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PARTNER - TALK

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Artwork by Monika Kettler. Thank you!




PARTNER - TALK
































When Starsky came home he only wished for a cold beer and some time in front of the TV clicking through the channels. The
day had been weird. They had found a dead woman in a garbage container. She reminded Hutch of his former girlfriend, Gillian.
Strangely, Hutch hadn't said anything and Starsky wondered if his partner had realized the resemblance at all. Some cases
really stunk! They had worked long hours in the past few months and when off duty; they hadn't had time to socialize a lot.
Meeting at Huggy's to have dinner and playing some billiard's was all they were up to. This day hadn't been different.

Starsky stopped in front of his apartment, reaching for the key above the door frame. It wasn't there.

Shit! He had put it there like Hutch always did. He tried to open the door, and was shocked. The door was open! Someone
must have entered his apartment. Cop mode set in and Starsky tiptoed into the dark hall. He drew his weapon and moved along
the wall listening for any noise. He peeked into the living room, it seemed as if his rocking chair was moving. From behind
Starsky approached the chair; he had to catch the intruder by surprise.

"Hands up! I have a weapon!"

"Huh?" Someone toppled over with the chair and landed on the floor with a suppressed curse.

"Hutch? Is it you? Jeez! I almost shot you! What're you doing here sitting in the dark?"

Starsky looked for the light switch. He was unable to hide a smile, when he saw Hutch lying there like a beetle on his
back, squinting against the brightness. Clumsily he tried to untangle himself from the chair to get up. Starsky saw the desperate
efforts and reached down a hand to help his partner.

"You want to' sit on the couch? And is there any beer left for me, pal?" Starsky asked when he saw several beer cans spread
over the floor.

"Sure, I've seen one more in the fridge. Oops, your room is swaying like..." Hutch groped for support, finding Starsky
steadied him, as he was led to the couch.

"I've got you, pal. Sit down and relax. Why are you drinking alone? That isn't the Hutch I know."

Starsky disappeared into the kitchen and came back with the last can of beer.

"C'mon, what's wrong?" Starsky slumped down onto the couch and nudged Hutch encouragingly.

Hutch said pensively, "Have a weird feeling. You remember the woman we found today? Reminded me of Gillian."

"I know, buddy, was the same with me. I thought it would bother you, but you didn't say anything about it. Brought memories
back at you, right?" Starsky assumed and Hutch nodded.

Starsky sipped from his beer and glanced at his partner. Hutch seemed to be far away as if he was lost in his memories.
Then he pulled himself together, smiled bashfully at Starsky and said:

"I had to think of the good times we had; though it was all over before it really began. It's still hard to believe that
she worked for Grossman and that he..." his voice trailed off and Starsky felt a twinge of guilt.

He had seen Gillian in the parlor with a customer and had tried to persuade her to leave the city or to tell Hutch about
her job as a hooker. Before she could speak with Hutch she had been killed. Starsky sighed.

Hutch misunderstood his reaction, and asked full of concern, "You're thinking of Terry, right? What's wrong with us, buddy,
that the women we love get lost or are killed? "

"Dunno," Starsky said taking another sip from his beer. Thinking of Terry still gave him a hard time; though it had been
two years now since her death. Since then Starsky had dated some nice women, but there had been a lack of understanding concerning
his dangerous job and his close relationship with Hutch. The women had backed out and Starsky hadn't been mad at it. The awareness
hit him that Hutch was the reason for their failure in women. "It's all your fault," Starsky said with determination. Hutch
looked at him not understanding at all what this was about. "I know why the ladies get lost as you say. It's because they
see they can't give us what we can give each other." Proud of himself, Starsky beamed at Hutch.

"Do I get this right, buddy? You're trying to tell me it's my fault that you didn't get laid the last few months?" Hutch
asked sarcastically, emptying his beer. Then he went on, anger in his voice. "And you blame me for Jenny splitting up with
you this summer? That's ridiculous, Starsky! Leave it!"

"Hutch, don't you remember, when you got hurt during the bust? Jenny insisted on being with me all the time, but I didn't
care. It was more important to me being with you. Your arm was in a cast; you were barely able to get dressed by yourself.
Then she left me. Not a great loss, if you ask me," Starsky said.

Then he smiled and asked:

"Wanna share the last beer?"

Hutch nodded still confused. Thinking of his ladies he had to admit that they never understood how he could risk his life
everyday in the streets of Bay City. They wanted Hutch to part company with his best friend, and that had never been an option.

"How do you think a woman should be?" Starsky asked, making himself comfortable in one corner of the couch. After shedding
his adidas he put his feet up and rested one arm on the armrest.

Hutch looked pensively playing with the beer can. "Not at all like Van!" he said with determination.

"When I met her in Duluth I only saw her beauty. Besides she could be very charming."

"Except it concerned your job and me!" Starsky smirked. "Do you remember what her reaction was when I told you that our
request of being partnered was granted? She stormed out of the apartment fuming."

