Title: The Spirit of Christmas 1/?

Author: Kate Anderson

Email: sam_loves_jack@yahoo.ca

Disclaimer: The characters aren't mine. I own nothing and no money is being made from this work of fiction.

Rating: PG-13

Spoilers: just general knowledge of the series up through season three

Summary: The holidays aren't a happy time for Faith Yokas this year. Can Bosco help?

Author's Notes: Yes, I started another fic. *slaps self* I couldn't help it - I really wanted to write a Christmas story for Bosco and Faith! I'm getting into the Christmas mood way too early this year. This is just a start, so please, let me know should I continue with this??


Fred had left three weeks ago. He packed a few bags for himself and the children and left. Faith came home from work to find an empty apartment and a note. She had allowed herself to cry for a while and then vowed not to let it interfere with her job. Bosco didn't know. Faith made up stories about Charlie's school play and Emily's award winning poem.

In fact, Faith had just attended a parent-teacher conference, or so Bosco thought as he picked her up from the school. The conference went well, but the teacher was concerned about Charlie. Apparently he's been getting into a lot of fights.

It was December 11, two weeks to Christmas and Faith was lonely. She was lonelier than she could ever remember being and Bosco wasn't helping.

"I met this really hot chick last night. I'm talkin' really hot."

"That's nice Bos."

"She was insatiable! I tell you, she could have gone all night."

"That's really great."

"I'm thinking about asking her to the Christmas party."

Faith had forgotten about the Christmas party. Although she supposed she shouldn't have with the amount of complaining she'd from Sully after he'd been roped into playing Santa. She was going to bring Charlie and Emily to the party, let them sit on Santa's lap.

"...from Louisiana. A real looker. You think she'd want to sit on Santa's lap?"

"I don't know Bosco, you'd have to ask her."

"You bringing Fred and the kids?"

"If they don't have other plans."

She didn't even know where Fred and her children were. Maybe she should have done something, told someone. He had effectively kidnapped them after all. But something was stopping her. Embarrassment. Humiliation.

She was such a terrible mother that her husband had left. Her recovering alcoholic husband was a better parent than she.

"You finished your Christmas shopping yet?"

"Yeah, I bought a sweater for Emily yesterday. It was my last gift."

She actually had bought a sweater for Emily. One of those nice chenille ones. It was soft and purple. Faith had wrapped it and put it with the Gameboy she'd bought for Charlie.

"I haven't even started yet. What do you think I should get my mom? Is it too soon to be buying gifts for Kimberly?"

"Who's Kimberly?"

"Jesus Christ Faith! Don't you ever listen to me? Kimberly is the girl I met last night!"

"Sorry. My mind wandered off I guess."

Faith had pulled the decorations out of storage. She imagined the door flying open and Charlie bounding in, followed by Fred and Emily. The kids would be disappointed if she didn't have the lights out and the Santa that sang Jingle Bells when you punched him in the stomach.

"I got my mom perfume last year, so that's out."

"What about earrings?"

"She has a million pairs already."

"A bottle of expensive wine?"

"I'm not trying to get her drunk Faith. It's my ma, not some chick that won't put out."

"Fine. Get her socks then! I don't care!"

The Santa that sang Jingle Bells was dying. Every year the recorded voice sounded more scratchy. Every year Fred had said he'd take the thing apart and fix it. It made the kids laugh though.

"What's up with you Yokas? I don't think I've seen you smile at all in the past few weeks and you're jumping down my throat every chance you get!"

"Nothing's up with me. It's just holiday stress."

"I'm sure the party will help relieve that. I heard there's gonna be an open bar. Sully's gonna need it!"

Every night Faith came home to her empty apartment and checked the answering machine for messages. Once the school had called, wanting to discuss where to transfer Emily and Charlie's records to. Faith didn't return the call. How could she let them know that she had no idea?

"I think I will invite Kimberly. You might like her Faith."

"Is she able to use words with more than two syllables?"

"Don't you ever get tired of being better than everyone, huh Faith? Maybe it's time to come off this holier than thou trip you've been on!"

In Fred's note he'd said that he was leaving because he loved her. At first that made no sense, but then Faith figured it out. She'd kept the note, it was in the top drawer of her dresser. She'd taken it out once since putting it there.


