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.
All my thanks to Wuemsel for all her help correcting and making much better this story.
A man can know many things; his heart though, knows much more.
Sometimes, one feels just strange. Unexplainably unpleasant. Dreadful even. That was how, since that morning. Hutch felt. The moment he woke up, after a night of unsettled sleep, mixed with nightmares, he knew that something was wrong, or maybe that something was about to happen. Something bad and frightening.
Hutch´s nightmares were all made of Starsky´s images. His partner, curled up on the ground, moaning in pain as he´d hold him in his arms; or alone, in danger and defenseless in front of an unknown enemy, pleading for help.
Hutch tried to convince himself that they were only dreams, nothing real or meaningful, however, he´d spent the whole day feeling the same twitching sensation in the pit of his stomach.
It was very early in the morning; still dark, in fact, when Hutch got out of bed, and first thing he did was to pick up the phone, dialling Starsky´s number. It didn´t make the least sense, but he didn´t mind. He just needed to make sure that Starsky was okay. He only needed to hear his partner´s voice.
“H´llo?” Starsky´s sleepy voice answered at the third ring.
“Starsk, it’s me…You okay?”
Something about Hutch´s voice fully awakened the curly-haired man instantly.
“Hutch? Of course, partner, I´m fine. Why I wouldn’t be?” Starsky asked, puzzled.
“Oh. It doesn´t matter.” Hutch knew that he was behaving like a fool, and he knew as well, that his tense tone of voice wouldn’t go by unnoticed. “Forget it, Starsk. I´ll pick you up at seven.” He hang up quickly, not giving Starsky any chance for an answer.
Okay Hutchinson, boy, beautiful way to start the day; making a fool out of yourself, not to mention worrying Starsk. Don't complain if he starts an interrogation after this first thing at work. Aw, man, I just know he won´t give me a break all day after this stunt... Hutch chided himself. He was putting on his sweatpants, when the phone rang. Even before answering it, the blond detective knew positively who was at the other end of the line.
“It was nothing, Starsk, okay? Just a nightmare.”
“Wanna talk, Blondie?” Starsky´s voice, full of concern, reached Hutch´s ears. “If you want me to, I can be at your place in ten minutes.”
Hutch couldn´t help but smiled. “Sure, Starsk. Ten minutes; that means that you’d be driving like a maniac, with lights and siren and putting the traffic upside down all along your way."
“Hey, I really like it, when you get so nice, Hutch,” Starsky teased.
“You´re welcome, partner. Listen, I´m sorry I woke you up. I had a pretty nasty nightmare, that’s all, but I´m okay, Starsky, don't worry.”
“You sure, Hutch? I mean, everything’s alright, isn’t it?” Starsky tried once more. Hearing Hutch´s voice, there were no doubts left - something was going on with his partner, though he was unable to make out what, at least at the moment.
Hutch sat down on his bed, running a hand over his tired looking face. I don't know, Starsk, I don't know. I just know that I feel more stupid at every passing moment. “Listen, Starsky, I was just having a nightmare, no big deal. And I think I´ll go for a little jog now, you know, to get my mind off things and all. D´you mind quitting here?” Hutch didn´t want to sound gruff to his concerned friend, but he felt truly unable to put into words what he was feeling.
“Sure, Hutch. Go jog. I´ll be ready at seven.” Maybe then I´ll be able to make you to spill what´s going on, Starsky thought, while hanging up.
Hutch replaced the receiver on its cradle and stepped into the kitchen to get himself some coffee before his run. Later, he took a shower, got dressed and went to collect his partner, feeling a little nauseous and sickish, though. He´d even skipped his morning health shake. Yet, he just couldn´t figure out what was wrong.
“Hey partner. You had a pretty rough night, huh?” Starsky said as a greeting, as he got into Hutch´s LTD.
“What makes you think that?” Hutch joked weakly while starting the engine. The fact was that he looked drained, and he was sure that Starsky had noticed it instantly.
“D´you need to take the day off?” Starsky asked, while touching Hutch´s forehead, looking for any temperature. “It doesn´t look like you are running a fever, though.”
“Oh, no, Starsk, I´m okay. Honest. Just didn´t get too much sleep last night. After a few cups of coffee I´ll feel, I guess.”
