This story first appeared in the zine, Forever Friends (1997). Comments on this story can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org and will be forwarded to the author.
K Hanna Korossy
"Hey, what's the file on Forest doing out?" Starsky paused by Hutch's desk, fingering the photograph that lay topmost on a pile of papers spread out from the open file. He saw his partner stiffen a little at the name and regretted bringing up the matter at once.
"That's not Forest's file," Hutch said quietly, shrugging the matter off. Starsky relaxed. Apparently time had healed some wounds, after all. "Jack Parker's trial's coming up and I thought I'd bone up on the report." He placed the coffee pot back in its place and brushed past his partner as he sat down in his seat.
Starsky continued staring thoughtfully over the blond's shoulder at the paperwork. "Y'know, I never noticed it before, but Parker sure looked a lot like Forest. They coulda been brothers or somethin'."
He expected a quick dismissal, but Hutch paused instead to also study the picture. "I don't know, Starsk..."
Starsky nodded animatedly. "Yeah, he is! Didja ever hear that theory that everyone's got a double someplace in the world? Like another one of you, or some guy who looks just like me..."
"Now there's a scary thought," Hutch muttered under his breath, shuffling the picture to one side.
Starsky made a face at him as he moved around to his side of the desk. "Think about it, Hutch. We see a lot of people in our line a' work, right? Don't any of 'em ever strike you as familiar? Like... I know, like Fifi."
"Fifi?" Hutch frowned up at him.
"Yeah, Fifi. Remember that lady wrestler who had the hots for me, uh... Terrible Tessie? Don't ya think they kinda look alike?"
Hutch appeared to think that one over. "Not really. Besides, Fifi's changed a lot recently."
Starsky was undaunted. "Well, okay, what about, uh... Matt Coyle."
"Wouldya quit repeating everything I say! Yeah, Mattie Coyle."
Hutch was getting exasperated. "What about Matt Coyle?"
"He's a dead ringer for that crazy killer professor, Gage."
Hutch's mouth opened, then, nonplussed, he shut it again. "Well, I guess the hair..."
"Hair, nothin'. They coulda been twins," Starsky grinned smugly.
"If anything, Iron Mike reminded me of someone," Hutch shook his head, seeming interested in spite of himself.
Starsky's brow furrowed in concentration. "Mike Ferguson? Ya sure?"
Hutch shook his head again, dismissively, as he bent over the paperwork. "Forget it."
Starsky, not so easily deterred, sat, face scrunched up, thinking for a moment. "Helen Carnowski!" he suddenly blurted out after a few minutes.
Hutch jumped. "Not again. Starsky, this is ridiculous."
His partner didn't appear to have heard him, enthusiasm growing. "Ya remember Carnowski's daughter? Don't ya think she looks a little bit like KC?"
The blond sighed. There was only one real way to discourage Starsky from a topic he'd latched on to: a cold brush-off. But Starsky was pretty good at reading him, and if he wasn't really angry, his kid partner would just pout until Hutch gave in. If he really was fed-up, on the other hand, it hurt Starsky. And Hutch wasn't willing to go either route. He sighed and relented. "No, I don't think she looks like KC. If anyone, she kinda looks like Cheryl."
"Cheryl? You mean, like "Rafferty and O'Brien," Cheryl?"
"Yeah." Hutch gave up on the file and shut it, looking at his partner. "You ready to go to that deli down the street? I'm starving."
Starsky didn't answer, still mulling over that possibility as he grabbed his jacket. "Yeah, okay, I can sorta see that. Except the eyes are all wrong."
Hutch nodded. "Guess you're right. You know, kids often look an awful lot alike to me sometimes, don't you think? Like that Meg who helped us nab the armored car/hostage ring from Cincinnati? I always thought she looked a lot like Molly Ramos." He held the squadroom door for his partner.
Starsky moved out into the hallway and waited for him. "Or Joey, for that matter," he agreed.
Hutch pondered that. "Well-l-l... maybe Joey a year or so ago. Your girl's changed a lot lately," he smirked at his partner.
Starsky grimaced at the thought. "Still doesn't change how many years there are between us." He fell into easy step beside the blond.
There was a long moment of silence and Hutch was just beginning to think the matter was dropped when a quiet voice spoke up next to him. "Y'know who Christine Phelps always reminded me of?"
Hutch, surprised by the tone, shook his head as he looked seriously at his partner.
"Gillian. I didn't wanna say nothin', but I always wondered if you noticed, maybe that's why you were trying so hard to score with her." He glanced hesitantly up at his companion.
Hutch's step remained steady but he winced. "Seems to me we were both trying to score with her," he argued reasonably. He lapsed into thought for a moment. Then, "You know, I thought the same thing about Abby and Helen."
Starsky glanced up, astonished. "My Helen? Your Abby? But I never..."
"Oh, I know you never tried to make a play for Abby," Hutch hastily headed him off. "I just thought maybe she brought back some memories, maybe of some second chances..."
Starsky shook his head. "Uh-uh. She was yours. Besides, Helen was... different. Abby never made me think of her, honest."
Hutch nodded, satisfied. "Okay." A moment passed. "Thanks," he added quietly.
Starsky smiled at the ground, not looking up as they walked.
"Guess maybe some people do have some doppelgängers out there, somewhere," Hutch finally said agreeably.
"Oh. Yeah?" Bright blue eyes looked up to meet his.
"Yeah. Maybe even you or me," Hutch smiled at him.
For the first time, Starsky looked skeptical. "You? I don't think so. Don't think God would make the same mistake twice."
Hutch opened his mouth to retort, when his eyes fell on the movie poster on the marquee behind his partner. Brow furrowed, he stepped closer, forgetting what he was going to say.
Starsky, noticing his partner's diversion, turned around to see what had caught his his interest. It was a poster for a revival of a movie he'd seen and loved a few years before, the Dirty Harry flick "Magnum Force." Then he noticed what had particularly caught the blond's attention. He leaned closer to peer at the tiny face in the background, then glanced sideways at his partner, contemplating.
Hutch distractedly glanced up at him, then, recovering himself, sheepishly stuck his hands inside his jacket and straightened. "Nah," he shrugged and gave a bit of a self-conscious laugh, then turned and strode away, down the street.
Starsky stared back at the poster a moment, then shook his head as he ran to catch up with the long strides. He swung an arm comfortably over his partner's shoulders and, after a moment, began to describe in enthusiastic detail what he was going to have for lunch, eliciting the appalled response he hoped for. But, in the back of his mind, he resolved that the first chance he got, he was going to take another look at that movie...
Written in 1996