Disclaimers: Don't own them, No money made Not beta'd all mistakes are mine and mine alone. Comments on this story can be sent to: steelknight69@yahoo.com

By My Side

It was the end of another case, all we had to do was to wait for Mr. Big to finally show up at the warehouse and bust him with the goods. We had been waiting half an hour before his car pulled in, Starsky and I approached the car with our normal caution. We stepped up side by side as Mr. Big opened his door to join us. I never even saw it, how did I miss it? The next thing I know is I was slammed up against the wall as a hail of bullets entered my body, Oh God! It hurts! STARSKY! I can feel the pain it hurts so bad! I felt a heaviness fall over me.

"Starsky where are you? Stark?" Then I see him. He's by my side like always. Thankfully he looks all right. He takes my hand and tries to tell me that I will be fine. I know I won't be, "I don't want to leave you Starsky, I love you!" He gently kisses my forehead and tells me that he loves me too, and that he will never leave me. Damn! He doesn't understand. I know I am not going to live, I know that these bullets have done to me what so many other bullets couldn't do, Hell what the plague couldn't do, I am dying.

The paramedics are here. I can feel them checking my pulse, and taking my blood pressure. I know they are trying to save me, I hope they can. My vision is fading fast all I can really see in a blur of light and shadows, I can't even see Starsky anymore, but I can hear him, his loving voice telling me to hang on, that I will be fine and that we will be together. And as much as I hurt, for him I will try to hang on.

They have me in the stretcher now and they are loading me into the ambulance. Although I have done this many times before I am sure that I've never been this scared, I know this is my last ride. My one comfort is Starsky, for years now he has been my best friend, my partner, my lover.

He is still by my side holding my hand and I just know he's gazing at me with those loving blue eyes of his. " Please stay with me, Starsky. I don't want to be without him." I hear his voice telling me of course he will and too not to be such a Blintz. If I didn't hurt so much I would laugh. I know he's trying to help me get my mind off the pain, maybe if I could still see his eyes, then I could lose myself in them.

We are at the hospital now the doctors and nurses are surrounding my stretcher I hear them, it seems like they are all grabbing a piece of me poking and prodding. I'm confused and hurting so much all I want to do is curl in a ball and be left alone with Starsky. The voices are getting louder, yelling, screaming for this or that more screams only this time I recognize the voice screaming as my own. Then somehow he's there again, at my side, touching me, comforting me, calming me with just his voice. All the other noises fade out, the hospital sounds, the voices of the doctors and nurses that are working over and around me are fading...fading, they are gone now.

Am I dead now? No, I can't be I can still hear Starsky's voice I can still feel his hand in mine. Funny I don't hurt anymore, and my eye sight is getting better. "I can see, Starsky! Starsky! I can see I don't hurt!" He is there by my side holding me, kissing me. "Starsky I didn't leave you! I am still here. I didn't die!" He looked at me his blue eyes shining with a look of wonder and then he says. " Hutch don't you understand you did die, that's why I told you that you would be fine. That I would never leave you, I knew that when you died that we would be together forever."

I still didn't understand I had to ask him. "Starsky, How did you die? You were with me the whole time at the warehouse, in the ambulance, at the hospital. When did you die?"

He looked at me, shocked. "Hutch, you didn't know I was dead? I died at the warehouse, I saw the gun and tried to push you out of the way. I'm sorry Hutch, those bullets that killed you...they went though me first."

Greater love hath no man than he lay down his life for his friend.