Into The Fold

It was the end of my last with him, shift and I was back at Starsky's flat. We'd been to collect Hutch from the hospital and settle him in. He wasn't to be on his own for a while, till he got stronger, so Starsky brought him back, fussing over him like a mother hen.

'Listen Gordo, I'm fine. No, I don't need any juice. Yes I am warm enough. STARSK' the blond almost shouted, 'If you don't stop this, I'll check myself back into Memorial. Now leave it. For God sake Jamie, will ya help out here a little?' Hutch turned imploring eyes to me.

Starsky stopped, looking crestfallen. 'OK, sorry, just kinda glad to have you back at home in one piece.

I sat back, and watched all this going on, smiling. I'd heard all about the almost legendary partnership of Starsky and Hutch, and when Hutch had been shot by some punk high on drugs, Starsky was temporarily without a partner. Doby had asked me if I would fill in the gap — I agreed, and after a period of persuasion (actually more like direct orders) Starsky had submitted. That was a month ago, and during that time, I had been out in the red tomato with him every day.

At first I hated his laconic behaviour. I thought he was arrogant, a womaniser and someone who was quite dangerous to be around.

He had been beside himself during the couple of days that Hutch had been in intensive care but, as we fitted in visits to the hospital around the police work, he refused to connect with me on any level. No conversation, just yes and no replies to any questions I had. I knew he was worried, but had never realised the depth of commitment one man cold have for another. I started to see a different side to him. He so obviously cared for his partner that, in a way, I felt jealous that I was an outsider.

On the day when Hutch woke up three days after being admitted to the hospital, Starsky's face split into a grin from ear to ear, and it was as if he was reborn again. I had watched as he had sat quietly by the bedside, holding his partner's hand, and murmuring words of encouragement, when slowly, Hutch's ice blue eyes cracked open a little. At once on his feet, Starsky pushed the call button for the doctors to come in. In a flurry of activity, they checked out the blond, and finally pronounced him out of the woods and on the mend. We left the hospital two hours later and from that moment on, Starsky was a different man.

It was almost as if he had seen me as some sort of threat to the partnership he had had for the last twelve years , and now that he knew Hutch would eventually be coming back to him, he could relax, and begin to concentrate on his job, and, to a certain extent, me. He even started calling me Witchy. Partly, he explained, because I came from Lancashire England, where all the 'good' witches came from, and partly after the Eagles song 'Witchy Woman'. He said there was something in my eyes. I told him they were just the same green eyes I'd always had, but from that day, Witchy I became.

I had been a police officer for 3 years, fresh from college, and enjoying the challenge of working the Bay City area.. As a woman on the force, there were certain problems to overcome. The biggest was the chauvinistic approach of the male officers. At first Starsky had been like all the others —

'This isn't a job for women. You'll get hurt. You'll get your partner hurt'.

So I had had to prove to him that an Englsih, 5'2", 110 llb woman with long brown hair and green eyes had other talents apart from being able to beat up flakes and shoot guns. Oh sure, I could fire a Beretta well enough, and I had taken all the mandatory self defence classes, but I've always found that my powers of persuasion are better than downright brute force — just a woman thing, I suppose.

So, we had started over again, and during that month, there had been one or two hairy moments, when we had had to trust each other. And we had coped, and we had come out the other side with a new understanding, and the beginnings of a new friendship.

And now here I was watching the dynamic duo. They were almost like a married couple, and the love, understanding and admiration they had for each other was overwhelming.

'Well, now you two are back together again, I think I ought to leave you alone. You know what they say, three's a crowd'. I stood and went to get my coat.

'You don't have to go' said Hutch 'I could do with some extra company, otherwise I'm going to be killed with kindness'. He looked over to his dark haired partner, who was busy mixing power shakes and oatmeal.

'Oh, hey, don't go. We can get real food once the Blintz has gone to bed'.

'No, I'm going' I said. 'Doby has a new partner for me tomorrow, so I want to be bright eyed and bushy tailed. Going to be the first all woman team on the area — should be good. We might even give you a run for your money!'

I bent over and dropped a kiss onto the top of Hutch's head. 'Be well, Hutch. I'm glad you're on the mend. I'll come round and see you soon, If that's OK?'

