That Was Then… This Is Now...
By Maquis Leader
Author’s note: Set immediately following More Monsters.
This is now…
“I’m sorry about your partner.”
“Your partner. Officer Boscorelli. I’m sorry about what happened to him.”
Faith blinked hard, trying to clear away the blood that filled her vision. Two IAB detectives were sitting across from her. She couldn’t remember their names – her mind didn’t have room for them.
“We both are.” The other detective nodded in agreement.
There was real sympathy in their eyes. For once, they were letting their true feelings show. When it came down to it, they were cops and one of their own had fallen.
“I – “ She cleared her throat. “Thank you.”
“Just take your time, Officer Yokas. We’re not rushing you, take all the time you need.”
“Thank – thank you.” The story was there, ready to tell. She’d run it through her head so many times on the way from Mann’s apartment that she almost believed it herself. “I uh… I’ll try to…”
“Just take your time.” The first detective said kindly. “In your own words. Start anywhere you need to, we can put it all together later, understand?”
“I understand.” This was one time that they really were on the same team. Whatever she told them would be taken as the gospel according to the NYPD and the case would be closed. Nobody took them on and walked away.
The recorder was turned on and the microphone set in front of her. “Take your time, Officer Yokas, and tell us what happened today.”
“I was at the hospital…”
That was then…
They were cutting Bosco’s shirt open, searching for the wounds. Nurses scrambled for instruments and inserted IV’s into his veins. Everyone was shouting orders.
Faith watched the chaos swirl around her. The endless crawling eternity of CPR and gunshots had shifted into fast forward when help had finally arrived. They’d pulled Bosco away from her and rushed him into one of the trauma rooms, shoving her aside as if she was nothing more than another piece of bloody clothing they were throwing on the floor.
A nurse was putting something on his chest – alarms immediately went off, and they rushed the defibrillator to the table. Faith turned away as Bosco’s body arched up off the table. There was a moment of endless screeching before a jittery beeping started.
Someone shouted for the surgical team, but no one seemed to move in that direction. Spotting Mary Proctor by the desk, Faith went to her. “They need the surgical team in there now!”
Mary’s eyes were wide and frightened, and it dawned on Faith how she must look. Covered in blood, crying, and waving Bosco’s gun around – she’d be lucky if they didn’t lock her up in the psych ward.
“This is Bosco’s gun – I’m just keeping it safe for him.” Even to her own ears she sounded insane. The sane part of her mind had long since locked itself in a closet to grieve over losing her partner.
People rushed by, the surgical team she assumed, and Faith watched them move the others doctors and nurses aside so that they could work on Bosco. They were moving so quickly that she could barely see what they were doing, and yet she felt trapped in mud, unable to move.
Someone lifted his necklace up, the crucifix gleaming in the bright lights. It caught her eye and she walked into the trauma room, holding her hand out for it. The nurse hesitated for a moment, her eyes sympathetic above the mask, and then laid it in her palm.
Things continued to move around her, Jelly bitched and Cruz offered false comfort. None of it mattered. Faith felt trapped on a small island of frozen time, clutching Bosco’s gun and crucifix.
Someone put a hand on her arm, and Faith turned to see Sully. “Bosco’s hurt.”
“I can see that, Faith.” He smiled sadly. “Why don’t we let them work?”
“But, I have to watch him.” She pulled back as he tried to lead her away. “I need to protect him, Sul – what if they come back?”
“They won’t be back, Faith.” Sully looked at her, sympathy and the knowledge of how it felt to lose a partner in his eyes. “Half the department’s outside, nobody’s getting past them.”
“But if they – “ Looking over her shoulder, she watched as the nurses worked a tube into Bosco’s mouth and down his throat. “He’s so helpless…”
“How about if I have someone guard him?” He motioned for the ESU men standing along the corridor to come over.
There was a moment’s hesitation before the two men walked over to him. He was a beat cop with a lot of years, but still just a beat cop. In the end, the situation won out and they crossed to where Sully stood with Faith.
“I want two men with Boscorelli at all times, all right? They’ll take him to surgery in a minute, and he should be guarded every step of the way. Can we do that?”
One of the men spoke briefly into his radio and then nodded. “I cleared it with my boss. We’ll be outside the operating room – no one will get past us.”
“Thank you.” She reached out to touch his arm, and then realized she still had Bosco’s gun in his hand. “I’m keeping this for him.”
He nodded, as if confronted with crazy women holding guns on a daily basis. “You do that, ma’am. Just remember not to point it at anyone.”
Faith let Sully lead her away, watching over her shoulder until the two ESU men had moved into position on either side of the trauma room door, automatic weapons cradled in their arms. “Bosco wanted to go to ESU.”
“I remember that.” He sighed heavily. “I wish he had.”
This is now…
“And um… so I followed them.”
“Sergeant Cruz and Detective Yoshi?”
“Yeah.” Faith took a sip of the water they’d brought her at some point. “They were going to get Mann.”
“And what happened next?”
That was then…
“Are you hurt?”
Startled, Faith looked up to see Doctor Hickman leaning over her, a concerned look on her face. “No.”
