Kira watched as Starsky and Hutch left The Pits with their arms around each other's necks—their friendship apparently restored. She took a sip of one of the two drinks Huggy set in front of her. She tried not to notice Huggy standing behind the bar watching her, but she could feel his contempt for her. After all, Starsky and Hutch were his friends. He took their safety as his personal responsibility, and he didn't like anyone messing with his friends. She finished one of the drinks, stood up and walked nonchalantly out of the bar. Huggy wiped the bar down and muttered, "That's one lady I don't care if I ever see again."
Kira was too frightened to drive home. She failed. She failed and that meant her boss was not going to be happy. She drove around for three hours before she decided she wasn't being followed. She stopped at an all night store and bought a bottle of wine and drove to a small Mom and Pop hotel on the edge of town. It was a dump; but it wasn't the kind of place her boss would look for her. No, her tastes were a bit more upper class. Being a detective, she had several fake identification cards and decided to check in as Joanne Dawson, a school teacher who was just passing through.
Her hands were shaking as she put the chain on the door. She sat on the bed and removed her service weapon from her purse and laid it next to her. She took the bottle of wine out of the brown paper bag. The only glass she could find was a small plastic one that was next to the ice bucket. She poured the wine in it and sat back down on the bed. She was just about to take a drink when the phone rang. She jumped. Her heart started pounding and she couldn't catch her breath. She was trembling all over as she picked it up. "Hello," she said with an English accent hoping to disguise her voice.
"Can the act, sweetheart. You didn't really think that phony accent would throw me off, did you?" The male voice on the other end said.
"Please, give me another chance. I know I can separate them. Tonight was just a little set back. I just need a little more time."
"More time! You've had over a month."
"Yes and in that time, look what I accomplished. They were fighting over me. I'm the only chance you have and you know it."
"You'd better come through or Starsky and Hutch won't be the only dead detectives."
"I promise, by the end of the week their partnership will fall."
"It better." There was a short pause then he added, "and Kira, don't try to hide from us again. There is no place you can go. There is no place you can hide where we can't find you."
Kira hung up the phone and downed the glass of wine. She sighed as she thought back on how she got into this whole mess. It all started a couple of years ago, when she took that first payment. At the time, she didn't think there was any harm in it. He promised no one would get hurt. All she had to do was tell him what time a prisoner was being moved. It was no big deal. She poured another glass of wine. "No big deal. No one was supposed to get hurt," she said aloud. Disgusted at herself and her decisions, she threw the glass at the wall. The red wine splattered on the wall. Kira watched as it trickled down the wall onto the floor. It reminded her of the blood she saw on another wall in another hotel as a result of her actions. The blood belonged to a witness, Jacob Daniels. Daniels was about to testify against him. He was a two-bit, nickel-and-dime dealer who could have done a lot of damage to his organization. She sat on the bed and continued to watch the wine. "Yeah, no one was supposed to get hurt," she whispered. The next day he let her know, in no uncertain terms, that if she didn't do exactly what he told her to, the police would learn just who their leak was. Not only that, but he made it clear that she would be next. She had done a lot for him since then and was in too deep now to even consider backing out. She picked the plastic cup up and tossed it in the trash can. She leaned her head against the wall and slid to the floor in tears.
It was two months ago that she moved from her home in San Francisco to Bay City. That request came from him. Her orders were to break up Starsky's and Hutch's partnership because they were getting to close to him. As she lay on the floor, her blond hair streaked with the red wine, she remembered the first time she ran into the duo. Starsky was talking to Hutch waving his hands in the air, not really paying attention where he was going, when he bumped into her. She was holding a bunch of folders and dropped them. He stopped talking to Hutch and bent down to help her. "Oh, I'm sorry. Here, let me help you with that," he said, smiling.
"Starsk, don't you ever watch where you're going?" Hutch said. He reached his hand out to help her up. "Hi, I'm Detective Ken Hutchinson and that clumsy baboon is my partner, Dave Starsky."
She handed the files to Starsky and let Hutch help her up. "Thank you, Starsky," she said to Hutch.
"Oh no, I'm Hutch, he's Starsky." Hutch pointed at his partner who was standing with a grin on his face that reminded Hutch of a kid who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
"Well thank you, Hutch." She turned to Starsky who was now standing with a pile of folders in his hands that had papers sticking out in all directions. She relieved him of the files. "Thank you, Starsky." She continued on her way.
