Okay. This isn't funny anymore.
Stupid me bet that Hutch couldn't keep quiet for 24 hours. Not one word to anyone.
Well, I lost. He sure was good at bein' quiet. That's not the trouble, though.
He got too good at it. It's been three days and not a peep out of him! I mean, I know he's quieter than I am, but this is just plain ridiculous!
I've tried everything I can think of. I've tried jokes, I've tried direct questions -- hell, I've even lost my temper!
This isn't funny anymore.
I'm not meaning to drive him crazy. Really, I'm not.
Yeah, it started out as that dumb bet -- but it just became easier not to talk than to talk.
I'm not making sense. But it's been quite the ride lately. Terry, Marcos, Prudholm... Gillian...
Really, it was Gunther who started this crap. It was Gunther who ordered the hit that put Starsk in the hospital. It was Gunther's men that damned near cost me a partner.
Now, every time I look at him -- on the road back to my side on the streets -- I don't have to fake the silence.
Gratitude steals my voice.
All right, that does it. I sit him down on the edge of my bed and I lay it flat out.
I tell him I'm sorry I started the damned bet. I tell him I miss his voice and his music. I tell him how scared I am that he seems to be pullin' away from me. I tell him exactly what he is to me.
I tell him how he's my soul's brother. And I tell him I don't think I can live without him.
When I fall silent, he just looks at me. But I see tears shining in those baby blues. So I reach out and squeeze his hand. "Bet's off, Blintz. So why don't you talk t'me, huh?"
He looks at me for a long moment before he squeezes my hand in return. Then his eyes meet and hold mine.
"Cause I nearly lost you, Gordo. And I'm so thankful you're here. I love you too, heart's brother."
... Aw, hell... had t'go and make me cry....
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