Faith tugged at her silk blouse, feeling more than slightly out of place and awkward. The ballroom that had been rented for the Christmas party was garishly decorated and it was giving Faith a headache. Lights were strewn about and brightly coloured garlands had been haphazardly tossed over paintings and taped to the ceiling. It looked as though Kim's young son Joey had done the decorating. Tinkly Christmas carols were played through speakers, the live band that had been hired had failed to show up.

Alex Taylor scooted her way through the crowd and approached Faith. She smiled brightly and Faith half-heartedly returned her grin. "Great party!" Alex said enthusiastically, taking a sip of her wine.

"Yeah, great." Faith echoed.

"Where are your kids? Joey was looking forward to seeing Charlie again. Kim had been counting on him being here to keep Joey out of trouble!"

"Fred and the kids have the flu." Faith replied.

Alex frowned. "Oh, that's too bad! It's great that you could make it though!"

"Have you seen Bosco around?"

Alex shook her head, her blonde curls bouncing. "Nope, can't say I have, sorry. Oh, there's Ty! Excuse me!"

Alex beamed at Faith once more before turning and making her way towards Ty Davis. Ty hugged her and then wrapped his arm around her. Faith tried not to feel bitter.

Someone had turned up the volume on the speakers and changed the song selection. Rock tunes had replaced the Christmas carols. Faith had a feeling that a smirking Jimmy Doherty had something to do with that. She watched as Jimmy grabbed his son and swung him around. Joey laughed and Faith hoped the kid wouldn't puke. Charlie always had a habit of throwing up whenever Fred spun him around too fast.

Faith scanned the crowd once more, hoping to catch sight of her partner. She found him, standing by the bar with a tall red-head on his arm. She was at least three inches taller than Bosco. Of course, she was probably wearing stilettos or something. Faith approached them, feeling dowdier with each step. Her own black slacks and white blouse seemed boring compared with Kimberly's slinky black dress.

"Faith!" Bosco greeted her with a yell and a wave. Faith smiled and waved back. She pushed past Carlos and faced Bosco and his date.

"Faith, this is Kimberly." Bosco said, gesturing towards the woman. Faith looked at her and decided the red hair was definitely a dye job. "Kimberly, this is my partner Faith Yokas."

Kimberly extended a slim, pale hand and Faith shook it gently, hoping she wouldn't break it. "It's so nice to meet you." Kimberly said. She had a rich southern drawl.

"Likewise." Faith said, forcing a smile. Faith couldn't help but stare at the other woman's chest. It seemed to defy all laws of nature.

"Where are Fred and the kids?" Bosco asked, craning his neck to stare at the crowd.

"They couldn't make it. They have the flu." Faith replied.

"All three of them?"

"It's going around."

"Don't you get sick on me now Yokas!" Bosco said with a laugh.

"Maurice." Kimberly tugged on Bosco's jacket. "I want to meet more of your friends."

Bosco nodded and gave Faith an apologetic look. "Duty calls." he said and taking Kimberly's arm, they stepped around Faith and into the crowd.

Bosco's date turned heads all evening, she had the southern belle act down pat. Faith had studiously avoided her all night. Sully had been reluctantly dragged into the room by Davis and was greeted with laughs and screams of excitement from the few children at the party. His beard was crooked and Faith was sure that Santa wasn't supposed to be that surly looking.

Bosco had gotten Kimberly on Santa's knee. Sully seemed to brighten up after that. The night wore on, Kim had taken Joey, who had thrown up in a potted plant home. Faith was ready to get her jacket from the coat check and leave when she spotted a flash of red hair in a corner. It was Kimberly, cozying up with Doherty.

Bosco was standing at the bar, a drink cupped in his hands. He actually looked a little sad. Faith approached him. "Hey Bos." she said. "Looks like Kimberly's met Doherty."

"He can have her." Bosco replied bitterly. "She can't use words with more than two syllables. They're a perfect match."

Faith chuckled. "She wasn't your type anyway Bos."

Bosco put the drink down. "You leaving?"

Faith nodded. "I've had just about enough socializing for this year. I should get home to Fred and the kids, see how they're doing."

"Did you drive? I didn't notice the truck outside."

"No, I took the subway in. I figured it would be easier than fighting for a parking space."

