Attack On Camelot
By Maquis Leader


Rated R

Author’s note: This story is set in the Season 6: Reloaded universe and was the final chapter. It stands alone and you don't need to read the other chapters before you read this one. Please see the note on the main page.

 

Previously on Third Watch



An eager young rookie came to the 55 with visions of saving the world. Paired with an older, wiser veteran, he learned exactly how the world worked. And saw his partner gunned down one night.

Two eager young rookies came to the 55 years later ready to take on the world. Their lives intertwined until an outsider couldn’t tell where one ended and the other began.

An eager young rookie came to the 55 years later ready to take up his father’s legacy. Working with his father’s old partner, he soon learned that his father’s shining image was a lie.

Now all their hard work and trust will be tested in one night of fire.


Episode 75, the season finale: Attack On Camelot




The lobby of the 55 was crowded. Officers in uniform and in plainclothes were standing around as if waiting for something. Bosco spotted several people who were off-duty, and a chill chased over his skin. That was never a good sign.

"What's going on?" He asked.

"What isn’t going on?" Reyes told him. "Santiago was shot."

"Is he alive?"

"Barely. He's in surgery. Get this, supposedly they're bringing Marcel Hollis in from Rikers to set up a peace treaty with the gangs."

"The gangs and who?" Bosco fell sorry for Santiago. He tried to warn the guy that hanging with Cruz would end badly.

"With us."

He stared at Reyes. He had to have heard her wrong. Peace between them and the gangs? They were the police, nobody made war on them. "You're kidding me, right?"

"I wish I was. They gunned Santiago down just a couple of blocks from here."

"Bosco, come on." Faith tugged at his arm. "I want to get Emily upstairs where it's quieter."

"What? Oh, yeah, okay." He'd forgotten they'd brought Emily down to the house with them to do the paperwork on vamp boy.

The noise was making his head throb. Asking Reyes to let him know if Santiago made it out of surgery, Bosco followed Faith and Emily upstairs.

"Hey, Bosco. I hear you used your head for a weapon." Jelly grinned. "’Bout time you used it for something."

"Shut up." His head hurt too much to come back with anything better.

"You okay?" Faith asked.

"Yeah." Bosco collapsed into his chair and began searching through his desk for the forms they'd need.

"IAB called." Jelly told them. "They'll be here pretty soon, said not to go nowhere."

"I know the drill." This wasn't the first time he'd had to deal with IAB. It was standard procedure after firing a gun. At least he'd get three days off.

Watching Bosco pulled the clip out of his gun and put them into an envelope, Faith was struck with a sudden sense of déjà vu.

"You used your partner's weapon to shoot Mann?"

"I'm going to go get my backup."

She nodded as Bosco left the room.

"Do I have to fill out all of these?" Emily looked at the stack of forms.

"No, we’ll do that, baby." Faith brushed a stray curl out of Emily's face. "I will anyway, Bosco's not that good with paperwork."

"He's good with you."

"Yeah." She patted Emily on the shoulder. "Stay here with Jelly, I'll be right back."

Faith found Bosco in the locker room, sitting on the bench with his head in his hands. "Bos? You sure you're okay?"

"I'll be okay, I've had harder knocks on the head."

"Maybe you should stop rushing in." Opening her locker, she took out the bottle of aspirin and handed him two.

"Maybe." He agreed.

"Thank you."

"For what?"

"For saving Emily."

"You don't have to thank me." Getting up, he brushed past her on his way to the sink.

"Bosco, you could have been killed – " Again. "You didn't have to go in there."

"The hell I didn't! Emily's face was all busted up and she was scared. What else was I supposed to do?"

"Call for backup and wait – “

"Wait?" Bosco couldn't believe what he was hearing. "That weirdo was going to kill her! You really think I should've waited?"

"No." Tears welled up, choking her. "No – but anybody else would’ve – “

"Yeah, well, I ain’t anybody else."

"You could've been killed, Bos." Just like at the hospital. "You didn't have to do what you did." She swallowed hard, forcing the tears down. "Thank you."

"You're thanking me?" Anger began to boil within his gut.

"You saved Emily, Bos. You saved her for me."

"I didn't do it for you!" After all they'd been through together, Faith still didn't understand in. She couldn't see how he felt about her and Emily and Charlie.

"Bos – " She reached out for him as he stormed past her.

"Don't you thank me! Don't you fucking thank me!" He slapped her hand away and left the locker room, slamming the door behind him.

The glass rattled and shivered. There was a crashing and breaking sound and Faith turned, confused that the sound came from behind her. A window overlooking the alley was broken, and as she watched, a small object bounced across the floor toward her.

"What the hell?" It took a moment for her mind to register with the object was. Crap!

Bosco had his temper back under control, by the time he entered the office. Faith didn't know how he felt about her -- never had and never would -- so it didn't do any good to be angry.

He smiled. His shrink would be proud of him. Bosco smile broadened as Emily looked up and smiled at him. To hell with what his shrink thought.

Patting her on the shoulder, Bosco started around the end of the desk. Lets get started --"

A loud sound rattled the room. Bosco looked up. That had sounded like an explosion. “What the hell was that?” He reversed course. “What was that?”

As he stepped into the hall, there was the second explosion and the lights flickered. Dust sprayed from cracks in the wall. Emily screamed and for a moment he was back at the World Trade Center, feeling the world crumble around him. Shaking off the flashback, Bosco turned and put a hand on her shoulder, squeezing gently. "Stay here with Jelly. I’ll find out what's going on."

