The following morning Heather Darden woke up on the couch of Matt Casey, she wiped her eyes and then sat up to see Matt in the kitchen fixing himself breakfast, he was already fully dressed and ready to start the day.
“I am so sorry. I completely zonked out.”
“No worries. I didn't want to wake you.”
“What time is it?”
“Oops, I have to pick up the boys from grandma's. Okay. Uh, the baking dish is still dirty, so I'm gonna wash it.”
“I'll clean it. I saw this swing set fort type thing at True Value. I've been meaning to build it for Griffin and Ben. I'll bring it and the dish by after shift. If that's cool with you.”
“Thank you, you're... that's very sweet. Mind if I use your bathroom?”
“Of course.” Matt nods as there is a knock on the door. He opens it to reveal Kelly, he hands Matt a bottle and tells him it’s from Benny, he turns to leave when Heather’s voice echoes down the stairs
“Uh... it's not... Hey. Hey! It's not what you think!”
“Yeah. I'm sure you've got it all figured out.” Kelly grumbles as he walks away slamming his car door shut when he gets inside.
Christopher Herrmann hated days like this, Truck 81 were wandering around the neighbourhoods flushing out all of the fire hydrants, Herrmann watched as brown water poured out of the system and out of curiosity he turned to the others asking;
“Hey! Any of you guys know John Pritchard, or are you all too young?”
“He was gone before I came on, but I heard stories.” Matt says
“Piece of work, that one.” Mouch sighs nodding his head
“What, he died or something?” Otis asks
“Yeah! You know, Boden, Mouch and me, we all knew him back in the day. He must have been 20 years older than Boden if that tells you anything.” Herrmann stood up straighter, water was still pouring out of the hydrant but it wasn’t nearly as murky as before.
“What did he die of?” Otis questions
“Old man stuff. I don't know. Funeral is tomorrow up at Grayslake.” Herrmann responds
“Are you guys going?” Otis asks
“Yeah, I guess, you know? We should pay our respects.”
“All right. Hydrant's good to go.” Matt pipes up as the water was now running clear, Herrmann knelt down in front of the system once more and used great strength to close off the water.
“Gabriela, you get to flush the next one.” Herrmann says as they began to walk down the street to the next fire hydrant.
“By the way, saikensha wa saimusha yori kioku yoshi.” Mouch says to Otis as they walked side by side fronting the cue
“What the hell's that?” Otis scoffs
“You bet me I couldn't say a sentence in Japanese. I just said one. You owe me 20 bucks.”
“Okay. "A", I don't remember that. And "B", how do I know you're not just speaking gibberish?”
“It's a sentence.”
“What's it mean?”
“Pay me 20 bucks, I'll tell you.”
“Ridiculous. You tell me and...” Otis is cut off by a young boy running up to them screaming for help
“He fell! We were playing hide and seek upstairs.” He says hectically as they followed the young boy into an apartment complex and into a laundry chute. Matt was shining his torch into the laundry chute to gain a better understanding of the scene in front of him.
“His neck's twisted. He can't breathe.”
“I told Taye not to go in the chute! He knows better!” the boy cries as the firefighters begin climbing stairs to get to a wall two floors up of the boy’s location at the bottom of the chute
“All right, we have to get through this block.” Matt instructs as Herrmann begins to slice through the wall. It wasn’t long before ambulance 61 had also pulled up to the scene
“What's going on?” Sylvie asks as she and Leslie followed Otis up the stairs
“Kid hid in the laundry chute.” Otis explains. Behind the paramedics a woman was climbing the stairs with a shopping bag in her hands when she sees her son crying in the hallway. The firefighters peel back the side of the wall to reveal Taye’s body contortioned into a ball at the bottom of the laundry chute, Boden pulls the mother aside telling her not to look, reassuring her that they would get him out, but Boden wasn’t so sure himself, the boy was in a bad way.
“You the mother?” Leslie asks and the woman just nodded as she clung onto Boden’s turnout coat fearing for her sons life
“You can ride in the back with me. Let's go.”
At the hospital the two paramedics were filling in paperwork when in the distance, Sylvie spots Taye’s mother pacing back and forth in fear, she leaves Leslie to finish the paperwork by herself and makes her way over to the woman.
“What have you heard?” she asks sweetly.
