Hutch shut the back door after saying goodnight to Starsky and his date. He turned back to Alice trying to keep what he was feeling from showing on his face.
"I hate her," Alice proclaimed.
"Oh, thank God," Hutch said, letting out his held breath. "I could not stand that woman!"
Alice pulled back the curtain on the door and watched as Starsky led the woman into his house just beyond the pool. She saw his hand resting on the small of the woman's back and shuddered. "Yuck," she stated emphatically then saw the grin on her fiancé's face. "What are you smirking at?"
Hutch held up his hands defensively. "Nothing, really." Alice put her hands on her hips and glared at him. He reached out and pulled her to him. "It just makes me happy that you are as watchful over his welfare as I am."
Alice's brow relaxed and she smiled. "He seems to be attracted to all the wrong women lately."
Hutch rested his chin on Alice's head and they rocked gently as they both considered what was going on in their friend's mind these days. "It's as if he wants so much to find someone…"
"…and be as happy as we are," Alice finished his thought.
Hutch leaned back so he could look into her eyes. He smiled lovingly. "Exactly." He then sighed as he reached to turn off the kitchen light. Taking Alice's hand, he led her to the stairs.
"He'll find his way, Handsome Hutch."
"I hope so," Hutch said sadly.
~ S&H ~
A week later Starsky was back with yet another woman. Gabrielle never spoke a word during dinner except for one-word answers to a direct question. Starsky did his best to fill in the information but it was obvious he didn't know her well enough to do that.
After dinner, Alice brought out Monopoly much to Starsky's delight but Gabrielle got a look of horror on her face as if Alice was wielding a gun. Gabrielle whispered in Starsky's ear and they conferred in mumbles for a minute before she rose from the couch and headed for the front door.
"Uh, sorry, uh Gabrielle doesn't feel well – yeah. I'm going to drop her at home and come back. Can you save the boot game piece for me, huh?"
Hutch look dumbfounded at the retreating woman. "Sure, Starsk. Well, goodbye..." Hutch paused as the door slammed shut behind Gabriella. "Goodbye, crazy woman." Alice giggled and he swatted at her.
"Aw, Hutch, she's just shy."
"Shy?! I can't even figure out how he even learned her name or where she lived!" Alice continued to giggle as he ranted. "What's your phone number, sweetie? Oh, you wrote it on a matchbox, how coy." Hutch started to laugh along with Alice. "Little did he know that she wouldn't speak it out loud." They rolled off the couch onto the floor in a fit of laughter.
~ S & H ~
Another Saturday, Starsky brought a woman who seemed to be in her late fifties. Neither Hutch nor Alice had a problem with that until she started to paw at Starsky right in front of them. Luckily, they had only stopped by for a drink because after one glass of wine, Starsky had to excuse himself and head out the backdoor towards his house with her.
"She practically unzipped his fly right in front of us!" Alice fumed.
Hutch peeked out through the blinds in the dining room. "Well, they made it inside before she did. Oh, wait. Oh, Starsk, shut the blinds. Shut the…ohhh," he groaned. "Thank goodness Jamie's bedroom is at the front of the house and she can't see that." Hutch rubbed his stomach and looked downright green.
~ S & H ~
A couple of days later Hutch opened the front door after recognizing Starsky's signature knock. His "hello" was cut short as his eyes took in his partner's date. Her hair was dyed purple, was cut fairly short and looked dirty. Her complexion was unnaturally pasty white with harsh black eyeliner rimming her eyes along with shiny silver false eyelashes.
"Hiya, Hutch," Starsky said as he took the girl's elbow and led her through the door. "This here is Moronica."
Hutch had finally managed to clap his gaping mouth shut but it fell open again at the mention of the woman's name.
"No!" the girl practically screeched. "It is Mor-on-i-ca." She carefully pronounced the syllables.
Starsky stepped between his bewildered partner and his date with a placating grin on his face. "See, Hutch, her parents named her 'Monica'," there was a huff from behind Starsky at the mention of the name, "but the name is so…"
"Typical!" The woman screeched again.
"Yeah, typical, that Moronica had it legally changed when she was 18."
By now Alice had come into the room and was equally aghast as she took in the black platform patent-leather shoes, black and white stripped ripped tights, black skirt, and ragged army-issue styled jacket. Hutch had not looked over at Alice but could only imagine the look on her face.
"I have dishes to finish," Alice said loudly and turned on her heel back to the kitchen.
Starsky looked after her and Hutch suddenly felt the need to apologize but quashed the desire because he knew this was the last straw for Alice.
"Could you excuse us for a minute, Mor…could you just wait right there," Hutch said motioning the bizarre girl toward the couch as he pulled Starsky into the den.
"What's up?" Starsky asked, innocently.
"What's up? Starsky, I need to ask YOU that question."
Starsky looked over his shoulder toward the living room and then back at his best friend. "You don't like her." It was not a question.
"Okay, I admit that I don't know her yet but…really, really?!" Hutch waved his arms and motioned toward the other room.
"Okay, calm down, calm down. I'm sorry, Hutch."
Hutch's frantic waving relaxed and his face lost some of its bright red color. "Look, Buddy…uh, do you think she is okay out there alone? Oh never mind, sit down." Starsky sat down in a high-backed chair. Hutch went to the matching chair across from him but sat on the arm. "What's going on with you, Pal? You've been bringing in some…well, some…." Hutch didn't want to insult Starsky but the word crazy was the best word he could use to describe some of the women his friend had shown up with. He tried a new track. "Where are you finding these women?"
Starsky leaned back and sighed. "Well,"
"Hutch? Starsky?" Alice called out from the living room.
"Oh, geez!" Hutch said as he shot out the door and down the hall. "Alice, are you all right?" Hutch looked around the room quickly and didn't see Starsky's date.
