Five and a Sawbuck

'Please don't let her say it,' he begged silently. 'Please don't let her say it.'

He'd been repeating the mantra even since he got back into the vehicle. Yokas had, thus far, not said it. But it wasn't because she wouldn't. He knew better. She was just waiting for him to get distracted by something and forget that she was going--

"You really should invite us over, Boz."

He groaned. 'Why me? Why do I get saddled with a partner who keeps demanding that I behave like a normal human?' He turned towards he, giving her a dirty look even though she was already facing forward, navigating through early evening rush traffic. "I should invite you over? Ignoring for a moment the fact that I've never invited you over for dinner?"

Which was the wrong thing to say, he discovered a second later when she spared him a glance. It was the sort of glance only people who were really going to rip you a new one, could make. But all she said was, "You've never invited Fred and I over for dinner. How many meals have you stolen from us?"

He tried a sheepish grin. Didn't work. "I can't cook, you know that."

"You can't order pizza? Have something catered? You could take us all to Burger King for all I care. Or you could have -- now just make Jimmy cook."

Boz rolled his eyes. "Yeah, I'll tell him he has to make dinner for six because *I* owe you a couple dinners."

"So you'll owe him a favor. Won't that be more fun than owing me favors?" She'd grinned, and for a second Boz thought he might be out of the doghouse. Only for a second. Yokas continued, "Besides, it's more than a couple. I think you should invite us over regularly. Once a month." She smiled. He didn't fall for the innocent look for a moment. She sounded like she was kidding, but she wasn't.

"Don't I help do dishes sometimes?" He squirmed in his seat, trying not to think about how he'd got into this conversation in the first place. Opening his big mouth again, saying what seemed like a perfectly reasonable thing to say -- only to find Yokas glaring at him and off on one of her lectures. Lessons in socialising Boscarelli, stage two. After so many years he *hoped* he was at least up to stage two.

"So, Fred'll do dishes when you invite us over."

Boz didn't respond, staring out at the sidewalk and hoping someone would mug somebody else, or try to hold up a shop. Anything for a little distraction. It wouldn't make her drop the topic, but at least it would give him breathing room.

Or maybe he'd get shot, and she'd feel too badly to mention it again for days.

He squirmed again in his seat then forced himself to stop. He couldn't even blame his fidgeting on the heat, since Yokas had the air on full blast. Not that it was all that hot outside, but he'd never complained about the fact that his partner liked the air conditioner. He was all for being comfortable, especially when he could blame it on someone else. He sighed, watching the doing-nothing-suspicious crowd they drove past. 'Somebody do *something*.'


He made the mistake of turning towards her, acknowledging that she'd said something. "So what?"

"When are we coming over for dinner?"

"How's never?"

"So you're taking us out? That's good, but remember the kids are still too young for those really fancy places." She smiled at him briefly.

Would it be wrong to throw his partner out of a moving vehicle? Possibly. Stupid, for certain, since she was the one driving. Maybe at the next red light...

"55 David," came over the radio, and Yokas gave him an amused look when he responded immediately.


Despite Yokas' insistence on using the air conditioner, it wasn't all that hot. He'd been in hotter, and it was a good thing. Boz waved another car past, directing traffic with almost half a mind on his work. Times like this he couldn't help thinking about all the training he'd ever been given. Trained for so much -- and here he was.

Waving cars past an accident. Holding others up.

Really tricky stuff. The advantage to it was that there was less chance he'd have to talk to his partner about dinner and other social engagements, and a greater chance that some irate driver would try to run him over. A little excitement, and a chance to arrest somebody... assuming the driver missed him.

He waved a pickup past, and glanced over to where the paramedics, firefighters, Yokas and Sully were gathered. Davis was on the other side of the accident, directing his own thrilling bunch of onlookers. Boz stifled a yawn.

Then he blinked. Yokas was standing next to Kim, both of them watching as the firefighters worked to extra the woman trapped in her car. Boz knew the lady was OK by the way she was yelling. Insulting everyone she could think of, and complaining about the way she was being rescued. There was no way she was in too much pain.

But Yokas and Kim... there was something going on, there. Whatever they were talking about was making each of them send glances his way. Kim smiled once, and waved at him. Boz narrowed his eyes. He had to divert his attention to the mini-parking lot of cars he'd created, waving a couple past before risking another look at the two women.

They were laughing. That was bad.

It was, he knew, theoretically possible that they weren't talking about anything even remotely related to him. But if they were talking about something unrelated to him -- it would be the first time in weeks. Boz was tempted to pull over the barricade and totally stop traffic, and go over there and demand to know what they were saying.

Except Yokas would probably tell him. Maybe he should go over and demand they talk about someone else. Something else. Anything except whatever was making Kim nod eagerly as if she'd just agreed to something. When he glanced over again, he saw Yokas acting like she was thanking her.

Very bad. This did not bode well. Maybe he should tell Jimmy they were leaving the city for the weekend. They could head upstate where no one knew them and they could pretend to be friendless, uncivilised, horny men.

Actually, that sounded pretty good even without needing to get away from Yokas. He glanced over this time, not towards Yokas and Kim, but towards the wreck. Jimmy was on the other side of the car, crouched down behind it where he couldn't catch more than the occasional glimpse. They hadn't done a whole weekend together in a long time -- OK, ever.

Between keeping Joey, and being broke, Jimmy hadn't even responded to Boz' earlier attempts to plan a weekend someplace other than either of their apartments. But if Boz told him that Yokas and Kim were planning something... it was a fair bet that Jimmy would be packing before Friday even rolled around. Even if Yokas and Kim were talking about something else like kids or clothes or proper use of handcuffs, it would make for a great excuse.

He waved past a car and smiled at the guy flipping him off. Then he glanced back, read the license plate number, and memorised it.


