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[personal profile] daylight_darknight
And now for something completely different. How long ago did I promise to write this? I finished the first part so long ago I was sure I'd posted it already but apparently I didn't. Trying not to post things before I finish them but these chapters can sort of stand alone and today I finished off the drafts of parts 2 and 3 so I thought I might as well post part 1

Title: EMS and SRU
Characters: Wordy, Ed, Toby, Oz, Liv (this chapter)
Rating/Warnings: PG
Genre: Angst, Hurt/Comfort, Humour
Word Count: 1762 (this chapter)
Spoilers: None
Summary: The SRU deal with paramedics almost every day. They're not supposed to have favorites but there are two who are growing increasingly close to their hearts. Various meetings between Team One and Toby and Oz.

Chapter 1: Wordy

To say it hadn't been a good day would be an understatement. Any day when they were forced to shoot a subject wasn't a good day. Any day when they were forced to shoot the subject and both a hostage and a member of the team got shot as well was a disaster. And as the negotiator of the day, Kevin Wordsworth felt the blame fell entirely on him.

“You did everything you could,” Ed said as the EMS helped Wordy onto a stretcher, a bloody bandage wrapped tightly around his wounded leg.

At least, it was Wordy himself who had been shot and not another member of the team. He had enough guilt as it was. He couldn't get the woman's terrified face out of his mind. She'd been staring pleadingly at him the whole time the man held the gun to her head. Wordy had thought he was getting through to the guy when he'd finally pushed the woman away. Then before anyone realized what was happening, the subject had quickly raised his weapon and shot the woman in the stomach before aiming at Wordy. Luckily, the Sierra shot hit the subject just as he was firing and his arm jerked so the bullet intended for Wordy's head ended up going through his right thigh. Wordy didn't feel lucky though.

Another ambulance had rushed off with the wounded hostage a few minutes ago. Wordy had been too busy dealing with the overwhelming pain in his leg at the time so he didn't get a chance to see how she was doing. Now, he was too afraid to ask. He didn't want to hear the bad news. He didn't want to hear how he'd gotten her killed.

A hand slapped his shoulder.

“Hey, you listening to me, Wordy?” Ed asked. “That guy was too far gone and you know it.”

“Yeah,” Wordy said tiredly not meeting Ed's eyes.

From the tone of Ed's voice, Wordy knew his friend wasn't buying it. “I'll see you at the hospital as soon as we're done here,” he said. “We'll talk more then, okay?”

Wordy just nodded.

“Look after him,” Ed said turning to address the paramedics as they loaded Wordy into the ambulance. “I need my buddy back in one piece.”

“Don't worry,” the taller of the two young men replied with a smile. “We'll take good care of him. I promise.”

They finished loading the stretcher, the back doors of the ambulance were slammed shut, and soon they were speeding away sirens blaring.

Wordy didn't know why they bothered going at such a pace. It wasn't like he was seriously injured, not like that woman, the woman who'd been counting on him to keep her alive. He didn't even know her name. The EMS guy who'd stayed in the back with him was speaking, explaining what he was doing as he gave Wordy a shot of morphine and inserted an IV, but Wordy wasn't really paying attention. His mind was still on the woman. Not even the pain in his leg was enough to distract him. The scene kept replaying itself in his head. The subject pushing the woman away. The gun going off. The woman falling to the ground. He just wished he knew if she was going to be okay.

“She'll be okay.”

Wordy's head jerked up and for the first time took a good look at the paramedic leaning over him. He was young with scruffy dark hair, large blue eyes, and a calm, reassuring smile. Wordy wondered if he was new to the job. He didn't recall seeing him before, but he saw so many EMS these days he tended to see the uniform and not the face.

“The woman who was shot,” the EMT explained. “I know the guys who took her in and the people waiting for her at the hospital. She's in good hands.”

Wordy frowned. Had he been that obvious?

“You'll be fine too,” the man said before he could ask. “I'm Toby, by the way. The crazy man at the wheel is Oz.”

There was a 'Yo' and a waved hand from the front of the ambulance before they suddenly lurched to the side as the vehicle did a quick turn.

“Don't worry. He does actually know what he's doing. We've haven't had any accidents.” The ambulance lurched again. “At least, not yet,” he added. “How's the pain?”

“It's fine,” said Wordy. The pain in his leg had receded a bit and he guessed the morphine must be kicking in. Of course, as soon as his attention was brought back to his bullet wound, it reminded him of what had happened, of the woman who was probably dying as they spoke.

“Good,” said Toby interrupting his thoughts once more. “We'll have you up and dancing in no time.”

“Yeah, you'll be back waltzing with the best of them,” put in Oz.

Wordy snorted recalling many awkward moments on the dance floor. “I've never been much good at waltzing.”

