didn't see that."

"Yeah, me too." They drove in silence for about ten more minutes when Johnny asked, "You can just drop me off someplace. I won't say anything to anyone."

"I'm not that dumb. Look, Johnny, I don't plan on killing you if that's what you're thinking. We're going to meet someone then we'll decide what to do with you."

Johnny had an idea as he was driving. He remembered when he had been kidnapped with Detective Starsky and Starsky carved Me & Thee on a door to let Hutch know they were there. He took his pen out of his pocket slowly and slid it into his left hand. Derek was looking out of the passenger window at the time. Johnny thought 'if I can write Me and Thee, Roy will at least know I was in this car.' It was hard to write with his left hand without seeing what he was doing but he managed. "So you became a paramedic to steal drugs from the hospital? Is that what this is about?"

"Let me ask you something, Johnny. How much do you make in a year?" He didn't give Johnny time to answer, "Whatever it is, it's not nearly what you could be making. Just a few supplies here and there and you're a rich man. Don't you want to be rich?"

Johnny and Roy had often come up with get-rich-quick schemes but they were all legal. It would never cross his mind or Roy's to do anything illegal. The thought of what Derek was doing made him nauseated.

Derek had Johnny drive him to a building on the outskirts out of town. As he pulled up, Johnny saw another vehicle already there. Derek told Johnny to turn the car off and hand him the keys. Johnny did as he was told. Derek still had the gun and told Johnny to get out and the two of them went into the building. The building looked like it used to be a small restaurant.

When Derek walked in the other man said, "It's about time you got here." His voice was angry.

"I got held up on a fire."

"Who the hell is he?" The man said as he saw Johnny.

"Me, I'm no one. I'll just leave." Johnny stated to turn around.

Derek held the gun up and Johnny heard it as he cocked the trigger, "I don't think so, Johnny. Have a seat."

Johnny sat down. He was trying to keep calm. He was pushing the thoughts of his wife and daughter out of his head. He had to stay focused on getting himself out of this mess.

Derek took the drugs he had stolen from the hospital and set them on the table in front of the other man. "Here, Keith, here's the stuff you wanted. Unfortunately, this will be last of it. Johnny here saw me drop it in the parking lot."

"So you brought him here!"

"What was I gonna do with him? I couldn't just leave him."
Keith shook his head, "Yeah, yeah. Well, what do want to with him now?"

Keith found some rope and tied Johnny's hands to the table then they went into another room. Johnny tried to get his hands untied. He struggled until he could feel the ropes burning his wrists. He felt the rope cut into his wrists. He had to stop struggling. He listened to the argument the two men were having. Derek shouted, "We don't have to kill him! We'll leave him tied up here. By the time they find him, we'll be long gone. It's not necessary."

"You shouldn't have brought him here. This is all your fault!"

"He saw me, I couldn't just leave. Look, let's just leave him here. It will be a couple of days at least before anyone finds him. Come on, I don't want to kill anyone."

Johnny couldn't hear anything else after that so he didn't know what his fate would be when they finally came out of the room. "Derek…"

Derek cut him off, "Relax, Johnny, no one's going to kill you."

"No. We've decided to leave you here. With any luck someone will find you in a day or two." Keith said laughing.

"You're just gonna leave me here tied up like this?"
"Would you prefer the alternative?" Keith pointed a gun at him.

"No. I think I'll be just fine for a couple of days. Will you at least give me a glass of water?"

Johnny was moved to the back room of the restaurant and tied up. Now he was sitting on the floor with his hands tied around a water pipe. Derek put a glass of water where Johnny could reach it. Keith bent down, slapped Johnny's face and said, "Now be a good boy, Johnny." Johnny clinched his teeth and turned his head away from Keith. He had plenty of things he wanted to say, plenty of things he could have said but knew it would be best not to antagonize the man.

Derek looked back at Johnny as he was leaving the room and whispered, "I'll make sure someone finds you in a couple of days."

Johnny put his head down, "You do that, Derek."

Chapter 4

The Search

Roy left the station and walked to the parking lot. He noticed that Johnny's car was still there. He went back inside the station and looked for him. Everyone said they saw him leave about ten minutes before Roy did. Roy thought 'maybe Aubrey picked him up.' But his instincts told him that something had happened to Johnny and he wasn't going to let it go. He went back inside the station and called Aubrey and she hadn't heard from him. He voiced his concerns to the B-shift captain and the rest of the crew searched the entire area for Johnny but he was nowhere to be found.

Because of Roy's concerns, the police were called. When Vince came, he told Roy about the missing drugs from the pharmacy at Rampart. It didn't take Roy long to put two and two together. He told Vince that he and Johnny had felt that there was something about Derek they didn't trust. They couldn't put their finger on it and he had no proof but he told Vince about Derek restocking supplies at Rampart yesterday afternoon. "I don't know how I know this, Vince, but I know Derek has something to do with Johnny's disappearance."

