The Sound of Comfortable
By Maquis Leader
Author’s Note: Post Goodbye To Camelot by six years.
Loving Bosco is quieter than I thought it’d be.
Not that I ever used to give any thought to what loving Bosco might be like. There was a time I never looked any farther than just friendship. Bosco was my friend and my partner and that was it.
When I did think about what he might be like – with one of his girlfriends – I figured him for aggressive and a little crude – definitely loud. I’d figured him to be one of those “oh yeah, who’s your daddy?” kind of guys, you know? Wanting a woman to say “fuck me, Maurice.” like a million times during the whole thing.
Turns out he’s not that way at all.
Not that I haven’t said “fuck me” a few times here and there. Not Maurice though, there’s no way I’m calling him Maurice. Especially not in bed.
Somehow I had this picture of me and Bosco ripping each other’s clothes off and climbing all over each other like horny teenagers if we ever did it. Okay… so I did think about it sometimes. The guy got more ass than any guy I’d ever met, so yeah, I got curious sometimes.
Only, it was just curiosity ‘cos he wasn’t my type of man and I sure as hell wasn’t his type of woman. And we were friends, so there was no way of it ever happening.
How did it happen then? Quiet, real quiet.
Emily was about to graduate college, at least the first part of it. Medical school was next – but this was the first stepping stone. A 3.95 stepping stone that I’m very proud of.
I’d been putting off living with John until Emily was going to be out of the apartment. Maybe I’ve worked too many sexual assault cases or something, but I wasn’t comfortable with him moving in while she was still at home. He’s got a daughter – and a stepfather for his daughter who makes him nervous – so he understood. So I put it off for like six years or so.
Then me and Bos are working a scene together and I tell him I’ve decided to tell John it’s okay to move in. He didn’t even look up from where he was putting yellow tape across the doorway. Just finished sealing off the room and said “I’ve got something to tell you first. Meet me at the diner for coffee later?”
I said sure and we finished working the scene. Never said another word about it. Not even when John dropped by to see how things were going. He did that a lot, especially when I was working with Bosco. John had a knack for knowing when Bosco was one of the beat cops working a scene with me.
At the diner, I was digging into a cheeseburger when Bosco dropped the bomb on me.
He told me that if I wanted to let John move in and I loved John that was fine, but he wanted me to know something first. Then Bosco said he loved me.
After he made sure he didn’t need to do the Heimlich on me to keep me from choking to death, he said it again. “I love you, Faith.”
Looking back, I think Bosco planned on me choking, because all I could do was guzzle down root beer and try not to cough while he had his say.
“I’ve loved you for a long time – years – and I’ve never said anything. And I figure if I don’t say something now I’ll never get another chance. Then I’ll be kicking myself for the rest of my life. I love you. You do what you want with that.”
Typical. He drops something like that in my lap and then says “do what you want with that” like I can just say “oh, how nice” and ignore it.
Then Bosco gets up, leans over and kisses me. Real soft and quick. He says “Just think about it and let me know if you wanna talk about it or you wanna forget it” and then he walks out.
Just fuckin’ walks out! If I could have gotten up, I’d have kicked his ass for him. Only I was frozen. I sat there and stared after him like one of those big bug eyed fish. Bosco had just kissed me and told me he loved me. I wasn’t sure the world was still turning.
By the time I could get up, he was already gone.
I walked home, trying to think about how I was supposed to think about this. And what the hell was I supposed to think about this?
Emily was packing her stuff up and decided I wouldn’t tell her about her Uncle Bosco losing his mind. Only I ended up telling her anyway. It just came out between “Do you want to take this CD with you?” and “I think you can burn that Backstreet Boys poster”.
“Do you want to take this CD with you?” “Your Uncle Bosco told me he loves me” “I think you can burn that Backstreet Boys poster”
She didn’t even look up. “I know” she said.
“God, Mom, everybody knows.”
In an effort to show her that everybody did not know, I called Charlie. Same thing. “I know, Mom. I’ve got a Chem final tomorrow, can we talk about this later?”
I ended up sitting on the couch trying to figure out how everybody knew while Emily packed the junk she wanted to take with her to med school. While she threw away the junk she didn’t want to take with her to med school. While she got ready for bed. While she slept.
The sun came up with me still sitting on the couch trying to figure out how everybody knew something I should know. Let me tell you, it pissed Sully off to get a call at two in the morning just to find out that he knew. Sasha wasn’t mad, but Davis didn’t sound happy. They both knew.
Bosco didn’t sound like he’d been asleep when I called him to tell him to meet me at the diner again.
