"Well, that went well," Peter sighed as he brought Mike around gently.

Davy picked up the wallet and blinked at it. "There.... this must be a mistake! Peter, you...."

"I hold the rank of Detective Sergeant in the Malibu Beach division of the LAPD," Peter said as Mike opened his eyes.

Mike gripped his arms as he sat up. "I wasn't.... that wasn't a... you really are...."

Peter grinned. "The word you're looking for is 'cop', Michael. And yes, I really am."

Davy began to grin. "Oooh boy, just wait until Micky finds out about this!"

"Micky already knows," Peter said. At their odd looks, he said with a grin, "He's been my partner for three years."

THUMP. Davy sat right down on the floor. Mike seriously considered fainting again.

And the phone chose that moment to ring. Peter scooped it up. "Hello?" Then his face lit up, and promptly darkened again. "Micky, where are you? Are you oka...oh." He covered the mouthpiece. "He and Hutch are at the station."

"Figures," Starsky chuckled.

"What?" Peter said into the phone. "......why?" Then his spine straightened before his shoulders slumped and a hand dragged wearily across his forehead. "Aw, shit..." he sighed in a suddenly very weary voice. “Yeah, we'll be right there. See you at the scene." He hung up.

Starsky climbed to his feet and grabbed his jacket, his own face wary and his voice reflecting it. "At the scene?"

Peter let out another sigh before he turned around. "There's been another one."

"Oh, G-d," Starsky breathed. "Where?"

"Behind the Belvedere." He pointed at Mike and Davy. "You two stay here. We may need to call here and we want you manning the phones for us, got it?"

"G-got it," Davy stammered, too stunned to do anything else.

"P-Peter, wait," Mike said, holding up a hand. "Been another what?"

Peter paused, his hand on the knob. "Another murder," he said before he flung it open and left, Starsky hot on his heels.

Davy and Mike looked at each other, identical expressions of confused and fearful worry in their eyes.


Micky hung up the phone. "He said they'd meet us at the scene."

"Do you know where it is?" Hutch asked. "We should have gotten a map of Malibu Beach...."

With a chuckle, Micky slid a map to Hutch. "The Belvedere is in the Benton District - the ritzy area of town."

Hutch nodded. "Let's go."


They arrived in the middle of a second sniper attack. Cursing, Micky and Hutch rolled out of the light blue car just as a bullet spider-webbed the passenger side windshield.

"Peter's gonna kill me!" Micky called over the shots.

"If this idiot doesn't do it first!" Hutch shouted, standing up to fire at the sniper. Micky screamed his name as a bullet sent Hutch spinning to the ground.

A barrage of bullets from three guns, and a slightly-built man ran to a nondescript green truck and tore away.

"CF58--- crud, only got a partial," Peter growled as he jogged up. "You okay?"

"I am," Micky said. "Hutch...."

" gonna have a headache," the other blonde said as he was helped to his feet. "Cool it, willya?" he groused, pulling away from Starsky's helping hands. "I'm fine."

"You're shot," Starsky shot back. "And what's this about a headache?" He reached for Hutch's hair.

"Will you CUT IT OUT?" Hutch batted his hands away. "I was shot in the arm, not the head! I'm gonna have a headache cause I hit my head on the car on the way down!"

"The bullet still in there?" Starsky asked.

Hutch glared at him. "It grazed me. I'm fine."

Starsky held up both hands. "Only tryin' to help...."

"Yeah, your 'help' is gonna kill me one of these days!"

Peter chuckled. "Nice to see we're not the only ones..."

Micky cleared his throat. "Peter... the guy hit your car, too...."

A deep sigh, and Peter said, "You three go check out the scene. I'm gonna call in that partial."

"Sure seems odd," Hutch put in, "that we've been sniped at twice now ... once at a murder scene."

"I'd be very surprised if they weren't connected somehow," Micky nodded thoughtfully.


Peter called in the partial plate, and the two cars were on their way back to the Pad when the radio came to life. "Three-Thomas-Eleven."

Peter lifted the radio. "Three-Thomas-Eleven, go ahead."

The woman's voice continued, "Three-Thomas-Eleven, C-DOT reports six possibles for your partial plate."

"Locations, Lottie?"

"Three in LA, one in Sacramento, one in San Diego, and two in Bay City."

Micky looked over at Peter. "She did not say Bay City."

"She said Bay City," Peter said, keying the mic. "Three-Thomas-Eleven to Zebra-Three."

