ANYTHING BUT ORDINARY

By: Karen B.

Summary: No hurt. A simple slice of life. Gotta give the guys a break. Let them just relax, and have some fun.

Thank you note: Rainbows and Moonbeams, Anne: aka: Mah. Thank you for the inspiration, and the help.

2005 Third Place Ordinary Day Story winner

He heard the front door open and bang shut. "Who goes?" Starsky called out from the bathroom, just as he finished wiping the last of the shaving cream off his chin.

"Who else?"

Starsky smiled, tugging a blue tee shirt over his head. "Thought it might be a tall leggy blonde in black fish net stockings," Starsky chuckled.

"You got two out of three, buddy," Hutch said, going to the kitchen sink and helping himself to a glass of water. He moved to the counter picking up yesterdays paper, but quickly tossing it back, disinterested.

"Oh, for a minute there I thought I should call the police," Starsky's voice came muffled from behind the bathroom door, as he continued to inspect his shaving job.

"Least you don't have to wonder, will he or won't he show," Hutch snipped, recalling how the last time they had a day off he had waited over two hours for Starsky to show up.

Hutch moved over to a shelf picking up a piece of pottery. He handled it with care inspecting the intricate artwork. His stomach grumbled, but he refused to inspect Starsky's refrigerator, knowing his partner lived strictly on cold pizza and root beer.

"Starsky, come on, move it. It doesn't even take a woman that long to get ready." Hutch gently set the Mexican pottery back on the shelf. "We're going to miss the sunrise."

Starsky emerged from the bathroom to greet his partner. "So I guess that's your big plan for the day? Introducing me to the sunrise? Starsky asked in a combative tone.

"Morning, partner" Hutch smiled.

Hutch's smile was so contagious. "Morning, partner" Starsky smiled back, thinking Hutch looked as happy as a fox in a henhouse.

"Trust me on this, Starsk. I'm there for you, and I'm telling you, it's going to be a terrific day."

"Leave it to you to think getting up before the crack of dawn is terrific." Said Starsky rubbing the sleep from his eyes and lobbing a fist playfully into Hutch's shoulder. "Is it even legal to wake your partner up before sunrise?"

"Be reasonable, Starsk."

"I am being reasonable."

Hutch stood, pulling his sunglasses from his pocket and shining them. "Better than trading bullets with some punk or looking like matching penguins at the policeman's ball," he mumbled.

Starsky submitted with a heavy sigh. "Guess anything beats that. Or getting shot at. Beaten up. Cop napped. Poisoned, a gun held to your head, or dodging hand grenades."

"Don't forget being institutionalized," Hutch said with a smile, slipping his glasses back in his pocket.

Both detectives knew there was nothing important to do today. No absorbing cases. No mundane paperwork. No weighty things to conference about. Just time away from the dark dank alleys, vacant lots, and smoke filled bars of the city. Away from the dangers that always put them out on a ledge. It wasn't very often they got to put away their shields and their guns.

It was Sunday. Just an ordinary day. They needed time away from the bad-guy busting, action hero life they usually lead.

"So, what are we doin' today, partner?" Starsky asked, moving to the refrigerator and grabbing a bottle of root beer from inside. Jumping up to sit on the kitchen counter, he nabbed a can opener and popped the cap, letting it clank into the dish filled sink.

Hutch shook his head. "You ever hear of orange juice for breakfast, Starsk?"

After swallowing half the soda, Starsky looked at Hutch with twinkling eyes. "Mother always told me it'd make my hair curly." He took another hearty swallow finishing the drink.

"Obviously," Hutch laughed, brushing a hand over his partner's mop of hair. "Come on, buddy. Today's on me, and I'm driving."

"What a bargain," Starsky quipped, smoothly slipping off the counter, leaving the empty pop bottle behind, and following his retreating partner.

"Could be worse, Starsk. Dobey could put you in the stockroom inventorying desk lamps with the rest of the department." Hutch looked over his shoulder with wide eyes. "Or worse still, you could be sitting here watching shoddy Godzilla reruns and feasting on second-rate leftovers." Hutch opened the front door and stepped aside, allowing Starsky to walk out first. "That'd be a lousy way to spend your only day off in two weeks, huh, partner?" Hutch pulled the door shut behind him, jiggling the handle to be sure it was locked.