"I’ll watch her, you’ll be okay, kid." Jelly assured her.

In the hallway, Bosco followed the smoke to its source. The doorway to the detective’s locker room stood open, smoke and flames pouring out past the shattered door.

"Oh my God …" Had Faith still been inside? Grabbing the fire extinguisher off the wall, Bosco stepped inside and sprayed wildly. "Faith!"

"Over here!"

He turned toward the sound of voice. "Where?"

"Behind the lockers!" She coughed as smoke began filling up the small space she was in.

"Behind the lockers?" The lockers been blown over, leaning against the wall at a canted angle. Faith was trapped in the small space beneath them. "Hang on!"

"Hurry!"

Bosco sprayed the fire eating along the floor and wall next to the lockers. When the extinguisher quit, he cursed and threw it aside.

"Bos! It's hard to breathe in here!"

"Bitch, bitch, bitch!" The lockers were heavy, if he couldn't move them, he'd have to go for help. He didn't like that option.

Another explosion rattled the building and he stumbled as the floor heaved under his feet. "What the hell is going on?" His old fears from 9/11 came back. The sounds and sights urging him to run away.

Ignoring his racing heart and the pain in his chest, Bosco wedged himself between the wall and the edge of the lockers.

"Faith, I'm gonna push and I want you to try and crawl out, okay?"

"Wait, let me get as close to you as I can." She crawled along the gap between the wall and the lockers as far she could. "Okay, I'm ready."

"On three. One -- two --" He braced his palms against the wall and pressed his back into the metal lockers. "Three!"

Faith heard Bosco grunt as he strained to move the lockers. Slowly they shifted, and she scrambled out past his legs. "I'm clear!"

The lockers crashed back against the wall as he pivoted out of the way.

"Where’s Emily?" She grabbed his arm and led him from the burning room.

"With -- Jelly --" He gasped. Pain shot through his bad leg, this is way beyond anything his physical therapist wanted him to do.

"Come on, we've gotta find out what the hell is going on."

Putting an arm around his waist, Faith pulled Bosco against her side, supporting him as they hurried down the hallway.

They met Jelly as he was pushing Emily out of the detective’s office. "We gotta get out of here!"

"You think?" Bosco snarled.

"What's happening?" Emily clutched at her mother.

"I don't know, baby. Come on, let's go."

Downstairs, Lieu was snapping out orders. When he saw Faith, he shouted at her. “What the hell was that?”

“Someone threw a grenade into the locker room.”

“Sounded like another one by processing.” Reyes told him.

Lieu picked up the radio from the desk. “5-Base to Central. We need ESU and the bomb squad at the station house. Also notify FD we have a large fire here, Central.”

“Roger 5-Base.” Central answered.

Lieu spotted Emily and he hollered at Faith. "Take her out of here! Go across the street and see what's taking those bucket boys so damn long to get here!"

"Has anybody called 911? Up" Jelly joked.

"Smart ass." Lieu gestured toward the door. "Everybody outside!"

"Lieu, what's going on?" Bosco stopped next to the desk to catch his breath and give his leg a rest.

"You tell me and we'll both know." He shook his head. "So far looks like a couple of grenades have been tossed at us."

"Are you kidding me?" Even Mann hadn't attacked the precinct house directly. "Someone's lost their mind."

"Go on, get outside where it's safe." Lou ordered.

"What about you?"

"I'll be out as soon as I'm sure everyone else is out." This was his house and he wasn't leaving anyone behind.

"Boss --"

"Get out, Bosco!"

" Okay, but you don't come out in five minutes, I'm coming back in here after you." Reaching across the desk Bosco, clasped Lieu’s hand for a moment.

Outside, Faith pushed Emily down the steps, whatever was happening, she didn't want Emily anywhere near the danger zone.

"Faith! Are you okay? Is Emily, okay?"

Faith looked up to see Rose rushing up to her. "What you doing here?"

"We heard that someone broke into your apartment." Rose stepped up onto the sidewalk. "I was picking John up from the hospital when we heard. Are you okay?"

"Yeah, we're fine, Rose. But we need to go across the street."

Sully, his arm in a sling from the accident, followed Rose between the parked RMPs. "Is that smoke back there?"

"Someone threw a couple of grenades inside."

"What?" Sully’s jaw dropped. "You're kidding me, right?"

As if on cue, an RMP at the far end of the block exploded, rising up on a fireball that threw it against the precinct house. The next two RMPs in line quickly followed suit, raining flaming metal on the other RMPs, the street, and through the windows of the precinct house.

"Holy crap!" Davis ran toward them from down the block. "I go park the car and all hell breaks loose!"

"We've got to get across the street!" Faith turned Emily in the direction of the fire house.

The big doors had begun to open as if welcoming them, as the firefighters of the 55 realized their neighbors were under attack.

A large tan SUV barreled down the street and Faith was pushing Emily down even before her mind could fully register the gun barrels pointed at them. "Get down!"

Sully had spotted the guns as well and was shoving Rose to the sidewalk, covering her with his body.

Bullet shattered the windows of the remaining RMPs beside them, littering the sidewalk with broken glass.

"We've got to get inside!" Davis helped Sully pull Rose to her feet.

"Not inside -- we can't!" Faith protested as Davis tried to herd them toward the front door.

Another burst of gunfire as the SUV made a second pass cut off the argument and sent them all face down the sidewalk once again.

Glass bit into the palms of her hands and Faith held back cry of pain. Emily was already crying, and it wouldn't help to see her mother doing the same thing.