"Zebra-Three," Hutch's voice replied.

"Hutch, we've got two possibles on the partial plates, from Bay City."

Hutch looked over at Starsky. "First murders were in Bay City."

Starsky nodded grimly and took the mic. "Pete, get us the names."

"Already on it," came the quick reply. "And it's Peter."

Another moment, then Peter relayed, "No good, fellas. Our suspect's a slim-built man and both cars are registered to women -- Michelle Layton and Tammy Cole."

Another glance, and Hutch replied, "Tammy Cole was one of the first victims. We'll have to confirm with Bay City that the car was stolen..."

"But still, it's a lead!" Micky grinned.

"Yeah, one about as skinny as Michael, though," Peter sighed as he turned the car into the drive.

"Speaking of Mike," Micky said as he got out of the car. "I’ll get him to help me fix this windshield."

"You do that," Peter said as he moved toward the striped car that had pulled in behind them. "I'll see if I can get Casanova Jones off the phone long enough for us to make these calls."

Micky grinned. "If not, think we can charge him with obstruction of justice?"

"Interfering with an investigation," Peter laughed. This banter, in one form or another, had been a running joke between the partners for months.


Davy was, indeed, on the phone. When he saw the four walk in, though, he got off fast and for a long moment just stood there, mouth agape as he stared at Hutch.

One near look-alike was bad enough --- but two of them?

Starsky assured Peter the Bay City PD would reimburse them for the long-distance call, and placed it.

While he was on the phone, Davy stuttered out he was going to go help Mike and bolted from the room.

"Who's the kid?" Hutch asked.

Peter laughed. "That kid is thirty-two years old. That's Davy, one of our roommates. Michael is the other one."

"All set!" Starsky grinned.

"You got in touch with the department?" Peter asked.

"Better! Got in touch with Huggy Bear!"

Seeing Hutch's face light up, Peter mused, "Unusual name."

"He's an unusual man," Hutch said with a smile. "If it goes down in Bay City, Huggy Bear can find out about it faster than any cop."

"And he's coming here," Starsky grinned, examining the totem pole by the door. "He said he'd be here tomorrow night."

"Great," Hutch said, but his smile had begun to fade. "Let's just hope between now and then, there isn't another murder."


Fate wasn't kind to the pair of partners. Not only was there another murder, there was another sniping incident.

When Huggy Bear arrived, he entered the Pad in typical Huggy style -- with a flashy swagger and a cocky, "Never you fear, Huggy Bear is here!"

Peter blinked, scanning Huggy up and down, and then looked wide-eyed at Hutch. "Your friend is a pimp?!"

"No," Hutch chuckled. "That's just Huggy's misguided sense of style."

"Misguided?" Huggy put on a air of affronted dignity and strode over to Hutch. "Mis-guided? I will have you know, my golden friend, this is the height of style in New York City!"

"Like he said, Huggy," New York native Starsky laughed "Misguided."

"Oh-ho...." the reed-thin dark-skinned man turned and tried to glare at Starsky, but the smile playing around his lips ruined the effect. "Now see, if I'd'a known I was gonna take this abuse from the fuzz, I'd'a just stayed home!"

Starsky and Hutch both burst into laughter. Peter and Micky smiled at each other. "We have got to find someone like him here," Peter chuckled.

"I'll put out feelers," Micky grinned.

Hutch waved a hand at them. "Huggy, meet the locals -- Detective Peter Tork and Detective Micky Dolenz."

They shook Huggy's hand in order, and Huggy blinked, looking from one man to another. "Whoa," was his articulate response. "Deja-vu times two!"

Peter grinned. "Let's get down to business, shall we?"

Huggy sat down on the couch and drew out several files from his fringed pouch. "Marshall sent a batch o'info with me besides the scoops I got."

"Great," Starsky said, taking a file.

"Marshall?" Micky asked.

Hutch grinned. "Our captain. Huggy calls him Marshall Dillon to get a rise out of him."

Seeing Micky's grin, Peter pointed at him. "Don't you even think about starting that with Reynolds!"

"Spoilsport," Micky said. "Hey, think Mike and Davy can help us out?"

Peter sighed. "I don't know, man, they're pretty freaked out...."

"C'mon, this'll give 'em a chance to see us actually work, know it's about more than gettin' shot and gettin' the car tore up..."

"Besides," Starsky added, "seven pairs of eyes go faster than five."

Peter sighed. "Where're they at?"

"Finishing the windshield," Micky filled in as he picked up a file.


