This story is an amateur publication and does not intend to infringe upon copyrights held by any party. No reproductions without permission. Originally published in the Starsky & Hutch zine Penal Code, in 1988. A longtime fan generously donated digital scanning, typing and proofreading for the archive. Enjoy! Comments about this story can be sent to Flamingo.

Cheryl M.

The chair was comfortable, not at all like I expected. I mean, on television and in the movies, shrinks always have their patients lie on a couch. This guy has easy chairs. Boy, what a stupid name for a chair. There was nothing easy about sitting in this one. I was here trying to get my head together. Hutch was sitting outside, waiting for me. I'd already come here three times, and I still hadn't been able to talk to the guy. He just sat in that chair, legs crossed, smoking a pipe and looking sorta like a school teacher I had once. He was probably the same age I was, I dunno for sure, I didn't ask. It wouldn't have mattered if I had; he never answers any of my questions. He wanted me to talk about me. I wonder if he really understands how hard this is?

"I know this is difficult, Dave." Doctor Richards interrupted my thoughts; he was good at that. "Maybe we should try a different approach? Have you ever been this depressed before?"

"Is that what I am, Doc? Depressed?" Silence, I told you he doesn't answer my questions. "Okay! I'm not usually the one who stays bummed out over something. That's Hutch's bag, but this time, I can't let go of what happened."

He kept sucking on that damn pipe, watching me, waiting. All right, consider the question. Have I ever been this depressed before? No! Yes! After I shot Emily.

"Dave?" he prompted.

"One time, we were chasing after coupla robbery suspects. They split up. The guy I was chasing had a gun, he took a shot at me and I returned the fire, but a girl got in the way. She was blinded, temporarily, but I was really down for a while after that. Even with Hutch bullying me, it took some time to let it go. But, see, that was my fault. I shot her..." The pain from then returned, almost drowning out this new pain, but not quite.

"Why do you think you're so depressed, this time?"

"You really don't know!" I was surprised. All right, I shouldn't have been, but I was. Hutch had found this guy and set up the first appointment. I just assumed that he'd told him what happened. I took a deep breath. "I'll try to tell you, but it might take longer than our hour. Maybe I should come back?"

"Take whatever time you need, I'll listen as long as you're able to talk."


The first thing I knew when the fog lifted was the shower spraying over me. I don't think I was ever really unconscious, because I hadn't strangled when I puked, shit, my dinner was all around me. I washed most of it down the drain, then turned the water up, full and hot. I thought I could still hear the laughter, but wasn't sure where it came from. I locked the bathroom door, then got back into the shower.

I felt dirty, but no matter how hard I scrubbed, I couldn't get rid of the feel of hands on me. I still felt sick and I hurt. Oh, God, how I hurt. I could hardly move. Suddenly, what they did hit me and I froze. I can't say how long I stood there under the water, shaking, while the laughter got louder and louder.

When the water got cold, I shut it off and listened...close. The laughter wasn't as near as before, but I still wasn't sure if I actually heard or only remembered. It was weird sneaking through my house bare-assed and scared shitless. I felt better with my automatic in my hand. Next, I checked out each room, turning on lights and locking windows and doors, until I'd checked the whole place. As soon as I got dressed, I was more in control and could think, but I didn't want to think...or remember...the last two hours. A drink was definitely called for and I poured myself a long one. It tasted so good, I decided on another. This time I didn't bother with a glass, but took a pull from the bottle and damned near drowned when the phone rang. Who the hell's callin' me at this time of night? But I wasn't sure just what time it was. Taking a deep breath and swallowing twice, I grabbed the phone. "Starsky..."


Hutch, only Hutch, thank God. Relief made my knees so weak I sat down.

"Starsky! Aren't you awake, yet?"

"Answered the phone, didn't I?"

"Took you long enough. My battery's dead, pick me up?"

Act natural, you can do it, pretend you're undercover. "Sure, I'm on the way."

The butterflies flying around in my stomach must've had babies because, by the time I reached the car, I felt like I'd eaten a four-course dinner. Once in the car, with all the doors locked, I felt safer, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was being watched. The drive to Hutch's was too short. The butterflies started doing their thing, again, and my palms were sweaty by the time I worked up the nerve to get outta the car. It seemed to take forever to get up the stairs.

