The Paramedic Tango
by Lizabeth S. Tucker
"Johnny, I'm not really happy with you right now. I just thought you should know." Roy DeSoto muttered in his partner's ear.
"Uhhh, okay," the beleaguered paramedic replied, staring avidly around the ballroom floor near to where their table was located.
"Roy, leave Johnny alone," Joanne DeSoto ordered her husband. "I think it was a lovely idea. Even if you won't dance with me."
"Jo, I love you dearly, you know that, but dancing? I'm really not that good at it, as you well know. Or you should, after we danced at our wedding." Roy's demeanor brightened. "Remember how your sister threatened me with bodily harm for stepping all over her soft kid shoes."
Joanne reluctantly smiled, well aware that her agile husband was a dancer with two left feet. She shook her head. "I don't know how anyone who does the type of job you do can be so klutzy."
"Hey, just look at Johnny," popped out of Roy's mouth before he thought. He winced as he caught the affronted look on his partner's face as well as his wife's pursed lips. "Sorry, Johnny, I didn't mean it the way it came out."
The dark haired man shrugged. "Yeah, I know. I'm just sorry Lorraine couldn't make it tonight."
Joanne leaned forward and patted Johnny's hand. "Was she ill?"
"Nah, she had to work, got called in to take somebody's shift when they called in sick."
The music changed, the tempo increasing. Joanne's feet began tapping, her body swaying.
Johnny looked at her, then at the dancers. Taking a deep breath, he stood, holding out his hand. "Can I have this dance, Joanne?"
Joanne looked into his deep brown eyes and blinked in shock. "Johnny, this isn't a waltz."
"I know. Trust me, I won't stomp on your feet." He continued to hold out his hand. "Roy? Do you mind?"
Roy shook his head. "Not if you're sure you want to do this," he said doubtfully.
Joanne's smile peeped out. She took Johnny's hand firmly in hers as he helped her up from her chair.
"You wouldn't believe it, guys," Roy said during his next shift. "Jo learned to dance as a young girl, so it didn't surprise me when she danced so well. But to see Johnny twisting and twirling without missing a step...I'm telling you, I was amazed. And that's putting it mildly."
Chet Kelly's mouth was hanging open. Mike Stoker leaned over the table and, using one finger, pushed the firefighter's jaw shut. "You'll catch a fly, Chet."
"We're talking about Gage here, right?" Chet asked.
Captain Stanley looked up from the pot of clam chowder he was stirring on the stove. "What type of dance, Roy?"
Marco was now in shock. "A tango? Do you know how intricate the dance steps are to a tango?"
"I know. But Johnny's body would twist about, dipping Jo and twirling about. It was truly awesome. You should've seen him." Roy knew this next bit of information would give Chet food for thought. "By the time they were done dancing, our table was surrounded by women."
Chet took the bait. "Women? Why?"
Marco answered for Roy. "Women love a man who will dance. One who can do it well would attract every woman in the place. Right, Roy?"
"Oh, yeah. Definitely. He spent the rest of the night dancing."
"Old women, right?" Chet kept trying to shade the story his way.
"Some." Roy enjoyed the smirk on the stocky man's face. Enjoying it even more when it slipped after his next statement. "But most were young. And beautiful."
Johnny, finished mopping the apparatus bay, strolled into the kitchen. "Yeah, I've got enough phone numbers to date a different woman every night for the next three months."
There was silence as Chet digested this information. He turned to Marco and began hurriedly whispering. "Hey, buddy, isn't your sister a dance instructor? Do you think she could teach me how to dance?"
This idea came from two things. The first was watching the movie "Chicago" and enjoying the music and dancing. The other came from memories of a dear friend who was a prime klutz. She could trip over a line drawn on the sidewalk, but when she danced...it was like watching Ginger Rogers.