By Maquis Leader
Author’s notes: This story is set in the Season 6: Reloaded universe. It stands alone and you don't need to read the other chapters before you read this one, but I invite you to do so.
Previously on Third Watch:
Episode 33:Visiting Jersey
“How are you feeling?”
“Sleepy.” Bosco blinked, trying to get Faith to stay in focus.
“Well, you’re supposed to feel sleepy.” She brushed his hair back from his forehead. “They put the good stuff in your IV to help you relax.”
“We’re about ready to take him in.” The orderly told her.
Rose leaned over him and kissed his cheek. “We’ll be right here when you get out, baby.”
“’Kay.” The drugs were working, Bosco wasn’t worried about the surgery anymore. He had a bigger concern, his body felt like it was floating off the bed. “Tie me down…”
“What?” Faith giggled. “Leave it to you to have a kinky dream.”
The orderly unlocked the brakes to the bed and began moving it out of the room. “We’ll let you know when he’s in recovery, Mrs. Boscorelli. You’ve got the pager, right?”
Rose held up the pager they’d given her. “Right here. We’ll be in the waiting room, you won’t have to look for us.”
“It’s going to be a few hours.” The doctor told her. “Go get some breakfast and relax. We’ll page you when he’s ready to see you.”
Watching the ceiling tiles go by, Bosco wondered where he was going. “Faith…”
“I’m here, Bos.” She caught up to him and took his hand. “It’s okay, just go to sleep.”
The midnight blue eyes were unfocused and hazy. “I’m not, Bos, I’ll be right here. I’ll always be here.”
Her hand was pulled from his and Bosco missed the warmth and comfort immediately. “Don’t leave…”
A mask was placed over his face. There were bright lights in his eyes and he blinked.
“Take deep breaths and count backwards from one hundred for me.”
“One hundred? ‘Kay… one hun…”
Everything went dark.
“Mo! Mo, hey!”
Bosco curled up and tried to ignore the voice.
“Come on, Mo, I ain’t got all day. Wake up!”
“Leave me alone…” Mikey was always a pain in the ass when he was trying to sleep in. “Tryin’ to sleep…”
“Hopin’ for a hot dream? Maybe one where Faith takes her clothes off? I’d love to see that.”
“You leave her out of this.” Sitting up, Bosco found himself in his bedroom. His brother was sitting on the end of the bed. “Mikey?”
“Hey, Mo.” Mikey grinned at him.
“Oh my God, you’re alive!” He scrambled to the end of the bed and threw his arms around his brother. “I had the craziest fucking dream!”
“Sorry to be the bad guy here, but this is the crazy fucking dream.” Mikey hugged him back before pushing him away. “What’s with the hugging? We don’t hug.”
“This is a dream?” Bosco looked around. He was in his apartment. “Am I dead?”
“Better.” A big grin covered his brother’s face. “You’re stoned!”
“I’m having surgery.” His hand went to his face. “They’re fixing up my face.”
“Your face looks fine. Ugly as always.”
“Smart ass.” Going to the dresser, Bosco looked in the mirror. His face was unscarred. “I don’t get it.”
“What’s to get?” Mikey flopped over on the bed. “You’re stoned, enjoy it.”
“That’s your thing, Mikey.” He turned to look at his little brother. “I’ve missed you. I’m sorry about what happened. I wish I could have done something.”
“There was nothing you could do, Mo. You know that.”
“Yeah, well, that doesn’t help.” Sitting on the bed, Bosco reached out to take his brother’s hand. “I couldn’t even go to your funeral.”
“It’s not like I was there. That was just what’s left of me.” Mikey squeezed his hand. “Don’t beat yourself up, Mo. I fucked up – nobody but me.”
“When I get out of the hospital, I’ll bring some flowers and come visit you.”
“If you want.” He shrugged. “I’m not there, but if it makes you feel good. Hey, bring me a beer instead! Screw the flowers, bring some brew!”
“Hell, why don’t I just bring you some blow?” Bosco said bitterly.
“Hey, I was clean!” Mikey slapped his arm. “I swear to God, Mo – I was clean.”
“I know, I believe you.” The slap had stung. Weren’t dreams supposed to be painless? “Could I have saved you, Mikey? Could I have done something different when we were kids to keep you from getting into that crap?”
“You know better. You were a kid, just like me. Deep down inside of you, you know that you couldn’t have done anything any differently.”
“Now you sound like my shrink.”
“So tell me your problems. I vill help you find ze answers.” When Bosco looked at him funny, Mikey shrugged. “Okay so I can’t pull off Freud. Gimme a break.”
