Dear faithful readers and followers of

If I Can't Have You...Then Neither Can He.

I want to tell you this before your eyes pick up on the word starting with "E" below...too late I'm sure they already have!

This part of the story is now complete.

I know that many of you did not think this story was going to finish here and yes many of you will be thinking..."What? Why? Huh?"

But let me explain.

This is a saga and a half and I guess when we (Brook and I started this and Tabs came in along the way too) we had no idea that Ryan was going to shape this story up like he has done. We've all spent so many, many hours producing this story for ourselves as much as for the world of S and H FanFiction, and loved every moment of it and all of your wonderful following along.

But it's been one tough time for our boys, particularly Starsky and in the spirit of realism I am making an executive decision and giving them a well earned break in "Therapy Home" as Starsky calls it and time to regroup. God knows they need it.

When we visit this story again hopefully the time away from Ryan, the Department and all of the drama that has befallen them, will have allowed them to heal.

The saga will pick up as Part 3...yes a Trilogy as only a good saga can be and we will soon learn what has transpired in the intervening months.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy our new story. As I said once before, writing Ryan full time with no diversion is hard work, so Only If His Eyes are Blue will be a break away from his dark spell.

Unfortunately for Starsky in this other stand alone story, he is once more the centre piece for evil musings. Poor Starsk! Why must we writers all give him so much grief? Actually I personally blame it on the Muses, not the writer. I muse all the nice stuff for Starsky and cringe at the thought of anything remotely bad happening to my beautiful Hutch!

Please don't be too angry or upset about the end of this story...after all the best is yet to come.

And to those suspicious readers among you (re review comments)...as Freud might have said...

"Sometimes a garage across the lawn is just a garage across the lawn."

In fact that bit was put in to purposely mark the beginning of the return of the old Starsky...quietly delighting in sending Hutch on an extended errand at his bidding. We all know how Hutch will do anything for Starsky when he is remotely incapacitated and Starsky was testing him out as only he can do. I feel bad that I had some people thinking that danger was waiting out there for Hutch.

Have I made you all so paranoid about the evil Ryan that you think that he is lurking behind every scene? I guess I may have. Well that is the nature of the beast that is Ryan Lancaster.

But then, just as well you are on guard, because he hasn't finished yet.

Once more thanks for your incredible interest and loyalty.

Keep enjoying all of the wonderful S and H fan fiction on this site and other sites and encourage writers to keep producing so that our favourite two men will live on and on and on. Without constant involvement and interaction of readers with writers we will lose writers and that is just too sad to contemplate.

All writers in all Fandoms write out of the generosity of giving pleasure to others - gratis - and to experience pleasure in creating and sharing. It's been said many times before by others before me, better than I will phrase it here, but I will say it again on behalf of every fan fiction writer out there. Please let us know you want it, like it, think about it...or it will no longer be there for you to read. And, won't that be a sad day.

I want to say thank you to the incredible S and H authors who have created wonderful stories since the Fandom began and right up to the Now. Let's keep the talent developing and the interest bubbling.

Here's to keeping this Fandom alive and kickin' !

Kerry


Then Neither Can He

Epilogue


"So Officer, are you clear about the new arrangements for your partnership? You can finish the rest of this week off finalizing any outstanding reports you had with Sergeant Hutchinson and be on standby for any call outs where someone is down a partner for whatever reason. As of Monday you roll with Sergeant Mathieson. We'll see how that goes for both of you but I don't expect any problems. He's only recently been promoted to his Sergeant's position and I think will be happy to work with someone else quite young."

But of course he isn't Hutch and I know that's what you're thinking as you sit there and look at me so solemnly. Sorry kid, but I'm afraid your time with Hutch as a supervising officer is over - at least for the foreseeable future. When Hutchinson next steps back into this squad room I know he fully intends to have Starsky back by his side.

He hadn't meant to add it or to voice anything about his thoughts but the look on Riley's face had him compelled to offer something at least.

