All my gratitude to my Beta Reader and friend Donna Engle for all her help
This story was written purely for entertainment and is not for profit, and is not meant to trespass in any way on the holders of the rights to Starsky and Hutch.
The sunlight woke up Starsky, who some hours before had fallen asleep dressed and totally drunk on his couch. Drunk, as it was usual in the last few weeks.
He had not been working for fifteen days. In fact, he was temporarily suspended from his job by Dobey, due to his last days' behaviour- violent and irresponsible.
His head was hurting and the living room was spinning, the floor was full of empty beer cans, and clothes were spread all around his bedroom. The kitchen was a mess, his plants dry, the furniture dusty. His own person was not much better, but Starsky seemed not to notice all that chaos.
The only thing he wanted was to be drunk, to sleep, to forget...
His last weeks' routine was very simple. To drink over and over again. To drive to "The Pits" looking for more drinks, at times some fights with somebody for the most absurd reason, more drinks, and finally an alcoholic sleep full of nightmares. Soon Huggy denied any alcohol to Starsky so he began to drink alone in the semidarkness of his apartment.
Nothing mattered to him since Hutch had died one month ago in the line of duty. His whole world crumbled under his own feet at that same moment.
His partner had put himself between a bullet and a pregnant woman during a bank robbery. Hutch was like that. Always giving. His love, his tenderness. And finally his life for others. He died instantly, and Starsky could not do anything but begin to fall towards his own hell.
With staggering steps, Starsky went to the john and, when he came back to the living room, he thought that his heart would stop beating...
There, looking healthy and standing by his side, Hutch was. As if to be in his best friendīs place after his death was the most normal thing in the world.
Starsky felt something like an electric discharge in his head, and then lost consciousness. Some seconds later, when he woke up, Hutch was still there, kneeling by his side.
The world had not stopped, in the street people were still walking, cars still running, there wasnīt any apocalyptic storm tearing the world apart- it was a day like any other , but, there in his apartment, was a dead man.
Starsky had seen him die; he was at his funeral. That didnīt make any sense, but Hutch was there. And though he knew the answer, Starsky asked weakly,
"Who...Who are you?" Starsky asked, still sitting in the floor
"Come on, Starsk, what a silly question is that? You know who I am."
"Hu...Hutch, this canīt be real. You...Youīre ..."
"Yeah, partner, Iīm dead. But Iīm here too, and yoouīre still my best friend. Both things are real."
"Then Iīm dead, too."
Hutch smiled. "No, dummy, youīre alive." Looking at Hutch with a bit of surprise and fear Starsky rose from the floor.
"Iīm sorry, partner, but I canīt help you to get up. In fact I canīt touch you. And that is the hardest part. You donīt know how much Iīd like to embrace you."
"But...What do you mean? Why can't you touch me?"
"I told you- because Iīm dead, and you arenīt. "
"This is absurd. The more absurd thing I have ever heard," Starsky said to himself rubbing his eyes. "I think that I drank too much last night. Are you saying that you are some kind of ghost?"
"Well, I suppose, but that is only a word. A word that you use to speak about us."
"US?...YOU? What mumbo jumbo is this Hutch? Who is US? And who are YOU?" Starsky asked scratching his head "Wait, wait a moment here. Let me guess it... The dead and the living ones. Right?" Starsky seemed more naive and lost than ever and Hutch felt for him.
"Listen to me, Starsk. we canīt waste this time that we got with little chat. So pay attention to which Iīll say to you, okay?" Without to wait for an answer, Hutch kept talking " I have come back here many times before, but now we have to talk." Starsky just plopped on the sofa with a true deadpan expression on his face and feeling himself out of words. "Starsk, buddy, after my death, you began to hear noises. Out of nowhere, right?" Hutch asked.
"And you smelled some odors, too. Flowers smells which were not there and, at times, my cologne or my after shave smell?" Starsky nodded again.
"Your fatherīs gold watch, you know, which was broken, began to work again?"
"Yeah," Starsky whispered.
"Okay. So, all those odd things were done by me."
"Wait, Hutch. Wait a minute..."
