On the Subject of Men


Disclaimers and Notes: They do not belong to me. Which kinda pisses me off but alas, what can I do? So I'm just borrowing them. More from the plot bunny list at WWOMB, not quite what they asked for but inspired by the challenge. The men similes were there, and I could see Billie enjoying them and seeing her guys in these terms. I couldn't use all of them but these few worked. Not betaed.

Men are like.....Weather.

Nothing can be done to change either one of them.

Billie sat back in her chair and watched her employees bicker once again. She had no idea, nor did she care what they were bickering about. She had long since lost interest. She had tried in the early days of their partnership to referee their many, many arguments, but the truth was, it was a lost cause. They were two very different people, which in and of itself would not have been a problem, except for the fact that they were also men. Yes, those gloriously, infernally hardheaded and proud creatures who believed, without a shadow of a doubt, in regards to any and every subject, that they were always right.

They were at the pool table, and Deaq was about to shoot. Van said something, again she didn't know what, and the cue ball went flying off the table to bounce loudly on the Candy Store floor. Deaq's target lay safely on the table unmoved. "Damn it, Van! Shut up!"

"Shut up? Did you tell me to shut up?" She nearly chuckled. Van's voice was at least an octave higher than usual. He hated to be told to shut up. Of course, Deaq knew that.

"Yes, Van, I did."

"You know what your problem is?"

"Yes! I do, Van. You! You are my problem."

"No, the fact that I'm right is your problem. You only tell me to shut up when you know I'm right and don't want to admit it." Smug little thing, Van was. Billie didn't know if he was indeed right this time or not. Didn't care. Didn't matter. Deaq would be just as convinced that Van was wrong and he was right.

"Tell you what," Deaq said as he moved to pick up the cue ball off the floor. He put it back on the table then lined up his stick behind it. "Just stand right there and let me see if I can make that last shot one more time."

Uh-oh. He was aiming right at Van. They had a meet in two hours. She couldn't have Van concussed. Time to stop this. "Gentlemen! And I'm using that term loosely. That is quite enough."


"Van, would you rather I let him take that shot?"

He didn't answer; he just huffed a little and walked away.

"Thanks, Billie," Deaq grinned, thinking she was taking his side, thinking that he had won. Nope.

"You're not welcome. And Deaq, you only tell him to shut up when you know he's right and you don't want to admit it."

The indignant look on Deaq's face was priceless. She turned back to her computer screen. There.

Or not. Less than five minutes later, she heard, "Crazy white boy."

Then, "Me crazy? I don't think so, my bro-ther." Van did a good impression of Deaq, she realized. She sighed and went back to ignoring them.

Men are like.....Chocolate Bars.

Sweet, smooth, and they usually head right for your hips.

Billie adjusted the headphones she wore then turned to the man next to her in the surveillance van. "Can't you clear up this static?"

He nodded and turned a few knobs.

"Better." She turned back to the window and found Van and the mark again. The female mark. The very pretty female mark. She hoped this wasn't a mistake. Van was such a sucker for a pretty face. Thus far, though, he was right in the game. She never realized just how charming Van could be. Hell, she was ready to give him whatever he wanted, and that was without having to look into those big green eyes.

Okay, so she wasn't blind. Van was—well, he was just; damn it, he was hot. There, she'd thought it. She'd never say it. Ever.

Listening to him charm his way into this woman's confidence was enlightening. Van hated to lie, but he could do it. What was more, he managed to put in just enough truth to make it all so believable. Sugar wouldn't melt in his mouth as he reeled her in.

Two days later, she sat staring at him from across her desk. He was staring at the floor. Damn it. She had known it was a bad idea to let Van get too close. For all his slick charm, he ended up being the one charmed, right off his feet and into her bed. Now he wanted to save her, rather than bust her. It suddenly wasn't her fault. She didn't want to be a criminal, after all. Poor sweet Van. The player had been played again.

Men are like.....Mascara.

They usually run at the first sign of emotion.

Billie snickered. She couldn't help it. She knew her bewildered detective would not appreciate it, but it was just the tiniest bit funny. Mostly sad, really, but the tiniest bit amusing when one took into account Deaq's stunned expression as he tried to extricate himself from Van's hug.

Van had never mentioned his birthday. She supposed that he figured it wasn't important or that they wouldn't care or notice. He had noticed and cared about their birthdays though. Billie had gotten a gift certificate for a day spa. The full works, no less. Deaq had gotten some new video game, a couple of DVDs and some surprise that she had not been allowed to know about.

