Poison Ivy

A/N: A standalone one-shot that explores alternate scenarios within the original plot centered around Bosco and Faith

Disclaimer: I do not own the show; I merely play around with its characters and situations.

Spoilers: 2.8 "Know Thyself"

She felt weird knocking on the door, almost like she shouldn't be there because she knew she wasn't welcome. Still, she held her breath with a hint of hope.

He pulled open the door and glared at her through his swollen, puffy eyelids. Faith forgot just how bad the poison ivy had gotten.

"What do you want?" Bosco sneered. He was obviously still pissed off at his partner for lying about her abortion.

"I'm sorry, Bos." She couldn't think how she could be any more sincere. Forget that her husband had kicked her out, she was more afraid of losing Bosco than Fred.

Bosco groaned, but stepped aside and motioned for her to come inside anyway. Faith picked up her duffle bag and made her way into the apartment. She refused to take off her coat; she didn't count on staying any longer than she needed.

"You can sit down. Just don't mind me, I need to put some cream on my face."

"It's looking a lot better," she called out to him as he disappeared into the bathroom.

"Oh yeah, God bless that steroid shot," he replied, obviously still in a sarcastic mood.

Faith bit her lip and slid her hands into the pockets of her jeans. She lost the will to come up with a decent comeback.

Bosco returned to the living room, still rubbing his healing face with the Cortizone-10 cream the hospital gave him. Faith dropped her gaze and tried shoving her hands even further into her pockets. Bosco noticed and broke the awkward silence. "What's up?"

She shook her head and continued staring at the floor.

"What, riding with Sully was that bad? You missed me that much?" Bosco questioned with a smirk.

Faith let out a small, much-needed laugh. "Ha, yeah, something like that." She finally looked up at him, and he smiled softly.

He dropped his tone. "Seriously, though. What's up, Faith?"

She felt a tear threaten to fall and quickly rubbed her eye with the back of her hand.

Bosco dropped his tone again, "Faith. It's me. Come on."

She sucked in a breath. "I didn't mean to hurt you. Or especially Fred for that matter. I just…I don't know, Bos." She could feel herself breaking down again like she did earlier with Sully. "I thought I could fix everything myself."

Bosco looked down at his feet. "No, I get it now. I mean, I get why you did what you did." Faith exhaled with so much relief she thought she'd pass out cold right in front of her partner.

He looked up at her, then shoved his own hands into his pockets. "You don't have to control everything, Faith."

"What if it all goes to hell?"

"Then let it go to hell. The way I see it, that's what makes you stronger."

Faith nodded her head in agreement, impressed by Bosco's wisdom beneath his red, itchy face. "Sounds like you're talking about the poison ivy now."

"Ha!" He wagged his finger at her. "Mark my words, whoever sent those flowers will definitely go straight to hell."

Faith smiled and finally relaxed her shoulders for the first time in the past few days.

Bosco didn't know what to do with himself. "So, what now? Do you need to crash on my couch or something?"

"Nah, thanks though."

"I wasn't exactly offering…" he paused and then smiled as Faith laughed again.

"I was thinking I might, uh, go to the Al-Anon meeting at the community center."

"No kidding. Let me know how that goes."

Faith felt her breath catch in her chest, but this time because she wanted to hang on to this moment for longer than she could. "Absolutely."

She went to pick up her duffle bag, but Bosco grabbed it quickly. "I got it."

They both walked towards the door, and as she went to take her bag from Bosco, Faith looked down and clasped her hand over his. "I need you, Bos."

He swallowed hard. "Go home, Faith. I'll see you tomorrow, ok?"

Faith nodded her head and Bosco let go of her bag, giving his partner the strength to trust those closest to her again.