Title: Fire Away

Author: sockie1000

Genre: Hurt/Comfort, Humor, Friendship- the usual combo

Summary: Of course, how Billy had managed to crash a car on a deserted two lane road 30 miles outside of Omaha was still somewhat of a mystery. One the ODS would solve the second Billy woke up.

Rating: G

Warnings: Does implied het romance count?

Word count: 1750ish

Beta: the awesome Cokie316

Timeframe: about a year after the show ended/real time

Author's notes:

I wrote this story for Faye Dartmouth after a conversation we had about ambulances. I intended to write a long, sweeping, dramatic tale full of hurt and comfort and amazing character insights that would leave you on the edge of your seat, wanting more. Actually, I wanted you jumping out of your seats screaming, "you can't end it there, you evil woman! I demand to know what happens next!" Either that or smiling, with tears rolling down your face, saying "that was the most beautiful story I've ever read." *sniff*

In short, I wanted to write a story like hers.

What came out was a story like mine.

Short, snarky, and about an inch deep.

But I guess it takes all types to make the world go 'round and if I can make you snort into your Diet Coke at least once, I'll be happy.

Before you ask, yes, I did get Faye's permission to post this story. And any references to possibly real people are totally and completely intentional.

At least the ambulance held four people.

Not that crowding three grown men on a small plastic bench was all that comfortable, with their bodies turned at awkward angles and their knees bumping against the gurney. But since the car was totaled, it was either hitch a ride with Billy or stand in the middle of a Nebraska corn field waiting for someone to take pity on them and offer them a lift. And the odds of catching a ride at five-thirty in the morning were slim even without Rick bleeding profusely and Casey glowering.

So the ambulance it was.

Of course, how Billy had managed to crash a car on a deserted two lane road 30 miles outside of Omaha was still somewhat of a mystery.

One the ODS would solve the second Billy woke up.

"You're dripping on me." Casey glared at Rick, then down at the red stain that was blossoming on his white shirt sleeve.

"Sorry," Rick mumbled somewhat crossly as he shifted slightly to his right, his left hand holding a gauze pad up to his bleeding brow. "It's not like we have a lot of room in here."

"Which is why I haven't said anything about you touching me," Casey replied, clearly annoyed.

"We're all touching each other," Michael said with a sigh as his shifted to accommodate Rick's knees, which were now angled in his direction.

"Well, not all of us." Casey glared down at Billy on the gurney. "Some of us have plenty of room."

Rick looked at Casey incredulously. "You're going to begrudge Billy leg-room while he's unconscious?"

Casey snorted. "Considering this is entirely his fault? Yes, I am."

Michael spared a moment to look up at Casey. "Casey, we were asleep. We don't know why Billy crashed. And we certainly don't know if it was his fault."

"Yes, we do."

Rick rolled his eyes. "We're not going through that again, are we?"

Casey remained silent.

Rick sighed. "Apparently, we are going through that again."

"Do you have a better explanation?" Casey challenged.

"A better explanation than Billy's girlfriend is a bad luck charm?" Rick snorted. "Let's see… maybe the storm that canceled our flight in Winnipeg hit here, too. Maybe the road was slick. Maybe Billy swerved to miss a deer. There are a multitude of possible explanations, Casey."

"And yet, only one real reason. Her."

"She's not even here," Rick replied. "You really can't pin the accident on her."

"Wanna bet?"

Rick shook his head. "You do realize you've reduced Billy's relationship to a joke from an old episode of the Brady Bunch."

Casey shrugged. "If the tiki fits…"

"Come on, Casey," Rick argued. "You can't possibly believe in bad luck and curses."

"I didn't until this past year. Now I'm seriously reconsidering my position. And even you can't deny Billy's been hovering somewhere between zero and 70 percent since he met her."

"More like 150 percent…" Billy murmured, stirring on the gurney.

"Hey." Michael smiled down at Billy and grasped his shoulder, glad that he was awake if for no other reason than to save Michael from having to referee Rick and Casey's argument.

Billy reached his hand up and rubbed his eyes, wincing in the process. The paramedic sitting at his head seemed entirely too excited to see him awaken and rewarded Billy's return to consciousness by shining a penlight in his eyes, then jotting down notes on a chart. Billy blinked a few times to recover, then shielded his eyes from the ambient light as he took in the ODS who were crammed onto a small bench by his side.

Michael looked rumpled and somewhat concerned but Billy didn't see any obvious damage. Rick was sitting in the middle, smiling and bleeding from a cut over his left eye. But otherwise, he also looked ok. Casey, sitting the farthest from Billy by his feet, had some blood on his shirt sleeve. But it could easily be attributed to Rick's cut. And based on the way Casey sat with his arms folded across his chest, Billy surmised Casey was fine.

Well, based on that and the way Casey was glaring at him.

Casey's scowled. "Just so you know, I'm holding you personally responsible."

Billy sighed and closed his eyes, hoping it would help his enormous headache. "And a fine good morning to you, too, Casey."

"This is not a good morning."

"Of that I am well aware, mate."

"How do you feel?" Rick asked, bringing the soaked gauze down from his own wound.

Billy thought about it for a minute, taking in his overall status, before replying.

"Like I got fed through a wood chipper."