'OK? Its mandatory! See you soon and be safe'.

Starsky wiped his hands and came to the door with me. His eyes were soft as he looked me up and down.

'You know, you're not bad for a foreigner. In fact, if blondie ever takes another hit, I'm gonna insist on you as my partner. We had quite a team goin' there for a while'. He put his arms round my waist and planted a brotherly kiss on my lips.

'Careful, Mr Cool. You're not going to get all soppy on me, are you? You spoil that reputation of yours, you know'. I smiled and pushed away and went out the door and into the dark.


I started to walk the short way to my car. I'd followed Starsky from the hospital, driving my car so that Hutch had more room in the Torino to stretch out and make himself comfortable. When we arrived there was no space to park outside the apartment, so I'd had to go round the block, and park a way away, half way between Starsky's apartment, and mine.

The night was warm and dark and the street lamps had just come on. I was reflecting on the past month, and how I was going to miss the dark haired detective. His New York humour had started to grow on me, and even the swagger was beginning to irritate me less.

The pavement was empty and echoing and in between the street lamps were pools of darkness. I was lost in my thoughts as I walked along, but something made me stop to listen. There was someone to my right, down a side alley. I couldn't see the person clearly, but I had the impression it was a male. Suddenly, the figure leaped out and made a grab for my shoulder bag. I managed to keep hold of it and got a couple of kicks in before the figure turned and disappeared once more into the shadows.

Shaken, I stopped a moment to catch my breath. I wasn't so much afraid, as angry that someone had tried that sort of trick on me. How dare he? If I ever saw him again, I'd make sure he remembered me! Little did I know how true that would be.

After a moment, I walked on, still clutching my bag to my side. It never occurred to me to draw my gun, and it certainly never crossed my mind that the man would be back.

I turned the corner and carried on walking towards my car. It was in my sights, when suddenly, again from my right, the same figure ran at me again. I had time only to register that he was running towards me, when suddenly his arms were round my neck and he was pulling me down the alley and into the shadows.

I struggled with him, trying to shout, but no sound would come from my mouth. He was at my back, pulling me deeper into the shadows and down towards the ground. I felt a sense of powerlessness which I wasn't used to, and, for the first time, a glimmer of fear. The man was so much bigger and stronger than me. My addled brain tried to remember the moves I had had drummed into me in self defence class. Go for the instep, the nose, the groin. Anything to make him break his deathly grip on me. My arms, however, were too concerned with trying to stop him strangling me. In desperation, and trying anything I could think of, I looked down and bit his right hand. I heard a muffled grunt, then he pushed me face first towards the wall of the alley. I felt his body pressing against my back and his arms taking a tighter hold around my throat. My face was rubbed against the rough stony surface of the wall and I could feel my breath catching in my throat.

I've always wondered at people who say that, in similar situations, their lives flash before their eyes. Well, for me that didn't happen. All I remember is thinking 'Oh shit, what have I done? This can't be happening to me'. But it was, and I could feel my vision starting to narrow, blackness coming into the edges, as my breath was cut off by the arms at my neck.

I did the only thing I could think of, and stopped struggling for a moment. It was the chance he needed and, swift as a lion, he bore me to the ground. Now I knew I was really in trouble and started to scream at the top of my voice 'help, someone help me'. A hand hit me in the face and a rough voce hissed 'Shut it whore'.

I felt hands at the waist band of my jeans, fumbling with the button and zipper. Panic rose in my chest and, in a last ditch, futile effort to try and stop him from what I now knew he wanted to do, I whispered 'No, it's the wrong time of month, you can't'. He didn't even pause, just kept on tugging my jeans until he had access to the parts he needed.

In a final panic, I opened my mouth and screamed as loud and as long as I could. He hit me twice more, opened his zip and took what he wanted.

I lay, frozen for a moment, my mind not allowing me to accept what was happening. Just as he finished, I heard a third voice in the shadows.

'What the hell's going on here? Get out, scum, go do that in your own back yard'.

The man's weight lifted off me, as my assailant hurriedly stood, kicked me once more, then ran off into the dark. I lay for a moment, unable to make my limbs move, my mind frozen in horror.