"You got a point, there, Hutch."

"Well, come on." Hutch was already ahead of Starsky, gripping the handrail and jogging down the stairs.

"I'm coming."

"Hurry up."

"Don't rush me." They burst out into the warm air in the direction for Hutch's car. "So, you never told me what it is we're really doing." Starsky asked as he opened the passenger door and slid in.

"Something ordinary," Hutch said, already in the drivers seat and starting the engine.

"Ordinary?"

"Yeah, Starsky. Ordinary." Hutch enunciated.

"Sounds dull," Starsky said, under his breath.

"What?"

"I said, it sounds swell," Starsky spoke louder, turning to Hutch with an unsure smile on his face. "How 'bout coffee and donut's before we start our ordinary day," he added.

"I suppose it's my treat, huh, Starsk?"

"You're good, Hutchison." Starsky paused in thought. "Hey, 'sides, it's for the welfare of my physical condition." He thumped a hand to his muscular chest.

"Partner, having your best interests at heart is a personal crusade for me." Hutch said, looking at Starsky with a teasing grin.

"You better!" Starsky declared, meeting his friend's gaze.

If there was magic to be found in this world, they found it in the alliance they felt for one another deep inside their beating hearts.

It was a natural phenomenon, their friendship. Like the rainbow of color that came from the northern lights, or the soft sound of rain that pattered on the leaves of the trees.

They were a good mix, Starsky and Hutch. And both always thought that if they had to live their lives again, they'd do it all the same, only they'd have met sooner.

Hutch had opted for an ordinary day, like ordinary people: picnicking at the beach, frolicking in the water. Hutch strummed his guitar; Starsky moved aggressively around behind the lens of his camera. Then both stretched out on their towels to nap under the haven of the warm sunshine.

It was a long fun filled day. Time artfully slipped away like watercolors on a blank canvas. The two men took their play just as seriously as their jobs. It felt good to both detectives, just to become reacquainted with who they were, to make that connection again. Friends. Best Friends.

The place could have been anyplace. The time, anytime. Normally they'd spend days off in noisy bowling alleys, or at Huggy's place, seeing the world through the business end of a beer mug. But sometimes even those places ended up being like entering dangerous and deep waters. So, there was no sleuthing, no needing to pry the lid off dark hard-hitting crimes that would often haunt them in their sleep. It was their time. Just two friends, kicking back.

Later, near evening, Hutch took in a deep breath. The thunder of the sea always seemed to wipe away the thunder of gunfire that would so often worm it's way into his life, or worse his dreams.

The raspberry colored sky was turning darker by the minute. Starsky and Hutch walked shoeless down the windswept shoreline, Hutch loosely twirling the football in his hand. The beach was quieter now, the golden warm day beginning to be replaced by the silver of night.

"Hey, need I point out to you, that I'm cute," Starsky complained, continuing their lazy banter about the lovelies that had decorated the beach during the day.

Hutch smiled, affectionately. "Starsky, cute is for puppies or babies."

"You know, Hutch," Starsky playfully gave his partner a nudge with his shoulder. "There are times I think you hypnotize the ladies into gawking at you like you're the man of their dreams," Starsky quibbled, recalling how his partner had exchanged over a dozen looks throughout the day with several beautiful woman in bikini's, while he didn't' recall receiving one, even though he'd done his fair share of looking.

Hutch cast his partner a fleeting glance, lazily nudging Starsky with his shoulder in return. "It's all in the eyes, buddy boy." He batted his lashes, laughing heartily.

"Probably just the fact you didn't wear that lousy bowling shirt of yours." Starsky jealously kicked a little sand toward Hutch.

"More like my diplomacy and charm," Hutch assured.

"You expect me to believe that. Five spot says you're wrong there," Starsky challenged.

"I don't have five bucks," Hutch scoffed. "My partner needed a donut and coffee fix this morning."

"I'll loan it to you, sugar cheeks," Starsky laughed.

