This parody exists because on a list I was told "Thou shalt not commit Frank/Tim," bolstered(!?) by someone's contention, which stated that Frank/Tim stories could not/should not be written because Frank Pembleton is an icon, an epic hero for the ages, like Hamlet. While the comparison is not one I wish to refute, I do not know why it should refute the Frank/Tim notion.
"Captains, Kings and Sealing Wax,
Epic Heroes, Hamlet and Squadroom Coffee"(1998)
NOTE: With apologies to William Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, Charles Dickens and T.S. Elliott.
FIRST SCENE -- Broadway Pier: the Roof
(Frank Pembleton on the roof. Enter to him Tim Bayliss [Author's note to herself: In the future, watch those Ye Olde English turn of phrases Dear Will could use with wild abandon. That was then, this is now])
Tim: Who's there?
Fr.: How soon they forget.
Tim: Nay, answer me, stand, and unfold yourself.
Fr.: Now cut that out. This writer is way too willing to go in that direction without any encouragement from you. I don't care if Shakespeare started his play with those words, you just watch your mouth.
Tim: Uh, what'd I say?
Fr.: (sighs) Never mind. I should've hit harder to knock that green off of you while I had the chance.
Tim: Frank? Is that you? Frank!
Fr.: (automatically) Don't hug me!
Tim: (huffy, but Zenly so) I'm not going to hug you, what, I put up with you for six years, take a bullet for you, die and get reborn into a New Jellicle Life --and you just take off without a word, without so much as a get well card, and you think I'm going to hug you? You have a high opinion of yourself, Frank.
Fr.: I have a very high opinion of my high opinion of myself.
Tim: (sighs) What are you doing back here, Frank? You left of your own will, remember? (mumbles aside) You certainly never asked me.
Fr.: True. But to my mind --though I am native here,
And to the manner born -- but it is a custom
More honor'd in the breach than in the observance...
Tim: What are you talking about? You were born in New York.
Fr.: Get with the program, Tim. Check out the duds. I'm Hamlet.
Tim: No, you're just verbose, you always were. Now you have to be cryptic, too?
Fr.: I'm a scholar -- what, you think I'm cast as Hamlet because I look
prince of Denmark?
Tim: (averting his eyes) I'm not supposed to look at you that closely. Get to the point, Frank, what are you doing here?
Fr.: I heard rumors, and rumors of rumors.
Tim: Yeah, well, this year our little band of brothers has come to include more than its ratio of sisters, so sex is in the air. Bound to be rumors.
Fr.: (makes an extravagant gesture of dismissal of all such rumors) I heard:
In the dead vast and the middle of the night,
Been thus encounter'd -- a figure like... (sees Tim's
gives up) Heard a ghost was seen walking here nightly and I
think it's calling
Tim: There you go again. When are you going to learn that not everything is about you?
Ghost: This one is. (thunder, thunder)
Fr.: (aside to Tim) Told you. (looking up at the Ghost) You called, I came, who are you?
Ghost: I am the ghost of your father.
Fr.: Wrong number. I don't have haunting issues with my father, (points at Tim) he does.
Ghost: Not that kind of father, oh, my son, my last and true son. You see, I am the Ghost of Squadroom's Past. Remember the past, my son, and understand my rage, the rage I shall impart to you fromheretoforeandthuson, and you shall be my instrument of revenge.
Tim: (shakes head, mumbles) All the mimsy were borogroves, and mome raths outgrabe. [Author's note: Okay, not in character for Tim. Just wanted to get more Carroll in somewhere. Hate making small use of an apology.]
Ghost: (thunders over Tim's mumble) Count the past glories! Bolander! (thunder) Felton! (small thunder) Crosetti! (smaller thunder) Russert! (back
big thunder) Howard!!! (mother of all thunders and impressive
Tim: (ducks lightning and suggests fairly) Kellerman?
Ghost: He will be back!
Tim: Oh, okay, long's he's not forgotten. I mean, he was nice enough to invite me to his boat (snidely to Frank) and I didn't even have to beg him for the invitation.