Bosco nodded and pursed his lips. "Let me drive you home. You shouldn't be taking the subway alone."

"I do it all the time Bos. I'll be fine!"

"Not dressed like that." Bosco said.

"I'm wearing pants and a blouse. It's not so different from what I usually wear."

"Just let me drive you. I'm leaving anyway."

Faith relented and they left the ballroom. Kimberly had attached herself to Jimmy's neck and Faith figured he'd have her in bed before the night was over. She grabbed her jacket from the coat check and then followed Bosco out of the hotel and down the street to where his car was parked.

"Kimberly complained that I parked too far away. She said I should have used my police privileges and parked right in front of the doors."

"Well, with those heels on..."

Bosco laughed. "She could have poked someone's eye out with those things!"

Faith snorted. "They weren't the only things that could have taken someone's eye out."

"You getting jealous now Yokas?" Bosco unlocked her door and opened it for her. He gave her a teasing grin.

"Of those things? Hardly. You could have used them as life preservers."

Bosco got in the car and started it up. He manoeuvred it out of the space and headed off down the dark streets. Faith sat quietly, staring out the window. She didn't even notice when Bosco pulled up in front of her building and shut off the engine.

"Faith? You getting out?"

Faith jerked as though she'd been hit. "Yeah, I was just thinking."

Bosco undid his seatbelt and opened the door. "I'll walk you in." he said.

"No! I mean, no, you shouldn't come up. I don't want to wake the kids or Fred."

"I'll be really quiet Faith. Besides, I gotta pee."

"You'll make too much noise." Faith got out of the car and slammed her door.

"Peeing Faith, not performing a rock concert in the bathroom. I'm not that loud."

Bosco looked a bit desperate so Faith finally nodded. "Fine, but no noise. Not a peep."

Bosco followed Faith into the building and up to her apartment. She unlocked the door and Bosco pushed past her, rushing for the bathroom. Faith was relieved that she'd shut the door to the kid's room. She couldn't bear to keep looking in there and not seeing them.

She stood in the kitchen, waiting for Bosco to finish up in the bathroom. He emerged a few minutes later and joined her in the kitchen.



"Why is there only one toothbrush and one towel in your bathroom?"

Faith bit down on her bottom lip. "Is there?" she asked, playing ignorant.

Bosco glanced around the apartment. "Faith, where are Fred and the kids?"

Faith wrapped her arms around herself. She suddenly felt cold. Bosco was gazing at her, his eyes fixed directly on her face. "I don't know." she said finally. "I don't know!"

Bosco pulled her towards him, wrapping her up in his arms. She was shivering. "How long have they been gone?"

"A few weeks." Faith said. A tear rolled down her cheek and landed on Bosco's shoulder. "He left a note."

Bosco rubbed her back as Faith cried. "All this time..." he said softly. "All those things that you've said, that you've done, it never happened."

"I didn't want anyone to know."

"Why didn't you tell me Faith? It's me! I thought we promised each other that we'd never lie again." Bosco felt Faith's hair brush against his face.

"I'm sorry." she said. Bosco hugged her tightly and then pulled away.

"So you don't know where Fred is? He can't do that Faith. He can't just take the kids and leave. That's called kidnapping Faith! You have to tell someone."

"I don't want everyone to know what a terrible mother I am." Faith said sadly.

Bosco shook his head. "You're not. You're a great mom Faith."

Faith turned away from him and wiped her face with the back of her hand. She didn't want his pity. She didn't need his pity. "Go home Bosco." she said.


Bosco parked his car at work the next day and tried to ignore the smug grin that Doherty was giving him. He was leaning up against a dumpster, watching intently as Bosco hopped out of his car. "Stow it Doherty. I don't want to hear it!" Bosco called over to Jimmy.

"Kimberly is an amazing woman Boscorelli. But I can't say that I'm surprised..."

"Surprised about what?" Bosco knew he shouldn't have let the conversation go on as long as it already had.

"Surprised that she left you. She obviously needed a bigger man."

"Bite me."

Jimmy smiled, his dimples creasing his cheeks. From across the street one of the other firefighters called over, "Hey Doherty! Get your butt in gear, we have a call!"

