Written by Maggie the Cat
Author's Note: Please disregard the wonkiness of this case--I
wrote it in, like, half an hour, okay? Don't be
expecting quality or anything. ;p
"I hate this."
"*You* hate this?" Frank glanced at Tim
incredulously. "Do *you* have a wife and daughter
waiting for you at home, patiently keeping the turkey
from drying out while *you* drive all over town
searching for some semen-addicted crackpot who
may-possibly-*might* be any *one* of seven otherwise
unrelated clinic workers?!?"
Staring steadfastly at the road, Tim spoke through
clenched teeth. "In case you don't remember, Frank,
Mary invited me to Thanksgiving dinner at your house.
So *I'm* suffering as much as you are, maybe even
"More?" Frank exclaimed.
"--maybe even *more*, Frank, because they get to wait
for you at home and I have to ride around in this car
with you, listening to you yelling at me!"
"I'M NOT YELLING AT YOU!"
They were silent for the next three red lights,
Frank's irritation and Tim's sulking doing mute battle
for dominance. Finally, Tim gave up--although he
preferred to think of it as "being the bigger person."
"I bet Mary makes good turkey," he ventured.
"The best," Frank affirmed immediately. "She does
something with melted butter, white wine and
cheesecloth that makes it come out perfect every
"Mmmmmm." Tim leaned back in his seat, closing his
eyes blissfully. "Stuffing?"
"Whaddyou mean, 'stuffing'?"
"Stuffing, Frank. Bread, celery, uh...seasoning,
whatever, all mixed up and shoved in the turkey's
"We don't have stuffing." Frank pointedly ignored
Tim's agape mouth and gripped the steering wheel a bit
tighter. "We have *dressing*."
"Pssssh." Tim relaxed again, flapping one large,
languid hand in dismissal. "Same thing, then."
"Stuffing goes *inside* the bird, Tim. Dressing's on
the side." Although still being argumentative, Frank
had likewise calmed down. He enjoyed his and Tim's
car discussions, and this was shaping up to be an
"Only Victorians and New Englanders call it 'dressing'
anymore," Tim stared out the window at a young couple
making out on a bus bench until they were out of
sight. He faced front again, snugging his coat
tighter. "As long as there's cranberry sauce, I'm
Frank made a face. "I can't stand cranberry sauce,"
he declared. "I'm not a big fan of fruit and meat
together in general."
"Not even on pizza? Like, ham and pineapple?"
"Nope. Well, porkchops and apple sauce, but that's
"Hmmmmm." Another stretch of silence, but a
companionable one. That was one of the reasons
Bayliss and Pembleton liked to go out together; they
had some of their best and deepest talks in the car,
but they didn't *have* to talk. Not like having
Meldrick or Munch along. Those two only shut up if
they were physically forced to.
"What d'you suppose she's gonna do with all of the
sperm samples?" Tim wondered aloud.
Frank raised an eyebrow consideringly. "Turn them
loose and let the best man win?" he guessed.
"I still don't see why she had to kill all those other
samples. I mean, that's *dozens* of babies denied a
chance at life."
"Hmmph." Frank gave him an amused sidelong glance.
"You must weep over your condoms."
"No, no--that's different." Tim sat up a bit, getting
into the topic. "The whole *point* of a sperm bank is
for procreation, right? Those samples are there for
the sole purpose of impregnating a woman. Come on,
Frank--you're Catholic. The whole thing must piss you
"I'm Catholic, not Byzantine. Sperm banks serve their
purpose. But I still don't see why we're calling some
spilled seed 'murder'."
"Well, she didn't murder all of them. She saved the
ones she liked."
Frank made a noise of agreement. "Convenient season
to try and get pregnant, I guess."
"What with the turkey basters already out and all."
Frank pulled up in front of a respectable-looking
brownstone and turned the engine off. The two of them
sat there for a minute before he said, "Well, this is
the first address. Do you want to ask her--"
"Connie Wagonhoffer," Tim supplied, checking his
"--ask Miz Wagonhoffer if she's reaping the fruits of
the season, or shall I?"
"Oh, *you* do it, Frank," Tim huffed, smiling, as they
got out of the car. "And remember to wish her a happy
"I hate that expression," Frank muttered, stomping up
the steps with his partner.
"You hate everything."
"Touche, Timmy." Frank grinned briefly, then rang the