By: Karen B.

The best and most beautiful

things in the world cannot be

seen or even touched.

They must be felt within the heart.

---Helen Keller

Thank you CC for showing this 'Ol Turkey the ropes. Your time, effort and support much needed!

Summary: The Fix

From point A to point B. From one spot on the rug to the other, I tracked back and forth. I was getting desperate. All bets were off.

My knuckles white from pulling at my hair. I couldn't take much more of this. If I didn't get something soon I'd go through a wall.

You don't have to know a lot about chemistry to know the sooner you stop the better. But the decision to kick it was made for me by my partner, Starsky. Hell, the decision to start it wasn't mine either. But, I knew stopping was the right thing to do, that choice I could make or not make.

Unfortunatly the junk had already taken over, whisked in like winter stealing the leaves from the trees. I couldn't help myself. Couldn't control it. I felt lost, like I was walking through a haze of smoke. I tried to hide in a faraway corner of my mind, but I was too jittery. I had to do something, so I paced the floor, but the devil just kept right on knocking at the door, begging to be let in.

I felt like my feet had switched places with my head as I paced back and forth in the small room. I felt as though I had bitten off more than I could chew. The point of my time locked up here was simple. To keep me from the stuff. To stop me from continuing on with what Forest had started. But a voice just kept on whispering 'let me in.'

I was agitated. Caged. Like a hungry prizefighter waiting to hit the mat for the first time. The power of the drug's toxicity was affecting my nervous system. I couldn't sit still. I wanted out of here, and I was haunted by this vision of sucker punching Starsky and making a break for it. But, he guarded that door like there was a dainty long-legged blond behind it that he wanted to keep all to himself.

I was tired, irritable, I couldn't concentrate on anything. I was a slave to the cravings. I was at war with myself and there was no getting around the fact that I had no weapons at my disposal other than my partner. I stopped pacing a moment, Starsky ever watchful of me, his eyes peering over a Field and Stream magazine he was pretending to read.

"Starsky, you don't have to baby-sit me," I growled.

"I'm glad for the company," he said, nonchalantly licking his index finger and flipping a page.

We had no strategy. There was no weaning me off the junk. Quitting cold turkey isn't easy and the longer I went without --the worse it seemed to get. It's about as long of a fall as you can take. I looked away from my keeper and scanned the room. Couldn't get out the front door, no back door. The window looked inviting. But it's a good thing for my partner that I had no strength to try and scuttle up there. I continued to pace. Back and forth. Back and forth.

'Drug addict.' Never thought I'd use that word to describe myself. I felt so sick.

I tried not eating, but that didn't seem to help. I still felt like throwing up. I was shaky, my strength decreasing with every step. Hot and cold flashes wracked my body, and my head hurt. I swore I could feel my blood passing through my veins; the level of toxin in my body triggering every nerve to scream out in wanting.

"We're going to make it, Hutch, I promise." I stopped pacing again, stared into his face.

Starsky's moral boosting words sounded more like a barking dogs or crowing rooster. I needed him to just shut up. "Yeah," I whispered with scorn and picked up my never-ending stride again.

.I suddenly felt a dizzy spell coming on again, and everything in the room began to lump together. I squeezed back a tear and headed back to playing tag with the toilet. Wasn't a fair-game though. I was always it. I fell to the floor and draped myself over the bowl, my legs curled tightly against its base, and began to heave again. The pain was getting bad and I felt like I couldn't go on. I wanted to dig a hole and bury myself away from it all. A bullet hitting bone would hurt less.

Somewhere between the eighth and the tenth gag, there came a light knock at the door.

"How's it going in there?" Starsky asked in a soft caring voice that made me gag again.

I needed to get out, I needed the drug. You know you're hooked when you start thinking you could squeeze yourself into the vomit encrusted porcelain and pull the lever, letting yourself be sucked down the toilet just to escape. If I thought I could hold my breath that long, I would have.

"Leave me alone," was all I managed to gag out, as more clear liquid left me.

"Hey, just trying to help." Starsky retorted.

"Yeah," I said wiping my mouth on my sleeve and pulling the handle to flush. I didn't' even bother to look in the mirror or wash my hands as I stepped out of the bathroom. "Sorry, I'm short on drug addiction etiquette." I said with sarcasm squeezing past him and taking a few steps toward the door.

Starsky was quick and agile as he moved in front of me. "Look, I know its hard, Hutch, but--"

Something deep inside me rumbled and without a thought I used both my hands to shove him away from me. Needless to say I didn't budge him but it felt good to take action. "Yes, it's hard, and you're not helping!" I yelled. Starsky's eyes stayed warm and crystal blue as he reached a hand out to cup my face in understanding. I bowed my head, ashamed for a moment, then picked it up again when an idea struck me. "You join me. Starsk." I heard the begging in my voice. I was pathetic, but I couldn't stop the words, the thoughts from flowing. "You get the stuff. Bring it back here. It could prove to be fun. Me and you."

