By Enola Jones

Starsky paced the waiting room of the veterinary hospital, his fists clenching and unclenching.

He barely registered the blond man all in black who walked up beside him. "How is he?"

Starsky sighed. "First of all, he is a she. Her name's Honey."

"Honey." He inclined his head. Starsky accepted with a nod, sensing it was the only apology for the gaffe he was going to get. "How is she?"

"No word yet." He sighed. "I'm surprised you haven't made fun yet of my devotion to a pup that isn't even mine."

He shrugged. "You're not the first K-9 unit we've worked with. Granted, we're used to German Shepherds, not border collies – and your partner's quirk of refusing to speak and only use hand signals is a bit distracting—"

And suddenly he find himself slammed against the wall, with Starsky's face so close he could smell the garlic from the lasagna he'd had for lunch on his breath. "You listen good, Larabee," Starsky hissed, "because I'm only gonna say this once. The only reason you're not laid out on the ground right now is because that was said from ignorance and not malice."

He shook the younger man. "Larabee, Honey is my partner's service dog. He doesn't speak because he can't. He can't hear and he can't speak. Honey is his ears, and his hands are his voice."

As he was released, Larabee's hand went to his throat. "Your captain must be a hell of a man."

"You have no idea," Starsky sighed.

"I almost shot you."

"I applaud your restraint."

Larabee nodded. "It's a good thing they took my computer expert with your partner." At his expression, Larabee finished, "My three youngest agents are fluent in hand-speech. At least they'll be able to communicate."

Starsky nodded, then his attention was arrested by a woman exiting the room. "Doctor?"

She lowered her mask and smiled. "With rest and TLC, Honey will be just fine. The bullet didn't do as much damage as we thought."

As they left the hospital, Starsky growled, "We'll find them. And they'll pay for taking our men and for shooting Honey."

Larabee nodded. "Let's go."


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