Sleeping Angel by K. Pravad

Disclaimer: Bosley, Charlie, Woodville, and Kelly are creations of Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg. I am only borrowing the characters. Angelica Landau is mine.

Synopsis: Bosley visits his wife’s grave and sees Charlie there. This triggers some deep forgotten memories.

Author’s Note: This is an idea that I’ve had for a long time. Even if it doesn’t win, I’m glad there’s a place for Bosley stories on this site. This is in memory of David Doyle, a sleeping Angel.

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Bosley’s keys landed on the table with a thud. He picked up a snifter and filled a third of it with brandy. He put on some Bach and slumped down on his easy chair. His left hand massaged his temples and his right hand swirled the brandy around the glass.

It had been a very tiring day.

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The ground needed to be weeded. Bosley was tempted to leave the dandelions there. She would have liked them. He remembered her blowing the little white blossoms all over the front lawn.

"Now honey, you are just creating more work for me." He had said.

"They’re so pretty. I like having them on the lawn." She laughed. "They give it a certain personality, don’t you think John?"

He loved the way she said his name. He could never deny her anything when she called him by name. He had never denied her anything. Not really.

A heavy footstep broke his reverie. Without turning around, Bosley greeted his employer…and friend.

"I’m sorry, Bosley." Charlie Townsend said. "I’ll come back later."

Bosley gave a hoarse laugh. "Pffft, stay. This is getting ridiculous anyway. You’d think we were still courting her."

"Well…yes." Charlie agreed tentatively. Then he moved forward and placed the bouquet of irises on the grave. "I suppose it is a little silly."

Bosley stuck his hands in his pockets. The harsh winter wind sapped his energy. He felt old. He watched Charlie as he arranged the flowers on the grave. "It’s been 37 years, Charlie. Did you know that?"

"I…hadn’t realized."

Bosley shook his head. "Yes you have. More than you probably like to admit."

Charlie stood up, dusting the knees of his khaki slacks with the palms of his hands. "Well, old wounds…"

"I didn’t mean it like that." Bosley replied. "I…She would have appreciated it. Letting me take Woodville’s job, keeping me busy after she…"

Charlie cleared his throat. "Well…what are friends for?"

"Yes." Bosley said. "Indeed."

"Well, I should get back to the…uh…young lady, I left at the house." Charlie said, turning around.

Bosley caught Charlie by the shoulder and forced him to face him. Bosley stuck out his hand. "I forgive you."

Charlie looked down briefly, then looked Bosley straight in the eye. "John, no matter what you believe… Once you were married, I bowed out. There was never anything between us. Even if sometimes, I may have wanted there to be. There was never a more faithful woman than your wife. She loved you so much. She always did. She loved you more."

Bosley took a deep breath. "She loved you longer."

"God damn it John, she married you!" Charlie yelled. "Isn’t that enough?"

"Yes." Bosley replied, calmly. "I had her in life. But she died in your arms. And for two years now, I’ve resented – No, hated you for it. Now I can forgive you."

"Why?"

"When Kelly got shot accidentally by that kid last year, you remember that case?"

Charlie nodded.

"She told me that for a long time, while we thought she was unconscious, she could hear everything. She just couldn’t open her eyes or even move. And she heard you talking to the surgeon."

Charlie’s face reddened. "What did she say?"

"She said that when the doctor said that the bullet had just grazed her skull, you bawled like a baby." Bosley deadpanned.

Charlie grinned. "Mitigating circumstances."

"Yes. I’ve been thinking a lot about it ever since." said Bosley, his voice turning quiet. "Towards the end, when the cancer had spread to her brain… she was in such terrible pain. And I keep wondering if she felt the way Kelly did… if she was alive and she heard everyone saying goodbye to her and all the doctors saying she didn’t have much time… Then I think, maybe I should have done it."

"Bosley…" Charlie cautioned.

"I should have pulled the plug, like she asked me to. But I thought she was giving up. I thought she was giving up on me and our life together." Bosley sighed, wiping away at the corner of his eye with annoyance. "She was always the more sensible one. She knew it was all over."

"John, don’t blame yourself."

"Oh, no. I don’t." said Bosley sincerely. "I don’t blame anyone anymore. I just wish that I had had enough sense to stop stuffing her full of drugs…then I would have been there, with you, when it happened."

"Her last thoughts were of you." Charlie said. "She was worried about leaving you. She told me so herself."

Bosley gave a small smile. "Yes. She would have done that."

There was an awkward pause, and Charlie had turned to go to his car when Bosley gave a short laugh. "I can still remember how flattered she was when you named the girls after her! ‘Charlie’s Angels’. Why, she even forgot that most of her hair was falling out, the way she tossed her head and laughed."

A tear travelled unnoticed down the craggy features of Charlie’s face.

"You know what she said to me?" Bosley asked. "She said: ‘See John, I’ve still got it.’ That was really a nice thing to do, Charlie."

But when Bosley turned around, Charles Townsend had vanished.

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The scarlet, E-type Jaguar roared down the highway. The driver was possessed by road rage. Damn John Bosley. Damn him for being so God damn sentimental. The dead were gone, they would never come back. And sooner or later everyone we love is scattered into the blackness of time, so what the hell is the point with this memorialization of the dead? Live in the present. That was the only way to get by. He shouldn’t even have gone to the cemetery. What was the point? She was dead.

In life, Angelica Landau had been a spitfire. Narrowly escaping the Nazi death camps, she was the only member of her family to survive the Holocaust. She had never spoken about that period in her life, but neither he nor Bosley had ever forgotten the moment that their prim secretary, upon hearing the commotion inside the office, had pulled out a small caliber pistol from her purse and fired point blank into one of the criminals’ heads.

Both fell instantly head over heels in love with her.

