As Monday mornings go, it was a rather quiet one. Nothing pressing or urgent for once, just a routine morning of paperwork.
Around eleven, a loud noise cut into the silence and made the pretty blonde detective laugh. She leaned forward slightly. "Sounds like someone's gettin' hungry."
"I think so!" her partner laughed as he picked up the phone. "Want somethin'?"
"Depends on what you're ordering."
"I'm in the mood for some of Ling's magnificent creations."
She nodded. "Get me some fried rice, egg rolls and wonton soup. Oh, and extra soy sauce." She bent back over her paperwork.
Her partner blinked owlishly at her. That sodium-packed meal was a bit odd coming from his health-nut partner. He did some mental date-counting and smiled in understanding. Without teasing her about her obvious PMS, he put in her order, then his own massive one. Hanging up the phone, he wordlessly slid a pair of unopened Three Musketeers at her.
Blinking at him in surprise, she nonetheless smiled and accepted the candy. One went into her desk drawer for after the coming meal, and the other was gratefully opened and devoured.
Paperwork continued even as the meal arrived. They went to a conference room and ate and joked.
As Mondays go, it wasn't a bad one at all.
They returned to the squad room and she began her second candy bar as he groused while organising the papers that had arrived while they were eating.
"Starsky!" came the roar across the bullpen. "Hutch! My office now!"
Hutch groaned as she finished the candy bar and stood up. "What now..."
"No idea," Starsky frowned. "But it sounds urgent!"
"Yeah," Hutch sighed. "That's what I'm afraid of."
By the time they came out of Dobey's office, Hutch was frowning. After the whole mess with Danvers and the nefarious intent he'd had for her after forcing her undercover, Hutch was not thrilled at any other department asking them for undercover work.
Starsky walked by her side, just as seething. "This feels just as wrong as the other one," he growled. "And just as phony."
"Agreed," she growled out.
"What, no argument?" Starsky managed a tight smile. "No I'm being paranoid or jealous?"
Hutch snorted. "Trust me, Gordo, after last time, I am not keen on doin' any undercover work."
A long arm snaked around her shoulders and Starsky gave her a quick, supportive hug. "So what do we do?"
"Let's run it by Huggy and Holly," Hutch said after a moment's thought. "I'd like to hear the street rumblin' on this and I really need to hear Holly's opinion."
"Of course," Starsky smiled at her. "I was going to suggest that very course of action."
"Were you?" she asked skeptically, though with a smile. "Well, that's frightening."
Laughter rang out as they walked on down the hall, unaware that greedy eyes were watching Hutch's every move.
Huggy wasn't available one of his waitresses had a child in the hospital and he'd driven her over and wasn't back yet. Pamela assured the partners she'd let him know the second he got back.
Hutch got the name of the waitress and told Pamela to tell her if she needed anything to call Hutch. Any time.
Starsky beamed proudly at her as he dropped her off at Holly's.
Holly embraced her, then grabbed her coat and locked the door behind them. "So, what's happened?"
Hutch told her of the proposed undercover job and how slimy it made her feel. The relation took the entire walk to Hutch's apartment.
"Well," Holly said as Hutch unlocked her door. "Seems to me you know what you have to do."
"Yeah, but there's--" She flipped on the light and her voice died in her throat.
Her living room was trashed. Couch covers were ripped and pictures were smashed. Along the wall was scrawled,
I KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE BITCH DO AS YOURE TOLD
Calling on Deity, Hutch drew her gun. Ordering Holly to stay put, she moved into the bedroom. A few seconds later, she came out, pale and trembling.
"More of the same?" Holly asked.
"Worse," Hutch ground out. "I can't help but think they're connected this and the undercover pressure." She sighed, looking around. "I can't stay here."
"You can crash at my place."
Hutch shook her head. "I can't put you in danger. Come on."
"Where are we going?"
Starsky sighed as he closed the door behind Marcie. She was a good kid, but she'd wanted something from him that he just could not give her.
Though he would never tell her, Hutch had captured his heart firmly. He closed his eyes and whispered, "Damn, Kay, I wish you loved me, too." With that, he pushed away from the door.
He'd taken three steps when a strident pounding sounded on the door. Groaning, he pulled it open, wondering what Marcie'd forgotten.
Hutch rushed in. Before she'd even made one sound, the partners were embracing.
Starsky ran a hand down her braid and tried to calm her trembling. "What is it, Kay? What's happened?"
"My home you gotta come!"
Starsky looked over her head to a grim-faced Holly. "What's happened?" he repeated.
"Someone trashed her apartment real good," Holly reported. It's indescribable she's right, you gotta see it for yourself."
With gun drawn and one hand firmly holding Hutch's trembling one, Starsky entered her apartment. He paused in the doorway, drew in a shocked breath, and released it in subvocal curses. "Holly was right it's indescribable."
Hutch peered around his arm. "No!" she gasped. "It's worse than before! Much, much worse!"
"That's it." He holstered his gun and cupped her cheek. "I'm takin' you home."
"StDave-- I am not some weak little--"
"Shh." He smiled gently. "No, you're not. But you are beyond exhausted and have had a nasty shock. Before you can deal with this effectively, you need to get some rest."
She studied his eyes, then smiled gently. "Yeah, you're only doin' what I'd do to you in the same situation." She took a deep breath and nodded. "All right. Let's go."
