Disclaimer: Unfortunately, Third Watch has never and will never belong to me and I'm making no money off this. Darn.
Story Rating: PG-13 (character death)
Spoilers: Up to the middle of Season 6
Summary: Close to the second anniversary of her partner's death, Faith writes Bosco a letter.
Author's Note: This is based on the rumors of Bosco's departure from Third Watch and my take on what would happen. Everything else in this story is based on figments of my imagination and my crazy muse.
'Nothing can fly with this broken wing, so here's a gift, in this feather.'
- 'Burning Years' by Story of the Year
'Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for a while and leave footprints on our heart, and we are never, ever the same.'
- Flavia Weedn
Next march you'll have been gone for two years. I still can't believe it.
It seems like yesterday that you left, packing your life into your beloved mustang, your eyes sad but your jaw set.
I remember standing there, wanting to say how sorry I was for the millionth time. I wanted to tell you that I'd talk to Lieu again and tell him to give you another chance, but we both knew it wouldn't happen.
You worked so hard to overcome all of your faults to become what you loved, but this was something you couldn't overcome no matter how much you tried. We went to the range for weeks, practicing for hours but your aim never got any better.
You never said anything. You never told me that your fingers couldn't feel the trigger as they tried pulling on it. You never told me that you wanted to scream in pain when you forced your trembling hand to curl around the cool metal. You never had to tell me. Even if the doctors wouldn't have told me, I still would have known.
I offered to take the tests for you and let you put your name on the results, but you wouldn't hear of it. You just smiled sadly and said that even his partner couldn't help him with this one.
We went and told Lieu together. Me in tears and you with a clenched jaw and such quiet sadness in your eyes. We told him your right hand was partially paralyzed and could hardly hold, never mind shoot a gun. Then you apologized, pulled out your badge and laid it on the table before walking back out.
I ran after you, arguing and yelling at you that we had to keep trying, that we'd go see specialists, that we'd bribe Lieu, that we just had to give it time, but you just shook your head, not even bothering to argue with me.
That's when I knew it wasn't only your body which had been shattered and torn to pieces. Your spirit, your soul, your fire was gone. Your life had been that badge, and now you had to give it up.
When I think about it now, I think it's ironic that I was the one who suggested you take a trip. Get out of New York and go see the rest of the country, and along the way, maybe find the shattered remains of your soul.
You were hesitant. You didn't want to leave me so soon after the divorce. You wanted to help me fight custody battles, find a job so you could help me pay rent and be my partner in the ways only you have ever been. But I wouldn't let you help me live my life if you weren't living yours.
You swore you'd come back. We stood beside your mustang, shivering in the cold december air, staring at each other.
I kept opening my mouth to ask if you had remembered such and such, and you'd smile and tell me you had it before I even asked. Finally, we just stood there, staring at each other.
Thirteen years of friendship stood between us and the memories overwhelmed me. All the laughter, happiness, anger, lies, betrayal, love, protection and comfort that we shared. You were my other half and I was yours. And now you were leaving.
Tears slipped down my cheeks and before I could wipe them away, you were in front of me, gently wiping them away and giving me a tight hug. I held onto you as if my life depended on it, which I know it does.
"Come back to me," I whispered. "I need my other half."
You gently kissed my hair. "I will. I promise."
Then you let me go and tucked a strand of hair behind my ears before climbing into your car. You turned on the engine and gave me that cocky grin of yours before waving and peeling out of the parking lot, the tires squealing in complaint.
I laughed as I stood there. I laughed until I couldn't see you anymore and until my tears had blurred my vision.
I remember the night I woke up, gasping for breath and soaked in sweat, your name a silent scream on my lips. I have never remember what I dreamed about, but I knew something was wrong.
I pushed myself out of bed, shaking and wrapping the blanket around me. I paced the kitchen floor for hours, the phone clutched in my hand as I dialed your cell phone over and over again. The operator kept insisting that your phone was turned off but I kept calling, knowing that as long as I was trying to reach you, whatever bad news was waiting for me would have to wait.
The knock on the front door was quiet enough to nearly be drowned out by the operators droning. I stared at the door and slowly shuffled over to it. I pulled it open and stared at Sully and Ty, my hair a mess and my eyes huge with fear, the phone clutched in my hand and my blanket hanging off my shoulders.
