Far Away:

A Third Watch Fan-Fic.

I do NOT own, or claim to own Third Watch, or any of its characters. Only the OC's.

A/N:

Chapter 19

December 25th, 1999.

"Danielle, wake up! Sweetie, time to get up! Santa's come!" Mom told me. I felt a rush of excitement as I jumped out of bed, and ran downstairs. I saw the few toys Santa had left me by the tree, with a full stocking.

"Thank you, Santa!" I screeched, jumping up and down with my new doll in my arms. I gasped, when I realized the cookies on the coffee table were gone. "Mommy! Look, Santa ate all of his cookies, and drank all of his eggnog!" I smiled. "He must have thought they were so yummy!"

"I'm sure he did…" My mom smiled to me.

"Mommy, where's daddy?" I asked her. I realized he wasn't downstairs opening presents with us.

"He… had to go to work." She replied. She looked sad… but I didn't know why.

I sighed. "Aww… Why does he have to work on Christmas?" I stuck my bottom lip out a little.

"Hey, how about you open this present?" She smiled, changing the subject. She started handing me gifts, as we slowly opened them together. The one thing I really wanted, though? Was my daddy to be here with us.

"Baby…" A man whispered.

"Baby…" Bosco whispered. I barely heard him… I thought I was dreaming it for a second. I slowly opened my eyes, and saw the dim light shining through the window. It was morning, and still snowing outside. "Merry Christmas." He smiled at me, as he leaned in to kiss me.

"Merry Christmas." My voice cracked, and he giggled.

"You alright?" He asked me. I tried to wake myself up a little more by sitting up, as I rubbed my eyes.

"Yeah… I just, had a weird dream…" I said, trying to remember.

"What about?"

I blinked a few times, picturing it in my head. "It was Christmas morning… I think I was three and a half years old. My mom woke me up to open presents." I said, staring blankly out the window. "When I asked her where my dad was, she told me he was at work…" I continued. "I haven't seen him since…" I mumbled.

"What?" Bosco asked me in disbelief.

"That was the worst Christmas of my life." I told him, feeling no emotion.

"I didn't know that he left you and your mom on Christmas…I'm so sorry, baby…" He said, wrapping his arms around my shoulder.

"Don't be. I'm not. He was an abusive alcoholic anyways. I just wish he hadn't have left on Christmas." I told him. We were silent for a few moments, before the phone rang. I reached over to grab it off the table, and answered it. "Hello?"

"Hey sweetheart, I just wanted to let you know I'm on my way! We will be there in a few hours!"My mom exclaimed.

"Alright, mom! See you then!" I told her, and hung up the phone. I put the phone back on the table, and stretched a bit before standing up and walking into the kitchen. I felt Bosco's eyes on me as I walked. As I started preparing breakfast, I looked over to see him still watching me. "What?" I asked, not being able to help smiling.

"Nothing." He replied, slightly grinning at me.

"Why are you staring at me?" I rose an eyebrow, still trying not to laugh. I suddenly felt self-conscious.

"What? I can't stare at you?" He grinned.

"Not without a reason!" I told him, as I started putting Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls on a baking sheet.

"See…every other man, or person, needs a reason for staring at you. I, however, don't." He smiled, as he stood up to put another log on the fire. I rolled my eyes and giggled. "Is this going to be our tradition?" He randomly asked.

I rose an eyebrow in confusion. "What?"

"This is our first Christmas together. Everybody, couples, families… they all have traditions. What we did last night, what we're doing now. Is this going to be our tradition?"

I smiled, thinking about it. "Yeah. I hope so."

He returned the smile, as he continued fixing the fire. Christmas music was still playing over the stereo from last night, and I continued fixing breakfast. "What are you making?" He asked, starting to smell the cinnamon rolls in the oven.

"Cinnamon rolls…"

"On Christmas?" He rose an eyebrow, walking in to the kitchen.

"Yeah. It's something my family and I have always done since before I can remember…" I told him. He nodded, but part of me thought he was upset. "What did your family do for Christmas breakfast?" I asked him.

"Well, we always just had cereal or something. Nothin' huge… but we did have Eggnog and cookies with it…" He smiled, thinking about the memory.