Vince called the police station and an APB was put out on Derek's car and Johnny.

While Vince was calling the police station, Roy called Joanne to let her know about Johnny being missing. He let Joanne know that he would go to Aubrey himself and tell her in person. He didn't want to tell Aubrey the news on the phone. His next call was to Captain Stanley. He knew he would want to know that Johnny was missing. Hank said he would be right over. Roy told Captain Stanley that he was going to take Aubrey to his place and he would be back.

As soon as Roy was cleared to leave by the police, he headed to tell Aubrey. When she saw Roy instead of Johnny coming to the door her heart sank. It was a fireman's wife worse nightmare to see another fireman come to the door. She opened the door slowly, not really wanting to hear that Johnny was in the hospital or worse. In a soft voice Roy said, "Aubrey, Johnny's missing."

"What do you mean he's missing? I talked to him just before he left the station. He told me you guys were up all night fighting a fire and he was going to be a little late."

Roy took her hand and guided her to the couch where they both sat down. "When I left, I saw his car in the parking lot. That's when I called you earlier. We've searched everywhere and can't find him. Now the police are looking for him."

"Oh, Roy, where could he be?" She cried as she put her head on Roy's shoulder.

"We have an idea. There are some drugs missing from the hospital."

"You think Derek's involved don't you? You think maybe Johnny saw something and Derek has him?"

Roy held her hand, "I'd like to take you and Delia to my place. You can be with Joanne while I go back and look for Johnny. We don't know anything right now."

"You know, Roy, you're his best friend and you know him better than anyone, even me. If you believe that Derek has him then he…"

"I also believe he's okay. Come on; let's get you to my place." He stood up and put a few things in the diaper bag as Aubrey picked up Delia from the crib.

Joanne went outside as she heard Roy pull up. She took Delia from Aubrey who was trying to hold back her tears. "Any news yet?" Joanne asked Roy.

He couldn't bring himself to say anything he just shook his head no. He made sure Aubrey made in the house safely then he told the two women that he was going back to the station to look for Johnny.

Captain Stanley called every member of the A-shift and they were all at the station ready to help look for Johnny. It made Roy feel good that they would all search for Johnny, and that they were all close friends. The police were against it but they all wanted to search and had made up their minds they were going to look for their friend with or without police permission.

Vince's Captain, Gene Steel, was in charge of the search and he gave the A-shift the names of streets they could search. The agreement was that they had to go in pairs and they had to stop and call in if they found anything. They were also to check in every half hour. The men all agreed and were given their assignments. Roy and Captain Stanley were together, Marco, Chet, and Mike were put on one team. The police started their search at Derek's apartment and found nothing.

Keith and Derek ditched Derek's car and took off in Keith's. The police found Derek's car about four in the afternoon on the outskirts of town. As soon as they found it, they called for Roy to come look at it. Roy and Captain Stanley met the police where they found Derek's car in a back alley downtown. Roy walked to the car slowly not knowing what to expect. The policeman said, "We'd like you to look at this, Roy." The officer pointed to the open driver's door and Roy saw the words Me & Thee written in ink. "Do you what that is?"

Roy nodded, "It means Johnny was in this car. It means Derek did something to him."

Chapter 5

The Escape

When Derek and Keith left, Johnny waited about ten minutes before he even tried to escape. Once he was sure they were long gone, he picked up the glass of water, drank it and broke the glass. He smiled as he said, "That was stupid on their part." He used the broken glass to cut the ropes. He got up from the floor and peeked out of the window. The cars were both gone and he didn't see anyone. He looked around the restaurant and found a phone, picked it up and listened for a dial tone. He put it back down, 'Oh well, that would have been too easy,' he thought. He knew he would have to walk to town and that would take the rest of the day, he was a good twenty miles out.

He looked around the kitchen and found a two-quart thermos and put some water in. If he was going to be walking the rest of the day he would at least have some water. He was tired, scared and nervous as he cautiously opened the front door and stepped outside. He took a deep breath and started walking. Then he thought about leaving a message so Roy would know he had been in the old building. He went to the front door and smiled as he found a knife and carved Me & Thee on the door. "Roy will know I was here too." He started walking toward town. Johnny figured that it would be safe for him to walk on the road because Derek and Keith were trying to get as far away as they could as quickly as they could; they wouldn't be coming back. He had little hope of being picked up by anyone as there was little traffic on this particular road.