"Let's go!" Getting up as the gunfire stopped, Faith hauled Emily to her feet. "Inside -- get inside!"

Bosco was rushing out the door, and he grabbed Emily to pull her inside. "What's going on out there?"

"We’re under attack!" Before she could say anything more, another burst of gunfire blasted the front windows, spraying them with glass.

"Everybody down!" Lieu bellowed. He grabbed his radio once again. “5-Base to Central, 10-13! Shots fired! We need those units forthwith, the precinct house is under attack! Repeat, the precinct is under attack!”

“Roger, 5-Base, units are on their way.”

They rushed behind the desk, Bosco pushing Faith and Emily down to shield them with his body. Sully did the same for Rose while Davis threw himself under one of the benches beneath the windows.

Bosco’s weight was heavy, smashing Faith's face against the cool tile floor. He flinched against her as another explosion from outside shattered the second-floor glass windows that overlooked the desk.

"Bosco!" This was too much like that day at the hospital. Gunfire and screaming, Bosco lying on top of her and taking the bullets meant for her. Faith reached up and clutched at his arm. "Bosco!"

"Are you hit?"

The explosion and breaking glass ended and Bosco rolled off Faith. "Are you hit? Where are you hit?" He ran his hands over her body searching for wounds.

"I'm okay -- are you okay?" She clutched his shoulders relieved to see he was alive and unhurt. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah." Over her shoulder, he saw his mother sit up and brush glass out of her hair. "Ma?"

"Maurice, baby, are you all right?"

"Ma, what you doing here?" He took her hand as she reached for him.

"Time for family reunions later, Bosco." Lieu interrupted. "Take Faith and Sully -- go get the shotguns from the gun locker and hand them out."

Nodding, Bosco got to his feet, careful to crouch low enough to be shielded by the desk. He reached for the gun at his hip, surprised to find the holster empty. "Crap!"

"What?" Faith flinched, expecting Bosco to have discovered a bullet wound.

"My gun’s upstairs on my desk!"

"Use your back up." Pulling her own gun from its holster, Faith turned to Emily. "You stay here where it's safe."

"Mom, no!" She didn't want to sit and wait by herself while her mother went to do something dangerous.

Rose did want to stay behind either, but she knew it was the smartest thing to do. "Emily, honey, stay here with me. Keep me company, okay? Together, maybe we won't be so scared, huh?"

Signing, Emily nodded. She was trapped with no way out. She slid over next to Rose and put an arm around the older woman's shoulders.

"I'll be right here." Lieu assured Faith.

Davis crawled across the floor to the bottom the stairs. The shooting had stopped, but he wasn't taking any chances

As they headed for where the shotguns were stored, Faith noticed Bosco's hands were empty. "Where's your gun?"

"I never got my back up of my locker." Bosco felt nearly naked. Except for his time the hospital and rehabbing, he was never without a gun.

Sully chuckled. "Never thought I'd see the day when Bosco would be without his pop guns."

" He's probably ten pounds lighter." Davis grinned.

"Whatever, shut up."

The door was locked. Standard procedure, but Bosco didn't have the key. Luckily, there was a standard procedure for that as well. Stepping back from the door he raised his good leg and kicked the door open.

“Good job, Bos. Hope they don't take that out of your pay."

"I don't think they’re going to notice, Sul." Bosco grabbed a shotgun out of the rack and tossed to Sully. "You haven't seen the locker room."

He handed out a shotgun and ammunition to Davis and Faith as well, keeping one for himself and an extra one for Lieu. "Ready? Let's go."

There'd been no more shooting and Lieu had come out from behind his desk to shout orders. He took the shotgun from Bosco with a nod. "Go outside and check the perimeter. I want everyone out of here quick as possible. Reyes, you and Jelly go check the back."

Reyes nodded and followed Jelly.

"You got it, boss. Faith --" Bosco jerked his head toward the doors. "We'll go towards Arthur. Sully, you and Davis head the other way."

"Got it."

A smile crossed Lieu's face. 55 David and 55 Charlie. It felt like old times.


 

 

 

 





Outside, Bosco and Faith hurried along the sidewalk, stepping around pieces of burning debris. When they reached the end the block, Bosco held his hand up, motioning to Faith to wait.

Cautiously, Bosco peered around the corner. The street was empty. No cars and no gawkers. Gunfire tended to have that effect. Across the street, the firefighters and the officers that had made it across earlier were beginning to venture back outside as well.

"I got nothing." He reported when they met Sully and Davis back in front of the main doors.

"Same here." Silly frowned. "I get the feeling they're not done yet."

"Always a ray of sunshine."

At the end of the street two tan Hummers squealed into the intersection and around the corner at top speed. They moved out to the middle is street and raised the shotguns but the Hummers were already too far away.

Behind them, Carlos walked up. "Hey, what's going on, guys?"

The foursome spun around and pointed their shotguns at him. Carlos dropped the bags he was carrying and his hands shot up into the air before he was even aware of it. "Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!"

They lowered their guns. "Sorry." Davis apologized.

"You almost gave me a damn heart attack!"

"You walk over here?" Bosco asked Carlos.

"Yeah, Holly ran around back and I came to see if anyone needed anything out front." He picked up the bags he dropped a few moments ago.

"Well, whoever they are, they must be gone or he'd never have made it this far." Bosco said to the others.

"I almost didn't." Carlos said sarcastically.

"Everyone's out back." Sully jerked a thumb toward the back of the precinct house.

Carlos started past them. "Anyone going to shoot me if I go back there?"