"Got any coffee?"

"Good morning to you, too. Yeah, on the counter."

It didn't take Hutch long to finish getting ready and the easy talk kept me distracted all the way to the car.

"Late night?"

I almost jumped outta my skin and hoped like hell Hutch hadn't noticed."Why do you ask?"

"You look tired and smell like a brewery."

Oh, shit, I forgot about the booze. "Uh, couldn't sleep last night," Boy is that an understatement. "Nightmares kept waking me up."

"What'd you have for dinner?"

"Nothing; wasn't hungry."

"Starsky, you're always hungry."

"M'not. Wasn't hungry this morning and m'not hungry now." Don't think I'll ever be hungry again.



"I said, did you see the paper, this morning?"

"No, why?"

"It said that Judge Landsbury's death was murder."

"You sure?"

"Of course I'm sure. The paper said he died of heart failure, but there was evidence of assault."

"Who's handling it?"

"Major Crimes."

"Oh." I pulled the car into the parking garage at Metro. I hadn't parked down there since Gunther's goons shot me, but today, I wanted to hide my car from eyes on the street.

"Where are you going?"

"To park the car."

"In the garage? I thought you hated parking down here."

Oh, for Pete's sake... "Well today, I don't, okay? It's saf..." Oops, almost blew it...uh... "cooler, here than on the street."

"I've been telling you that for months."

"Up yours, Hutch."

"Full of sunshine this morning, aren't we?"

Full of sunshine, this morning, aren't we? "Just get outta the car and lock the door, smartass."

But I couldn't move after getting out of the car. The garage made me jumpy. Too many places for someone to hide, too many memories, too many shadows. It felt like someone was watching me and it made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

"Are you going to stand there all day, or are we clocking in?"

All of a sudden I was mad at Hutch. I know he hadn't done anything, but I was mad and he was there. I walked to the elevator and he followed. Dobey waited for us at the door of the squad room.

"I want your case files brought up to date and your expenses turned in, today and no excuses." He stalked back into his office and slammed the door. The captain was in a piss poor mood; well, that made two of us.

"Shit, paperwork," Hutch muttered and I agreed with him one hundred percent. I picked up the first case file and began reading it. Damn, I haven't even started it, just my notes are inside. I put the report form into the typewriter and started typing. I don't know what I typed, all I saw was a distorted face laughing at me. I ripped out the page and started again.

Hands on my shoulders, holding me down. No way! Not again! No way in hell! I reached for my gun at the same time that I turned and stood. In the background, I heard the chair hit the floor, but I focused on my assailant; automatic halfway outta my holster. "Get your damn hands offa me!"

Hutch's face registered, hands up in surrender. I broke out in a cold sweat all over, all I could do was stand there feeling like shit. The look on his face should've turned me to stone. I'd seen that same look stop the bad guys in their tracks. He put the finished files (there weren't many) in the done box and the rest in the "to do" box. The next thing I knew, he had me by my jacket collar and was pulling me bodily from the room.

"That's it!"

"Hutch, m' sorry."

"I've had it! March!"

All the way down to the garage, Hutch stared straight ahead. He wouldn't look at me. "If we're leavin', you'd better drive. I'm not sure I can keep my mind on the road."

"Starsky, what's...?"

"Not now, Hutch. I can't, not yet."

He still didn't look at me, and he must've heard the pain in my voice, 'cause I couldn't hide it. He just stood there looking at the back of the elevator door. Finally, when the door started to open, he glanced over at me. "Okay, pal, give me the keys, I'll drive."

I gulped air I hadn't realized I was holding. My chest was burning. Relief washed over me. Unlocking my door, I tossed the keys across the roof, and got inside, thankful I'd bought a little time. Not much, though. Hutch knew something was wrong and he wouldn't let a lot of time go by before he'd corner me.

We'd been driving awhile, when my attention shifted to an old lady coming out of a post office. I didn't see the kid coming, he was just there, grabbing her purse, and knocking her down before running off down the street. "Hutch..."