"Well he's not Hutchinson, and not as experienced of course, but he's got plenty of fresh ideas and lots of energy - a bit like you. It'll be valuable to get different perspective from different officers. Remember you wouldn't normally have had the opportunity to be partnered up with Sergeant Hutchinson if... well if his own partner had not been ...indisposed. "

Dobey eyed the young man in front of him, once again struck by the difference in this man and the young fellow he recalled quite clearly from down in the Communications Centre a couple of months back. His time with Hutchinson had honed something discernible in him young, or pulled something out of him – something that probably wasn't ready to be there yet, but circumstances had prematurely hastened its arrival. Officer Riley was a cop. No longer a tentative, self-apologetic, deferring rookie – but a cop. Not quite a street cop yet still, but the foundations were there. The foundations had been laid down by the mentoring he'd received from Hutchinson – instilled with a solid belief and confidence in himself and what he had to offer the world. But it was not just the engendering of confidence and self-conviction by Hutchinson and the opportunity to walk beside the experienced blond Detective that had transformed this young man. Dobey was more than aware that his baptism by fire at the hands of Ryan Lancaster had pushed Riley face first into self and professional actualization. Hutch had laid the groundwork; being thrown in the deep end of the cesspool Ryan had created had hastened the developmental process.

Riley had come of age – far too quickly and far too dramatically. Youth and adaptability were on his side, but that was not to say it would always be like this. He was ahead of it for now, on top of it. But Dobey with all his years of watching how his own men and his colleagues responded to trauma, knew that Riley would need some catch up time eventually. So far he doubted that Riley had stopped long enough to allow his mind and emotion to align with what had been demanded of his body and what his role as a police officer had forced upon him that night at the beach house.

Dobey suspected that now he no longer had the support and guidance of his supervising officer and that Hutch having been sequestered away from him, that the full impact of what he had gone through with Ryan Lancaster would begin to leave rise to the surface.

"I just appreciate the opportunity sir - the opportunity to stay here at the Ninth. I really want to remain at this precinct and I know you've had to juggle some things to make it happen."

He didn't need to say it but Dobey knew full well it was the words behind the sentence that carried the full weight of Riley's declaration of gratitude.

Riley wanted to retain a place in Hutch's unit and he was thankful for his Captain to have taken the time to swing it for him.

Dobey's next words were calculated, careful.

"You'll miss working with him won't you?"

It was beyond even the new tougher Riley not to blush to the deepest shade of red.

"Yes sir. He was a…..a wonderful mentor and a friend to me as well."

Dobey raised his eyebrows to the top of his deeply furrowed and sweat sheened forehead and quipped out of the side of his fleshy mouth.

"Well he's not dead Officer Riley."

A shocked expression from the young officer had Dobey smiling behind his cupped chin.

"Sir…I….I meant to try to say…."

"Save it. I know what you mean. But you're sounding like you're reading out an obituary. Unfortunately it may not be possible for you to have any contact with Hutch over the next few months. As you are aware the aim of the seclusion is to keep Ryan Lancaster out of their lives and to allow space for Sergeant Starsky to ….. to recuperate. I know this is hard – it was I believe also hard for Hutch to have to ask me to tell you this Riley. Very hard as he does value everything you did for him and Starsky in taking Ryan down that night."

Dobey coughed, clearing his throat as he often did before he had to convey news that no one wanted to hear.

"Anyway…Hutchinson, Hutch has asked me to let you know that he won't be contacting you nor does he want you to attempt to contact him. Not until he lets you know that the situation has changed. I need that request reinforced as an order Officer Riley. I won't have the opportunity to sort out this whole damn mess with Starsky and Ryan jeopardized in any way. Are we clear on that? No contact."

Was he surprised to see that the young man didn't even raise an eyebrow at Hutch's directive? Riley was one step ahead of him again so it seemed. The kid had really grown into a harder version of himself in literally weeks. His one word response said it all.

"Starsky?"

"You know I'm not going to comment on that Riley. These are my two men. I'm doing my best by them and that doesn't include exploring what motivates them on a personal level with other officers in my unit. Am I understood?"

"Yes sir. I understand. Sorry sir. It was reflexive. I will not initiate contact with Detective Hutchinson whilst he and Detective Starsky are – away."

"Ok then. Good. Well then that's all Officer Riley. I'm sure you have some reports that need typing and some backlog administrative paperwork that I need before the week is out?"

"Yes sir. I'm sure I do. Thank you for your time and the offer to get partnered up again and stay in your precinct. You know I am keen to aim for my Detective exam in the future?"