"Excuse me Bosco." Jimmy said. "I have some real work to do."

Bosco kicked a stone over in Jimmy's direction. It missed him and bounced off one of the squad cars. Bosco scowled and headed inside the precinct. He found that Faith was already there and changed into her uniform. She was just shutting her locker when he entered the locker room.

"Faith." he said, putting a hand on her shoulder. Faith shrugged his hand off. "You're not just going to pretend like nothing happened Faith! You have to face the facts sooner or later. I'm going to tell Swersky that Fred took the children."

Faith whirled around. She looked angry. "No Bosco! No, you're not going to tell him anything! It's my problem and I'll deal with it."

"Deal with it? If making up stories about your kids is how you deal with problems, then it's no wonder that Fred left!"

Faith's face crumpled. "Just leave me alone Bosco. I don't need your help." She pulled her jacket on. "I'll see you in roll call. You're going to be late again."

Bosco swore under his breath as Faith walked out the door. He couldn't believe how ridiculous she was being about the situation. If he were in her place, he'd be hunting down the bastard and taking back his kids.

When Bosco entered the briefing room, he muttered a sorry to the sergeant and took a seat next to Faith. They were told to be on the look out for the usual holiday mayhem and then dismissed. Faith grabbed a radio and then headed outside where she took the passenger's seat in the RMP. Almost obediently. Bosco joined her a few moments later.

"Faith, would you please talk to me?"

"It's none of your damn business Bosco!"

Bosco slammed his hand on the steering wheel. "You're my best friend Faith. I like to think that makes this my business! You never let anyone help you. Let me help you."

Faith sniffled slightly and blinked rapidly. "He could be anywhere Bos."

"We'll find him. He can't hide forever, everyone leaves a paper trail. We'll run his credit cards."

"Then what? The local police storm his house and grab Charlie and Em? Maybe they're happier without me."

"Oh for cryin' out loud...would you stop beating yourself up!?" Bosco turned the key in the ignition and the car roared to life. Bosco backed out on the street. "We'll talk to Swersky after our shift tonight and see what we can do. In the mean time, let's just do our job."

Faith pulled a tissue from her jacket pocket and blew her nose into it. "Fine." she said finally. "We'll talk to Swersky."

Bosco nodded, finally satisfied that he'd done something. "So, I still haven't decided what to get my ma for Christmas."

Faith laughed a bit. "It's only ten days away Bosco, you'd better think of something fast."

"She already has everything and I'm not made of money."

"What about a gift certificate?"

Bosco stopped at a red light. "A gift certificate?"

"Yeah, for Macys or Bloomingdales or even one of those little boutiques. That way she can get what she wants and you don't have to worry about her not liking the gift."

"Hmm, I never thought of that before. It does make sense. She likes clothes, but for starters I have no idea what size she wears and I'm not about to ask."

"Never ask a lady her size. At least you've learned something." Faith replied. "We could stop off somewhere today and pick up a certificate."

The rest of their shift went smoothly. Bosco stopped off at Bloomingdales and bought him mom a fifty dollar gift certificate. He was going to get her a twenty dollar one but then Faith pointed out that would barely buy her a t-shirt let alone something nice. Bosco parked the squad at the precinct and grabbing his gear, hopped out. Jimmy stood across the street, still grinning smugly at him.

"What's up with Doherty?" Faith asked Bosco as they ascended the steps.

"He's all high on himself because of Kimberly. He doesn't realize she'd sleep with anything with a pulse and a dick."

Faith snorted. "Those two definitely are a match made in heaven."

"Lieu!" Bosco called out to the man behind the desk. "Yokas and I need to talk with you."

"About what?"

"It's kind of a personal matter." Bosco replied. "Can we go somewhere private?"

Swersky nodded and led them to his office. "You two having problems again? Because we're supposed to be getting a new officer and I wouldn't mind pairing him up with you Yokas." he said as he shut the door.

"No, we're getting along fine." Bosco replied. "Give the new guy to Sully or something. He likes rookies."

"Well, then what is it?"

"It's regarding my husband," Faith said quietly. "He took my kids."

Swersky furrowed his brow. "He took your kids? Are you two separated?"

"We are now. He left about three weeks ago, didn't say anything, just left a note."

