How many 'World's Scariest Police Chase' clips can one fit into a single story?

Four.

Enjoy!


Starsky watched as Hutch jogged, head down to avoid the drizzling rain, towards the Torino with a large bag of Mexican carry-out. Hutch pulled open the passenger door and slid inside quickly, leather squeaking against leather as he pulled the heavy door shut after him. The steaming food quickly filled the car with a mouth-watering aroma and began coating the glass with a light fog.

"It still raining?" Starsky asked casually as he grabbed the bag and pulled it towards him for inspection.

Hutch looked at him incredulously as a drop of water slid down his nose. "A little," he replied stiffly when he realized his partner was too engrossed in the food.

Starsky pulled an overstuffed burrito from the bag and began unwrapping one end. "I love days like this. For once, we get to eat lunch at lunchtime."

Hutch settled into his corner of the Torino and propped his right arm on the door before rubbing his forehead. "Days like this are terrible. There's nothing to do."

Starsky stopped chewing and shot a deadly look at Hutch. "Don't say it."

"Say what? That it's boring-"

Starsky threw his hands up, not noticing a bean that landed in his lap. "I told you not to say that! You know what happened last time you said it was boring?"

Hutch closed his eyes and turned away from the mess his partner was making. "So maybe chasing that little old lady wasn't by definition fun, but at least it was something to do."

"Hutch, she was naked."

Hutch fought to control the smile that threatened to appear. "I stand my ground."

Starsky shook his head and continued eating. Outside, a gray sky continued keeping it's city captive to bleakness and gloom. The rain was falling slowly, in that annoying pattern that Chinese Water Torture had been modeled after. The Torino's windshield wipers slid soundlessly over the glass, fruitlessly attempting to clear the windshield. The next few minutes were spent in comfortable silence as Starsky ate.

Just as the burnet was balling up the foil wrapper, the police radio beeped to life.

"All units please be advised of a Code 2 505. Subject is driving a green, '79 Pontiac Bonneville heading west on 25th."

Starsky glared at Hutch.

Hutch's eyes grew big and he held up his hands in defense. "Hey, all I said was-"

"Stop! Don't say that ever again!"

As Starsky grumbled to himself and brought the Torino to life, Hutch picked up the radio and verbalized their consent to the call. As he was replacing the handset, the car lurched forward and onto the street. Hutch caught himself and glared at his partner before grabbing the mars light and plopping it on the roof. "In a hurry?" he asked as he settled back into the seat.

"As a matter of fact, I was enjoying the peace and quiet," Starsky replied, keeping his eyes on the road before him. "Till you went and ruined it."

"I just said it was boring-"

"Hutch, knock it off! You just made it worse!"

Hutch grinned. "Boring."

Starsky was becoming exasperated. "I'm serious Hutch. Please."

"Starsky, you can't really believe that me saying b-"

"Don't!"

"Saying that word has any impact on future events whatsoever." Hutch shook his head. "It's impossible."

Starsky huffed and gave the Torino a little more gas. "All I know is that every time you say it, things get worse."

"Okay. I'll stop."

"Thank you."

Hutch waited until Starsky was looking at him then smiled a little. A moment of silent conversation filled the car before Hutch turned to look in front of them. Up ahead, on the other side of a cluster of civilian motorists, a pale green Bonneville fish-tailed around a corner and out of sight.

"There it is!" he exclaimed with a pointed finger.

There was a hollow thump as Starsky stomped the gas pedal to the floor, spurring the Torino forward with a squeal of rubber on slick asphalt. "Come back here…"

Hutch clung to the door handle with a white-knuckled grip as Starsky took the turn like any professional stunt driver. Hutch looked at his partner.

Yup, he was in 'show off' mode.

Hutch swallowed, grateful he hadn't caved in and eaten at the Mexican place.

As Starsky and Hutch were catching up, it became obvious that the person driving the Pontiac really wasn't used to driving this recklessly. The large car fish-tailed horribly around every corner and nearly ran into several other cars and light posts. With all the time the extra maneuvering was causing, the Torino easily crept up behind the Pontiac.

