Thank you again dear reader for sharing your time with me. And dear Strut for all her wonderful beta work. You helped me so much!
Happy days..Dear Pooh!
Wish well..dream well...be well!
Final chapter below::
Hutch didn't know how long he'd been in the dark, but the mucky pit suddenly disappeared and was slowly replaced by light. He swore he could smell his partner's aftershave and he crinkled his nose, but everything was a gnarled mass of jumbled images.
"I think he's coming around," an unfamiliar voice stated.
Hutch felt a warm gentle hand tap gently on his cheek. "Hmmm," he mumbled and held his breath, as chills raced up his spine.
"Look me in the eye, buddy. Hutch!" The hand now cupped his shoulders, and he felt the plastic mask that must have been placed over his nose. "Take deep breaths. Come on, partner, deep breaths." The hand shook his shoulder.
"The boy?" Hutch sucked in a breath, as his eyes flicked open once, then spun in his head. "Ou--out. G-get 'em ou--" he gasped.
"Buddy, he's out. You both are."
Hutch frowned and titled his head toward the side. "I am?" he choked. "Fr-freezing."
"You're soaked clean to the bone." The words sounded far-off as if he was dreaming. A hand raised the blanket higher onto his chest and tucked it tight around his shivering body. "It's okay, Hutch. You did it, buddy."
"Stars," he choked, his shoulders raising up off the ground. Hutch forced his eyes to stay open, and immediately caught the sight of Starsky's worried face hovering over him. "Des--" he choked.
"Kids fine, Hutch. He's too mean to die, partner. Kiko went with him to the hospital. Looks like he broke his ankle. Poetic justice if you ask me," Starsky rambled. "Just take it easy. How you feel?"
"I -- I don't know. Can we--" Hutch's shoulders sagged. "Sl-slow." Hutch drew in another breath. "Can we slow it down a bit?" Hutch blinked heavily as he tried to keep his eyes focused on Starsky. "Wha' happen?"
"You passed out, pal. Not enough air in that rancid tube. The kid's okay," Starsky repeated, a relieved smile flashed across his face. "How do you feel now?"
"C-cold and--and wet." Hutch tried to sit up, but the numbness he'd felt earlier had worn off and the pain from his ankle dropped him back against his partner. "Ohhh, m-my ankle," he whimpered, and squeezed his eyes shut to a slanted ray of sunshine that crept out from behind a cloud and seemed to burn them.
"Yeah, buddy, it's going to need recasting."
Hutch opened his eyes, and lifted his head slightly to peer down at his ankle poking out from under the blanket. The now wet plaster of paris hadn't held up well to the dampness of the pipe. The skin around the dissolving cast was red and bruised, and Hutch could feel the bone in his ankle as the cast no longer held it in place.
"Oh man," he groaned painfully, as he slowly let his head fall back.
"Shh. Just take it easy, buddy," Starsky captured the sides of Hutch's face between gentle hands. "Second ambulance is on its way. You just stay quiet and --"
Before Starsky could finish an ominous shadow blocked the sunlight from Hutch's eyes and he caught the sight of his Captain. "What is that?" Dobey pointed a finger at Hutch. "What are you two doing here?" His voice full of anger. "I've warned you about private parties," he yelled, now shaking his finger violently about.
Shivering hard, Hutch couldn't help but think that finger looked more like a butcher knife and their captain was about to slice them both open.
"IfI've told you once -- I've told you a thousand times. What? Am I talking to the walls? You wait for your backup!" Dobey frowned and waved a hand before his nose. "You two smell like a sewer."
"Was an accident, Cap," Starsky lied.
"Hutchinson accidentally fell in." Dobey pointed at the rope lying on the ground. "Good grief! How stupid do you think I am?"
"Not very," Starsky whispered under his breath.
"Starsky!" Dobey's sharp voice seemed to slice right through Hutch and he shivered uncontrollably. "Not very is right!"
"Yes, sir," Starsky muttered.
"Your partner has a broken ankle. Don't either of you ever think before --" Dobey suddenly stopped talking for a moment, and his anger seemed to soften like a frozen stick of butter melting in the sun. "Good Lord, young man," he said, looking directly at Hutch. "You look like you're covered in liver mush."
"Desiccated liver mush." Starsky swiped a finger over the gunk encrusted at Hutch's hairline.
Hutch opened his mouth to protest but gritted his teeth instead, the words never leaving his throat, as another ambulance just pulled in.