"Hey, we didn't shoot you now, did we?" Bosco looked offended.

"Go around back." Davis said as his friend walked away. "Be careful, Carlos."

Bosco pulled the front doors open. Smoke rolled out to greet him. "Lieu? It's all clear!"

"Everybody out!" Lieu helped Rose to her feet. "Mrs. Boscorelli, you and Emily go on across the street, you’ll be safe there."

"Thank you, Lieutenant." Rose gave him a quick hug before taking Emily's hand and leading her to the door. "Maurice, baby, are you out there?"

Oh my God... Bosco sighed, as everyone within earshot started laughing. "I'm right here, Ma, come on."

"Watch out, ma'am, we're bringing the trucks out." Walsh motioned for them to give the trucks a wide berth.

"All the noise and fuss just to drive across the street?" Rose snorted. "Boys --nothing but big boys."

"What the hell happened in there?" Walsh asked Bosco.

"Somebody tossed in some grenades --"

"Grenades?" Walsh grabbed DK as he started into the building. "Whoa! Whoa! We got explosives in there! Get everybody out!" Keying open his mic, he repeated the order to evacuate.

"What the hell?" Bosco watched the firefighters who'd rushed inside come back out. He covered his ears as the trucks began blaring their horns.

"We're not going in until were sure there's no more explosives!" Walsh yelled over the din.

"You just gonna let it burn?"

"Get a grip, Bosco." He signaled for the trucks to cut their horns once he was certain his men were out. "We can manage it from outside until we get an all clear."

"Who are you gonna get in all clear from?" Bosco asked. "Do you see anybody hanging around take credit?"

"Give it a rest, Bosco." Walsh walked away shouting orders.

"Do you believe this guy?"

"Come on, Bosco, let's get everybody out." Davis went inside the precinct house.

"I’ll just be inside --" Bosco shot a glare at Walsh. "Doing your job."

Inside, Lou ordered Jelly, Davis, and Sully to help get the prisoners secured and moved across the street. Reyes, Bosco, and Faith were sent upstairs to double check the locker rooms and offices.

"Everyone should be out." Lieu stopped and coughed several times. "Just – one last – sweep."

"We'll take care of it." Faith assured him. "Why don't you go on outside?”

"I want to be sure --" He coughed again.

"Hey, Lieu, we won't let you down." Bosco gave him a gentle push toward the door. "The bucket boys need some kind of all clear before they come in, why don't you go ask them what they're afraid of."

Lieu’s eyebrows went up. "Since when do we need an all clear to help people?" He stomped out the door, coughing smoke as he went.

"Damn, you know you just started a civil war?"

"And that's new?" Bosco started up the stairs.

Davis followed Sully and Jelly toward the lockup. Part of the way there he heard something above the crackle of flames. He stopped and listened, trying to filter out the sounds around him.

"Hey! Up here! Somebody help!"

Looking up, Davis spotted someone in an orange jumpsuit on the second floor. "Hang on!"

"Come on, man! Sergeant Cruz is trapped!" Marcel motioned with his bound hands. "She needs help!"

Davis changed course, heading up stairs towards Anti-Crime. Whatever Marcel Hollis was doing here, those questions would have to wait.

"She's in there!" Marcel pointed.

Anti-Crime’s office was in shambles, fire scattered around and busted furniture everywhere. "She's in here? Anybody else?"

"No, she wanted to talk with me alone, you know?" He grinned.

Ignoring the man's insinuation, Davis stepped into the office." Cruz!.Sergeant Cruz, you in here?"

"Over here!"

"Where?" He scanned the room, blinking as smoke burned his eyes.

"Over here!"

This time, Davis was able to zero in on the direction her voice was coming from. Wading through the debris, he started to step up on a broken table when movement caught his eye.

"Sergeant?"

"I'm right here -- I'm stuck!"

She was under the table. Part of the wall had collapsed on the table holding it down on top of her. Davis cringed, realizing that he could have crushed her by walking over her. He turned to Marcel. "Help me --" Marcel was gone. "Damn!"

"Help me lift this!" Cruz pushed at the table.

"Gimme a sec." There was no good way to go about this.

Moving around to the end closest to her, Davis slid his hands underneath and tried to lift it off of her. He grunted with the effort, his muscles straining to their limits.

"It's -- not -- budging --" He leaned over, resting his hands on his knees and gasping for breath.

"Go on, Davis. Get out of here." Cruz told him.

"I'm not leaving you here, just give me a minute to figure a way out."

"Don't be stupid, Davis."

"Too late." Waging a broken piece of two by four under the table, Davis used to lift the debris. It shifted a few inches before his strength gave out.

"Go on -- get outta here!"

"Shut up!" He was not giving up on her. Shoving a piece of wood farther under the table, Davis wiped sweat off his face. "I'm going to try one more time, be ready to crawl out."

"Only if you agree to get out if it doesn't work." She told him.

"Okay." If he couldn't get her out, then the best bet was to go find someone to help anyway.

"Ready? On three. One, two, three --" He everything he had into it. The table lifted up a few more inches than before.

Cruise dug her elbow into the floor, straining to pull herself out from under the table. It was no use, there are still too much weight on top of her.

"Damn it!" Crouching next to her, Davis tried to catch his breath. At least the air was cleaner closer to the floor. "I'll get help -- I'll be right back."

She nodded, hiding her fears that she could. A part of her wondered why bother. It was like she wasn't going to die anyway. At least this way was quicker.

"Hang tight." Davis headed for the door.

The door frame and the ceiling above it were in flames and he pulled off his jacket, using it to cover his head and face.

