TITLE: Hero in her sky
DISCLAIMER: I don't own this characters or show, only borrowing them for my fan-fic ideas.
SUMMARY: Bosco realize that there are more than one way to become someone's hero…
AUTHOR'S NOTE: The credit for this story goes to Swamy, who did an amazing Bosco/Faith shipper video which inspired me to write this one. I really hope you like it. All feedback, good or bad. Review, or write a pm or an e-mail.Thanks to joey for beta reading it for me. :)
HERO IN HER SKY
Ever since the first time I met Faith, I have felt the need to impress her, to make her think I'm special. I always wanted her to think of me as strong, untouchable and invincible. I wanted her to feel safe and protected by me. I wanted her to feel that no matter what was wrong, she could turn to me and I would fix it, make her pain go away. I wanted to be the hero in her sky. But I never was.
For the longest time I didn't know why I wanted it so badly. I had to almost lose her to realize why. I love her and I want her to love me. She doesn't, though, and from the look of it, she never will either, because there's always someone or something there to stop that from happening. Most of the time it's me. I have always been my own worst enemy and this is no exception. I always screwed up one way or another and in the end; she turned out to be for me what I wanted to be for her.
She became my only friend, the one I could turn to no matter what, the one who always bailed me out, the one who always picked up the pieces of my shattered soul, the one who could always make the pain go away. She became my guiding star. The hero in my sky.
By the time I realized why I wanted to be her hero, it was already too late. I had screwed up beyond repair, and I was painfully aware that I was anything but the hero in her sky. She didn't trust me. She didn't feel safe with me. She didn't even think I was strong and invincible. She already knew I was a weak, pathetic loser. It made her keep all her fears and troubles inside. It made her lie to me. It made her try to fight a severe illness without telling me. I don't blame her, though. If the roles had been reversed I would have acted the same way. She had become my hero and, like every hero, she was lonely. And there was nothing I could do to help, because like every true hero, she didn't want to show her weaknesses. Instead, she ousted her trusted side-kick away in order to be able to heal. Not that I ever was her trusted side kick, more like the crazy fool, but anyway….
When she asked me to be her partner again, I could see that she was scared, that for once she needed me to protect her and save her, and I saw it as a sign from the God I'd almost lost faith in to do things right for once. A new chance to become her hero. I just didn't know how. But before I knew it, the moment was there and it really was a hero moment. I mean, what can be more heroic than taking four bullets for the one you love?
Of course it didn't work out. None of my other attempts had and this was no exception. I guess that, in some way, I did became her hero – at least sort of and at least for awhile – but in the end it backfired, because now she was suddenly even more out of reach than she had been before. She had become a detective and I was still a beat cop, which made it impossible for us to be partners. Not that it had mattered anyway, because somewhere along the way she lost faith in me. She didn't think I'd be able to handle the job and who wants to have that kind of partner, huh? Finally, the last chance for me to get her slipped away, too.
When I woke up and found out that Fred had left her, I allowed myself to think she might be within reach, and since I finally had proved myself to her by doing something really heroic, she would stop seeing me as someone she needed to save and see me as a real man. Someone she could trust, someone she could rely on, someone who could protect her. Someone she could love. I should have known better. By saving her, I had destroyed the only good thing about me – my looks – and that drove her right in the arms of detective Miller.
I guess he's her hero now…and why wouldn't he be? He's everything she wants and needs. He's reliable, good looking, successful and a detective – her own kind. He's everything I'm not. He's something I always wanted to be. He's her perfect match and now, three years later, she and I are still barely on speaking terms and he's about to move in with her.
I have lost the last battle without even fighting it. I never really stood a chance. Only in the bible does David ever defeat Goliath. So, here I am, in a bar, trying to get drunk so that I can forget, while she's planning her future with Miller.
Suddenly, Ma sits down opposite me in the booth. She looks at the glass of bourbon in my hand and asks, "Hard day at work, baby?"
I shake my head. "Not really."
She lifts her eyebrows. "Then what's wrong?
She looks worriedly at me. "You OK, Maurice?"
"Yeah, just peachy."
Ma smiles. "So this is about Faith?"
I look at her in surprise. "How did you know?"
Ma's smile widens. "Because she's the only person I know of who's that sarcastic, and when you're thinking about her, you tend to use her expressions."
"Yeah, baby, you do. So, what's up with you two this time."
