So What Did You Do Today?
By Maquis Leader
Rated: Light R for language
Author’s note: Set immediately following Rat Bastard
“Yeah, Emily, I’ll be home after I talk to Bosco.”
“Tell him I said hi, would ya?”
“I will.” Faith got out of the car, grabbed the sack off the seat, and walked into the hospital. She didn’t need to park near the ER entrance, but it was habit. “You do your homework – no gabbin’ on the phone all night.”
“Yes, Mommie Dearest.”
“Don’t be a wiseass.” She said affectionately. “I love you.”
“Love you, too, Mom.”
Folding up the phone, Faith tucked it in her jacket pocket. One of the perks of being a detective was that she worked days. That left her time to visit Bosco and still get home and spend time with Emily before she went to bed. Now if she could just get Charlie, they’d be a regular Brady Bunch. “Where’s Robert Reed when you need him?”
There was a disturbance around the doorway to one of the trauma rooms and she skirted it, heading for the elevators. There were paramedics but no blue uniforms, Faith noted automatically as she went by.
“I don’t need to spend the night! I’m fine!”
The voice brought her up short. Monroe. Faith whipped around to see the IAB agent trying to get out of the bed, an ER nurse trying to push her back. The anger she’d sat on all day came boiling back up to the surface, and Faith stalked into the room.
“You’ve got a concussion, and broken ribs.” The nurse pressed Monroe back onto the bed. “You need to stay overnight for observation.”
“Yeah, so they can treat you like the rat you are.” Faith stopped at the foot of the bed, glaring down at the other woman. “Maybe they can cut you open and see if you have a heart.”
“Faith, I didn’t mean to – “
She cut Monroe off before she could pretend to be sorry. “You better spend the night in here – otherwise you might not make it through the night.”
“Are you threatening my partner?” Finney grabbed Faith’s arm.
“You want to keep that hand, Junior?” Faith slowly turned to look at him.
“You’re not going to threaten her.” The smile that curved her lips scared him, and he swallowed hard.
“You two are a pair.” She pulled her arm free. “She’s a rat, and you’re the son of a rat. A match made in heaven.”
“Sasha was just doin’ her job. You know, you should respect that.”
“Respect someone who pretends to be my friend so she can pump me for info?” Turning back to where Monroe lay in the bed, Faith sneered. “I guess that’s what you gotta do when you’ve got no friends.”
Walking around Finney, Faith left the trauma room. Outside, she leaned against wall and took a deep breath to calm herself. She was not dealing with this bullcrap. She was going to go upstairs and talk to Bosco and watch him eat the ice cream she’d bought for him. The doc wouldn’t be too happy about it, but Bos was tired of jello and soup. Until his jaw was unwired, his menu choices were limited.
Pushing off the wall, she walked toward the elevators once again. “Maybe I can put a steak in the blender.”
Upstairs, she found Bosco sprawled out across his bed, his eyes closed and his chest rising and falling steadily in sleep. Behind him, the heart monitor they still had on him beeped a quiet, constant rhythm. Every time she came in, Faith had to stand and listen to it, as if needing the reassurance that what she were seeing were true.
Despite what the doctor had told her, Bosco had not only lived, but he’d woken up and was getting better every day. He wasn’t a drooling veg either. Obviously whatever brain cells had been killed off while his heart was stopped weren’t important ones. Faith grinned. She’d have to kid him about that.
Setting the sack on the bedside table, she pulled off her jacket and laid it over the back of the chair. Bosco didn’t sleep for long stretches; the ache of the wounds woke him up to remind him to hit the button on the morphine machine – the joy and happiness machine, he called it – and Faith knew he’d be awake and ready to eat his ice cream soon enough.
Faith pulled the chair closer to the bed and sat down. The TV was on the Discovery Channel. “There’s a shock.” She said softly. Leaning her head back, she closed her eyes and let herself relax.