"Well, we'll have eggnog and cookies with our cinnamon rolls then." I smiled, opening the refrigerator door and taking out the carton of eggnog and reaching for the plate of cookies, which were on the counter next to the fridge. Bosco smiled, as he walked into the kitchen with me. When the timer on the oven went off, I pulled the cinnamon rolls out, and started to drizzle the icing over them. Once they were done, we brought everything over to the coffee table in the center of the room and started eating our breakfast, as we exchanged gifts. He had gotten me three things, I had gotten him four. Of course, it didn't matter how many gifts we got each other. Especially to me. I didn't care. As long as I was with him, that's all I could ever ask for.

Among the things I had gotten him, one was a brand new gun. He already had three different ones. (His pistol he uses while on duty, his off-duty / backup gun, and another off duty pistol, in which he keeps locked up in our bedroom for emergencies). He babied those guns. He took better care of his guns than anything else. Why does he need more, you ask? He doesn't. But, I just knew that he had been in love with this one (the one I just bought him) forever, but never could afford it for himself. He gasped when he saw it, which made me giggle. He just about tackled me to the floor and kissed me.

"Thank you, baby!" He said excitedly in between kisses. I laughed, watching him crawl off of me and back over to the tree to get the last present, which was to both of us. Ashley had sent it in the mail, with a big letter on the box: DO NOT OPEN UNTIL X-MAS!

Bosco and I tore it apart together. Once we had gotten all the wrapping paper off of it, I nearly cried finally comprehending what it was. I had no idea when she had taken this picture, but I was in love with it. I guessed she took it a few months ago when she was here visiting. It was a picture of Bosco and I looking at each other, laughing. She had it printed in black and white, and put into a beautiful 12 x 16 black frame. "I remember that night…" Bosco whispered, taking the picture out of my hands to get a better look at it. He smiled, remembering. "I didn't know she took a picture of us, though…"

"Me either." I managed to croak. I was speechless. It was the first picture of us together. It was such a candid, Kodak moment; and I just couldn't stop staring at it. I could feel Bosco's eyes on me again, but my eyes were glued to the picture in awe. I wanted to call Ashley right now and thank her a million times. I swallowed the lump in my throat, and stood up to take the ugly painting off of the wall above the fireplace, and replaced it with our picture. Much better. I'm not sure what it was about this picture, but it was perfect. I stared at it hanging on the wall, listening to the sound of Bosco's breathing in my ear. He was standing behind me, starting to pull my hair away from my neck, as he started to kiss it. I felt my heart start pumping a little more, feeling his breath against my neck.

"I love you." He whispered into my ear, and then continued kissing my neck. I turned around to face him, and he already had a little tiny box out of his pocket. I literally stopped breathing. "I love you more than anything in this world, Dani. Yes, I want to marry you. But, as long as we're together for the rest of my life, it doesn't matter to me. I know your not ready. Hell, I'm not ready. We could be engaged for the rest of our lives for all I care. As long as we're together, I'll be the happiest man in the world." He stared into my eyes as he spoke, and I couldn't help crying. "Will you…" He paused, "Eventually, be my wife?" He stammered.

For a few moments, I couldn't move. I had to wait until my heart started beating again. I could feel tears running down my face. Bosco giggled and tried to wipe them away as fast as they were falling, but he couldn't keep up. Once I caught my breath, I shook my head and said "Of course." He jumped up and kissed me more passionately than ever before.

It was past seven at night, and my mom was already here. As was Bosco's family. It was the first time they had all met each other…so far so good. My mom and Rose were getting along great. Bosco had made a bet that they would be best friends by the end of the night, and I knew he was probably right. I watched as they all laughed during a conversation in the living room, as I was in the kitchen preparing an apple pie for desert. I couldn't help smiling to myself. Our families all getting along so well made me extremely happy. It's all I could ever want.

Bosco silently appeared in the kitchen, and rapped his arms around my waist. "Why are you so quiet tonight?" He whispered into my ear. His breath on my ear sent shivers down my spine, and suddenly I knew why I was so quiet.