Ghost: And who walks the exalted halls of my Squadroom now? (as if tasting bile) Falsone, Ballard, Gharty -- unspeakable! Insult to injury, they've gone and added a beauty queen, too!
Tim: (unable to help interfering) Hold it, she's a good cop. Her looks are not her fault. Besides, you gotta cut 'em some slack there. I mean, after all, we are on NBC. They must have a peacock and Frank had left. Beside the besides, I'm attracted to her.
Fr.: (glares at Tim disgustedly) Who aren't you attracted to?
Tim: Well, I'm not allowed to be attracted to you. Past that, the sky's the limit.
Fr.: Happy flying. (turns back to the Ghost) Go on.
Ghost: Feel the weight of those transgressions, my son, and consider this. Your lieutenant who has for years valued my son --that's you, my son-- as his son has now brought in an interloper and ensconced him in my squadroom!
Fr.: (to Tim) You know anything about this?
Tim: I think he means Mike Giardello. But he is Gee's son.
Ghost: (thundering again) What doth lineage mean to me!? Is yonder upstart a Homicide cop? Hath he proven himself through the ranks of my elite? Hath he suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and been a glorified meter-maid for the privilege of one day becoming a true murder police?
Fr.: (outraged, inquires of Tim) Has he done this? Has the one I have always considered the most righteous and true and fair of cops --well, until the Mahoney cover up, at any rate-- committed this treachery?
Tim: (confused) You've always considered Kellerman righteous and true?
Fr.: (rolling his eyes) Not Kellerman. Gee, Gee.
Tim: You've always considered Gee fair? You gotta follow my example and get glasses, Frank.
Fr.: Not that kinda fair, dimwit. (to the Ghost) Okay, I get the picture. What must I do?
Ghost: I WILL NOT REST – ‘TILL THE FOUL CRIMES DONE ARE BURNT AND PURG’D AWAY. LET THE USURPER BE GONE!
Fr.: Could you be a bit more specific?
Ghost: AVENGE ME, MY SON, IN RIVERS OF BLOOD AND SACRED OATH -- oh, just kill him.
Fr.: Oh. (shrugs) Okay.
Tim: (sputtering) What do you mean 'okay'!? Me thinks thou dost forget yourself...uh, forgets hisself?
Fr.: It's my destiny, Tim. [Author's note: Oh, dear, forgot to apologize to George Lucas]
Tim: Destiny, mestiny. Okay, you're not a homicide cop anymore, and Catholic is iffy, but you're still a husband and a father. If I let you do this, how am I going to explain it to Mary?
Fr.: (shuffling his feet, looking away) Well, uh, about Mary...
Tim: (urgently) What about Mary?
Fr.: (now pissed off) What, you got out of high school without reading "Hamlet"? I gotta spell it out for you? Mary drowned herself. They fished her out of the Inner Harbor yesterday.
Tim: (wailing unZenly) What!? Mary did what? Mary wouldn't do that. No way.
Fr.: Of course, she had to go mad first. It was having me under her foot day in and day out. But it could also be the fact I kinda fatally stabbed her father. The chicken was, uh, a little dry, I'd cooked it, see, but it was not burnt this time, whatever Mary claimed, and I was using this really sharp knife, and it slipped a little -- what was Mr. Whelan doing behind my dining room curtain anyway?
Tim: Oh, my God, Frank, my God, my God, who's gonna take care of the babies?
Fr.: I figure, you. You always wanted one of your own, now you have two. Don't say I never gave you anything. Now I have to go kill, what's his name, Mike? No problem, I'm not known to be kind to Mikes, anyway.
Tim: Frank, you're not yourself. You can't do this.
Fr.: Sure I can. I am nothing if not a homicide cop. You told me that. (starts
Tim: Wait, Frank, hold up! (running after him) I said homicide cop, not homicidal cop. That position's been filled -- unfairly, according to some and to the edicts of the Annotated Code of Law for Maryland and All Boroughs, but Mikey could never remember Miranda all that well, and TPTB needed a storyline, or so they say the story goes -- hey, Frank, wait...
