Summary: All Hutch wants to do after an extremely long shift is go home and go to bed. But that is easier said then done.
Category: Starsky & Hutch
Word Count: 5002
“I’m done.” Starsky announced proudly as he ripped his report from his typewriter.
He was a compact man. He had chiseled features with a solid, square jaw. His eyes were navy blue. When he laughed a sparkle appeared. He had the widest smile in Southern California, which was quite a feat as Hollywood was a mere 15 blocks away. It was an infectious smile and his best weapon in getting what he wanted.
His sable, wavy hair was another trademark. He wore it long. It curled over the back of his collar and half over his ears. His exterior was dark but his personality was a bright as an interrogation lamp. He was an extremely emotional man and wore his heart on his sleeve. Serious and mature when he absolutely had to be, but mostly thirty-three going on twelve. He loved his toys and had many. Starsky swaggered instead of walked and mumbled instead of talked.
He and his partner Hutch, a tall platinum blond, had worked together for over seven years now. At this point in their careers, they were joined at the hip and were tagged “STUTCH” by the other police officers in the precinct.
Starsky could not imagine life without Hutch and vice versa. They had their own language, attire and demeanor; a style all their own. They were closer then brothers and highly protective of one another. They were a clique-of-two and the only one who could enter freely was their long time informant Huggy Bear.
But, this did not mean that quarrels didn’t occur. They did. The competition between the two men was fierce. Whether it was vying for a woman they both found attractive or who was the better cop, Starsky and Hutch – “STUTCH” – fought often. The relationship worked for them though and was the center of each man’s life.
Starsky glanced across the desk at Hutch who sat upright in his chair. His friends eyes were closed and his head bobbed as he lapsed in and out of sleep.
Hutch too, was an attractive fellow. His lanky, fit frame bore his wide array of leather jackets well. Brilliant blue eyes highlighted his gentle face and at times acted like mood rocks depending on his disposition. Sometimes they were as bright as on coming headlights but could darken to stormy ocean green. And to match his expressive eyes, was a the warmest smile. When Hutch wanted to, he could charm his way out of just about anything.
But, his most outstanding feature was the whiteness of his hair. It gave him the appearance of a Viking who’d just stepped off the boat from Norway. His hair was trimmed neatly but always seemed somewhat tussled. It was straight most of the way, in short layers until its ends where it curled in every direction. He was occasionally referred to as “Blondie” – a nickname that never seemed to faze him. The fact was, Hutch was proud of his flaxen locks. It made him stand out from everyone else and he liked that.
“Hutch?” Starsky tried again. “I’m done.”
There was no answer.
“Huh?” Hutch awoke with a small start.
“Come on, I’ll drive you home.”
Hutch rose lazily from his seat without uttering a sound. He grabbed his baseball bomber jacket that was black with white leather sleeves from the back of his chair and dragged it along behind him. He shuffled toward the exit of the squad room as if sleep walking. Starsky followed him and grinned at Hutch’s obvious exhaustion without sympathy. He was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. He was on his third wind. They made there way downstairs to the garage.
The officers had just wrapped up a hectic shift that started at 7 a.m. the previous day. It was now closing in on 2 a.m. and Hutch had had it. After 19 hours that consisted of 2 court dates; 33 in-coming calls; 46 out-going calls; a fight with a boisterous pimp; a flat tire on the Torino; a dressing down from Captain Dobey; a midday meal that consisted of warm tuna on wet toast; 27 pages of paper work; 17 cups of coffee and a foot race with a reluctant informant – the day was finally over. This, added to Hutch’s thirty-fourth birthday party the previous night, made for one tired cop.
All Hutch wanted was a hot shower and a warm bed. As he slipped into the passenger side of Starsky’s bright red Gran Torino with its custom white flash strip, slumber was the only thing on his mind. He gently positioned his head on the headrest and closed his eyes again before Starsky had even put the key in the ignition. Hutch folded his arms and grinned slightly, appreciative that in fact – he was on his way home. And, they would not have to report back to work for three days.
“So, what’s for dinner?” Starsky inquired.
Hutch’s response to his partner’s question was subtle but clear. He just looked over, rolled his eyes, took a deep breath and returned to his previous position.
