Boys Will Be Boys
Written by Spinner


"Admit it, Junior," Beau Felton laughed, leaning back in his seat in the coffee room. "You're too chicken to take me up on it."

Tim Bayliss's light hazel eyes darkened around the edges with malevolence, even though on the outside he remained perfectly calm. Tim opened the window and watched the rain pouring down in the night.

"I am not chicken, Beau," he said finally. "It's a waste of time. Haven't you got anything more important to do tonight?"

"You're chicken. Excuses, excuses."

"I am not chicken," Tim repeated.

"Prove it," Beau grinned.

"I don't have to prove a thing to you," Tim sniffed, giving an insecure half frown. He drew in a couple breaths of crisp air and watched Beau pout.

"I can whip you with one arm injured, and you can't take the possibility of such a humiliation, so you don't wanna even risk it," Beau decided.

"I would not lose to you," Tim replied. "The truth is, I don't want to make a fool of you, that's all."

"You're scared," Felton taunted, ruffling Tim's hair. Bayliss brushed him away as Kay and Frank approached. The senior partners were discussing the specifics of a case Tim didn't recognize right off hand.

"There Wayne was, completely riddled with bullets," Frank concluded.

"You're joking," Kay gasped.

"A catty thing to say, woman," Beau smiled.

"I was gonna say that. There you go, robbin' me of fun," Tim put in, poking Beau in the side.

"Drives you batty, doesn't it?" Beau asked. Felton and Bayliss rolled in gales of laughter as Kay and Frank stared at them blandly, unamused.

"This is what happens when little boys suck on lead-based paint chips," Frank said acidly.

"It's no boy wonder everyone says you're boring, Frank," Tim said, pinching him cautiously on one side, and yelping as Frank slapped his hand very hard. Tim winced and drew back the reddened, throbbing extremity.

"Holy shit, wasn't that a little harsh?" Felton popped up. He scooped up Tim's arm and rubbing the wounded hand between his own to take the sting away. It had been out of reflex, Kay knew. Beau and Tim rolled in helpless laughter once more. Howard glanced sideways at Pembleton. Kay was beginning to smile, and Frank was frowning angrily. Kay was suddenly so proud of Beau, the way he had taken Tim protectively under his wing when someone else attacked him. It was easy to tell Beau had grown up around siblings, with the edict that you protect the younger people around you, whereas Frank seemed not to have that sort of emotional connection to other human beings. At least, that's the way Frank let on all the time. Kay had her suspicions it was an act, but she had no hard evidence.

"Beau? Tim? Don't you two have better tasks to fill your time with?" she asked, fighting her humor.

"I'm between leads on open cases," Beau said. "I need a break. It's night shift. I'm bored. But Tim won't join me in a fair game of challenge concerning his marksmen and terrorist elimination skills. Kay, make him play with me," Beau begged, tugging on her arm. Kay finally gave into her grin.

"I have a lot of paperwork," Tim refused.

"I've seen you type. You'll be done with that in an hour," Beau said.

"I brought a couple of books to read," Tim added.

"Books?" Beau mocked.

"Flat, rectangular objects with sheets of printed material between the hard surfaces," Tim said, facing the rain and giving a small, sad sigh.

Kay raised a brow at Tim when he darted his gaze her direction. He was worried that refusing Beau's request would affect Kay's opinion of him, and he was right to be concerned. Did Tim think he was too good to consort with the likes of Beau? It was obvious to her that Tim didn't want to spend too much time with Felton because he knew that Frank would disapprove. Kay could tell that Tim was looking to his partner for either permission or denial of said permission. Frank wasn't forthcoming with either one. Frank poured himself a cup of coffee and pretended to ignore his partner entirely. However, Kay saw Frank's eyes travel over the rookie's features once Tim wasn't noticing. Inscrutably, Frank's dark eyes held the secret of whatever he had been thinking while studying his boyish partner's face. Kay wasn't going to interfere; it was up to Tim. Who did he want to disappoint least: Frank, or Beau and Kay? Beau was going to sulk all night if Tim didn't agree though.