In time, they realized the advantage of having Angelica do more than typing and dictation for them. She could pick up important information under the guise of "gossiping" with a suspect’s secretary. She tracked down missing persons’ much faster because she pretended to be a grieving mother or a distraught sister. Angelica and her small, custom-made pistol had also saved his life a million times.

She became a partner. Angelica, Woodville, Bosley, and Charlie: like D’Artagnan and the three musketeers. All working their butts off to make ends meet. Soon he and Bosley were the ones getting the coffee while Angelica put her feet up and looked over a case file.

When Angelica and Bosley got married, he threw a fit and closed down the agency, preferring to invest his fourth of the profits in stocks and bonds. They could rot as far as he was concerned. Angelica, ever the practical one, knew that he would come to his senses, and so instead of splitting up as Bosley and Woodville assumed they would; she took them to Paris. On a small side-street on the Left Bank, the first branch of Townsend Investigations was born.

Seven years went by without any contact.

Then in 1976, Bosley was banging down his door. Angelica had been coughing up blood and was diagnosed with cancer. With his contacts in the medical field, he had gotten her the best treatment and for a while everything seemed to be fine. Angelica called Woodville, told him to close the Paris office because they were back in business in L.A. Then she called them together and insisted that since they were all back together they open up the office.

All three men weren’t crazy about the idea. Woodville said he’d gotten too old for the work, said he wanted to retire. Bosley and he were concerned about Angelica’s health, and neither was too happy about working with the other. Angelica simply smiled and stated that it was time to find new operatives, to keep the firm alive. Naturally, his name would still be on it. Townsend Investigations: Beverly Hills, Paris, and eventually one in Hawaii.

It was crazy. A damn fool crazy idea. He said so. He even made up a story about a Howard Hughes lifestyle complete with a bevy of beautiful women. Angelica didn’t even blink. She had known how he’d been living. It would be interesting how the new operatives would take it. After all, it wasn’t such a crazy idea. Things were dicey. They had sent a lot of people up the river. Some of them had come as far as Paris seeking revenge.

At first they went through the process of screening just to humor her. Angelica became frustrated. None of the applicants seemed to meet her standards. At his wits end, Charlie decided to send her a list of female possibilities.

Much to his chagrin, Angelica was thrilled at the prospects.

"It’s a brilliant idea, Charles." She said. She always called him Charles. "They will be completely unnerved and taken by surprise. Just as you were by me."

Things went well for the most part. Then Angelica took a turn for the worst. Bosley never left her side. All activity came to a standstill at the agency.

Then it happened.

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"You can’t ask me that!" Bosley shouted as he slammed the door. "I can’t. I won’t!"

Several nurses joined Charlie as he stared at the retreating fiigure. Slowly, Charlie stood up and knocked softly on the door.

"Come in." came a weak voice.

"Hello. I hope I’m not intruding."

"No, not at all." She replied, between hacking coughs. "I’ve been reading the paper…now that I’ve had so much time to myself."

She looked horrible, all pasty and white. What was left of her hair had been artfully covered by a white turban held together by an elegant brooch. She looked thin and weak. Nothing like her old self.

"My dear, old friend. I’m afraid I’ve gone and upset John."

"Oh, I’m sure he’ll get over it."

"Yes." She said distractedly. "Perhaps."

Charlie arranged the pillows behind her trying to make her more comfortable.

"Charles… I want to ask you something. The same thing I asked John about that got him so upset."

"Yes?"

"If, at any point, when the cancer reaches my brain…and I have to be put on some sort of machine…I don’t want to live anymore."

He was shocked. Too shocked to speak.

"Charles, the part of me that you love. The part of me that makes me who I am…it will be gone by then."

"No." He croaked out. "I…I’m sorry. I can’t."

"Ah, but you can Charles." Angelica smiled sadly. "You don’t want to, but you can. I know about death, Charles and I am not afraid of it. I do not want to be here, a burden to poor John…so much expense…"

"Don’t worry about it. They might find a cure. Scientists are working every day, searching. They say they may be close… One experimental drug in-"

"I have had enough medicines pumped into my body." Angelica insisted. She straightened her back. "Charles, I have never asked anything of you. When John and I got married, I wanted you to be there, if we had had children, I would have wanted you to be close to us, to our family. But I did not press the matter. You are still a friend, yes? Do this for me, then. Allow me to die with dignity."

He hadn’t been able to answer. Not then. And she had never mentioned it again. But when the time came, when she lay back in bed, unable to move, unable even to breathe for herself… the doctor’s said there was still some marginal brain activity. She just lay there.

And God help him, he had done it. In those last moments he held her and stroked her face, and she had smiled. The same smile she used to give him when he came to work every day.

He had never told Bosley. He knew better than to speak to Bosley about anything concerning Angelica ever again. He threw himself into his work, things were picking up and he admitted to himself that Angelica had been right to start up the offices again. But he would stay on the side-lines. He lived the story he had told Angelica, unwilling to open the old wounds that lay at the agency.

They were Bosley’s Angels now, and he did not begrudge him. It was the least he could sacrifice for taking her away from him forever.

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Bosley sipped his brandy. It was dark outside, and he had not turned on any lights. The record was finished. He was listening to the rhythmic ticking that the phonograph made. It was waiting for him to put on another record or turn it off.

He closed his eyes, and remembering Angelica. He was glad Charlie had been with her when she died, he was glad that he hadn’t been. She had looked happy, so happy. He would even have missed the syringe mark in her scalp, if only she hadn’t trained him so well. No one looks for puncture holes in an area that has hair. That was why the French poisoned people so well that way. It was painless. She had died in her sleep. Just as it said on her tombstone:

Angelica Landau Bosley, my sleeping Angel.

 

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