“Aren’t you hungry?” Starsky asked wincing while rubbing his stomach. “Come on. You must be hungry?”
“Nope. Even if I was, I’m too exhausted to chew.” Hutch complained wearily. “Get me home will’ya.”
“Yeah but … you know I hate to eat alone and I could eat a Volkswagen Beetle right about now.”
“I will not have dinner with you.”
“Starsk.” Hutch interrupted impatiently. “We just finished a nineteen hour shift for Christ’s sake. Not to mention the party. I’m beat.”
“I know, that’s why I’m so hungry. All we ate all day was that wet tuna fish sandwich.” The detective whined. “I’m starving.”
“You’re always starving.” Hutch’s voice sounded like he’d swallowed sand and he spoke just above a whisper. “You know you’d do your body a service if you’d fast once in a while.” He was so fatigued he could barely move his mouth to form the words.
“You’re kidding, right?”
“No. I’m serious and start the engine. It won’t go if you don’t start the engine.” Hutch ordered sarcastically.
Starsky looked as if he’d totally forgotten that you need to turn the key to make it go.
“Aren’t you tired?” Hutch inquired, his eyes still closed.
“Pick up something on the way home then. But, let’s just go already.”
“Okay.” Starsky said simply as he shifted the Ford into gear and squealed out of the underground police parking lot.
The city streets glistened with wetness. It had been raining for several days and it seemed to scrub Bay City clean of its usual grim. The Torino splashed through shallow puddles and the intonation of the tires against the moist pavement sounded like a lullaby to Hutch. The rhythm soothed him and filled his waning consciousness.
The partners rode in silence until Starsky came to an unexpected halt. The force threw Hutch into the dashboard and then he fell back into his seat with a bouncing jolt.
“What the hell?” He protested.
“That Taco stand is still open!” Starsky announced gleefully spinning the steering wheel frantically with the heel of one hand. He floored the gas pedal and powered into the tiny restaurant’s parking lot. He stopped the car as if he were coming in for a pit stop at the Indy 500. Hutch was thrown around the front seat like he was on a carnival ride.
“Jesus Christ, Starsky!”
“A burrito is not worth dying over. Take it easy.”
“Well, I want to get here before it closes.”
“Do you want anything?”
“No. Just hurry up.” Hutch urged – his fuse almost spent.
“Okay, okay. Don’t get angry.” Starsky said calmly. “I’ll be right back.”
Starsky exited the driver’s seat and slammed the door, adding to Hutch’s advanced state of irritation. He implored himself to count to ten and after he did he sighed deeply trying to lower his blood pressure. He twisted himself onto his right hip and cradled the side of his head on his hands. He tried desperately to achieve a sitting fetal position and eventually wrangled himself into a comfortable spot. Within minutes he was asleep.
He had just settled into dreamland when he felt himself falling. He awoke with a start, subliminally preventing himself from hitting the ground. He shook his head and sat upright again unaware of how long he’d been out. He glanced at the Taco stand and then fumbled around for his pocket watch. It took some time for Hutch to retrieve it and even more time to focus on its hands and comprehend the time.
“Two fifty five? Where the hell is he?” Hutch uttered aloud.
He eyed the restaurant again, and could see Starsky leaning on the counter with his hands placed wide apart on each side.
“Come on.” Hutch conversed with himself. “How long does it take to make a taco?”
Hutch looked at his watch again and decided to find out for himself what was taking so long. He pulled up the wool collar of his baseball jacket and got out of the car. As he placed his foot outside the door it sank into a small pond and cold water seeped into his Pumas.
“God damn it!” He raged, pulling his foot back into the car.
There was no way to get out on his side without wading through the water so he inched his way to the driver seat and got out. When he stood he could see why his partner had been detained. Behind the counter a young man held a gun to the proprietor’s back and Starsky seemed to be talking him out of shooting the man.
Instinctively, Hutch fell into a crouch.
“What next?” He grumbled as he shuffled to the back of the building and quietly made his way inside. Starsky saw him immediately and did everything he could to distract the bandit from detecting Hutch’s ambush.
“Listen pal.” Starsky rambled. “It’s late and all we want to do is go home. So, put away the gun and let’s talk about this.”
“No way man. I’m getting what I came for.”
“And that would be…?”
“The money you asshole.”
