Disclaimer: I don't own anyone in the story. I just use them, abuse them, then put them back together again. Comments on this story can be sent to: beck@granitecity.com

It All Began
Cherrel L. Beck

It all began innocently enough. A prank here and there, then things "sort of" got out of hand. Starsky glanced at his partner, then ducked his head down as Hutch looked up, not wanting to see the black eye that contrasted sharply with the blond head. Starsky moved slightly in his chair, his bruised ribs hurting as they made their presence known.

"You gonna stop this?"

Hutch glared at Starsky. "Stop what? I can't help it you ran into that closed door."

"You didn't have to slam it just as I got there. You knew I was right behind you."

Hutch shrugged, then waved towards his eye. "And you didn't have to throw that bowl at me the night before. I--"

"I didn't throw it," Starsky hissed, glancing about to see if the other detectives in the room were listening. "I stumbled over the lousy table you moved so it was right in the middle of the room and the thing just went flying."

"It's my place. I can move my stuff anywhere I want. I don't need you to tell me what to do!" Hutch's voice had started to rise, then caught himself and lowered it again. "If you wouldn't have started this in the first place, neither one of us would be hurting now."

"Me? What about going over to that bruiser and telling him I was hitting on his girl?"

"I only made a passing remark that you looked like you were having a good time. I didn't even mention the date you made with her. She did."

"Oh? Like she went over to him and said, "See that guy over there? He asked me out."

Hutch nodded. Starsky stared at him for another minute, then went back to his paperwork. Just as he started to sign his name at the end of the report, black ink oozed out of the pen and all over the sheet. Starsky's eyes blazed as he yelled, "You're responsible for this."

Hutch leaned back in his chair, a slight grin lighting up his face. "Me? Now how could I be responsible for your pen leaking?" knowing it was true. He had switched Starsky's regular pen for the cheap gag one that was guaranteed to leak.

"Besides that's nothing compared to the cup you gave me yesterday," Hutch reminded him. After taking the mug that Starsky had held out he had poured himself a cup of coffee before setting it down at his desk. Within minutes the liquid had started to collect on his paperwork rather than stay in the cup. Later when Hutch examined the cup he found it had a chip on the bottom large enough that nothing would have stayed in it for long.

"How was I to know it was chipped?"

"Hah! How did you know it was chipped?" Hutch stood up, leaning over his desk towards Starsky.

Starsky slowly got up, leaning forward until only inches were between them, and opened his mouth.

"HUTCHINSON! STARSKY! In my office!"

Both men jumped, then looked at Captain Dobey, who was standing in his doorway. The two glanced about and found they were the only ones in the room. "Yes, sir," they mumbled as the captain went back into his office.

"Now see what you've done?"

"Me? It was you--"

There was a noise from Dobey's office and the two hurried towards the slightly opened door. Bracing for the lecture they knew was coming, they opened the door and tried to cram inside together. They stopped as water and ice cubes hit them from above. Captain Dobey stood leaning against the window, a wide grin on his face as he watched the icy water soak into the two shocked detectives.

"Now, there will be an end to your little game. Do I make myself clear?"

Starsky shivered slightly from the ice cube that had made its way down the back of his shirt. Hutch moved closer to him, offering his body warmth even though he was just as chilled. Starsky threw him a grateful look, then slowly flicked a couple of cubes off the top of Hutch's head. "Yes, sir," he muttered before a small smile flickered on his face.

Hutch grinned sheepishly and nodded his agreement.

"Good, now that that's settled, I have a case for you two--"

As Dobey droned on the two glanced at each other and found their grins had become wider. Leaving the office, Hutch chuckled. "Want to go to Huggy's and exchange ideas?"

Starsky nodded, knowing he meant getting back at the captain without saying it out loud. "Sounds good to me."

As they left the building Captain Dobey stared out of the building, watching them head towards the car and sighed. He'd have to watch his step for the next couple of weeks, then grinned, knowing it was worth it. For his best two men were once again a team.