"Saw it."

He slowed the car and my feet hit the pavement running. I don't remember ever running as fast as I did after that kid. He turned into a closed alley and I knew I had him. He was trying to climb the wooden fence at the end, when I caught up. I got kind of rough when I pulled him off, but it felt good.

"Turn around...spread em...dammit," I said, "spread 'em!" I frisked him, coming up with a switchblade in the side pocket of his jeans. Cuffing the punk, I pushed him in front of me as I headed toward the sounds of Hutch running down the alley. "Lady okay?"

"Yeah, he clean?"

I tossed the switchblade to Hutch. "He is, now. I'll drive."

"Whatever." Hutch rolled his eyes.

He looked so confused I had to laugh. It felt terrific to be in charge again and I could almost convince myself that it had been a bad dream. My stomach had settled and I was hungry for the first time in what seemed forever. "What time is it?"

"Almost three."

"Already? What happened to the day?"

"You slept through it."

"Oh...hey, let's get something to eat when we get through with this turkey."

"Thought you weren't hungry."

"Wasn't, now I am."

"All right, we'll book 'this turkey', clock out, then get a pizza. How's that sound?"

"Sounds great."

"I've got some beer at my place. We can take the pizza there, watch some"

Sneaky bastard. "Sure, I'll order it while you sign us out." The waiting was over; Hutch wanted to talk. All at once I wasn't so hungry.

Later, at Hutch's, I ate real slow. I wasn't hungry, but I wasn't ready to talk either. I didn't know how to tell him.

"Want to talk about it?"

NO! I don't want to tell you...don't want to remember or even think about it. "I'm not sure I can."


I couldn't sit still, so I got up and walked around the room. I hadn't said I wouldn't talk, so I knew Hutch would give me some space. I looked out the window at the garden. It looked so How dare anyone change it, make it all so ugly? I closed my eyes to shut out the lie, the promise of security; immediately I was back at my house. I swear I could feel those hands, hear the laughter. I was hot and cold all over, drenched in sweat. I barely made it to Hutch's bathroom before losing the pizza and beer.

"Starsky? Are you okay?"

Hutch's question chased the ghosts and I was able to get my head together. I rinsed out my mouth, then went back to the living room, back to the window. Nothing had changed and, somehow, that made me feel a little better...

"Remember Prudholm?"

"Prudholm? Of course I do. What's he got to do with this?"

"Nothing, really, it's his son..."

"He was killed in jail."

"Yeah, knifed, fighting off a gang of cons after his ass."

"I know, but..."

"I didn't have a knife this morning."

Silence. I knew Hutch was putting it together. I just looked out the window, seeing nothing. I'd said all I could.

"Ah, Starsk...shit...are you all right? That's crazy, of course you're not. Did you go to the hospital?"


"Why the hell not?"

I couldn't look at him, couldn't stop seeing the scene over and over, like I was watching an x-rated movie. I could hear him moving toward me, but couldn't talk...couldn't turn off the picture.

"You've got to go to the hospital, there could be evidence..."

"They dumped me in the shower."


"Three of 'em."

"How'd they get in?"

Down the chimney, like Santa Claus. "I opened the door."

"You what?"

"I only saw one. He needed a cop. Said his house had been broken into. I went to help and the other two jumped me."

"C'mon, buddy, let's go."

"Go? Where?"

"To the hospital."


I knew he was right...knew I should be checked out, but I also knew I was okay, physically. So I'm not a doctor, but I knew, all right? And I wasn't going to no hospital, I knew that, too.

"You should be examined, make sure there aren't any internal injuries. I'll go with you, I'll..."

"I didn't take you." I said it soft, but I knew he heard me. "After Forrest hooked you on dope, I didn't take you." Dirty pool, but I didn't care. His face looked like the bottom just fell out and I knew I'd won. He didn't say anything and I went to the kitchen for a beer. When I got back he was already putting sheets on the couch. He glanced up at me, but continued with what he was doing.

"Can you describe them?"

"Only the one I talked to. The others are blurs, big, ugly blurs."

"What's he look like?"