Except the suspect wasn't stopping.

In fact, Hutch could have sworn the driver had just flipped them the bird.

Hutch picked up the handset and clung to the dashboard with his other hand. "This is Zebra Three, we are in pursuit of the green Bonneville, now heading south on Olive Street. License number…" Hutch squinted through the rain-streaked windshield. "749 ONT."

Starsky pushed the Torino into another tire-shredding turn, slamming Hutch against the window and causing him to drop the handset. "Starsky-"

"Sorry."

"10-4 Zebra Three, keep in pursuit. Back up is on the way."

Hutch hung up the radio and concentrated on staying on his half of the car. His elbows were locked on either side of him- one hand on the seat and one hand on the door handle. He watched the Bonneville take another wild turn and tightened his grip as Starsky followed.

"Where is he going?" Hutch asked in frustration.

"He's running scared," Starsky observed, his voice strangely calm as he concentrated on maintaining his position.

Hutch winced as the Bonneville barreled out into the intersection, causing two cars coming in opposite directions to slam on the brakes and slide to a stop parallel to each other. "He's gotta be hiding something," Hutch added as the Torino flew past the stunned motorists.

"Zebra Three, please be advised, suspect is a possible 5150. I repeat, proceed with caution, vehicle is licensed to Betty Gray, a diagnosed schizophrenic."

Starsky glanced at the radio, then at Hutch. "Great."

Hutch picked up the radio. "This is Zebra Three, 10-4."

He replaced the mike and looked at Starsky. "What?"

Starsky shook his head, swerving to avoid a random car. "Nothing." He paused as he turned the wheel hand-over-hand, crushing Hutch against the door, and straightened out again. "Maybe next time you'll listen to me."

"Starsky-"

"Where is she going?" Starsky asked as he navigated around another turn. "She's heading into a residential area."

Hutch turned his attention to the Bonneville. They were indeed heading into a more populated area of the city. There was an elementary school only a few miles from here. "We can't let her going tearing through a neighborhood."

Starsky stepped on the gas. "I don't intend to."

The engine strained as the Torino ate up the distance between the cars. "What are you gonna do?" Hutch asked.

"You're gonna shoot the tires out."

"What?"

"Go on, lean out the window and aim!"

"Starsky, are you crazy? That's a movie stunt, you can't-"

Another wild turn left Hutch clinging to the door handle in an effort to avoid his partner's lap.

You know, sometimes all Starsky needed was his own theme music.

The houses were becoming closer together and the occasional tricycle littered the driveways. Hutch reached for the mike. "I'm calling this in. It's getting too dangerous."

Hutch had to close his eyes to concentrate, but he finally managed to let the station know where the suspect was heading.

"10-4 Zebra Three. Terminate pursuit."

Hutch smiled in relief. Starsky, on the other hand, looked like a child whose puppy had just slipped out of it's collar and was bounding away. "It's not worth it, Starsk," Hutch tried to reason as he grabbed the mars light off the roof. "It was only a case of road rage. We'll get her later."

Starsky took his foot off the gas, letting the Torino gradually approach the speed limit. Up ahead, the Bonneville continued it's high-speed flight until it was out of view and all that remained were tire tracks.

They came to a stop at a stop sign and silence filled the car. Starsky's eyes were distant for a moment before he blinked and said, "You always ruin my fun."

Hutch threw up his hand. "Don't give me that Stark…"

"It's true," Starsky pressed as they accelerated through the intersection. "You're too conservative. I can't even enjoy a loaded bean burrito with you around."

Hutch sighed. "You're right. I'm an evil person who wants you to die a premature death caused by plethoric boredom. Shame on me."

Starsky merely agreed. "That's right."

Hutch rolled his eyes and looked out the window. The rain had finally stopped, leaving the earth wet and sparkling. They passed a young mother walking hand-in-hand with her little girl, who had obviously just been released from school. Her backpack swung in wide arcs as she skipped and Hutch doubted it contained much more than a few papers and some pencils. The two of them looked so happy, and a strange bubble of paternity rose in Hutch's chest.