The ache in his face woke him and Bosco shifted slightly, reaching for the button to the joy and happiness machine. It wasn’t where it should be. He felt around for it, not wanting to raise his head. There was already someone jabbing a knife in his face now.
There was a mouse in the kitchen. Faith frowned. She could hear it scratching at something. “Need rat poison…” She mumbled. The scratching continued, and she opened her eyes. Hospital walls and the beeping monitor brought her back to reality. The scratching sound came from beside her.
Turning her head, she saw Bosco fumbling along the side of the bed. “Hey, Bos.” The button was dangling off the bed by its cord. She picked it up and handed it to him. “Normally I’d say just say no to drugs, but in this case – “
“Fuck you.” He said softly, moving his mouth as little as possible. Punching the button, Bosco waited for the gentle rush of morphine that would take away the pain.
“You too.” Automatically, she put a hand to his forehead to check for a fever. Once a mother, always a mother. “I got ice cream. Chocolate this time.”
“I stuck it in a cup of ice, ‘cos I didn’t know if you’d be awake.” His hair was a mess, long and rumpled. Faith brushed it back from his forehead. “You need a trim. Though the nurses think you’re cute that way. They must not get out much.”
Faith knew better than to ask if he was hurting and offer to get a nurse. They had an unspoken agreement to ignore the pain and the issues the came with it. Bosco’d be better in a moment, and they could pretend he was fine. Denial wasn’t just a river in Egypt.
The pain receded enough for him to risk opening his eyes. Faith was standing over him, pretending not to be concerned. He smiled slightly. “Hey.”
“Hey.” She smiled at how softly he spoke. Bosco had pretty much mastered the art of talking without moving his mouth. Low and soft, with just a slight slurring. So unlike how he normally talked. Loud and intense – that was Bosco.
Of course, he didn’t have to talk at all, he could have written notes – his fingers weren’t broken. He had thrown the notepad at the doctor when he’d suggested Bosco write rather than try to talk. It had only made it a few inches, but for a guy who’d just been in a coma, it was a hell of a throw.
He shifted slightly on the bed again, feeling around for the controls to the bed. There were too many damn buttons in his bed. Finding it, Bosco raised the bed up so that he could see better. Lying in bed, he felt so damn helpless. People came in and took his temperature and emptied his piss bag and stood over him. He pointed to the chair.
“Just a sec.” The blankets were tangled around his legs and Faith took a moment to straighten them out and tuck them under his feet. “Jeez, these blankets are like paper. I should bring you some socks. Or maybe a better blanket. I got that flannel thing Charlie got to go campin’ with. Remember him going campin’ with his scout troop?”
What he remembered was driving out to the freaking boonies to pick Charlie up because the kid didn’t like camping. But his feet and legs were cold all the time, so he nodded at her. “Sit.”
The word was drawn out. S sounds took too much jaw movement and Bosco had to hiss them out. “I’m sitting. Jeez, you’re such a nag.” She pulled the blanket up, careful of the wounds, patting his chest gently before sitting down.
He was looking at her expectantly. “Let’s see… today we got a call to go check on a dead body. A PI. Turns out he was ex IAB.” Bosco’s eyebrows went up and she nodded. “McKinley. Turns out Sully knew him too. Part of the thing with Finney and Davis’ dad.”
Bosco thought that over. Faith had told him about Sully and Davis’ falling out. He’d heard about Davis’ father a long time ago. Killed in the line, possibly dirty, IAB sniffin’ around but nobody talking.
“Get this.” She leaned closer. “There’s this special bullet that doesn’t go through somebody when it hits ‘em. Special police bullets – you know what I’m sayin’?”
Plus-P bullets. Old timers had mentioned them. Mostly that they hated them.
“So guess what we find in the guy’s brains – or what’s left of ‘em anyway?” Faith waited for the look in his eyes that meant he’d caught on. “Yeah, you got it. One of these freaking bullets.”
That was bad. A cop killing an ex cop? Ex IAB? Dangerous stuff.