“Hey.” Starsky objected. “You don’t know me well enough to call me an asshole.”
The kitchen worker stood like a statue and stared straight ahead. He never even blinked. Fear had struck him stone cold.
“Money! Hell, man. I’ve got money!” Starsky continued to dodge as Hutch drew closer to the front of the place.
“Well then, give it to me!” The man demanded.
“Okay. Okay. Just let me pull out my wallet.”
“Nice and easy man… nice and easy or I’ll blast this guy into twins.”
Starsky watched Hutch approach the thief catlike. He’d drawn his .357 magnum and slowly came up behind the man and placed the barrel on his shoulder nonchalantly.
“I’d suggest you drop that gun or I’ll turn your head into a canoe.” Hutch said calmly his hand as steady as steel.
The perp jerked with surprise and pushed the gun further into his captive’s side daring the detective to fire.
“I wouldn’t.” Hutch hissed, with a tinge of Clint Eastwood in his voice. “I’ve had a hell of a day.”
“He’s right.” Starsky agreed. “I wouldn’t piss him off. You don’t want to mess with a tired cop in a really bad mood, do you?”
The young man eventually decided to relent and dropped the gun to the grease coated floor.
“Wise decision.” Starsky smirked. “Very wise.”
Hutch roughly pulled the bandit from behind the counter and threw him up against the grimy wall.
His patience was quickly becoming non-existent.
“Spread’em.” Hutch ordered as Starsky watched him cuff and sit the man at one of the linoleum tables. He glared over at his partner, but Starsky turned his attention back to the task at hand – dinner.
“Can I have my burrito now?” Starsky asked the chef matter-of-factly. He flashed his toothy grin.
“Don’t move!” Hutch ordered the robber, then walked over to his comrade. “I’m calling for back up and then you are going to drive me straight home.” Hutch stuck a finger in Starsky’s face. “Do you hear me? No more stops, no more stalling – no more bullshit!”
“He’s tired.” Starsky said to the proprietor as he shrugged off his partner’s threat. He spoke like a mother making excuses for her child’s tantrum. “Been a long day.”
“Sorry mister.” The chef apologized. “I’m closed. No more food tonight.”
“But…” The cop whimpered.
Starsky resigned himself to the fact that he would stay hungry for just a little while longer then sauntered over to the crook to baby-sit. He waited quietly for the black and white. The officers arrived within moments and Starsky handed over the man to them. He engaged in small talk for a while until he was summoned.
“STARSKY!” Hutch bellowed, sticking his head out of the passenger side window.
“I’m comin’, I’m comin’.” He headed toward the exit.
He eventually slid in behind the steering wheel and threw an apologetic glance in the direction of his heated partner. Hutch leered back and one eye started to twitch.
“Can we go?” He said deliberately.
“Yes, yes. We’re going. Look. I’m starting the car and putting it into drive. See we’re movin’. Don’t worry. You’ll be home in bed in no time.” Starsky went through the motions as he spoke.
“Straight home.” Hutch reiterated.
“Okay, okay. It’s not my fault I walked in on a robbery, you know. Just think – another life saved. Image what might have happened to that poor bastard if I hadn’t stopped to pick up a burrito. That’s our job, Hutch. That’s what we do. Serve and protect… above and beyond the call of duty…. “
“Badaada, pa pa pa dadum dee dum da.” Starsky sang and tapped the top of the steering wheel with his fingers as if playing the bongos. The tune was indiscernible.
Hutch tried his damnedest to ignore his friend’s symphony but felt himself starting to loose it.
“Pa pa pa dadum dee dum da dee dee da.”
“Starsky. Do you mind?”
Hutch resumed his rested position.
“Hey. This rain is REALLY comin’ down now. Look at this Hutch.”
There was no answer.
“Man. It’s pouring cats and dogs, I can barely see the road.”
Again, there was no response.
Starsky leaned forward as if getting closer to the windshield would help his vision. As he turned the corner he was surprised to see a woman dash in front of him. He slammed on the brakes, which sent Hutch sailing into the dashboard again.
“I don’t believe this.” Hutch barked. “Starsky. What are you doing?”
“This lady just ran out in front of me.”
As the words dangled in the damp air of the Torino, a man scampered in front of them placing his hand on the hood for balance.