The game was well into the second inning by the time he sat down on the couch with a can of beer and a handful of napkins for the pizza. Boz set everything on the coffee table, propped his feet up on either side of the beer, and relaxed. It took him a moment to figure out who was playing -- the taped game had come off the dish, and it was always a surprise to find out which team -- which league, which country -- they were watching.

He sat for nearly two minutes before he looked over. "What?"

Jimmy just kept looking at him for a moment. Then he asked, "I'm cooking dinner?"

Bosco just blinked at him. "You're what?"

"Kim says I'm cooking dinner for everyone -- your partner, her family, Kim, Joey--"

"You're what?!" Bosco sat up fast, carefully avoiding kicking over his can of beer, then he stopped. "I'm gonna kill her. I *swear*. She's a dead woman."

"Which one?" Jimmy asked mildly. He was grinning, as well, but Bosco didn't care. Jimmy could be un-upset about this all he wanted -- Yokas was still in deep with him.

"She told Kim. I can't believe it! She told Kim, and Kim -- what, did she ask you to do it? Is that what happened?" Was he gonna get to kill Kim, too?

"No, she just said she was accepting our invitation." Jimmy' grin faded slightly, and he looked confused. "I told her I didn't have any idea what she was talking about. But apparently you owe your partner dinner?"

Bosco leaned his head back against the couch, and closed his eyes, groaning. "Jimmy, I'm sorry. Yokas and I were just -- she's got this idea that I--" Well, he *did* but that wasn't the point. "You don't have to cook dinner. I'll tell Kim and Faith that there's no dinner, nobody's invited anywhere--"

"They're coming tomorrow night," Jimmy interrupted with a deceptively casual air. "I figured I'd make pasta."

Slowly, Bosco opened his eyes. He raised his head and found Jimmy watching him, looking very amused. "You know you don't have to," he began. Of course, if he *did* want to, it would keep Bosco out of trouble with Yokas... for a day. Possibly the weekend.

Jimmy shrugged. "Why not? It could be fun." He didn't say anything more, turning back towards the game. Bosco waited, not sure that was really the end of it. He waited some more, then decided Jimmy wasn't going to say it while he was sitting there waiting for it. As soon he turned his head to face the TV, Bosco heard, "You know you owe me one."

Bosco grinned at the tone in Jimmy's voice. "Do I?"

Jimmy returned the grin. "Doin' you a pretty big favor. I think you should make it up to me."

"So afterwards I'll clean up," he offered, sounding like he knew that would be enough.

"I think you should make sure I feel like cooking, too."

"You do, huh?" Bosco considered continuing to play dumb, wondering how far Jimmy would play before he just said 'have sex with me and I'll do it.' It occurred to him it might be more fun to play otherwise. He shifted on the couch, moving towards his lover. "What do you think I should do?"

Jimmy leaned back a little, letting his legs fall just a little bit farther apart. "I think maybe you should make sure I'm in a good mood."

Bosco moved closer, leaning towards Jimmy, one hand on the couch beside Jimmy's leg. Not quite touching him. "You do, huh?" He stayed there for a moment, not moving any closer. When Jimmy smiled eagerly, looking like he knew he had won, Bosco said, "So tomorrow afternoon I should be nice to you?" he said, breezily.

Jimmy narrowed his eyes. "I have to go to the grocery store in the morning, if I'm making dinner for eight."

"So I should be nice to you in the morning?"

"I think you'd better be nice to me now."

"Why is that?" Bosco leaned a tiny bit closer, and watched as Jimmy's eyes widened, slightly. His eyes were starting to dilate, and Bosco knew if he looked down, he'd see a growing bulge in his lover's jeans.

"Because if you don't, I'll stay up all night watching tapes of the baseball games, and sleep in, then not have time to go shopping."

Bosco had to admit, it was logical. Maybe not flawless, but good. He moved one hand to the button at the top of Jimmy's fly. "So," he began, fiddling with the button and feeling just how ready Jimmy was. "I should maybe suck you off, now? So you'll go to bed early?"

"It'd be a start," Jimmy replied, sounding entirely too smug. Bosco glanced up sharply, unzipping the fly as he did.

"And if I sucked you off then fucked you right here on the couch?"

"I think I'd be missing most of the game."

"You have a bet on this game?"

Jimmy shook his head, his eyes a little wider.

"Then you won't care if you miss the whole thing, will you?"


This was not how Bosco had wanted to start his Monday. Not that he'd thought about this, and had actively discarded it as a plan. But if anyone had mentioned the possibility to him, he would have said a big, fat, no. At least he couldn't feel any pain in his shoulders, or back, or arms. No reason to think his grip would give out because he couldn't take it anymore.

He wasn't planning on losing his grip, regardless. But at least he couldn't feel -- OK, much -- pain in his shoulders. Even with the pain and decidedly odd sensation of having a shoulder joint popped loose of its
socket, there was no way he was letting go his grip. No way he was gonna let Bobby fall.

But some help would be nice.

Bosco lay flat on his stomach, dangling from mid-chest up, over the edge of the parapet. Both his arms were extended as far -- the left one a tad farther -- as possible, and both hands gripping as tightly as he could the wrists of one Bobby Caffey.

The morning had started out well. Better than normal, anyway, for a Monday. Bosco had spent a lovely weekend at home -- most often in the bedroom, though they had made one supply run for pizza and beer, and a box of condoms. Saturday and Sunday were spent doing absolutely nothing that one could call constructive, or worthwhile -- unless you were a guy with someone to have sex with. They'd taken a few breaks, watched a couple games on TV, slept, argued over who had to get out of bed to make breakfast.

Mostly, though, Bos hadn't even had to put on underwear until Monday, around noon. He was sort of wishing, now, that he was still at home, naked, in bed, thinking about Bobby in terms of "Hey, Jimmy, you think Bobby would..."