"Cut that out, Starsky." Hutch rolled his eyes. "Lucky for you, partner, I'm your best friend," he said, seriously. "And as your best friend, I'll give you a few pointers on improving your love life," Hutch softly laughed.

Starsky smiled, hearing the tenderness hidden in his friend's tone. "Handing out free advice now?"

"My pleasure, partner," Hutch smirked. "You just stick with me buddy."

"Don't need you to tell me about the birds and the bees, Hutch." Starsky waggled his brows.

Hutch couldn't help but smile as they paused in silence to marvel at the warm summer waters of the Pacific. "You sure about that, Starsk?" he said, with a devilish smile.

Starsky cast his friend a withering glance. "Hutch, you've got an ego bigger than Dobey's appetite," he said. "Speaking of appetites, I'm hungry."

"That's no surprise!" Hutch scrutinized his friend, letting out a breathy groan. "Just enjoy the view, will you, Starsk?"

Starsky exhaled noisily. "I'll enjoy the view, Blonde." Starsky shoved his hands into the back pockets of his shorts. "But, I'll still be hungry."

"Oh for--" Hutch gave up, bringing his attention back to watching the waves rolling in and out, trying to ignore his partner. But it was difficult. He could see Starsky fidgeting out of the corner of his eye. Hutch raised his brow, and threw a frustrating sideways glance to his friend. 'Did Starsky think he'd turn invisible and wither away if he didn't eat every few hours?'

"All right, Starsk," Hutch surrendered. "Here's the deal."

Starsky turned to Hutch. The smile he saw was menacing, and a grim look came to Starsky's face. Hutch had a quicksilver tongue and his deals always had one hell of a kick to them, but Starsky listened intently, anyway.

"You stand there watching the view; not saying a word for ten minutes. Ten minutes Starsky. Without moving a muscle," Starsky made a face. "And, I'll spring for burgers and beer." Hutch said, wrapping the sweet deal up nice and neat.

Starsky thought it over a split second before flashing a wide smile, then opened his mouth to answer. Hutch put up a stiff finger. "Not one word, Starsky."

Giving a short nod of agreement, Starsky closed his gaping mouth. Standing perfectly still he went back to astutely watch the surf crash against the sand.

Hutch sighed peacefully, still playfully spinning the football, and glaring heavily at Starsky. Waiting and watching for his friend to breech the contract. Out of the clear blue, Hutch flexed his arms, stretching nonchalantly, then pulled a bump and run, pushing Starsky off balance to the sand. "Tag, you're it," he laughed, taking off down the beach with raw power.

Starsky looked up, spitting out a mouthful of gritty sand, and watched the towering figure with shoulder length sugary white blond hair, the long muscular legs running full out. Hutch held the football securely tucked under his arm. 'Where the hell did that come from?' He didn't recall ever seeing that move in his high school playbook.

Starsky pushed himself up to his feet, a warm smile on his face, but stone cold revenge written in his deep blue eyes. The chase was on. "You're gonna pay for that one, Hutchinson."

Never one to shy away from a challenge, Starsky spit once again, and then with the driving force of a wild stallion, he plowed through the sand after his partner.

Dodging a large piece of driftwood and digging his feet deeper into the sand, Starsky quickly gained ground. "You play dirty, Hutch," he said, stretching out a hand trying to make contact with his friends shoulder.

"Too--too-- much for you, St-Starsk?" Hutch choked on a breath, zigzagging left--right--then left again escaping Starsky's reach.

Starsky stayed the course. Following right at his partners back. "Wh--who's keeping score," Starsky huffed, unimpressed by his partner's hoopla. "Make a deal with you, Hutch."

"Starsky, sometimes the best deals are no deals at all. You giving up on me?" Hutch asked, dodging another grasp.

Starsky howled. "No way, there's no backing down, blonde."

"That's the spirit, champ." Hutch back trotted, breaking his pattern every now and again, to stay out of his partner's grasp. "Never take me alive, buddy." Hutch clowned around, twisting, dancing, and splashing through the surf, just out of Starsky's touch.

