This little snippet came about as I was writing another story involving the aftermath of the Gunther assassination attempt. As I was writing it I consulted the episode Sweet Revenge. After watching it, I felt a need for the scene where Hutch runs to check on Starsky to include a little more. Here is how I filled in what Hutch and Starsky might have done, thought and said that day.
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Sweet Revenge Snippet
It was a slow day that day, the squadroom was being painted and Starsky had brought his Ping-Pong set in to stave off the subsequent boredom we were feeling. He asked me if I was up for a game of "Trivia Ping Pong." Loser buys the winner dinner. Of course, competitive soul that I am, I couldn't say no.
The game was going pretty well until Captain Dobey arrived and managed to break my concentration. Triumphant, Starsky handed Dobey his paddle, issued a parting zinger and strutted out the door like a peacock. I saddled Dobey with my paddle on my out and caught up with my partner as he headed out of the station.
On our way to the Torino he good-naturedly goaded me about owing him dinner. I accepted the loss, which surprised him, and then I teasingly asked him if I could pick the date. How about March 25th, 1980? I thought. He responded with a comment about him picking out my 'date.'
I tried every angle I could think of to postpone or change the terms of the debt. He wasn't buying it, gave all my lame suggestions a vigorous thumbs down. Only broiled lobster or a New York steak would do this time. He was going to make me pay through the nose on this one. The man was so jazzed about winning; he could barely get his car key in the lock. Me, I was still smarting from losing and having to spend money I didn't have on top of it. I guess you could say I got a little impatient.
That's when I heard it...the sound of an engine starting up...then the loud, grating noise of metal scraping against metal. I turned towards the sound and saw the police unit pulling out...way too fast. I shouted for Starsky to get down. He turned towards the car as it barreled towards him. I hit the deck. I didn't see what happened after that. Everything was happening too fast. Knowing Starsky, he would've instinctively gone for his gun. Rapid machine gun fire assaulted my eardrums. Spraying their target. Shattered glass from the Torino sprayed over me. I could hear Starsky reacting as hot metal pierced his body. Then the screech of tires speeding off. I spun around where I'd landed, hauled myself up and ran as fast as my wobbly legs would carry me, trying to catch up with the fleeing police car and calling Starsky's name. Hoping against hope that he was okay.
I emptied the chamber of my gun firing at them and missed every shot. Too far away. I called Starsky's name again, this time louder and more urgently, but still no answer. Something was wrong. My heart was pounding a mile a minute as I raced around to his side of the Torino. What I saw almost stopped it. I stepped back a little. I couldn't believe it. There he was, lying on his right side, his head resting against the wheel well of his car.
He was so still. Too still.
I ran forward and dropped to my knees, still clutching my gun in my right hand. I looked down at him, letting my free hand stroke the top of his head. I was almost afraid to touch him, but I was more afraid of never having the chance to see him alive again. He was badly wounded from what I could see. Shot several times by at least four bullets. The sight of his blood seeping through the fabric of his leather jacket chilled my soul.
I looked around me and by now every police officer and frequenter of the police station had effused into the parking lot, including our captain. He was barking orders something fierce, anguished and in control at the same time. Warning people to stay clear and yelling for someone to call an ambulance and to get out an APB on that fake unit. I don't think they ever moved so fast in their lives.
I turned my attention back to my partner. For the moment I was lost in a world that only included he and I. Me and Thee. I leaned in and cradled his head in my left hand. Whispered encouraging words in his ear. I wasn't sure whether he could hear them, but hell, I didn't care. "Everything's gonna be all right, Starsk. You're gonna make it, you hear me? You're gonna make it."
I hoped to God I was right. Tears began to well up in my eyes and blur my vision. I rested my sweaty, trembling forehead on his still one. "You hold on, you hear me? Hold on."
"Game, set and match, sucka." I left Hutch and Captain Dobey in my dust as I strutted out of the squadroom. Not long afterwards, Hutch caught up with me in the corridor and followed me on my way out of the station.
"Ya owe me a dinner, buddy boy!" I reminded him.
"Well, a bets a bet."
He didn't usually take losing to me so well, I was kinda surprised. "Oho, all right."
"Hey, look, as long as I'm buying, why don't I pick the date?"
"Uh huh? Yours?" I kidded him.
"How 'bout tomorrow?"
"Tomorrow? Sounds great."
"How about five in the morning?"
"Who eats dinner at five in the morning?"
"Can't jive a winner."
"This time you owe me a three course dinner."
"How about hamburgers, fries and a chocolate shake, huh?"
"No way, I'm talkin' about a broiled lobster, maybe. Maybe even a New York steak." I must've been really excited, 'cause I couldn't even get the key in the lock. I could see that Hutch was getting a kinda impatient with me.
"C'mon, open up."
"What're ya lookin' so ill for? It's not every day you get to buy your best buddy a meal."
I was still fumbling with my keys when it happened. I think Hutch picked up on it first. Then saw it. A police unit starting up and pulling out too quickly, way too close to the unit parked next to it. The parked car's steel bumper gouging a metal pathway through the side panel of the one pulling out.
"Starsky, get down!" Hutch yelled.
I turned toward the scraping sound a split second after Hutch did. Saw the car barreling at me, but I didn't take cover. Instead, I reflexively went for my gun. But I couldn't clear it from my holster fast enough to do any good. As the unit bared down on me, I could almost make out the driver of the car.
I saw the shooter though, maybe because his head and arms were positioned outside the front passenger window, holding a machine gun in both hands, aiming it in my direction. Before I could think or act, he was firing, the bullets hitting the side of the Torino first, and then as I covered my head with my arms and tried to protect myself from the onslaught, the red-hot rounds pierced through me, blasting a trajectory through my body. I think...no, I know...I cried out.
I could faintly make out the sounds that came afterward. The shooter's car as it roared away. The Torino's glass shattering and tinkling to the ground as it fell. Gunfire. Hutch's voice. I tried to answer him, but I couldn't. I could feel myself falling, floating and tumbling as I hit the ground and slowly lost consciousness. The last thought on my mind as crystal clarity gave way to hazy darkness: "I hope Hutch is okay. Please God, let him be okay."