Sofe of Truth: Kay Howard
Written by Maggie the Cat

Why did you hafta go and start *crying* on me?

I'm not deaf. I heard you. I could tell from the minute you started in on how beautiful Adena Watson looked, there in the rain...face like an angel's.

You take *everything* to heart, dontcha, Tim?

Somtimes I wonder how you managed to grow up. I grew up on the water, surrounded by tough old guys and tougher young guys, and I held my own. Tussled 'em until they learned I wasn't gonna be bullied and I could handle a boat as well as any of them, and proved that I could be top of the class too. Guess I'm still sorta proving to people that I won't be bullied and I'm just as good--if not better--than any of 'em.

So I know what it's all about, Tim. Working your ass off day in and day out and spending four, five sleepless nights a week tossing and turning and agonizing over that one little case, that one little detail that's just outta reach...and then getting mouthed off by your co-workers. Jeez--y'know, Meldrick and I have been in Homicide for about the same length of time, and we always got along okay. He's kinda sloppy and doesn't always follow up his cases regularly, but he's got a lot of black under his name.

But now...I shoulda expected it, really. Out've all you guys, Meldrick *would* be the one to test my authority. Frank has too much respect for rules, you and Munch *know* I deserve the position, and Mikey's the rookie so he doesn't wanna step on his new Sarge's toes.

But Meldrick's upset that *I* got the promotion even though we've been around the same amount of time. Y'know what? I think he's just pissed at himself, 'cause if he really applied himself to his job the way I did, he coulda passed the sergeant's exam. He hates having to come in every day and be reminded that he slacked off and got passed over.

And hey, he got passed over for a woman, too. Don't that beat all.

Don't get me wrong, Tim--I like working with you guys. I always felt comfortable around guys, 'cause of growing up with Dad and Josh. But...I still remember how Higby and those other jerks talked trash about Russert being their lieutenant, and how she musta blown the right guy to get there.

Russert, hah...I bet Meldrick wouldn't mind *her* being Sarge, with her skirt sets and silk blouses and matching pumps. Kinda funny how things worked out, Russert being demoted down to detective and me getting promoted to sergeant?

And I *like* being thought of as "the best female sergeant", thanks so much. 'Cause that's what I am. And I'm gonna be *the* best sergeant with a little time and a lot of work.

It's a *ton* of extra work, Tim. You guys are lucky. I mean, it looks like I don't do as much because I'm sending you out with instructions most of the time, but have you seen the tower of paper on my desk? Wish I could see Meldrick deal with *that*, with that two-finger chicken-peck he calls typing. And all the time in Gee's office, hashing over the details of the cases and whether or not there's enough evidence for a warrant and a million other things that I took for granted when I was a detective....

Ahhhh, Bayliss--you're fallin' asleep. Musta worn yourself out with that cryin', huh? Sorry I didn't say anything, or hug you, or something...I'm just...well, I'm not the mothering type, okay? I feel bad for you, honest. I know you're goin' through something rough, I could hear it in your voice. I mean, when Josh used to get upset about stuff and cry, he always appreciated it when I pretended like I didn't *notice* he was crying. That's kinda the way I'm used to dealing with that sorta thing.

So don't feel like I don't care, huh? I do care. But it's not easy to show it with warm embraces and lotsa gushy sentiment and declarations of love and all that mushy stuff. I'll make sure your paperwork's eased off, maybe make sure you don't catch too much overtime for the next few days--Lewis and Kellerman could use a heavier caseload. Don't get used to it, though; I'm just givin' you a break because I think it's time for one. We all need a recharge once in a while, right?

Jeez--it's so chilly in here. Go ahead and take a nap, Tim. You could use the rest to get you back up to speed. I gotcha covered.