At first I thought the third person (another man) would come to me, to rescue me and ask if I was OK. But, seemingly having done his bit, my 'rescuer' had departed.

I struggled to sit up, got to my knees then to my shaky feet. I pulled up my jeans, and, without taking time to fasten them, I started to run to my apartment. I didn't even register that I could get into my car, just set off running, sobbing, tears blinding my eyes. I think I saw other people as I ran along the long street, but no-one came to my assistance, and it wasn't until I had fumbled my door keys from my jacket pocket and unlocked the door, stumbled inside, and locked the door behind me, that I broke down completely.

I slid down the door and onto the floor, arms wrapped around myself, as I slowly rocked backwards and forwards, sobbing, mind numb. I don't know how long I stayed there, on the floor, but slowly, I came back to my senses. What was I supposed to do now? I struggled to my feet and, moving into my sitting room, I picked up the phone and dialled the number of the only person I really trusted in the God forsaken town.

'Hey, person, how are you?' the familiar New York brogue said, down the line. Just the sound of that voice was enough to tip me once again over the edge.

'Starsk, help me', I sobbed.

'Jamie, is that you? What's up Honey? Where are you?'

'I'm at my apartment. Someone attacked me. Please help me, I need you'.

With that, I replaced the receiver, and once again the tears started to flow.


I must have blacked out somehow, because the next thing I remembered was a loud banging on the door. My first reaction was that my attacker was back, to have a second piece of me, and in my panic I screamed. As my screams subsided and were replaced by sobs, I heard Starsky's voice shouting to me

'Jamie. Jamie, it's us Hon. Come on, open the door. We're here to help'.

I staggered to the door, unlocked it and drew back the security chain. I cracked the door open a fraction, then saw both detectives leaning on the door jamb.

I opened the door fully and fell into Starsky's arms. 'Oh God, Dave, I thought he was back'.

Starsky pushed me gently away to assess the situation and I could see the compassion and anger in his eyes as he looked at my torn clothes and dirty hands and face. Guiding me gently into the sitting room, he parked me down on the settee and sat next to me whilst Hutch perched on the arm.

'Do you wanna tell us what happened?' he urged gently. 'Did you recognise whoever it was?'

He reached towards me, I suppose to give me a hug, but I flinched and drew away. From the corner of my eye, I saw Hutch shake his head a little, and Starsky pulled back.

'I never saw him, I never saw him' I gabbled, 'I didn't do anything, I just tried to stop him......I bit him, Ken, I bit his hand'.

Hutch nodded gently. 'I know, you did what you had to do. We need to phone this in and get you down to the precinct, Jamie. Can you make it?'

I stopped to consider. Of course I didn't want to go to the precinct. I knew everyone there. They knew me. They would know what had happened — what that animal had done to me. I shook my head. 'I can't. They'll all know. Oh God. I'm supposed to be a cop, this isn't supposed to happen to me'.

Dave came forward again. 'I know, Hon, but we have to get forensics, get as many clues as we can. We'll be there all the time you need us. You can do this, I know you can'.

I stared back into his indigo blue eyes and drew some strength from them. I took a deep, shuddering breath. 'OK. Lets just do it'. I stood and, before I could think again, I headed for the door.


The drive to the precinct was mostly done in silence. Starsky drove and I sat between him and his partner as Hutch placed a protective arm around my shoulders. I couldn't stop shaking and, stupidly, my mind wouldn't take in everything that was going on. Street lights hurtled by, and as Hutch called in the offence, I saw Starsky's jaw tense. Within 10 minutes, the Torino had drawn up outside the metro and both men bundled me out of the car, and into the warmth and light of the building. Starsky had put a blanket over my shoulders, and I pulled it up around my neck and face, to try and grab as much anonymity as I could. But when you've worked in a place for 3 years, that's hard to achieve, and by the time I'd made it to one of the interview rooms, rumours had started to abound that one of the officers had been attacked and, yes, raped.

