TITLE: "Do you really want me?"

AUTHOR: faith- in- Faith

DISCLAIMER: Don't own any of the characters, just borrow them for my idea's.

RATING: PG-13

SPOILERS: There are no more…. But you might want to read my story "All that glitters is not gold."

SUMMARY: What if Faith did love Bosco….

PARING: Bosco and Faith, romance.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: I know, it took forever…. But I had a major writers block according this story! I could write pretty much everything, just not this. But finally, here it is! I hope you like it. Happy ending isn't my strong side….

Anyway, this chapter I dedicate to yokascruz, who have loved it like no one else.

CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX

I unlock the door with a big smile on my face.

"Hi, Mom," Emily greets me friendlily. Then she says a bit more hesitantly, "You look happy – did it go well?"

My smile grows even bigger. "Yeah, I made it. I'm a sergeant now!"

Emily quickly wraps her arms around me. "Oh, Mom, that's great!"

"So, no cake this time, huh?" I say teasingly, referring to the last time I took the sergeant's test.

Her expression grows serious and I feel bad for bringing it up. "No, Bosco didn't think we should put that kind of pressure on you…you know… just in case you didn't make it. It's not that we didn't believe in you. It's just…." Her voice trails off and she twists her hands nervously.

The love and affection I feel for both of them is overwhelming and I pull her into another hug. "It's OK. I love you for it."

"You do?"

I smile again. "Yeah, I do. Where is Bos anyway?"

"He's picking up Charlie from school."

I look at my watch. "Yeah, of course." I bite my bottom lip. "Did he look OK?"

"Mom," Emily says warningly. "Don't start that. You know he's fine."

I sigh. "Yeah, I know, but he was really worn out when he got home from work yesterday."

Emily looks fondly at me. "I know, but he had a really hard shift. It's normal to be tired and he looked perfectly all right this morning, and, besides, if he really didn't feel well, he'd tell us. You know that."

I sigh again. "I know. I'm sorry. I just don't seem to be able to stop worrying."

"It's OK, Mom. You love him, but you know he hates it and he has really changed. You just have to trust him. He trusts you, remember?"

I hang my head. "I know."

"Don't worry. I won't tell him."

I smile. "Thanks."

Emily is right. He has changed. A lot of things have changed since that day, eighteen months ago, when Bosco decided to save me by loving me. He hasn't left my side ever since. He went to his apartment and got some of his stuff the day after he and Emily took me home from the hospital and he never left again. Things are better now. A lot better – almost perfect – and I can't remember ever being this happy before.

The road to get to this point was long and bumpy, though, and some days I was ready to quit, but Bosco never let me. I really was a mess in the beginning. I know that. Every day was a struggle. Some days I had to fight just to be able to get out of bed. Bosco and Emily didn't trust me to be alone so they took turns watching over me. For a month's time I wasn't alone one single hour of the day. Of course it would be hard for anyone to see someone they love so depressed, but it was even worse for poor Emily. I'm her mother and she's not supposed to be the one taking care of me. It could easily have destroyed her forever, but Bosco realized it and took her to a shrink, too. Two months after I ended up at the hospital we where all seeing a shrink. If the whole situation hadn't been so tragic, I'd have laughed.

But I slowly started to get better, with a lot of help from Bosco, Emily and the shrink who Proctor had recommended. He was a calm, quiet man, who made me feel very comfortable and, although he didn't push me, I ended up telling him everything and he helped me see the light again. But fact remains, I could have never made it without Bos. He really is amazing, because while he was helping me get my act together, he also struggled with his own pain and sorrow – coached by O'Malley – and took care of Em. She's really close to him nowadays. Closer than she has ever been with me or Fred, I think, but – on the other hand – Bos is the only one who has never let her down.

Sully has been a great help, too. He's been there for Bosco all this time and he's probably the reason Bos managed to deal with all the responsibility that was suddenly put on his shoulders. They're still partners. They take very good care of each other and getting along most days. Poor Davis never got his partner back, but he seems to take it in stride. He's paired with a rookie named Finney. He's a good kid and I think he will be a great cop when Davis is done with him.