“Um... the doctor says it looks bad. It's a damaged windpipe, so his brain was without oxygen.”
“Well, they've got great surgeons here. They'll do everything they can.”
“You know... Taye has been to your firehouse.”
“His whole class went on a field trip last fall when the school year started. It was all he could talk about for days. He said he wants to be a fireman, help people.”
“That's... that's sweet.”
“Gangs are always calling, but he won't bite. He's gonna be straight and narrow, and I believe that.”
“I'm sure he will.” Sylvie says placing her hand on the mothers before walking back to Leslie who had just finished the paperwork.
Mouch had made himself a sandwich and a coffee and was ready to go and sit down in front of the TV to watch the baseball.
“I don't know if I can handle another season like the last one.” Mouch says taking a seat
“Hope Springs eternal.” Herrmann retorts
“Hope never met a Sox September.” Mouch sighs
“Yeah, well at least you guys have a series win in the last century. Try being a Cubs fan.” Otis says, he was seated at the table brushing Pouch’s teeth
“There's plenty of room on the bandwagon if you want to move to the south side.” Herrmann suggests
“Yeah. What are you, Pouch? You Cubs or Sox, huh?” Otis asks as he pat the dog
“Look at her feet. She's definitely a white Sox fan.” Herrmann says sitting on the edge of the couch
“Guys, put a cork in it. I'm trying to listen to the Hawk.” Joe bites
“Saikensha wa saimusha yori kioku yoshi.” Mouch repeats
“What does that mean?” Otis repeats
“Hey, if they score, come get me.” Matt nudges Joe before excusing himself from the room. While he’s walking down the hallway Boden steps out of his office pulling Matt in.
“Hey, Lieutenant. I want to bring you up to speed on what Kelly's just filled me in on.”
“I'm gonna push to fast-track Peter Mills for a full-time placement on Squad”
“Well it sounds like you guys have it all figured out” Matt nods before walking away.
Later that day Peter Mills had made his way into the firehouse and into Boden’s office as per his request.
“As you're aware, Lieutenant Severide thinks that you'll make a strong addition to Rescue Squad. I just want to hear your take on it.” Boden says sipping his coffee
“I'm gonna bust my ass to make it happen.”
“Why's it so important to you?”
“'Cause I want to be an elite firefighter, sir.”
“And this has got nothing to do with your father?”
“No, sir. This has nothing to do with what my father did or did not do with his time at CFD. This is about me.”
“Thank you, Peter, I’ll have a good think about it and I’ll let you know”
“Thanks Chief” Peter says as he closes the door to Boden’s office and walks out, when he leaves he is greeted by Gabby
“Hey, how's it going? I didn’t know you were stopping by” she smiles
“Been better.” He mumbles scratching the back of his head
“You need me to take care of someone? Give me a name.” Gabby jokes
“Not now.” Peter bites before walking away
Kelly stood in front of the Squad table making sure the k-12 saw was working properly, sure they had used it that morning to pull the kid out of the laundry chute but the last thing any firefighter needed was to be on a call and realising the saw won’t start. Matt then approaches him
“Heather Darden and me, we're just friends. She came over to talk and fell asleep on my couch.”
“Right. Got it.” Kelly picks up the saw and walks away putting it back in its compartment
“I don't know what you want me to say here.” Matt shrugs
“I saw what I saw, Casey. Sell your clean whistle act to someone else, 'cause I ain't buying.”
“You can't imagine you might be wrong about something, can you?”
“I can imagine a lot of things, just not the idea of you rolling around with Andy's widow. Come on. Explain to me why Heather barely talks to me, but she'll sleep with you, even though you're the guy who put her husband through that window?” Kelly bites but all is forgotten when the roller doors smash and gunshots are fired, everyone ducks in panic as shots continue to fire.
Eventually the gunshots stopped, and when Boden deemed it safe all of the firefighters were brought inside and were now huddled around in a group in the common room while a police officer began to speak
“What the hell is going on here detective? This has always been a neighbourhood house.”
“You tell me. No run-ins recently? No fires where one of your guys tried to pop off to the local...”
“We're not cops. People are happy to see a firefighter show up.” Herrmann says, he was standing next to Gabby by the coffee machine.
“Could this be Voight related?” the detective asks and Matt turns to Boden sitting beside him
“When it comes to gang violence, the man has a long reach. He's got a dismissal hearing soon.”