"Well keep up the good work son and you're well on the way."

He was at the door when Dobey gave another of his distinctive coughs. Riley turned already having learned that the cough signaled a parting word or statement.

"And ah….Riley? I'm glad you can understand the reasoning behind Sergeant Hutchinson's request for you to remain incommunicado with him. I'm sure he wouldn't request it if it wasn't absolutely necessary."

"Thank you sir. I do understand, and ….thank you for saying telling me that. It makes me feel a lot better sir. "

The big black Captain grunted, nodding in understanding.

The hell it does. Can't fool me kid – you're hurting that's obvious.

But then the boy knows Hutch well enough by now to realize that there is nothing he wouldn't do for Starsky; even if that meant shutting out someone he liked himself. What was interesting was the fact that Riley too showed selflessness in his mirroring of Hutch's actions. He would do what Hutch wanted if it meant making things easier for his new friend. Even, if it hurt him in the process.

Now why did this young man's unconditional loyalty remind him so much of his two best officers who were going to be out of action for the foreseeable future?

oooOOOoooOOOoooOOOooo

"Is this real? A mirage? My partner communing with the outdoors and at one with nature? Better come back inside Starsky and let me check your temperature – got the first aid kit inside. I've got a feeling you're running a fever. Or perhaps I did the wrong thing in cracking open the beer when you're still on the mend."

"Smart mouth. I can tell you where you can put your damn thermometer and I can damn well decide when and if I'm ready to have a beer. Anyway I'd hardly call sittin' in a chair under a tree in a garden communing with nature – Nature Boy. It's not like I'm riding bareback through the hills or baling hay in the fields – ha! Not like what you'd be right at home with doin', Minnesota Man."

"Long time since I've done either of those things and don't think I'll be doing them for a long time again. My back couldn't take the baling and - my ass couldn't take going bareback."

"Your ass or another part of your anatomy?"

Hutch spluttered and handed his partner the other beer he had carried out for him.

"That part too – or should I say those parts. Hey I came back out from the phone call with Dobey and you were gone."

"What? Did you think I'd done a runner already? Headed for the hills – literally? Any attempts at escaping by foot will have to wait until I can move a bit faster than the speed of a geriatric. No…just thought I'd explore the compound. Besides the amount of time you spend on the phone with your Cap'n these days, I need to find something else to do with my time."

The lightness fell away as quickly as it had sprung up between them. Suddenly wary again Hutch took a seat on the two -seater opposite, leaning forward and trying to make direct eye contact with a pair of eyes that were focused hard on anything but him. He waited and watched Starsky as he steadily rolled the yet untouched beer can between his hands.

"My Captain? And that is supposed to mean?"

"What it means. Your Captain. Not mine Hutch. Unless you've forgotten I am no longer under his command – dishonorably discharged, de-badged, and off the streets – way before Ryan packed up his desk and walked out the door of the nineteenth."

"I haven't forgotten that you're suspended – temporarily suspended. And Dobey's as much your Captain as he ever was and is mine. Don't go and get all moody on me here partner. We were doing so well – we were – we were getting back to some place where we should be back to Starsky. Look I'm sorry about the rash of phone calls to Dobey, but I'm thinking and tell me if I'm wrong here, that you would rather not be the one to deal with all of this right now. He just needed to know ….. if …."

"Yeah, yeah. He wanted to know if you'd delivered me the death knell that we were both going to be trapped here for the term of my natural life and whether I'd grabbed the car keys and bolted out the door as soon as I got the picture."

"Three months, four maybe, is hardly the term of your natural life you dramatist – and yes, he was concerned that you were ok with the proposition of the therapy, counseling – treatment – hell I don't know what we should call it."

"I could tell you the word I have for it but we won't go there."

Hutch smiled.

"Oh I can imagine you've got some good ones and I am only hoping you spare the Shrink those colorful descriptions."

"Depends."

"Depends on what?"

"Whether 'It's' a He or a She and if it's a she – what she looks like? Maybe I'll fall in love with her like all those shows and movies in Hollywood make out happens with patients and their Docs."

"Transference."

"Huh?"

