dalegardener: Starsky and Hutch, a famous hug from the episode The Fix (The Fix)
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As gen as the show, 587 words, a tag to the episode 'Hostages', written for the Me and Thee 1000 comm on LJ to the prompt, 'vulnerable Hutch'.


Sweet Alice never really looks at Starsky; she prefers to keep those big, sad, worshipful eyes of hers on Hutch. And Hutch smiles back at her, fatherly almost, as he holds her hand and gently pushes up the strap of her dress. It's all he can do. He can't save Sweet Alice. She's never going to straighten out her life, and so Hutch can pay her with coins of unlikely promises and respectful touch, and know that it's all he'll ever need to offer her. Sweet Alice might swim out of her sea of whiskey and dreams one day but she won't end up beached on any shore where she'll meet Ken Hutchinson, that's for certain.

When they walk out of the bar, Starsky takes a look at his friend, his partner, this man who's working with him to save innocent lives.

"What?" Hutch asks, irritable all of a sudden.

"Nothin'," Starsky says, throwing himself into the driver's seat and twisting the key in the ignition. They know where Belle is, and they have a chance to save Ellie Cole. They need to be ready for that. But Starsky has to shrug, and explain a little, at least. "You know how Alice makes me."

"Yeah," is all Hutch says, as he reaches for the radio, to forward their information to headquarters, while Starsky puts his foot down, and drives like a mad man. It feels good, swinging the Torino around corners, knowing that they have a purpose and a chance. Sweet Alice – Starsky wonders what sort of clients she gets, how they treat her. Do they see the sadness in her, and treat her nice? Or do the shits and the bastards sniff her out, and grind her down because they can, because her hurt, sweet face makes them feel good? Starsky knows which one he'd lay bets on, and he thinks that Hutch would lay his money the same way.

And later, when the shooting's all over, and the Coles are safe, and time's gone by, the two of them sit in Starsky's apartment, drinking beer. Hutch is sprawled on the couch, his long legs stretched out, his golden head bowed tiredly over his booze. There's a lamp back-lighting him, giving Hutch a halo and blurring out the lines of his face. They've talked about a dozen things that night, and not talked about a dozen others, and somehow the conversation turns to Sweet Alice.

"How am I different to any of her clients?" Hutch asks, not even talking to Starsky, really, just talking to the walls and the alcohol. "Just screwing her over like all the rest."

"It ain't the same, and you know it."

Hutch swallows the last of his beer, and mockingly salutes Starsky with the empty glass. "Greater good?" he slurs, and leans his head against the back of the couch. "I should go. We're both tired."

"Just sack on the couch, Blondie. You're a lightweight tonight."

"Smile when you say that, stranger," Hutch says, but he leans himself sideways to lie curled on the couch, and shuts his eyes. Starsky watches for a while, his own eyelids drooping, before he drains his glass, and stands, and finds the spare comforter and drops it over Hutch, who's already rumbling with quiet snores.

"Yeah, you sleep, buddy," Starsky says, a low murmur in the dimness of the room. He stoops again, just the once, to lay a kiss on the fine, dishevelled hair, and goes to his own room and sleeps. No dreams.


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July 2015

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