David Michael Starsky swaggered down the hall, whistling a little tune.
Today he was going to be partnered with Ken Hutchinson, his best friend. He knocked on Lieutenant Parker’s office door.
“Come in. Well, you are David Michael….” Lieutenant
Parker rifled through the folders in front of him. He put on his glasses, and said, “You will be partnered with Sergeant
Thomas Lowell from Seventh Precinct.”
“What?” Starsky asked. Had he heard right? His request to
be partnered with Hutch was rejected? He couldn’t believe it. The disappointment made him choke.
“If there aren’t any questions left.” Lieutenant Parker
put his glasses down and motioned Starsky to leave.
“Sir,” Starsky cleared his throat, "I wanted to be partners
with Sergeant Kenneth Hutchinson, can you check that again, please?”
“It says here,” The man put on his glasses again. “that
David Michael is partnered with Sergeant Thomas Lowell.”
Starsky raised his voice. “Sir, I am David Michael Starsky, S-T-A-R-S-K-Y.
And I wanted to be partnered with Kenneth Hutchinson. H-U-T C-H-I-N-S-O-N!”
“Okay, okay, your ID please.” Parker looked irritated.
The swagger was back when Starsky strolled along the hall ten minutes
later. He had to tell Hutch the good news.
“Here comes my partner!” Hutch waved at Starsky and turned
to Huggy behind the bar. “Hug –champagne! I am now partners with my best buddy – let’s celebrate!”
Seeing his friend this confident, Starsky decided to change tactics. He
put on a serious face and slumped next to Hutch on a stool. “Let it be, Hug. No reason to run riot.” He sighed,
lowering his gaze.
“M’man, what’s cooking?” Huggy exchanged a questioning
glance with Hutch.
“Lieutenant Parker told me who I’m partnered with…”
Starsky began, nervously tearing a coaster apart.
Hutch turned towards him. “And?”
Starsky heard the strain in his friend’s voice, and he laid down
his last card “I’ve been partnered with Thomas Lowell from Seventh Precinct.”
“What the fuck!” Hutch’s fist came down hard on the
table and the glasses clattered. “I thought that our request had been approved. I don’t get it!” Hutch’s
face was flushed. “I should have been there. This dumbass Parker is well known for his absent-mindedness. He has probably
Starsky butted in, intending to savor the charade to the fullest. “At
first I was dumbfounded. But you must admit, Howell isn’t so bad either. At least he likes Mexican food and…”
Hutch looked at him, turning pale. “You never gave a shit if we
were partnered, Buddy.”
He turned his head to the side so Starsky couldn’t see his face.
Was there a trembling in the broad shoulders? Starsky couldn’t bear it any longer. He grabbed Hutch around the shoulders
and held on when Hutch flinched at his touch.
“Just kidding, pal. We’ll be partners. But it was a hard day’s
work to convince that old lummox Parker that he had mixed up my name with a certain David Michael. So there’s nothing
to worry about.” Concerned, Starsky watched Hutch getting up from his stool.
“Nothing to worry about?” Hutch planted his feet in front
of Starsky and drew himself to his full height. His pale blue eyes were on fire. Starsky backed up until he felt the wall
behind him. There was no way to escape. Strong hands closed around his wrists and his arms were pinned on the wall.
“Huggy, what should I do with this scum?” Hutch’s voice
had lost any gentleness.
“Call the police?” Huggy asked, absent-mindedly drying the
same glass for several minutes.
“Huh?” Both Starsky and Hutch looked at Huggy. What he had
said sounded so funny that the three men couldn’t help but start laughing hysterically.
Starsky wiped away a tear from the laughter. “Did you really believe
that I could cope with another partner other than you?” he asked, searching Hutch’s eyes.
Hutch still held on to his wrists, but he loosened his grip, his hands
transfering warmth and familiarity. His gaze softened, and he leaned in close, whispering into Starsky’s ear. “Sweet
“The next drink is on me.” Huggy tried to get on the right
“Champagne, Hug!” both said in sync.
Huggy cringed, leaving to get the cooled bottle for the celebration of
his two special friends.
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