"You ever hear of the many worlds theory?" Starsky asked as they sat in Hutch's car waiting for Manny West to make an appearance. Maybe this week they'd finally catch him.
"Not sure," Hutch said. He reached over and took a handful of Starsky's fries. "Something about there being life on other planets?"
Starsky handed him the rest of the fries and took a drink from Hutch's soda. "No. I was reading an article in Popular Science about this theory where there are all kind of worlds branched off from our world."
Hutch looked at him and raised his eyesbrows. "When were you reading Popular Science? We don't get that, do we?"
"When I was at physical therapy." Starsky sighed. "Now do you want to hear this or not?"
Hutch held his hand out for the soda. "May as well. Doesn't look like Manny's gonna show any time soon."
"Anyways, there's this theory that every moment, there's a little universe or world that splits off of our world. Maybe cause of people making different decisions or maybe...well I guess I didn't understand all of it because it was all physics-stuff. You take physics?"
Hutch turned to face his partner and lover. "In high school. I didn't really understand it either. So there are all kinds of other universes out there with what—other Starskys and Hutches?"
Starsky nodded. "That's what I got out of it. So maybe there's a universe where…
"You survived Gunther's hit," Starsky said. He sat on the grass and held up a bottle in salute. "God, I miss you, Hutch. Did I tell you I resigned last week? All that damn work to bring Gunther down and he gets less than life because of some damn plea bargain. Less than life for taking yours." He brushed his hand over the engraved letters. "I"m glad your parents didn't fight about having you buried here instead of Duluth. I think they got it, that you need to be here where you can…
"Breathe that air, Hutch," Starsky said. "Perfect morning, ain't it?"
Hutch frowned at him as he picked up the first piece of fencing. "You're not gonna be saying that when we have to repair the fence on the back pasture today."
"You're the one who insisted that Marigold and the other sheep would be happy back there." Hutch grumbled. "So you were saying at breakfast about these other worlds." He motioned for Starsky to talk as he began to load the truck with the supplies they'd need.
"Oh yeah." Starsky grabbed another piece of lumber and loaded it. "Like maybe there's some world out there where we aren't two gay guys with an organic farm and we're…
"Forest rangers help protect our national parks," Starsky said to the rapt group of youngsters gathered around him. "And who do the parks belong to? Anyone know?"
"Us," the children chorused.
"That's right," Hutch said. "And Ranger Dave and I help to make sure that the parks will be there when you're all grown up and when your children grow up too."
"Now. Are everybody's shoes tied?" Starsky asked. "Make sure Mom's and Dad's shoes are tied too, okay?"
"You gonna tell me some more about those other worlds?" Hutch murmured as the families they were about to lead on a hike along the Lower Geyser Basin in Yellowstone got ready.
"Later." Starsky grinned. "We could sit out and watch the stars and talk about…
"The many worlds theory. Professor Dobey was telling me all about it," Starsky said as he pushed the shelving cart along. "He even recommended a few books about it."
"Sounds interesting," Hutch said. He held a paper listing the books he needed to pull for some of the other professors. "So there are worlds out there where it's likely that we aren't research librarians and we have something more exciting to do."
Starsky stopped and looked at him. "You don't think this is exciting? Helping people, digging for information."
Hutch shrugged. "Shelving and pulling books isn't the exciting part of the job."
"I could think of some things to make it…
"Great. Just great." Starsky looked at the negatives. "All that work ruined."
"That bad?" Hutch peered over his shoulder. "What happened to them"
"I don't know." Starsky leaned into Hutch. "I'm sure as hell gonna find out."
"I'm sorry, babe." Hutch kissed his neck. "Maybe tonight I can make you feel better."
Starsky grinned at him. "Remember that many world theory I was telling you about at breakfast?"
"Just think, in some other world, you and me are…
"Ready to get shooting?" Huggy Bear Brown asked his two favorite actors.
Starsky stretched and nodded. "Not so sure about Hutch here."
"Only because you were talking my ear off on the drive today and through make-up and wardrobe." Hutch held onto his cup of coffee as if it was a lifeline.
Starsky made a gimme motion and Hutch handed it over.
"He was reading some article in Modern Science about parallel universes," Hutch told Huggy. "He's been talking about it since we got up this morning."
"Ah c'mon, Hutch. You know you love it when I talk all science-y to you." Starsky gave him a quick peck on the cheek.
"You mean there's a universe somewhere where you two guys might be real cops?" Huggy shook his head.
"Perish the thought," Starsky said. "C'mon Hug, let's get cracking. Season Five of Glaser and Soul waits for no man. Or woman or whoever the hell our audience is."
He looked at his partner, his best friend, his lover and smiled. He leaned in close to Hutch. "All I care about is this…
"...we never met," Starsky said. He looked at Hutch's profile in the dim light.
"You think that's possible?" Hutch turned to face him, all serious and somber.
Starsky put his hand on Hutch's knee. "Maybe but I doubt it. I think we're like two of those whatchacallits?"
Starsky shook his head and then looked into Hutch's eyes. "Soul mates. That's the word. Destined to be together."
Hutch took in a deep breath and his eyes darkened.
"Hey. We made it through last year didn't we?" Starsky said. "And we got plenty of time still."
Hutch nodded. "But right now, dear soul mate of mine, we got Manny West to arrest."
Starsky grinned as they opened the doors. "Hey. Maybe you and me are poets in one of them worlds."
"It's possible, babe. Anything is."
Like even a guy from Brooklyn meeting a guy from Duluth and falling hopelessly, helplessly, eternally in love.