All usual disclaimers apply, I don't own the rights, I don't get money and this is for entertainment only. Please excuse any errors; they are entirely mine. One year ago on June 12, I posted my first S&H story. This is story number 20.

This story was inspired by Eli (Hugs! Thanks buddy, you are the BEST!)

In The Dark
By Starsky's Strut.

Starsky heard it again; he lifted his head off the pillow.

It was just a small sound. Innocuous.

'It's this apartment; I have to get used to the sounds. S'all it is' He put his head back on the pillow. This was his first night in his new apartment after all; new sounds were to be expected.

He was almost asleep when he heard it again, it sounded closer. His eyes snapped open and he looked about the darkness that engulfed his room. He held his breath as he scanned the unfamiliar placing of his furniture.

Yep, everything was just the way he put it just a few hours earlier. 'It's just my imagination' He exhaled and rolled to his side and snuggled down into the pillow once more. He drifted off.

Something landed on the bed. He awoke with a jerk, something was on the bed, he could feel it. He opened his eyes, attempting to pierce the ebony shroud of his room. He held his breath and felt it move again. He mind filled instantly with the recent memories of his poisoning at the hands of Vic Bellamy.

That was the reason he had moved here. He could not stand to stay in his old apartment any longer, so it was fortunate that his lease was up shortly after he had recovered enough to leave the hospital, hence his move to this apartment.

The thing moved again.

He was hurtled back to that terrible time and just like then; he found he could not move. His breath started to come in frantic pants. His brain filled with the terror of not being able to move, to fight…

With superhuman effort he managed to move his leg and felt something evade his weakened kick. His heart pounded in his chest and began thumping at his sternum in an effort to escape its confines. "Who is it?" his voice sounded weak and frightened to him. The intruder would never be frightened off by that pathetic squeak.

Something skittered along the wall; a flash of movement, a reflective glint, a shadow and it was gone.

Starsky managed to roll to his side forced his arm to move and after a long and arduous trek, his hand made it to the bedside phone and he dialed the numbers by feel. Pulling the seemingly lead-weighted receiver to his head, he waited impatiently as the phone rang six times before it was answered with a sleepy "H'llo?"

His throat was partially paralyzed by fear but he managed to force out the words "Hutch… help"

"Starsk! What is it?" the sleep was instantly gone from the blond's voice.

"My room… in my room… I think someone's in here with me" his fingers went numb and he dropped the phone, it clattered to the floor. 'Oh God' Starsky thought to himself 'not again, don't let me poisoned again… hurry Hutch… hurry!'

He could hear Hutch hollering for him on the phone but he could no longer move. He heard Hutch yell that he was on his way and to hang on. It was fifteen minutes of terror waiting for Hutch to arrive. Waiting for who ever was in his apartment to attack. And though he tried, Starsky was unable to move. He caught fleeting glimpses of shadows and occasional noises from whatever it was in his apartment. He was sure that he would be attacked at any moment, cold sweat pored out of his body, soaking the sheets.

He heard the sounds of Hutch's siren and shortly afterwards, the screech of tires as the LTD's brakes ground it to a violent halt. Starsky struggled against his blankets, which were wrapped around his legs. As he attempted to free himself, something darted across the bed and across his chest. He struggled violently with his covers. The thing in his room ran over him again, so quickly that could not see what it was.

Barely audible above the pounding of his heartbeat was the pounding of Hutch's feet on the steps to his apartment. Seconds later, Hutch bust into his room, his Magnum was drawn and he ready for a fight.

"Starsk?" Came the blond's breathless, whispered pant.

"Yeah" relieved

"You okay?"

"Yeah, I think so, I can't seem to move"

"Do you know where the perp is?"

"No, just some shadows, he… it… something… ran across my bed just seconds ago"

"I'm gonna turn on the light" The light switch clicked and light filled the room. The Magnum made a slow sweep around the room, when Hutch didn't see anyone, he shot a quick glance at Starsky to assure himself that Starsky was not in any immediate danger and he quickly left the check the rest of the small apartment.