“Not like Voight to stir up the nest if he's trying to free himself.” Matt shrugs as Joe stands up from behind him
“Man, why don't you pick up one of these bangers for something small and trade the bust for what they know about the shooters?”
“Corner boys in this neighborhood are good. We can't catch them with the drugs and make a bust stick. We'll keep our ears to the ground. In the meantime, I'll make sure we have a conspicuous police presence around the station.”
“Meaning what?” Boden asks
“Put a special detail on it. Squad outside. Officer posted in the house.”
“Well, that's fine. So long as the men are safe.” Boden says as the detective and his associates leave. Boden turns back around and is met with an unsatisfied look from Herrmann
“What?” Boden asked, Herrmann always had his two cents to put in over any large group decision made in this firehouse and he wasn’t about to stand down today.
“Cops in the house is a bad precedent. Sends a message to the good residents around here that we're not a safe haven.”
“You rather have one of us be killed?” Mouch asks from his spot on the couch
“Of course not.” Herrmann retorts
“We will let the police handle their business, and we... will handle ours.” Boden orders
At the end of the shift everyone was leaving through the door to the firehouse rather than via the apparatus floor. Joe and Otis lead the line of people making their exit
“Never seen anything like this before.” Otis shakes his head
“So much for being the neighborhood's house.” Joe mumbles in response
Leslie and Kelly went for coffee after work, Leslie took their takeaway cups from the barista and the two made their way over to a small seated area
“Hey, any word on that kid pulled out of the laundry chute?” Kelly asks
“Haven't heard anything yet. Hey, what's going on with you and Casey? It seemed like...”
“Oh, I don't... I don't want to talk about Casey.”
“Okay, fine. We'll just enjoy watching you two mark your territory. So what do you want to talk about?”
“So how would this work? With the, um... insemination?”
“Well, basically, you know, I'd get a hormone injection once a day for 12 days to boost ovulation, then we'd go to a clinic where they have rooms set aside for collection. Meaning, you know, they give you magazines or whatever, and you go in and do you business.”
“I mean, I get that part. How much does it cost?”
“Uh, all-in, 10 grandish”
“10 grand, are you serious? Yeah. You have that kind of cash?”
“I'm gonna stretch some card limits and cobble it together.” Kelly stood up and went over to the sugar dispenser and poured enough sugar into his coffee to rot the teeth of a five year old and when he came back to sit next to his best friend he simply said
“I'm in.” Leslie stands up and wraps him in the tightest hug imaginable.
Mouch pulled his umbrella up and walked out to Herrmann’s car, Mouch did not look impressed and Herrmann could tell
“What?” Herrmann asks
“You picked him up first?”
“Just get in.”
“Now I gotta stare at the back of your head for an hour?”
“Guess it's better than getting shot at at the firehouse.” Herrmann and Boden laugh at Mouch’s joke as he climbs into the back seat of the car complaining about how difficult it was. On the journey to the funeral Boden told a story about his father, when he was finished Herrmann says;
“At least your old man gave a damn.”
“Oh, Bill Herrmann wasn't so bad. I'm friends with Chris's older brother Larry. Your dad would throw the ball with us when he was home.” Mouch reassures him
“Larry did not disappoint him the way that I did.”
“You never told me about your dad.” Boden says opening the conversation
“Aw, sold luggage to department stores all over the midwest. He was on the road more than he was home. He wanted me to chase him into the business like my brother Larry did, so naturally I took the fireman's test. They got this whole thing... Larry and my dad. I don't talk to him that much anymore.”
“You should call him.” Mouch suggests
“I should. It'd be that much worse when he didn't call me back.” Herrmann sighs gazing out the window. It took another half hour but the group finally arrived to the funeral, but there was no signs of anyone anywhere. Concerned they had the date wrong, Herrmann asks an usher;
“Excuse me, is this the Pritchard funeral?” he nods handing the three of them programmes as they make their way into the funeral hall, the only other guests were three men not unlike the ones of 51, sitting in the front row.
“Are you kidding me with this? Didn't he have, like, five sons?” Herrmann whispers to Mouch as an organ player began to play
“Yeah.” Mouch whispers back
“Where's his family?”