The three of us went into the small white interview room. Hutch pulled up a chair for me next to the small table in the middle of the room, and sat down next to me. Across the table, Starsky was pacing up and down. Finally he came to a stop and said

'Jamie, we can do this together, or I can get one of the other women to come in an' take your statement. You don't have to tell us, if that'd be easier?'

I stared at him a moment. Shock was beginning to set in and I was having a hard time making sense of what was going on. But the thought of these two wonderful men leaving me, at this moment, was more than I could bare, and I nodded mutely towards him. Finally, summoning up all the strength I could muster, I whispered 'Don't leave me. Just give me time, and I'll tell you everything I remember'.

He sat down opposite me, and just as I opened my mouth to start the story, the door flew open and Doby exploded in. He took in the scene with once sweep.

'Jamie, what can we do? I just heard. Are you OK?' he stopped, and caught sight of Hutch sitting at my side. 'What are you doin' here. You're supposed to be takin' things easy and recoverin'. Go home'.

'No way, Cap. I'm not leaving till we have some clues on which punk did this, then my partner and I will go out there, bring him in, and make sure the court throws the book at him. I couldn't rest anyway. You know what it's loke here Cap. Kick one of us and we all limp'. The steely look in the blond detective's ice blue eyes was enough to silence any protest from Doby, and he turned his attention back to me.

'Are you OK with Dave and Ken doin' this?'

I nodded. 'Couldn't face telling anyone else Sir. I'll be fine. I just need a little while to get myself together'. I tried to smile, but it came out lop sided, so I gave up and settled for a shrug of the shoulders instead.

'Ok' said Doby, 'but if you need anything, just holler'. And with that, he turned to the two men. 'Take it easy with her, and make sure forensics do everything they can'.

Suddenly I went cold inside. 'No' was all I managed, panic in my voice. 'I can't do that. I can't face forensics. Please don't make me'. A pain started deep inside me as I pictured what would have to be done. I started to shake again, and swiftly, Starsky was at my side.

'Come on Witchy, you can do this. We can go now, if you like. Get it over with, then that's one less thing to worry about. We won't come in. You can do this as private as you like'.

But that just made it worse. I grasped his strong hand as if I would never let it go. 'God, don't leave me with them. I can't do this on my own. Please don't leave me'.

He pulled my head to his shoulder, murmuring comforting things in my ear, as Hutch moved to the phone on the wall. 'Brody' I heard him say 'Yeh, its Jamie. You heard? Can we come down now. We need to do this fast and soon. Ok, be there in two'. He replaced the phone and turned to me. 'Are you ready honey? We can go now'.

I drew in a shaky breath, rose from the chair, and on rubber legs, supported by one man either side, I made it down the elevator to the basement, and the clinical rooms of the forensics dept.


Brody was ready for us when we got there. All business like, he handed me a paper dress and said 'please change, and put this on, then leave all you clothes in the cubicle and make your way next door'.

I turned and drew the curtain across the cubicle doorway. Mechanically, I peeled off my jeans, tee shirt and underclothes, and pooled them on the floor. Feeling vulnerable and a little ridiculous in the paper dress, I emerged from the cubicle, walked to the door, and pushed it open. Inside the foresics room, it resembled a small ER room. An examination table stood in the middle of the floor, above it a large, high powered light. I froze. Suddenly it was all horribly real. I started to back up. I couldn't do this. Wasn't what I'd been through enough?

'I'm sorry, Mr Brody, I can't. I just have to go now. I can't do this'.

Brody came forward. 'Jamie, it's OK. Dave and Ken are just outside. They'll be there when we've finished. I'll try to be as quick as I can'.

But it wasn't enough. I needed someone I knew, someone I could trust.

'I need them in here, please Mr Brody. I can't do this on my own'.

'Well, it's highly irregular, but I can see we won't be able to proceed otherwise'.

He went to the doorway and called for Starsky and Hutch. 'No, I'm afraid she won't do this without you'. I heard him say. Then both men came into the room. Starsky immediately made his way over to me.

'It'll be Ok Witchy, we're here now. Come over to the table. That's a girl. Now, just climb up there. Good. Now. Lie back.....no, you can do this. I know you can'.