"Get this officer to a hospital now, before he catches his death!" Dobey yelled. The medics who'd been standing at bay afraid to step into the ring, moved in. "See that they both get a shower too!" Dobey mumbled as he lumbered back to his car.
Hutch couldn't make himself stop shuddering, as goose bumps popped up all over his body.
"Dobey's right, Hutch. You need a shower, you look like you rolled in liver mush, and those clothes of yours are on strike," Starsky gave a small chuckle.
"Sp-speak for yourself," Hutch wheezed and closed his eyes.
"How you feel?"
"Tired," Hutch mumbled, as he felt himself lifted up onto a stretcher. "Uhhhh." He fought not to pass out, but the warm gentle hand of his partner on his forehead was enough to relax him as he slumped back into unconsciousness.
The falling water dripped from his hair and rolled down his shoulders as Hutch stood in the squad room shower. His forehead wrinkled and he frowned, although the cast was off he still felt a twinge of pain every now and again in his still healing ankle. Trying to adjust his weight, he slipped.
"Ow," Hutch groaned, his hands flat bracing himself against the shower tiles stopping him from falling to his knees.
"What is it?" Starsky's voice came in a rush from just outside the shower door. "You hurt?"
"No." Hutch wiggled his ankle back and forth. "I'll be okay. Ankle'sjust acting up," Hutch said shutting off the water and opening the stall door coming nearly nose to nose with his overprotective partner.
"You sure?" Starsky asked as he handed him a towel.
"I'm sure, buddy." Hutch wrapped the towel around his waist. " Just help me over to the bench , would you?
"You have to ask?" Starsky held his arm and helped Hutch over to the bench.
The door opened and Silverman walked in. "Hey, you two need a hand?" he asked as he set his duffle bag down on the bench.
"No, we're good," Starsky said. "Hutch here's still got a bad ankle."
"Yeah, that was something else, Hutchinson," Silverman said as he quickly undressed and stepped into a shower stall. "I heard about you not pressing charges against that kid and risking your life. You really saved the day." The water turned on.
"Was nothing," Hutch said, nabbing a sock and making sure to put it on his right foot first.
"Hey!" Starsky howled. "Everybody puts their left--"
"Not everybody, Starsk." Hutch looked up and smiled.
"Hutch, how's that kid doing by the way?" Silver piped in from behind the shower door.
"He's in a new foster home, on probation, but back in school and talking to a counselor," Hutch said wincing when he tried to put his left sock on.
"Here! Smart Ass." Starsky bent down to help him.
"That's great," Silverman said.
"Maybe we should cancel the amusement park with the boys today, Hutch?" Starsky looked up at his partner. "You're not going to make it all day walking around --"
"No." Hutch shook his head. "Desmond is just starting to trust me. Starsk, I'm not canceling."
Starsky nodded. "Okay, buddy."
"Hey, Starsky I forgot my shampoo," Silverman called from under the shower water. "You got any I can borrow?"
"Sure," Starsky reached over and plucked a bottle of shampoo from Hutch's gym bag. "You can use Hutch's."
"Starsk, wait." Hutch reached out a hand to nab the bottle but it was too late, as his quick on his feet partner had already handed the shampoo over the stall door to Silverman.
"So Hutch," Starsky said as he sat back next to his friend and started to take off his shoes. "After I shower where are we picking up --"
"Hey…I hate ketchup, " Silverman cut in loudly, popping his head out from around the stall door and wiping a glob of red from his eyes.
"French fries with that ketchup, Silver?" Hutch sheepishly said. "Sorry, that was meant for--"
Starsky gave Hutch the evil eye. "You!" He pointed a stiff finger at him.
"You two got a real problem." Silverman's frown shown through the splash of red still hanging on his brow.
"You could say that," Hutch drawled.
"I said it before and I'll say it again." A slow smile formed on Silverman's face. "That's some act you two have going."
"Sorry, Silver," Hutch apologized.
Silverman licked his lips. "Next time try Dijon mustard instead -- would you?" he popped his head back behind the door.
"You're a good sport, there Silver," Starsky playfully punched Hutch in the shoulder. "'Ol Blue Eyes here is two up on me. He's due for some payback. Silver, maybe you and I can team up and --"
"Vengeance is mine. You two better be on guard -- I work alone," Silverman said with a lighthearted chuckle. "Guess I've joined your act."
Hutch looked at Starsky. "High school gym," they both said in unison.