"Hutch, you can't investigate a crime that hasn't been reported and I'm not reporting it. They dumped me in the shower. There's no evidence of...there is no evidence."

"I don't intend to investigate a crime. I intend to get the bastards that did this to you...TO YOU, STARSKY! I want..."

"So do I, Hutch." I crawled onto the couch and pulled the blankets up to my chin. I could follow Hutch's path towards his bed as the lights blinked off, one at a time. The bathroom light was the last and plunged the place into darkness and shadows. There were faces in those shadows. "Leave it on, please, Hutch?"

The light clicked on, again and flooded the room. Hutch pulled the door closed a little so we could sleep, but he didn't move, he just stood there. "Would it help to know that I understand what you're going through?"

"How could you possibly understand?"

"When I was thirteen or fourteen, one of the gardeners got me behind the greenhouse."

"What'd your father say?"

"I never told him, never told anyone, until now. The man was fired shortly after that, so he never made it a habit."

I heard Hutch move toward the bedroom. Springs squeaked when he got into bed. Anger shot through me, almost overcoming the shame and helplessness I'd felt all day. That someone would do that to Hutch...big, kind, gentle Hutch...and he never told anyone all these years.


Silence, then, "Yeah?"

"I wish I could get my hands on that gardener"

"Yeah, I know. Night, Starsk."

Sleep was a long time coming and when it did, it was full of dreams. Hands and mouth on my prick, I couldn't fight them off, couldn't stop the fire from building. All around me I heard grunts and moans and the slap of flesh on flesh, like the room was filled with rutting animals. Then, as I neared the top, I heard it again, the sound of laughter, full of triumph. I tried to stop my body's response to the hands and mouth, but someone stuck his fingers up my ass and I lost it. My mouth was open to scream, but one of them put his cock inside, just as another put his up my ass... God, it hurt! Like I was being torn in half. Then I was gagging and swallowing on the guy's come. Suddenly, I was wide awake. My jeans were sticky against me. It'd been a long time since I'd had a wet dream. I hunted for a pair of Hutch's jeans and changed. Must've looked like a hick farmer with the legs rolled up, but what the hell, I hadda get outta there. Checking my wallet, I made sure I had enough money. Once in the Torino, I drove as fast as I could get away with, down to the strip. Let's see...what part of the street? Right, there she is...

"Fantasy, sweetheart, been lookin' all over for you."

She sauntered up to the car, long legs in very high heels, skirt short and tight. I don't usually go for hookers, but I'd known Fantasy for a long time and this was an emergency.

"I don't do, cops. You know that, Starsky."

"I'm not here as a cop, just a paying customer."

"Sure you're not here to bust me?"

"I didn't even bring my badge."

I parked the car and followed her to a nearby fleabag. In the room, she was all business. I handed her the money and undressed. My cock hung limp and nothing she did changed it. Damn, it all, anyway. "Stop, just stop! Fuck!"

"I'm trying, honey, but you just ain't up to it and we used to have such a good time..."

"Shut up!" I pulled on my clothes as fast as I could and headed out the door. She stopped me with a hand on my arm.

"I'm sorry, honey, you'll be okay. happens sometimes..."

But I couldn't take her pity anymore than I could handle the laughter that was back in my head. What was happenin' to me? I drove back to Venice Place, what choice did I have? Shit, all the lights are on, I don't even have time to invent a story.

"Where have you been?"


"Out? Out, where?"

"Just out. I'm a big boy, I'm allowed to cross the street by myself."

I was pissed, you know, really pissed. I needed to talk to Hutch and he was giving me the third degree. Crap. The couch had been cleared and my jeans picked up. I went into the kitchen and started making coffee. I was going to need it, lots of it.

"You've got to talk to me, Starsk. If you don't talk to me, I can't help you."

"Help me? What makes you think you can?"

"Talk to me. It'll help, just getting it out into the open."

Come outta the closet, you mean. "All right, I'll talk, partner, but you're not going to like it and I don't believe it'll help."