Starsky raised his hand in the air, "Hey, you didn't tell us your name."
She turned around and said, "You're detectives, call me when you figure it out." She turned the corner.
"Her badge, Hutch. Did you see her badge?" Starsky asked excitedly.
Hutch shook his head as he continued to watch her walk away. "It was covered by the files."
"Let's ask Dobey. He'll know."
"Later, we have to meet with Huggy."
"Aw, come on, Hutch. It'll only take a minute."
Hutch started walking down the hall toward the police garage. Starsky huffed and followed him.
Kira smiled at the memory of how easy it was to have Starsky fall for her. "They didn't know I was watching them. I started playing them against each other a couple of weeks later." She thought about her options and came up with an idea. "I've got it!" With a plan of action in mind she put a smile on her face and stood up. "Tomorrow, I'll start tomorrow." Kira was off work the next day and she knew that Starsky and Hutch were too. She drove back to her place and dialed Starsky's number.
After they left The Pits, Starsky and Hutch went back to Starsky's. They sat at the kitchen table looking at each other for a long time. It was Hutch who broke the silence. "Starsk, I don't know what to say. I don't know why I did what I did."
"Hutch, what happened wasn't just your fault."
"You told me you loved her. I should have left it at that and backed off."
Starsky finished his beer. "You know, Hutch, the real problem isn't Kira at all."
"I know, Partner. It's us. What happened to us and Me and Thee?"
"I don't know. I mean, you're still my best friend and I don't know what I would do without you."
"I don't know what I'd do without you either. I certainly wouldn't want another partner."
"Maybe, subconsciously we're pushing each other away to avoid…"
"No. That's not really it, Starsk. I do know."
"You know what?"
"Why I went to Kira's that morning."
"It was something she said to me about a week ago." He paused as he finished his sixth beer. "She said she wanted me, Starsk. And you said you loved her and that she loved you."
"If she loved you, then why was she coming after me? There's more to her than either of us thought."
"You mean you think she was playing both of us from the beginning?"
"And we fell for it, Partner, hook, line and sinker and lost us in the process."
"And we almost died because of it."
"What do we do? How do we fix us?"
"For starters, we start acting like we're Me and Thee again and get our heads out of the sand."
"And we both stay far away from her." Starsky stood up and made his way into the living room.
"Agreed." Hutch followed Starsky and fluffed a pillow that was on the couch while Starsky tossed him a blanket from the closet. "Thanks," he said as he caught the blanket.
"You're welcome." They talked another hour before turning in.
Hutch woke first and started cooking breakfast. He was still feeling guilty about things but was glad they had talked. Starsky emerged from his room and sniffed the air. "I love the smell of bacon and eggs, especially when I didn't have to make them." He smiled at Hutch and walked into the kitchen. "Thanks, Partner."
Hutch was about to answer him when the phone rang. Starsky answered it. "Hello." Hutch could tell by the look on Starsky's face that it wasn't good. Starsky motioned for him to come closer. When Hutch was close enough Starsky held the receiver so Hutch could listen. "Kira, what do you want?" Starsky asked coldly.
"I wanted to tell you, Dave, that I chose you. I did a lot of thinking last night and well…Hutch told me that you didn't really love me. He said I was just some conquest to you like all the other women."
Hutch shook his head and whispered, "I never said…"
Starsky held the receiver away, "Shh. I know. Let's see where she's going with this." The shared a glance that said they were in agreement.
"Kira, I would never do something like that. You want to know what I think?"
"I'd like to see you."
Starsky huffed quietly and said, "Not a chance. I'll work with you when I have to, but I will not see you outside of work. I want you to understand this. Hutch is my partner and he's closer to me than my own brother. He means more to me than you ever did or ever will, got it?" He slammed the phone down before she had the chance to reply.
Hutch put his hand on Starsky's shoulder and grinned. "I wonder if she's going to call me with the same line."
"I'll bet she's trying to call you right now."
"Well, Partner, if she does call me, I'll tell her the same thing."
"I want to get out of here."
"Where do you wanna go?"
"How 'bout a nice long drive up the coast."
"Sounds great. Pick me up in about a half hour at my place so I can shower and change."
"Hey, I know this little Mexican place that serves the best burritos."
"Of course you do," Hutch replied as he closed the door behind him.