"Tim......." Beau said. "I brought the guns. I brought the special ammo. Tim. It'll be fun."

Sorely tempted, Tim turned away from Frank, deciding Pembleton had had his chance to put his two cents in. It had been an awfully long time since anyone had asked Tim to actually PLAY. He faced Beau, sitting down on the edge of the table with the coffee supplies. Tim drank from his mug, his bangs drifting into his face. Frank's eyes caressed Tim more slowly, as if he were sending mental thoughts to Tim. Kay read the expression loud and clear this time. Frank was jealous that Tim was considering Beau's offer. Frank couldn't stand the idea that Tim would socialize with a billy like Beau. Also, Frank was upset Beau hadn't asked him too. Of course, Frank would have refused very quickly any such offer, but he had wanted the opportunity to decline. That's what mattered to him.

"What if Gee catches us?" Tim asked, softening his voice, rubbing the toes of one soft-soled brown shoe into the tiles of the floor as he lowered his eyes. Beau's big jaw burst wide with delight. That question from Tim was practically a yes.

"We'll tell him the truth. We're performing search and destroy missions in the station house, meant as field training exercises in the event we ever have to defend ourselves against hostile invaders," Beau replied in a deep and serious tone that belayed his anxiousness.

"Don't sugarcoat it. You want to spend eight hours chasing each other around, playing with toy guns?" Frank badgered mercilessly.

"Pretty much," Beau nodded.

"Good, fine, excellent; proceed," Frank said with a dismissive wave of his hand.

"You mean it?" Tim said, his eyes round with surprise.

"Sure. But do me one favor?"

"What's that?" Tim wondered.

"Use live ammo," Frank mused, walking away very pleased with himself. Tim frowned. Kay watched with amusement and underlying interest as his bottom lip jutted out in a sensitive pout.

"He hates me," Tim whispered, dismal and hurt.

"Yes, but don't take it personally. Frank hates everyone," Beau joked.

"What am I doing wrong?" Tim pined.

"Eh, who knows?" Beau shrugged. "Maybe you're not black enough for him to show any concern for."

"Beau," Kay chided, shaking her head and narrowing her eyes. "That's enough."

"Come on, Junior," Beau said, squeezing the scruff of Tim's neck roughly a couple of times. "Don't let Frank's mercury blood bother you. We'll keep clear of him, if at all possible."

"Let me type my reports first," Tim said, shrugging off the melancholy in his mood. "Then, you're on."

"GREAT!" Beau hollered.

"Ground rules?" Tim questioned.

"Terrorists don't have rules. That's the nature of the beast," Beau said.

"You sure you don't want any rules?" Bayliss tested.

"Only one ground rule."

"What?" Tim asked.

"You can't leave the station house. No repelling down the outside and jumping through windows."

"Okay. That's easy enough."

"But we can go outside on the deck," Felton added.

"Sure, go on the deck," Tim murmured, squinting into the rain. "I can mortally wound you at pretty much any distance there without stepping out and getting wet. Hell, if there weren't walls in the way, I could stand at my desk and get you on the deck. At least make this a challenge, for Christ's sake."

"I'll make it a challenge," Beau promised. "While you're typing, I'll draw up some initial plans. By the way, what's your feeling on hostages?"

"Hostages, girly man?" Tim teased.

"Most terrorists take hostages," Beau defended. "It'll give you a chance to work on your negotiation skills."

"I was a shooter, not a negotiator. That's never been my strong suit," Tim said. "I don't care if you wanna take hostages though."

"Kay...." Beau began. She had been silently watching them from her seat at a table. She had to work hard at wiping the smirk off her face, meaning whatever she had been thinking could not have been good.

"I don't want to be your hostage, Beau," Howard said slowly.

"Kay.....please?" Beau asked. "I'll owe you a big favor. Kay."

"All right. Don't beg. Maybe later," Kay said, giving in. "Wait till I'm on break. Unlike you, I have work that I need to do."

"Then we're set," Beau decided. Tim shook his head. "What?" Beau said impatiently.

"What do I get as a reward? A bounty for bringing you in?"

"What do you mean, reward?"

