Six inches from his heart. That's what the doctors had told me. The damn bullet was six inches from his heart. Why did we have to answer that call? Why did he have to go first? Why wasn't I there for him?
These questions keep plaguing my mind as I head up the stairs to Hutch's apartment. My legs are shaking as I think of it. One more inch and he could've been dead. That's the one fear we both have that we never talk about. The fear of being left without a brother.
I couldn't imagine my life without Hutch. He's always been there for me when I needed him. We need each other to live a normal life. But, our lives aren't normal at all. There are times when we both wanna just call it off. We wanna stop this roller coaster that we're both so sick of. When we're together though, then we can handle it. Me and Thee never stopped.
I almost lost the only person in the world that I've ever truly cared for. If Hutch had died, well so would I. The last time I remember being that scared was when he was sick with the plague. I swear, I could feel him slipping away and it drove me crazy. Ask anyone and they'll tell you. I was snapping at everyone, I wasn't eating or sleeping either. All that was important was saving Hutch.
I open the door with my spare key. We never really have any privacy between each other. All modesty dropped when we became really close back in the Academy.
"Hey," I call through his bathroom door, "It's your better half."
"Just a sec." I hear him call back. After a couple seconds he comes out with a towel around his waist.
"Taking a shower?" I ask.
"It's pretty obvious." He grins heading to his bedroom.
I sit down on the couch a skim through the newspaper.
"What's up?" He asks.
"Nothing," I say not taking my eyes of the paper, "Can't a guy come by to bum out with his best friend?"
"What happened?" He comes out slipping on his belt through his dark denim jeans, "Your landlady kick you out."
"Very funny." I reply.
"Wanna a beer?" He says going to the fridge.
He tosses me one.
"Ya know," I fold the newspaper back, "You didn't have to tell me you were lying about seven."
I hear Hutch laugh, "Well, I didn't want you to think you were a master mind or something."
"You could've waited and told me later." I grin.
"Well, I didn't know if I was gonna make it or not so I thought…" He stopped when he saw how deep his words cut me.
"Yeah." I just say.
"Starsk," Hutch sits next to me, "Buddy, I'm sorry…"
"What do you have to be sorry for?" I ask him searching his eyes for an answer.
He rubs his moustache deep in thought. I know he wants to say something but I go on,
"I'm the one that wasn't watching your back!" I raise my voice in anger, "I'm the one you had to come running after to save my butt when you were still healing! It's cause of me you almost died!"
"That's not true and you know it!" Hutch suddenly yells much louder than I did, making me jump.
There was this uneasy silence between both of us.
"Look Starsk," Hutch sighs, "I was the one who didn't defend myself when she pulled the gun"
I look at him like he had gone crazy.
"Hutch, she was only about sixteen. I know you, and I know even if you wanted to pull that damn trigger, you wouldn't."
It's the truth. Hutch has such a big heart, that's there just no words to describe it. His heart is so full of love and kindness that just thinking about it makes eyes begin to moisten.
"Hey," Hutch put his hand on my shoulder and squeezes softly, "Babe, it's not your fault."
"Why do you have to forget it like that?" I suddenly shout feeling so angry I'm ready to burst, "You could've died! Don't you understand! I could've lost the best friend I've ever had!"
Hutch just stares at me. He looks at bit surprised at my outburst but his eyes are full of understanding. He knows I need to get this off my chest and he's willing to sit here and listen to my venting.
"I wish I could go back it time and make it so it never happened!" I scream out.
"Starsky!" Hutch raises his voice, but not as loud as I'm yelling, "Look, you've gotta get over this! It was a damn accident! No big deal!"
"No big deal?" I whisper now to much in shock to scream. How could he say that? How could he think it's no big deal? I'm so angry I don't even know what to do.
"You selfish…" I take a deep breath, "Don't you get it?" I start crying now.
"Buddy…" Before he can say anything I yell again.
"It's is a big deal if you die! I love you, dummy! Everything I've ever been through with you an't no accident!" I punch his chest now in tears, "I stuck with you cause I love you, you hear me?! I love you dammit!"
I hit out at him again, but this time he takes me in his arms and holds me tight as cry.
"I'm sorry." Hutch's voice is shaking from crying too.
I bury my face in his neck and let the tears come.
"I know you love me, buddy," He whispers to me, "I've never doubted it. But, what happened was an accident pure and simple. I fought to stay alive for you."
This only makes me cry harder.
"I'm sorry," I try to get a hold of myself; "I didn't mean to get so angry."
"Shhh, its ok," He gently rubs my back, "Just let it out, buddy. I'm here and I'm not going anywhere."
After a little while of lying in his arms, I hear Hutch grunt in pain. I quickly let go of him.
"Sorry," I look at him worriedly, "Are you ok? Did I hurt you?"
"No, I'm fine." He smiles but rubs at his chest.
"Can I see the scar?" I ask softly not sure why I really wanted to.
Hutch frowns at me for a sec, "You sure you want to?"
He unbuttons his shirt and I see the small scar so close to his heart.
I lay a hand over his heart and whisper, "Six more inches it might've been all over."
Hutch closes his eyes for a second. Like he's trying to forget what he had said.
I move close and hug him.
"We'll be fine." I comfort him.
"Sure we will." He laughs and we break apart. He looks at me seriously, "It's not you fault."
"I know." I nod in agreement.
Hutch smiles and say, "What number am I thinking of?"
We both laugh and I suddenly feel like everything's ok again. Hutch always has this strange way of making me forget our problems. It's strange, but I wouldn't change it for anything in the world.