This story was written for entertainment
purposes only, and is not meant to infringe upon any rights held by any holders of rights
to Starsky and Hutch. Comments about this story can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
This story is a sequel to "Detour" by Sloane Bennett.
WHERE THE ROAD ENDS by
The muted beep tone of the coffee maker broke the cold silence between them.
Larissa, a striking brunette dressed only in a lavender silk robe turned off the machine, poured a half cup of the dark liquid into a mug and handed it to Starsky.
He accepted it with one hand while continuing to tuck a shirttail into his blue jeans with the other.
She poured some coffee for herself, stared into the mug, then began rummaging through a nearby cabinet.
"Why don't you ever have creamer?" she muttered.
Starsky sighed. "Honey, why don't you just bring one of your two cappuccino machines over here?"
"Because you don't drink cappuccino, David." Her tone was becoming icy.
"Larissa -- I honestly don't mind a six inch espresso machine in the corner of my kitchen. It's not that big of a deal. Bring it."
Her hazel-green eyes almost glared at him. Her nostrils flared.
"This isn't working between us, is it?" she asked, uncertain she wanted an answer. Her false bravado had taken a quick nosedive.
Starsky shifted on his feet, suddenly acutely aware of the unevenness of the soles beneath him.
He needed a new pair of Adidas.
And to be honest, that was the subject he'd rather think about at the moment. Not this situation with Larissa.
His twilight blue eyes surveyed the beauty standing before him.
Definitely an Uptown gal.
A face that belonged on a magazine cover, curves to rival the Daytona freeway and a style of elegance mixed with a casual appeal that he had to admit left him awestruck on occasion.
No, it wasn't working, but he'd be damned if he knew why.
She'd been warm, loving and caring.
Basically, they got along great, had shared some fun times, and the sex was definitely acceptable.
Okay, a little better than acceptable.
She'd all but moved into his place two weeks earlier, lock, stock and Lady Gillette, keeping the lease on her own apartment "just in case..." And lately, that appeared to have been a good idea.
They'd been arguing more than usual.
Starsky put his coffee mug down in the sink, then did the same with hers.
His hands went to Larissa's face, then through the sides of her long, dark hair.
"We'll talk about it tonight, okay?" His words were soft. "I gotta get to work."
A horn honked from outside. It was his partner, ready to roll.
Larissa turned her head, nudging Dave's hand away.
"That's what this is about, hmm?" he asked. "My job. It's starting to get to ya."
Her eyes went to his and she pulled her face back from the warmth of his palms.
"I knew you were a cop when I met you, David. It's not your damned job."
The horn blew again -- louder, this time, the car's owner obviously growing impatient.
"It's that!" she bellowed, pointing toward the front door. A split-second later Hutch appeared, opening the door and sticking his blonde head in.
"Come on, Starsk... we're gonna be late!" Hutch noticed the brunette. "Hey, Larissa."
She turned quickly on her heels, the refrigerator her new object of view.
"Uh... be right there. Keep the motor runnin'." Starsky winked and nodded his head slightly toward the woman standing next to him in the kitchen.
"All right." Hutch rolled his eyes, gave a speedy 'okay' sign and closed the door behind him.
"The man knows where your spare key is!" Larissa rang out, turning around.
"The cleaning lady knows where my spare key is!" Starsky retorted.
He took a deep breath. Counted to three. He didn't have time for ten.
"Honey," he began, wrapping his arms around her, "I--"
Before his hands had found their resting place on her waist, she pulled away.
"Don't 'honey' me, David!" Her eyes smoldered with a deeper, near-emerald hue. "This is about Hutch, and you know it!"
Stunned, Starsky stopped, thought it over for a beat, then shook his head, not understanding.
"I don't see how what's going on between us has anything to do with Hutch..."
"You mean what 'isn't' going on between us -- and it has everything to do with Ken Hutchinson!"
Starsky checked his watch. "Sweetheart, can we talk this out tonight? I've really got to go." A twinge of guilt ran through him. He knew she wanted, needed to discuss this.
He and Hutch, however, were in the middle of a huge drug smuggling case. Two homicides so far. There wasn't a lot of time to waste this morning before they saw Dobey. There were a ton of files to sift through.
He had to leave. And now.
"Larissa, honey -- we'll sit down and talk this out tonight when I get home."
"No, we won't," she said quietly. "Because I won't be here."
"You're not serious." Starsky's eyes narrowed, watching the woman closely, waiting for her reaction.
"Oh, I'm serious, all right." She closed her eyes, half- smiled and shook her head, nervously sliding her fingers through chestnut brown strands of hair. "I'd give you an ultimatum -- Hutch or me. But I know who you'd choose, Dave." Her eyes met his. "And I wouldn't come out the winner."
"Oh, for heaven's sake!" Starsky exclaimed, lifting his arms upward as though emphasizing the point. "This isn't a contest between the two of you -- who has my loyalty -- who I love more!"
"Isn't it?" she asked, motionless.
"We're talking about two completely different relationships here."