I poured myself coffee, took a sip, but I needed something stronger, so I pulled out a bottle of Hutch's whiskey. "I had a real winner of a dream last night. It must be at least twenty years since I had a wet one, but last night made up for it, I came from my toenails to my hair." I gulped whiskey and coffee. "Only trouble is, it was with guys, Hutch."

"I think...I think a certain amount of sexual dysfunction is normal..."

"Don't hand me that shit! I went down to the strip and found the foxiest lady I could and paid her fifty bucks to do it right. Well, buddy, she did, but I didn't." I swallowed more coffee, but it didn't help, so I poured straight whiskey and threw that down. "You know what's happenin', friend? Your partner's turning into a faggot right in front of your eyes. What do you think about that?"

"I think, friend, that that's the dumbest thing I've ever heard you say."

Silence, while he drank his morning concoction and I drank more whiskey.

"Don't you think you've had enough?"

"I'll decide when I've had enough." Angry, I drank a little more, but he was right, I had had enough, if I was going on duty, and I sure as hell wasn't staying here.

"Call in today, you're entitled."

"What do you want me to tell Dobey? I can't come in because suddenly I'm queer and can't quite handle it, yet? Huh-unh, Hutch, I'm going with you. I ain't stayin' here...alone."

"All right, you're calling the shots, but hear me, partner, the minute I think you stop functioning, you're off duty."

I headed for the door. Knowing that Hutch was only thinking about what was best for me didn't help. I had to pretend that everything was normal, even though I knew I was actin' crazy. It's like when I was a kid and the neighborhood bully would hassle me. I'd act like he didn't scare me and he'd back down; it wasn't long before I believed that I wasn't afraid of him. I was hoping it would work this time, too.

"Wake up, Starsk, we're here."

"Wasn't sleepin'."

I followed Hutch out of the car and into Metro. Dobey saw us when we came in and motioned us straight into his office.

"Assistant D.A. Marsha Simmons was raped last night."

"What?" Hutch flopped into a chair looking kinda dumbfounded.

"Where?" I sank into the other chair, trying not to let anyone know my knees had given out on me.

"In the parking garage of the courthouse," Dobey rumbled.

Marsha, shit, I'd known her a long time. Her husband was in charge of Vice. He'd been a detective sergeant when I was a rookie.

Dobey continued, "The lab results link her assailants with Judge Landsbury's death. She was able to give the police artist a good description of the three men involved." He pushed the sketches towards my side of the desk, "Pass them around the streets, see what you come up with."

I picked them up, handing each to Hutch after I looked at it. I recognized the last one and froze. The room felt hot and stuffy. I swallowed and swallowed, and prayed Dobey didn't notice something was wrong. Hutch took the sketch away from me.

"Let's go, Starsk. We'll get back to you, Cap."

I followed him out into the hall as far as the water fountain, where I gulped water and air.

"You okay?"

I couldn't answer. All I could do was stand with my hands on my knees and breathe fast. I couldn't get enough air. Hutch tugged at my jacket, pulling me outside. "C'mon, babe, let's go to the car, get the pictures of these bastards circulating." What he didn't say was, the sooner we got them in circulation, the sooner he could get his hands on them.

The shaking had stopped and my breathing was back to normal by the time we reached the car.

Hutch looked at me. "You all right?"


"I don't have to ask if you recognized them. Are you sure you want to go through with this?"

"I'm sure, I've got to get rid of this somehow."

"Can you I.D. all three of them?"

"No, only the third one. The other two are only recognizable below their belts. Hey, where're we going?"

"To the hospital, to talk to Marsha, see if she's remembered anything else."

Good, solid police procedure. I didn't want to hear what she had to say, wasn't sure how I'd react, but it was either act like a cop or go home. And home wasn't a good idea.

"What she says might trigger your memory."

"Believe me, Hutch, there's nothing wrong with my memory. It's almost too good."

Marsha was alone when we got to the hospital. She looked so small in the bed. Bruises on her neck and wrists stuck out because she was so pale, but she managed a smile for me.

"My two favorite detectives. I was wondering who they'd assign, I'm glad it's you."

"Captain Dobey gave us the composites, you did a good job with them. Have you remembered anything else that might help us?"