"If I'm going to prostitute my considerable abilities for your personal amusement, the least you could do is make it worth my while."

"You MERCENARY," Beau accused. "If you capture me, I'll buy lunch tomorrow at the restaurant of your choice, but remember I have a wife and kids to support, so....not Rinaldi's."

"Deal," Tim nodded.

"How about five dollars each time you tag him?" Kay asked.

"You buying in on this?" Tim asked. "Can you do that if you're the hostage? Against your partner, no less," Tim said, shocked. "Shame on you."

"No, Tim," Kay said, standing up and patting his cheek. "I'll give Beau five dollars for each time he tags your rookie butt."

"Hm," Tim said. "That's better, I suppose. But doesn't that make you his accomplice and not his hostage?"

"Let's assume I'm suffering from that syndrome that makes hostages eventually side with their captors."

"What'll you give me if I tag him?" Tim asked her pointedly.

"I'll make Frank give you five too for each time you get Beau," Kay bragged.

"How you gonna do that?"

"I have my ways," she promised.

"What color are the paint pellets?" Tim asked.

"Bright neon blue," Beau said. "They don't wash off except with soap and water, and they hurt like a sonufabitch."

"First the reports, and then, let the games begin," Tim agreed, shaking Beau's hand. "Hi, Meldrick," Tim said, patting Lewis's shoulders as he came into the coffee room, shaking out his dripping coat. Lewis mumbled and walked to the coffee pot.


Steve Crosetti crossed his way down the staircase, watching in confusion as Beau Felton ran hellbent past him up the steps. Beau nearly flattened Steve, paused, and took a deep breath as he grabbed Steve for balance.

"I don't have my gun! You took my gun out of my locker before I was ready!" Beau shouted up the empty staircase. He dodged around Steve as a strafing fire of bright blue spots skipped down perilously towards them. Felton let go of Steve and dashed up the steps, rolling on one shoulder over the hard floor by the desk as the sergeant on duty calmly continued writing in his log book. Beau dodged two more shots of bright blue and then escaped into the Homicide squadroom.

A few seconds later, Tim Bayliss appeared on the other side of the staircase, coming down from the upper floors. He was casually reloading pellets into a toy gun. He took the second weapon out of his belt and made sure it was full as well. He paused at the desk, and watched whatever the sergeant was writing.

"It's a training exercise, and Bayliss has two 's's," he said quietly. "Hi, Steve," Tim smiled as Crosetti came back up the steps, gaping openly at Bayliss. "It's still raining out. You'd better take a heavier jacket."

"Sure, kid," Steve said slowly. Tim put himself against the side of the wall and opened the door to Homicide. He glanced cautiously inside, then flipped off the lights. Cursing and swearing from Frank Pembleton's direction of the room erupted as Tim concealed himself in the shadows and vanished into the room.


"Beau? Do you want your gun back?" Tim asked, his voice teasing and mischievous.

"I WASN'T READY!" Beau shouted back from a distant area of the squadroom.

"I'll put your gun by the coat rack," Tim promised. "Then I'll leave."

The lights jolted back on. Meldrick came out of Homicide and shook his head as he joined Steve on the stairs.

"What is that all about?" Steve asked.

"Training exercise."

"Looks to me like they're playing."

"Me too," Lewis said. "Kay said she's giving Beau five dollars for every hit he makes on Tim."

"All I know is somebody better get this shit off the stairs before someone falls and breaks their neck!" Crosetti hollered back up the stairs in the direction of the squadroom.


John Munch. Portrait of a man in need of peace and quiet and solitude. He locked the stall door. He unzipped his britches. He made himself comfortable on the porcelain 'U'. He snapped open the newspaper.

Nothing disagreeable met his gaze. He smiled and continued on to page two. The paper wrinkled with his touch. The relaxing sound of the rain was better than Calgon and a box of chocolates.

Then it happened. He wasn't sure why, but he was suddenly convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that he was being watched. He glanced around. He leaned down, peering side to side.


He sat up and continued reading. His concentration was shattered. He knew he was being watched. Paranoia made his brow dot up with sweat. He couldn't relax like this.