“The officer that was shot, that was your partner, right?” When Faith nodded, she continued slowly. “I got a call, right before all of this. His mother came through her surgery. Her broken arm is set and her tracheotomy repaired. She’s in a room upstairs.”
“His mother?” Why was Hickman telling her? A sob caught in Faith’s throat. There was no one else to tell. Rose and Bosco had no one but each other. It was up to her to tell Rose that she was going to lose a son. Again.
“I’m sorry.” Doctor Hickman said softly before walking away.
Sasha moved to sit next to Faith, picking up Faith’s purse from the table as she went. “Faith, honey, here’s your purse. You might want to put that away.”
Taking the purse, Faith opened it slowly. Her own gun lay inside, unused and worthless. Fresh tears came to her eyes as she laid Bosco’s next to it.
“I’m so sorry.” Sasha wrapped an arm around Faith’s shoulders as she began to sob.
For a few minutes, she let herself cry on Sasha’s shoulder. So much was happening so quickly that she couldn’t find the strength to deal with it. Bosco was dying. Bosco was dying.
Lieutenant Swersky came in demanding answers, and Faith listened to the others fill him in. A part of her was angry, why were they alive? Why not one of them instead of Bosco?
Pushing Sasha away, she stood up. “I need to… “ Get away. “Go to the bathroom.”
“Do you need help?”
Sasha pulled back, clearly startled, and Faith lowered her voice. “I need to um… I have to go to the bathroom. And then… I need to talk to Bosco’s mom. I need to go.”
She left the room, before the other woman could say anything else. The urge to get away somewhere quiet was overwhelming. There were too many people here and none of them was Bosco.
This is now…
“You said that Yoshi was handcuffed?”
“He… I went past him.” Faith looked down at her hands, at the blood that was still hiding stubbornly under her fingernails. “I didn’t stop. He um… he was working for Mann, you know.”
“Understood.” The detective assured her. “He was gone when backup arrived on the scene, we’re just trying to pinpoint when he escaped.”
“I dunno. I’m sorry.”
“Well, you weren’t involved in that, so Sergeant Cruz can explain losing her prisoner. After that, you proceeded up the stairs?”
That was then…
The busted mirror in the bathroom reflected her state of mind. Shards of thoughts running around, slamming into each other, making her crazier by the minute. Bosco was dead. The man responsible was out there alive. Bosco was dead. Rose had lost both her sons. Bosco was dead. She had stood there like a deer in the headlights and let Bosco die saving her. Bosco was dead.
She was scrubbing her face clean of Bosco’s blood when the door opened and Lieutenant Swersky stepped inside.
“Monroe said you were going to see his mother?” He asked gently. “I can tell her.”
“It should come from me.” More and more of Bosco was washed down the drain.
“He’s going to make it, Faith.”
“You didn’t see him.” The smear of blood on the floor, the shattered face. Critically, Faith eyed her own shattered reflection in the mirror. Did she hurt him when she tried to help him breathe? Had he been trapped somewhere inside and in pain from what she was doing?
“He’s Bosco.” Lieu said confidently. Over the years, Bosco had had several close calls but he’d never been seriously hurt. He seemed to have a charmed life.
“He’s not Superman.” Fresh sobs came up and she forced them down. Focusing on cleaning away the blood splotched on her face, Faith struggled to find the strength to keep going. “I don’t want her to see the blood.”
“At least let me come with you.”
“No.” Satisfied that she’d washed Bosco away, she picked her purse up off the bathroom counter. “Not this time.”
“All right.” Sighing, Lieu reached out to take Faith’s arm as she walked past him. “I am here if you need me, do you understand, Faith? You don’t have to do this all alone.”
“But I am alone, Lieu.”
This is now…
“Where were Sergeant Cruz and Mann standing when you arrived?”
“She was… um… “ He was floating in the pool. A giggle bubbled up and Faith pretended to cough. “She was to the left, in front of the pool. He was to the right and facing her.”
“And what did you do as you came in?”
That was then…
Faith walked blindly down the hospital corridor, not sure where she was going. Telling Rose had been too much. She’d fallen apart at a time when she needed to be strong, when someone needed her. Maurice, she’d called him Maurice, and Rose had known even before she’d finished that he was dying or dead by now.
He could be dead and they just hadn’t found her to tell her. If she never went back downstairs, would he never die? Faith liked the thought. She could wander the hospital forever, a crazy woman with blood on her clothes and a gun in her purse. And Bosco would never die.
“What did you think they were gonna do, Yoshi?”
The sound of Cruz’ voice brought Faith to a halt. It would be just her luck to have to wander around forever and find Cruz everywhere she went. She turned away, not wanting to deal with the other woman.
"They just wanted names." Yoshi was saying.
"What did you think they were gonna do?" Cruz snapped.
Faith moved closer, leaning against the door separating her from them. Something told her this was important. What was it Cruz had said earlier? Yoshi was supposed to be at Mikey’s funeral. Only he never showed.