Then Van's birthday had rolled around, without so much as a reminder from him. However, that surprise, whatever it was, had so moved Deaq that he made a point of finding out Van's birthday and getting him something.

She gave him her gift first, a contractor to fix/replace the decorative terra cotta tiles on the roof of his new place in Venice. Van had been planning to try to do it himself. However, Van on a roof trying something like that was, in her opinion, a recipe for an ER visit at the very least. He'd hugged her, thanking her profusely. He was so surprised and so appreciative that Billie started to wonder when Van had last received a gift of any kind.

Then Deaq gave him his gift. A gun. Hmmm, she'd thought. Van looked rather confused too. Then the explanation. "It was Dre's. Thought you might like to have it."

Thus, the hug. Deaq was rocked back by it. He looked at his partner, then to Billie. His expression was a cross between perplexed and terrified, while Van whispered, if Billie's hearing was as good as she thought it was, tear-filled thanks over and over.

"Um, there's more," Deaq said, as he lifted one hand to cautiously pat Van's back. "You know, a surprise for later." He patted once more then moved his hands to Van's shoulders. Ever so gently, he put distance between them. Once arms length apart, Deaq patted Van's shoulder and then stepped back. "Um, but that's for later. Um, I'll be back. Gotta—you know, um, go right now. Get things ready. Um, happy birthday, Van."

Deaq's exit was so quick that Van's last thank you was made to thin air. Van turned to look at her. She snickered again.

"Um, it's Dre's gun."


"I, uh, gotta go. Thanks again." Then he was gone. Thing was, neither of them had to go anywhere. In fact, they didn't either. Deaq went outside for about ten minutes and Van headed upstairs. Billie headed back into her office, grinning all the way.

Men are like.....Blenders.

You need one, but you're not quite sure why.

She couldn't explain it if she tried, but it was comforting to come into the Candy Store and see them there. Even with all the macho posturing, old married couple bickering, and male bonding bullshit, she wouldn't like it if they weren't around. At first, they'd been a means to an end, a chance to prove that her idea was a good one after the fiasco that nearly ended the Candy Store before it really began. She needed just the right kind of cops, and no one was more surprised than she when they fell into her lap.

First came Van. His record was exemplary really. She'd never tell him that. It was better if he believe that she believed that he was a screw- up. Worked to her advantage, she admitted to herself with a touch of guilty shame. Kept him from trying to use that little boy charm on her. She and God both knew it would probably work, after all. Back to the point, however. Truthfully, he'd never blown a bust. He was a damn good cop. Even in that last case with Andre Hayes. It wasn't Van's screw-up that got Deaq's brother killed. Van should have been armed; the area staked out and covered better. The brass was going to blame him though, let him take the fall, until she stepped in. He was smart, a little naïve, yes, but smart and determined. Actually, maybe she should tell him about his good points sometimes.

Then along came Deaq. Just the kind of practical smart-ass she needed. He balanced Van's naiveté, gave a touch of realism to Van's idealism and, if she were honest, her cynicism that, in the end, made sure that the Candy Store worked this time around. And his record spoke for itself as well. Deaqon Hayes was the consummate police officer and detective. His need for retribution had brought him into her sights, and she took the opportunity to grab on and not let go.

So, even as the sound of yet another immature argument reached her ears, she smiled. She didn't know what they were fighting about now, nor did she care. As long as it didn't deteriorate into blows she left them alone. She'd come to accept that they would always argue. They were too different not to, but yet they cared for each other. So, like any family, they might argue, but let someone else butt in or try to hurt one or the other, and hell had no fury like her boys. And they included her in their family as well. That made her feel warm. And safe.

Not that she needed them. Oh no, she was perfectly capable of taking care of herself. But she was used to them now. What was that old song? She'd become accustomed to their faces. Deaq's warm brown eyes, Van's bright green ones. Deaq's quirky, cocky grin, Van's sweet and just slightly goofy smile. She laughed at the direction her thoughts had taken.

What would she do without them? Her eyes were drawn to them. Okay, maybe she did need them just a little. She just didn't know why she needed them. Maybe it didn't matter. Maybe it was enough that they just made her smile every once and a while.

"Hey, guys! Got a joke for you. Why are men like laxatives?"

They turned. They didn't ask; they just waited for the punch line.

"They irritate the shit out of you."

"Ha-ha, Billie." Van made a face at her.

"Very funny, boss lady." Then amazingly enough, they picked up their argument right where they left off.

"My boys." She sat down at her desk and turned on her computer. "Such typical men."