“Welcome, friends. We're all here today not to grieve but to celebrate the life of...” the priest began to speak but stopped, unsure of to whom the casket in front of him belonged “John Aaron Pritchard. Matthew 5:4 says, "blessed are they who mourn. For they shall be comforted." The priest continued to speak and at the conclusion of the funeral, they had barely made a step out of the funeral home when Mouch exclaims;
“Let's get outta here.”
“Amen.” Boden retorts
“So, like, I mean, that's it? I mean... half a dozen people, and no family, and a preacher who doesn't even know his name without looking at the program. I mean, where's the truck with a half-raised ladder and salute to a fallen firefighter?” Herrmann complains.
“Chris...” Boden warns
“No, I'm serious. What's my funeral gonna be like when I kick it? Or yours, Mouch, huh?”
“Doubt I'll care.” Mouch shrugs
“All the same, he deserved a funeral with respect for all of his service. And just because he waited a dozen years to die and moved out to the sticks doesn't mean he wasn't a hero.” Herrmann complains, Boden tells the men he’s leaving and Mouch calls shotgun.
The following day as everybody filtered into the firehouse Matt asks the police officer standing outside about the shooter, to which he replies that he knows nothing. Once Matt gets inside he sees Herrmann and asks
“How was the funeral?”
“What's worse than terrible? It was that.” He retorts as Gabby groans from the kitchen
“Blender is too.” Herrmann complains as he tried to turn it on. Gabby sighs standing up and flicking the power point on as the blender begins to rage.
“Bad news.” Joe says holding a newspaper up to his face as he walked in “Remember that kid from last shift? Jumped in the laundry chute? Didn't make it.” Sylvie walks over from the table and picks up the newspaper
“He came here, this kid. He was here on a class field trip. He told his mom he wanted to be a fireman when he got home.”
“Wow, I recognize him. Your first day. Otis fobbed the tour off onto us.” Leslie says standing next to the other blonde
“Man, I remember that.” Otis says
“Funeral's on Friday.” Joe informs him as Herrmann clicks dial on his father’s contact, he only reaches voicemail but he leaves a message.
Kelly walked into Matt’s office filled with rage as Matt sat at his desk doing paperwork.
“You know what the worst part is?”
Matt sighs and prepares himself for Kelly’s unwarranted anger “What is the worst part, Kelly?”
“That you don't have enough sack to admit you're sleeping with Heather. At least come clean.”
“Keep walking. I'm done explaining myself.”
“You haven't explained a damn thing! That's the point!”
“'Cause you're wrong!” Matt yells “Don't come up on me again like this.”
“What the hell is going on here? In my office... now.” Boden yells. When they are in Boden’s office the silence is painful. Boden looks down and then back up at the two lieutenants. “We've been here before. Almost tore this house apart.”
“This time, it's different.” Kelly defends
“Tell me about it.” Boden’s hands were placed firmly on his hips asserting dominance over his two firefighters
“Yeah, Casey, tell him about it.” Kelly bites turning to Matt
“No offense, Chief.” Matt says as he walks away from the scene.
Ambulance 61 were at a scene, a homeless man was under an overpass alone
“So what do you think about this whole Casey/Heather thing?” Leslie asks as they walked ove r to the man
“Uh... I don't know.” Sylvie says unsure
“Hmm. You haven't asked him?”
“Well I mean apart from the academy dinner- which I can assure you was nothing more than Casey reaching out to an old friend- we haven’t talked that much” Sylvie shrugged leaving the subject as they reached the man. “Hey. What's your name?” Sylvie asks leaning down
“All right, let's get you up, Phillip.” The two paramedics take him from the hands and help him up as his pants drop revealing far more than the two paramedics were hoping for
“Whoa! Whoa! Phillip, that is not the kind of full moon I was expecting to see today.” Leslie laughs as she pulled the man’s pants up
“So Severide, huh?” Sylvie smiled
“And who's paying for this?” she asks
“I don't know.”
“You know, there's another, cheaper alternative.”
“Oh, come on.”
“What? I'm just saying. Nature has already worked out a lot of these details.” Sylvie steps into the ambulance as it zooms off with the back doors still open and Sylvie inside. Someone had obviously taken upon themselves to commandeer the ambulance
“I need a 10-1 to East Van Buren, now!” Leslie says into her radio What’s the nature of the call “Someone's stealing our ambulance!”