"Not really, Hutch. Just sensations and impressions. You of them, I'm not sure which one, wore a spicy aftershave, Old Spice, I think. It reminded me of my dad and that's what he used to wear."

Yeah, that's right. I remember now, and one of them smelled like a cigar or pipe. I couldn't stop the shudder that went through me.

"I'm okay, Dave. The doctors said there weren't any permanent damages and, other than being mad as hell, Tom is very supportive. A worker from the Rape Crisis Center was here and she helped, too."

"Is there anything we can do to help?" Hutch again, thank God, because my mouth felt like peanut butter.

"Just get the bastards."

"Sure thing, lady. You keep thinking, let us know if you come up with anything that might help." Hutch leaned forward and kissed her forehead.

I followed him out in a daze. Images and sensations, Marsha had said and I was feeling them. We were at the car when I finally found my voice. "The one with his cock in my mouth was a redhead."

Hutch's head snapped towards me. "You sure?"

"You hafta ask? Yeah, I'm sure. One of them smoked a cigar or pipe, I don't know which one."

"Zebra Three..."

Hutch reached through the window and grabbed the mike. "This is Zebra Three."

"Stand by for a patch from Captain Dobey."

"See Doctor June Randall at the University Rape Crisis Center; she may have some information for you."

June Randall? I remembered her from a case we'd worked. I didn't get it, why would she have information for us? Hutch stopped the car in front of the center; June was waiting for us outside her office.

"Dave, hello, it's been awhile."

"Six months?"

"At least. Come on in, we'll talk."

"This is my partner, Ken Hutchinson."

"So you're, Hutch. I've heard a lot about you."

"But, my partner's been very quiet about you."

"That's because she's married." I set him straight.

"Let's get down to business. I think what I have to show you is important. I read about Judge Landsbury's death in the paper. Today I got this in the mail, along with this note." She held up a videotape, then handed the note across her desk.

I took it and read it to Hutch. "You're next."

"Next? For what?" Hutch's words hung in the air while June put the tape in to play.

"I think the tape will answer that. I only watched part of it, before I realized the implications."

She pushed the play button and I saw myself standing in the doorway of my house as three men forced their way inside. I didn't need to see anymore. I'd reached my limit and was up and running. I'd watched this tape in my mind for two days, I didn't want to see it again. But Hutch was there and he wouldn't let me out of the office.

"Let me go, Hutch."

"Running isn't the answer, Starsk."

"I don't need to watch it, I was there, remember?"

"I'm not asking you to watch it, I'm only asking you to stop trying to act like nothing happened. It did happen and you can't change that."

I didn't have any choice. He's stronger than me, I couldn't move, so I buried my head in his shoulder and tried to shut out the words on the tape.

"Oh, he's a lot prettier than the old man."

"Shut up, stupid."

"I want his ass, it looks so tight."

I remembered the actions that went with the words...the feel of the hands and mouths... Stop it, David Michael. Think of something...anything else. I could smell the leather of Hutch's coat, his aftershave. Shit, that doesn't help, only makes things worse. But the tingle of excitement in my belly, didn't stop, what the hell was happenin' to me? I tuned in on the tape.

"He's close, now, hurry Chris, as soon as he comes, I want his ass...hurry, I can't wait."

The pain...think of the pain. Like a tree being rammed up my ass. It had hurt like hell and I'd thought I would bleed to death, but for some reason, there was very little blood. In spite of the pain, I had still responded. I don't know why. It shoulda turned me off, but it hadn't, it only seemed to add to the building pleasure. I was so ashamed. Men weren't supposed to like it like that, I mean, gays do, obviously, but I'm not gay, so I shouldn't have liked it. But, man, it was the biggest turn on...


That did it, that scream. I didn't remember screaming, but I had and it'd been Hutch's name that I'd cried out. It worked better than a cold shower, I wanted to hide. How could I face him after this? But his arms never loosened their hold, in fact, they tightened, as if he knew I wanted to run again. Then the laughter was there and I couldn't help but burrow deeper into Hutch's shoulder, trying to get away from it. Gradually, I realized the room was silent and Hutch was rubbing my back. That made me feel good, too good. "Let me go."