"She doesn't know where they are." Bosco interjected. "We're hoping that you can help us."

"Do you want to treat this an abduction? I could put out an APB for the entire state, run his credit cards..."

"Couldn't we do it quietly?" Faith asked hopefully. "I just want to know where they are and that they're alright. I don't want the entire New York state police force knocking on doors looking for them."

"We can run his credit cards, see if he's done any recent transactions. You two have a shared bank account?"

Faith nodded. "Yes, but there hasn't been any money withdrawn since they left."

"He must be using the credit cards then. I'll see what I can come up with."

"Thanks Lieu." Bosco said. "We owe you one."

"I'll tell you what Boscorelli, you make my holidays happy by not opening your big mouth and getting into trouble and we'll call it even."

Bosco and Faith left Swersky's office. "Thanks for doing that Bosco." Faith said. "I don't know why I didn't do that sooner."

"Hey, it's alright." Bosco replied. "Fred shouldn't be too hard to find. What are you going to do once they find him?"

"Beat him with a big stick."

"That's a good idea." Bosco said, chuckling slightly.

"Honestly Bos, I have no idea. I just need to know that Charlie and Em are okay. After that, well...I don't know."


"Yokas, I need to see you after." Swersky stood at the front of the room and looked directly at Faith. Faith felt her heart thud in her chest. He had probably found out something about Fred's whereabouts.

Faith barely heard the rest of the briefing. A flyer was handed out to her, depicting a suspected rapist and she folded it in half and nervously fiddled with it. "Eyes and ears open there. Dismissed."

Bosco leaned over to Faith. "You want me to wait in the car?"

Faith nodded and Bosco, though looking disappointed, picked up his jacket and left the briefing room. Faith got to her feet and walked towards Swersky. He nodded, acknowledging her presence. "We found him." he said.


"He's in Syracuse. Used his credit card at a few grocery and hardware stores. I contacted a buddy of mine on the force there, he owed me a few favours. I had him check out the local banks, turns out Fred opened up a checking account a couple weeks ago. I got you a number, it might be a home number or it might not be." Swersky said, passing a small slip of paper to Faith.

"Thank you." Faith whispered. She didn't trust herself to raise her voice above that.

"Listen Yokas, I don't pretend to know what happened between you two, but the fact remains, he took your kids away from you, without telling you. You are within your rights to press abduction charges."

Faith shook her head. "I don't want to involve the kids in that. I just needed to know where they were."

Swersky nodded. "It's your decision."

"Thank you again." Faith said and then turned on her heels and left the room. She clutched the slip of paper in her hands.

Bosco was sitting looking a bit impatient in the car. When Faith sat down, he looked over at her expectantly. "So?" he asked finally when she didn't say anything for a few moments.

"He's in Syracuse." Faith replied. "Swersky got me a number from the bank where he opened an account."

"You gonna call him?"

"Once I figure out what to say." Faith stuffed the slip of paper into her breast pocket.

"How about: hey low life, where do you think you get off stealing our kids? That was the PG version of course, we could make some changes to the wording if you want."

"I thought I'd try being civil Bos. I know that's probably beyond your comprehension, but maybe he had a good reason for doing what he did."

"He's an asshole?"

Faith looked out the window and saw Sergeant Christopher standing near their car, he didn't look happy. Christopher reached over and knocked on the driver's window. Bosco made a small growling noise and rolled the window down. "You two on special assignment of patrolling the precinct parking lot today?" Christopher asked, his tone was snide.

"No sir." Bosco replied. "I was just discussing something important with my partner."

"Discussion time's over Boscorelli, get your asses out there on the street! You're not being paid to sit around and play Oprah all day."

Bosco rolled the window back up. "Kiss my ass." he muttered.

"What was that Boscorelli?" Christopher asked through the glass window. "I didn't quite catch that."

"I said yes sir!" Bosco yelled and started the car. Faith did up her seatbelt and Bosco tore out of the parking lot. "What an ass." Bosco muttered.

"Bosco, let's not discuss Fred any more today, okay?"

"Whatever." Bosco replied, focussing his gaze on the road ahead of him.


Faith looked at the phone and then down at the slip of paper laying on the counter. She had to call him, that wasn't an option, but she was almost afraid of what Fred might say to her. Trying to put off calling him for another little while, Faith filled the sink with water and started scrubbing at some pots that had been sitting dirty for a few days.