Before he could dash through the doorway, the ceiling collapsed, sending him stumbling backward in an attempt to save himself.

 

 

 

 




"Everybody out?" Lieu looked around, trying to do a head count.

"We didn't find anyone else." Faith told him.

Walsh was still playing it cautious. They had the fire pretty well contained from the outside. He'd sent a truck around the block to work from the back, and luckily there were plenty of broken windows to aim a stream of water through.

"We'll go in here in a minute, you sure everyone's out?"

"What the hell are you guys waiting on? A God damned written invitation?" Jelly griped.

"You've got a fire in a building full of ammunition -- you connect the dots." Turning his back on the detective, Walsh walked to where Lieu was watching the fire. "Lieu, did everyone get out?"

"That's what I'm checking on. Prisoners were out -- detectives --" Silently, Lieu kicked himself for not running fire drills and going over the procedure like he should have. "Where's Davis?"

"He went with Faith and Bosco." Sully told him.

"No he didn't, he went with you to get prisoners out." Bosco shook his head.

"Davis!" Lou searched the faces of the people standing in the street. "Anyone seen Davis?" No one answered. "Someone check the firehouse and see if he's in there."

They waited in tense silence while a uniformed officer ran inside the firehouse. After a few moments he came back out, shaking his head.

"Crap!" Sully started back inside the still burning precinct house.

The sound of breaking glass from above made him stop and look up. Davis appeared at the barred second story window. On the street, the firefighters covered their heads as falling glass rained down on them from above.

"Davis, what the hell are you doing up there?"

"Cruz is trapped -- the ceiling came down -- we can't get out!"

"We'll need a saw to cut through those bars." DK turned and motioned at the ladder truck. "Get that ladder over here!"

The truck moved closer, the ladder rose up slowly to about half of its height, and begin to swing towards the building. There was a sudden explosion from the second story, causing everyone to duck and shield their eyes.

Sully started toward the building, but Bosco and Jelly grabbed his arms. "Stay out here, you'll just make it worse. Let them get him."

"We don't have time for the saw." Lotta Zs said.

He was right. Davis was already leaning against the bars, and the flames behind them are too damn close. DK nodded. "Push it in."

"Get back!" Lotta Zs motioned with his hands.

"Oh my god…” Davis backed away, his eyes widening, as the ladder truck drove toward the building. The ladder jutting out like a battering ram.

He backpedaled to where Cruz was trapped. Crouching down, he covered her face and upper body to protect her as much as he could.

There was a crash, and for a moment it seemed as if the precinct house would hold out against the intrusion. Finally, with a groan, the mortar and brick surrendered to brute force.

DK and Lotta Zs scrambled up the ladder the moment it punched through. Davis yelled at them. "Over here!"

Jumping off the ladder, they hurried to where he was crouched next to Cruz. "Get outside!"

"We've got to get her out!"

"We will --" DK shoved Davis toward the ladder. "Get outside!"

Lotta Zs took off his respirator and put it over Davis’ face. "Go on, we'll get her!"

The oxygen was rich and sweet after the smoke-filled air and Davis staggered, light headed for a moment. Hands grasped his shoulders and steadied him, guiding him toward the ladder.

He wasn't sure how to manage the climb down. True, he'd watched the firefighters climb up and down too many times to count, but he’d never attempted it himself.

"Face down!" A voice yelled in his year. "Face down!"

Face down?
Davis looked down the length of the ladder to the street far below. Oh, hell no.

A section of the ceiling collapsed near the doorway, spraying sparks everywhere.

"Face down, right!" He clambered onto the ladder and began crawling down. It was difficult going with the ladder being in a half raised position that it was. It was as if he were trying to walk backwards on his knees and elbows.

Luckily, there are plenty of people to help them down. "Thank you, thank you, excuse me, I need to kiss the ground now."

"Get outta the way." Walsh gave him a shove as DK and Lotta Zs began helping Cruz down the ladder.

Davis pulled off the respirator and staggered a few steps before Sully caught him. "What the hell were you doing up there?"

"You know, if I'd known everybody would be so damn glad to see me -- I'd have stayed inside."

"Well, I'm glad to see you." Holly smiled at him as Sully led Davis to the back of the waiting ambulance. "So is Carlos, right, Carlos?"

"Whatever. Here." Carlos slapped an oxygen mask over Davis's face, letting go of the elastic blank band with a snap.

"Ow!"

Bosco leaned against the side of firehouse, watching as the firefighters finally went inside.

"They'll save it, Bos."

He didn't turn to look at Faith. "I don't know, I don't think there’s going to be much left to save."

"Don't say that." She laid a hand on his arm.

For a long moment, Bosco didn't answer. He watched DK Lotta Zs bring Cruz down the ladder, saw ESU setting up barricades, waving ambulances and fire trucks from other precincts through.

He turned a Faith, letting her see this sadness. "Camelot's gone, Faith. We ain't never getting it back."

 

 

 

 




The sun came up suddenly, startling them with its brightness. Above them, the sky was clear and blue, promising a beautiful day. Bosco rubbed his eyes, lack of sleep, a concussion, and escaping from a burning building had worn him down.

Next to him, Faith appeared to be equally exhausted. Setting on the sidewalk with her back against the firehouse in staring off into space. At first he had thought she was watching Emily, and then realized she was staring at nothing.

Emily had pitched in and helped hand out bandages and oxygen masks. She wasn't qualified in the strictest sense of the word, but they were understaffed and it was all hands on deck.