"She wanted me to be a doctor like my father and hadn't given up hope that I was going to finish medical school," Hutch
said.

"Instead, at the academy you hung around with a lower class guy from New York who talked you into becoming a cop," Starsky
smiled.

Hutch gripped Starsky's ankle and squeezed it "Yeah, for Van you were a real pain in the ass. When she saw she wouldn't
succeed she left me."

"Good for you!" Starsky nudged Hutch with his feet.

"Wait!" he said. "Let's celebrate the absence of Van!"

Starsky got up and trudged toward the kitchen. "Somewhere I should have the convenient drink for such an occasion."

Hutch rolled his eyes, got rid of his shoes as well and stretched his long legs on the couch. "Ah, that feels good." He
relaxed and looked at the ceiling. Though it had been a hard time for him he was happy that it was all over now. Starsky had
been with him all the time, had supported him during periods of depression. Van had been the love of his life, not only because
of her perfect body. Hutch had to admit it that had played a big part, but on the other side he had been sure that they also
had the same goal in life.

"Hey, you already sleepy or are you thinking of the woman of your dreams?" he heard Starsky ask and shook his head.

"No, was thinking of Van," Hutch said. He sat up and looked questioningly at Starsky who had hidden both hands behind his
back.

"Forget that bitch! What hand would you like to see -- right one or left one?"

Hutch snorted. "You're a leftie, so please, the left hand. Hope you don't offer me a three day old burrito though."

Starsky only laughed.

"Well, let's have a toast on a glorious future for some gorgeous guys. At least for one of them fits the description."
Before Hutch could answer Starsky showed a bottle of Tequila and hurried over to the cabinet to fetch two glasses.

"You must be nuts," Hutch dared to say, but one glass wouldn't do any damage he thought.

"Here you are." Starsky handed him the filled glass and said, "I wish you would meet the woman of your heart very soon.
A woman who will accept the way you live, your odd habits of eating and drinking, and who will love the guy by your side too
-- this incredible handsome..."

"Stuff it," Hutch interrupted. "Now it's my turn. Once there was a beautiful lady named Terry who captured my buddy's heart.
Who let him dream of being married and having lots of little annoying curly-headed kids. May this dream come true soon and
may you find the woman of your dreams." Hutch saw the sad expression on Starsky's face and said quickly, "Cheers, buddy."
They clinked glasses and took a hearty draught.

Starsky slumped onto the couch, so that Hutch was barely able to put his legs aside. He arranged himself until he leaned
against Hutch's bended legs. A hand propped up under his chin he looked at Hutch asking:

"Okay, then if Van isn't the kind you're waiting for. Who is?"

"She should be great! Not one of those creatures that only cares for herself." Hutch took another sip from his tequila
before continuing quietly. "Would love to meet someone who shares my interests. Who isn't selfish. Who knows about my job,
and supports me when I'm down and fed up with all the crap I see on the streets."

Starsky nodded and went on, "Yes, and the woman I'm dreaming of shouldn't get annoyed when I'm on a stake-out and can't
be home as promised. And she should trust me, that I can take care of myself and that I have a partner who watches my back."
Starsky said, leaning his head on his crossed arms on Hutch's knees.

Hutch chuckled, drank from the Tequila and handed it to Starsky who took another gulp.

"Where did we stop?" Starsky asked, in a slurred voice.

"Watching your back," Hutch repeated.

"Oh, and not to forget she should accept my partner too. She would never be jealous because she knows that there's a certain
dumb ass that needs my help. I can tell you my partner is such a Klutz. When we..."

"Hey, I thought we were talking about the woman of your dreams!" Hutch interrupted and went on. "What do I have to do with
it?"

Starsky straightened. The conclusion hit him with passion.

"It all has to do with you, Hutch. Haven't you realized that it is us we need and get along with the best? You are the
one who understands me, unlike some of the idiots we have to get along with. You prevent me from using my bad temper against
those goons, except when we want to make them believe that I'm the bad cop and you're the good one. Like Harry Sampler --
he confessed after our little show." Starsky chuckled and squeezed Hutch's knee.

"And the evening you got shot," Hutch stated seriously, laying a hand on Starsky's arm. "There was a point when I thought
we wouldn't make it. That Joey had lost his patience, and was about to shoot me, while you were lying in the office, needing
me."

"As I told you Hutch," Starsky said, emptying his glass, "I always need you. Without you..." his voice trailed off, his
head lying on Hutch's knees felt like dead weight. He was asleep.

Carefully, Hutch untangled himself from Starsky so his friend could lie down on the couch. Taking the comforter from the
backrest Hutch lay it over his partner. Leaving for the bathroom he heard Starsky saying in a sleepy voice: "Hey Hutch, that
was an interesting talk. What was it all about?"

Hutch bent over his friend. "It's about love," he said dropping a kiss onto Starsky's forehead.


The end




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