"She's planning on moving in with Miller," I answer quietly.
Ma reaches out and squeezes my hand. "I'm so sorry, baby."
"I'm losing her, Ma," I whisper, feeling tears rising in my eyes.
She looks compassionately at me. "Why don't you just tell her how you feel, Maurice? She can't really choose you if she doesn't know you love her."
"Yeah, right, like she'd ever choose me!"
"You can't really know that if you don't tell her."
"Yes, I can! Look at me! I look like a damn freak! Why would she want someone like me, huh? She didn't want me when I was good looking. Why would she want me now?"
I shake my head furiously. "No, Ma. Don't you dare pity me. It's bad enough as it is."
"I wasn't about to pity you. But I think you're too hard on Faith. I really don't think she's that shallow."
I feel my eyes tear up again. She's right. I'm unfair to Faith – again. I wonder why it's so hard for me to realize that I'm not good enough for her, no matter what I say or do. No matter what I look like. She's doesn't want me period.
"I just wanted to be her hero," I choke out.
Ma leans in over the table and strokes my cheek. "Maurice, honey, you are her hero."
"Then why doesn't she want to be with me?"
Ma smiles sadly at me. "Because she doesn't need you to be her hero, Maurice. She needs you to be alive."
I look at her in confusion. "But I am alive.
"Yes, honey you are, but there was a time when we didn't think you'd make it. A time when she and I feared that you being her hero would cost you your life, and she can't deal with that again and to be honest, neither can I. We both need you, Maurice, and we need you to be alive."
"No, Maurice, please let me finish. She was the one who told me what happened to you and believe me, she was devastated. I had never pictured her being that upset because you were hurt, and I don't know how many times she asked for my forgiveness the following months but I'm telling you that it was several, but not only that; she changed, too. It was like as long as you didn't wake up; she didn't care what happened to her. It was like her whole life had fallen apart, like nothing mattered – nothing but you."
I stare at her feeling a lump in my throat. Poor, Faith. I know that feeling all too well. No wonder she didn't really appreciate my attempt to be her hero, but then again, I have never been able to do things right when it comes to her. Still, I don't really understand. It's over now. I'm fine.
"But I'm fine now."
Mom looks calmly at me. "We both know that isn't true, and so does Faith."
"I don't know what you're talking about. I'm fine."
Mom just raises her eyebrows.
I cringe slightly. I hate that she always knows when I'm lying. "OK, so maybe I'm not 100 all right, but it's no big deal. I can take care of myself."
"Faith's afraid you can't."
I smile bitterly. "I know. She has lost faith in me."
"That's not true."
"No? Then tell me what it means."
Ma sighs deeply. "She's scared, Maurice. She fears that she's going to lose you."
"She told you that?"
Ma sighs again. "Not in so many words, no, but from what I learned about her during the months we spent together at your bedside, I think so. I think it was bad enough for her to watch you do all these heroic but dangerous things when you where 100, and she was your partner and could be there to protect you. Now she knows you're not OK and she can't protect you. Of course she's scared."
I open my mouth to tell her that not being my partner was Faith's own choice but Ma beats me to it.
"And before you say anything; she never wanted that promotion. She tried to turn it down so she could be with you when you woke up. But Sully and I talked her out of it because neither of us really thought you'd wake up."
I stare at her in shock. She didn't think I'd wake up? My own Mother had that little faith in me?
She blushes slightly. "I know what you're thinking and you're right. As your Mother I should have believed in you, but at the time I really thought that God was gonna take away all the good things in my life."
We just look at each other in silence while I try to process what she just told me.
"So what does she want me to do?" I finally ask.
"I think you know the answer to that question."
I swallow hard. She's right, I do, but the problem is that's not an option. I just can't do it.
"If she really cared about me she'd never ask me to do such a thing. She knows the job is all I have – all I live for."
"If you ever let her, she might give you something else to live for."
I just shake my head.
Ma stands up and caresses my hair. "Just think about it, baby, but don't think too long. You're running out of time, remember?"
I watch her leave and lean my head back against the booth and close my eyes. What if Ma's right? I have to admit that – in a way – it does make sense and it sure as hell is a much more appealing thought than that she has lost faith in me and stopped caring.
I open my eyes and hold up my right hand in front of me, watching it shake and decide that I'm going to do one last thing to try to become her hero. It's just a matter of time anyway and she's definitely worth it.