“Hum…Rather after a few gallons, I´d say.” Starsky answered.
The rest of the way to the station was made in silence. Once there, the whole morning turned to be a quiet one, and since they didn´t have any special case to take care of, both detectives spent most of the time in the squad room, working off their piles of boring paperwork. Yet, all those long hours long, Hutch didn´t find himself able to let go off the gloomy thoughts circling in his mind. He was worried, unsettled and distressed, apparently by no cause. He was also dead silent besides sullen, reaching the point of going on Starsky´s nerves.
"And now,how about telling me what’s eating you, Blintz?"
Hutch sighed deeply, before looking at Starsky. “I don't know, Starsky," he confessed plainly. “As stupid as it sounds, the truth is that I don´t have a clue what’s going on with me. I only know that I don't like it. I don't like it at all.”
“What the hell is 'it'? You don´t like what, Hutch?" A sparkle of fear shone in Starsky´s eyes. "Are you ill?”
“Oh, no, it´s not like that, Starsk,” Huch hurried to say. “I feel just fine, honest. What bugs me isn’t any health trouble.”
“You aren´t lying to me, are you?” Starsky asked suspiciously.
“Of course I am not lying to you, Starsky. Relax, I´m not dying or something.”
Maybe that’s true and you’re not ill, but you really look like hell, partner, Starsky thought, as he watched Hutch stir his salad with the fork, knowing for sure that he wasn´t going to eat it anytime in the near future.
“Your family? Are they alright?” the brunet kept on, unwilling to give up.
“Oh, yes. They are fine, as far as I know.”
“So, mind explaining the whole thing to ol´ Starsk?” Starsky joked in an attempt to enlighten the mood. “Whatever it is, it can't be so bad. Lost big money in the horse races? Is it your car? Contemplating to finally leave the garbage can in the junkyard, where it belongs?"
That last question elicited a weak smile on Hutch´s lips. “No, Starsk. Nothing of that.”
“So what´s the matter, partner?”
Okay…it´s nonsense, alright, but he deserves an explanation, doesn´t he? Not to mention he won´t stop bugging me, anyway, so... let´s talk, Hutch decided.
“Do you believe in presentiments, Starsk? Premonitions?” he asked all of sudden, as Starsky looked at him, dumbfounded. “The odd feeling that something bad is about to happen?”
Having parked in the precinct´s parking lot, Cheryl Jennings emerged from her car and headed for the entrance stairs. The young woman was a mere shadow of the person she´d used to be just a few months before. In fact, her job at the police lab was the only thing that kept her going nowadays. Since her brother’s death, she´d had to deal with her own sorrow, not to mention her stubborn father´s refusal to even see her. Professor Jennings had more and more withdraw from the rest of the world over the last grief-filled months, and even though she had never heard it pass her father´s lips, Cheryl knew that he blamed her for his beloved son´s death. She would try hard to cope with the tragedy, and she knew that what had happened on that fateful day hadn´t been her fault, yet silent remorse kept tormenting her soul.
“Hey Cheryl! How ya doing?”
Who greeted the woman on her way to the laboratory were two of her co-workers, Starsky and Hutchinson, the inseparable duo, as they were called at the ninth precinct. She thought they were really nice, and indeed they had always been kind to her, especially after the dramatic events that had ended with her young brother’s death. Jerry had been a good guy, who’d even managed to graduate with pretty good grades at the university but somehow, and without any apparent reason, a few years ago he had slipped onto the wrong road. He had started taking tranquilizers, only to end up dealing shortly after that, selling little amounts of the stuff on campus.
It had been the same story as always. Money had turned into something Jerry could never have enough of - just like the drugs he´d take- and the day hadn´t been far, when the young man had finally gotten himself into trouble too deep for a way out when he began to add hard drugs to his daily doses of tranquilizers, and he had also started dealing with those. One day, having accidentally eavesdropped a conversation Jerry had had with one of his drug’s suppliers, a man called Vic Bellamy, Cheryl had submitted to finally calling the police. She had only wanted to help him. To protect him from himself.
Starsky and Hutch had been the officers sent there, and after mere hours, everything was over. The deals with Bellamy, the withdrawal and Jerry’s life.