"Transference. That's what it's called. Natural part of the deal when you undergo psychological treatment – the patient always develops a sort of crush on the doctor."

"Is that so? You are a font of facts Hutch. Don't know where you manage to cram all of that shit in that pretty blond head of yours. Well I'll let you know what I'm going to do with that your theory when I get my first look at the good Doc. If she's has a bun, coke bottle glasses and hairy legs, there'll be no transferring anything between the two of us on those couches. Nothin'. "

"So if 'It's' a she and she's built and gorgeous, we can expect something is that it?"

"Well if she gorgeous and I'm healed up enough and all my parts are working well enough for ….. 'Whatever'….and there's a couch…closed doors and an hour of my time…what else do we need?"

"Good. So glad we've got that settled. I feel so much better now about your mature and dedicated attitude to starting with some sessions next week. Don't know why I was worried."

They both smiled, each taking the time to swill back some beer.

"Starsky?"

"Yep?"

"We're getting there aren't we? Even these deep holes I keep walking into that you throw on the ground for me and me for you whenever we're not doing so well because of what has happened…we're climbing out more quickly and getting back on track again aren't we? I feel we are. Aren't we?"

It was an obscure analogy where half of the explaining was unspoken and only translated somewhere in the unsaid words between them – a typical exchange of their own unique language. A typical conversation for a pair that shared a very untypical form of communication.

Starsky didn't look for expansion and Hutch didn't attempt to it. It wasn't needed.

"Yeah Hutch. I can feel it too. Therapy Home is probably what we need – both of us – right now, and just in time."

"I want you to know that I let Dobey know that I didn't want Riley to contact me and that I won't be contacting him either. Not while we're here. You have my word on that Starsk. Not if it makes you uncomfortable, feel unsafe or …..for whatever reason. I won't do it. Ok?"

"Ok. And…"

"And?"

"Can we just leave Riley out of our conversations, out of the picture…for now at least."

"If I slip up and mention him, just ….. I just don't want to stuff this whole chance to get this over with, get this behind us. You've got to know how much I want this gone from our lives Starsky."

"You and me both. God, Hutch, I'm so fuckin' tired of the 'me' I've become since ….the day he walked back into our precinct."

"So let's look forward to the day that will come sooner than you realize when we both walk back into that precinct and bitch about reports and early starts and back to back shifts. When you are 'you' again and same for me."

"Well I never bitch about the reports Hutch, so technically that's not true."

"Of course you don't bitch about the reports you Turkey, that because you never do any of them. I do the lot and always have done."

"Yeah, well who picks you up every morning and drives your sorry ass into work so we're both not late."

"You might drive me in, but you hardly keep us from being late…..if I didn't phone to wake you up three out of four mornings when I get back from my run we'd never get there till ten! "

"Shit! What a crock. If we relied on that rust bucket of yours we'd never get anywhere in the mornings…."

"Starsky."

"What?"

"We've got at least three months to bitch and argue. Lets save some for later and have another beer instead. "

oooOOOoooOOOoooOOOooo

Dobson let himself into the main doors of the squad room, choosing to pass through the work room on his morning entry rather than accessing his office as he usually did through the hallway door. It was still early and the often frenetic activity of phones ringing, type writers clacking and conversation being tossed across the room from officer to officer, had not yet reached its zenith.

The two staff who were at their desks looked up in surprise as he entered, expecting he was sure, to see one of their peers and not him push through the main doors.

How long had he been making a point of not passing through his squad room? He tried to recall when he had first gotten into the habit of avoiding the coalface, preferring to summon his officers to his own room.

Another difference between him and Dobey. He caught a mental picture of the big dark Captain with his ample behind perched on the corner of one of his men's desks as he shared a laugh or a joke with them.

Never been his style though. Or had it? He had the distinctly uncomfortable feeling that he was deceiving himself and that up until the atmosphere in the squad room had become tense, he had in fact once been more a part of it.

"Hey morning Captain. Is there someone you're looking for? Jacobs and Rollings are down in Records if that's who you need."

"No - no. Just arriving in fact. How's it going with you two? Any issues from that case you've been putting in extra hours against now we're down an officer?"

"Thanks Captain but we've got it covered now. There's been a couple of developments..."