“Then it turns out that this guy got a file to Mon – “ Biting off Monroe’s name, she skipped a step. “Davis with info about his dad’s murder the day before he got popped.”
The dark blue eyes bored in to hers, and an eyebrow went up. “What? Bos, there’s a link, that’s all. It’s interesting, thought you might wanna know.” Faith shrugged.
“Spill.” They’d spent too many years together for him not to know when Faith was lying to him about something. She’d almost said something and then she’d changed her mind. “Not… a baby.”
“I know that.” Not for anything did she want him to think she was coddling him – even if she was. “I’m just saying it’s different, investigating IAB for a change. The rats deserve it.”
There was something going on and Faith wasn’t going to tell him. What? Was she afraid he’d keel over dead? He turned to look at the TV. Ignoring someone was about as much yelling as he could do these days.
“Bos.” He was going to give her the silent treatment now. But no way was she telling him about Monroe. Not now, not until he was better. There hadn’t been any real bursts of the Boscorelli temper, but she wasn’t pushing it. He might bust a stitch over this. “Fine. You sulk. I’m eating some ice cream.”
The paper sack rustled as Faith opened it. “Oh, look at that. Real ice cream from Anderson’s. Not that crap from McDonalds.” Bosco resolutely kept his eye on the armadillos playing on the screen. The bed creaked as she sat on the edge of it. He liked armadillos. They were… cute.
“I had ‘em put chocolate and vanilla twist in a cup.” She scooped up a bite. “Mmm… ‘s good stuff, Bos.”
Not looking. Not looking. Armadillos could swim, who knew? Faith made another “mmm… good” sound, and he broke. Turning his head, he watched the spoon go from the cup to her mouth.
“Now you’re talkin’ to me again?” Smiling, she scooped up a small bite of ice cream and lifted it to his lips. It reminded her of when Emily and Charlie were little, figuring out just how much to scoop up and put in their mouth. At least he didn’t spit it back out at her. “Good?”
“Mmm.” One more bowl of jello and he was going to kill someone.
The wires holding his jaws in place left just enough room for the tip of his tongue to slip through and he licked the ice cream off the spoon before she could put it in his mouth, making her laugh. “You know, this is the kind of story they don’t tell you at the Academy.”
“Jagoffs…” There was a lot of crap they didn’t tell you at the Academy. Bosco let the ice cream slide down his throat this time, smiling carefully at the good feeling. One side – the side with the hole – was still raw and sore, and the cold felt so damn good.
“Everybody is a jagoff with you.” Was he thinner? Faith set the cup down and ran a hand over his arm. Definitely thinner. She squeezed a bicep. His muscles were wasting away. “Are they working with you?”
Some big jagoff had come in and tried to play with his arms and legs, and he’d told him to get out. That was too much to say – and she’d just get pissed – so Bosco shrugged.
“Bos…” Picking up the ice cream, Faith gave him another bite. “I swear to God, if you don’t behave, I’ll kick your ass.”
Swallowing the ice cream, he stuck the tip of his tongue out at her. His insults were limited.
“I know you don’t want somebody you don’t know puttin’ their hands on you, but you gotta do what they tell you.” Giving him the stern mom look that worked half the time on her kids, Faith pulled back the spoon before he could get the next bite of ice cream. “I’m gonna check, and if you’re not doing your rehab – no more ice cream.”
Bosco gave her the patented hurt puppy look. Faith didn’t budge – instead, she countered with the tough bitch look. Sighing, he nodded. She relented and gave him another wonderful bite of ice cream.
“You don’t want to get out of here looking like a ninety pound weakling. Though I could get you one of those Charles Atlas books.” Nodding, she gave him another bite. “So long as you don’t go ‘round singing that song.”
Rolling his eyes, he let the ice cream melt in his mouth. He’d gotten drunk one night and gone to see Rocky Horror with a couple of the guys, and he'd had the Charles Atlas song stuck in his head for days. Faith had threatened to shoot him at one point.