When she let the water out of the sink it was almost 1:00 am. Figuring that if Fred wasn't still up, he would be when the phone rang, Faith wiped off her hands and picked up the phone. With a shaking finger she dialled the number.

It rang once...twice...three times before a gruff voice answered. "Hello?"

"Fred?" Her voice sounded plaintive.

"Faith? What the hell do you want? It's 1:00 in the morning. And how the hell did you get this number?"

Faith laughed, a hoarse sounding laugh that sounded more like a bark. "I'm a cop Fred, or did you forget that?"

"Couldn't you have at least waited until morning to call? You're lucky you didn't wake up Charlie, it took him ages to get to sleep."

"Is he sick?" Faith asked worriedly.

"Stomach flu, he'll be alright."

"Fred, I need to know why."

Fred sighed. "Why what Faith?"

"Why did you do it? Why did you leave and take the kids away with you? Why?" Faith tried to control her voice, but it wasn't easy. "Do you know what kind of hell you've put me through?"

"Do you have any idea what kind of hell you've put us through Faith? We never see you. To the kids you were just that lady they saw in the morning and who sometimes kissed them at night."

"Now I'm that lady they never see Fred! What are you hoping to accomplish?"

"I wanted to take them away so you couldn't hurt them, or me, anymore Faith." Fred said quietly.

Faith felt a tear drip down her face. "I could have you taken up on abduction charges Fred."

"I talked to a lawyer a few days ago." Fred said. In the background Faith heard a rustling noise. "He drew up some papers for me, divorce papers. He also said that if we choose to go to a custody hearing, unless something drastically changes with your job, the kids will stay with me."

"You can't do that." Faith said.

"I can and I did Faith. I'll let you see the kids on holidays. I'll put them on a bus and they can come visit you."

Faith grabbed a tissue and ran it over her cheeks. "I love you Fred." she said, her voice cracking. "Please, don't do this to me."

There was silence on the line for a moment before Fred said, "I'll give you the address, so you can send Christmas presents to the kids. Do you have a pen?"

Faith snuffled and picked up a pen. "Yes."

Fred gave her the address and Faith copied it down with a shaking hand. The writing looked like chicken scrawl. "I'll talk to you later Faith." Fred said. "Don't call here again."

"I love you!" Faith cried out but Fred had already hung up. Faith let the phone drop onto the counter and she stood there, staring numbly at the wall.


"Yokas! You in there?"

Faith moved slightly and tried to cover her ears. Another loud bang echoed through the apartment followed by Bosco calling out again. "Faith? I'm using my key!"

Faith pushed herself up and tried to straighten the kink in her neck. She looked around and realized that she'd collapsed on the couch after talking to Fred last night. She must have fallen asleep. The lock clicked and the door opened.

"Wow, you look like hell." Bosco commented when he saw Faith sitting on the couch. "Rough night?"

Faith groaned and rubbed her neck. "I talked to Fred last night, or rather this morning." she said. Bosco hung up his jacket and joined her on the couch.

"Yeah? What did he say?"

"He wasn't too pleased that I called him at 1:00 am."

"I'll bet he wasn't. Did he get down on his knees and beg for forgiveness?"

"Hardly. He wants a divorce. He's already talked to a lawyer."

"Amazing," Bosco said. "Just when I thought that guy's head couldn't get any further up his ass."

"He's willing to let me have the kids on holidays and he gave me his address, so I could send them presents."

"At least he's being sort of reasonable about it."

Faith ran a hand through her tangled hair. "What are you doing here anyway?"

"Just came by to see how you were doing. You seemed pretty upset yesterday, I was concerned."

"You could have just called."

Bosco shrugged. "It's not like I have anything better to do."

"I'm going to take a shower." Faith said, standing up. "There's some bagels in the fridge or cereal in the cupboard if you're hungry."

Bosco smiled. "You must have been reading my mind. How about I make some coffee?"

"That would be great." Faith said and then headed off down the hall.

Bosco got up from the couch and threw some coffee into the coffee maker. It began to burble and Bosco rummaged through the fridge for a while before pulling out a bag of bagels and a container of cream cheese. He was hoping to find some orange juice, but Faith didn't seem to have any of that.

