WHAT MATTERS (Slash version)

Artwork by Marion
This picture was first published in the S&H cookbook, created by Kimberly, Moon and Marion.

“You comin’?”
“Yeah… Arghhh… Wait a sec.”
“We’re late – what’s up?”

“Must’ve turned wrong when I hit the alarm clock.”

“Tsk, tsk…Didn’t I tell you to let the damn thing ring? Last time it happened you weren’t able to stretch your back at all!”

remind me – lend me a hand, will ya?”

“You big lug. Here we go. Be careful and don’t hit your beautiful head. This car isn’t made for old men.”

“Very funny, partner! I’m younger than you and can still beat you at running – think of the last senior police championship.”

“No wonder, Blondie. You only won because I’d just
sprained my ankle again. C’mon, take it easy. Just let me lock the car. Lean on me. Did you take some painkillers for your back? You look pale.”

“I’m fine. You needn’t take my arm, ya know. I’m not an invalid. Where’s the meeting with the governor?”

“In complex B. It’s over there.”

“Shit! I forgot to tell Dobey about today. He would be proud of us.”

“I’m not so sure watching you right now.”

“Stuff it, partner. Dobey knows exactly which one of us has ruined his health by eating...And you know who.. I still remember you whining about your stomach aches till I forced you to get it checked out. Having an ulcer isn’t a piece of cake. So don’t tell me anything about looking old.”

“Who’s talking about looking old? I’m still presentable – look at my hair. Compared to yours, I mean. Yours feels a bit thin here…”

“Don’t touch! Oh. Morning, Baker. Sorry, didn’t see you. - Starsk! Now Baker will spread the news of you petting my hair.”

“Who cares, Blondie? Look, we’ve always been good for some gossip. What
did they say? ‘Joined at the hip?’ ‘Inseparable?’ ‘Living in each other’s pockets’? If they knew…!”


“Starsk! We’ve always acted with discretion, haven’t we? Did I ever kiss you in public?”


“Let me think – what about when you came down the wall after I had shot that weasel Monk? I remember you kissing me…”


“Must have happened accidentally. I didn’t seem to be quite all there.”


“Goofball! I knew you loved me – should have kissed you back right away – what a waste of time, waiting so long… If Gunther hadn’t shot me, I would have never had the courage to admit my true feelings.”


“Hey, stop talking about Gunther. What he did to you still makes me mad. But he’s dead and gone – we have survived.”


“Talking about surviving. I’ve had a kinda numb feeling coming from my hip running down my right leg for some time. Dunno what’s wrong…”

“Sounds like a problem with your spine. Maybe a massage will help. We can have a look at it tonight.”


“Can’t wait to feel your skilled hands on my body. - Look, the elevator’s over there.”

“Starsk, it says ‘out of order’.”

“Really? Didn’t see it.”

“So, why don’t you wear your glasses?”

“Because my eyes are sharp as an eagle’s. Only when the light is dim, the letters get a bit bleary sometimes.”

“Watch it, Starsk. There’s a step!”

“Oh well, thanks, pal. Which floor was the governor’s office supposed to be on?”

“Wait. It must be on the invitation card: Hm… hold it for a sec, buddy. Where are my glasses?”

“On your nose, Hutch. And the office is on the third floor. Can you manage to walk all those stairs up there?”

“With a little help from my friend – sure.”

“Step by step, buddy. At least you don’t get out of breath as soon as I do. Hey, we’ve reached the first floor. What a feat! Let’s relax for a minute here. Do you remember when we were chasing those goons and I was sprinting up and down those narrow stairs? I did it without needing a break.”

“Starsk, you should be happy you even survived Gunther’s attack. Who ever thought you’d ever get back on duty again? I’m just thinking of my stupid stunt of jumping onto the roof of the car that time. What were we thinking? That we were invincible?”

“We were a pair, huh? But you’re right, I think you ruined your back with that stunt.”

“You’re telling me! C’mon, let’s move to the second floor. I should have started jogging again. Have you tried the new elixir for reinvigoration of the human system? I’ve been on it now for several weeks, but I still forget my glasses or the appointments at the dentist.”


“D’you mean the milk bottle I found this morning in the greenhouse? I threw it away, thought it was spoiled milk.”


“Starsk! I’ve been looking for that bottle for days! It’s the elexir!”

“You see, it hasn’t made things better, Hutch. You have to start with crossword puzzles. Just yesterday I solved an advanced-level crossword. It keeps your brain cells fresh. An example: What's the name of an Anglo Saxon deity?”

“Shit! I forgot my personal folder. What did you ask?”

“Hutch, never mind. No one told us to bring our personal folders. The governor just wants to celebrate our departure from the active police force. There’ll be handshakes, that’s all. One more staircase. Let’s rest for a moment. Look out of this window, Hutch! You can see the parking lot. Isn’t that our car, next to the fence? See, how good my eyes still are?”


“Not hard to spot, being candy apple red! And the Mustang, it’s yours, Starsky. My Buick is at least somewhat more presentable. The color, the seats, the whole app…“


“Hmmm, had to kiss you before you go on rambling about that car of yours. It’s boring, just boring! Ya know, there’s nothing better than a converti…”


“Oh my God, Hutch, you go on kissing me like that, and I won’t be in any condition to face the governor. If somebody sees us here…”


“It’s just what the doctor ordered. C’mon, Gordo, let’s take the last steps.”


“Wait, have to adjust my pants. By the way, did you make that appointment with the doc about a hearing aid?”

“Be glad I didn’t understand you. I’m deaf in that ear. What’re you talking about? Me and a hearing aid?! What about you, partner? I’ve been telling you for years what’s good for you and you still don’t get it.”

“Very funny! Third floor. Finally! Have to catch my breath. Pheww! Okay, let’s get it behind us. Hey, the door is locked! There isn’t a doorknob. Hutch, we can’t get out!”

“Let me try, dummy. You’re right. Hey, is there anyone who wants revenge on us by trapping us in a stairway?”

“Thousands, Hutch, thousands. I gotta sit down for a sec.”

“Hallo! Anybody there? We need somebody to open the door!”

“Hutch, your voice isn’t what it used to be. Remember in that Italian restaurant? You were yelling for Theresa so loud my ears were hurting! And why are you putting your ear against the door?”

“Sounds like there’s someone behind, but I’m not sure what…”

“I told you about that hearing… Hutch, the door’s starting to open! Oops – my God, what’s going on here? I can see the governor, and there in yellow, that must be Huggy – and Minnie and Baker and Sullivan from the precinct! Help me up, partner.”

“Come here, Starsk. Can you see the big letters over there on the banner? ‘Forever young - our best team’. They mean us.”

“What did I tell you? We’re invincible! Hey, Captain, good to see ya! Excuse me, I got some dust in my eye. Thanks for this great surprise. Hutch, it’s your turn.”

“Well, w-what else c-can I say? Walking up the stairs was worth the effort, with that partner by my side. And now I need a drink. Starsk, don’t forget to take your pill. And where are mine?”


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