“How 'bout Salsa?” asked Toby. “Swing?”

“Hip-Hop? Tap? Ballet?” suggested Oz.

Turning to the driver, Toby raised his eyebrows. “Ballet? Really, Oz?”

“Hey! I did some ballet.”

“Seriously?”

“Yeah. Mum thought I'd grow up to be a great dancer, said I had the feet for it. Real high arches, you know. Fortunately, a few months of me stumbling around in class proved to her I have as much grace as a duck in cement clogs.”

The ambulance swung violently around another corner causing the equipment surrounding them to rattle loudly and forcing Toby to brace himself against the side. “That's probably a good thing,” he said. “I don't think the leotards would have really suited you.”

“Hey, I'd look damn good in a leotard and you know it.”

Wordy couldn't help smiling. Were these guys an EMS team or a comedic duo? They reminded him of his own team those times they were back at the base in the gym or in the locker room, or patrolling the streets on those slow days when no one was shot and no one died.

“My second eldest takes ballet,” he said suddenly. He smiled wider as he recalled the time he'd gone to the class to watch, all those little girls hopping, twirling, and running about in their little pink outfits. His daughter hadn't been any better than the rest, but he'd been insanely proud of her all the same.

“You've got kids?” questioned Toby.

“Yeah. Three. All girls.”

“Wow,” exclaimed Oz. “An all girl household. That must be something special.”

“It is,” he replied. “It really is.” And he wouldn't trade any of them for the entire world.

Toby smiled. “You must really love them.”

“I do,” Wordy admitted. Just thinking about his girls made him feel better. Knowing they would be there when he got home was what got him through the day. Their smiling faces always washed away the dark moments that haunted him.

“We're here,” Oz called out just before the ambulance came to a halt.

Wordy looked up surprised. The trip had been much shorter than he'd expected. Either he'd been more distracted than he'd realized or this Oz guy was a real speed demon.

“Thank you for flying Oz airlines,” announced the paramedic. “We hope you enjoyed your trip. Please remember to collect all valuables before disembarking, especially IV bags, and don't forget to recommend us to all your friends.”

Wordy chuckled, but as the ambulance doors were opened and they started unloading his stretcher, reality hit him once more. The terrified face of the nameless woman flashed through his mind and he felt the guilt resettle heavily in his gut.

Doctors and nurses surrounded the stretcher. “What have we got,” asked a woman in a white lab coat. She had asian features and long hair pulled back in a ponytail.

“Gunshot wound,” said Toby rattling off the details of the wound and Wordy's vitals as they made their way into the hospital.

“Okay,” the woman said. “Take him to Trauma Bay 2.”

Propelled by the various hospital personnel, the stretcher rattled its way through the hospital doors and into the emergency room while Wordy dully stared at the ceiling. Around him, he could hear the normal sounds of a crowded ER, but they seemed muted and far away. He wondered if the hostage had arrived here too. The woman with no name.

A voice suddenly broke through his thoughts. It was that paramedic, Toby, again. Wordy glanced over surprised to see him still at his side.

“Hey, Liv,” he said and Wordy realized he was addressing the female doctor.

“Hmm?” she replied absently. They seemed to have stopped in some hallway and she stood on the other side of his stretcher as she went over a chart.

“Do you know how that other gunshot victim is doing, the woman who was just brought in?”

Wordy couldn’t believe the young paramedic had chosen to ask the one question he didn’t dare ask. He held his breath, even his heart seemed to stop beating as he waited for the answer.

“She's in surgery,” the doctor said. “But nothing vital was hit and it looks like she'll make a full recovery.”

The overwhelming feeling of relief was immediate and a woosh of air escaped Wordy's lungs. He sent prayers up to every god imaginable as he thanked them for keeping the woman alive. He may have screwed up but at least he wouldn’t have that woman’s life on his conscience whatever her name might be.

“Thanks, Liv,” said Toby giving the doctor a wide grin. He turned to leave, but suddenly stopped and swung back around. “By the way, what was her name?”

“Ah…” Liv checked through the charts she held. “Melanie Cabelle.”

“Melanie,” Wordy whispered to himself. Now he knew. She wasn’t just another nameless victim anymore. She was Melanie and she was alive. And maybe in some small way, Wordy had helped save her life.

He looked up to thank the paramedic for taking care of him as well as asking the questions he hadn’t been able to, but Toby was gone. He had vanished amidst the other hospital personnel. Now that Wordy thought about it, it seemed kind of strange that the paramedic had known exactly what to ask. Wordy had never mentioned it so how could he have known? The constable pondered this for a moment, but people soon surrounded him once more as they tended his leg and his curiosity about the odd paramedic was forgotten.



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