"They just wanted the names. They could have got that much from the reports – the accident reports from when his son died. And then when I heard about the raid, I tried to change it. I asked you not to go! Sarge, please, I can tell you where he lives. Donald Mann, I was there last night. I know where he is."
They’d been set up by one of their own. Rage replaced the numb anguish that had filled her heart. The son of a bitch had set them all up! Faith grabbed the door handle, ready to rush out and confront him.
Cruz was already forcing Yoshi down the corridor at gunpoint and a thought filled Faith’s mind. Mann was the one responsible. Yoshi was just a skell. She followed them.
This is now…
“When you say Mann was ‘saying stuff’, Officer Yokas – what kind of things was he saying?”
“He uh… he was saying that we’d never beat him.” Faith saw him again. Taunting Cruz with the reality of how his money would buy his way out of jail. How he’d never rest until they were all dead. “He said he’d kill all of us.”
That was then…
Mann was in handcuffs and Faith felt a twinge of disappointment. Gone was the opportunity to cuff him herself, after giving him a taste of what Bosco was going through.
"You must know, people like you never beat people like me.” Mann smirked at Cruz. “A battle or two maybe, but never the whole war. Enjoy the limited life you have left, Sergeant Cruz."
"Is that a threat, Donald?" Cruz sounded calm, but she kept her gun trained on Mann as he walked toward her.
Faith gripped Bosco’s gun tighter, bringing it up into line as Mann moved closer to Cruz. The son of a bitch was threatening her – threatening all of them – threatening to put them in the ground beside Bosco.
“You think because I go to jail for a few hours it’s all over?” He smiled, smug and secure in that knowledge that money buys anything. “This won’t be over until all three of you – "
It was easy to squeeze the trigger. Holding the gun just as Bosco had taught her years ago, Faith kept squeezing the trigger until the gun was empty. She savored the shocked expression on Mann’s face as the bullets ripped into his body. Savored the agonized cry that came from him before as he fell back into the pool.
She lowered the gun and walked out to look at what she’d done. Cruz was staring at her as if she’d lost her mind. Faith smiled grimly. Maybe she had. And if Mann had suffered one tiny fraction of the pain Bosco had suffered, it was worth it.
This is now…
“Then he attacked her with the knife and I shot him.”
“Was it necessary to shoot him so many times, Officer Yokas?”
“I thought so.”
“Good enough.” He looked down at his notes. “You shot him with Officer Boscorelli’s off duty weapon?”
“Yeah, I uh… I had Bosco’s gun.” Faith didn’t remember taking it out of her purse. Didn’t remember choosing it over her own gun. Maybe Bosco was guiding her? “I shot him with Bosco’s gun.”
“How did you get his weapon?” The other detective asked curiously.
“At the hospital. I had to guard Bosco while we waited for help.” She heard again the gunfire echoing off the walls and Bosco’s gurgling breaths. “My purse – my gun was in my purse – and I didn’t know where it was.”
“So you took his gun?”
“He wears it strapped to his ankle.” The two IAB detectives nodded, not seeming to find it unusual that she knew where her partner wore his off duty weapon. “So I got it and used it.”
“And you kept it after help arrived?”
“Just to keep it safe. I didn’t want – “ She blinked back tears. “I just – I just want to give it back to him, you know?”
“I know.” He shut the tape off. “Everything’s going to be all right, Officer Yokas. Clearly this was a clean shoot.”
“Justified.” The other IAB detective agreed. “You’ll get the usual three days off, but I think that you deserve them in this case.”
“Can I go?” When they nodded, Faith stood up. “Thank you.”
“Officer Yokas, we need Officer Boscorelli’s gun.”
“What? Why?” She clutched her purse tightly. “You said it was okay.”
“Everything is fine, Officer.” The first detective held his hand out. “But we’ll need it for ballistics tests, just to wrap things up.”
“Oh.” When she pulled the gun out of her purse, Bosco’s crucifix had somehow tangled around the trigger, anchoring it to her own gun. Carefully, she unwrapped it.
“You’ll get it back in a few days, Officer.”
“I promise.” He took the gun and slid it into a manila envelope. “We’ll need your own weapon as well.”
“I didn’t shoot anybody with it.”
Her gun went into a separate envelope as she left the room.
One miserable phone call to Fred later, Faith found herself staring at Bosco’s locker. His medal rack was lying on the top shelf next to a picture of the two of them. Opening the door, the combination one she’d learned years ago, she pulled his service weapon from his gun belt. “Better be careful. They’ll come get you next.”
She put it back into the holster, snapping the safety strap over the butt. “Keep an eye on things. He’ll be back for you.”
As she left the locker room, Faith realized she had nowhere to go. Her apartment was empty and at the hospital they’d be able to find her and tell her Bosco was dead.
Turning, she found Swersky standing in the doorway of his office. “Lieu?”
“There’s a phone call for you. It’s the hospital.” He held the receiver out to her. “It’s about Bosco.”
Time slowed to a crawl once again, and even as she tried to keep from reaching out, Faith watched her fingers curl around the receiver. Lifting it to her ear, she waited for them to shatter what was left of her heart.