It had been Hutch´s gun, yes, but not Hutch. In fact, the distressed youngster had snatched the weapon out of the blond man´s grip with hands shaking so badly, that he had pulled the trigger himself. Fatal shot - Jerry had been dead, before his body had hit the ground.
“Okay, partner, how `bout dinner?” Hutch asked, as they were heading to his car at the end of their shift. “My treat. And I even let you pick the place. Chinese, Italian, or maybe some place with a little more style?” The blond detective tried to sound nonchalant, but the true, rather clumsily hidden reason for his invitation was that he didn´t want Starsky to be on his own. He wanted nothing but be near his friend, to look after him, just in case. At least until the discomforting feeling had vanished.
“Hey Hutch, you’re really acting funny today, ya know? Is it still that premonition thing?” Starsky knew what had been going on in his partner´s mind all day long, and though he would never intentionally hurt Hutch´s feelings, he was still unwilling to get scared by what he thought to be just the aftermath of a few nightmares, maybe mixed with some harmless virus on its way.
“Oh, come on, Starsk! Humour me. It´s just that I feel generous today. You´re always whining about me never buying you 'real food'... Well, what you call food, anyway. So this could be your one chance for years, y´know. Think about it.”
“I´m very sorry, Blondie, but I´m afraid tonight it won´t be possible. I got plans.”
“Really? And what would that be? Lemme guess..."
“I´m meeting the very lovely Millie for dinner tonight, then we´ll go dancing, and maybe with a little of luck…Well, you know.” Starsky waved his brows in a meaningful way.
Hutch, though, didn´t follow the banter. Instead, and unconsciously sliding into his best cop mode, he asked, “Who is this Millie, Starsky? Have I met her?”
“Whoa, partner! Stop that right there! Maybe you forgot, but I already have a mom. Besides, I am a big boy,” Starsky said, bewildered. Hutch´s concern about who he was dating that night wasn´t a joke.
“Sorry, Starsky, it's just that… Damn it! I told you what the matter is!” Hutch hit the roof of his car with his palm, hard.
“Yeah, buddy. You did, and I told you that I will be careful, just in case. But, honest, Hutch, think about it. We can´t spend every single minute of our life worrying about any possible threat or danger lurking somewhere. We are cops, remember? Our work is made out of potential dangers. We know that, don´t we? Besides, you barely let me outta your sight at all today, anyway. I had a hard time going to the rest room by myself." There wasn´t any annoyance in Starsky´s words, but just genuine concern. He could clearly see how worried Hutch was, and he only tried to assure him that his distress didn´t bear any rational basis.
Hutch couldn´t help but smiled. “Looks like I´ve been a real pain in the ass today, huh?”
“Never mind, Hutch. Just try to calm down a bit, okay?” Starsky patted Hutch´s abdomen fondly. “And now, mind giving me a lift home? I don't wanna be late for picking up Millie.”
All the details regarding his mission were already settled. For a moment, that evening, he had gotten a little scared. When he´d gone into that pharmacy and asked the employee for the necessary stuff for a plaster cast, he had thought that somehow, that woman had been reading his mind, had been seeing too clearly what he was really about to do.
He had pay the bill in silence, avoiding to make eye contact, avoiding suspicion, but upon leaving he had perfectly well noticed the inquisitive eyes of the old woman piercing his back.
Bellamy knew that maybe his grocery list hadn´t been of the typical kind, not even in a pharmacy, yet it was necessary, wasn´t it? That had to be his alibi if those two bastards were clever enough to draw the link to him. And no matter how much he hated the two men, he had to admit that they were smart, very smart indeed, and quick too. He couldn´t allow himself to leave any loose ends behind.
It was almost midnight when, sheltered by the darkness of a stinky alley, Bellamy and Professor Jennings, after having made sure that nobody had seen them, parted ways. They had been there for the briefest meeting, settling the last details concerning their deal. Bellamy had clear instructions to follow and a considerable amount of money in his pocket. However, it was just one half from the total he was going to get once his work would be done. And it had to be done fast and silently. In a few hours.
A simple job it was. Not easy maybe, yet pleasant, very pleasant indeed. Killing Ken Hutchinson and Dave Starsky was not a job you needed to force onto Vic Bellamy with many words.