He guided her down the stairs and looked over his shoulder. His jaw set and his eyes narrowed. Nobody did this to Kay.
Starsky returned to Hutch's apartment after Holly had put Hutch to bed. Once she was asleep, he sneaked back out.
Drawing his gun, he positioned himself behind the bedroom door. And he waited.
After an hour, he heard the 'snikt' of the front door swinging open. He waited.
The bedroom door slid open a few moments later and a shadowy figure headed for the bathroom. Starsky saw he held a crowbar and a knife was strapped to his belt.
He let the figure get almost there before he stepped out and raised his gun. "Stop. Right. There."
The man stopped for a moment. He raised his hands a little.
Then he whirled, swinging the crowbar like a sword.
Starsky had been expecting that move. He ducked under the swinging bit of steel and came up with gun swinging. The butt of the firearm connected with the man's temple, sending him crashing to the ground.
The crowbar went spinning harmlessly away.
The intruder drew his knife and tried to throw it, but Starsky stepped on his wrist and sent him to dreamland with one well-placed blow.
He then turned on the light to see the face of Hutch's attacker. The next moment, he was lurching into the bathroom and emptying his stomach.
For the second time in less than a year, his beautiful partner was being attacked and harassed by one of her own a cop!
A bucket of cold water and some prized threats later, and Starsky had the entire story. Handcuffing and arresting him on vandalism and criminal trespass, Starsky dawdled long enough to take pictures of all the destruction.
He knew what he had to do after he delivered his living package to headquarters. It wasn't what he wanted to do which was take everyone involved apart piece by piece but it was what he had to do.
Morning found two livid partners walking in perfect unison down corridors that Hutch had last walked blind down to Internal Affairs.
As it turned out, Hutch did go undercover. But instead of taking the sleazeball assignments designed to get her raped or worse, Hutch went undercover for Internal Affairs.
Within eight months, the faction in the Bay City PD that hated women in general, women cops in particular, and Hutch especially was weeded out and destroyed.
Starsky was by her side during the entire ordeal. He even went undercover as well, pretending to hate the PD for assigning Hutch as his partner. He was forced to say and do hateful things, including hitting on her in public and once even slapping her in the face.
But Hutch saw the toll his undercover actions took on him. And one night toward the end of their assignment, she went to his apartment to try to cheer him up.
Things would never be the same after.
Hutch paused, her hand poised to knock, arrested by the hiccuping sobs coming from inside. She had heard Starsky cry before but never like this. She used her key and opened the door quietly.
She saw him lying on the couch, curled into a ball, sobbing. "Forgive me," he sobbed out, and she knew he was talking to God. "Forgive me for what this damn lousy job makes me do! Forgive me for hitting her for having to hurt her!"
Hutch took a step toward him, and froze as he sobbed out, "Oh, G-d, I love her so much! I'm sorry! I didn't m-mean to ... to fall, I'd give anything not to feel... I'll never tell her, G-d, I promised I'd n-never hurt our friendship ..." He sobbed again. "But this assignment hurts..."
Hutch felt her eyes go wide. He... he loves me? He loves me?
And suddenly, everything clicked into place. Everything was so clear. It all made sense.
Everything even her own confused emotions now had a name.
She silently closed the door and crossed the room. Crouching beside him, she reached out. After two false starts, she touched his arm.
Gasping, Starsky jerked upright and whirled to face her. "K...Kay?" he gasped, horror filling his eyes. "What..."
"Sh." She lay a finger on his lips. "Hush. It's all right. I heard it all."
Starsky groaned and collapsed against the back of the couch. "Kay..."
Hutch took his hand. "It's all right, Dave. It's fine."
"How can you say that?" he groaned. "You heard me. You know how I feel! Our friendship means so much I can't--"
"It's not ruined." Slowly, Starsky turned to face her, and she nodded. "It's not ruined at all."
"How?" he whispered. "You know now."
"Yes. I know." She leaned forward and gently pressed her lips to his.
When she pulled back, his eyes were wide. "Kay..." he whispered in awe. "....what...."
"Me, too," she smiled. "I'm in love with you, too, Dave. I... I think I have been since you changed back."
They embraced, and he asked in a trembling voice, "What do we do now?"
"You and I are going to go to bed." She pulled back and laughed at his expression. "To sleep, Dave. We're both past exhaustion, here. We'll finish our assignment, keep things as they are right this moment, and once we're done then we'll focus on our relationship."
Nodding, Starsky stood. His tired sway gave credence to her exhaustion remark.
TWO YEARS LATER
Vice Captain David Starsky was at his desk, trying futilely to pare down the never-ending reams of paperwork.
The door swung open and Kay Hutchinson's blonde head popped in. "Hey, you."
"Ah, come in, Lady Friday!" A grin of absolute delight passed over his face and he spread his hands. "Come to rescue me from the ever-increasing load of paperwork?"
His second-in-command laughed as she came all the way inside. "It does seem to procreate, doesn't it? Actually, I've come to take you away from all this."
"Dave, if you don't come on, we are going to be late for our wedding!"
He shot to his feet. "Our today? Kay, get out of here! It's bad luck to see the bride--"
"In her wedding gown. I'm not in my wedding gown. Let's go, loverboy."
Two hours later, in front of friends and family and friends that became family David Starsky and Kay Hutchinson shared vows and a kiss that would forever bind them as husband and wife.
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