The ice cream was damn good. “Chocl –“ He grimaced as the word moved his jaw too much. Damn L’s.
“Just chocolate?” Staring down into the cup, Faith pretended she didn’t see his pain. It only embarrassed him. “Gimme a sec, it’s all blended up in here.”
The joy and happiness button was handy, and he pushed it again. Had it been enough time? Who the fuck knew, but it made him feel better just to hit it.
“Here you go.” Holding a scant spoonful of chocolate ice cream to his lips, she smiled as he closed his eyes again. “Good stuff, huh, Bos?”
Good didn’t begin to cover it. Fucking perfection didn’t cover it. “Sex…”
“What?” Her eyes went wide, and she giggled. “Bosco! Jesus!”
Opening his eyes, he gave her as much of a grin as he could. “Sex.” He nodded.
“I’m not getting you a girl.” She laughed. “I’ll sneak ice cream in, but I’m not pimping for you.”
There was a knock at the door, and Faith turned. A nurse peeked in, and she quickly hid the cup of ice cream. ”Visiting hours aren’t over yet.”
“No, you’re fine.” The nurse pushed the door open and locked down the doorstop to hold it open.
If she was going to change his piss bag and check the fucking hose up his dick with Faith here, he’d die. Bosco glared at the nurse. He hated nurses – hated them all.
“I brought you a roommate.” The nurse backed into the room, pulling the wheelchair inside, oblivious to the death threats he was sending her way. “Another of New York’s finest.”
Bosco didn’t have a private room, but so far they hadn’t put anyone else in the other half of the room, wanting to be sure he got plenty of rest. Faith didn’t want someone in here getting him worked up with talk from the streets. Frowning, she set the ice cream on the bedside table. “I don’t know if this is a good idea.”
“It’ll be good for him to have company.” The nurse turned the wheelchair around. “This is Officer Monroe, and – “
“Get that bitch outta here!” Faith shot up off the bed. “You get that dirty rat bitch out of here!”
“Ms. Yokas, I really – “ The nurse got between Faith and her patient. “There’s no reason to talk like that!”
From the bed, Bosco watched interestedly as Faith stared down the nurse. The nurse was holding her ground – lots of perps would have buckled by now. Monroe was sitting in the wheelchair, her face hidden in her hands. It looked like she was crying. What the fuck was up with Faith? Last time he’d heard, she and Monroe were becoming friends.
“No reason? No reason?” She stepped into the nurse’s space, poking a finger into her chest. “This rat isn’t one of New York’s finest! She’s someone who hides behind our uniform and pretends to be one of us – to cost someone their job!”
IAB? Bosco raised his bed up a little more. This was the most exciting thing that had happened since he’d found out he had cable.
“Nurse, please – “ Monroe wiped at her wet cheeks. “I can’t stay here – “
“Damn right you can’t stay here!” Faith moved around the nurse and grabbed the handles of the wheelchair. Spinning the chair around, she shoved it at the door. “Get the hell out!”
“Ms. Yokas!” The nurse ran after the chair, catching it before it hit the doorframe. “If you can’t control yourself – “
“That’s Detective Yokas – and you’ll do what?” Walking up to the nurse, Faith backed her out into the hallway. “Call a cop?”
The nurse gaped as Faith kicked the doorstop loose and the door swung shut. “No way that IAB bitch is rooming with my partner!”
Partner? Bosco smiled, wincing as it pulled at the healing wound in his cheek.
Faith came back to sit on the edge of the bed again. Her hands were shaking as she picked up the ice cream again. “Okay, I wasn’t going to tell you. Figured you’d get upset, you know? I didn’t want you to get all upset over it. You wanna be mad – be mad.”
The spoon shook so much that the ice cream slid off onto his chest. Faith set the cup down and picked up a tissue to wipe it off. “I’m sorry, Bos.”
He covered her hand with his own. “’S okay.”
“She pretended to be my friend. Pretended to give a crap.” Tears burned her eyes. “She came to the ceremony when I got my shield and we went to get a bite to eat and talk. When nobody else came, Bosco – nobody. I thought she was my friend.”