Johnny had been walking about two hours when he sat down next to a tree. He drank some water and rested. He had been up all night fighting that fire and he was tired. He was also worried about Aubrey and Delia. What did Aubrey think when he didn't come home? Was anyone even looking for him yet? He knew he had to keep going and have more positive thoughts. He stood up and said, "Roy would have seen my car in the parking lot. He knows I'm missing. By now there will be people looking for me."

Johnny had no idea just how many people were looking for him. Every available police officer was on the streets. The fire Chief allowed all on duty personnel to patrol the streets in their areas and most of the off- duty personnel volunteered to join in the search. The police helicopter was in the air too. No one knew just how far out of town Johnny had been taken.

Derek's car had been found but they no idea where to take the search from there. The local police were going through Derek's apartment again to see if they could find any leads.

Roy asked if he could look for Johnny from the helicopter. The police thought that having another set of eyes in the air was a good idea and allowed Roy to join them in the air. Captain Stanley paired up with Marco.

Roy spotted the old restaurant and the pilot landed the helicopter. They made Roy wait until they checked it out. After waiting, rather impatiently, Roy was called inside. He was shown the Me & Thee on the back of the door. He knew that meant that Johnny had been there too and probably left on foot.

Johnny kept putting one foot in front of the other for hours. He had walked about ten miles. His body was wearing out and he knew it but he had to keep going.

Johnny was lying face down on the side of the road when Roy spotted him from the helicopter. They radioed their location as the pilot set the chopper in the middle of the road. Roy ran to Johnny and rolled him over, "Johnny, Johnny, can you hear me?"

"Roy, is that you?" Johnny replied weakly.

Roy helped Johnny sit up, "Yes, it's me, partner. I found you. You're going to be alright."

Johnny reached his hand out and Roy grabbed it, "Roy, it was Derek. He was…" Johnny went limp in Roy's arms. Once Roy determined that Johnny had no physical injuries other than some minor cuts on his wrists, the pilot, co-pilot and Roy picked Johnny up and put him in the helicopter.

Roy had to relay information from the police dispatcher to Rampart to let them know he was bringing Johnny in. Roy didn't have any equipment with him but he was sure, from what little Johnny said when he was conscious, that he was suffering from exhaustion and dehydration. Johnny's pulse was 80 and his respirations were 18. The fact that he had a radial pulse told Roy that Johnny's systolic blood pressure was at least 90. Dr. Brackett said that they would be ready for him when he arrived.

Captain Stanley drove to DeSoto's place and told Joanne and Aubrey the news that Johnny had been found and he was on the way to the hospital but Roy was with him and said he was going to be fine.

Joanne knew it was too much to take all four kids to the hospital. She offered to watch Delia so Aubrey could go and be with Johnny. Captain Stanley drove Aubrey and by the time the helicopter landed, the rest of the A-shift had heard the good news and they were all there.

Roy told Dixie and Dr. Brackett that Johnny was in and out of consciousness. Dixie told Roy to take him treatment room 2. Roy stayed with Johnny and started an IV on him. Dixie took Johnny's blood pressure and it was normal.

Johnny woke up again and saw Roy standing next to him. "Roy, you found me." Dixie left the room.

"Yeah, I found you, partner. You're going to be alright."

"What about Derek and Keith? Where's Aubrey? Derek just took this job to steal drugs from the hospital."

"They'll catch him, Johnny, and that Keith guy too."

Dixie had gone to the waiting room and sat next Aubrey. "He's really going to be okay, Dix?"

"Would Roy let anything happen to that partner of his? And you know he's got the best doctor in there with him. It looks like he's suffering from exhaustion and dehydration but nothing serious. Come on, you can see him now."

Aubrey walked in just as Johnny asked about her, "I'm right here, honey." Aubrey said as she went to Johnny's side and kissed him.

"As far as Derek and Keith go, the police are looking for them now." Roy said.

When Dr. Brackett finished checking Johnny out he told him that he was suffering from dehydration and exhaustion.

"Hey, that's what I said." Roy said as he looked at Johnny then Dr. Brackett.

"Johnny, I'd like to keep you overnight and keep you on that IV. If you're feeling alright in the morning I'll let you go then."

Johnny started to protest but Aubrey spoke up, "Now, G-man, if Dr. Brackett thinks you should stay then please stay." She looked at Dr. Brackett, "Are all men this stubborn?"

Dixie said, "Yes." Dr. Brackett frowned at her.

"Okay, okay, you don't have to gang up on me, I'll stay." He pointed his finger at Aubrey, "But just one night." Dr. Brackett laughed at him.