I take a deep breath before knocking on the lieutenant's door.
I open the door and carefully peak inside.
Lieutenant McNeal looks kindly at me. "Boscorelli, what can I do for you?"
I nervously clear my throat. "I need to talk to you about something."
His expression changes to concerned. "Is something wrong?"
"You could say that, yeah."
"Have a seat," he says, motioning toward the chair in front of his desk.
I sit down and let out a breath. I can't believe how nervous I am.
The lieutenant looks calmly at me. "So, what's up?"
I look down in my lap and swallow hard, trying to summon up enough courage to tell him. Then I look up and meet his eyes. "Do you think there's any chance I still could get disability?"
He looks confused. "For what? The injuries from the shooting at the hospital three years ago?"
He shakes his head. "I highly doubt it. It's been three years and you've been doing remarkably well. There's just no reason. You're fully capable of doing your job – more than capable, actually – unless…" He looks inquiringly at me. "…something has changed."
I just swallow hard, unable to give him an answer right away.
"Bosco, has something changed?" he asks sternly.
"This." I slowly raise my right hand in the air in front of his eyes, without supporting it with my other hand or leaning it against something, and, as always when it's on its own, it starts shaking.
Lieu look seriously at me. "How long?"
"About two months."
"And you think it's because of the shooting?"
I shrug. "Don't really know, but they said something about that there was always a possibility for long-term neurological damage."
For the longest moment he just looks at me but finally he says, "OK, take the rest of the shift off and go and see a doctor. If he can confirm that this is because of the injuries you suffered three years ago, there will be no problem getting disability."
"Thank you, sir, but I'd rather work the rest of my shift. I won't be able to get an appointment today anyway."
He sighs. "Sure, fine by me. But after what I learned today, I need to put you behind the desk. I hope you understand that."
I nod. "Of course."
I stand up and walk toward the door but in the same moment I press down the door handle, I hear Lieu's voice.
I turn around.
"I'm really sorry."
I just nod quietly in return and leave the room.
I sit at the desk and carefully finish another piece of paper work while I'm waiting for Lieu to call me into his office. I turned in the papers from the doctors this morning and I know he's going to want to talk to me as soon as he's done reading them.
Not that this kind of work really is paper work anymore. It's more like "computer work" and I'm grateful for it, because it's a lot easier to type with your left hand than it is to write. It's kind of funny that I – having always hated type-writers and computers – now see them as my best friends. I can still write my name because as long as I lean the hand against something, it doesn't shake. It's still difficult to write longer pieces, though, and I have to use my left hand when I eat or I end up spilling everything all over myself.
My neurologist definitely thinks my problems are from the bullet I took in the head three years ago. She recommended me for disability and told me how proud she was that I knew my limit. Like I give a damn what she thinks. I don't care what anybody thinks – anybody but Faith.
"Yeah?" I look up, startled, when I hear lieu's soft voice beside me. I didn't hear him coming and I wonder how long he has been standing there.
"I want to talk to you in my office."
I nod. "Sure."
I stand up and follow him through the house and up the stairs. I feel like dead man walking. He holds the door open for me to walk in before closing it behind us.
"Have a seat."
I sit down and folder my hands in my lap, both to keep them from shaking and in order to try to keep my nervousness at bay.
Lieu sits down behind his desk and folds his hands as well.
"I have read what the doctor wrote and as far as I can understand, there's absolutely no doubt that your problems are because of the injuries you suffered three years ago, and under those circumstances there will be no problem what-so-ever to get disability. But I hope that you're aware that you can get limited duty instead. You don't have to quit completely."
"I'm aware of that, sir, but I'm not interested," I answer quietly.
He looks sadly at me. "And there's no chance I can convince you to at least think about it?"
I shake my head. "No, sir. I have made up my mind."
He sighs. "OK, I'll hand in the papers tomorrow. It's gonna take a couple of weeks, though. Do you want to work the desk until it's cleared or do you want sick leave?"
I take a moment to think about it before answering. "I think I rather stay at the desk. You know, to ease out of it, getting used to the idea."
He nods understandingly.
"That's perfectly fine with me. Just tell me if you change your mind, OK?"
"Thank you, sir. I will." And with that I stand up and walk back to my desk, trying to grasp the idea that I only have fourteen days left as a cop.