Peter walked into the garage. "Car looks good."

"Thanks," Mike said tightly. "Hard work, fixin' a shot-out windshield..."

"Whoa, there," Peter said, holding up a hand. "Where's all this hostility coming from all of a sudden?"

"Oh, geez, I don't know!" Mike snapped. "Maybe the fact that you have been lying to us for years!"

Peter shook his head. "Okay, so I wasn't exactly forthcoming about what I do for a living! But I know you two! You two worry so much you put mothers to shame!"

"We do not!" Mike and Davy said in unison. Then they looked at each other and both grinned sheepishly. "Well...." Davy admitted.

"Add in the fact Michael is a supreme control freak..." Peter finished.

"Now wait a minute!" Mike snapped.

"Mike..." Davy laid a hand on his arm. "He's right."

Mike let out a weary sigh and ran a hand over his forehead. "Peter, man...."

"I've grown up, Michael," he said softly.

Mike regarded him for a long moment before he smiled slightly. "Yeah, shotgun.... I guess ya have."

Peter smiled sunnily. "Come on -- their informant's here and we're going though the material on the case."

Davy frowned. "But wouldn't we just be in the way?"

"No, we want you there. Come on."


When they were all together again, they divided up the files. It didn't take Starsky and Hutch long to figure out Peter and Micky were handing Mike and Davy the files without the crime scene photos.

They smiled at this silent protection of the two civilians. Peter and Micky were subtly shielding the pair from the worst of the ugliness.

The seven pored over the files, with Huggy providing insights he'd picked up on the street here and there. Even Davy and Mike were soon laughing at some of the antics surrounding The Pits nightclub and restaurant in Bay City.

Mike picked up another folder and Peter took it. "Thank you," he said, and passed it to Micky. At Mike's frown, Peter asked quickly, "Who's got the file on Tammy Cole?"

"I do," Hutch said. "Murdered February 15..."

"What car did she drive?" Micky asked. "Her plate matched the partial on our sniper...."

"Didn't drive a car," Hutch replied. "Drove a late-model green truck---" Their eyes met. "---just like the sniper."

"Who found the body?" Mike asked, out of pure morbid curiosity.

"Uhm..." Hutch looked back down. ".... her boyfriend called the police after he'd found her body..."

"Whoa, hold up," Huggy said, diving for another folder. "Second victim -- found after a male voice called the police reporting finding the body."

Micky's eyes widened as he scanned a report. "Third murder, same thing."

"Ditto on the next three," from Huggy.

"Then the murders moved to Malibu Beach..." Peter scanned the paper. "...male voice -- huh, fella's picked up an accent."

"Next one?" Hutch asked Starsky.

A slow nod. "Accented male voice called the PD ... then the snipings started."

Hutch called Bay City and hung up, trembling. "First few voices were accented as well."

"....and our sniper drove a green truck..." Peter said.

Micky dialed dispatch and shook his head as he hung up the phone. "Last murder/sniping? Accented male voice reported location of body."

"And the murders are getting more brutal, too..." Starsky mused. "Son-of-a-bitch's escalating."

"But Cole doesn't fit the pattern," Huggy said. "Every one but her's been a hooker."

After a pause, Davy suggested, "Maybe she was an accident?" All eyes snapped to him and he sighed. "It was just an idea...."

"No," Peter said, opening the folder with her pictures. "No, that's an excellent idea." He studied the pictures and then looked up. "Injuries consistent with accidental death."

"Then suppose he got drunk with the power..." Micky put in.

"And it's takin' more and more to make the same 'high'," Hutch said. He smiled at Davy. "Great work, kid!"

Davy tried to bristle at the 'kid' crack, but he was grinning.

"We got a name for the boyfriend?" Huggy asked.

Hutch scanned the file. "Alexander Thermopolis."

"Which would explain the accent," Mike drawled.

"It definitely would," Peter grinned at them all. "Gentlemen, we finally have an identity for our suspect."


Peter and Micky waited until Davy and Mike were both asleep that night, then they joined Starsky and Hutch at the station. "Anything?" Peter asked as he sat down.

"Not yet," Hutch said, passing him a folder. "We're waiting on both ballistics from the bullet and a run on some fingerprints from the last body."

"Ballistics? Why?" Micky asked. "We don't have the gun they came from."

Starsky held up a clipboard. "But Alexander Thermopolis bought a rifle in Bay City just after the last murder there."