A police officer came in the room and introduced himself as Detective George Stevens. He was dressed in a suit and tie. Johnny giggled a little as he remembered how different Starsky and Hutch dressed. Johnny told Detective Stevens all he knew about Derek and Keith. He never heard what Keith's last name was. The police already had a description of Derek from his fire department photo ID. Johnny gave him a full description of Keith. Detective Stevens pulled a couple of photos out of his pocket and showed them to Johnny. Johnny spotted the photo of Keith right away. Detective Stevens nodded and said, "I thought so. We've been looking for him for a while now. This is the most brazen thing he's tried to pull. Derek is a cousin of his and he's never been in any kind of trouble. We have an APB out on both of them. Don't worry, Gage, we'll find both of them."

Johnny was getting very tired again and it did not go unnoticed by Roy or Dr. Brackett. "Okay, that's enough for now. Johnny, I want you to get plenty of rest tonight if you want to go home in the morning."

Detective Stevens thanked Johnny for his help and said that he would like for Johnny to call him if he could think of anything else.

Roy and Aubrey accompanied Johnny upstairs to his room. Roy waited outside to give them some privacy. He called Joanne and said he'd like to stay with Johnny if that was okay with her. She knew Johnny needed Roy as much as Roy needed to know that Johnny was really okay and didn't object. She said that she and the kids would be just fine. Aubrey only stayed a few minutes because she could tell that Johnny was really tired and needed the rest. She also knew that Joanne had her hands full with four kids. Aubrey told Johnny that she would be staying in their room at the DeSoto's. Joanne asked her earlier if she would stay the night. Johnny was happy about that.

When Aubrey left Johnny's room, Roy came in. He slowly walked over to Johnny's bedside and pulled up a chair. "You sure know how to worry me, you know that?"

"I'm glad you looked for me."

"Of course I looked for you. Why would you think I wouldn't look for you?"

"I didn't mean it like that. I mean I'm glad you noticed I was missing."

"Oh. I knew you were missing as soon as I saw your car in the parking lot and we couldn't find you. The police found Derek's car."

"Did you see it? What I wrote, I mean."

Roy smiled and patted Johnny's hand and said, "I saw it, partner. Thanks. I saw it on the restaurant door too."

"Roy, will you…?"

"I'll stay with you as long as you want me too, pal."

Johnny smiled and seemed to relax as he drifted off to sleep. Roy covered him up and held his hand, "Sleep, partner, sleep. I'll be right here."

Roy was asleep in the chair when Dixie came in a couple of hours later. She didn't say anything as she covered Roy up with another blanket and smiled as she left the room. It was breaking the rules but she didn't care. It wasn't the first time they stayed at their partner's bedside.

Chapter 6

Back Home

The next day, Dr. Brackett and Dr. Early came in Johnny's room and checked him over as Roy watched. Johnny said that he was fine and wanted to go home. He promised both doctors that he would get plenty of rest at home. Captain Stanley had relieved him from his next shift already so he would have a few more days to recuperate. "Roy, I trust you will see to it that he gets his rest today and tomorrow." Dr. Brackett as he smiled.

"Between me and Aubrey, we'll make sure of it." Roy smiled and nodded.

"Well, Dr. Early, what do you say we give this bed to someone who really needs it?"

"I think that's a good idea, Dr. Brackett." He looked at Roy and Johnny both, "Seriously, take it easy the next couple of days."

"I will, I promise. Now, will you take me home, Roy?"

"Sure, Johnny. Do you want me to take back to my place or yours?"

"I think I'd like to go home to my place. We need to pick up Aubrey and the baby though she doesn't have a car. Cap Stanley took her to your place."

"Okay. You'll probably get more rest at your place anyway. Hey, you and Aubrey can come over for dinner tonight if you're not too tired."

"That sounds like a great idea."

Detective Stevens knocked on the opened door and Johnny said, "Come in, Detective."

"I just wanted you to know that we apprehended both Derek and Keith. We have them in custody and with your help they will put away for a long time. "

"Sure. What do you want me to do?"

"Testify. We need your testimony to put them both away for a long time. With your testimony we can get them on the drug charges, kidnapping, and about half a dozen other charges."

"You got it." Johnny said without hesitating. He wasn't about to let them get by with everything they did to him.

"They had their preliminary hearing this morning and were denied bail. The trial will probably be in about a month."

"You can bet I'll be there."

And he was there. Almost a month later the trial was held. With Johnny's testimony and the evidence from the hospital, Derek and Keith were both found guilty and sentenced to twenty years in jail.

The men from station 51 celebrated the news with a cookout at Captain Stanley's. Hank sat in his lawn chair drinking a beer watching the men under his command. Johnny and Roy were cooking hot dogs on the grill, Chet, Mike, and Marco were telling the kids some tall tales about a fire they had put out the previous shift. Chet almost fell through the roof but Mike and Marco caught him just in time. As he watched his men he felt very proud of each one of them. They were one big happy family and he was glad they were all back together again.