Meanwhile, Starsky managed to free himself from the blankets, his strange paralysis suddenly gone. As he crawled out of bed, something ran over the top of his foot. He let out a startled yelp. Bringing Hutch instantly to his side.

"What? What is it?" Hutch searched the room once more.

"Something just ran over my foot!" Starsky scanned the room, looking for whatever was in his apartment.

"Starsky, there's no one here but us. I checked" The blond patted his friend on the shoulder.

"How come I couldn't move? No, someone did something to me, someone was here, in this room" Starsky looked about, still trying to locate the source of his fear.

"How do you feel now? Dizzy? Weak? Anything?"

"Well… no, not now… but I was, I couldn't move, it took all I had to dial your number"

"But your fine now, right?"

"Yeah, yeah… strange, but I do feel fine now. I don't know what caused it" Starsky chuckled at himself "I feel kinda silly now" He ran a nervous hand through his hair.

"I think that you had a lucid dream" Seeing the perplexed look on Starsky's face, Hutch elaborated "It's something like where you are 'awake' in your own dream, you can direct the dream… make things happen, or not. It feels like it's real, but it's not. That must be the reason. So, go back to bed Starsk, it was all just a dream"

"So how did I manage to call you in my sleep? Explain that" Midnight blue locked onto light blue eyes, silently demanding an explanation.

"What am I? A sleep expert? I don't know how you managed to call me, you must have been just awake enough to do that, but not awake enough to move. When your sleeping, your brain normally shuts down the body's ability to move when you are asleep… unless you're sleep walking… as I've said, I'm no expert" Hutch shrugged.

"Ha! It's about time you realized it, now I have proof-" A shadow shot across the room, effectively stopping Starsky mid-tease. "Hey! There it is! Get it!"

"Get what? I don't see anything" Something ran across Hutch's foot "What the hell was that?" The Magnum was back in his hand instantly.

"It went under the bed!" Starsky flopped to his belly and lifted the trailing cover up and peered under the bed. Two glowing eyes locked onto his and a low rumble issued from the creature. Starsky smacked his head on part of his bed as he jerked back from the sound. "OUCH!" he rubbed his injured occipital lobe. Pain induced tears moistened his eyes.

Hutch knelt next to his curly haired friend "You alright?" He ran his free hand over the back of Starsky's head, feeling for any breaks in the skin.

Starsky sat up and rubbed the back of his head "I will be" he nudged Hutch's probing hand away from the sore spot. "S'okay"

Hutch lifted the blanket and looked under the bed. A low growl met him. There was a hiss and another growl as a large cat lunged at him. "It's a cat, Starsk" he said quiet unnecessarily as he lurched back from the angry creature.

"No kidding" Starsky returned sarcastically "Help me get it out of my apartment, I don't want it to take a dump in here"

"You're too late buddy" Hutch pulled one of Starsky's Adidas from under the bed, which made the cat growl again. He showed the shoe to Starsky. An incredibly bad smell preceded the shoe.

Starsky's eyes widened at the sight "CRAP!"

"Yep, it crapped in your shoe" Hutch snorted and started to laugh.

"What's so funny?" Starsky stared angrily at his befouled shoe "Those are brand new shoes! I just bought them yesterday"

Hutch laughed harder "Ever here that song, from the Swing era, it goes something like 'Pardon me boy, is that the Chattanooga Choo Choo?'" Hutch sang the words.

"Yeah? So?" the brunet was perplexed by the song reference as he stared at his poor poo-filled shoe.

"Well, 'Pardon me Starsk, is that the cat that poo-d your new shoes?" The blond sang as he pointed under the bed at the growling cat, he was shaking with laughter, rendering it nearly impossible to speak.

Starsky shoved the laughing man over onto his side "Get out!"

Hutch rolled to his feet and stood up "Don't you need help cuffing him?" he pointed at the cat, which had poked its head out from under the bed.

"NO! And I wouldn't need any help cuffing you either!" he swung a half-hearted blow at the blond "Get out!"

Hutch, still laughing, retreated to the door "Oh pardon me Starsk-" the second rendition was cut off as a shoe (the non-poo-ed one) slammed into the wall next to his head.

"OUT!"

The blond's laughter followed Starsky's angry shout.

The End