I was grinning ear to ear when I turned around to face him. "I'm not sure. I'm just so happy. Today was perfect. We're engaged. Our families get along. There's nothing more I could ask for."

Bosco smiled, kissing my forehead. "Did you tell your mom yet?"

"No! She would flip…" I paused, thinking about it. Although she was acting a bit strange tonight. Maybe the rock on my left ring finger gave it away. "Did you tell your mom?" I asked him.

"Well, no." He replied, cocking an eyebrow. "She guessed."

"She knows?" I yelled. "That means she's gonna tell my mom!"

"Baby, I'm sure your mom guessed already too. I mean, you've been wearing the ring all day. If she hasn't noticed it by now…"

"I know, I know." I sighed, thinking about it. "You do realize Ashley is going to kill me when she finds out."

He giggled. "Why would she kill you?"

"Because I didn't call her as soon as it happened." I sighed. He giggled again and kissed me. He quickly pulled away when my mom walked in. "Hey mom."

Bosco wiped his mouth and smiled. "Hi sweetheart… listen sweetie I have to tell you something."

I rose an eyebrow. "What is it?"

"Your father." She simply replied.

"What about him?" I asked with a bit of attitude. Like I didn't care at all…because I really didn't.

"He called the other day…"

It took me a second to gather this information. He hadn't called since I was five. "How did he find your number?"

"I've had the same job since he left me. He just called my work." She replied, and then continued her story. "Anyways… he wants to see you."

"Sucks for him." I replied blankly, turning my back to finish the pie I was working on. I felt Bosco put his hand on the small of my back. No. No way was I going to speak, let alone see my father. He left me when I was three. Three years old! He abused my mother and I. He hurt us in every way humanly possible. There's no way I'm speaking to him.

"Sweetheart… You must. You haven't since you were three…He misses you -" She stopped short when I cut her off.

"Don't tell me what I must, or mustn't do. He left us. He left me. Yes, I was three. He misses me? Bullshit. He shouldn't have left then." I replied harshly. I could feel my blood starting to boil.

Bosco took a step in between me and my mother, putting a hand on my waist. "Baby, it's okay…" He started, but I cut him off too.

"No, it's not! I'm not going to talk, or speak to him if I don't want to!" I nearly yelled.

"Danielle. Listen to me. I'm sorry I never brought this up. You can hate me all you want. I never forgave your father either… but he's coming here to see you. Tonight." She told me.

"No!" I yelled. Bosco now had both of his hands on my waist, holding me still. "Mom, why didn't you tell me about this earlier!"

"I'm sorry, sweetheart. I just knew you would object."

"That's an understatement." I replied. "How about…umm… hell no?"

"Dani…" Bosco whispered in my ear, trying to get me to calm down. I ignored him.

"Danielle, please don't use that language. I apologized. I'm sorry. But he's already on his way." She told me. I felt defeated. My mouth was hanging open in shock, as tears ran down my face. "Oh, sweetheart. I'm so sorry. He insisted. I was so shocked when he called me that I didn't know how to reply. I'm sorry."

"He's not coming in here!" I yelled, pulling away from Bosco.

"Dani…." Bosco said again, grabbing at my hand, but I yanked it away.

"No! He's not stepping foot inside my house! I don't want to see him!" I cried, but they were both staring at me. I knew my mom felt horrible. But there was no way I was going to talk to my father. But; Looking at their faces, I knew there was nothing I could do about it now. "Please…" I whispered, backing out of the kitchen. Neither one of them budged. "Damn it." I cried, and ran from the kitchen, through the living room, into my bedroom. I lay face down on the bed, and in less than two seconds Bosco was there next to me.

"Baby…" He whispered, rubbing my back. I couldn't stop crying. This perfect day was being ruined. "Babe… C'mon. Our families are out there. It's Christmas."

"Yeah? Well it was Christmas the day my dad left too. There's no way in hell I'm gonna let him ruin this one for me too."

"Maybe he's going to make it better?"

"How?" I asked, not believing him.

"I'm not sure. But I don't think you have another choice but to see him… I think he's here." He told me. Suddenly, this night had gone from amazing, to horrible. My father was here; and I already knew it wasn't going to be pleasant.