Even his mother had helped out. Where she'd gotten the bottle of whiskey, he probably didn't want to know.

Speaking of his mother... Bosco smiled at her and his she walked toward him, a cup in each hand. "Ma, why don't you go on home?"

"And leave you guys all alone down here?" She handed one of the cups to him and the other cup to Faith.

"I'm not alone, Ma." The area was crawling with ESU and every officer from the 55 was there.

She looked at Faith and back at him. "’ Bout time you noticed."

Ignoring her blatant attempt to bring up a subject he didn't want to talk about, Bosco took a drink. The coffee burned all the way down, and not just because it was hot.

"One thing you can say about the Irish, they know how to make coffee." Rose winked.

Faith was still staring off into nothing. Bosco nudged her shoulder with his knee. "Coffee. Drink."

Obediently, she lifted the cup and took a drink. Her eyes widened and she gasped for breath.

"You're gonna wanna sip that, sweetheart. It's got a bite." Rose chuckled.

Lieu came and out of the precinct house and walked across the street to where they waited. "It's out."

"Finally." Bosco reached down to help Faith to her feet as she started to get up. His hand automatically cupping her elbow to steady her. Even though they had stayed close together, they had avoided talking to each other since their spat in the locker room. Once the crisis was over, neither had been able to look each other directly in the eye.

"And no one seriously hurt." Sully added.

"Not exactly, we got a prisoner who ain't gonna make it to court." Jelly said.

"We do?" Faith asked.

"Yeah, your child molester."

" Well, maybe there is a God." Faith smiled.

"You have information on this guy? We’ve gotta make a report to operations." Lieu told her.

"Who gives a damn about that? Those jagoffs just attacked our house." Bosco interrupted.

"You know who they are?" Reyes asked.

Cruz edged her way into the circle. "Yeah, Marcel Hollis and his gang. It wasn't an attack, it was an escape."

"I thought you were at the hospital." Lou frowned at her.

"Yeah, the medics checked me, I'm fine."

" Who’s Marcel Hollis?" Bosco thought the name was familiar, but couldn't quite place it.

"He's the leader of the 108 Boys. I had him brought down here last night from Rikers." Cruz told him.

"How come I didn't know he was coming here?" Lieu put his hands on his hips.

"The DA was on the way down, too. I wasn't hiding anything." Cruz said defensively.

"You should have told me."

"Can we talk about that after we take this son of a bitch down?" Bosco said. "We are going after him, aren't we?"

"Oh, hell yeah, we are." Reyes grinned.

Lou shook his head. "Were giving the information to Intel."

Sully turn to look at Lou, surprised. "Intelligence?"

"Yes. This is out of my hands."

Bosco rubbed his eyes, exhaustion threatening to overwhelm him. Lieu’s admission that they were handing the case over threatened to sap the last of his strength.

"The Chief of detectives is going to be called the shots on this one." Lieu told them. "She'll be creating a task force. ESU, Intel, major cases."

"So we won't be part of it at all?" Reyes asked.

"We're going to be busy enough trying to rebuild the damn house." Lieu told her.

"Yeah, boss is right, we should let the other units take care this." Cruz agreed.

Bosco threw his hands up. "I can't believe this." He walked away.

"Bosco!" Faith called after him.

"I'll talk to him." Cruz stepped in front of Faith as she started to follow Bosco.

"You?" She asked incredulously.

"You two aren't exactly friends right now, right?" Cruz smirked, before turning to follow Bosco.

Before Faith could follow, Holly and Emily walked over to her. The ditzy paramedic had her arm around Emily shoulders. "Hey, can I keep your daughter?"

"Keep her?" Faith asked with a smile.

"Yeah, she was a big help."

Emily looked embarrassed. "I really didn't do anything."

"That's not true, she’s great with the patients, very soothing." Holly squeezed Emily's shoulder. "I think she'd make a great paramedic.

"I think she'd make a great doctor." Faith said proudly. "We can decide that after she gets out of college."

The smile faded from Holly's face. "Oh, okay." She turned and walked away.

Cruz caught up to Bosco. "Hey, your eyes all messed up?"

Startled, Bosco turned to look at her. "What?" His vision problem wasn’t common knowledge, but somehow Cruz had found out.Of course.

"You have trouble seeing?"

"Get away from me." He turned and began walking again.

"You're gonna do this with me. I gotta know the truth."

He stopped once again, turning around to face her. "If I'm gonna do what with you?" Bosco wasn't sure what she was getting at, those days were long behind them.

"I might be able to find Marcel Hollis. He's going to be to be heavily armed."

There was a familiar cocky look on her face. She knew something nobody else did. And she was ready to run off and grab all the glory. Part of him wanted to say let's go, but he'd been burned by Cruz too many times.

"We go down there, and we get him. This is our house, Bosco, why let downtown handle it?"

Over Cruz' shoulder, Bosco saw Faith walking towards them. He met her eyes for the first time since last night. She looked worried, frightened, and something else. Something he couldn't quite put his finger on.

Cruz stepped closer, noticing his attention was elsewhere. "Come on, Bosco. We can get him, just you and me. Be like old times"

"That's what I'm afraid of." He started to step around her.

"Bosco, come on." She stepped even closer, blocking his move.

Bosco stopped, looking down, just in time to see her reach for his face. He realized she was going to kiss him. Startled, he froze for just a moment as her lips touched his. He pushed her back, stepping away. "What the hell was that?"

"We meant something to each other once, Bosco."

"No, we never meant anything to each other." He walked away, leaving her standing there staring after him.

