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"A Starsky and Hutch Reunion"
It's a beautiful, clear Colorado afternoon, but Hutch had hardly noticed. He was so busy packing in anticipation of finally leaving, that his entire focus had been on that single task. Now, he was done, a rueful smile on his face as he looked around the room one last time. Shaking his head he grabbed two suitcases in one hand, then picked up his suit bags and duffel in the other.
He had almost made it to the front door (and freedom) when he was addressed by Maggie's butler.
"Master Hutchinson," he called out--slightly out of breath.
Hutch smiled a little at that--the poor man must've been running around the empty house frantically in search of Hutch . It was amusing to him that this man's sense of duty wouldn't let his former employer sneak out quietly.
"Yes James, what can I do for you?" he said, acknowledging the man following him.
"Master Hutchinson," he repeated, causing Hutch to cut him off. He hated that stuffy-ass title of 'master'.
"Hutch, James. Call me Hutch."
"As you wish M...Hutch. The Senior Dr. Parker came by with this package for you. He bids you Godspeed and good luck, Sir "
James handed the large manila envelope to Hutch. Hutch shifted the luggage and put it into his duffle bag--he'd read it later.
"Um, would you tell him I said goodbye and 'thanks'?"
James nodded in the affirmative. "We shall miss you as well, Hutch. You are a good man, Sir."
"You too, James." Hutch smiled at the man, then decided to break all protocol by hugging the man with his free arm. James returned the hug gratefully, and Hutch genuinely smiled for the first time in far too long. He could just imagine his Mother and Maggie both spinning in their graves--he had made physical contact with the hired help! Hutch could almost hear them both chastising him, "Ken, never get personal with the help. It's not proper." He was tired of trying to be proper--it hadn't done him much good so far.
James hastily rushed to open the door for Hutch and they smiled farewell. Another time--another place--they probably could've been friends. Hutch sighed and left the house he had never called 'home,' and began to whistle a little.
Tension was already leaving his body .
Hutch was getting wired and restless. The plane had been delayed for repairs in Arizona and now they were hopelessly off schedule. He hoped Starsky got the message he'd left with the Metro operator and wasn't waiting at the airport for him.
Hutch was tired and his nerves were stretched to breaking waiting to get back.
He wanted to be home now--with Starsky and his friends--and the plane was barely landing.
Wishing the plane would stop its seemingly endless taxi down the runway, he rubbed his sweating hands on his pants.
Jesus, he was a nervous. Hutch laughed a tight little laugh. With his constantly roaming eyes, and nervous actions he'd probably scared the lady next to him.
She probably thinks I'm a bomber, or a child molester. He smiled in thought. "Former local cop turned psycho." Hutch almost laughed out loud.
Thankfully, the plane finally stopped and Hutch began to breathe easier.
The lady beside him gently patted his hand and smiled at him. "See, the bad part's over now."
Hutch smiled back realizing she was talking about the flight--she hadn't thought he was nuts after all!
"I certainly hope so," he replied--not talking about the flight, but life in general.
The herd of people finally cleared a path for Hutch to get off the plane, and he gratefully did.
He had a friend to see.
Starsky was nowhere around and Hutch felt a little silly at his disappointment.
"Oh well," he sighed and sat down to wait. Maybe Starsky hadn't gotten his message about the delay. Hutch had to wait for his luggage to be unloaded anyhow, so he decided to read the Docs note. He'd been too nervous to even think about it on the plane, but now he could. Tearing open the envelope, he found his medical file and a note in Doc Parker's handwriting.
"Ken," it started, "I will miss you, my boy. I am set to retire, and since you were unsure of your destination, I am giving your file to you. It might have been presumptuous of me, but I also refilled your medication. It is your decision to take it or not, Ken. I hope you won't be in need of it anymore, but I wanted to take care of you one last time.
You are free to start again, my boy. Take full advantage of your newly found freedom.
God Bless you, son. Take good care of your body as well as your soul, Ken. They work best together."
The kindly old man had signed it, "Wesley"--choosing to use his first name.
Hutch felt a hard lump in his throat--the old Doc had been good to him.
Slowly he pulled out the prescription bottle and stared at it.
Not today, he thought, I won't need any today. Starsky always makes me feel good.
Shoving the prescription and package back into his duffle, he rose to make his way to the luggage carousel.
Hutch got onto the escalator to go down and retrieve his luggage. All the while he tried to seem casual as he scanned the crowd for Starsky.
Maybe Stark won't even recognize me. I'm not exactly the Blond Blintz anymore.
Hutch knew his hair wasn't near as blond from wearing a hat in the Colorado cold and rain--playing on the beach in California kept it a lot lighter. He was also well aware he had more lines around his eyes--not all from laughter either, and he'd grown his mustache back.