Bobby had come over, Friday night, for dinner. Kim had brought him, making no real excuses for inviting him. Jimmy hadn't seemed surprised, so Bosco guessed she'd mentioned it to him earlier. By the time Faith and her brood had arrived, Jimmy had guilted Bos into ordering pizza rather than making him cook. Why cooking for nine was any more tedious than cooking for eight, Bosco didn't ask. But he'd ordered pizza, and Kim had brought a couple bottles of wine, and with the kids playing in the living room they'd
all managed to spend a few hours in each other's company more or less enjoying the evening.

He'd even made semi-agreeable noises when Faith had said cheerfully that they should do it again sometime. Bosco had no doubts that he'd get to pay for dinner the next time, too, until Faith decided he'd spent enough on feeding her family to make up for all the times she'd fed him. Knowing her, she'd wait til she was ahead, before saying he could stop.

They hadn't made firm plans, but when he and Faith had taken their first call this morning and found Kim and Bobby on the scene, as well, Faith and Kim had mentioned it. Bosco knew if he left them alone, by the end of the shift they'd have everything settled.

He was pretty sure that he'd been assured that if he dated guys, he wouldn't have to deal with being hen-pecked. Somebody owed him his money back.

"So. How'd you like the weather?" he asked, casually.

Bobby looked at him in disbelief. "Weather?"

"We could talk about the Yankees... but aren't you a Giants fan? I'd hate to have to drop you."

"Don't drop me," Bobby said, half-casually, half-breathlessly.

"I'm not gonna drop you," Bosco told him, this time in a serious tone. He didn't think Bobby thought he might -- but now was not the time to tease him... too much... about being dropped. Bosco had his grip on Bobby's wrists, and Bobby had a hold of Bosco's wrists as well, though Bos could tell the hold on his right wrist wasn't as firm as they both would have liked it to be.

Neither of them was suggesting Bobby adjust his grip. They could deal, until someone got up here to help.

That should be any time, right? Kim and Yokas hadn't left all that long ago, to take the girl down to the ambulance. She'd been hysterical, not quite up to dealing with being dragged up to a rooftop by a stranger, to be mugged or assaulted or whatever it was the weasely, half-deranged guy had intended. Bosco didn't really blame her, but if it hadn't taken both Kim and Yokas -- the young woman hadn't wanted any man near her, uniform or not -- to take her down, Bosco might at least have had Yokas here to help hang on, or call to find out where their backup was, and *then* hang on.

Weasel had been holding the girl on the edge of the roof, right up on the wall. He'd shouted at them when Bosco and Yokas had arrived, kept shouting as they called for the fire department -- just in case -- but somehow they'd talked him into shoving the girl towards them, rather than away. Off the roof. Exit Kim and Yokas, and leave it to Bosco to talk the guy down. When they'd realised the guy was bleeding from what looked like a stab wound to the arm, Bobby had stepped in front of Bosco to do the 'I'm a good guy and I can't arrest you' routine.

Half-deranged Weasel had let Bobby near enough to take a look at his wound, then grabbed him. Bosco had jumped forward, and everything slowed down. Advanced, frame by frame in time with his heartbeats, as Weasel pulled Bobby towards him and Bobby flew over the edge of the parapet. Bosco had leapt forward to grab at Bobby's hands; Weasel let go and ran; Bosco had let him. Hadn't even thought about glancing back to see which way he ran, because he was going over the edge and he'd only managed to grab one of Bobby's hands.

He'd hit the wall, stayed on the roof, and for a few longs seconds, Bobby had swung like a pendulum at the end of Bosco's arm. He'd finally reached up with his other hand and taken a hold of Bosco's right wrist, frantically clinging as soon as he felt the contact instead of giving himself an extra heartbeat to get a good grip. Bosco couldn't blame him, but he also didn't want to have to feel that millimeter by millimeter slip of the hand.

He knew he wasn't going to let go of Bobby's wrists. But if Bobby lost his grip, even one, he'd probably freak. Bosco really didn't feel like trying to talk him into calming down, dangling in mid-air.

So where was back-up? Hadn't anyone looked up to see them hanging around? And where was the FD? Even with traffic, the fire department should be here by now. Right?

Were those sirens he was hearing?

Bosco could feel the dig of the concrete in his stomach, the corner of the wall digging in through the vest. There might be bruises, he'd slammed into the wall pretty hard. Couldn't feel anything; he'd have to check, later. Privacy of his own shower -- wouldn't that be nice, right about now? Home, standing in his shower, Jimmy soaping him up -- OK, let's change the topic, shall we? he told himself. Something more conducive to concentrating on the task at hand.

"You wanna tell me what's so funny?" Bobby demanded, still breathless, but with a hint of a bite that said he was doing a pretty good job focusing on Bosco, rather than the drop below him.

"I'd rather be home," Bosco started to explain.

Bobby grinned. "Really? Here I was thinking this is nice, 'cause we don't get much chance to talk."

"Next time, call me. We'll talk."

Bobby just grinned. Kept staring up at Bosco, like Bosco kept staring down at him because he didn't want to glance away and see what was below him. Even the tiniest bit to either side, and Bosco would be able to see the ground. He didn't want to see the ground. Didn't want Bobby to see him seeing the ground.

Where was Yokas?

Bosco wanted to shift his left foot, a little. Get a little better purchase -- he started to scoot his foot, not picking it up at all, just scoot it along.

"What the fuck!" Bobby shouted.

"Relax!" Bosco froze. "Relax, it's all right. I'm not letting you fall. We're not going anywhere."

"We moved," Bobby accused him, voice shaking.

"Relax, it was just me moving my foot. I'm done, now. We're not going anywhere."

"Moving your foot? You--" He cut himself off, but Bosco could see the questions in his eyes. How good a grip do you have? How stable is this guy who's holding me up?

Are we both gonna be going over, any second now?

"Sorry, shoulda warned you. But I'm good, I'm fine. I've got you," Bosco continued, trying to sound as calm and reassuring as he could.

"You're not--"

"I'm fine. I've got you. I'm not going anywhere," he added. "Neither are you." Then he smiled, and Bobby reflected the still-scared relief. The sirens were below them, now. Backup was here.

