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This I Will Remember
Musings from Sweet Revenge




   "Starsky's gonna die, Hug."

   I think I said those fatal words more for myself than for Huggy. The disbelief and sense of unworldliness engulfed me from the moment I saw that police cruiser in the lot scrape the car next to it, the first signal that something was wrong. Horribly, inexplicably wrong.

   So I said these words to try and bring myself back to reality, no matter how much I didn't want to. Quite an understatement, that. I didn't want to, but I needed to because I had to remember - - remember every detail of what happened so I can put the pieces together and start acting like the Detective First Class that I'm supposed to be. Remember so I can catch the bastards that shot... that killed my partner.

   My friend.

   My brother.


   Good God, Starsk... I remember every second like a slow motion shot in a film. I'll take it to my grave, I swear... and I swear I will remember everything. I promise, and I will remember...

   ... I will remember the first moment I saw you. You looked more like a beach bum than another new recruit, at least until they lopped off some of those curls. I don't think either one of us liked the other, at least not initially. But there was something there - a spark, maybe. And a respect that turned into friendship and then a bond that nothing on earth, not our differences, not some woman, not my own stupidity, not even death - nothing could sever.
   This I will remember.

   ...I will remember a man closer than a brother. Closer than breath. The only person I've ever known that could read my thoughts, read my heart. Know me at my worst and love me anyway. A man who loved and laughed and forgave.
   This I will remember.

   ...I will remember a man who held me close, held death at bay. Whose love for me surpassed my own feeble understanding of the word. A man whose commitment to me took him to hell and back again to save me time after time. Who would give up everything, including his own life, if it meant my staying on this rotten earth.
   This I will remember.

   ...I will remember the man who held the belief that justice would be served. That the system did work. That good would win. That the badge meant something. That people were worth giving your life for. That God was good and just. And I will remember the man that made me believe in this all over again.
   This I will remember.

   ...I will remember how much you loved that damned car. I loved it too, but would never, ever admit it to you. How much I loved ribbing you about it. And how I stopped loving it when I turned the corner and saw it riddled with the bullet holes, red blood against red paint, and your head nestled against it's wheel as your life gathered beneath you on the pavement. I hated it because it protected me from the violence that separated us.
   This I will remember.

   ...I will remember your eyes, my friend. Eyes the color of the sea after a storm. Eyes that danced over the simplest joy. Eyes that burned like azure coals in the face of injustice. Eyes that pleaded with me to join you in some screwball escapade. Eyes that never judged me. Eyes that forgave. Eyes that loved.
   This I will remember.

   ...I will remember your smile. Especially the one that could light up a room. And the laugh that seem to explode from somewhere deep within. I will remember how you loved life and couldn't seem to get enough of it. How it could knock you down, but never keep you there for long and how you forgave it for trying.
   This I will remember.

   ...I will remember your arms. And the hands that dealt in death and offered life. The comfort they gave me when the world threatened to destroy me. The strength they gave me when I couldn't go on. The security they gave me when I needed you beside me. The reprimand they gave me when I was wrong. The love they gave me even when I never, ever deserved it.
   This I will remember.

   ...I will remember the years together, every moment. I will hold fast every face, every enemy, every friend, every triumph, every loss of our years together. So many few. I will remember the difference you made in so many lives and never kept score.
   This I will remember.

   ...I will remember your bravery. How even in the face of death, yes - yet again - you stood and faced it down. That big heart of yours wouldn't allow you to hit the ground knowing I was behind you - knowing that if you had kissed the pavement and gotten out of harm's way you would be risking me if I also hadn't buried myself behind that Tomato of yours. I will never forget that you stood and faced death.
   So I wouldn't have to.
   This I will remember.

   ...and when the final prayer has been said, your coffin lowered into the uncaring earth, and part of myself is buried beside you, I will remember the way you said my name, the feel of your arm across my shoulders, and the call of your heart to mine.

   This I will remember until I am with you again.