"What do you want Starsky, a girl or boy?"

"Depends on what we're talking about."

"Children," Hutch replied, resisting the urge to cuff his partner's curly head. "Boy or girl?"

"I only get one?"

"Well, I guess you can have one of each."

Starsky smirked. "Well thank you."

Hutch inhaled and opened his mouth but Starsky plowed on. "I think I'd like a little boy. I mean, they've gotta be easier to raise, right? I already know the questions boys ask, what they like to do, how they think…"

"That's why there's a mother, in case you have a little girl," Hutch noted.

"Yeah, I guess so. I think I'd be happy with whatever I got."

The car turned back onto the highway and began accelerating. Hutch watched the trees slide by. "Me too."

"Hey," Starsky spoke up, "Isn't that our friend?"

Hutch followed his partner's furrowed-brow gaze into the traffic in front of them. Sure enough, an ugly green Bonneville was darting from lane to lane, filling then voiding every empty space available in a rush to get ahead.

Hutch automatically reached for the radio. "This is Zebra Three, we have located the suspect Betty Gray and are in pursuit heading east on Highway 60."

"10-4 Zebra Three. Back up is in en-route."

"10-4," Hutch replied even as he replaced the hand set and grabbed the mars light. "Looks like you were meant to have some fun today after all."

Starsky grinned and gunned it, eliciting a powerful rumble for the Torino's engine as it lurched forward. "I'm not letting her go this time."

Hutch recognized the glint in his partner's eyes and tightened his grip. Thankfully, it was only a little after noon and the traffic wasn't as bad as it could have been. Between the siren and the mars light (and maybe the Torino itself) most of the motorists moved out of the way quickly. A path opened up before them like the parting Red Sea. Starsky took advantage of it and the Torino picked up speed on the straightway.

Just as Starsky was easing up behind the Bonneville, the Pontiac's brake lights flared and it jerked to the right, just barely maneuvering onto the exit ramp in time. A compact white Chevy slammed on the brakes, avoiding a side-impact collision as the Bonneville plowed it's way through.

The Chevy came to a stop on the side of the road, the driver upset but unharmed, as Starsky took the same tire-burning turn onto the exit. Hutch clung to the passenger door as one clings to a rescue rope in the middle of white water rapids.

"I understand why your car is at Merle's so often," Hutch ground out as the Torino straightened out.

Starsky grinned rather gleefully in response. "I wish you'd let him fix up your car."

"My car is fine the way it is."

The Bonneville turned at the intersection and headed down a fairly quiet street. Starsky followed. "Yeah, if you like slow, unreliable transportation."

Hutch let the jab slide as he took note of the street name. "Hey, I think she's heading back to the neighborhood."

"Yeah?" Starsky glanced around quickly, seemingly becoming aware of his surroundings for the first time. "We need to stop her. Call it in."

"Where's back up?" Hutch muttered as he reached for the hand piece once more. This was getting old. "This is Zebra Three. Suspect Betty Gray is resisting arrest and heading back into the White Dove development. I need permission to terminate flight."

There was a short pause, then, "10-4 Zebra Three. Permission granted."

Starsky lit up like the proverbial Christmas tree as Hutch replaced the mike.

"Starsky…"

"What? I learned how to do this in the academy. Just sit back and relax while I apprehend the suspect."

"But somehow everything you learn gets a large amount of… 'flare' added to it."

"Flare is good."

The Torino's nose crept towards the Bonneville.

"Not your kind of flare," Hutch retorted softly, his hand instinctively tightening on the door handle.

No one could say Betty didn't have any warning. The siren was wailing, the lights were flashing, and Starsky had managed to stay with the woman despite all of her erratic driving. If she was going to pull over, she would have done it by now. Betty Gray had plenty of warning. Starsky made his move.

Starsky eased the car impossibly closer. Betty tried to escape, obviously eyeing a side street on the right and then deciding to make a break for it. She lay on the brakes, and Starsky did the same, but not before giving the Bonneville a shove to the right side of it's rear bumper.

