Foolishly, Hutch had thought that signing the divorce papers would feel like a rush of breath after nearly drowning. Instead it feels like a sucking chest wound. He cracks one eye open and peers over at Starsky, who looks like death warmed over. A part of him wishes that his partner had remained sober enough to nurse him through, while another part feels an odd sense of relief that he isn’t suffering alone.
They don’t talk about betrayal, or make any sort of promises to one another. Nothing needs to be said that they haven’t already communicated. So they drink way too much, but its fine, because they know they’re going to be there for each other, the next morning and always, no matter what.
It wouldn’t be so bad if Starsky didn’t have that beaten down look to him. Hutch is used to disappointment, has hardened himself to it. Starsky has suffered more than his fair share, but he’s remained un-calloused, by nature and by effort. The look in Starsky’s eyes makes it hard to breathe.
Justice is less like a neat row of stitches and more like the jagged, ugly scar that never quite fades. The traitorous sunlight bleeds through the windows and Hutch buries his head beneath a pillow and the memory of her blinding smile.
Triumph after a battle is a damn lie. There is only a strange mix of panic and numbness, wrapped up in grim determination, when tending to the wounded.
He should be more worried that he can hide the truth from Starsky. Or maybe it’s simply that Starsky has given up on him. And isn’t that a damned depressing thought? There once was a time when Starsky would have needled him until he talked, no matter what. It had been all too easy to act as if he’d shrugged it off, and then retreated to his apartment to get completely drunk alone.
The sunlight should be too bright, and every noise should be too loud. But if Starsky hadn’t opened his eyes, the silence would be deafening and the darkness blinding.