"What the hell was that?" Faith demanded.

"Beats the hell out of me." Bosco wondered if he chosen the wrong words, there was an anger in Faith eyes that was different than what he'd seen earlier. It was almost like she were jealous.

"Don't tempt me." She took his arm and led him back toward the precinct house.

"Relax, I'm not going anywhere with her."

All night, Faith had wrestled with herself. What they had gone through could easily have ended with one or both of them dead. She had finally decided that she could never tell him how she really felt no matter what the circumstances, and then she'd seen Cruz trying to wrap her slimy fingers around Bosco once again.

"I have something to tell you, something important. I want you to shut up and listen and if you don't like what I say then forget about it." She pulled him over close to the firehouse wall.

"Any time you say something like that I'm probably not going to like what you have to say."

"Your friendship is very important to me -- probably the most important thing next to my kids. I won't lose it." Faith shook her head. "No matter what that means."

"Faith, it was no big deal. I took it the wrong way, I yelled at you, but it's all over now." Bosco shrugged. "It's not like we don't do this all the time."

"This is different." Face took a deep breath and looked him square in the eye, willing her emotions to show and tell him what she was probably going to screw up trying to say out loud. "I love you."

Bosco's heart skipped several beats. This is what he wanted to hear, but he knew what she really meant. Looking down, he answered with what he knew she wanted to hear. "I love you, too, you're my partner --"

"No, I mean I love you. Not like that, but like love." This was coming out all wrong. Then again, he was probably trying not to hear what she was really saying. "I do love you like a friend and a partner, but I mean that I love you."

He looked up to meet her gaze again. They had always talked better by not talking and now he searched her eyes for what the truth was. Was she saying what he hoped she was saying? Or was he just reading into it?

The hazel eyes were serious, frightened, and full of love. The kind of love he usually saw her show to Emily or Charlie. And once upon a time, to Fred. Bosco tried to let his own feelings show, his real feelings. How much he loved her, and wanted to be with her. Saying it out loud, he'd only screwed it up.

"Bosco, that day at the hospital when I thought you were dead, I wanted to die too. I killed Mann, and I didn't care what was going to happen to me. All I knew is that I loved you and it was too late." Faith raked her fingers through her hair. "I don't know when it changed, maybe right then, maybe before."

"Shut up."

"I'm sorry. I'll never mention it again, I wanted you to know, just in case." Her heart felt as if it was being stepped on. She'd worked up the nerve and all Bosco could say was shut up. Then again, he probably didn't want to hear how she felt when he didn't feel the same. "Just don't stop being my friend, I can live just being your friend, but not --"

"Shut up." Bosco reached for her shoulders, pulled her closer, and lowered his lips to hers. If he was reading her right, she wouldn't beat the hell out of him.

He kept the kiss short and quick, pulling back to look in her eyes. A smile curved his lips as he saw the happiness there. "I love you, too."

She accepted another quick kiss. "Why didn't you say so?"

"Because I thought you were happy with John." This kiss he let last longer.

"Well maybe if you'd said something, I wouldn't have started dating John." Faith wrapped her arms around Bosco, holding him close.

"All the years you've known me, when have I ever done what I was supposed to do when I was supposed to do it?" Bosco rested his cheek against her hair, it smelled good even if it did smell all smoky.

Over her shoulder he spotted Grace. She was watching him and Faith, her face sad, and tears on her cheeks.

"Faith, I need to go talk to Grace."

Faith had forgotten about Grace. Turning, she caught sight of the other woman. "Oh, Bos..."

"I'll be right back." Bosco walked to where Grace stood.

"I guess she finally crooked her finger." Grace's voice shook.

"Gracie, I'm sorry. I didn't mean for this to happen."

"It's okay. We both knew you love someone else. It's not like you lied to me or I didn't know what I was doing."

That was true, but it didn't make him feel any better. "I care for you, you know that."

"I know that, Maurice." She smiled, a part of her was happy that he could finally be with the woman he really loved.

He pulled her into his arms and hugged her tightly. "Don't go back to the way things were. You're a good woman, Gracie, you deserve someone who’ll love you."

"So do you. But if she doesn't treat you right, you know where I am."

Davis was watching the scene with avid interest, pushing off the oxygen mask to get a better look.

"Put that back on. "Sully ordered.

"I'm fine, did you see that?"

"Yes, I saw it, and put that back on." Sully looked up at the paramedic standing in the back of the rig. "Does he need to go to the hospital?"

"Oh no, I've had enough hospitals." Davis protested.

"His vitals are fine. He's not any pain." The paramedic shrugged. "It’d really just be a precaution."

"See?"

Lieu walked up. "I'm sorry, Davis."

"For what, boss?"

"I thought everybody was out." Lieu shook his hand.

"That's okay, I'm going to be all right." Davis smiled and shrugged.

Lieu patted him on the shoulder before he walked away.

Holly stomped over to where Carlos was packing away the supplies. With each step, she got madder and madder. "Yokas just dissed us."

"I need to talk to you." Carlos told her.

"I'm so tired of people thinking that EMS is not a worthwhile career."

"I've been trying all night long --"

"Yeah, okay, we haven't been to medical school, but we have an awful lot of training and do a pretty damn good job out here. Under very difficult situations." She started slamming things into one of the bags, ignoring Carlos.

"Damn it, Holly! Will you marry me?" Carlo shouted.

It was complete silence for a moment. The only sound came from a tool dropped by a startled firefighter, the clang echoing. Everyone on the street turned to look.

"What?" Holly gaped at him.