True to the horribly overused cliché, the next few seconds seemed to last a lifetime. Starsky's move should have worked perfectly, except that Betty had already been turning the car when contact was made. Because the Bonneville's balance was off center, Starsky's nudge caused the car to bounce up onto the sidewalk and obliterate a mailbox before complete flipping over. Metal scraped against asphalt as the Bonneville slid down the street on it's roof, leaving a trail of yellow and orange sparks in it's wake. Smoke began to rise from the friction. Finally, after traveling fifteen more feet, the car came to a rest at an angle in the middle of the two lane street.

The Torino was idling a short distance away, it's occupants sitting in awe.

"Oops."

Hutch blinked. "We have to see if she's alive," he said as he opened the door.

Starsky was right behind him as they jogged towards the smoking, hissing wreckage. There was no movement from the belly-up Bonneville, save for the still-turning wheels. The scream of back-up sirens could barely be heard over the tension-filled silence on the street.

Hutch had just reached the car when, in an impossibly fast movement, Betty wrenched herself free and out of the broken driver's side window, crawling on her hands and knees through the glass until she was free from the wreckage, dragging her large leather purse behind her.

Hutch came to a stop.

"Are you alright?" he called to her as she fumbled to stand up.

As soon as he was on her feet, Betty pulled her purse up and shoved her hand inside. "Back up!" she screamed, stumbling as she started forward.

As if the image of an obviously crazy woman staggering towards them with torn clothes and a minor gash on her forehead weren't enough cause for weariness, now Betty was aiming her purse at them.

Hutch's hands immediately went up at his sides as he took a step back. "Easy there," he tried, watching her closely as her wild blue eyes darted around. The sirens were getting louder.

Starsky bumped into him as he scrambled to get out of her way. "Put the gun down and come with us, we'll get you some help," he bargained.

Betty sidestepped towards the Torino, keeping her hand in her purse and the bag pointed at the detectives, scanning her surroundings the entire time. "Just shut up!" she screamed, blinking against a strand of blonde hair that had blown in her face.

Hutch leaned towards his partner in the smallest of gestures. "Think she's for real?"

"I think I don't wanna take that chance," Starsky murmured in reply, moving his mouth as little as possible.

It wasn't until Betty reached the open door of the Torino that Starsky understood completely what was happening. "Oh no," he started, stepping towards her, "Not my car. You just come over here and we'll talk about this."

Hutch reached out and snagged Starsky's arm as Betty's eyes widened with defensiveness. Her arm straightened and the purse was aimed at them more carefully.

"Get back!" she yelled before plopping down in the Torino.

With a bang of the car door and a roar of the engine, the Torino's tires squealed as they gripped the road and that quick, it was gone.

There was a heartbeat of silence before the back up patrol car screeched to a halt before the open-mouthed detectives.

"You guys okay?" the police officer shouted through the car.

Starsky and Hutch jumped into action. Starsky ran to the driver's side of the car and pulled open the door, basically ripping the officer from his seat. "I need your car," he mumbled, dropping into the seat just as Hutch was doing the same on the passenger side.

"What? Hey, wait a minute!"

Starsky stepped on the gas before the door was even shut, leaving one very confused young cop standing alone on the street behind them.

"I just stole a police car," Starsky stated as he gunned the engine.

"I believe the technical term is commandeer," Hutch murmured as he reached for the radio.

"Well she shouldn't have stolen my car."

Hutch rolled his eyes. "This is Zebra Three, we are once again in pursuit of Betty Gray. Suspect has changed vehicles and is now driving a red and white striped Ford Torino, heading west towards highway 10. Consider her armed and dangerous."

Hutch swore he heard a chuckle.

"The suspect is in your vehicle?"

"Yes."

"Detective, what vehicle are you driving?"

"We are in a marked police car in pursuit of the suspect," Hutch ground out. Then as an afterthought, "Officer needs assistance on Opal street."

"10-4. Back-up en route."

Hutch was almost surprised when Captain Dobey didn't come on the line and demand to know what was going on. He hung up with a sigh and looked out the windshield at the Torino's tail lights. "You think you can hurry this up? The sirens are beginning to give me a headache."