Bosco is doing really good. He's been great through all this and he has really changed. He's calm and looks happy. The ulcer is completely gone and hasn't bothered him in a year. O'Malley is very pleased with him and let him off the hook six months ago, with strict orders to get back if he felt the need. Bosco's sweet, loving and caring to me, Emily, and Charlie and the days when he bottled everything up inside until it made him sick, or caused a nervous breakdown, are over. He's always telling me if he's not feeling well or if something is wrong. Still, I can't help but worry about him – old habits die hard, I guess…and nothing is more frightening than the thought of losing him.

I'm almost back to normal as well. I still get very anxious at times, but my shrink says it's going to disappear eventually. It took me six moths before I could go back work and I've been on desk duty ever since. There are several reasons for that. At first there was a condition for me to go back to work at all. I wasn't ready to be out on the streets yet. Then, when Lieu discovered that Bos and I were in love, we weren't allowed to ride together.

I will never forget the day we went to his office and told him.

He smiled and said with a wink, "I knew all the time he had something on you. I imagined you were smarter than this, though."

"Thanks a lot," Bosco murmured, sounding hurt.

Swersky smiled but then he grew serious. "I'm just kidding around, but you're right. I have been very unfair to you lately and I owe you an apology."

Bosco smiled back. "Apology accepted."

And with that; the Cruz mess was finally over and done with.

And when the judge decided that I could have Charlie back if someone would be there to take care of him when he got home from school, the arrangement became permanent, and – facing permanent desk duty – I decided to take the sergeant's test as soon as I felt strong enough to deal with that kind of pressure.

I work second watch now and Bosco is still on third. That way there's always someone there for the kids. It's sad not to be able to work with him and we see way too little of each other, but until Charlie gets older; this is how it has to be. At least Lieu is kind enough to give us the same days off.

The reason I finally got custody of Charlie is very sad. Fred started drinking again. His girlfriend left him and he couldn't make it alone without drinking, and this time I wasn't there to save him. Bos and I tried to help him, though. Bos got him into some program but he couldn't stay sober, and my shrink recommend us to let go, since the whole thing threatened to overwhelm me and even made me have a setback.

The last custody hearing was a real nerve-wracker. I already had the split custody back and had Charlie on the weekends, but only the weekends Bosco was off. They thought I was too instable to be alone with him. Who would have thought that people would ever consider Bosco as the more stable of the two of us?

Then they had to decide if they could give Charlie back to me or if they would put him in foster care until I got better. Bosco had promised me he'd never let it happen but I was still scared to death. But O'Malley, Lieu and Sully saved us. They were all called as witnesses and they convinced them that Bosco would be able to handle the responsibility another child meant, and Emily's teacher took the stand and told them Emily was doing better than ever, especially considering the circumstances. I could tell that the judge was extremely impressed that Bosco had realized she needed a shrink. My own shrink finally convinced them, by telling them I was doing very well and would be able to take responsibility for Charlie myself very soon.

So, for six months now, Charlie has been living with us and it works great. Bosco is really taking his responsibility for the kids seriously, acting like he was their father most of the time, and no one handles Emily as well as he does. It feels kind of surreal that something that started as a desperate lie to get to see Bosco, and to keep me out from the loony bin, would end up as reality. Things are really working out – just like Bosco promised me they would – and me taking the sergeant's degree is the last step back to an almost complete life.

The sound of Bosco's key in the door tells me they're home and soon enough Bosco walks through the door with Charlie in tow.

He smiles at me and his eyes are soft and caring. He doesn't know what to expect and he's trying hard not to put any kind of pressure on me. "Hi, baby. How did it go?"

I grin at him. "Great, you're now looking at your next superior officer."

His eyes widen and a big, proud smile breaks out on his face. He takes a step forward and pulls me into a bear-hug that sweeps me off the ground. "Congratulations, Faith! I knew you could do it."

I just smile happily and bury my face in this neck.

Bosco puts me down on the ground again and starts kissing me, but Charlie's impatient voice makes him break off really quickly. "Come on, Bos. Let her go. I wanna hug her, too."

Bosco smiles fondly at him. "Sure, Champ, go a head. She's all yours."