"Are we?" She looked at Starsky point-blank, slid a hand slowly up and down her arm. "I wonder." She mulled it over, the coffee machine capturing her gaze for a few seconds. She shook it off.
"You spend more time with Hutch than you do with me. Even when he's not here, he's here." She glanced around the room, walked out of the kitchen toward the sofa, then sat down, resigned.
Soon Starsky was seated next to her. His broad shoulder rubbed against the silk caressing hers.
"He's my best friend," he told her.
Her hand went to rest on his thigh. Her French manicured nails made a gentle trail up and down the length of it.
"I know," she replied softly, uncomforted. Her head went to his shoulder. "You love him."
"Most people do love their best friend," Starsky smiled.
"And you're going to tell me that what you feel for me is different."
"Yes, it's different."
"Are you sure?"
Abruptly, Starsky stopped, pulled her gently by the upper arms closer to him and looked deeply into her eyes. "Ya know what? This is a ridiculous conversation."
Larissa shook her head. "Not ridiculous. Just pointless," she sighed. "I can't compete with Hutch for you. I'd never win. No woman ever will. What you two have together is just too strong. And when push comes to shove, he'll always be number one in your life. Always."
The sound of the horn honking was becoming louder and jarred them both.
"Go on," she told him, forcing a smile, her hazel-green eyes filling silently with tears. "You have a job to get to." When her lashes closed, a tear fell onto her cheek. "Your partner's waiting."
Getting up from the sofa, Starsky took Larissa's hand, squeezed it gently.
"We should talk about this some more," he said.
"No. There's nothing left to say, Dave." Her fingertips slid quietly from his.
Starsky watched the LA streets go by with emotional distance.
"Have you ever thought--?" he began, his attention wandering.
"Thought what?" Hutch sprang back, looking at the road in front of him as he drove.
"Have you ever considered--?" Starsky continued, musing.
"Considered what?" Hutch shot his partner a quick side glance.
"Has it ever occurred to you--?"
"Starsky, what the hell are you babbling about?"
"Have you ever noticed--?"
"Now it's 'noticed,'" Hutch said, aside. "Noticed what, Starsk?"
"That I have never had a single romantic relationship with a woman -- any woman -- that actually worked out?"
Hutch smirked. "Yeah, well, I'm not batting such a high average there myself, buddy."
Still lost in reverie, Starsky watched a group of children crossing a side street toward a nearby school. "I mean, think about it -- Rosie Malone didn't work out...Sharman Crane, that wasn't meant to be, I guess...Cindy, Vicky, Julie, Meredith, Sharon...Terry..." That name hurt. Melancholy had a choke hold on him.
"Maybe you'd better leave that one alone," Hutch spoke softly.
Starsky agreed. He let the memory pass. "Even Dee O'Reilly."
"Oh, Good Lord, don't mention that woman's name in my presence."
Starsky heaved a sigh.
"I've had a pretty lousy track record in that department, too, Starsk." Hutch didn't have to think too long before the names began to emerge from his lips. "There was Gillian, Anna Akhanatova, Jeannie, Abigail, Vanessa... Diana Harmon..."
"Well, she was a Looney Toon."
"Granted, but it proves my point. I haven't been so fortunate in the female arena, either."
Starsky glanced over at Hutch, who was diligently watching the traffic.
"Do you think that means anything?" Dave asked.
"Um -- nothing. Nothing. Just um -- well, nothing."
Hutch frowned, took a fast look at Starsky, then returned his attention to the street ahead of him.
"You've been acting weird all morning." Pieces were starting to fit together. "What happened with Larissa?"
Starsky shrugged, settled further into the car seat. "Looks like it's over."
"New living arrangements not workin' out?"
"You could say that."
Hutch nodded. "Well, just chalk it up to--"
"Another Cinderella bites the dust," Starsky said coldly, completing the sentence.
"Oh, good grief, Starsky," Hutch laughed at the melodramatics. "This mood is getting rather strange. Even for you.
Hutch pulled into his parking space and turned off the ignition.
"Wanna tell me what this is about?" he asked, pointedly.
"Told ya," Starsky answered, reaching for the car door handle.
"Another Cinderella bites the proverbial dust..."
Starsky nodded slightly a few times. "Yah."
"Mm-hmm. I see." Hutch shook his head, letting himself out of the driver's side. "Strange mood, Starsk."
Starsky felt as though he were in a haze as he rounded the bend in his Torino, finally parking along the street in front of Hutch's place. He'd lost track of how long he'd been driving. One hour? Two? He checked his watch before taking the key from the ignition and getting out of the car.
At Hutch's front door, Starsky reached for the key above the door frame, then stopped, changed his mind and knocked on the heavy wood instead. Several seconds later, Hutch opened the door.
"Why didn't you just use the key? What are you knocking for?" he asked, a bewildered look on his face. Hutch opened the door wider for Starsky to enter.
Walking into the living room, Starsky gave a laborious shrug.
When Hutch slammed the door shut, the wall shook.