The thief was not making it any secret that the ambulance was not being driven by a paramedic, the driver was speeding through the streets changing lanes left and right not caring if they caused an accident behind them. The use of road rules was out of the question from this bandit.
“Pull over!” Sylvie screams holding on to the ambulance for dear life, one slip of her hands and she would go flying out the back and into the windshield of the car behind them.
“You can't steal an ambulance!”
“I said shut up!”
“Listen to me, moron.”
“Quit talking to me!”
“This ambulance has GPS! They can track us in the city so they know where we're at at all times! When you hear the beep, that means that they're about to shut down the engine!”
“What are you talking about?”
“They're gonna turn off the engine, lock up the tires, and send your face flying through the windshield!”
“That ain't true!” police cars came up along the side of the ambulance and Sylvie turned on the heartrate monitor, it began to beep and not wanting to risk the fact that Sylvie may be telling the truth the driver slammed on the brakes, and Sylvie climbed out the ambulance as the police officers went around and arrested the driver.
After making a statement to police, Sylvie drove back to where Phillip and Leslie were standing in the snow. Leslie grins when she sees her friends face and ushers Phillip over to the ambulance to finally get checked out.
While Leslie knew that Sylvie was mostly joking about her having sex with Kelly, she couldn’t get the idea out of her head, so when she got back to the firehouse in the no longer stolen ambulance she knocked on the door of Kelly’s office.
“I know this may not be the best time, um... but I have a new proposal. So please don't say anything or make any funny faces.”
“Okay.” Kelly says putting his pen down and turning the spinning chair to face her
“Okay. Uh... I can't afford the insemination. So I've been thinking about plan "B". And I propose... when the time is right, you go into your room with magazines or Skinemax or whatever you need to get yourself ready. And then with the lights out, you signal me by calling out my name once. You'll hear your door open, footsteps. And then you'll be mounted. You will finish your business inside of me as quickly and efficiently as possible. And then I'll be out the door, so you can clean up or whatever you need to do. At which point, I will need to be alone. Most likely to cry. And we will never speak of this to anyone ever for the rest of our lives. And... I thank you for listening. Just think about it.” She excused herself before Kelly could say anything and the man turned back to his paperwork.
When the ambulance arrived back at 51 and the paramedics were walking inside Hadley calls out from the Squad table to Sylvie;
"Hey Brett heard you kicked some ass today"
"Yep" she mumbles visibly uncomfortable not stopping to talk to the group
"You know you could kick my ass any day and I wouldn't complain!" he calls out
"Alright Hadley that's enough" Kelly warned as Sylvie vanished into the doors of 51
Matt was in the laundry doing washing when he gets a text from Heather Thanks for being such a great friend. Really he loads the washing machine and presses start before going into the kitchen to help Gabby fix the oven. Over by the TV, Herrmann stood next to it like a bandit in a kids movie about to kidnap the princess
“What the hell are you doing?” Mouch asks
“I'm not standing near any windows.”
“Well, it ain't exactly easy to watch the ballgame with you staring back at me. You think the shooters are going to text you before they open fire?”
“I broke down and called my old man. I got nothing back.”
“Dawson, what's for lunch?” Otis complains standing up and walking over to the kitchen
“Oh, um, I was bringing in some beef tips, but I don't think they're gonna taste that good raw, so we can do some pimento cheese sandwiches...”
“How about Al's beef?” Joe suggests
“Okay, all right. We'll do Al's beef.”
“Oh, Otis!” Mouch exclaims
“Yeah?” Otis responds with a mouth full of grapes
“Uh, saikensha wa saimusha yori kioku yoshi.”
“Seriously, up yours, Mouch.” Otis says as Boden walks in with a young blonde girl in a paramedics shirt that wasn’t
“Dawson, where're Brett n Shay?”
“Uh, I don't know.” Gabby says looking up from where she was patting Pouch on the floor
“Right here chief” Sylvie grins as the two walk in
“This is Tara Little. She's a candidate. She's gonna be riding along with you guys for the next few shifts for evaluation.”
“Right so I see the real reason they kicked me off ambo was cos of my hair colour” Gabby joked before realising Tara wouldn’t have a clue what she was talking about “-Oh I used to be an EMT before transferring over to truck” Tara smiles politely before turning to the paramedics
“Hey, so nice to meet you. I've heard a lot about you.”