"....and if the bullets match, that gives us the sniper," Peter grinned. "Fingerprints ... our boy's got a record?"

"Petty theft and assault," Micky reported as he read over Hutch's shoulder.

"Makes sense." But Peter had one more question. "So why are we waiting?"

Starsky's face darkened. "Cause the techs are taking their time."

"What?!" Micky and Peter gasped together.

Hutch nodded. "Something about out-of-towners tryin' to muscle in on Malibu Beach... even Starsk's temper couldn't make them -- hey, where are you going?"

Peter's face had darkened as Hutch had talked. By the time he asked the question, Peter was halfway out the Squad Room doors.

Hutch rose to his feet, only to be stopped by Micky's fingers on his chest and a slow shake of his head. "Don't."

"But ---"

"He's gone to get the reports." At their looks, Micky went on, "See there's three things Peter hates worse than anything. People who hurt kids, quitters, and grandstanders. Right now, all he can see is another woman might die while the techs are playing departmental politics."

Within twenty minutes, Peter was back -- with the reports. He threw them onto the desk and sank into the chair heavily, muttering about "stupid people". Micky squeezed his shoulder once, and they set to work.

"Eureka!" Hutch laughed and set the photographs side by side. "The slugs match what that rifle takes."

"Jackpot!" Micky whooped. "Fingerprints match too!"

"Now that we've ID'd him, let's find this guy!" Starsky said, grabbing his jacket.

Peter's face was grim. "Before another lady loses her life."


The two cars were cruising in the early hours of the morning when the radio flared to life. "Three-Thomas-Eleven."

"Three-Thomas-Eleven," Peter said into the mic.

"Three-Thomas-Eleven, woman screaming, 1480 Riverside. 1-4-8-0 Riverside."

"Three-Thomas-Eleven, 10-4." Peter hit the lights and siren and behind them, Starsky did the same.

The address was a street in a rundown part of Malibu Beach. As they got out of the car, Micky suddenly said quietly, "Peter..."

Peter followed his gaze. "I see it." He drew his gun and flattened himself against a wall as Micky did the same on the other side of the alley.

Parked nearby was a late-model green truck.

Seeing it, Starsky and Hutch doubled around to the rear of the alley. Once in position, Hutch threw a pebble.

Instantly, Peter swung into the alley, bellowing, "LAPD! FREEZE!"

The slight-built man gasped as his head shot up from his task. In his surprise, he released his grip on the woman's arm.

Gasping and crying, she scrambled slightly away from him before flipping onto her side and driving the stiletto heel of her right foot between his legs.

Full force.

The expression on the man's face was truly priceless. As his intended tenth victim scrambled into Hutch's arms and was hustled to the Torino to await an ambulance, the man's face turned a delightful array of colours as his eyes bugged out and he toppled to his knees.

It was all Peter and Micky could do to keep from laughing as they got Alexander Thermopolis to his feet, relieved him of his two knives, cuffed him and read him his Miranda rights. Starsky peered into the green truck, and then rejoined them. "Rifle's in the truck," he reported.

"Well, Mister Thermopolis," Micky said as they bundled him into the back of Peter's car, "after the merry chase you led us, that capture was almost anticlimactic!"

"Doesn't feel so hot... from this end...either!" was the man's pain-filled reply.

And then the officers did laugh.


Four days later.

Micky walked into the Pad to find music filling the air --- but not the Monkees' music.

'Don't give up on us baby
Don't make the wrong seem right
The future isn't just one night
It's written in the moonlight
And painted on the stars...' *

"Hey," Micky called above the tune.

Peter's head snapped up and he smiled at Micky. Reaching over, he lifted the needle from the record. "Hey. They get off okay?"

Micky nodded and sat on the bandstand beside him. "About fifteen minutes ago. I swear, that Torino needs some engine work.... What've you got?"

"Present from Hutch." Peter lifted the 45 and handed it to Micky. "That demo he told you about. He's pretty good."

"I heard." Micky frowned at the label. "What'd he do, record it under a pseudonym?"

Peter nodded. "What d'you think of it?"

"David Soul. Hmm...."

"No, Micky, you misread it. Look closer."

Micky did, and the frown deepened. "David's Soul...." Then his eyes widened and he began to smile. "Starsky's first name is David...."

"Brothers in all but blood," Peter grinned. "Pretty accurate description of partners, wouldn't you say?"

Micky squeezed his shoulder. "I sure would --- partner."


* "Don't Give Up On Us", recorded by David Soul, year unknown

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