I had sunk to an all time low. I had asked, no I had begged my partner to join me in my addiction. To become addicted himself. Partners in crime.

"What!" I watched as the shock hit his face. The air filled with silence as my partner realized how deep I was in.

"Please. Please help." I took a step inward toward him grabbing his forearm with as much pressure as I could.

"I am helping, partner," he said in a fading voice.

Anger flooded me again and I side stepped him, but he was quick, there again in my face, his eyes steady and stern. "I can't believe you!" I stormed.

"Believe it!" Starsky shouted. I could hear the frustration in his voice. "Hutch, do you think if you don't get the stuff you'll die? You won't. Does thinking about your future as a cop sound way too clear-headed? It isn't. You think you're tofar gone you can't beat this? You're not.

"Starsky, one more time won't matter. Just one more."

"No!" His eyes flared. "I won't let you sell yourself out."

Shame tickled the back of my thoughts, and for another moment I tried to rise above my need, but the pain stifled that fast. "I'm outta here," I said. With all I had left in me I made it to the door and shoved it open so hard it slammed with a bang against the hallway wall.

I took a step out over the threshold. I didn't feel a strong hand to my arm. I didn't hear Starsky barking the command to stop. It didn't' feel right, so I turned around. "You want to go? Go!" He waved a hand my way, then dropped his head and slowly walked away.

I had permission. I moved one foot toward the stairs to leave. I could feel my body tremble with anticipation, but I stopped cold. That was as far as I got. My body needed the drug, but my brain knew I had to stop, wanted to stop. I had seen too many people die cold and alone in dirty back alleyways from shooting up. That was the last thing I wanted. I twisted back toward my partner, lost in the moment. It was quiet as a funeral parlor. I stood there suspended, detached. I felt like I was watching me; watching him.

Then it hit me. Starsky would never let the clock wind down on me. I closed my eyes and sought guidance from what was left of my soul. I stood in the way of my own salvation. Starsky was giving me the freedom to choose. I had to want to beat this as much as him or I'd never make it back.

It was like sunlight breaking through the clouds of a storm and with my eyes still shut, I stepped back through the door.

I could hear his feet pad across the room and the door shut. "Good boy," he breathed in my ear gripping my shoulder.

"Forgive me," I said feeling pale as a ghost, just before I felt my feet switch places with my head again. I could feel my face contort with pain, as I naturally gravitated toward my partner and landed against him.

"Congratulations, buddy, that's the first step."

"Starsky, I--" I couldn't go on. I sensed myself being lifted, floating. I thought I was imagining the sensation, then I was laid gently on something soft. My gut screamed with pain and I curled my knees to my chest groaning. It felt like a barber was grinding his blade to a fine edge using my stomach as a sharpening stone.

"Hutch, hey you big lummox." A voice gently faded in and out. "I know you're sick, and it hurts but I'm herewith you. You're not alone. It's going to get better." I tried to open my eyes, move my legs, anything, but I couldn't. Pain raced through my abdomen, churning. "Hutch, can you hear me? It' going to get better."

Was weird, darkness talking to me. "How do you know?" I asked the blackness.

"I know."

I finally slipped open my eyes, but it was like trying to read small print, and it took me a minute to orient myself. A cup of coffee found its way to my lips. "You need this, buddy." I gulped at the hot liquid. "A little slower, slow, slowly, partner." I listened to Starsky, stopped my ravished gulps to sip at the rim, only taking in a few drops.

I only got down a trickle before gut wrenching nausea spit the coffee back out all down my chest. My heart beat rapidly, and I felt like drum sticks were strapped to the sides of my head. I lurched in and out of consciousness, but I knew Starsky was there. I could feel him easing me up and down in a soothing motion.

"M…my…my body wants to…to…qu…qu… quit." I weakly stuttered.

"How 'bout the rest of you?" He asked.

I looked around me. I wasn't going to spend the rest of my life in upstairs bar rooms hiding, shooting up, wasting away, dying alone.

"The rest of me wants to live."

The tension built in my body again, and my legs cramped, and a knot between my shoulders throbbed. I triedto adjust my position, but my body refused to listen, instead lurching forward to dry heave again.

"Hang on to me, partner, relax yourself, deep breath, you're good, you're good, you can do this." Starsky kept me pressed against his chest, an arm wrapped around me. "It'll be over soon, Hutch. Just another twelve hours," he said in a heartfelt tone.

"What a bargain." I shivered hard.

I felt confused, directionless, but I knew Starsky was there, he'd help me find my way. I placed my full confidence in him, letting my eyes drift closed.

"That's it--- sleep. We'll be through here before you know it." I smiled as the darkness spoke again, I trusted it not to let me slip away, not to let me follow the desire that still called out to me even in sleep.

The end.