Kira was outraged when Starsky turned her down. Outraged and scared. She was not used to being turned down. Beyond that, she was scared of what would happen to her if she failed. She tried calling Hutch but no one answered. She knew he liked to go on a run first thing in the morning and thought maybe he hadn't gotten back yet. She waited a little while before trying again.
Hutch drove to his place, took a shower and was waiting for Starsky when the phone rang. "Hello," he answered it.
"Hutch, it's me. I just wanted you to know that I…"
"Let me guess. You were going to chose me last night, right? Sorry, sweetheart that's not going to work on me either."
"What do you mean?"
"I was at Starsky's when you called this morning. Neither of us are going to play your little game anymore so you can move on to some other sucker. Starsky is more than just my partner. He's my best friend and will always mean more to me than you ever will." He slammed the phone down without giving her a chance to say anything else.
Kira found herself standing in front of him less than a week later trying to explain why she failed and why he shouldn't kill her for it. "You want them dead, alright I'll help you."
"I'll get you a police car…a black-and-white and keys to the police garage."
"You may serve a purpose yet. Go, I'll be in touch."
Three weeks passed before Kira was called. The station was being redecorated and painted. It looked almost like the war zone it was about to become. She saw Starsky and Hutch playing a game of ping-pong and rounded the corner. She waited. She saw Starsky leave followed quickly by Hutch. This was her chance. There was no backing down now. She went to the desk and made the call. She positioned herself near a window in the bathroom so she could see the parking lot and hear the sounds of gunfire. She actually felt bad for a brief moment when she heard Hutch yell after Starsky had been shot.
Weeks had gone by and Hutch was finally able to bring Starsky home. He helped Starsky up the stairs and onto the couch. Hutch sat in the wicker chair. Starsky still tired easily and was asleep within minutes. Hutch made himself a protein shake and sat back down. "How'd they know?" He asked himself.
"How did who know what?" Starsky mumbled.
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to wake you, Buddy."
"It's okay, Hutch. I'm okay. Just a little tired. But what are you talking about?"
"How did Gunther's men know we were at the station that day? How'd they get keys to the police car?"
Starsky sat up and moaned from the pain in his ribs as he did. Hutch started to move toward him but Starsky waved him away. "You thinking an inside job?"
"To tell you the truth, I haven't thought about it much."
"Who outside of Gunther wants us out of the way?"
"That list again. Come on, Hutch, you know there are probably at least a thousand people out there who would love to see us out of their hair."
"Yeah, but how many of those people are in the department?"
"You don't think it was her, do you?"
"Think about it, Starsk. It wasn't long after that whole ordeal with Lionel that she moved here."
"And she worked her way into our investigation."
"And tried to ruin us." Hutch picked up the phone and called Captain Dobey. He told him his suspicions and hung up.
"He said she's off the next two days but he's putting an APB out on her now."
"I'll be okay for a while. Go. Go find her."
"I can't leave you alone. Not with her still around." Hutch picked up the phone and called Huggy. "Thanks, Hug. I'll wait until you get here."
"I don't need a baby sitter, Hutch."
"Maybe not, but it would make me feel a hell of a lot better if someone else was here."
"Do me a favor, will ya?"
"My gun. Hand me my gun."
Hutch went to the coat rack hanging up on the wall beside the front door and removed Starsky's gun from the holster. He checked to make sure it was loaded before handing it to him. "Can you hold it?"
"I'm not that weak." Starsky took the gun and put it under the pillow.
It wasn't long before there was a knock on the door. "It's probably Huggy," Starsky said. Even though he thought it was Huggy, he put his hand on his gun.
Hutch had his hand on his gun as he asked, "Who is it?"
"Little Red Riding Hood," came the reply.
Hutch chuckled and let Huggy in. "I come bearing gifts."
He handed Hutch a picnic basket. "What's in the basket, Hug?" Starsky asked.
"Sustenance, my friend. I figured Hutch here was planning on feeding you a less than tasty cuisine."
Hutch frowned and Starsky chuckled. "Thanks, Hug."
"You mind telling me what's going on?" Huggy asked.
"Do you remember Kira?" Hutch asked.
"Do I, I'll say. I'd never seen the two of you at odds with each other until she came around."
"We think she's the inside leak."
"The person who gave the keys to the black-and-white to Gunther's goons," Hutch said.
"And you're going after her and need me to stay with Starsky just in case she shows up here."
"You got it," Hutch replied looking through the basket and putting things in Starsky's empty refrigerator.