"Well let me get my messages sorted and then I'll be out with a coffee and we can go through it together. Alright?"

"Out? You mean you don't want us to come in?"

"No. No - I'll pull up a chair out here, catch up with the other officers too when they come in."

Preferring not to have to notice their shared looks of disbelief he looked away and across the room.

He hoped that his eyes didn't betray him but he sensed at once that the two men followed his gaze to the empty desk and cleaned out work area in the corner.

The area that had long been the domain of Ryan Lancaster.

With a smile and a relaxed breath, and feeling freer than he had in over a year at least, he brought his eyes back to the men and nodded. He saw at once in their own faces the same relaxed look.

The unit was one officer down - minus one higher ranking Detective Sergeant. The other officers were having to cover the man power until a replacement could be groomed from lower down the ranks or pulled from another precinct. Allowances had to be made and for the moment it meant his men all had to do a few more hours to compensate.

It wasn't just him who found the inconvenience a small price to pay for Lancaster's empty desk.

He knew it , saw it when the news that Ryan had handed in his resignation first registered with the other officers. He could feel it now, and it wasn't just because the room was largely empty. The squad room had a different atmosphere.

The crackle of tension that normally pervaded this room was gone.

It wasn't just him who found it easier to breathe.

Everyone was free of the toxic stranglehold that one man had held over a precinct, and not least his Captain.

oooOOOoooOOOoooOOOooo

No Torino. But no one home either.

Somehow he thought that the owner of the Torino was not with his car. No doubt it had been garaged elsewhere.

No sign of any life and it didn't take him long to work out that even if he sat there, parked way back from the building, that no one was going to come in or out of Starsky's place.

He was gone.

And he certainly wasn't at Hutchinson's place either; where the situation had the exact same feel to it.

Both of them were gone. Long gone.

Had to be that they'd be moved – gone to ground somewhere. The cop in him could almost sense the air of permanence about the unoccupied residences.

Four times at four different hours of the day over the past three days he'd been back and the same emptiness awaited him, the same absence permeated the air, the same gut feeling assailed him.

This was an organized move, a strategy organized by not just Hutchinson, but also the Department.

The skin crawling on the back of his neck told him before his eyes told him.

They were back again.

He laughed to himself.

Might just as well park his car right outside Starsky's driveway because not only had his presence been spotted, it had been anticipated.

The car was already in the side street waiting for his arrival.

A different car to the one that had been tailing him for the past three days. The one that was on his tail only fifteen minutes after he threw a piece of paper into Dobson's in-tray that heralded the end of his career as he had known it for nearly a decade. He had thrown the boxed contents of his locker in the trunk of his car and drove out of the Nineteenth for the last time while the remnants of his identity as Detective Sergeant still cloaked him. When he'd walked out into the precinct's garage with his pocket lighter minus his badge and his body free of his gun harness.

Careful not to adjust his rearview mirror or look too long at its reflection, he cast a furtive eye at his side mirrors. They were there again as he knew they would be, letting him know that they themselves were not trying to remain undetected. Sometimes it was a black and white, sometimes an unmarked car, but each time the message was clear.

They were following him and not bothering to conceal the surveillance.

A threat.

Try it – we're here and we have you scoped out. Try to find them or track them down and we're right on your ass. Feel us breathe down your neck and cramp your style.

No doubt Dobey would have also organized a Restraining Order on him within hours of his resignation being made official.

He pulled out from the curb and drove slowly away, never giving the satisfaction that he was agitated by their hovering proximity.

Let Dobey waste all of his valuable resources on tails and surveillance teams.

It would start to pale on him and the brass higher up after a while and the order would filter down to pull back on the wasted manpower and units.

He knew better than anyone how fiscal rationale overshadowed decision-making in the city precincts.

There was an allowance for everything, even the time and money spent on the favored two of the City's Finest.

Dobey would have to pull them off his back before long and in the meantime he was happy to help them squander their time and energy on a futile exercise traipsing around behind him all over the city.

He was after all a man of leisure now and with his new found freedom and a certain leeway with his financial security – he was more than happy to give them a run for their money.

He had all the time in the world.

A world filled with anger, resentment and the omnipresent simmering of cold hard rage.

And he had Hutchinson and Dobson to thank for it.