"Is he—?" I couldn't even finish the sentence.
Sully sighed, not surprised that I already knew and stared at me with such sadness that I nearly crumbled. "Yeah. He died at the hospital from the gunshot wounds. Faith, I'm so sorry—"
I never heard the rest of what he was trying to say because the scream of denial and pain which tore from my throat was too loud. The phone slipped from my numb fingers and crashed to the floor as I collapsed, screaming from the thick, fiery pain which was burning up my insides. My soul was burning, dying. There was nothing keeping it alive anymore.
I was on the floor, tearing at my hair, screaming over and over again, oblivious to the people around me, trying to offer me comfort. I could never be comforted again. You were my comfort and you're gone.
I felt like I was on the floor for days, crying and screaming, my body filled with such pain that I just lay there, curled up like a child. I was lost and alone. You weren't there anymore to pick me up and show me how to live.
It wasn't until weeks later that I could bear to hear the whole story.
You had been walking back to your hotel when you heard a woman screaming for help in the alleyway. Her boyfriend was beating her with a bat and you started chasing him. You chased the jag-off for ten blocks before he finally rounded a corner and disappeared from sight. You went right after him, not waiting for back up, and not even remembering that you weren't a cop anymore. You never even saw the gun that killed you.
He shot you three times in the chest and then ran off.
They caught him about a year ago. He's going to prison for life. When Sully told me that, I asked if that would bring you back because otherwise, I couldn't care less what would happen to him.
He shot you. He shot my partner, my best friend, my other half.
They brought your body back to New York and we gave you the biggest funeral I've ever seen. The chief wouldn't get a better funeral, I made sure of that.
I tried saying something at the funeral, but as soon as I got up there and stared down at your coffin, the flag you've always fought for draped over it and your badge lying across it, I broke down and started sobbing. Lieu and Ty had to carry me back down.
Please don't be mad at me. I just couldn't do it. You've always been the stronger one out of the two of us, although I know you'll always deny it. Just like you'd deny not thinking before running after that stupid jag-off.
I know you weren't thinking straight. All you saw was someone—a woman no less—getting hurt, and you immediately went to help her.
Did you forget that you weren't wearing a radio and couldn't call for back up? Did you forget that I wasn't watching your back and running behind you like I always was? Did you forget that—try as damn hard as I can—I can't watch your back from thousands of miles away?
The paramedics say that my name was the last word you ever spoke. Were you angry that I wasn't there for you, watching your back like your partner should?
Or did you think I was there beside you and you were trying to reassure me that you were fine and that I should get up and keep chasing the asshole who had done this to you?
Or were you apologizing to me, knowing that you were going to leave me and you were going to break your promise?
I will never know, but I pray that you didn't die angry with me, thinking that we were still in 55-David, running down New York City's streets and that I didn't do what I'd sworn to do many years ago.
You will never know how much I hate myself for that. Your body and soul nearly died protecting me, and I wasn't there to protect you. I know what you would say, you'd say not to blame myself, that I couldn't possibly be in two places at once.
Isn't that strange? The way I know exactly what you'd say to me without you having to say it?
The pain is slowly dulling but it'll never go away.
Once in a while, I borrow 55-David from Ty and Brendan and drive out to our bridge and sit there, memories washing over me as I imagine you're still sitting next to me.
I miss you so much. I probably always will.
I will never find anybody on this earth who will replace you. Not as a partner, not as a best friend, and not in my heart.
I love you and I miss you and no amount of my crying will make it any better.
But then, occasionally, I have days like a few months ago when I was sitting in our car, under our bridge in the pouring rain.
I was sobbing, head on the dash, your badge clutched in my hands when the sun came out from behind the grey clouds and shimmered across the water. I lifted my head and wiped the tears off my cheeks as I stared at the sun.
Then I smiled.
Because on days like that, you let me know that you're still up there, watching over me and you'll never have truly left me and that a small part of you will always live on inside of me.
And one day, one day we'll be together again, partners and best friends and I will feel complete once more.
Until then, I will miss you and wear your badge everyday, underneath my shirt, right over my heart, where I know you'll keep me safe.