Looking around the crowd one last time, he fought down his doubts. Starsky would know him. The skin he and Starsky wore might have changed, but the souls never did.
Starsky would know him.
After standing with his luggage for awhile, Hutch decided Starsky hadn't received his message about the delays. Grabbing up his bags, he decided to find a cab to Metro.
It was when he'd almost exited the building that he saw Starsky. Hutch wasn't sure what he'd been expecting when he finally saw his old friend again, but this was not it! Hutch thought maybe he'd see Starsky leaning against a wall with that cocky grin--enjoying Hutch waiting and looking for him. But this was too much!
And immediately, Hutch knew that was why Starsky had done it.
Yeah, Starsky was wearing that old smart-ass grin Hutch knew so well--and yeah, he was leaning against the wall enjoying Hutch's embarrassment--but, there was no way he could be missed! There, (blocking the exit, dammit!) was Captain David Starsky and six uniformed officers saluting Hutch. As if that wasn't enough, that asshole Starsky was holding up a sign that read "Blond Blintz."
Hutch couldn't help but smile, even as a stinging started in his eyes--one that he hoped he could blame on returning to the pollution.
Jesus, he loved this guy.
Hutch remained silent as Starsky dismissed his officers, then helped grab Hutch's bags and started outside to get a cab. Once they were both inside the cab and Starsky had given directions to the cabbie, Hutch punched him hard in the arm.
"You know, you'll have to pay for that degradation I just suffered in there, Gordo."
"Aw, come on Hutch," he countered. "How many women have ever greeted you with such love and devotion?"
You're right, of course. Nobody else has ever loved me so unconditionally.
Hutch decided not to vocalize his feelings, though. It would let his friend off way too easy. Instead he grunted and looked out the window--which seemed to please the already delighted Starsky even more.
Placing an affectionate smack on Hutch's leg, Starsky started to laugh.
Turning to smile at his friend, Hutch smacked Starsky's hand off his leg. "You're a bastard."
They were gruff words that didn't match the merriment in Hutch's eyes.
This time Starsky went full bore into uncontrollable laughter. After a moment of hesitation, Hutch joined in.
Wiping his eyes and finally catching his breath, Starsky told his friend, "Jesus, babe. You shoulda' seen your face!"
Hutch just smilingly shook his head. The old feelings hadn't waned one little bit.
Their cabbie was remaining silent, but Hutch could see him grinning in the mirror.
I know, fella. It's hard not to feel good when my buddy is around.
The cab finally pulled to a stop in front of an apartment building that Hutch didn't recognize at first. Getting out of the cab and looking around, he remembered these buildings used to be offices. Shit, I'm getting old. This city's changed so much, and I missed it all.
"This where you and Leslie live now?"
"Not exactly," was Starsky's cryptic reply.
Hutch shrugged and helped grab suitcases. He turned to pull money out to pay the cabbie, but Starsky had beaten him to it. Hutch was amazed--Starsky was getting some class! Hutch had to admit Starsky was looking good as well. He actually looked kind of...well, dapper in his tan double-breasted blazer and matching pants, coupled with what seemed to be a black silk shirt. Silk, Starsky? My, my, my.
"Thanks," Hutch said, nodding towards the cab.
"You're here for a visit, babe. Guests don't pay."
Even though he knew Starsky meant well, it made Hutch a little uncomfortable. He was a 'guest'--not 'partner' anymore. Wow. This change sure sucked.
The elevator ride was a little tense, but all on Hutch's part. He was feeling a little out of place after being called a guest, but Starsky's attitude hadn't changed. Starsky hadn't meant anything negative and Hutch knew it--Starsky was still Starsky. The only changes Hutch had noticed were external: hair trimmed shorter, and somehow "tamed" a little, and nicer clothes that became a police chief. He seemed to be the same old Starsky on the inside, though: loyal to a fault, kind and honest, trusting and loving as always.
Hard to believe he was a police captain now, but nobody better could've filled Dobey's shoes in Hutch's eyes.
Hutch was thinking how proud he was of Starsky when the elevator doors opened, ruining Hutch's thoughts. Hutch started out of the elevator after grabbing half his luggage, and headed towards the hallway.
He didn't notice his friend's slyly placed foot sneaking out to catch his.
Struggling to regain his balance, and dropping his suitcase was of the greatest enjoyment to Starsky.
Hutch shook his head and watched his friend walk away whistling--at least he'd helped carry some of Hutch's luggage. Hutch gathered himself together and followed his friend, all the while plotting his revenge. God it's good to be home, he thought for the thousandth time that day.
"You're gonna die, Gordo," Hutch threatened as they shut the apartment door behind them.
"Yeah, Blintz. I heard it all before. You hungry?"