All they had to do was wait til the guys could get up to the roof and everything would be fine. His shoulder hurt, and he could feel the strain in his back, on his legs. In his hands. But they were going nowhere, except downstairs the slow way.

"This is not the way I wanted to start my week," Bosco said easily.

Bobby gave a laugh. "Funny, I was just thinking the same thing."

"Go figure." Bosco made the mistake of glancing over, to see if he could see the fire engine. He could, it was definitely there -- but it was a hell of a long way down. He didn't change his expression, just looked back at Bobby's eyes and saw another question there. "Wondering if they'd stopped for a drink on the way," he offered as an explanation.

"As long as they brought us one." Bobby half-grinned. Bosco could feel Bobby's hands on his wrists -- starting to slicken with sweat, but not slipping. His own hands were dry, his grip was hard. He'd apologise for any bruises, later. Much later. Maybe over a beer and they could pretend they hadn't been worried at all, by not talking about it.

It seemed absurd, suddenly, that they were still waiting. Relief at hearing backup arrive was warring with the need for adrenaline to keep pumping, keep holding on and not relaxing. There was a chance, Bosco realised, that the FD didn't know they were up here. That they'd stopped at the ambulance and talked to Faith and Kim, asking where the guys were and how were things going.

He heard it only seconds before he felt hands on his back, and arms on either side of him were reaching over the edge, to grab onto Bobby's hands.

There was a mass of turnout gear, men shouting and pulling and hands on Bosco's own arms, dragging him backwards. He could see by the look on Bobby's face that he'd been rescued, too difficult to tell by the feel of his grip on Bobby's wrists that the weight was gone and Bobby was being brought over the parapet onto the roof.

They eased Bobby down, sitting him against the wall, and Bosco finally got his hands to let go. They were gonna start cramping. There was a hand on his back, and voices were asking if he was OK, Kim was suddenly there, kneeling beside Bobby. Bosco looked around, and saw that everything was under control.

Finally. He let himself keel sideways -- to the right, not the left, because he didn't want to fall on it and find out how much more it could hurt. He realised he'd heard Jimmy's voice somewhere in the confusion; but all he could see were feet and legs, and turnout coats, and the parapet in front of him.

He suddenly realised he'd landed on something that wasn't part of the building -- it was solid enough, but it was slightly rounded, and moving, a little. He craned his head up and found one of the firefighters standing there. It took Bosco a moment to remember the guy's name -- Franco. Franco was looking at something else, apparently not concerned with the cop using his leg for a leaning post.

That might have been a little weird, but Bosco was too happy to be sitting anywhere, instead of dangling over the edge of a building, to care.

"So, are you OK?"

Bosco blinked, and focused on the paramedic kneeling in front of him. Kim was digging into the bag at her side, glancing up at him for an answer. He saw her frown, and she repeated the question.

"Yeah. My shoulder's out, but I'm OK otherwise," he told her. The joint was aching, and he really wasn't enjoying it. But as long as he didn't move, and nobody touched his arm, he'd be fine.

Kim reached for his arm and he pulled back, fast. She stopped, and half-grinned, half-frowned at him. "Let me see your shoulder."

"I'm all right," he insisted. He knew he needed to get it popped back in -- but if anyone touched it, it would just hurt worse and he really didn't like pain. Not too proud to admit it -- to himself -- that he didn't deal well with pain at all, unless he was allowed to pretend it wasn't there.

Kim was giving him a look of disbelief. "Your shoulder's out, but you're all right?" She reached up again, and the leg Bos was leaning on blocked his escape route backwards, out of the way. Kim got her hand on his shoulder, right on the joint that was out of place and he had to clamp his jaw closed over a shout. Kim's eyes went wide. "Bosco, your shoulder's dislocated."

"I said--"

"Your *shoulder* is dislocated, and you're 'all right'?" She was digging into the bag at her side, again, and Bobby was coming over, to crouch beside them, and the leg Bos was leaning on was replaced by somebody hunched down behind him. Kim was muttering something under her breath which Bosco was pretty sure he didn't want to hear. Then she glanced over Bos' shoulder and said, "Hold him, we're gonna have to immobilize his arm."

"Right, I've got him." And it was Jimmy's voice, from right behind his ear. Bosco leaned back, a little, and he felt Jimmy's hands on his waist and on his good arm. It almost made him want to relax.


It didn't take long for them to get his arm strapped down -- once Kim glared him into submission. The painkiller helped, too, he admitted to himself. Whatever they'd put into the IV Bobby stuck him with made him feel like they could yank his arm back into place right here, and let him get on with things.

He knew better than to suggest it, though. Faith had finally joined the group, standing just behind Kim and giving him that look that said if he even thought about saying he didn't need a trip to the hospital and everything the doctors prescribed, he'd be lucky to survive what *she* was gonna do to him.

So he sat quietly, let the paramedics tie him up and throw him onto the gurney, and didn't say much of anything as they carted him downstairs to the ambulance. Faith said she'd follow them in -- a sure sign he really was gonna be OK and that she wasn't too incredibly pissed at him. Then they were loading him onto the bus and Bobby was climbing in after him and Bosco wondered if anyone minded if he closed his eyes for awhile.

Paramedics got weird about that sort of thing. After a short debate with himself, he decided not to risk it. Stared at the roof instead, counting quietly to himself how many minutes before they got to the ER,
how many minutes they'd likely have him there, and just how freakin' long it would be before he could go home.

He'd reached the three hour mark before he realised Bobby was staring at him. Bosco glanced over. "What? Am I supposed to pass out?" Caffey was acting like he was half-ready to leap forward as the first sign that Bosco wasn't just lying there counting ceiling tiles.

"Why didn't you--" Bobby started to ask in a subdued tone.

Bosco raised an eyebrow. "Why didn't I what?"

It didn't look like Bobby was gonna finish his sentence. He looked away, seemed to be arguing with himself. Then he looked back at Bosco and said, "Why didn't you say something?"