"All right -- give." Hutch's tone of voice was a trifle louder than normal.
"You heard me." Hutch backed up a few inches, just enough to look his best friend square in the eye. "What the fuck is going on with you?"
Feeling cornered, Starsky turned and began walking toward the kitchen.
Hutch watched him for a moment, waiting for an answer that was obviously not forthcoming.
Starsky opened the refrigerator, pulled out a beer bottle, then closed the door.
Hutch bounded into the kitchen, took the bottle from Starsky's hand and slammed it onto the countertop.
Dave's eyes shifted quickly toward the sound of the glass hitting the solid surface. It hadn't broken.
Hutch pulled a chair out from underneath the table and pushed Starsky down into it before his partner could object.
Seconds later, Hutch was also seated at the table himself, directly across from Starsky, his stare unyielding.
"Talk to me, dammit!" Hutch demanded, his patience on the wane. "You've been acting really strange all day. What is it? Larissa? What?"
Starsky took awhile before answering. "Yeah. Larissa."
He reached for the beer bottle on the counter behind him, inspected it for damage, then stood up and went scavenging through a nearby drawer.
Hutch blew out a breath, shook his head and walked directly toward the item next to the toaster that his partner was searching for.
The bottle opener.
He handed it to Starsky -- a peace offering.
"Come on, look--" Hutch started, attempting a different tactic. "You came here. You wanna talk. I can tell you wanna talk. Just tell me what it is, all right?"
Starsky flipped the top off the beer, took a long sip and leaned back, steadying himself against the sink.
"It's something Larissa said to me," he replied, after a few pensive moments went by. "Got me thinking..."
Hutch shrugged, waiting. "What'd she say?"
Starsky decided to just blurt it out.
"That she can't compete with you -- no woman can. Any woman in my life will always play second fiddle to the relationship I have with you."
Hutch went blank for a few seconds. Regained his bearings. Thought it over.
"Cinderella bites the dust?" he offered, smiling... trying to add some levity to the tension.
Starsky wasn't amused. Not at all.
"Well?" Dave asked, watching Ken for a reaction.
"Well, what?" Hutch sauntered the three feet to the fridge and returned with Coors in hand.
"You know, neither one of us have ever had a relationship with a woman -- any woman -- that's worked out," Starsky offered.
"Speak for yourself. I'm doin' okay with Mom," Hutch grinned, pleased with himself for the retort. He popped the bottle top off and tossed it into the sink behind Starsky, who still hadn't found any humor in the situation.
Putting the beer bottle onto the counter, Starsky started toward the door. "You wanted me to talk--" he shrugged.
Hutch's hand went to Dave's arm, halting him. "You're right. You're right." The hand lingered warmly on Starsky's jacket. "We need to talk about this."
Blue eyes met blue eyes.
After a long beat, Hutch spoke.
"We've been here before, you and me. Down this road."
"I don't know what you're talking about."
Hutch shook his head, his bright blue eyes never once leaving Starsky. "Don't do that. Not to me. You know exactly what I'm talking about."
Dave's suddenly lowered brown eyelashes were proof that he did.
"Right before graduation -- at my place. Just like now," Hutch smiled at the irony, picking up a bottle. "A little too much of this stuff..."
When Hutch's hand ultimately left his best friend's arm, Starsky could feel a change in his body temperature. It grew rapidly colder. Then warmed once more with the same rocket speed when he looked up at Hutch again.
"You ever thought about it during all these years?" Ken asked quietly, "What happened between us that night?"
Starsky nodded in admission. "You?"
Hutch's gaze softened. He didn't reply right away. It was as though the sudden impact of the memory flash had too tight of a hold on him.
"Yeah," he finally responded. "Yeah. I've thought about it."
"It's like that night was a detour -- in both of our lives," Starsky rang in, "Something that we--" He searched for the right words. Had a hard time finding them.
Hutch offered two. "Left unfinished?"
"We never found any answers, Starsky conceded. "Why...? How...?"
"Maybe when we took that detour years ago, we didn't find answers because we didn't go far enough down the road," Hutch said.
His hand went softly to the side of Starsky's face and stayed there.
A sudden memory caused Dave to smile broadly, nearing a laugh.
"What?" Hutch asked, bemused.
"You said back then that we'd always be there for each other no matter what. And we have been -- haven't we?"
Terry. Vanessa. Rosie Malone...
Women had floated in and out of the picture, but he and Hutch had been the mainstays in each other's lives.
"You've always been there for me. Always," Starsky said.
"The same way you've been there for me," Hutch tossed in easily, matter-of-factly.
"You know -- I think Larissa was right. No one means more to me than you do. Nobody's closer to me. No one ever could be," Starsky admitted.
"I kinda know that feeling," Hutch winked, his thumb caressing his partner's strong jaw. "And maybe this is the way it was meant to be from the beginning. The two of us. You and me."
"Maybe," Starsky replied, his voice almost a whisper. "How do you feel about that?"
"Lucky," Hutch answered without hesitation. "Damned lucky." And he held Starsky close.