I lay back on the cold metal table and stared at the light above me. Starsky sat at my right hand side half way down the table, and leaned over me, grasping the other side of the table with his right hand. He effectively blocked any view I might have had of the bottom of the table, which was fine with me. Hutch positioned himself at the top of the table and, as I bent my arms, he took my hands in his and squeezed them.

'OK' said Brody 'I'll be as quick as I can with the swabs'.

I took a deep steadying breath, and stared into the two sets of eyes above me, gathering strength from the presence. One set a clear ice blue, the other a burning midnight shade. Both eyes held anger, hurt and compassion. I closed my eyes and blocked out the next 5 minutes.

After Brody had taken the swabs, scrapings from fingernails and hair samples, I was allowed to get dressed in some fresh clothes that Hutch had brought from my apartment. We went slowly back upstairs and into the interview room, and, as the night wore on, I told the two detectives as much as I could remember of the attack and the attacker.


At some point during the long night, a uniformed officer tapped at the interview room door. Hutch got up, opened the door, and I heard a brief murmured conversation, then he came back in, closed the door and came over to the chair next to me. He looked at us both, then spoke to his curly haired partner.

'Looks like our boy just struck again. Victim is one petite, brown haired woman, aged approx 28. Her purse was snatched first and found later. She was raped', he paused a moment, looking over at me, then continued softly 'then she was murdered'.

I let the news sink in. My God, he'd done it again, but gone even further this time. At once I was relieved that I'd made it with my life, and disgusted at myself for feeling better at the other victim's death. I slumped in the chair.

Starsky noticed. 'We've done everything we can here tonight. What say we go back to my apartment, and you can sleep there?'

I nodded gratefully. Not usually afraid of the dark, tonight I didn't want to be on my own. We stood to leave, and, once more pulling my blanket up round my ears, we made our way back downstairs to the car.

Hutch, who shouldn't really have been doing as much as he had, grimaced in pain as he got into the front seat next to me. I put out my hand ' Hey, you've done too much. I'm sorry. You should be resting. Just take me home, I'll be fine'.

The blond looked at me a moment. 'No way, Witchy, we're in this together. I just need my pain meds, then I'll be fine. I'm not leaving till the punk that did this to you is somewhere safe'. He smiled his lovely soft smile, pulled me closer to him, and I nestled against his shoulder.

I must have drifted off to sleep, because it seemed like no time before we were drawing up at Starsky's apartment. Hutch slowly got out of the car, moving stiffly now, and Starsky walked around to help him, then me. He unlocked the door and we walked once again into the comforting warmth of his flat.

I stood in the doorway. The last time I had been here, everything had been fine. I had my life ahead of me. I was going to start a new partnership, and be a female Starsky and Hutch. Now it all seemed so far away. So much had happened in the past eight hours, and somehow, my life had been turned from all hope and prospects to gloom, doom and a sense of powerlessness.

Starsky turned on the lights, and Hutch found his way slowly to the kitchen. Reaching for the bottle, he dispensed two pain tablets and swallowed them down with a glass of water.

'Do you want anything?' he asked 'water, tea?'

'Tea would be good - milk, no sugar'.

Starsky came out from the bathroom. 'There's hot water and fresh towels. Do you want me to run you a bath?'

I smiled. 'You've been watching too many soapy cop shows on TV. No, I don't want a bath. I just need peace and quiet and to feel I'm safe. Thanks for everything guys. I couldn't have got through this without you'. And I meant it.

I went towards the big settee and sat gently down as Hutch brought me my tea. I sipped the scalding hot brew and closed my eyes. Suddenly I could keep it in no longer, and tears once again welled in my eyes. Immediately, Starsky was beside me, putting his arms around me and rocking me slowly back and forth.

'It shouldn't happen to me. I'm a cop. I'm the one who's supposed to sort all this out. I'm the one that does the comforting and the hand holding and the investigating and the running down of the punk. It isn't fair. I'm afraid to be on my own. I'm too afraid to go into your bedroom and sleep, 'coz I'll be alone there. I can't function like this'. I drew a ragged breath and looked up into his handsome face. Whispering, I said 'I wish he'd just finished me there and then, at least the other vic doesn't have to feel the way I'm feeling now. How can I live my life feeling like this?'