I sit in my apartment, staring at the TV-screen. I don't really know what's on and I don't really care. I've been retired for almost two weeks now and I'm already bored out of my mind. I managed to talk Lieu out of throwing me a big good-bye party. I really don't think there's anything to celebrate. It's not like I'm happy about quitting. I just don't have a choice. Plus, I don't really know any of the other cops. Even though I worked with most of them for three years, I managed to keep my distance and never really made any new friends. I never was the kind of guy to have a lot of friends, to have friends at all. Faith was the exception to that rule.
But we're not friends anymore. I'm sure about that now because she hasn't called or stopped by. A lot of people have called. Ty, Sully, Swersky, even that Finery kid, but not Faith. Ty offered to help me out if I needed something else to do, like security work. I don't think he understands how bad off I am, and how could he? We haven't seen each other in ages.
I thought for sure that Faith would call when she found out that I wasn't a cop anymore. I really thought she was still keeping an eye at me, but I was wrong. She has forgotten about me entirely. My very last try to become her hero has failed as well and I'm left with nothing. No friend, no lover, no work, nothing -- just emptiness.
My cell phone starts ringing, but I don't bother to answer or check who the caller is, because it's probably just Ma, trying to cheer me up. At least it was her the last ten times someone called. I sigh and close my eyes, feeling tired all of a sudden. I've been more tired lately, probably because I'm bored. I decide to take a nap. It's not like I have anything better to do anyway.
I wake up with a start to the sound of someone pounding on my door. I blink a few times and rub the sleep out of my eyes, trying to figure out who my visitor is. That's when the pounding starts again and I hear her voice.
"Bosco, come on! If you in there please open the door! Bos, please…."
There's a touch of desperation and fear in her pleading voice, and that makes me forget that I'm mad at her and that we aren't friends anymore. I just want to protect her and take away all her fears.
I walk over to the door and open it. Our eyes meet, and for a moment, I drown in hers. I haven't seen her in such a long time and I had almost forgotten how those blue eyes can make my knees go weak, and the anguished look in them make me want to take her in my arms.
"Faith, what's wrong?"
She looks at me in confusion. "You know what? That's my line."
I sigh when I realize that she's here because she finally realized I'm not on the force anymore and that the anguish in her eyes is out of worry for me. Which I guess is a good thing because it means she still cares about me, but at the same time it's a bad thing because I did this to make her feel better and worry less, not the other way around. I guess I failed again.
"What do you want?" I ask rudely.
The all too familiar feeling of failure, along with the disappointment that it took her so long to figure things out makes me behave like an ass – as I always do when I'm trying to hide my true emotions.
She bites her bottom lip nervously. "Can I come in?"
I nod and open the door wider for her to come in.
Once she's inside, I close it and cross my arms over my chest. "So, spit it out. What do you want?"
She hesitates for a moment and when she finally speaks, her voice is soft and quiet, almost a whisper. "I haven't seen you around for awhile so I called your mother to check on you and she told me you were no longer on the force – that you had taken disability…and I got worried…. Bos, what's going on? I don't understand. You were doing so good…."
"Were is the keyword here," I murmur.
The worry in her eyes increases. "Bos, what's wrong?"
"This," I state simply, holding up my hand in front of her.
I watch her eyes get wide with fear at the sight of my shaking hand. "Oh God, Bos!" She takes a step forward, takes my hand in hers and runs her thumb along my palm and up my fingers, as she examines it. "What happened?"
"I got shot," I state bluntly.
"This is from the shooting?" she asks in disbelief.
I nod. "That's what the doctors say."
Her eyes tear up and I almost feel bad for throwing it in her face like this, but on some level it feels good to see her pain, because I don't want to suffer alone. I really am a lousy hero.
"I'm sorry, Bos. I'm so very sorry."
I just shrug. The guilt on her face is starting to make me feel uneasy. I don't want her to feel guilty, not really. She didn't force me to try to be a hero. Actually, she never asked me to be anything of that sort. It was all in my screwed up head and it isn't fair to put the blame on her.
She takes a deep, shaky breath, probably trying to compose herself. "So, what did they say? Is it gonna get worse or can it go away?"
I shake my head. "No, it will never get better but hopefully it isn't gonna get much worse either, but she didn't really know for sure."
She bits her lip again. "Well, that's good. That it isn't gonna get worse, I mean."
I shrug again. "I guess it is."
Suddenly the fear is back in her eyes. "This is the only problem you have, right? You're OK otherwise?"