"If she was the leak then why would she still be here? Why didn't she relocate?" Huggy asked.
"Because, it would be suspicious if she left now," Hutch replied. He closed the refrigerator and handed Huggy back the now empty basket.
"And besides, I have a sneaky feeling that Gunther still has a few of his flunkies floating around and she's probably still useful to them."
"I get it. When you comin' back?" Huggy asked Hutch.
"As soon as I find her." He looked at Starsky and pointed a finger at him, "You call me if you need me, okay?"
Starsky nodded. He put his feet on the coffee table as soon as Hutch left. Huggy turned the TV on. "Anything good on?"
"Yeah, the Lakers are playing."
Huggy changed the channel and sat on the couch and they started watching the game. About an hour later there was a knock on the door. "Hutch?" Huggy asked.
"No, he has a key," Starsky replied. He slipped his hand under the pillow and retrieved his gun. "Who is it?" He asked.
"It's Kira. Starsky, it's Hutch; he's been hurt."
Huggy's eyes grew big. Starsky motioned for Huggy to keep quiet by putting a finger on his lips. "Hold on, I'm coming." Starsky groaned as he got up from the couch with Huggy's help. "Kitchen," he whispered to Huggy.
Huggy nodded and went into the kitchen. He wasn't sure what he could do, but he wasn't about to allow this bitch to hurt Starsky again. He looked around and found a rather sharp-looking knife and picked it up. He ducked behind the counter so he couldn't be seen.
Starsky slowly made his way do the door. "What about Hutch? What happened?"
"Not out here. Let me in."
"No." His strength was waning and he leaned against the door. Kira tried the door knob, finding it locked she tried to kick it in.
Huggy picked up the phone on the wall and called the station. He was patched through to Hutch and told him that Kira was there and trying to talk Starsky into letting her in. "Don't let her in. I'll be right there," Hutch said.
Huggy made his way to Starsky just in time to catch him as he passed out. He slid Starsky to the floor and dragged him to his bedroom. He went back to the front door and picked up the gun that Starsky dropped. Standing on the left side of the door he said, "Kira, I have Starsky's gun and I'm not afraid to use it. Either you leave now or else."
"Or else what, Huggy Bear? You're not going to shoot me and we both know it."
"I'm not about to stand by and let you kill Starsky either." Kira fired a shot that went through the front door and ended up in a wall in the kitchen.
Huggy hated guns but he wasn't about to let Kira barge in and kill Starsky either. He slowly pulled the hammer back on Starsky's gun, took a deep breath and was about to fire when he heard the sweet sound of sirens approaching. He remained motionless as Kira fired another shot into the small apartment.
Hutch drew his weapon as soon as he got out of the car. "Hold it, Kira."
She turned around and fired at Hutch. She missed, but he didn't. She crumpled to the ground. A pool of blood started forming under her. Hutch ran toward the apartment. Huggy opened the door, "He's okay, Hutch. He passed out and I took him to the bedroom."
Hutch went to Kira. He lifted her head up gently cradling it, "Why, Kira, why?"
"It's a long story, Hutch. Just do me a favor, will ya?"
"Stay clean. I never meant for any of this…" Those were Kira's last words. She died in Hutch's arms.
Hutch gently laid Kira on the ground and went inside. He bent down beside Starsky who was now awake and struggling to stand up. "Let me help you, Partner."
"She's gone, Starsk. I think she wanted me to do it." He said sadly.
It was another month before Starsky was released to go back to work. "Mornin', Partner," he said as he saw Hutch come through the door.
"Morning, Buddy. You ready for this?"
"I'm more than ready. Do you know how hard it is to do nothing for two months?"
Captain Dobey opened his door and said, "Good, cause I've got a case I want you two on."
"What is it, Captain?" Hutch asked. He poured two cups of coffee and handed one to Starsky.
"Come in my office and we'll talk about it." He smiled as his two favorite detectives stood up and entered his office and sat down. Captain Dobey had his reservations about their partnership and friendship since Kira entered their lives. Starsky and Hutch never told him everything that happened between them, but he knew she had something to do with it. Starsky was shot not long after and this was their first case since the whole ordeal. He watched as Starsky sat in the chair and Hutch sat on the arm. He knew they were fine. His assumption that they would work out their problems was right and he couldn't help but slightly grin. He handed Hutch the file and began to brief them on their next case.