Comments from this story can be sent to and will be forwarded to the author. 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 Half You, Half Me 2, in 1987. A longtime fan generously donated digital scanning, typing and proofreading for the archive. Enjoy!

Alone Again Never
Peruvian Gypsy

It's long been on my mind
You know it's been a long long time
I've tried to find a way that I could make you understand
The way I feel about you
And just how much I need you
To be there where I can talk to you
When there's no one else around...
                -John Denver

The nurse kept up a running monologue the entire time it took to clean the room and change the sopping wet sheets. Good thing the doctor wasn't here to see this. Just wait 'til he finds out...Etc... Etc... For a moment Starsky was reminded of a time as a child when he'd snuck out to see a movie, against mother's orders. As it happened, his father had not found out. He'd never come home again. The nurse droned on. Thankfully high on painkillers and wine, he easily tuned her out.

Finally she was gone, and he took a minute to review the night. Listened. The room was quiet, its silence depressing; suddenly he felt alone, the euphoria wearing thin. Pain reasserted itself and he closed his eyes, willing his mind away from newly familiar thoughts of mortality. Cold, final, cruel. What is my life? Meaning, future, words of the puzzle. Too many missing pieces to figure it out.

A slight noise caught his attention, and he opened his eyes in time to see a silent figure slip in and stand hesitantly near the door.

"Starsk?" A gentle whisper.

"I'm awake. What are you doing back? Thought they pitched you out bodily."

"I hung around the nursery. Snuck back when Brunhilda was in the john."

"You mean the jane." Feeble attempt to recapture his earlier elation.

"You still high?"

Starsky's forced smile vanished. "No, how about you?"

Hutch shrugged, coming to sit on the edge of the bed. "I uh, didn't feel like going home just yet..." His voice lowered drastically, and Starsky sensed his reluctance. "...alone. Wanted to stay here, know you're alive."

The room was silent again, Hutch studying the sheets, Starsky studying Hutch. "Talk to me buddy."

Hutch looked up slowly. "You ever think about things? About what happened?"

Tell me how not to think about it. "Yes." Their eyes locked, feeling bouncing between them.

''I love you.''

It wasn't like Hutch had never said it before, but this time Starsky could see the pain in his friend's face. He could tell that Hutch needed to talk it out. Just Hutch?

"You almost died. And I was scared. Starsk, I've never been more scared in my life. I-I shouldn't be laying all this on you but I have to tell someone how I feel and..." he stopped, obviously trying to organize his thoughts.

"Tell me."

"Shit, I know I haven't been a very good friend this past year... It got so easy taking everything out on you... take your friendship for granted. When you got shot it all caved in on me. I watched you dying." His voice became even more agonized. "It really hit me. What I was losing. Who do I have if not you? I don't want you to die on me."

"I'm alive. It's over." It is over. Life goes on, business as usual. David Michael Starsky gets another chance to antagonize fate. Why?

Hutch's voice broke into his thoughts. "I guess you just wanna forget the whole thing ever happened."

"I don't know if that's possible," Starsky finally answered. "I've had too much time to think lately. I thought I had my head together, now I'm not so sure. And I feel angry most of all, like how dare life do that to me? Take away my visions of immortality." He gazed at Hutch levelly. "We're not, are we?"

"Never have been."

"It really felt like it sometimes." Can't pretend anymore, either. Reflecting on the subject, Starsky remembered a time when Hutch must have had to deal with that himself. Is this how you felt... he almost said it out loud, but bit his tongue instead.

His eyes sought Hutch's. For the first time in what seemed like forever, Starsky felt the bond between them. He knew Hutch was waiting for him to continue. "I have a lot of thinking to do yet."

"I guess we both do." Hutch paused before going on. "I'm still scared."

Starsky nodded, knowing. "Me too."

"Thanks for listening."

They let silence claim the room briefly. Starsky watched his partner, using his people sense to gauge Hutch's mood. "What do you wanna do, Hutch?"

Hutch shrugged, but when he spoke his tone was firm and sure. "Whatever I wanna do, I wanna do it with you."

The tension relieved, a glint came into Starsky's eyes. "Well, uh, I guess that could be arranged. On one condition..."

Hutch glanced at his partner, slightly apprehensive again. "What?"

"That mustache has got to go."

Follow me where I go
What I do, and who I know
Make it part of you to be part of me
Follow me up and down
All the way and all around
Take my hand and I will follow you.
            -John Denver