Charlie smiles back and hugs me tightly. "Congratulations, Mom."

"Thanks, sweetie."

The sound of Bosco's cell-phone ringing makes me look up. I really hope it isn't work. It's our day off and I really want to spend it with him.

He gives me a reassuring smile and hit the answer button. "Boscorelli."

"Hi, Sul. No, it's OK. It went great. She nailed it."

He smiles lovingly at me. "Yeah, I'll tell her that. Yeah, I'll see you tomorrow then, I'm gonna be a bit late, though.

"Very funny, Sullivan. Fact is; I have a reason. I gotta take Charlie to the dentist."

"Yeah, I told Lieu. He's OK with it"

"Not long, I should be in by 3:30."

"OK, take care and I'll see you tomorrow."

"Bye."

He disconnects the phone and I look questioningly at him. "What was that all about?"

"It was just Sully who wanted to check in to make sure you nailed it. He said congratulations, by the way."

"That's sweet of him."

Bosco runs his hand through his hair in a nervous gesture. "Yeah, the thing is that I asked him if he could take the kids out for a movie if you failed. You know, in case you got down and needed me."

I feel my eyes tear up. They're so sweet and caring. It's like a dream and I can't understand how I got this lucky. What I did to deserve to have them in my life.

Bosco puts his hand on my cheek and looks worriedly at me. "Faith, I'm sorry. It's not that I didn't believe you would make it. I just wanted to make sure I'd be able to take care of you in case it didn't work out. Please, Faith, forgive me."

I cover his hand with my own. "I'm not angry or hurt. I'm touched."

"Yeah?"

"Yeah, it was unbelievably sweet of both of you. Thank-you."

He takes me in his embrace and holds me tightly while stroking my hair. "You're very welcome. I'd do anything for you. You know that, right?"

I nod against his chest. "I know."

He pulls away slightly, still holding on to me. "Why don't you go and put on something nice. I'll take you all out to dinner tonight."

"Really?"

"Yeah, really, just go and get changed, OK? We can't be late."

I smile brightly at him. "OK."

I wake up because someone is lifting the covers, letting the cold air inside, and it makes me shiver. "Bos?" I murmur sleepily.

"Shh, it's OK. Go back to sleep," he whispers and puts his arms around me.

I turn around so I face him and gaze at him in the semi-darkness. "I don't want to sleep. I want to look at you."

He grins and rubs his thumb against my cheek. "Yeah? Why's that?"

"Because you're beautiful."

"So are you," he says softly as he runs his hand over my hair and carefully strokes my cheek with the back of his hand.

I close my eyes and lean into his touch. "I like it when you touch me."

"You do?"

"Yeah, I do – always have. From the day we met."

"Really? I could never tell."

"That's because you weren't supposed to know. I was married then and you weren't exactly thrilled by the idea of me loving you, remember?"

He swallows hard. "I remember. I'm so sorry, Faith."

I caress his cheek and kiss him lightly on the lips. "I know you are and we have been over this. I forgave you a long time ago and it's all in the past."

He gazes intently at me. "Thank-you, Faith – for saving me."

"Thank-you – for returning the favour."

"I love you," he whispers affectionately and pulls me closer to him.

"And I love you."

We lay in silence for a while, comforted by hearing each others every breath. Until he breaks it by asking, "How are the kids?"

I smile. "They're both fine."

"Did Emily come home on time?"

"Yes, she did."

"Sober?"

"Yeah."

He yawns. "Good, then I don't have to kick her ass tomorrow."

I can't help but chuckle. "No need for that."

"Good, I hate it when I have to," he murmurs sleepily.

I caress his hair. "I know, but I love you for caring enough to be willing to do it, and so does she."

He doesn't respond and I can tell he's already half asleep. He probably had a hard shift.

I kiss his forehead. "Get some sleep, Bos."

"Mmm."

I snuggle closer to him and close my eyes, content to be near him. There's nowhere in the world I feel safer than in his arms. I realize that this how it's going to be for the rest of my life, because he really wants me. Me, and no one else, and the thought finally lulls me to sleep.

THE END