Behind Holly's back. Davis and Sully motioned for Carlos to kneel. Faith elbowed Bosco when he snickered.

"What?" She wasn't sure she'd heard him right. "What did you just say?"

Carlos didn't hear her, he was looking past her at the crazy gestures everyone was making. It dawned on him suddenly what they meant.

Going around to her side of the stretcher, Carlos knelt in front of her fumbling in his pocket for the ring box he been carrying around. "Holly Levine --" Finding the ring box he pulled it out and opened it. "Will you marry me?"

Watching Carlos offer up the ring and put his other hand over his heart, Holly finally realized what he'd said. She put her hands to her face. "Oh my God... oh my God..."

She knelt in front of him. "Yes."

"Yes?" He asked.

"Yes!" Throwing herself at him, Holly knocked Carlos over onto his back. Around them, the tired firefighters and police officers cheered and whooped.

 

 

 

 




Carlos paced nervously in the waiting room. Doc had said he didn't want to see anyone, and he couldn't blame him, but he had to talk to him. He looked up as the doors opened and Doc walked in.

"They said it was an emergency."

"Kinda is. For me anyway." Carlos told him.

"Look, I don't do those anymore."

"What?"

Doc made a face. "The doctors say they stress me out.”

"Oh, no, not that kind of emergency." Carlos rushed to assure him. "I'm sorry I didn't mean --"

"Carlos, I'm kidding. Sit down." The other man smiled.

After they set down in chairs facing each other, Carlos leaned forward, elbows on his knees. "Remember Holly Levine?"

Doc searched his memory. "Medic on midnights?"

"Yeah, she transferred to the third watch after you --" He paused, aware that this was probably something he shouldn't bring up. "You know, after --"

"Yeah."

"Well, me and her we started seeing each other and it got kinda serious."

"So you're not going to the prom?" Doc pointed at Carlos's tux.

"I have to be at the church in an hour." Carlos laughed.

"Then why aren't you in a cab?"

"’ Cos, well you know, I'm sorry, you're the closest, I don't have any, anyone to ask for advice."

"Advice?" He was locked up in the loony bin, he wasn't sure what kind of advice he could give.

"When you talked about your wife, even though she's been gone a long time. I could always tell how much you loved her. How happy you were. It always came out in your voice."

Doc allowed himself a brief moment of memory. "Yeah. Best time of my life."

"How do I have that? With Holly?" Carlos asked earnestly.

Doc laughed and shook his head. "Do you love her?"

The younger man nodded. "A lot. "

"Then you don't need any advice from me." He shrugged.

"That --"

"Hey, you don't need me to tell you how to be happy. Just love her every day." Doc leaned forward. "Like you do. Like you do now. "

Carlos smiled sadly. "I really miss you. "

Dodging the comment, Doc stood. "You're going to be late. I’ve got a bingo tournament."

Carlos stood as well. "Doc --"

"Carlos..." He looked around the waiting room. "It just makes this place harder."

He nodded, understanding for once. "Thanks, Doc."

They started to shake hands and ended with a hug. Doc slapped him on the back as they broke apart. "Good luck. "

Nodding, Carlos, wiped his eyes. "Bingo tournament?"

"I'm the champ." Doc said proudly as he turned away. He's walked towards the door and then stopped and looked back. "Hey, I wish I could be there."

"Me too." Carlo watched as Doc disappeared behind the doors once again.

 

 

 

 




Sully:

"The 55 closed that day, but not for long. The city wanted to rebuild ten blocks away, but it wouldn’t have been the same, it wouldn't have been Camelot. Luckily, someone decided that it should stay at the corner of King and Arthur. Every day it's still a place were heroes gather before going out to battle evil.

DK took over the squad when Billy Walsh got promoted to battalion chief. Stu Lotta Zs ended up taking over Jimmy Doherty's rescue squad. Stu, DK, and Walsh save seventeen people one day in a garment factory fire. They all won medals of honor.

Carlos and Holly got married. Today, they’ve got three kids and a big house on Staten Island. Ty says Carlos is a good father. He finally found the family he always wanted.

Maritza Cruz was posthumously awarded the medal of honor. Intelligence estimated that with the amount of firearms recovered from that building, she saved numerous lives. Mostly police officers. To this day, somebody places a single rose in her grave every morning.

Manny Santiago recovered from his wounds, and took over Anti-Crime. Lately, he and Grace Foster started seeing each other. I wouldn't say it's a match made in heaven, especially after Bosco threatened to kick his ass if he didn't treat her right, but the two of them seem to have something in common. Something that makes both of them happy.

Ty was promoted to Anti-Crime about a year after the attack on the 55. He and Santiago make a pretty good team, the 55’s anti-crime unit has more arrests than any other unit in the city.

Bosco and Faith moved in together a few months after they both figured out what everybody else around them already knew. They thought about waiting until Emily graduated college, but Emily threatened to move out if they did.

Lieu looks the other way and pretends he doesn't know Bosco and Faith live together. They still argue and fight as much as they ever did, but they behave professionally when they're on duty -- at least as much as they ever did -- so everyone pretends we don't know that the two of them are an item. Lieu’s not about to break up a successful partnership.

Me? I finally decided to go ahead and take that Sergeant’s exam. These days, I work the desk on days. The only thing I do battle with anymore is the occasional rookie who thinks he knows more than I do.

Oh, and Rose and I got married last month. Yeah, you guessed it, Bosco is really thrilled about that. The other day he called me grandpa. Grandpa…

"Crap."

 

 

 

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