Bosco started at him, not sure he'd actually heard what he'd heard. "Say what? What were you gonna do, treat it while we waited for back-up?"

The glare he got was almost as bad as Kim's. He wondered which of them had got it from the other, or if they just reinforced each other's maternal instincts. "You should have told me."

"Oh, what for?" Bosco couldn't believe it. He should have just mentioned it casually, like the itch he'd had on his nose? "I wasn't gonna drop you," he added, as it occurred to him that Bobby might be working himself up to freaking out, now. Like anything was gonna change, after the fact.

"You coulda said something," Bobby just insisted.

"It wouldn't have mattered," Bosco said, still not sure what the problem was. But Bobby had to know he wouldn't have dropped him. There was just no way.

Bobby watched him silently. He looked torn, probably between arguing with him and giving in. Bosco held his gaze, then closed his eyes for a second, turning his attention back to the ceiling. He wondered if they were gonna keep Bobby around, or if he'd head right back out to work. He felt a hand on his arm. "Thank you."

"You're welcome." Bosco was happy to let it drop, finally. He started to revise his estimate of how long before he'd get home. How long after he got home, would Jimmy be around? That sounded like something better to think about. A night of tender loving care was just what he needed.


He glanced over. Bobby was still sitting there like they hadn't just settled things. "Yeah?"

"I-I know you're gonna say I don't owe you anything..."

Bosco grinned. "Are you kidding? Owe me dinner, at least. Geez."

That seemed to startle a smile out of him. After a second, Bobby laughed. "Dinner, huh?"

"Save a guy's life and he doesn't even wanna spring for pizza," he groused.

"All right. All right, fine. I think I can spring for dinner."


"If you're not on meds, yeah."

"Movie?" Bosco gave him a hopeful look.

"Shouldn't you be asking Jimmy to take you to a movie?"

Bosco deliberately misunderstood him. "He won't mind. He'll just want details -- do I get a kiss, too?"

Bobby stared at him, unblinking, for a long minute. Then he lowered his head into his hands, and muttered something under his breath. Bosco just grinned, while Bobby wasn't looking.

It turned out his estimate was going to be off -- way off. Bosco had counted on a short wait in the ER before they ever got around to reducing the dislocation. But "short wait" turned out to not take into account a four-car meeting of drunken minds, or the two gangs who'd decided to carve their initials in each other's hides.

The ER was swarming with people when they wheeled him in. Civilians, kids dressed up as gang members, uniformed personnel -- not just the medics, either. Bosco looked around, counting the cops -- it looked like they might out-number the paramedics, by a third.

"Don't even." Kim pushed him back down, and Bosco looked up at her.

"I was just --"

"Uh-huh. You're on the wounded list and I don't mean 'walking wounded'."

Bosco didn't dignify the inferred accusation with a reply. They'd been met by a nurse, coming in, but so far none of the doctors had even glanced their way. Bobby was rattling off medical information to the woman, who was looking around and nodding.

He added another half hour to his time to get home estimate.

"Put him here for now," he heard the nurse say, and they slid the gurney up against the wall.

Bosco knew better than to ask them what they were doing -- he could see the chaos that was spilling out of the examining and treatments rooms. Even the waiting area was packed with people who might or might not be injured -- yelling loudly enough to make it not matter, because if the cops already over there didn't get the two gangs separated, they'd all be sporting more bruises and worse.

"Lay back down," Kim said. He looked up at her and realised that he'd half-sat up again. She was watching the nearest waiting room, a worried frown on her face.

"Hey, if they're not ready for me, I might as well--" Bosco began, lightly.

She gave him a glare that said she was not amused, nor was she buying it. Bosco just grinned. Kim pointed at him like he was her six year old son. "Stay there!" Then she began walking towards the waiting room, and Caffey fell in at her side, with one backwards glance at Bosco, which said nothing he could read. They hadn't said anything more about Bosco's proposed date on the ride in, and Bosco was pretty sure Bobby was going to wait a couple days, then pretend to forget about it.

He watched them walk into the waiting area. What they thought they were going to accomplish, Bosco didn't know. But maybe just the presence of two more uniforms would be enough to tip the tide of what was brewing over there.

Bosco settled himself back down on the gurney, but turned his head to watch the hall, both ways. In one direction, the waiting room filled with teenage delinquents, two cops, two paramedics, and half a dozen civilians who probably just wanted to get out of there. The other direction were the treatment areas - all packed to the gills. Bosco could hear the doctors and nurses yelling at each other, moving around like someone had rehearsed this a hundred times and was just now getting all the motions right. That was the only way Bosco could explain how nobody seemed to run into anybody else, now matter how much they were carrying, or looking in every direction except the one they were going.

Maybe five hours til he got home.

He lay there for what seemed like only five minutes before Yokas came by. She stopped beside the gurney, and looked down with a half-amused smile. "Too far down the triage, eh?"

He smirked, but didn't answer.

"You need anything?"

"Nah. Paper, maybe. Magazine, if they leave me here much longer."

Yokas gave him a surprised look. "You read?" Her teasing tone was half-distracted, though; Bosco could see her glancing towards the treatment rooms where the noise level had been steadily rising.

"Very funny." Bosco glanced that way again, himself. There was a cop down there, looked like Mercy Johnson. Looked like he had his hands full, too.

"I'm gonna go-" Yokas said, already moving that way before finishing her sentence, or even waiting for a reply. Bosco watched her hurry down the hallway and step up to Johnson's side, not seeming to do or say anything beyond helping glare down the guys inside the room.

One room down. Five more to go. Bosco looked around again. The place looked like it was about to explode. He knew better -- it didn't quite have that feel, the un-named tension that picked at your nerve endings right before things went totally crazy. This was still just swirling, ready to dissipate into nothingness as quickly as turn the corner into full-blown insanity.