He heard a soft chuckle from above, and shot a gaze that way as an arm and hand dropped down into the next stall. Soft-soled brown hush puppies appeared on the ground.

"Tim, is that you?" John asked. A hand set a pellet gun on the ground; a large brown shoe held the gun firmly in place as someone unzipped a zipper.

"I thought you were Beau," Tim whispered quietly.

"Do you sneak up on Beau a lot in the bathroom?" John quipped. His mellow was gone. His calm disrupted. Tim flushed the toilet and retrieved his gun from the floor.

"I got him good in the backside 'bout ten minutes ago, and I figured he'd want to assess physical damage. I assumed this would be where he'd go. He must be dropping his pants somewhere else on the premises. Sorry to bother you. Forget I was here," Tim whispered.

John heard water in the sink, then the door opened and closed.

Peace at last. Weird kid. Nothing but the paper, the rain, and the....the door opened and someone limped in. Damn it.

"John? Is that you?" Beau whispered, getting down on one knee and peeking under the door. "Have you seen Junior lurking about?"

"What the hell is the matter with you two?" John snapped, whacking Beau in the face with the paper. Felton got back on his feet. "He left a couple seconds ago," John added.

"Good," Beau sighed. He went into the next stall. "Little bastard. He got me in the ass. Two shots. No more Mister Nice Guy. I'm gonna get him for this. He wants to play rough? We'll play rough."

"That's the spirit. Go get him, Tiger," John encouraged. Beau limped out of the bathroom. "Morons," John muttered, settling back with his paper.


" 'How Cops React To Violence In The Streets'," Stan mused, picking the book up off of Tim's desk. "Gee, you had a look at what your new guy is reading these days?"

"At least it isn't the practical homicide textbook," Al Giardello murmured as he paused by Tim's desk.

"I'll tell you how cops react to violence in the streets," Stan went on. "We become insensitive, uncaring; we're the endangered species out there! What kind of cop has to read a book to find out how he should react to violence? Oh! What about this one? 'Gun Control in the Urban Environment'. Yeah, that's gonna happen."

"Bayliss is so lost here, he can't find his ass with both hands and a tour guide," Frank complained. Gee turned Frank's direction in time to see Beau running past the window of the aquarium. Bright gigantic neon blue splats had appeared not only on his backside, but one on his back and one on his left thigh. Beau turned and fired at his pursuer. He hurried off without waiting to see if he had gotten a hit in.

"The training exercise going well?" Gee asked, giving a wistful smile.

"I'm going to grab a cup of coffee," Frank said in disgust, standing up from his desk. Tim crept by the window. He had one blue shot on his right side, a graze at that. Otherwise, nothing. He was grinning from ear to ear. He ducked down, folding his tall frame against the half wall below sight. Seconds later, the door out of the aquarium opened and closed as he passed through on all fours.

"Are you going to let them spend tax-payers money on wages that way?" Stan asked. Gee shrugged one shoulder, rolling his neck tiredly. "I know for a fact that the Adena Watson murder hasn't been closed. Shouldn't Tim be devoting his time to that instead of...."

"Stan, it's good for them to let off a little steam, relax, take out their frustrations. Boys will be boys. As long as you remember how to play, you never grow old," Gee reminded Bolander before going back into his office. Stan shook his head, put down Tim's books, and headed into the coffee room to grumble to Frank.

"Pembleton, tell me how you feel about---hey!" Stan shouted, flattening himself out of the path. Beau raced by, out of breath and panting. Frank lifted up his mug from one of the dining tables and continued reading his paper, ignoring Felton entirely. Beau stopped on a dime, grabbed the table, and yanked it forward past Frank's knees. Blue slugs whizzed by Beau's head and slammed into the double doors at the far end.

Ducking what would have qualified as a definite kill-shot, Felton shoved the table out into Bayliss's path at the very last second. Tim dropped to the ground like a mack truck hitting a wall. Loose chairs skidded everywhere in the room, tipping over and slamming into the vending machines. It was eerily quiet for a moment or two.

"Tim? You okay?" Beau asked, leaning over the table and peering down at the crumpled heap on the floor. Felton was clearly worried he had actually hurt Bayliss.