"Yes, Starsky. That was my way to tell you that you arenīt alone. My body is dead but Iīm here with you. But your pain hurts me so much....That is why I have returned. You know? Usually, we donīt do it but, sometimes, the suffering of the people who loved us is so huge, that it gives us pain as well, and we canīt do our work. "
"Hutch, you seem so...alive, so healthy." Starsky said trying to touch Hutch.
"No, Starsk," Hutch said raising from the sofa. "I would like to touch you, too, but we canīt. The rules are the rules there too. Donīt try it, please" He asked before sitting down again.
"There? Where? Where did you come from, Hutch? From heaven?"
"That is just another word, partner. Heaven. Hell. Words to try and understand a little about our true home, where all we go when it's our time. Only then do we really understand . I know that all this is very strange but, at this moment, I donīt have either a body or voice. You can see me and hear me only so that you are not scared of me. Yet we donīt need words. Same as when I was alive. Do you remember, Starsk?" At that moment, Hutch wasnīt moving his lips, but Starsky could hear him perfectly.
"You know what is the most incredible thing? The people that are there. All those dead people we have known through our history books, they are there And you know? There are no bad people. Only people who have make horrible mistakes in their lives. Those that have been cruel and they must pay for it in another place. Until all their faults are forgiven and, then, they come to the place where Iīm at, where Terry and your father are too, so they can be happy. This is hard to believe; people like Bellamy, Gunther, or Marcus also will be there some day. But it will be a long time before they arrive. For example, I can tell you that Bellamy is still dying on that roof from your shots over and over again, since more than three years ago. Well, three years of your time. That is their punishment. To live over and over all those bad things that happened to them while they were alive. Until they have paid for all their faults. But they will be there some day. And, then, they will be people as good-hearted as you or me and they will be our friends."
"Terry? My father. They are...?" Starsky asked with tears in his eyes.
"Yes, Starsk, they are there with me. Being happy, loving you, and looking after you."
Then, unable to help himself, Starsky burst into tears.
"Hey, come on, partner, donīt cry."Hutch said sothingly "We are waiting for you and, some day, we will be together again. I promise. But, now, you must listen to me carefully. You are making some mistakes Starsky. And it will happen that you will do something that youīll regret painfully. Some days ago, you were thinking about suicide, partner. I know it. The sadness is blinding you and, if you donīt change, maybe, when your hour comes, youīll canīt be with Terry, your father, and me for a very long time because you will have faults to pay. We can leave the world only when it is our time to do so, but not before. If you make the wrong choice, you will have to live through again and again all those things that did made you suffer in your life. The Gunther shooting, the months in the hospital, Terryīs death, The Marcus cult kidnapping, your fatherīs death, my death. All of that, over and over along centuries. Do you want that?...Please donīt do it, Starsk. It would hurt me so much." Hutch asked gloomily "You still have time to change, partner. Leave the drinking behind, talk with Dobey and try to go back to work with a new partner."
"Hutch...I..."Starsky wanted to say a lot of things to Hutch. He wanted to said how much he missed him. That he loved him...But he was unable to find the right words
"Well, now I have to get back there." Hutch said geting to his feet "Soon I will have a lot of work to do. "
"Work? What kind of work? " Starsky asked with puzzled expresion
"In a few days, I mean what you understand as a few days, there will be a horrible train crash. Many people will die. Iīm sorry but I canīt tell you anything more. And I canīt prevent it, either, but I can help all those people to understand what has happened to them and where they are going. Like somebody did it for me the day I was gone. This is now my work. " Starsky, increasingly amazed was just trying to understand.
"Will I see you again, Hutch? "
"Not while youīre alive, Starsk. You still have many years and many things to live for. Your time hasn't come yet. But, remember, you are my best friend, I love you. That will never change, and some day weīll again be Me and Thee."
After those words, Hutch, lovingly looking at Starsky, rose from the couch, headed to the entrance door, opened it, and simply left the apartment.
Two days later, the headlines read:
"TRAIN CRASH IN FRANCE: MORE THAN 50 FATAL VICTIMS"
Starsky knew that Hutch would have a lot of work to do. Blondie would be there as usual "To protect and serve."