“There goes a guy after her.”
Starsky flew out of the car and ran after the couple. He left the door wide open in his haste to begin the chase.
“What the….?” Hutch tried to orient himself. “Can anything else go wrong?”
He too, bailed out of the Torino and followed Starsky down to the end of the street and around the corner in the direction of where they had just been. He could barely make out the figures of the three people in front of him through the torrential downpour. But, he eventually caught up to Starsky who had managed to grab the assailant. The detective had tackled the man who had a strangle hold on the woman. Starsky was now sitting atop the downed perp and was cuffing him when Hutch approached.
The blond cop rested his hands on his knees and tried to catch his breath. A stitch began to develop in his side so he had to straighten up to massage it.
“He tried to kill me!” The woman screamed above the sound of the buckets of water that streamed through the streets and out of building eaves troughs.
“It’s okay ma’am.” Starsky panted. “We’ve got him now. We’ll get him downtown and we can make out a report.”
“Oh, no no no.” Hutch vented. “No way. I’m not going back to work. Not tonight.”
“But Hutch. This is our collar and I want to book him.”
“You go ahead. I’m taking a cab home. Forget this shit.” He gave Starsky a swiping wave.
“No wait. I’ll take you. I said I would and I will.”
“Then get a black and white to pick this guy up, because I’m not waiting around here any more. I’m freezing!”
“Come on.” Starsky pushed the man down the street. Hutch scooped the woman and walked her down to the Torino where they radioed for help. They left the perp in the rain tethered to a lamppost.
“Let’s stop off at Huggy’s and dry off.” Starsky suggested timidly.
“But look, it’s right there. We’ll just be two minutes. I promise.”
“Two minutes.” Starsky begged as he pulled into the back alley that led to Huggy’s restaurant “The Pits”. The men never used the front entrance. They ducked into the place trying to avoid getting any wetter than they already were.
“Hey Hug!” Starsky roared. “Need some towels over here.”
He shook his head like a dog that had just been bathed. The spray of water caught Hutch square in the face. He stopped cold again exercising restraint. He didn’t bother to protest but simply walked over to the nearest table, fell into the seat and rested his hands and head on its surface.
“What the hell happen to you two?” Huggy asked as he approached his friends baring bar rags.
“Here you go.” He offered.
“Thanks Hug.” Starsky took the chair beside his miserable partner as he rubbed his head and face vigorously.
“Do you guys want something to eat?” The slight black man asked.
“NO!” Hutch’s protest was muffled because he didn’t lift his head to speak.
“Sure.” Starsky said brightly ignoring his friend. “Hutch doesn’t want anything. He’s way too tired to eat.”
“Oh yeah. Why’s he so tired?”
“Long story. Long day.”
“What’ll you have?”
“Well, first I’ll have the soup, cuz I’m freezing and then you can bring me cheeseburger with extra onions, a side of slaw, onion rings and a large cream soda.” He beamed his grin at Huggy and rubbed his hands together in anticipation.
“Two minutes. Two minutes.” Hutch said over and over to no one in particular. He would usually chastise his partner for his food order but just could not muster the strength this time.
“Come on Hutch. You must be awake by now. Have something to eat.”
“Starsky. What do I have to do to make you understand.” Hutch fell back and gazed at the ceiling shaking his head.
“Understand what. What’sa matter?” He seemed oblivious to Hutch’s plight.
“I AM TIRED!”
“AND… I want to go home.”
“Can you do that Starsk. Can you take me home?” Hutch whimpered.
“Sure.” Starsky agreed as if this information was news to him. “Huggy!” He shouted. “Make that cheeseburger to go!”
The rain continued. It battered the roof of the Torino like dull machine gun fire. Hutch had nested in the back seat. Starsky stayed quiet and was just happy to wolf down his dinner. They only had a few blocks to go when yet again, he had to stop the car.
“Hutch.” Starsky whispered, knowing full well that he would get hell for waking his partner before he reached the Venice Place apartments. “Hutch!” He tried again while swallowing an onion ring with a loud gulp.
The sleepy cop raised his head just above the top of the front seat and looked around disoriented.
“What now? What’sa matter?”
“What am I looking at Starsk?”
“The underpass is flooded.”
Hutch threw himself flat onto the back seat and sighed. He wanted to cry.