Starsky huffed and looked exasperated. "I am hurrying up! That crazy woman is in my car!"

"Guess you learned your lesson, huh?" Hutch grinned, hiding his face by looking out the window. "You're not a stunt driver. You're lucky she's not dead."

"Yes mom."

Hutch glared at Starsky. "Would you just drive?"

Starsky took a corner rather aggressively. "No, I thought I'd sit here and twiddle my thumbs some more."

"Oh, so now I twiddle my thumbs?"

"Did I say that?"

"No, but you implied it."

"I did not!"

"Car!"

Starsky slammed on the brakes and veered around an old woman in an Oldsmobile. As soon as he was clear, he floored it again.

"Watch it Starsky, that could have been your grandmother!"

"My grandmother knows how to drive!"

Hutch focused on the Torino. "She's heading for the highway again."

"Not in my car she's not. Shoot out the tires."

"What? I thought we just went through this."

"I'd rather pay for new tires than have my whole car totaled. So go on, shoot out the tires. I give you permission to aim at my car." After a heartbeat, he added, "Once in a lifetime opportunity."

"Starsky-"

"Fine, you take the wheel and I'll shoot out the tires."

"What is wrong with you! You can't shoot out tires when you're traveling at 90 miles an hour and dodging traffic!"

Starsky sighed. "Fine. Do that termination thing again," he said, fluttering his hand.

"Absolutely not."

"Come on!" Starsky whined.

Yes, David Starsky flat-out whined.

"You're my partner, you're suppose to support my decisions!"

"Another car!" Hutch shouted, wincing as Starsky swerved around a Gremlin. "I've got a date tonight, I'd like to be alive that long."

"Wait a minute, I thought we were going to Huggy's tonight."

"Well we are, but afterwards…"

"Zebra Three, this is Ocean Five, we are in position at mile marker 161 on highway 10."

Hutch snatched the radio. "10-4 Ocean Five. We're bringing her to you." He looked at Starsky hopefully. "Maybe this will finally end."

"Knock on wood."

Hutch rapped on Starsky's head playfully. "Like this?"

"Knock it off," Starsky grinned, keeping his eyes on the Torino. "Remember, this is all your fault anyway."

Motion in the rear view mirror caught Hutch's attention. "Yeah," he murmured, turning around.

Five beautiful swirling lights were in position behind them.

"Looks like back up finally arrived," Hutch smiled.

The Torino continued swerving dangerously in and around traffic, it's driver apparently unconcerned about the sea of lights and sirens fanned out behind her. Starsky winced every time Betty clipped another car as if he had been struck a physical blow. Overall, however, Hutch thought it might be interesting to see his partner and Betty race one on one- under different circumstances of course.

And preferably with him not in the car.

"Good," Starsky replied, "I want my car back."

Starsky inched his way towards the Torino, pushing the police car for all it was worth. Up ahead, Betty clipped a dark green car and the Torino lost it's passenger side rear-view mirror. Hutch watched it bounce along the highway as they sped by.

The driver of the green car flipped them off.

Starsky returned the gesture.

Finally, on the horizon, a mass of flashing lights appeared. The marked cars were pointing nose to nose, huddled together and blocking off the road, stopping the few civilians that were on the highway. As Starsky and Hutch drew closer, several armed officers became visible in their defensive stance behind the cars. Several guns were already aimed at the Torino, obviously prepared to take whatever measures necessary to bring Betty to a stop.

The Torino kept speeding even as Starsky took his foot off the gas. "Is she gonna stop?"

Hutch watched the Ford in wonder. The barricade was approximately 100 yards off from the Torino and Betty had to be going around 70 miles per hour.

"Oh man, I don't think she's gonna stop."

70 yards

"Hutch, she's not stopping."

50 yards

"Hutch, that's my car. She's gonna wreck my car."

30 yards

The police officers were beginning to falter in their defensive line.

"Hutch, she's not stopping!"

20 yards

The officers were moving to the side of the road.

"Hutch! My car!"