"If you're not cookin'," Hutch replied as he looked around the expansive apartment.
The area he was standing in must've been a conference room or something of the sort--it was approximately 50' wide and 100' deep with a fireplace added on the North wall.
This place must cost a fortune.
At the end of the wall by the fireplace was a door that must lead to the master suite. Turning to his right, Hutch looked out onto the patio and saw something wonderful! A greenhouse took up one whole corner of the spacious patio. Now he knew this had to be the home of a friend of Starsky's. No way the man who'd called Hutch's plants 'green pests' could have all these live--and thriving--plants. There was also quite a collection of plants inside the apartment: trees and huge ferns separating a breakfast nook from the rest of the apartment--and pots scattered throughout with everything from ivy to mums.
Hutch was impressed with whoever lived here.
Suddenly, Starsky was next to Hutch. "Beer?"
Starsky went right back to cooking while Hutch continued his inspection of the apartment. Turning to watch Starsky, Hutch saw there was a 2nd table--larger than the 'nook' table for fancier dinning. Behind that table was a long island that had cabinets, and plenty of cutting/serving area. This was a nice place.
Whoever lives here is quite an enigma. Seems they like to cook and entertain--likes live plants and religious trinkets. Hmmmm. Cross on the fireplace mantle--the ten Indian commandments--Dahli Lama books--'shalom' on a plaque... maybe a religion major?
"Quit snoopin' and come eat, Blintz."
Hutch returned the smile Starsky threw his way, and started towards the table when a picture caught his eye. There--in a beautiful 8 x 10 glossy photo--was Starsky and a very pretty girl in a police uniform. That in itself was probably nothing, but the way she had her head resting on his shoulder, and the loving smiles they had for the camera...well, that was something.
Hutch didn't think he wanted to know.
Sitting down to eat, Hutch was quite happy with what Starsky had fixed: a salad and some grilled salmon he must've warmed from an earlier meal.
"Damn, Starsk. I'm impressed."
As Hutch took the first bite of his meal, a female form coming out of the master suite earned his undivided attention. She was toweling her hair dry, and thankfully for Hutch, the towel covering her body was almost to her knees.
Suddenly, she became aware of the two men seated at her table. She didn't seem frightened, surprised, or even embarrassed. Actually, she seemed to be expecting them to 'sneak' into her home like this.
Slowly, that lop-sided grin Hutch was so used to seeing on Starsky crept across the girl's face. Still silent, she moved to Starsky, and drank from his iced tea.
Suddenly, Hutch felt very awkward.
Was this girl why Leslie wasn't here? He'd never have thought Starsky would cheat on Leslie, but these two people seemed to love each other.
He noticed Starsky and the girl were smiling at him expectantly.
Hutch looked down and played with his fork. He needed time to think this through. Are they waiting for my approval? I'm not a saint, but I don't want in the middle of this...
Hutch's thoughts were interrupted by a yelp from Starsky.
Hutch looked up and noticed his friend vigorously rubbing the underside of his arm--a pained look on his face. "Shit, Trini. You didn't have to pinch me," he whined.
Hutch realized how stupid he must seem, but he couldn't help it. "Trini? Nick's daughter?"
For good measure, Trini punched Starsky's sore arm as she walked towards Hutch. "Sorry I'm not more decent--my uncle neglected to tell me you'd be here so soon." Trini leaned to kiss Hutch on the cheek. "Welcome home, Ken."
His earlier confusion gone, Hutch remembered his manners. "Trini, it's so good to see...."
"Less of me?" she interrupted.
Hutch seemed a little embarrassed again until she laughed.
"One-hundred, forty-seven pounds less, to be exact. It's amazing the weight you gain from depression eating." Knowing depression was a touchy subject she hadn't meant to talk about, she changed subjects. "David, you're a shit. I suppose you haven't even told him he's staying here."
Hutch looked nervously to Starsky who just shrugged.
"We're in a condo until our house is built--Trini has three bedrooms," he offered in way of explanation.
Hutch seemed ready to object.
"I offered, Ken. Let me do this one thing for you, O.K.?" Trini almost seemed to be pleading, and against Hutch's better judgment he nodded.
"This is awfully kind of you, Trini."
"No, it's the kind of thing we do for friends who are family." She'd fairly whispered her heartfelt words. Leaning towards Hutch, she kissed his cheek again, then turned to leave.
"I need to get ready for work, and you two need to eat your lunch. I don't want to be late for work."
Hutch laughed out loud--Starsky was still always late? Unbelievable!
When Trini's bedroom door shut, Hutch threw his fork at Starsky and growled, "Thanks for letting me look like an ass."
"You are an ass, Hutchinson, " Starsky teased, then laughed at the angry look Hutch shot him. "Welcome home, pal. I missed 'ya."