For the first time in days, I smile. I can't help it. I had forgotten how much I love the way she worries about me.
"No, otherwise I'm fine – unemployed, but fine."
She lets go of a sigh and sinks down on the couch. When she looks up at me, her face is a mask of guilt and despair. "I'm really, really sorry, Bosco."
"It's OK. I'll get used to it."
She shakes her head. "No, it's not OK. You should have let me die instead."
Her comment throws me completely off guard and I just stare at her in horror. Is she out of her mind? She seriously can't think that would be better, right? But the look in her eyes tells me she does.
"Are you out of your mind? What kind of life do you think I would have if you were dead, huh?"
She refuses to look me in the eyes when she answers. "A much better life. You would be healthy. You would still be a cop. You wouldn't have to feel betrayed or abandoned by your partner" She swallows hard and I know she's fighting to hold back her tears. "You would be happy."
"No, I wouldn't. I would have been feeling guilty and lonely," I answer quietly and close my eyes in agony.
I can't believe she really believes that those things are true. I have really succeeded in screwing up our relationship and I can't help but wonder if things would have turned out differently between the two of us over the years, if I hadn't been so obsessed with becoming her hero.
Her voice, choked with tears, makes me open my eyes again. Her eyes are overflowed with tears and she looks almost as desperate as when Fred was at the hospital. "I don't know why you bother. I'm not worth it. I never was and you know that. You know that better than anyone."
Her words bring tears in my own eyes. "You don't get it, Faith. Remember when I said you were the only one? It wasn't just something I said to get you to help me. It was true. It still is. You are the only one. The only one who's worth the effort. The only one I care about. The only one I would sacrifice my life for. Damn it, Faith, everything I do, I do for you. Everything – always. All those stupid and dangerous things I did, it was all for you. I did them because I wanted you to see me, to love me. Faith, all I ever wanted was to be your hero and I'm sorry I failed you over and over again, and I'm even sorrier that I always put the blame of my failures on you. Please don't cry."
"Oh, Bos." My name comes out as a shuddered breath. "You're the one who doesn't get it. You didn't have to do all those stupid, dangerous things to become my hero. You already were my hero! You always were and I can't believe you never noticed how much I love you."
She sniffs and leans her head against her hand and when she continues to speak, she cries so hard that I can barely hear her. "I'm so sorry for the way I acted when you got back to work, but I was so scared. I only wanted you to stay alive, because I love you so much and I don't know if I can do this without you. As a matter of fact, I know I can't. I thought I was gonna go insane those dreadful months when you were in a coma. I can't go through that again. I need you, Bosco. I need you so much. I'm so sorry, I'm so very sorry – for everything. I'm so soo…oorry…"
Her voice breaks and she starts sobbing hysterically and I know that for once, I have something to say that will make her feel better and that maybe, maybe this time I did the right hero act.
I kneel down in front of her and pull her into my embrace, softly stroking her hair. "It's OK, Faith. It's OK. I know you can't, but that's OK. I'm here and I'm not going anywhere. I took disability, remember?"
She pulls away slightly and dries at her tears. "I remember and I'm sorry for that, too. I never wanted you to quit the force."
"Yes, you did," I say softly.
Her eyes tears up again. "Bos, it's not like you think…."
I smile gently at her. "You don't know what I'm thinking. I'm not angry with you, Faith, not anymore. Ma talked some sense into me a couple of weeks ago. She told me how afraid you are and how much you need me and most important of all, you need me alive, and since my problems were only getting worse, I thought I'd give the hero thing one last try. I quit the force for you, Faith. They would have probably fired me eventually anyway, because of my problems, but…."
She stares at me in disbelief. "You took disability for me?"
"Because I don't want you to be scared and worried. I want you to be happy. I played my last hero trick, please tell me you liked it?" I say and try to look as nice and innocent as I can because I have learned over the years that that's what works best when I want her sympathy.
She puts her hand on my cheek and smiles her beautiful smile. "I love it, Bos, I really do. But I'm still sorry you have to quit your job. I know how much you love it, and I'm even sorrier that you're not feeling well."
I smile. "I love you more, and I'm kind of hoping that you will show me some other reasons to live."
"You bet," she answers sweetly, and the way she holds me tight, like she was afraid I'd disappear, tells me I don't have to worry about Miller anymore. I guess I've finally succeed in becoming her hero.