It surprised Vic,
though, with how much fierce hate
On the walk back to the sordid apartment he shared with his girl-friend, Bellamy inwardly went through the exact procedure of their plan over and over in his mind.
Oh, well, the poor
devil wants those two to be dead, and that’s just what I´m going to do for him.
Kill them. Whatever his reasons are for wanting Starsky´s and
Really, he couldn´t care
less about Jenning´s reasons for hiring somebody willing to do the work. After
all, there was his own hate driving him. For that evil, worthless man
accomplishing that mission would be a great pleasure too. Besides, of course,
there was the money. More money than Bellamy had ever seen before. Plus,
“Okay, Starsk, pick up the phone. Come on, damn it! Pick up the fucking phone!” It was almost midnight, and Starsky wasn´t home, yet. Over the past hour Hutch had unsuccessfully tried to call him a few times, the possibility that maybe his friend´s date had been graced 'with a little luck' after all not once springing to his mind. He just needed to know that Starsky was okay.
After the umpteenth ring finally, and to the blond´s relief, Starsky answered the phone.
“Yep, I´m okay, Blondie, and nope, not so lucky tonight," he said with a tired voice “Millie got a headache. Besides, she doesn´t think that continuing to date a cop is a very good idea.”
“I´m sorry to hear that, Starsk,” Hutch said, guessing, though, that his friend wasn’t too disappointed about having been dumped by that lady.
“Oh, no big deal, actually, I don't think that dating a woman, who thinks that dating a cop isn’t a good idea could be a good idea, either… However, for once understanding just what´s going on in women´s heads would be nice for a change, ya know?" Starsky complained, sounding like a sulky teenager.
“Don't try it, partner. Waste of time. By the way, do you want me to come over?” Hutch asked, wondering if maybe Starsky needed a little talking.
“Oh, no, Hutch, thanks, but if you don't mind, I´m knackered, partner. Now I only wanna get into bed. But, how about that dinner tomorrow? Are you still inviting?”
“Sure, Starsk A deal is a deal. Tomorrow, and you pick the place, okay? My treat.”
“Thanks sssscheetheart. See ya tomorrow,” Starsky answered, before hanging up.
Hutch, feeling much better, just at knowing that Starsky was back at his apartment, safe and sound, went to bed. Starsky was okay, nothing was wrong, and maybe that odd presentiment of him was just, as his best friend was sure of, the result of his sleepless night.
With that comforting thought and as soon as his head hit the pillow, Hutch fell asleep.
Starsky was sound asleep, too deeply to hear the man, who, after having silently entered the apartment, stepped into his bedroom and approached him, as silently as a hunter would approach an unaware prey. He just felt the prickle. The piercing pain of a needle being pushed into the crook of his arm, then, though unable to move, feeling his whole body numb and heavy like lead, he saw the man standing at his bedside, saw his mask-covered face and felt a second needle pierce his arm.
“You got twenty-four hours to live, pig. Count them. Twenty-four.”
A nasty laugh was the last thing Starsky noticed of his attacker. The man left him lying in his bed in the half-darkness of his bedroom, struggling to keep awake, to reach the phone. To get help from his lifeline.
Nothing he´d ever done before, it seemed, had been as hard as trying to reach his phone right now. His body feel like a dead weight, his lids, totally uncooperative, wanted to fall shut and never open again. The phone seemed to slide away even farer every time he reached for it, and the numbers danced as he tried to focus on them through his blurry vision. Finally, he got it. After falling heavily from the bed, Starsky, lying on the floor, dragged the phone down, and with his last strength, he picked up the receiver, succeeding in dialling those numbers that meant safety and help.
The dreams are back…Hopefully they won´t be nightmares this time, Hutch thought, still half asleep, lost somewhere in that blurry place between sleep and wakefulness, as a bothering ringing tone nagged at the insides of his brain. He tried hard not to hear it, to remove the noise from his dream, yet it just wouldn’t stop.
In the end, it tore down every hope Hutch had have about it being just part of another dream, another nightmare. For, the moment he woke up and answered the phone, he knew that presentiments were something real, very real. As well as he instantly knew that indeed another nightmare had caught up with him. One much worse than any his own mind could have come up with.
“`Lo? Hello? Who’s it?"