“I can make it through.” Starsky announced confidently as he pulled the gearshift back into drive.
“No Starsky don’t.”
“I can do it. I’ll take a run at it.”
“Starsky NO!” Hutch leaned on the front seat with his forearms. “You’ll never make it!”
“Sure I will.” Starsky had already begun his charge into the small lake.
“STARRR – SKIIII!!!” Hutch took cover.
As the car slammed into the water a tidal wave engulfed it. The Ford ploughed half way through before the engine died from the flood. After the wash had settled to a ripple, Starsky glanced out his window to find the water level was at the door handle. He tried to restart the engine, but no go. Hutch’s head popped up over the front seat again and he looked drolly over at his partner. He closed his eyes and took in a deep breath, then released it slowly through his flaring nostrils.
“I’m going to kill you.” He seethed.
Starsky was far more worried about his car then Hutch’s death threat. “We’re going to have to get out and push.”
“You expect me… to get out of this car, into this rain…” Hutch huffed. “…and stand in waist deep water and push YOUR car out of this predicament that YOU got us into! I told you not to try it Starsky, but oh no… you went ahead anyway. I told you. I TOLD YOU! But, you never listen to me. Oh no. What do I know?” Hutch ranted on the edge of a mental break down.
“Okay. Okay… you were right.” Starsky stated calmly. “But you gotta help me get it out of here. You’re gonna hafta anyway. Get out I mean.”
“Starsky. I swear.” Hutch continued to vent as he threw himself into the passenger seat and struggled with the door handle. It wouldn’t budge. The window was his only exit. “When I get this car out of this mess, you are going to pay. You owe me big time for this one buddy. BIG TIME! I can’t believe ANYONE would do something this stupid!”
“I thought I could do it.” He replied sheepishly.
Starsky too, wiggled out of the window as if it were a stock car. Hutch was already out and wading to the back of the car. It continued to pour. With great effort, the two men pushed until the Torino was clear of the pond. When it reached pavement again, Hutch gave up and let Starsky push it the rest of the way.
“Get in!” Starsky yelled over the raindrops that beat the asphalt like millions of tiny explosions.
Hutch just stood back looking at the car wondering if he should or not. He contemplated walking the rest of the way, but relented and slogged over to the car and plunked himself on the soggy seat.
“Just be a minute before it dries out a bit.” Starsky again sounded timid. He grinned uncomfortably.
Hutch shivered. He stared straight ahead into the sheets of precipitation that curtained the street in front of him. He could vaguely see his apartment several blocks down but it seemed so unreachable. It was like a mirage.
“I’m gonna walk.” Hutch announced abruptly.
“No, no. Here we go. It’s catching. Here we go.” The car chugged, but it did start and Starsky shifted into drive.
“There you see. That wasn’t so bad, was it?”
Hutch did not reply.
As they finally pulled in front of Venice Place a calm seemed to descend over detective Hutchinson. The fact that he was home and would be in bed within moments seemed to erase the trials of that evening.
“Can I come up and get my jacket? I left it at the party the other night.” Starsky asked.
“Yeah sure.” Hutch granted, unable to fight any longer.
Again, the twosome stepped into the storm and moved onto the sidewalk. They approached the doorway that led up to his flat. Hutch turned and pushed the knob all in one motion but it stayed put and he ended up bashing his face into the door.
“AWH!!!” He grunted holding his nose. The pain made his eyes water.
“Yeah… “ He recovered after several seconds. “It’s locked!”
“Well, where’s the key?” Starsky queried.
“GOD DAMN IT… SON OF A BITCH!” Hutch stomped sending a spray of water onto his buddy’s jeans.
“They’re on my desk at work.” He leaned on the door with his forearms and pounded weakly – his strength to cope drained.
Starsky wanted to duck for cover. But he couldn’t help but smirk. He raised his eyebrows and looked away afraid of what Hutch might do next.
“Well, see yu.” Starsky announced as he turned back towards the car.
“WAIT!” Hutch pleaded. “Wait a minute, Starsk.”
“You’re not going to leave me here are you?”
“Well, you wanted to get home. You’re home.” Starsky taunted. “What more can I do?”
“Let me crash on your couch. Come on… buddy? Please?”
“Sure. Get in.”.