"Good! 'Cause I take no prisoners." Starsky poured on the speed, sideswiping his partner. He grabbed Hutch's shoulder, dragging him down to the shoreline and knocking the football loose from his grip. "Gottcha!" Starsky said in triumph, landing on top Hutch and trapping him beneath him. "Want me to read you your rights, buddy boy?"

"That--that your best, dummy?" Hutch goaded, watching Starsky breathing hard.

"I'm in position right now to do whatever I want, Hutchinson," Starsky glared down at him with a devious smile.

"Really?" Hutch laughed, easily shoving Starsky off him and pinning his shoulders to the wet sand. "It's all in what you do with that position, partner." Hutch doubled up in laughter, now having the upper hand. He reached for Starsky's wrist.

"Wha--wha--" Starsky's asked, mildly confused. "You doin' now?"

"Uh, just figured I'd best check for a pulse, buddy," Hutch burst out laughing. "Got any life left in you?"

"Not much more," Starsky breathed heavily.

"Wanna' run some more?" Hutch asked.

"Wasn't planning to."

Hutch reached out to brush some sand away from Starsky's eyes. Starsky struggled to get out from under his friend, but Hutch held him to the ground. "Well?" Starsky frowned.

"Well what?"

"Well, can you let me up?"

"Well, maybe," Hutch said, flashing a sultry smile.

"Come on." Starsky wiggled hard, but couldn't get out from under his partner's weight. "You've had your joke, now let me up." Hutch opened his mouth to say something else. "Don't," Starsky warned. "Let--up!"

"Okay, Okay," Hutch sniggered, easing off his friend. "Easy, partner." Hutch flipped off Starsky offering him a hand. "Just don't try to make a run for it," Hutch ribbed. Starsky hunched over, hands on his knees, air rushing in and out of his mouth. "You should come to the gym once in awhile with me, partner. You're out of shape." Hutch bent down to pick up the football.

"Hutch--" Starsky straightened. "When I want your opinion, I'll ask for it. And next time, give a guy fair warning before you decide to blindside him." Vivid blue eyes looked at Hutch, breaths still coming ragged from the chase. "You-you plan on this every time we have a….a day off?"

"Yup, every time," Hutch said, grinning. "Guess you're just stuck with me."

"Yeah, guess I am." Starsky drew in a deep breath of ocean air. He dusted his hands of sand, feigning defeat, yet trying to hide a smile. But the truth was, he was all in favor of days like this. It beat the storm of blazing bullets they usually spent their time dodging, and the competitiveness between them aided in clearing the dangerous levels of adrenalin and frustration that piled up. It was better than therapy.

Hutch rolled his eyes tossing the football lightly up and down. "Not a dull day after all, huh, Starsk?" He added, in a rush of emotion.

Starsky exchanged a significant glance with Hutch, and then punched him lightly in the shoulder. "Swell day, partner."

"Let's go," Hutch suddenly announced, shivering against a cool westerly breeze.

"Where too?"

"My place. Cold beer and couple sizzling steaks for two." Hutch winked one pale blue eye.

"What happened to the burgers?"

"Not romantic enough," Hutch joked.

"Romantic dinner for two? What would people say?" Starsky asked.

"Ordinary, Starsk. Just ordinary."

"Think so, Hutch?" Starsky hooked an arm around his partner's neck drawing him against his side.

Hutch smiled easing an arm around his friend. "Know so, Starsk."

"Hutch?" Starsky looked uncertainly to his friend. "Did I tell you, that you're the best friend I got."

"Didn't have to, Buddy."

A half sigh arose from both men, for once again they were at ease. Moonbeams reflected around them in the sand. The silence was comfortable, as they walked like drunken sailors back to the parking lot--side by side. Their beating hearts overshadowed the mummer of waves hitting the shore, and the ringing toll of a distant buoy. There was easiness in their gait, their friendship guiding them along. Weary souls at rest; rough seas calm. They understood what each other's thoughts were.

Their friendship.

Was a secret and powerful thing.

It was a beautiful end, to an ordinary day.

But both knew.

Sunrise to sunrise.

Day in and day out.

Their friendship was anything……..but ordinary.

The end.