He did, without saying a word and stepped out of my way when I reached for the door.

June's voice stopped me. "Talk to us, Dave."

I could only shake my head.

"Sooner or later..."

The door shut out the rest of her words. I'd made it outside. I wanted to run, hide, but my legs were shaking so bad that I only made it halfway down the steps before I realized I didn't have anywhere to go, even if I could've made it farther.

"Why're you sitting here?"

''No place to go.''

"Come on, babe, no one's going to push you anymore."

I didn't say anything or look at him. He helped me up and I managed the rest of the way to his car. I got in and sat as far to the right as I could. He started the engine and pulled into traffic. The silence and suspense finally got to me and I attacked. "Did you enjoy the show? Maybe I should turn pro..."

"Stop it."

"I understand porno stars..."

I almost went through the windshield when Hutch stamped on the brake. He was turned in his seat, half my jacket in his hand. His face was red and white at the same time.

"Starsky, I...said...stop it! STOP IT, NOW! Don't you ever say anything like that again!"

Tires screeching, horns blaring and, for the first time, both of us realized where we were. The look on Hutch's face as he started the car moving hit my funny bone and relieved some of the tension. I started laughing, couldn't stop, maybe I was hysterical, I don't know, but I was back in control and had a glimmer of an idea. "Get moving, blondie, my house, then the courthouse."

It didn't take long for me to change my pants. I called the records clerk from my phone and he had the file waiting when we got there. I had my answer, I hoped.

"Don' t you think it's about time you let me in on what you're thinking?"

"When you were out with your leg, Dobey loaned me to Vice."

"I remember, you hated it."

"Right. I worked a rape case. The victim, Julie Thomas, accused her boyfriend of rape. He didn't do it. Anyway, I investigated the charge, Marsha prosecuted, Judge Landsbury..."

"I get the picture; did you get the address?"

"Of course, back near the university."

It didn't take us long to get there; good thing to, because I had to listen to Hutch bitch about Ping-Pong balls and gas mileage all the way.

I followed Hutch up the stairs. He knocked and she answered. I remembered her the minute I saw her, remembered the hardness around her eyes. Hope and fear took turns. If this is a dead end...

"Can I help you?"

"Police off..."

"Who the hell is it, Julie? Tell them we don't want any and get me a beer."

OH, fuck, the big guy's voice, the one who set me up. I kicked Hutch's ankle and reached for my gun. She tried to shut the door when she saw me, but Hutch moved right on in. I followed, no time to worry, now.

"Police...we want to talk to you regarding...hold it, mister!"

The bastard stopped and slowly raised his hands.

"Anyone else, here?"

"Alan, Chris, come on out."

"What'd you want, Sid, oh shit."

The other two came out from what must've been the bedroom. The last one smiled when he saw me. "Oh, good, it's the pretty cop; remember how hot..."

"Shut up, Alan."

My mouth felt like cotton and my heart was racing. Hutch glanced at me and I nodded.

"You are under arrest for rape and murder. You have the right to remain silent; if you give up that right, anything you say, can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford and attorney, an attorney will be appointed for you. Do you understand these rights?"

Good thing Hutch had his Magnum out too, because my attention wandered while he repeated the Miranda Code three more times. I heard him use the phone to call for back-up to take them all downtown. The one called Alan was looking at me, licking his lips then running his hands down his body to...

"Everyone, up against the wall, spread 'em. You too, sister."

Thank God, Hutch to the rescue. I pulled out my cuffs, tossed them to him. Sid turned, both of us tensed, but he didn't move any farther.

"Julie didn't do anything, let her go."

Alan was still standing against the wall. He wiggled his ass at me. I didn't want to watch, couldn't look away. It was getting hard to concentrate, when luckily, the back-up arrived. Soon they were all cuffed. I holstered my gun, and reached for the girl, but Alan shouldered his way between us, rubbed himself against me.

"Walk with me, curly, I'll tell you all the things I can teach you. My dad'll pay..."

Hutch was there, jerking the S.O.B. away before I could react. It wasn't long before the patrol cars pulled away and Hutch came over to where I stood.

"I can't go downtown. I gotta split."