Starsky pulled my head onto his shoulder. 'It won't always feel like this Hon. You'll get over it, but it'll take time. And whilst you're gettin' there, we'll be here for you. You have friends. And the most important thing is for us to find this flake and take him out. Then you'll feel safe'.

'No. No, I won't' I shouted. 'There'll always be one more round the corner, waiting. They don't go away. They never go away. There's too many. What difference do we make? What difference can one woman make? Its over. I'll go back to England and be a Florist, or a Nun, or a recluse somewhere that no-one can find me'.

'Hey' he said slowly, 'It's gonna be OK. I promise. Remember the time I got shot up with that poison? I made it through though I was scared as hell. Then Gunther mowed me down an' put me in hospital for two months. Sure I had a whole bunch of low points, and yeh, at times, I thought of jacking it all in an' becoming Hutch's stage manager, so he could have a singing career. But it all comes down to the same thing. Folks like you an' me an' Hutch have this thing about helping people. We can't stand back and let bad things happen. It just don't work'.

I listened and slowly his voice became softer, and seemed to be coming from further away. Exhausted by the emotions of the last hours, I must have dozed because I felt strong arms lift me and carry me into another room, and lay me down on a bed. A sot voice whispered 'Sleep now, Witchy, we'll be right here'.

I opened my eyes a little and saw one blond detective laying himself down on the cot in Starsky's room, and one dark curly haired detective on the chair by the bed. Sleepily I murmured 'Thanks guys, love ya'. And then sleep took me.


How long had I been asleep? I couldn't tell. Daylight seemed to be seeping from behind the curtains in the bedroom, and I heard muffled voices in the next room. I felt warm and comfortable, and didn't want to get up. But suddenly the door opened and Starsky tip toed into the room.

'Hey Witchy, you awake?' he asked, his face softened with a smile. 'Hutch and' me gotta go out for a while, but Huggy an' Minnie are here to look after you. You'll be OK?'

I nodded slightly and hunkered back down into the blankets, and once again sleep overtook me.

When I woke again, I felt refreshed, and pulling back the covers, I swung my legs over the side of the bed and stood. Slightly dizzy, I made my way into the sitting room just as Minnie was telling Huggy

'Got a call about two hours ago that the punk had struck for a third time. This time over on the east side. Victim was small, dark hair. He'd raped her, thought he'd killed her, then took off. She managed to get herself to a house down the street and banged on the door. The home owners took her in and rang the police. She's one amazing kid. Managed to give a real full description of the guy. She'd even managed to pull out a clump of the assailants hair. We got it back to forensics who ran tests and turns out, our perp is none other than Neil Jackson — the guy we put away six years ago for the same sort of thing. Back on the street and doin' it all over again. So, when Doby called it in to Starsky, there was no way on earth he could stop both of 'em from going after Jackson, even though Hutch aint up to much just yet'.

At that moment, Huggy looked up and saw me standing in the doorway. His brown face cracked into one of his big smiles.

'Well, if it aint my English Rose, all wakened up and ready to greet the day. What can I get you, my lady? Your wish is my command'.

'Hi Hug, hi Minnie. I'm fine, I don't need anything. Did you say they'd found the guy?'

Minnie's face fell. 'Yeh, we know who it is honey. Only problem now is your two avenging angels are out there tracking him down. Hutch isn't up to much, so it'll be down to Starsk to call the shots. We got patrols out all round, but Starsky said if they found Jackson to corner him, but he wanted to deal with him himself. So they're out there cruisin' as we speak'.

I came into the room and sat down. Relief flooded over me that at least we knew who the guy was, but I was more than a little worried at the news that Starsky and Hutch had gone out to find him. It must have shown on my face, because Huggy came over to me.

'Take it easy there. They're big boys. They can look after themselves. Don't want any more flakes beating up on pretty English ladies, and bruisin' their pretty faces'.

'What are you talking about Huggy?' It suddenly occurred to me that I hadn't looked in a mirror yet, and I got up and walked to the bathroom. With the light full on I saw the bruises and cuts on my face for the first time. I was shocked. It had never occurred to me that I'd suffered any other physical injuries, but at least it explained why it hurt to smile.