Hutch gazed up at the window of his place. It was unattainable. For tonight anyway. He lowered his head and paused. Then he reached up as if trying to strangle God. Starsky had already gone around the car and pulled on the door handle.
“You’re not going to believe this.”
“I locked the keys in the car.”
“GOD DAMN IT… SON OF A BITCH!” Hutch roared again.
“You said that already. Besides, I’m kidding.”
“You know Starsk….” The soaked detective recoiled with disgust.
“Hey. We can’t take Ocean.” Starsky said. “The under pass, remember?”
“How could I forget.”
“I’m gonna hafta go the long way round.”
“Of course.” Hutch surrendered.
“It’ll only take us fifteen minutes longer and then you can crash. I HAVE my keys.” Starsky quipped.
“Very funny. If you hadn’t taken so long filling out your report, I would have been home hours ago. I wouldn’t be in this mess.”
“Mess? What mess?”
“I would have remembered my keys… you know what? Just drive. Just get me somewhere dry.”
“Man I gotta pee.” Starsky confessed flinching from the discomfort. Again discounting his comrade’s complaints.
“Then HOLD IT! We are NOT stopping!”
“Just to the side of the road, I won’t even turn off the engine. It’ll take two minutes.”
“Where have I heard that before.”
The rain continued to come down relentlessly. Starsky pulled along side a fairly wooded area to expel. He didn’t bother covering up because he was totally wet to the skin anyway. He exited the car and danced to the other side of the walkway. Hutch leaned his elbow on the edge of the inside of the door and rested his cheek on his clenched fist. It scrunched his face and made his lower lip stuck out. He closed his eyes because he just could not keep them open any longer.
He managed to squint them a sliver just to see how much longer Starsky was going to be, when he was blinded by headlights reflecting in the rearview mirror. It was a police cruiser. The two officers got out of the black and white in full rain gear and approached Starsky. Hutch opened his window slightly so he could hear their conversation.
“What do you think you’re doing mister?” The first officer asked.
“You’re urinating in a public place.”
“Hey man. It’s four o’clock in the morning. No one’s around.” Starsky finished, zipped up and turned to face the cops. He glanced over at Hutch, who was in fits of laughter. “Besides, I’m a cop.”
“May we see some ID sir?”
“Sure.” He said as he reached to his back pocket to pull out his wallet and badge. It wasn’t there.
“Must have left it at the Taco stand.” He muttered.
“Taco stand?” The officer inquired.
“Huh well. We stopped for dinner and I must have left my wallet there.”
“I see.” The cop sounded suspicious.
“Ask my partner. He’s in the car. He has his badge.”
“What kind of cop drives a car like that?”
“Excuse me?” Starsky was insulted. “I’ll have you know that my partner and I have been the top homicide team for the last three years straight. AND I drive that car!”
“I think you should come with us.”
“You’ve broken the law, sir. We are going to take you downtown.”
“HUTCH!” Starsky yelled to his partner who was now bent over in stitches. “HUUUUTTCCHH!”
But, there was no reply. Hutch knew that with Starsky finally out of the way he could drive himself to work, pick up his keys and be in bed within the hour. He waved playfully as Starsky was escorted to the police car.
“Hutch, tell them who I am!” He pleaded as he passed the open window of the Ford.
“I’m a witness officer.” The blond cop stated. “If you need me to testify, just let me know.” He chuckled as he sided into the driver’s seat.
“TRAITOR!!!” Starsky bellowed as the policemen pushed him into the back seat of their cruiser.
Hutch let them go ahead and he followed them in the Torino. He would spring Starsky when he got there, but he just couldn’t resist inflicting some pain on his partner after what he’d gone through that night. He chortled all the way to the station.
Starsky was released and was miffed at being the butt of Hutch’s joke. It was now 5:43 a. m. and they started back to Venice Place and made it there without incident. With keys in hand, Hutch looked over at his partner who sat sulking.
“Oh come on Starsk. You have to admit that was pretty funny.”
The curly haired cop grunted.
“Listen, I’m kinda hungry. Want to grab some pancakes?”
“PANCAKES! After all this, you want pancakes?”
“Yeah… don’t you feel like some pancakes?” Hutch asked gently.
“NO! Get out. I’m going home to bed.”