"Mother," Tim whispered in a dead-on Daffy Duck impression, letting his tongue hang out as he breathed.

"I can't believe you fell for that," Beau panted.

"You're despicable," Tim slurped.

"I'll go check on my hostage. She should be ready to go on break soon. You sure you're okay?"

Tim drew his tongue back in his mouth and wheezed a couple of times.

"Yep," the rookie managed.

"Are you gonna get up?" Beau asked.

"Pretty soon," Tim nodded, his right cheek squeaking on the floor as stars danced in his eyes.

"Need fifteen minutes, Junior?"

"Very gracious of you," Tim whispered.

"Oh, Tim?" Beau said.

"Yeah?" Tim gasped. Beau raised his pellet gun and gave Tim a blue neon spot on his butt. "Ouch," Tim said emotionlessly several seconds later. Compared to the table, the pellet had been pretty anti-climatic apparently.

Beau left the coffee room, catching his breath. Stan moved the table back into place, walking around Tim's sprawled body to replace the chairs. He assumed the one opposite Frank at the table, carefully avoiding Tim's hand which still clutched the pellet weapon.

"As I was saying...." Stan continued to Frank, "how do you feel about gun control?"

"I believe in gun control in theory, but not in practical application," Frank replied.

Tim exhaled, peeling himself slowly off the tiles. As the rookie dragged himself out of the room, suppressing a moan of agony with each step, Stan was surprised to find Frank fighting a smile.


"You want a coke or something while we wait?" Beau asked Kay. Howard yawned and stretched, standing up from the bottom metal step on the staircase that went up to the third floor. She put a foot on the step and started jogging up and down the whole set of stairs quickly.

"No, that's okay," she replied to the pounding of shoe to step. "How many shots?"

From the bottom of the spiral of black metal, Beau surveyed himself as he answered.

"Two in the butt. One in the back. One in the left thigh. One in the left shoulder. One in the right knee. He's toying with me, picking me off a limb at a time."

"I meant how many shots have you given him," Kay specified.

"Two, and one was taken while he was flat on the floor in the coffee room."

"That's it?!" she shouted, halting. "You're kidding me! Beau!"

"The other was a near-miss that grazed his right side," Beau said.

"Maybe I should trade partners with Frank after all," Kay joked.

"You don't mean that," Beau refused to believe her.

"No, I don't," she laughed. "Where's Baltimore's own Terminator now?"

"Recuperating from a table to the gut," Beau mused. "His fifteen minutes was up a long time ago. He's no doubt lurking around a corner somewhere."

"Have you thought about where you'll take him to lunch tomorrow?"

"Last time he got me, he bent down and whispered something about the Thursday special at Jimmy's."

"What was that?" Kay asked. Beau ran up the steps to her side and peered up into the third floor.

"I didn't hear anything."

Blue exploded all around Beau's ankles. Mischievous giggling was heard echoing up from below as Howard and Felton dropped and rolled down the steps. Beau hit the ground, pellet gun in hand as he scanned the area. Kay landed on his back, pulling herself upright and pushing her hair angrily out of her face.

"You're right. He is toying with you," Kay agreed, helping Beau to his newly decorated feet. "Five more shots! Frank's gonna owe Tim a fortune!"

"Is he like an ex-green beret or something?" Beau asked, amazed that Tim had accomplished, once again, to tag him and disappear. "This is embarrassing! He's a kid! I'm being shown up by a ROOKIE!"

"That's Mister Rookie to you," Tim called in a disembodied echo.


"Have you seen Tim?" Beau asked Frank as he walked through the squadroom. Frank turned around at his desk and closed the folder he had been reading from.

"Not for about a half hour. It's been suspiciously quiet, actually. He chased Kay through here, looking like he'd been kicked in the groin. At first Kay was laughing her head off, and had a wicked gleam in her eyes. Until he caught her, that is. He threw her up over a shoulder, and dragged her into the Box. She was screaming and spinning and hissing and kicking around like a cat on fire. You should have heard the profanity! Um, Felton, you're dripping blue everywhere."