Bosco sat up again, pulling the gurney belts open and swinging his legs over the side. His arm was still strapped down, but he was able to work the ends of the strap free with his good hand. One more pull and he had it off.

His arm was hanging at an angle he'd never quite seen it at, before. Bosco looked around and he saw Simcox, one of the newer rookies on the beat. Bosco called him over.

The kid looked about eighteen -- Bosco gave himself a mental kick, the voice in his head he really didn't need to hear starting in about kids too young to be wearing uniforms for real. He wasn't that old, no matter how he might feel, some nights.

"Yes, Boscarelli?" Simcox said, managing not to stammer. Bosco gave him a point for the achievement.

"I need your help with this. Take a hold of my wrist, like this--" He brought his hand up, holding onto the wrist with his good hand.

Simcox gave him a dubious look. The kid might be brighter than he looked, Bosco realised. But then he took a hold of Bosco's wrist, gingerly.

"OK, now, hold tight. Tight as you can."

"Um--" Simcox obviously had no idea what he was being asked to do. But he was tightening his grip, and Bosco ignored the question he was trying to ask.

"Hold tight. Tight as you can," Bosco repeated, putting his good hand on Simcox' shoulder, waiting until the second Simcox had tightened his grip as much as he was going to. Tight enough -- and Bosco let go and took a step back, then quickly as he could spun around, yanking his arm backwards.

He could feel the snap of the joint going back into place.

"What the fu--" Simcox dropped his wrist and jumped backwards. "What did you--"

"Thanks, kid." Bosco clapped him on the back. "Let's go see if we can calm things down in there, huh?" He nodded towards the back section of the ER, where the gang members didn't seem to have any cops around to threaten to make their broken ribs seem like nothing worth whining about.

Simcox didn't look totally convinced he wanted to go anywhere -- but he fell into step beside Bosco, and they headed back, into the fray.


He'd expected Yokas to yell at him. He'd even added it to his revised ETA home. Fortunately for his ETA, Yokas could yell at him in the car, while she was taking him home -- no convincing her that he could return to work, his shoulder was fine. He hadn't even tried, because he really liked having his head *not* bitten off. Not to mention the fact that she wouldn't drop the matter, for weeks. Or years.

He didn't know if Jimmy would yell. They hadn't had a chance, since they'd started dating, to even really be worried for each other's safety. At least they hadn't, that Bosco knew of -- if Jimmy were the stoic, say nothing, act like nothing's up type, Bosco might simply have never noticed.

Bosco was waiting at home, now, for Jimmy to get off work and stop by. Then he'd find out if he were getting yelled at *again* -- and he was hoping that regardless, he could wrangle some coddling and pampering out of the incident. Maybe if he'd let the docs take care of his shoulder themselves, and put him in a sling with orders to rest for several weeks, he could have guaranteed getting Jimmy to wait on him hand and foot. Too late for that now, he reminded himself. All he had gotten were doctors' orders to restrict him to desk duty for three weeks, and that was mostly Yokas' fault. He'd been all for sneaking out and letting them notice, later, that they were missing a patient.

Might have done it, too, if he hadn't been yelled at. In the midst of the confusion and noise from everyone else in the ER -- how did Bobby Caffey manage to out-shout them all?

And what was up with *Bobby* yelling at him?

Bosco shook his head, still not sure what that was all about. He'd zoned out on Yokas' lecture on the drive home, trying to figure it out. Bosco and Simcox had done their jobs, brought a little peace and order to a small section of the ER, then Bosco had sent Simcox down to find his partner while he intended to stand around being an irritated, don't piss me off even more, uniformed presence near the desk. He'd turned around to find Bobby and Kim standing there, glaring at him in varying degrees of pissed off.

Bosco had halfway expected Kim to say something -- but before he could say a word, Bobby had opened his mouth.

They'd stood there for a good two minutes before he slipped into Spanish, and kept yelling. Bosco hadn't said a word, hadn't tried to get past them -- half afraid Caffey might re-dislocate his shoulder, just to make him let the doctors put it back, properly.

Listening to Bobby yell, Bosco had tried to figure out what had sent him off - even now, he wasn't so sure what it had been. He'd covered a variety of topics, though few of them in complete sentences. It seemed to boil down to 'Don't ever do something so stupid again' and 'What the hell were you thinking'.

Neither of which told Bosco anything. Except that he cared enough to scream.


A shower was just what he needed. A long shower with no reason to cut it any shorter than he absolutely had to, barring the capacity of the hot water tank which was, he knew, somewhere between thirty five and fifty minutes depending on how long ago any of his upstairs neighbors had flushed their toilets. He could feel himself wanting to relax, just thinking about it.

At least he would have, if Jimmy weren't still yelling at him. Bosco watched calmly as he could as Jimmy paced in front of him, back and forth. Jimmy was also waving his arms every so often, like he knew he was in danger of losing Bosco's attention. Of course, five minutes ago Bosco had stopped listening to exactly what Jimmy was saying -- seemed to be a rehash of everything Bobby had said earlier. How weird was that? Bosco found himself thinking, as Jimmy took another turn and paced back towards the kitchen, not looking over at him as he kept yelling.

Bosco really just wanted a shower. He'd even been hoping Jimmy would help him with the shower -- not that he couldn't shower perfectly well, despite a bit of sluggish response from his left arm. But he'd been home all evening, waiting for Jimmy to get off work and come by, and had figured that a near-death experience, even if it wasn't his, warranted a little bit of shower-sex. Or shower, then bedroom-sex, since Jimmy was likely to point out how embarrassing it would be to call the paramedics over because they're broken their necks fucking in the shower.

But so far Jimmy hadn't even given him the chance to bring it up. When he'd knocked on the door, his first questions had been if Bosco were all right, if he was having any trouble with his arm, and if he was on any major pain medication that might be making him less than coherent. When Bosco had -- in retrospect, foolishly -- assured Jimmy he was fine, Jimmy had lit into him.