"It's okay. I said I'd tell you when I've had enough; this is it. Drop me off, then come back when you're done. Cover for me."

"You're sure you're going to be all right? I can do the paperwork in the morning..."

"Do the paperwork, now. I'm not sure of anything, except that I need some time alone."

Hutch just nodded, and got into the car. He dropped me off as promised, only I didn't go inside. As soon as he was out of sight, I got into the Torino and headed for the gay section of town. I wanted to see what, if any, reaction I would have if I let one of them come on to me, and I wanted to get drunk someplace where no one would recognize me and call Hutch. Now, it's none of your business what I did, it's enough to say that I didn't sleep with any of them, but that at every bar I stopped at, I found at least one who could turn me on, and they were all big blonds. Isn't that a bitch? I still didn't understand what was happening to me, but I'd had enough. Next, I went back to my old neighborhood, and looked up a friend. It took some time, but I finally found him in one of the dirty walk-ups.

"Davey Starsky! What're you doing here?"

"Looking up an old friend; can I come in?"

"Sure." He backed away, nervous and that reassured me. "You still a cop?"


"You here to bust me?"

"No, I wanta make a buy."

"It's been a long time."

"It's been a long time since I had trouble sleeping."

"You want the usual?"

"Yeah, enough to last a week."

He handed me a small box, and I handed him a roll of bills.

"You're drunk, Davey; don't take those when you're drunk."

"Not drunk enough, Mark, not drunk enough."

I stopped at a coupla more bars on the way home, but no matter what I drank or how much, I couldn't get more plastered than I already was. I was glad to see that my house was dark and there was no sign of Hutch's LTD. I knew he'd be out looking for me, by now, and I still hadn't sorted things out. I needed sleep. Good dreamless sleep, and that's where Mark's little goodies came in. I pulled a beer outta the icebox, and sat down on the couch. I poured all the pills into my hand, and sat looking at them, wondering how many it would take this time.

"Starsky! What the hell are you doing?"

I jumped and red devils flew everywhere, along with my hopes of sleep. I scrambled on hands and knees looking for them. Hutch's arms were there, holding me tight and rocking me back and forth.

"Sleep...God, Hutch, I just wanta sleep. No fucking more confusion, just sleep."

Suddenly, I was crying. I don't know what brought it on, probably the booze. Crying's not something I do a lot, but it felt like a dam broke this time. I grabbed hold of Hutch and hung on, tight. It felt so damn good to be held.

"Why'd they do it, Hutch?"

"Revenge, I guess." He was running his fingers through my hair and, and rubbing circles on my back, causing the most wonderful sensations. "They just couldn't believe that baby sister Julie would lie about rape."

I moved back. I hadda put some distance between me and Hutch. The temptation to start petting him back was too strong. But I made the mistake of looking at him. At his lips moving as he talked. I was lost in those lips and all I could think of was what they would feel like if I... No! I couldn't...can't. I pulled away, pushing Hutch at the same time.

"I feel so dirty." Here I was, too drunk to get it up, and all I could think of was getting it on with my partner. It was crazy, it didn't make any sense. Everything was all jumbled up inside me.

He put his hand on my face, real gentle, and his face looked real concerned, like he was worried about me. "You need to talk to someone, Starsk. Someone who can help you put all this behind you."


I finished telling my story and just sat there. I couldn't look at Doctor Richards, afraid of what I'd see.

"I can understand why this is so difficult for you. You responded to..."

"I'm not gay!" I almost exploded. Didn't this guy understand anything?

"I didn't say you were. There's always the chance of latent homosexuality, but I think you're looking for acceptance from someone you care about...and the only person who fits that bill, right now, is Hutch. Perhaps you should talk to him. Tell him how you feel."

"Are you crazy?"

"No, and I don't think you are either. But you need to resolve this question in your mind. Because, if you don't talk to Hutch, you'll never know how he feels about this and it'll stay a question."

I stared at him. Tell Hutch? What if... No, he wouldn't leave, he'd blame it on the rape and try to be understanding. I had to face it, what I was really scared about was, what if he said yes...

Sequel to this story is: Requiem