This time I didn’t get anything to eat.
We sat and stared at each other for a few minutes until I figured out how to say what I wanted to say.
“I need to think about this, Bosco.”
“Because everybody tells me they already know. And I don’t know so how can they know?”
“I don’t know.”
“So I need some time, okay?”
We sat and stared some more before I got up and left him sitting there. I really did need to think.
I called in sick and sat in the park all day.
I thought about all the times I put Bosco first. I thought about that moment on 9/11 when I spotted him helping people. I thought about how I felt when Cruz tried to take him from me. I thought about much it hurt when he was shot and I thought he was dead. I thought about how good it had made me feel to murder Donald Mann. I thought about how empty my life had been when he thought I didn’t believe in him. I thought about how my day didn’t feel right if we didn’t get a chance to grab a cup of coffee and talk.
I thought about the rest of my life with John.
I thought about the rest of my life with Bosco.
I met Bosco in front of the station house right before his shift started. For the first time I let myself look at him – really look at him. Over the years I’ve joked about having the best looking partner in the entire NYPD, and I’d watched women all but peel his uniform off with their eyes – but I’d never really taken a good look at him.
Jesus, Bosco is sexy as hell. How did I not notice that?
He walked up to me and I could tell he was thinking I was going to tell him that he better never say he loved me again. Bosco’s been kicked when he’s down so many times, that’s what he’s come to expect.
So I made him smile instead.
“I need to talk to John first.”
“Okay.” He smiled as big as I’ve ever seen him smile.
“It’s only fair I think. ‘Cos we’ve been dating for six years now.”
“After your shift, come on over? Emily’s leaving in the morning.”
I don’t think we’ve communicated so well in… well… never. I talked, he listened and agreed. A girl could get used to that.
Too bad John didn’t follow Bosco’s lead.
When I told him that I’d changed my mind about him moving in, he didn’t get mad. When I told him why, he blew his stack.
He yelled and hollered at me and I stayed pretty calm. I was dumping him out of the blue, after all, so I deserved it.
When he started in on Bosco, me and calm parted ways. I’d had enough Bosco bashing from Fred over the years – we’ve been divorced for years and he still badmouths Bosco every chance he gets – and I guess I hit my limit that day.
I’m not sure what all I yelled at him – half the stuff I know was really about Fred and not John, but somehow it all got lumped together. I do remember yelling that I loved Bosco and I was tired of people picking on him.
Outside John’s office, I ran smack into Bosco. He’d been waiting outside to see if John did anything stupid like try to hit me. I knew he had to have heard me. Hell, half the house had to have heard me.
He followed me out to my car and held the door open for me. I got in and drove off. Neither one of us said a word.
Charlie and Emily were a little buzzed on the champagne I’d bought by the time Bosco got there after his shift. He had on a dark blue sweater that made his eyes look black, and his jeans fit him in all the right places.
I didn’t have to worry about how Emily and Charlie would take the news. My kids love their Uncle Bosco. Emily hugged him and cried a little that she wasn’t going to see him until Thanksgiving. Charlie told him about the hot chick he’d bagged a few nights earlier using “that line”.
When I tried to be mature and make an official type announcement, the two of them looked at me like I’d grown two heads, and then they started laughing.
“Whatever, mom, I’ve got stuff to do.”
“Condoms, Uncle B. Like you told me, buy ‘em and use ‘em.”
Bosco and I ended up sitting on the couch watching TV while Emily helped Charlie pack up the last of his stuff to send off to his dorm room. Criminal forensics, I still can’t believe he’s studying that stuff. How’d my kids end up doing this stuff?
It was nice and quiet. Me and Bos and some chick selling some exercise equipment.
Then he asked what I wanted to do.
Looking around at the empty places in the apartment that used to have things the kids were taking with them, I said “I’d like to keep packing until this whole place is empty.”
“Okay?” He was being too agreeable. “Is that all you have to say?”
“I’ll get some boxes.”
He put his arm around me and we watched the infomercial for a little while longer. And then he leaned over and kissed me. Not like he had at the diner, but not like I’d expected either.
I braced myself for a hard kiss, all wet and sloppy, with lots of tongue. Instead it was soft and gentle, no tongue. Nice and quiet.
Bosco pulled back and looked at me, gave me that deep stare I’d shared a million times over the years. He loved me, he wanted to be with me forever, he’d take care of me, he’d let me take care of him. He said all that and never said a word.
The next kiss was the same, gentle. No groping or slobbering. Just a sweet tickle of this tongue along my lips. When I touched the tip of my tongue to his, he laughed softly. I laughed, too.