Squeezing her hand, he tried to make her feel better. He wasn’t very good at this part, never had been. He wouldn’t know sensitive if it kicked him in the ass, Faith was always telling him.
“I needed a friend, Bosco.” She wiped at her eyes. “You were in a coma and the doc kept sayin’ you were gonna die – and Fred took the kids – and I really needed a friend – “
“’S okay.” Tugging on her hand, Bosco pulled Faith to where he could put his arm around her shoulders and let her rest her head on his shoulder. It was awkward, but it was the only comfort he could offer. “Sorry for… not bein’ ‘round.”
For a moment, she let herself rest against him. Hell of a thing, to seek comfort from a wounded man, but her partnership with Bosco had never been typical. “Yeah, well, I’ll kick your ass later.”
Sitting up, she grabbed another tissue and wiped her eyes. “Christ, one minute I’m channeling you and the next I’m blubbering like a baby. If I’d had sex in this century I might think I’m pregnant.”
The laugh made his chest and belly hurt, but it was worth it. Faith had been all up in the nurse’s face like he would have been if he could. Bad cop, no donut.
“Careful.” Faith rubbed his arm as he clutched at his stomach. “You’ll bust a stitch.”
The door swung open and Sully walked in. “They said you needed a cop in here.”
Bosco clutched his guts again as another laugh came out.
“They wanted to put Monroe in here.” Faith picked up the ice cream again. “Stop laughin’, Bos.”
“Seriously?” Sully stopped at the foot of the bed. “They were gonna put an IAB – did you tell him?”
“Sorta.” She shrugged as she watched Bosco swallow a bite of ice cream. “The nurse said Monroe was going to stay here and I very politely said no she wasn’t.”
Sully looked at Bosco. Bosco raised his eyebrows and nodded. Sully shrugged. “I’ll go along with that.”
“Hey, Bos, I forgot to tell you Emily decided to come live with me.” Faith watched his eyes light up. “Which scares the hell out me. We’ve been fighting like crazy, and suddenly I’m her favorite parent.”
“Pod?” Bosco remembered Em being a sweet girl until the last few years, and then he had a sneaking suspicion she’d been replaced with an alien.
“She is not a pod person!” Glaring at him, she ate the next spoonful herself.
“All teenagers are pod people. It’s the only explanation. I better get back downstairs.” Sully patted Bosco’s foot. “Davis is down there with this kid we brought in.”
“You and Davis back together?” Faith smiled at him. “Good ole 55 Charlie back on the streets.”
“Yeah, well…” He shrugged. “We’re… almost talking.”
Bosco looked from Faith to Sully. He nodded and made a keep going motion with his hand. “Been there.”
“Maurice Boscorelli, a man of few words.” Grinning, Sully turned for the door. “Who woulda thunk it?”
“See ya, Sully.” Faith giggled at the outraged look on Bosco’s face. She giggled again as Bosco flipped Sully the bird.
“No more threatening nurses, Faith.” The door closed behind Sully as he left.
“Did I threaten the nurse? I never threatened the nurse.” She gave Bosco another spoonful of ice cream. “I threatened Monroe. Nothing wrong with that.”
He gave her the thumbs up.
After another wonderful taste of chocolate and vanilla, Bosco looked up at Faith, catching her eyes. “Partner?”
“What? Like anybody else would have you?” She teased. “’Sides, they got me working with Jelly, can you imagine? You better get better soon, Bos.”
That wasn’t the answer he was after. Bosco was feeling unaccountably mushy. Had to be the ice cream mixing with the morphine. He reached out and touched her arm. “Partner?”
It was one of those rare serious moments. Faith gave him the thumbs up.
Satisfied, Bosco let her give him another bite of ice cream. He’d get better and then he’d have to figure out how the hell he was going to make detective. Jelly could find his own damn partner.
The follow up story: The Ties That Kill