LAST SCENE: Squadroom. In shambles. Gee Jr. has expired messily on the floor. Frank Pembleton's expiring less messily in Tim Bayliss' arms. What everybody else is doing is not the least bit important. For all I care, they're in a chorus line, looking pointedly at the author and singing, "Macavity, Macavity, that monster of depravity." [Okay, another apology not too short- changed.]
Fr.: Horatio, I am dead;
Thou liv'st; report me and my cause aright --
Tim: (upset past Zen stage) Frank, oh, Frank, how did it all come to this?
Fr.: (irritated) How are you going to report me aright if you don't let me get my last speech right by all this interfering? Shut up, will ya!
O, good Horatio, what a wounded name --something,
If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart -- something, something,
In this harsh world draw thy breath in pain,
To tell my story.
Tim: If I ever held you in my heart, I can't admit to it; they'll say it's not canon. Why are you dying anyway? Your wound isn't that bad. I know, I had the
bad one, remember? Really, if you didn't mind using a gun on the G-man there, why couldn't you use it that night and save me a bullet?
Fr.: Must thou remind me the pain and the guilt of your sacrifice which I shall carry with me to my grave?
Tim: (graciously not reminding Frank he had just drastically cut down the time
of suffering he owed) What is killing you, me olde partner?
Fr.: Besides the writer, I don't know. Maybe it was the coffee I had during a break from the shooting.
Tim: You couldn't help it, could you? The doctors told you it'd kill you and you still had to sneak in a cup -- wait, you drank our coffee? My God, Frank, Gharty must've made that pot.
Fr.: (clinging weakly to Tim's shirt) So he's a coward and can't brew a decent
pot of coffee, either?
Tim: It's not the coffee. It's the rat poison.
Fr.: (clinging weaker weakly) What's rat poison doing in the squadroom coffee?
Tim: Gharty's been waiting for the chance to put it in my coffee -- but I thought he'd changed his mind when Laura decided she liked Falsone better than me. Wait. Falsone. Bet he made the coffee. (imparting secretly) He can't read, Frank.
Fr.: (to the heavens) I'm expiring in his arms and he's carrying on about the ignorance level of the grease monkey. Look'a here, Timmy, here I am, finally in your arms. See Frank? See Frank in Tim's arms? Hark, what light breaks yonder -- oops, wrong play. I'm obviously getting hazy with death here, so hurry up and get the point, will ya!
Tim: (wails) But you're dying, Frank!
Fr.: It was the only way we could be together like this.
Tim: (incredulous) You wanted to be in my arms?
Fr.: (disgusted) Nothing to do with me. It's the author. You think she had any other reason for this drivel? So here I am, in your arms, appreciate it.
Tim: (sobs and wails) I do, oh, I do. My Frank, my partner, my buddy, my love, my bunkie --
Fr.: Not in this lifetime, (gasps) not on this list. (dies)
Tim: (kisses Frank with a kiss made chaste by death) Good night, Sweet Prince. (Hugs Frank to his bosom) To sleep, perchance to dream. To be, or not to be, that is-- "
Fr.: Whoa! (he's suddenly up and glaring at Tim) My best lines and that Lovett bitch gave them to you!? For what, just because you have those kicked-puppy eyes she can't stop writing about long enough to finish her other drivel of a story? Where's that rat poison?
Tim: Look at it this way, at least she's not gonna kill you in that story.
Fr.: Maybe, but I wouldn't put more horrible notions past her. She’s bound to sully my unsullied and unsulliable character in totally unmentionable ways -- where is that rat poison? (heads for the coffee room)
Tim: (running after Frank) Uh, if that's how you feel about it, maybe I should explain, that kiss I just I just gave you, it was a chaste kiss, Frank, it was made chaste by death. So you just remember, it's not my fault you wouldn't stay dead, I didn't ask you come back to life, you hear me, Frank?