“Only good things I hope” Sylvie grins as she shook Tara’s hand. The two paramedics lead Tara off to the ambulance to show her around, Gabby made her way into the kitchen as she pulled the knobs off the front of the oven pulling money out
“What's that?” Matt asked suddenly worried one of his firefighters was in a low level drug scheme
“Oh, it's... yeah, I keep the cooking club cash hidden here. That's cool, right?”
“Yeah. Yeah, it's fine. I'll get the food.”
“No, I don't mind. I'll grab it.”
“I got it.” He takes the money from Gabby and heads out in the snow to Al’s beef stopping in front of a fire hydrant where a group of kids were hanging around. He gets out the car with his CFD uniform on show.
“I want to talk to whoever's in charge.”
“Nah, get back in your truck.”
“I'm not a cop. I'm not armed.”
“Nah, man, get back in your truck.”
“I just want to talk.” The kid leads Matt into a house where an older man sat in a chair staring at a TV
“You in charge?” Matt asks
“Who wants to know?”
“I'm the Lieutenant at firehouse 51 down the street.”
“Someone tried to pop a couple shots into our house in broad daylight. Could have killed someone. Someone who works to protect this neighborhood every single day. Now I know why. You guys hide your drugs in the hydrants, don't you? Look, we have to flush those hydrants twice a year. Otherwise one of these buildings is on fire... yours maybe. It burns down because there's no water in our hoses. You know, I'm not stupid enough to think that you're gonna give up selling your junk because I come in here, but I'm telling you, you hide it in the hydrants, it's gonna get flushed.”
“No. Like it or not, we all gotta coexist here, right? This is our neighborhood. You don't own it.” Matt says before excusing himself from the house.
Leslie had a huge grin on her face as she walked out to the squad table where Kelly was sitting alone reading the sports section of a newspaper
“Hey. Guess what?”
“Well, my dad just called. He's gonna pay for the insemination. Says he was worried that he'd never be a grandpa.”
“Yeah. So you know, back to plan "A".
Truck 81 were cleaning up after a call, a car accident more than likely caused by the rogue ambulance of the morning. Otis hands Mouch a 20 dollar note before Mouch once again repeats the phrase.
“Saikensha wa saimusha yori kioku yoshi. "Creditors have better memories than debtors." On the way back to the firehouse, Herrmann was being particularly more quiet than usual and Mouch decides to do something about it.
“Hey, Lieutenant, okay if we make a quick stop? Won't take long, I promise.”
“Cruz, take a right here.”
“This the right place?”
“This is it.”
“Aw, come on, Mouch” Christopher Herrmann grumbles as they walk into the building being greeted by Larry Herrmann.
“Yeah. Randy! How are you?” the two hug for a moment before Larry invites them into the building.
“Is, uh, dad around?” Christopher asks after making quick introductions with his brother
“No, he's in Boston. He's supposed to be selling socks to filene's basement, but he's probably already in line for bleacher seats at Fenway. Randy called and said you were down about dad. So come on. There's something you should see.” Larry unlocks the door to Mr Herrmann’s office and invites his brother along with the other members of truck 81 into the room to see trophy cases and walls filled with firehouse 51 and more specifically Christopher Herrmann memorabilia. “You should hear him talk about his son the firefighter. I can't get him to shut up about it.”
Once they were back at the firehouse, Gabby put out a plate of nachos fresh out of the microwave to add to the takeaway food everyone else was helping themselves to when Taye’s mother walks into the firehouse
“Mrs. Leppert” Boden says when he sees her face
“Chief. Hello. I'm sorry to bother you.”
“No, no, no. We're all very sorry about your son.”
“Thank you. You may know he was here once. And... he wanted to be a fireman ever since. Anyway, he would have been happy to know you guys were there at the end. And he would have wanted you to have this. Thank you for what you do in this neighborhood.”
“Thank you.” Boden says as Mrs Leppert excuses herself. Boden pins the photo of Taye dressed as a firefighter on the wall filled with drawings by children they had saved or simply wanted to be firefighters
“We owe this kid. We owe taye better than this. We are better than this.” Boden says and before anyone could bat an eyelid firehouse 51 were giving young Taye a full firemen’s send-off complete with cars and blue’s uniforms. And from their seats in the car Taye’s mother and brother began to cry at the generosity of the firehouse.