Author's Notes: Just something that popped into my head. Call me crazy, but I love that car.
Hutch knew the Torino. If he were blind, he would know the Torino.
It wasn't just what was on the outside (that god-awful red paint job) or what was under the hood (a V8 and a few hundred horses) that made this car so unique.
It was the things inside.
Hutch inhaled deeply, breathing in the signature smell of leather and polish and faintly lingering take-out and most strongly of all, Starsky.
Then there was the feel of slick, worn leather under his hands as they moved from the door panel to the black bucket seat beneath him. He hated it. The interior springs and foam weren't nearly as resilient as they had been- repeated hard-landings had softened the car seat considerably. And the summer heat would get trapped in the material and singe your bare skin, making you yelp and peel off a layer of skin as your struggled to escape the pain. The leather squeaked against his own leather jacket in the winter, pulling at him and making dignified exits impossible.
Hutch hated the leather.
Perhaps the only good thing about it was that one could easily clean blood from it.
The steering wheel was almost always warm, and molded to Starsky's hands in a way that always made Hutch smile.
The floorboards were always cleaner than they should be, considering. There was a stain on the mat under Hutch's feet- not from blood or vomit or anything like that, but chocolate spilt from a milkshake years ago.
The CB was prominent in the car's interior, a central point of their lives. It told them where to go, who to talk to, when to hold back. It had the ability to turn them from the best of friends into the best of partners. It provided salvation in times of need.
Then, there was the glove box. Hutch reached up, the damn leather creaking as he leaned forward, and pulled the latch, dropping the door on the small compartment. The items inside looked plain and standard, but each one held a memory and importance.
A pen, unconsciously stolen from a gas station counter moments before armed robbers burst in and started shooting.
A small pad of paper, bound in dark leather, given to every detective as a means of recording important facts or details. Nobody used them.
A small bottle of Tylenol, always kept full because they just never knew.
The pink slip to the Torino. The single piece of paper that pronounced the car as Starsky's, and his alone. Why he didn't have it under lock and key, Hutch never understood.
Fifty dollars in cash, kept hidden amongst the other items as 'emergency' money. Enough to buy them several meals, a change of clothes, or the voice of a stoolie.
Two maps, one of California (for when they got lost in their own backyard), and one of the United States (for when they just wanted to get lost).
Every receipt of every repair and maintenance job the Torino had ever had done, especially damage caused by bullets, because the precinct reimbursed Starsky for that.
A silver tire pressure gauge, because 'she just isn't as pretty with flat tires'.
An old pack of chewing gum, squished and deformed from being melted and frozen and pressed under everything else and forgotten about. Hutch wanted to throw it away, but just couldn't bring himself to do it. The gum had a right to be there, just like everything else.
A small, folded and perfumed piece of paper, which Hutch knew without opening was a love letter from Terry. The simple heart and 'I love you' were one of the only reminders of her and what she had meant to them both.
And lastly, a red Swiss Army pocket knife that Hutch had given Starsky for his birthday one year. It was meant to be a gag gift, something to make his real gift all the grander, so when Starsky stored the knife away in the glove box, Hutch hadn't thought twice about it. Seriously, what good would a pocket knife do when they were staring down the barrel of a gun aimed at their hearts? But then, Starsky started using the knife. It was a mail opener, an eating utensil, a way to slow down the bad guys (by puncturing tires, of course), a way to scrape small globs of dried tar from the Torino's underbelly, and an method of escape when bound by rope. The latter only worked when Starsky remembered to carry the small knife, of course.
The knife, a gift that was suppose to be meaningless and stupid, was perhaps one of the best investments Hutch had ever made.
Starsky had that ability, to transform the unimportant and irrelevant into something most precious and valuable.
It was an ability that Hutch hoped his partner never lost.
Hutch closed the glove box and sat back, again squeaking the leather seat.
This time, he merely smiled.