Sofa of Truth: Mike Kellerman
Written by Saffron Bailey

I can't believe this fucking snow. I was in Wisconsin the other week, and there was a foot and a half of snow. But that's Wisconsin and you have to expect snow there. Snow covers up the fact that Wisconsin's one of the world's most boring places. There's nothing to do in Wisconsin other than ask your out-of-town relatives where their wife is, even though they all know Annie and I've been splits for a year.

That's the one good thing about moving over to homicide -- I don't have to see Annie so often. I keep telling myself I'm over her, that I shouldn't love her at all because she betrayed me like she did, and I can almost convince myself. Until I see her, at least.

Maybe it was better that in ended like it did, with a bang, rather than being dragged out like the Buxtons upstairs. Maybe one day I'll convince myself of that, too, instead of mooning over her like the loser that I am. Annie's over me. Fuck, she was over me three months before we got divorced, about the same time she hooked up with her _other_ Don Juan.

Did I mention that snow makes me moody?

Bayliss is going to quit. He's gonna move to LA and be a security specialist. Bayliss locks himself out of his own car every three weeks and he's gonna make a career out of keeping other people safe and protected? Not unless he takes Frank with him. Which wouldn't be a bad idea.

I think I'd miss Bayliss if he left. Tim's a good guy, even if he's a little flaky. A lot flaky. Not just for putting up with Frank -- and enjoying it -- but also for being so mixed up. He tries to be so hard-boiled to please Pembleton, but he's got a gooey middle that he's never going to get rid of. Like those Cadbury eggs. Timmy's armor's about a thick as tin foil, too.

I think I'd miss Bayliss mostly because he's the only one other than Meldrick that seems to accept me as anything approaching an equal. Munch so proudly told me that I don't even register on his radar screen. I'm just there to be abused, the rookie on the team who has to go through all the hazing shit.

I understand there's a certain amount of stuff I gotta go through as the new guy, both from the unit at large and from Meldrick in particular. But if John-boy over there thinks I'm gonna put up with the crap they load on Bayliss, let alone put up with it for as long as Timmy has, he's got another thing coming. I'd like to think I'm respectful -- Mom and Dad made me suck enough Ivory soap to make 'ma'am' and 'sir' permanent parts of my vocabulary -- but I'm not letting that 98-pound weakling take revenge forty years after the fact for getting his lunch money took every day.

For a while, Meldrick was all right protecting me from the rest of the unit, at least he tried. Neither of us are a match for Pembleton, who usually can't be bothered anyways. Bayliss is like a kid at the zoo -- he only pokes and throws things when he knows the animals are securely locked up. Munch doesn't care whether or not I understand his insults -- and most of the time I don't -- so it's the sarcasm version of jacking off. Meldrick says that Munch'll be different when his partner gets back from suspension and he's a lot more like Bayliss when Stan Bolander is around. That oughtta be funny.

But things got a little hinky after the Rodzinski mess. I couldn't believe Gee and the Sarge stuck me with that case. I'm trying so hard to justify getting switched into homicide, working my ass off just to fit in, and they give me a case where we all know a cop did the shooting. So right after I finally earn my partner's trust, I gotta go blow it by investigating his friend.

I have to confess, though, the thing that really pissed me off about bringing Jake Rodzinski in, even more than getting looked at cross-eyed by all the other cops while I was doing it, was that his "partner" rolled over on him in a heartbeat. Meldrick and I haven't been partners for all that long, but if I found out he did something, I wouldn't be spilling my guts to the nearest detective. And I am sure that Meldrick wouldn't do that to me. Even if he's not sure about me right now.

Hello! You hear that, Munchkin, or are you too busy listening to yourself talk? When was the last time either of us got laid? Good old George is re-asserting his man-of-the-house status. I'd suggest to Munch that the Missus is too smart to be impressed by this so-obvious move (fucking in earshot of your competitors -- it's in the first chapter of How To Prove Your Masculinity, that historic epic every boy tries to learn and master once his voice changes), but she's moaning too loud for him to hear me.

A knock on the door. Good, relief is here. Munch can go bend someone else's ear for a while. I need a pizza, a beer, and a long night with someone who looks nothing like Annie and sounds everything like Mrs. Buxton.