The Rise and Rise of Frankenmike
Written by Mary

*The curtains open on Mike and Frank's bedroom. Frank is wrapped up in their well-used bed with just the stop of his head peeking out of the covers. Mike is at the computer getting more and more irate.*

"I don't believe this...I don't fucking *believe* this! Where the hell do they get off saying that?"

"Baby, what are you talking about?"

"Oh, there's some people from the selfserve mailing list-"

"You're still on that thing?"

"-that says that the thought of us together makes them sick. That we're an Aberration of the Universe! [pacing] Where the hell do they get off saying that? It just makes me want, hurt, rend, tear..."

"Honey, you're working yourself into a fit for nothing. [patting the space next to him] Come back to bed, Mikey. Relax, take a deep breath, and I'll give you a backrub."

[Inhaling sharply, stops pacing] "Ok, ok, you're right. I'm making a big deal over nothing, aren't I?"

"Mikey, what a couple of people think of our relationship isn't of any concern to us, and besides, I'm used to it by now, and it's not about you anyway. [pats bed again with knowing smile] Well, do you want that backrub or not? I can make you feel a whole lot better."

[wiseacre grin] "Oh, can you know, Frank?"

*The sounds of rustling sheets, ripping pajamas, soft moans and loud, wet kissing sounds can be heard for a while. When we see them again, Mike's head is on Frank's chest with Mike's fingers trailing lightly over Frank's sweat-soaked skin.*

"You know Mikey, I can see why people didn't see us as a couple, the way we used to act around each other. Especially what happened at the end..."

"Frankie-baby, that's all in the past. Water under the bridge, lover. Besides, it only served to bring us closer together. Business at 'Pembleton and Bayliss P.I.' has never been better. You know, I never forgot how incredibly beautiful you seemed to me on that first case we worked together, how you got into my personal space, the way you slowly ran that cigarette over your top lip, the way you looked at me across that crowded squadroom. You know, I remember waiting until you left the room and stealing that back of cigarettes off your desk."

"Funny, I don't remember you stealing those smokes. I suppose that's because all I can remember from that time is how hot you looked- all sooty and sweaty and you were wearing those tight jeans and that fireman helmet. My mind's supposed to be on the case, but all I can think of is how you locked your legs around that beam, wishing I was that beam, hoping I wouldn't collapse-"

"-just like that beam."

[deep pinch] "Brat."

"OW! That *hurt*."

"It was supposed to."

"Say, what did you mean earlier when you said you were used to it by now and that it's not about me?"

"What do you mean? Oh, you're still thinking about the selfserve cretins? Just leave them alone, baby, let them think what they want to think."

"No, it's ok, I was just curious."

"Think about it-how many times have you been paired off by the selfserve writers and who with?"

"Gosh, Frank, there's too many to count, really. I've been with Bayliss, Lewis, Bayliss, Mary Sue, Bayliss, Marty Sue, a little more Lewis, a whole lot more Bayliss....basically I've been with everyone but Brodie."

"And he was bonking Scheiner in the morgue under the pretense that he was 'paying the rent'. Ok, Mikey, I get the point."

"Jealous? [dimple-flashing grin] You're not still mad about..."

"You *are* a brat, you know that? So fine, we've established that you've seen more ceilings than Michelangelo. Now I ask you: who've I been paired with?"

[pause] "Well, Mary, I *think*. I don't really see you there all that often."

"See what I mean? Now why do you think that is?"

"Well, maybe it's because you're married."

"Meldrick is married."

"Don't remind me, I'm still recuperating from the ass-whooping Barbara gave me when she caught the two of us."

"Well, maybe you shouldn't've blown Lewis the instant Barbara left the room to get more tofu meat-loaf. Give me another reason."

"Maybe it's because they feel you don't like men."

"And you're shopping for curtains with Meldrick? The only person we know for sure on the squad that had homosexual leanings was Bayliss."

"And you found *that* out pretty quickly, didn't you sweetie-pie?"

[wide grin] "Now who's the jealous one? Have a problem sharing Timmy?"

"Man, that guy is busier than a one-armed paper hanger. Ok, Frank, enlighten me. Why do you think they've never paired you off with anyone from the squad?"

"Who knows really? It could be that they feel I don't have enough passion-"

"-I can tell them personally *that* theory is bullshit. I'm going through electrolytic shock as we speak."

"Maybe they hate the thought of big black men making off with cute little white boys with soft delicate skin-"

*Frank's hand disappears under the covers.*

[groaning] "-stop it, Frank, I haven't recovered from a little while ago."

"Mikey, the truth is I really don't want to know. What people think of me doesn't matter a good god-damn in the long run."

"Maybe it's like what Gee said to me once, that it's better if you don't know the 'why'."

"It's even better if you know the 'how' and the 'who'..."

"...and the 'who with'...mmmmm, oh god, Frank, lower baby, yeah, ohhhhhhh...."

*The curtains close.*