10 yards

Then, by some divine intervention, the Torino's tail lights flared and it's nose dipped towards the asphalt in a tire-shredding stop. A scream filled the air and Hutch couldn't be positive that it was the Torino and not Starsky. Smoke billowed from the burning rubber as the car slid forward and just barely kissed one of the parked police cars, rocking backwards as it came to a rest.

Silence filled the air as Starsky brought the police car to a stop behind the Torino.

Nobody moved.

Starsky opened his mouth. "That is exactly why women should not be allowed to drive."

Hutch wisely kept silent.

Without warning, Betty burst from the Torino and began to run. Starsky and Hutch were instantly on their feet and following her, aware that the suspicious purse was not accompanying her any longer. She had most likely been bluffing.

"Stop, police!" Starsky shouted as he pulled ahead of Hutch by a hair.

Hutch fumbled when he realized where Betty was heading.

She was running straight for the concrete median that divided the highway.

And it didn't look like she planned on stopping.

"She's gonna jump it!" Hutch yelled as he willed his legs to move faster .They had to catch her before she went over and was possibly struck by an oncoming vehicle.

Starsky made a grab for the back of the woman's loose-fitting blouse but it was too late. Betty was up and over the three-foot concrete wall with the grace of a hunted animal.

Starsky and Hutch followed with a grace all their own.

As soon as Hutch's feet hit the pavement on the eastbound side of highway ten, a large white car blazed by, jerking away from the detective and nearly running a neighboring car off the far side of the road. Hutch winced as tires screeched and horns blared angrily.

Betty was running next to the median, heading straight into oncoming traffic with no signs of fear. Starsky was a few steps behind her, and after taking a steadying breath, Hutch lurched forward as well.

Another car sped past, the tailwind grabbing onto and pulling at Hutch's clothes like a barb on the end of a whip. Hutch pressed himself against the median so that it was almost hindering his stride, but doing so placed an extra few inches between himself and that ominous white line.

An incongruous sound above him broke through his frantic thoughts. Hutch looked up and squinted into the sun.

A helicopter was hovering above them, with a very large number four painted on the side and a man holding a large camera sitting inside.

Hutch tripped, catching himself on the rough edges of the median.

The news? They were being shown on the news and he had just tripped. Great.

As soon as he righted himself, another car sped by and Hutch swore it tried to clip him. The tailwind pulled him backwards for a moment before he was running after his partner once again.

Starsky could really move when he wanted to.

Then, in the second (or fifth) miracle of the day, a marked police car appeared up ahead. It swerved dramatically, swinging around to kiss the median, and a uniformed officer stepped out and leveled a gun at Betty. Hutch saw the officer's lips move as he shouted for her to stop and reluctantly, she did.

Starsky nearly ran into her back as Betty threw up her arms. He pulled out his handcuffs and was beginning to put them on when Hutch came to a stop next to him. Both men's ragged breathing was barely audible over the incessant thunder of the helicopter above them. Hutch dropped his hands to his knees and bent over, trying ease the burn in his lungs as Starsky pushed the now-cuffed Betty into the arms of the waiting officer.

Starsky turned towards him, panting. "Good chase, huh?" he yelled.

Hutch looked up long enough to roll his eyes before settling back against the median to catch his breath.

o0O0o

Starsky watched as Hutch jogged, head down to avoid the drizzling rain, towards the Torino with a large bag of Mexican carry-out. Hutch pulled open the passenger door and slid inside quickly, leather squeaking against leather as he pulled the heavy door shut after him. The steaming food quickly filled the car with a mouth-watering aroma and began coating the glass with a light fog.

Starsky watched a few drops of water fall from Hutch's head to the Torino's leather seat. "It still raining?"

Hutch glared at him.

Starsky grinned and grabbed the bag of food. "What, don't tell me you think it's bor-"

A warm, wet hand pressed against his mouth and Starsky looked up in shock.

"Don't ever say that word again," Hutch threatened, his blue eyes wide and searching.

After a moment, Starsky remembered to nod.

Hutch moved his hand and leaned back a little. "Good. Now pass me my burrito."

END