When Faith emerged from her shower, fifteen minutes later, she found Bosco sitting on the couch, feet propped up on the coffee table, intently watching cartoons on the television. "The coffee's ready." Bosco said, not bothering to tear his eyes away from the screen.

"You ate that cream cheese?"

"Yeah, I had some on my bagel, why?"

"It expired two weeks ago. I'd been meaning to throw it away."

"It tasted alright." Bosco said. "But if I suddenly collapse into a vomiting heap, at least I'll know why."

Faith poured herself a cup of coffee and dumped a few spoonfuls of sugar into it. "It's snowing out?" She finally looked out the window and noticed white flakes falling.

"It's been snowing all morning, but it's not sticking yet. The roads are slick though."

"Glad we're not working today." Faith commented. "We'd be directing traffic around accidents all day."

"We should do something." Bosco said suddenly.

"Do something?" Faith repeated dumbly. She was still waiting for the caffeine from her coffee to kick in.

"Yeah, get out there and do something that doesn't involve directing traffic or settling domestic disputes. Go do something that normal people do this time of year."

"Get drunk?"

Bosco turned off the tv and looked at Faith. "Maybe later. I was thinking more like something fun."

"Getting drunk is fun."

"Yeah, until you wake up with the mother of all hangovers the next morning. No, I was thinking something like skating. Do you skate Faith?"

Faith shook her head. "No, I spend more time freezing my butt on the ice than actually skating on it."

"Great." Bosco said cheerfully. "We'll go to Rockefeller Center and skate then!"

Faith was about to take a sip of her coffee and then stopped. Bosco was grinning at her. "Rockefeller Center? You want to skate at Rockefeller Center?"

"Sure, why not? Isn't that what normal people do for fun around here? Besides, if we stay late enough, we can see the Christmas tree all lit up."

"I don't own skates." Faith said, trying to come up with excuses.

"They do rent skates there you know."

"You're serious?" Faith looked at Bosco carefully.

"I'm dead serious Faith. You need to lighten up and have some fun. Get your mind off Fred and the kids for a while."

Faith swallowed a mouthful of coffee and frowned. "I can't believe I'm going to say this, but okay. We'll go skating."

Bosco was still grinning at her. "Let's get going then before the roads get too bad."

Faith set her mug down and opened up the hall closet. She grumbled to herself as she pulled out various woollen hats and mittens. "Do you have a hat Bos?"

Bosco shook his head. "No, I wasn't actually planning on doing this. It just came to mind.

"But you have gloves though, right? Do you need a scarf?"

Bosco held up a pair of leather gloves and a scarf. "Just the hat mom." Faith tossed him a hat and Bosco pulled it on. Faith grabbed a pair of mittens and hat for herself and then pulled on her heavy winter jacket.

"I must be insane to be doing this." Faith muttered and followed Bosco out of her apartment.

It was cold outside and the wind bit at her face. "Bosco, it's gotta be like 20 degrees out here!" Faith complained.

"You'll warm up once you get moving." he replied, unlocking the doors on his car.

"That's the problem! I won't get moving! I'm going to spend the day freezing my ass off!"

"It's Christmas Faith, cheer up."

"It is not Christmas." Faith replied. "Christmas is still a week away."

"Fine then Ms Grouch, it's the Christmas season. Now get in the car."

"Since when are you Mr Holiday Cheer? I thought you hated Christmas." Faith said as she got into the car. She brushed a few snowflakes off her jacket and looked at Bosco who had just gotten into the driver's side.

"I don't hate Christmas. I never said that." Bosco replied. "And besides, I'm only trying to cheer you up."

"Oh please Bos, give me a break. The Grinch and Scrooge are practically your heroes!"

Bosco turned on the car and the heater came on full blast. Faith looked startled and slid the vent so that the air blew away from her face. Bosco eased the car out on the street, sliding a bit as he did so. "I know it sucks to be alone on the holidays." Bosco said. "I'm just trying to help out."

Faith rubbed at the condensation on the window. "Sorry Bos. I didn't mean to jump on you."

"Forget about it." Bosco replied. "Let's just have some fun today, okay?"

"Fun." Faith said under her breath. "I can do that."