Here's the final chapter of this story. It's taken a while to write "For Georgie" – real life can be a real pain sometimes, but I've finally completed what I set out to do; to finish this story that first popped into my head a very long time ago. When I first started writing this my very special friend Tabby was still around – in fact she beta'd the very first chapter. When she died I lost interest; drifted from the fandom in fact, S&H was too much of a reminder of this wonderful woman, who taught me so much about friendship and kindness and love (everything that S&H has always been about). But in the end I felt I had to write it (for her) and finally I have.
Many thanks to all who have reviewed and have stayed with me these past months – your kind words have meant a lot to me!
As usual any Britisms or mistakes are mine all mine.
As Hutch pulled into the alley behind "The Pits" Eddie Hoyle was busy emptying the trash. With Starsky still officially on sick leave they were in Hutch's car - much to the dark haired detective's chagrin.
Pushing open the too stiff passenger door that was in desperate need of an oiling Starsky eased himself out, stretching as he stood; holding onto the door frame for support.
"Hi there Starchy ... Hup," Eddie grinned as he jogged up to the car. "Long time no see ... where you guys been?"
"Oh you know ... fighting for justice and the American way," Starsky grinned, as he pushed the car door closed with his left foot.
"Huffy said you two guys would be around today ... he's inside waiting on ya."
"Thanks Eddie?" Hutch smiled as he followed his partner into the bar.
Huggy was at one of the booths serving customers; talking the talk; jiving the jive. When he saw the two detectives he quickly made his way over, obviously pleased to see them.
"Well if it isn't the dynamic duo ... how ya doing Starsky?" he grinned.
"I'm good Hug ... should be back on the streets next week," the curly-haired detective advised, relieved that his friend had remembered not to mention they had been together the day before.
"Yeah ... that's cool my man," Huggy grinned at the news, placing a bowl of nuts in front of his friend. "Here tuck in ... you look like you need building up."
"He needs to build up ... not throw up," Hutch chastised as he placed the snacks out of reach.
"See what I have to put up with," Starsky complained. "My partner here thinks he's my Mother."
"You'll thank me later," the blond quipped. "What's on the menu Hug?"
"Well as it so happens you're in luck today ... gotta new chef ... he's worked in some of the finest establishments in town."
"When you say he worked there do you mean he actually prepared food and cooked it?" Hutch asked, certain he already knew the answer.
"Well no ... okay ... he didn't actually cook it ... but he did specialize in disposing of it."
"So he was the garbage boy," Starsky smirked.
"Don't answer that Huggy," Hutch said quickly. "We don't really want to know ... just tell us your specials."
"Sure ... I can offer you a succulent cheese burger and fries ... or a red-hot chilli that'll blow your brains out ... or a "President's Salad."
Starsky was quick to order. "I'll take the burger," he said.
"What's a "President's Salad?" the blond asked, not sure he really wanted to know.
"It's "The Pits" version of a Ceasar Salad ... instead of croutons it has fries."
"Can I have a "President's Salad" without the fries?" Hutch queried, ever hopeful.
"Your wish is my command," Huggy grinned as he disappeared into the kitchen with their orders.
Twenty minutes later they were both tucking into their meals, satisfied the new chef did actually know how to prepare food.
Eddie Hoyle bounced up to the bar, obviously keen to speak to both detectives.
"Hey fellas," he said, excitedly. "I got some good news for ya ... my sister Gertrude's on her way over ... she's been looking forward to meeting you guys ... being as you've done so much for me and all. She really wants to thank ya."
Starsky looked worriedly at his partner; if Gertrude was anything like her brother it would be best to avoid her.
"I'm sorry Eddie," he said. "But Hup here and me we gotta go."
"Umm ... actually I have to go," Hutch smiled. "I'm due back on duty in ten minutes. But Starchy can stay ... I'm sure Huggy will drop him back at his apartment later." Hutch looked over at his black friend for confirmation.
"Sure," Huggy confirmed helpfully. "It'll be my pleasure."
"Now wait a minute Hutch," Starsky said nervously. "You can't leave me here."
But Hutch had already stood from the bar-stool and was on his way out. Huggy, out from behind the bar, was following.
"I'll see you out," he said. "I got some news on that "narco case" for ya."
But although they appeared to leave, both waited expectantly out of sight, watching their forlorn friend; waiting to see what his reaction to Gertrude would be.
Eddie Hoyle, looking expectantly at the entrance to the bar, smiled happily when a very tall and attractive blond floated through the door.
"Gertrude!" he laughed happily, throwing his arms around the smiling woman.
She kissed him gently on the cheek and stroked his greying hair.
"I'd like you to meet someone," he murmured, enveloping her arm in his and leading her over to the bar. "This is my friend Hup," he grinned. "One of the cops I told you about
Starsky stared, dumbstruck at the beauty standing before him. She smiled sweetly at the detective and offered her hand. "Pleased to meet you Hup ... Eddie's told me all about you ... I want to thank you for all you've done for him."
"You're welcome," Starsky smiled back finally able to speak. "But actually my name's Starsky ... Dave Starsky."
They both laughed then, instantly at ease with each other; instantly attracted to one another!
Hutch, watching from his hiding place, grinned.
"You knew she was a beauty didn't ya?" Huggy whispered, happy Eddie's sister wasn't an "ugly" broad, that Starsky would have much to look forward to.
"Yeah," Hutch murmured. "Eddie showed me a picture of her a while back ... figured she would cheer Starsk up ... that she'd be just what the doctor ordered. And in any case," he continued. "I've got a date with Abby tonight … haven't seen her much recently ... she's making grilled mung bean casserole."
"Man you sure do know how to live it up," Huggy grimaced as he walked out to the parking lot with his friend.
"Make sure he gets home safe will ya Hug," Hutch said as he slid behind the wheel.
"You gotta ask ... sure I will."
Hutch nodded his thanks and drove away. Checking his mirror he grinned when he saw his partner emerge from Huggy's bar, the beautiful Gertrude on his arm; a smile he'd not seen in too long a time on his face. Hutch was certain that Starsky would make the most of the evening; that Eddie Hoyle's sister would "take him to heaven and back." It would make a welcome change. After all he'd only just made it out of hell. And Hutch had made a vow that Georgie would never get the chance to send his best friend back there!
"For Georgie" was for Tabby
"A friend is one to whom one may pour
out all the contents of one's heart,
chaff and grain together,
knowing that the gentlest of hands
will take it and sift it,
keep what is worth keeping,
and with a breath of kindness,
blow the rest away."
That's it – I hope you've enjoyed reading this story as much as I've enjoyed writing it. Having re-read some of the chapters I'm planning a slight re-write (have noticed some errors that are bugging me) – I'll re-post as a complete story once I'm happy.