I switched off the light and walked back into the sitting room just as the phone was ringing. Minnie answered it.

'Yes, this is Minnie'. A pause, then 'OK, we can be there in 15 minutes. Yes I'll bring her. No, that's fine'.

Putting down the phone, Minnie turned to me. 'Get you coat on Jamie, we're taking a little ride downtown. Now, I don't want you to panic, but we're going to Memorial hospital. Its David. He's been shot, but he's going to be fine. They found Jackson holed up in a bed-sit downtown, and he and Hutch broke in. Jackson didn't take kindly to the interruption and there was a bit of cross fire. Jackson was killed, but not before he'd shot Starsky in the side. Hutch is, of course, with him now'.

Relief flooded through me that Jackson had finally been dealt with, but I also felt guilty that once again Starsky was in hospital, this time because of me.


The drive down to the hospital seemed to take forever, but finally Minnie pulled up outside the emergency entrance and Huggy and I hurried in. We were directed to a waiting area outside the ICU, where Hutch and Doby were waiting. The blond haired detective looked haggard. There were dark circles under his eyes and pain had etched lines into his forehead. He was slumped in a chair by the door, head in his hands, elbows resting on his knees. Doby was pacing the floor, and both men looked up as we came in.

'Where is he?' I asked 'Can we see him?'

'They've just brought him up here from the OR. They're settling him in, then we can go in' said Hutch struggling to rise to his feet.

I went over to him and rested a hand on his shoulder. 'Stay where you are. You've done enough — more then enough. You need to rest'. I put my fingers under his chin, raising it, so that I could kiss him on the lips. He smiled wearily.

'We did it, Jamie. We got him'.

At that moment, the door to the ICU opened. 'Is there a Detective Hutchinson and a Detective Mayer here?'

Both Hutch and I moved forward. The nurse paused. 'You can have five minutes, then you will be asked to leave. Your friend isn't in any danger, but he needs his rest. Its just he won't take it, till he's seen you both. In fact he was very insistent about it'.

We both pushed past her and into the room. It was dimly lit and quiet apart from the hum of the machinery, and laying on his back on a bed in the corner was Starsky. He looked small and vulnerable, the sheet pulled to his waist and a large white dressing was covering his right hand side. An IV fed into his left had and an oxygen mask covered his face.

Hutch moved forward and leaned over the supine body. Starsky's indigo eyes cracked open a little and a shadow of a smile played across his lips.

'We gotta stop meeting like this' he whispered 'Where's Jamie?'

I moved into his line of sight, tears in my eyes.

'What have you done to yourself now?' I asked 'You're supposed to keep each other safe. Oh God Dave, why'd you do this? For me? You don't have anything to prove. You should have waited for backup'.

Starsky left hand slowly raised to take the mask from his face. 'Did it 'cos you mean nearly 's much to me as 'utch.' he gasped ' we got the bastard, now look after my partner till I get outa here'.

I nodded and pulled away. Hutch was there instantly.

'Hey Gordo, take it easy. We'll take care of each other till ya get well. Just rest'. Tenderly he put the mask back over his partner's face and sat down heavily.

A small smile lingered on Starsky's face as he fell asleep, Hutch holding his left hand and me holding his right hand. We stayed like that for some time, as I watched the handsome face against the pillow, and as the nurse came in to make sure we weren't causing a nuisance, I put my hand to my lips and shushed. Hutch's head had fallen down to the bed, and the two men were asleep. One in the bed, hooked up to yet another set of machinery, the other, in his rightful place, at the side of the man he couldn't live without.


Six weeks later, I was back at work, with my new partner, Michelle. We're getting there,- forming a partnership which I hope will become as strong as that of the two men I had had the privilege to get to know. I still have flashbacks to that night in the alley, but, as a wise dark curly haired man once told me, the memories are getting blurred and fuzzy and a little easier to deal with

Hutch made a full recovery in time to take Starsky home from a two week stay in hospital. As always they were inseparable throughout both their recuperations.

I still go over to their apartments, and am glad I had the chance to get an insight into the men behind the legend.

Footnote — some of this actually happened — just wish SandH had been there.