"Close," Casey replied dryly. "It was a combine."

That got Billy to open his eyes and squint at Casey quizzically. "Really? A combine?"

"Shucked you like an ear of corn," Casey dead-panned.

"And the car?"

"Now a hood ornament on a John Deere."

"Ahh…" Billy grimaced against the pain and closed his eyes again. "Well, that would explain it."

"Yes," Michael said, evenly, "That would explain the cuts and bruises and your probable concussion. But it doesn't explain why you crashed into a combine in the first place."

"Oh, that…" Billy's looked chagrined. "I don't really remember. But I surmise I fell asleep and ran off the road."

"You should have woken me up if you were tired," Michael scolded half-heartedly. "I could have taken over driving. Or at least talked to you and kept you awake."

"I was talking to someone… on the phone…" Billy's voice tapered off.

Casey's eyes narrowed. "It was her, wasn't it?"

Billy sighed but didn't answer.

Casey looked at Rick. "Told you."

Rick rolled his eyes.

"Why were we in Nebraska anyway?" Michael asked, trying to change the subject. "I thought we agreed to most direct route to Langley was through Iowa."

"Ah, that…" Billy shrugged. "Well, I thought since we were so close, we could take a little detour and stop in Omaha for breakfast. I know a great little place there and it was no more than a half-hour out of our way."

"Was she coming to meet you?" Michael asked, not unkindly.

Billy waited for a moment, looking a lot like a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar, before nodding.

"Wait- you were talking to her on the phone and she was coming to meet you?" Casey threw his hands up in the air, exasperated. "You might as well have painted a bull's-eye on your chest and yelled 'hit me with your best shot' to the cosmos!"

"I just wanted to see her for an hour or so," Billy explained hastily. "Just to talk and get some coffee."

Casey bristled. "If that's what you kids are calling it these days."

"No, really. She's a brilliant conversationalist."

"Clearly," Casey replied sarcastically. "She talked you right to sleep."

Billy ignored the remark. "And she's smart. And kind. And her grasp of Shakespeare… it's just amazing."

"As is her grasp of bad karma."

"You still don't think my mishaps are her fault, do you?"

"Let me put it this way," Casey huffed. "You've been with the ODS seven years. And for the first six, you were shot once. Just once. In the past year, how many times have you been shot?"

"I'm not really sure I follow…"

"And blown up?"


"And stabbed?"

"You see, that wasn't…"

"And beaten? And impaled? And fallen deathly ill?"

Billy sighed, giving up. "What's your point?"

"My point is that your life expectancy has been cut in half since this woman entered into your life," Casey said crossly as he subconsciously rubbed his chest. "And I, for one, think you would be a lot better off if you broke up with her."

"The course of true love never did run smooth. And even if she is cursed, that's a risk I'm willing to take," Billy said, smiling dreamily.

Casey rolled his eyes and looked at Michael and Rick for support.

He didn't find it. They each had the same goofy far-off look on their face that Billy did.

"I can't believe I work with such a group of pathetic, hopeless romantics," Casey groused. "It's a miracle I'm not dead already."

"She does seem really nice," Rick offered.

"And she does make Billy happy," Michael added.

"You just like her name," Casey shot back.

"That's true," Michael conceded with a smile.

Casey was about to roll his eyes again when he noticed the ambulance had stopped.

"Thank God we're here," he mumbled. "I don't think I can handle another moment in this shmoop wagon."

Mercifully, he didn't have to. The ambulance's back doors swung open and the three men piled out into the ER's parking lot.

"Come with me, sir," one of the ER attendants said to Rick as she grasped him by the elbow and guided him towards the hospital entrance.

"I might as well get started on the paperwork," Michael said with a shrug, then followed behind Rick.

Casey was left standing alone as the paramedics pulled the gurney out of the ambulance and popped the wheels in place. They started to push Billy inside when he suddenly shot his hand out to stop them.

"Can I have just a moment before we go in?" Billy asked.

Casey looked at Billy, surprised, before he followed Billy's gaze across the parking lot. And then he understood why Billy wanted to stop. Because climbing out of the passenger side of a red sports car was perhaps the most gorgeous woman Casey had ever seen.

"Ahh…" Billy smiled broadly. "There's my girl."

Casey stared, dumbfounded, as the woman started to make her way across the parking lot toward them.

"That's your girlfriend?"

"Aye. She must have heard our car crash over the phone and knew they would bring us to the hospital."

"She's..." Casey paused as he searched for the right word before finally concluding, "pretty."

"Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind," Billy replied. Then he chuckled as he looked over at Casey, who was still gaping. "But she is beautiful, isn't she?"

"You could say that…" Casey's voice trailed off as the driver's side door opened and an equally impossibly beautiful woman emerged and began walking their way.

"Did I mention she has a sister?" Billy asked.

Casey was silent for a few moments. Then he cleared his throat. "I think you forgot to mention that fact."

"You know, I could introduce you to her. That it, if you're not too worried about her sister being cursed, too," Billy teased, his eyes twinkling.

Casey continued to watch the woman walk towards him, not believing his eyes.

"I think that's a risk I'm willing to take."

"And if the cosmos decides to hit you with its best shot?"

Casey looked down at Billy and grinned.

"Then it can fire away."