Not physically, though for a second Bosco had almost expected it. But Jimmy hadn't even raised his hand; he'd just started pacing back and forth. He'd paced for almost a full minute before launching into a barrage of are you insane and why didn't you stick around. There had been a threat to carry Bosco back to be checked out by a doctor, but it had got lost in the welter before Bosco could even get out his refusal to do any such thing.

He supposed it was nice knowing someone cared so much. But Jimmy was going to wear a track in the carpet, and Bosco still hadn't got his shower. Or a hello kiss, for that matter. He wondered if Jimmy would mind if he interrupted, to say 'hi' and grab one.

Glancing at Jimmy's face he figured, maybe he would mind. Jimmy was completely lost in his scolding -- he hadn't even noticed Bosco wasn't listening. Faith had him there, Bosco thought. By now Faith not only would have noticed his attention had drifted, but she'd have him in a headlock and headed for the car to drag him back to the hospital.

Shit. He hoped Faith wasn't on her way over. Surely she'd guess Jimmy would be here, and trust him to handle things?

Even if he wasn't handling *anything*. Bosco would have loved to be handled -- shower, bed, living room floor. But Jimmy was being a complete ass about it, instead, and trying to convince Bosco of... something rather than just flip him over and fuck him.

Bosco realised that if he kept thinking stuff like that, he was going to get an erection, and if Jimmy noticed *that* he was going to get entirely the wrong idea about the effect lectures had on him.

"Are you?" Jimmy suddenly demanded, whirling to face Bosco.

He had no clue what the right answer was. "I..." he started, hoping Jimmy would either repeat the question or go back to yelling -- or drop the whole thing and ask about the shower. But Jimmy stood there and waited, and Bosco finally shrugged. "Wasn't listening. What?"

"Excuse me?" Jimmy looked stunned.

"I wasn't listening. It was some stuff about not being an asshole and taking care of myself, right? Can't help the first and I do the second, so--" He shrugged again.

"You... you..." Jimmy shook his head. Then he deflated, and Bosco could see the anger being pushed away. "I give up. Do what you want." He waved a hand as if to dismiss Bosco.

"Does that mean I can have a shower now?"


"If I can do what I want. I want a shower."

Jimmy obviously had no idea where this was going. He gave Bosco a look like he was insane, and nodded. "Sure. I guess -- it's your place."

Bosco restrained a sigh. "Are you gonna *help*?" Since when did he have to be so blunt?

"You... do you need help?" Jimmy glanced at Bosco's injured shoulder, and Bosco could see him mentally reassessing everything Bosco had told him. He wasn't wearing a sling, but he could tell that Jimmy was wondering if he ought to be.

"No," Bosco told him, figuring that right now, stringing him along wouldn't help matters. "Do I have to need help to get you into the shower with me?"

He watched as Jimmy blinked, looking a little stunned again, as he tried changing mental gears *again*. "Oh." He started to grin, but at the last second he seemed to remember he was still mad, and frowned instead. "I should go home. According to you, you're not hurt -- even if you are a moron, you don't need--"

"Hanging half off the edge of a roof holding onto Bobby's hand for ten minutes doesn't earn me a shower?"

It was probably a cheap shot. OK, he knew it was a cheap shot. But Jimmy was not going to leave without even a quick jerk off. If he had to pick JImmy up and throw him onto the bed, himself, he was going to get *something* tonight.

He knew he was getting a little off the wall. But -- he really needed it. He'd do it himself if he absolutely had to, but this was the reason for having a boyfriend in the first place. Free sex, if not trouble-free.

Jimmy's expressed had changed, though, as soon as he'd said it. "I... didn't even... thanks," he said awkwardly.

Bosco waved it off. "Part of the job. Do I get a shower?"

"I don't know." But Jimmy was starting to grin, again. "I would think Bobby's the one who owes you something."

"So call Bobby and he can come over and shower with me." Bosco suddenly remembered the dinner and movie he'd cajoled Bobby into agreeing to. Then the image hit him -- him, Bobby, naked in the shower. He must have made a noise because Jimmy was there, without warning, holding him hard and kissing him.

When Jimmy let his mouth go, he tried to figure out if he should apologise or just kiss him back. Jimmy looked at him and grinned. "Yeah. Me, too." Jimmy pressed himself against Bosco, and Bosco could feel that his lover was almost as hard as he was.

It was too bad Bobby wasn't here.


It took him almost ten minutes to actually get Jimmy into the shower.

First, there was the standing in the middle of the living room, kissing each other and each of them thinking about Bobby. Probably thinking the same thing: kiss him, strip him, fuck in the shower. As long as neither of them said Bobby's name out loud, Bosco didn't care.

Next was breaking off the kissing and Bosco trying to get them steered down the hallway. That had started well; Jimmy had seemed eager enough. But then he'd stopped and gotten all concerned about Bos' shoulder again, asking him if he didn't really need to be more careful with it -- asked Bosco one more time if he was sure he didn't want a doctor looking at it. Jimmy had been a lot calmer than his rant earlier, so Bosco not only listened to him, but actually bothered reassuring him that he was fine. When Jimmy had still looked skeptical, Bosco had gone back to kissing him for distraction.

While that had worked, it hadn't gotten them any closer to the shower. But finally Bosco was able to nudge them in that direction without actually letting go of Jimmy for a few steps. Then, all at once the idea had seemed to sink in and Jimmy had grabbed his hand and dragged him towards the bathroom.

Which put them here: naked, hot water, hard cocks and Jimmy running a handful of soapsuds up and down Bosco's chest. He'd said he was just helping Bosco spare his arm, but Bos knew he was just doing it to torture him. The way Jimmy kept washing his chest, and his arms, and his back, and never once reaching down below his waist -- torture.

God, he was gonna come from just getting soaped up and Jimmy was gonna fall over laughing, then they'd be in trouble because he'd break his neck and Bosco would have to jerk off before he could throw a robe on and call the paramedics.