"Twelve shots. He's gotten me twelve times!"

"That means I owe him sixty bucks?" Frank gasped. "Why did I let Kay talk me into this childishness?"

"Don't worry. I'm surrendering," Beau informed Frank. "All I have to do is find him first."

"Beau Felton? What in the world happened to you?" Meldrick asked as he and Steve reentered the squadroom. He tossed his hat onto the desk and shook his head at Beau. "You're a mess."

"Bayliss did that to you in your little training exercise?" Crosetti asked. Beau muttered in response.

"Remind me not to piss him off when he's carrying a loaded nine millimeter," Lewis joked, plopping down in his chair. The phone jolted loudly on Frank's desk. He picked it up. Steve sorted out the contents of his pockets, tossing them over his desktop like he was throwing breadcrumbs to birds.

"Homicide. Pembleton. Yeah. Uh huh. Yeah. Okay," Frank said. Beau hovered next to Frank's shoulder as he hung up the phone. Steve drew his chair out and sat down. He glanced under his desk and raised a brow.

"Murder on the mean streets?" Felton asked anxiously.

"Yes," Frank answered.

"Good. Take Bayliss with you. PLEASE!"

"If I can find him, I will," Frank said, standing up and shouting loudly. "TIM! WE GOT A CALL!"

Beau leapt up about six inches as blue slugs squirted by him and impacted with the window of the aquarium. He landed against Frank as he came back down, and both men quickly steadied themselves, aghast they had touched the other.

"Tim, get out of there," Steve said, backing away from his desk as Tim emerged out from under the front of it. Bayliss climbed to his feet, chuckling wickedly as he dusted off his knees and blue neon backside.

"You almost got ME!" Frank hollered, horrified.

"What a baby. I missed you by a mile, Frank. I'll forget all about the sixty bucks if you let me drive," Tim offered, giving Beau back his pellet gun as he thumped Felton on the shoulder. "Thanks, Beau. That was fun. Can we do it again sometime?"

"No," Beau frowned, checking how many shots were left in the gun.

"Spoil sport," Tim teased happily. "By the way, your hostage, or should I say your accomplice, is hooked to the table in the Box. I gagged her too cause she was biting me."

"You kidnapped Kay, girly man?" Beau joked. "What happened to your stance on hostages?"

"SHE capped me with YOUR gun, which I assumed you gave her for that purpose because you were having no luck. I had no choice but to consider her the enemy, and therefore eliminated her from the playing field," Tim replied. "Can I drive, Frank?"

"No. Do you have a pair of pants in your locker? I won't be seen with you like that," Frank muttered, indicating Tim's blue butt.

"You only have two shots on you," Beau said, rotating Tim's frame side to side.

"Only two you can see," Tim said as he moodily narrowed his eyes and glanced downward. "Tell Kay I'm sorry about the rough-housing, but she really shouldn't sneak up on me in the men's room like that."

"Where'd she get you?" Beau whispered confidentially, leaning closer to hear.

"Don't ask," Tim insisted, shaking his head. "It's too embarrassing to reiterate."

"Ow," Beau winced, finally getting his drift. "Lunch. Jimmy's. Tomorrow," he promised, thumping Tim on the back. "Don't worry. The blue paint will come off in the shower."

"Lord, I hope so," Tim murmured. "Do me a favor and wait until Frank and I leave before you release Kay. And if I were you, I'd wear protective body gear. She's gonna be pissed," Tim warned. He went to the lockers to grab a pair of slacks. Frank joined him, laughing out loud after a couple of moments. The other guys looked up at the sound of Pembleton's amusement.

"Wow! How many shots did she get on you?" Frank commented as Tim ducked behind the lockers and slid out of his pants. He quickly pulled on another pair and tossed the neon-splattered ones in his locker.

"Don't ask," Tim replied. "Okay, Beau. The coast is clear," Tim called, hurrying out of the squad room behind Frank. They could hear Kay's screaming from the staircase on their way outside.


"Well, you're a dead man," Frank said. "Can I have the case? I believe it will be open and shut."

"Ha," Tim mused faintly, walking rather stiffly, Frank was pleased to notice.