We kissed, doing great things with our tongues. It was all easy and slow – nothing rushed or hurried – like we’d kissed for years and had it down pat.
After that, we fell into a comfortable routine. Bosco switched to days, he’d pick me up and we’d have breakfast before we went to work. If we couldn’t grab lunch together, we’d manage a cup of coffee somewhere during the day. When our shifts were over, he’d take me home and we’d eat dinner and watch TV for a few hours. A little kissing and holding each other, and then he’d go home.
It was comfortable and quiet. So quiet, it took a few months before anybody realized Bosco and I were a couple.
John couldn’t do anything to me without me screaming sexual harassment, but he could – and did – make Bosco’s life miserable whenever he could. Any messy job or crap stakeout he could get Bosco assigned to – he did it.
I never could prove it, but I suspected John was behind things the night Bosco was chasing a skell and got ambushed when the guy led him right into a pack of his boys. They beat Bosco pretty badly before his partner showed up and chased them off.
Deciding the skells were getting too fast and too dangerous, Bosco studied for the sergeant’s exam and passed with flying colors. Captain Eishlak asked him to come back to the new 55 and run the desk at night. I left Major Cases and headed back to the 55 as just a regular detective. On the third watch of course. Where I could spend time with a certain night desk sergeant.
Things kept going on the nice and quiet side for us. Every so often, Bosco brought in a few boxes and I packed things I didn’t need in them and stored them in Emily and Charlie’s old room.
Even the night we finally made love for the first time was quiet.
Bosco shut the TV off and said “you ready to go to bed?”
I said “yeah” and he got up and held his hand out to me.
We walked hand in hand to my bedroom and helped each other undress. There was no groping or grabbing at each other like I’d thought there might be. Just quiet kisses and touches before we got into bed.
I’d always made John use a condom – but this was Bosco. The last thing we needed was something between us. We had scars to remind us of all the things that had come between us.
It was good and slow – no frantic fucking and grinding – just slow and steady until the job was done. And I have to say, Bosco believes in a job well done.
All these years I’d lumped him in with the “do it till it hurts” kind of men. Fred was one of those – in the early days at least – and John was most of the time. But Bosco seems to know when I hit the point where it goes from “hurts so good” to just plain hurts. Of course, like I said, as much practice as he’s had – he ought to be good at it. I’m catching up, slowly but surely.
There wasn’t anything awkward or clumsy about that first time, it was like we’d been lovers for years. We knew where to touch and kiss, and we were comfortable with each other, really comfortable.
It’s kind of weird maybe, I dunno. But we don’t grab each other and get all frantic to fuck each other. No ripping our clothes off and screwing on the kitchen table. Though, we have done that – on the kitchen table, I mean.
We were making dinner – which for us means putting stuff in the microwave – and he was kissing the back of my neck like I like while I stirred water into the rice I was cooking. I’d never had sex in the kitchen, Fred was a bit of a stick in the mud.
And to be fair, we’d had to worry about one of the kids wandering in and asking “Daddy, why are you lying on top of mommy on the floor?”
Emily and Charlie were both in school and Bosco and I had the place to ourselves, so we didn’t have to worry about one of them coming in and asking “Uncle B, why do you have mommy on the table and how are you getting her to make those funny noises?”
So I told him I’d never had sex in the kitchen and could he do something about that.
He’s still pretty agreeable.
Bosco finally got enough boxes a few months ago, and we moved to a new apartment. It’s nice and quiet. No old memories. No ghosts wandering around.
It’s got bedrooms for Charlie and Emily when they want to visit – though Rose wants grandbabies to use them. I don’t know if we’ll do that. We haven’t talked about it but then we don’t talk about things much.
My girlfriends – the ones Fred didn’t get in the divorce – ask me if Bosco and I talk about “where your relationship is heading” and “where are you two going from here”. I say no and they don’t know what to think.
Our friends are confused by us. We don’t hang all over each other, groping and kissing, or sneak off for quickies like a new couple usually does.
But then again, we’re not exactly a new couple. And we don’t need to talk about where we’re going. We’re already there.
Thirteen years as friends and partners. Six more as just friends. We’ve spent more time together than most married couples have. And we’ve learned the most important lesson – the one married couples learn after they’re married and the hot sex gets cold – the one they learn if they’re lucky.
We’ve learned how to just sit and be together without talking. We’ve learned how to be friends.
Like now, he’s asleep, his head resting against the back of the couch, and his heart beating under my ear. It’s nice. Comfortable. Quiet.
Loving Bosco is quieter than I thought it’d be.