Maybe he should prove just how fine his left arm was, and jerk off without waiting for Jimmy to do anything. He wouldn't even have to peel himself off the wall, wouldn't have to move away from Jimmy, who was leaning in close and Bos could feel Jimmy's cock against his thigh as he moved. How the fuck was Jimmy waiting? Maybe he was insane. Wouldn't be the first time Bos had thought so.

Jimmy was rubbing his shoulders and neck, now, slick hands on his skin and if Jimmy leaned just a bit closer, Bosco could kiss him. Bosco turned his head a little, trying to encourage Jimmy, and got a hard, hungry kiss in return.

Fuck waiting. Bosco reached down and grabbed his cock, and pulled slowly. He groaned, and wanted to stand there and keep kissing Jimmy and jerk off. Jimmy didn't cooperate, though -- he moved back out of the shower spray and stood there.


Christ. Bosco felt his cock jump again, and he kept rubbing his hand up and down, not moving out of the hot water even as it splashed in his face with Jimmy no longer blocking the spray. He heard Jimmy say something, and it was barely a whisper above the sound of the water. Couldn't make out the words, but his face was saying enough -- eyes glued to Bosco, staring at the cock in Bosco's hand with an occasional glance upwards. Mostly, though, he was watching every stroke Bosco made.

Bosco would have slowed down, torture Jimmy a little. But he couldn't make himself stop, couldn't even slow down when Jimmy started moaning just like Bosco was already doing, and Jimmy's cock was so hard you'd think somebody was jerking him off. Bosco leaned his head back and closed his eyes against the water, and just listened. Jimmy kept making those sounds, those same ones he made when he was fucking Bosco, only he wasn't even touching him and Bosco was jerking himself off in front of him and how in the hell had he never found out 'til now how hot this was?

He was gonna come, and he didn't think he even wanted to *try* to drag it out. He thought about Jimmy watching him, and before another thought could even form about what else he might or might not want to do, he felt himself coming. He didn't hold back the shout, didn't try to make sure he wasn't aiming -- oh, god, there it went again. He groaned and came so hard he nearly shoved himself away from the wall.

Suddenly Jimmy was right there, kissing him, and his hands were everywhere, on his cock now, and one on his ass holding him. Jimmy kept kissing him and apparently it wasn't just him who thought this was something they were gonna have to do a lot more often. Jimmy was still hard, so Bosco asked, "You wanna fuck me?"

He figured the way Jimmy blindly grabbed for the shampoo didn't mean he wanted to wash Bosco's hair. He turned around and braced himself against the wall, and felt Jimmy start fingering him with slick fingers. He had a thought about bubbles coming out of his ass if Jimmy fucked him hard enough -- then Jimmy had two fingers in him and he didn't feel like laughing.

Seconds later Jimmy was behind him, pressing himself inside Bosco, holding himself right there for a moment. Deep inside him, holding him with arms wrapped around Bosco's chest, Jimmy's chin on his shoulder.

It was perfect. When Jimmy pulled back and began fucking him hard, it was even better than perfect.

They somehow managed to get out of the shower without needing paramedics -- professionally, at least. Bosco wouldn't have kicked Bobby out of the shower, and the thought of Bobby and Jimmy both standing there, naked, hard...

They'd had sex again when they reached the bed. It was sort of inevitable the way Bosco's cock had reacted to the image he'd had. Afterwards, lying on top of the sheets and sprawled together -- Jimmy had very insistently made sure Bosco wasn't putting any pressure on his left shoulder -- Jimmy had asked him if he'd been thinking about Bobby, and Bosco had explained about the image.

They'd both agreed that if they couldn't seduce Bobby, then they were gonna have to hit the clubs and find a decent look-alike. Then Bosco had closed his eyes, feeling warm and exhausted and a hell of a lot better than he'd felt all day. He was pretty sure neither of them moved in the few seconds it took him to fall asleep.


"Shhh. Easy, baby."

Bosco recognised the voice, but he had no idea what was going on. The world had just dissolved into red and black, and there were screams and sirens and someone -- must have been one of his brothers -- was holding him and talking to him. He shifted towards the source of comfort, feeling his heart racing and he realised he was waking up.

Waking up from a nightmare. With a sudden rush, Bosco opened his eyes and found himself in bed with Jimmy. His lover was pressed close, arms around him, and he recognised the voice from before as Jimmy's when he spoke again.

"You awake now?"

"Yeah. What--" He stopped as flashes from his dream hit him. He tensed -- then realised of course he'd dream about falling, about watching Bobby slip through his hands. He made himself relax, but Jimmy was already pulling him even closer and kissing him gently. Bosco let him, not minding having someone to hang onto while he tried to push the dream out of his head.

He lay there silently for a minute, before he heard Jimmy ask, "You all right?"

"Yeah. Think so." He shifted, not moving away so much as just getting more comfortable -- not clinging anymore because he *was* all right. More or less. Nightmares didn't bother him so much, but it was nice to wake up afterwards, with someone.

Jimmy kissed him again, on the forehead. "Wanna talk about it?"

"Nah. I'm good." Bosco was relaxed, now, and the images from the dream had faded. He could probably go back to sleep and not dream about it at all. He pushed away the brief thought of calling Bobby.

"You sure?" Jimmy asked again, but Bosco could tell that Jimmy didn't intend to push him. Bosco knew he'd understand about brain noise after a bad day, and that talking about stuff didn't make it stop.

"I'm sure." Bosco closed his eyes and left himself wrapped around Jimmy, letting him know that he really was okay. Jimmy hugged him, and gave him another kiss. He seemed content to just go back to sleep, and Bosco knew that tomorrow neither of them would be likely to say a word about any of it. Bosco opened one eye to peek over Jimmy's shoulder.

Seven a.m. was too late to be calling someone who worked the late shift, anyhow. He knew perfectly well Bobby was OK -- calling him and waking him up just to hear him say so wasn't necessary.

It took him a few seconds to stop staring at the phone, though.

[To Be Continued...]

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