“Like you know who Freud is?” Bosco snorted. “And he thought everything was about sex – my problems aren’t about sex.”
“They’re my problems, I think I’d know if they’re about sex or not.”
“So the fact that you’re lusting over Faith isn’t a problem?”
“I’m not lusting over Faith!” When Mikey rolled onto his back and pretended to jack off, Bosco felt his face turn red. “Will you cut that out!”
“Come on, Mo. You know you got the hots for her.” Mikey put his hands behind his head and stretched out. “You want her and you ain't got the guts to tell her.”
“I don’t – I don’t want her – “ Even as he denied it, an image of Faith lying in bed and holding her arms out to him popped into his head. “I don’t.”
“You don’t want me?”
Bosco turned to find the Faith from his head lying next to him. He jumped up off the bed. “How the hell?”
“You’re stoned, Mo. Remember?” Mikey raised up and eyed Faith, licking his lips. “Why Officer Yokas, you’re out of uniform. What a bad, bad police officer you are.”
“You quit looking at her!” Leaning over the bed, he pulled the covers up to her neck. “Where’s your clothes?”
“You didn’t give me any.” She winked at him.
“Okay, I’m ready to wake up now.” He pinched his arm. “Damn it, I’m ready to wake up!”
“They’re not done yet.” Mikey pointed to the window.
Curious, Bosco went to the window and looked out. He was looking inside an operating room. Doctors and nurses were working on someone lying on the operating table. “Is that me?”
“You’re sure I’m not dead?” He watched the nurse hand something to the doctor. It looked like a pair of pliers “What the hell was that and what are they going to do with it?”
“I’m sure you’re not dead.” Mikey laughed. “Just relax.”
“Easy for you to say, you’re already dead.” Bosco went back to the bed and sat down. When Faith sat up, he sighed. “Would you just go back where you came from?”
Faith pouted as she vanished.
“Ah, come on, Mo!” His brother whined. “She was going to show us her tits.”
“Have some respect!”
“Why? What do you care?”
“Because I do!”
“Why? She’s just another chick.”
“She’s not!” Bosco clenched his jaw to keep from saying what he felt. “She’s my friend – my partner!”
“So? It’s not like you love her or anything.” Mikey taunted. “You’d just fuck her and walk off.”
“I wouldn’t treat Faith like that! I love her!” He reached out and grabbed Mikey’s shirtfront. “I do love her, damn it!”
“Then why don’t you tell her, Mo?” Reaching up, he cupped his brother’s face in his hands. “Why don’t you tell her how you feel?”
“Because.” Bosco leaned into Mikey, letting him hold him. “Because I’d just screw it up.”
“You don’t know that. You love her and you’d try hard to make it work.”
“I’d try, but I’d just screw it up.” Mikey was rubbing a hand up and down his back, and Bosco felt sleepy again.
“So you’re just going to let Miller have her?”
“He’s a good guy. He doesn’t drink or gamble, and he won’t hit her.” Bosco yawned. “He treats her good, you know?”
“Wouldn’t you treat her good?” Mikey whispered.
“Yeah, but… he’s perfect for her.” Lifting his head, he looked into Mikey’s eyes, memorizing the blue gray so he’d never forget. “And she don’t love me.”
“Are you sure, Mo?”
“I’m sure…” He laid his head back down on Mikey’s shoulder. “I’m sure…”
“Bosco? What are you sure about?”
Faith squeezed his hand again. “Bosco, you need to wake up. The surgery is over, wake up.”
“Faith?” Blinking, Bosco tried to focus on her face.
“Shh… don’t talk. Your face is going to be sore for awhile.” She laid her fingers over his lips. “You kept saying you were sure about something. Were you having a bad dream?”
He shook his head. The dream had been good, and he understood now that he couldn’t tell Faith how he felt. “Mmm – mm – “
“You want your mom? She went to get you some ice chips, she’ll be right back.”
“Mmm – Miller…” His face hurt like hell.
“What?” She leaned closer. “You want to talk to John?”
“Good – guy – good – “
“Well, yeah. I think so.” Faith smiled. “I’m surprised you do.”
“Good – for – you – “ Bosco forced his eyes open, wanting to show her he was serious.
“You think he’s good for me?” When he nodded, she smiled again. “I think maybe he is, Bos. I can’t tell you how good it makes me feel to know that you like him, too.”
He tried to smile, but his heart ached too much. “Want – you – happy – “
“Rest, Bos.” Patting his chest, Faith met his steady gaze with her own, returning the love she saw there.
Closing his eyes, Bosco hid the tears that threatened. Whatever it took, he wanted Faith to be happy. Even if it broke his own heart.