Another Line of Work (by Barbara)

Summary:  Hutch ponders a new vocation but he has to convince Starsky it’s a good idea first.
Category:  Starsky & Hutch
Genre:  Crime
Rated:  PG
Word Count:  1278


 

“Have you ever considered how much time we spend sitting at a red light? I mean, if I counted it all up, I bet it would be hundreds of hours. Months! All that time just sitting and waiting. Time I’ll never get back. What a waste.”

“What’s the matter with you?” Starsky asked taken aback by his partner’s disclosure. He looked up from the morning newspaper he was engrossed in.

“I’m just tired.”

“Tired of what?”

“All of it.”

“That’s a lot.” Starsky said now staring up at the red traffic light from the passenger seat of Hutch’s Ford Galaxie. “Can you be a little more specific?”

“I don’t know, Starsky.” Hutch sighed, still waiting for the light to change. He removed his sunglasses and rubbed his brow. “I’m thinking about throwing in the towel. I surrender. I give up.”

“Someone got out on the wrong side of the bed this morning.” Starsky replied, now somewhat concerned. He made a face. “What, exactly, do you mean by… throwing in the towel?”

The signal finally turned green and Hutch continued down the road to nowhere in particular. They were just roaming the city pending the next crime.

“I’ve been meaning to talk to you.”

Starsky didn’t like the sounds of that. He threw the newspaper over his shoulder into the back seat. He sat up straight to give Hutch his full attention.

“Do you mind? This is my car not a garbage dump.”

“Hutch. There’s more stuff in your back seat than a garden shed. Now, what did you want to talk to me about?”

“Let’s get some breakfast. I’m starved.” Hutch said obviously not ready to delve into conversation.

“Okay.” Starsky said patiently. “Let’s get breakfast. Pull into this coffee shop and we’ll talk about this sudden revelation that you’re going to ‘throw in the towel’.”

“Don’t make a big deal about it.” Hutch huffed. “I’m just thinking, that’s all.”

“Oh, so you’re NOT giving up. You’re NOT going to surrender? What is this all about then.” Starsky expounded as he exited the car and waited for Hutch to join him before they walked into the tiny cafe together.

“I’ve been contemplating a new line of work maybe.”

“A new line of work?” Starsky said as he opened the door for his friend then followed him inside.

“Yeah. Aren’t you tired? Aren’t you sick of all the scum with deal with day in and day out?”

“Not really. I kind of like the scum. We wouldn’t have a job without the scum.”

“Exactly.” Hutch answered. “What kind of job is it if we have to depend on scum to do it.”

The partners took a seat in a shiny booth. It had turquoise, vinyl seats and squeaked as they pulled themselves into place. A lovely waitress walked by them with a pot of coffee. Starsky held up his cup but she ignored it as she dropped 2 menus in front of each of them. One almost poked Starsky in the eye. He tisked and frowned at her lack of customer service.

“We’ve been cops for almost 8 years.” Hutch continued. “I’m not getting any younger, Starsk.”

“Okay. What have you got in mind?” He replied as he purused the menu.

“What would you say about opening our own business?”

“What kind of business?”

“I don’t know.” Hutch pondered as he glanced out the window. “Maybe a health food store or charter fishing boat or landscaping business, maybe.”

“How about a butcher or a baker or a candlestick maker.”

“C’mon Starsk. Can’t you see that I’m trying to find a way out for us?”

“Okay. Alright. You don’t need to get all huffy. What else ya got?”

“How about a florist? I’m great with plants! I could teach you.” Hutch suggested brightly. “Wouldn’t that be a nice job? Surrounded by beauty and nature all day long.”

“You’re kidding.” Starsky said staring dumbfounded at his best friend.

“No. I’m not.”

“You want to give this all up to be a florist?”

“Give all what up?” Hutch asked with a slightly elevated voice his eyebrows raised.

“This! All we’ve done out here. All we’ve worked for. Serving the public in the face of danger. Catching criminals. You know, helping people.”

“Have we though, Starsk?” Hutch made direct eye contact with his partner. “Have we really helped anyone?”

The waitress returned right at the moment. She stood between them and smiled broadly.

“HANDSOME HUTCH!? Is that you sugar?” She said vibrantly. “I don’t believe it. How are you baby cakes!?”

“Sweet Alice!” Hutch stood up and hugger her. “It’s been a long time. How are you?”

“I’ve gone straight honey. You never called me so I finally gave up on you. Broke my heart, you did. But, I got myself a new man and he’s so good to me. Sweetest man on earth. Well, besides you doll face. Got a little girl too. Life is good Hutch. Very good. I have you to thank too. I’m so glad I can finally tell you how much you’ve helped me.”

“There. You see.” Starsky said dryly.

She kissed Hutch’s cheek and chauffeured him back into his seat across from Starsky. Sweet Alice barely noticed that the curly-hair cop was there.

“Oh. Hi Starsky.” She said finally realizing she had totally ignored him. “I didn’t see you there. But, that’s just silly. You are where ever Hutch is. Always have been. Always will be. Have you two tied the knot yet?”

“How are you Sweet Alice?” Starsky smiled. “Yup. Me and Hutch. Til death do us part.”

“It’s so good to see you boys. Now, what can I get you? It’s on me. Anything you want.”

“Are you sure? What about your boss?”

“I AM the boss, sugar. I own this place.”

“You do? That’s great Sweet Alice.” Hutch beamed. “That’s just great!”

“It’s just Alice now, pookie.” She reached down and cupped Hutch’s chin.

The guys ordered breakfast and settled in to continue their convo.

“Pookie?” Starsky mocked.

“Well. You know.” Hutch blushed to a pretty pink. “She always did like me.”

“LIKE you? That’s putting it mildly.”

“What can I say Starsk. I can’t help it if I’m irresistible.”

“Yes you can. Now see. You helped Sweet Alice. All you had to do was NOT call her. And look how far she’s come. Got a husband and a kid and a business.”

“Very funny.”

“Well, anyway. See, we DO help people.” Starsky continued to try and convince his partner. “I bet if we looked real hard, we could find loads of people we’ve helped. Just like Sweet Alice.”

“Oh yeah?” Hutch sounded leary. “Like who?”

“Well, how about Molly or Kiko or maybe even R.C. and Larry.”

“Remember Larry and his big bag of candy?” Hutch said with a fond smirk.

“You made him cry.” Starsky laughed. “All that candy and you just gave it back to him.”

“He paid for it.”

Alice returned to the table with a single plate of waffles, bacon and eggs. She laid it gently in front of Hutch and placed his napkin in his lap. He smiled up at her.

“There you go honey bunch.” She said adoringly.

“Where’s mine?” Starsky asked.

“It’s comin’. Keep your shirt on.” Alice replied without taking her eyes off Hutch.

Starsky felt put in his place and watched as Hutch dug into his meal.

“She never liked you.” Hutch said as he took a bite of bacon.

“I don’t know why not. I’m not that bad.”

“Starsky.”

“Hmm?”

“Don’t you know.”

“Know what?”

“Blondes have more fun.”

***The End***

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