"She's using the restroom," Alice said as she gestured at the bathroom door across from the den. "I didn't know where you were." Alice's voice dropped to a whisper. "You left her alone in here."
Hutch opened his mouth to reply but was interrupted by Starsky pushing his way between them. He picked his jacket up from where he had laid it on the lounge chair in the living room. "Look, we'll leave. I shouldn't have brought her here like this." He heard the water running in the bathroom and shrugged on his jacket. "I guess I wasn't thinking."
Alice looked sheepish and regretted her outburst while Hutch tried to quickly make amends but the bathroom door opened and the sound of Moronica's heavy shoes coming toward them stopped him from saying anything.
Starsky moved towards the woman and she held out her hand to stop him. "Don't bother, I'm leaving." She looked at Hutch, "I heard what you said in there." Hutch blanched and dropped his eyes to the floor. "See ya, Dave."
"Wait, Moronica." Starsky said heading after her.
"No," the strangely-named woman said without looking back. She slammed the door behind her. Starsky did not turn back toward Alice and Hutch and they both wondered if it was because he was angry.
"Don't you have to drive her home?" Hutch asked quietly.
"Nah, she actually lives just a few streets away."
"Seriously?" both Hutch and Alice said in unison.
"Yeah, she lives with her parents over on Roosevelt."
Starsky still had not turned back from the door. His head dropped and his shoulders gently shook.
"Oh, Starsk," Hutch began but Starsky then looked up at him and they could both see he was laughing.
"Her parents are this clean-cut Leave It To Beaver-type couple. Beautiful house. He's a lawyer. The mother's name is Buffy." Starsky wiped a tear from his eye as he continued to laugh. "Buffy! And then they have that 30-year-old crazy daughter living there. She works at a record store downtown."
"Oh let me guess," Hutch said, also laughing. "House of Wax?"
"How'd ya guess?"
"That place is full of freaks."
Alice stood quietly nearby, not laughing. After a moment she stepped close to Starsky and wrapped her arms around him. Starsky hugged her back then pushed her away from him slightly. He looked down at her. "I'm sorry I brought those women into your home, Alice. I'll try harder." Hutch scoffed jokingly at that comment. Starsky smiled over at him then looked more seriously back at Alice. "You're the classiest woman I know."
Alice looking into his eyes and then a smile played around her lips. "Well if an ex-hooker is the classiest broad you know, we are in deep trouble."
The three friends laughed loudly.
~ S&H ~
Hutch held out his hand, "You can call me Ken or Hutch, whichever is fine." Jem firmly shook his hand. She was a pleasant-enough looking woman. Her hair was jet black, pin straight and hung half way down her back. Her clothes were expensive looking and all black. She wore no jewelry.
Alice then held out her hand, "Hello Jem. Nice to meet you."
"Nice to meet you, too. You have a lovely home."
"Would you like a glass of wine?" Hutch offered.
"Oh, no thank you, I don't drink."
Hutch could see Alice mentally running through the contents of the refrigerator. "We have cranberry juice, ginger ale…and milk."
"Water is fine. No ice. Thank you."
Alice managed to give Hutch a look as if to say "Water?" He shook his head at her, hoping the evening wouldn't turn into another bizarre night.
Two hours later, Hutch would have welcomed bizarre. Jem was very proper but didn't seem to be much fun.
"Hey, have you ever water-skied, Jem?" Hutch asked. "We went last summer and plan on going again this year. We had a blast, didn't we, Starsk?"
"No, I do not water ski."
At one point Jem went into a detailed, mostly one-sided discussion about a satellite-based experiment to test Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity. Starsky had rested his elbow on the table and then his cheek on his fist. Hutch stifled a giggle when at one point he was pretty sure Starsky had dozed off because his head slipped off his fist.
Monopoly was brought out. Jem took Starsky's favorite boot game piece. Hutch, Alice and Starsky had fun as Starsky again came in last. Jem won the game by a landslide.
"Wow, great game, Jem," Alice said with a smile.
"Well, not really. It wasn't much of a challenge against the three of you."
"Jem, that wasn't very nice," Starsky said, a bit of anger in his voice.
"It's okay, Starsky," Alice said quietly.
"No, it's not okay. I want you to apologize to my friends." Starsky got up from where he sat on the floor.
"I didn't mean to be offensive. I was only stating a fact," Jem said in the same even tone she had used all night.
"Well?" Starsky boomed. Hutch stood up and moved close to his friend to calm him.
"Well, what?" Jem asked.
"I will not as I did not mean anything offensive."
Starsky's shoulders hunched up closer to his ears and Alice knew he was really angry now. "Come on Jem," she said. "I'm driving you home."
Jem looked from Starsky to Alice and nodded curtly. "Fine. Goodnight." She turned, picked up her coat and purse and walked out the front door.
Alice picked up her own purse and keys and left.
"She…she…" Starsky's fumbled to express himself.
"She's a Vulcan," Hutch dead-panned.
"A Vulcan. You know, from Star Trek. Have you seen her ears, Starsk? I couldn't see them under that hair but I was really tempted to check to see if they were pointed."
Starsky looked confused for a moment and then his hand went to his own ear. "Hey, come to think of it, I never did see those ears." Hutch smiled and Starsky relaxed and let out a laugh. "I think I'm going to become a monk and give up dating all together."
Hutch put his hand on Starsky's shoulder. "Don't give up yet, Buddy."
~ S&H ~
"Are you ready?" Hutch asked Alice. He came up behind her as she was putting the finishing touches on dinner.
"Ready as I'll ever be. Where did you say he met this one?"
"At the library," Hutch replied.
"She works there or was researching how to make a bomb?"
Laughing, Hutch replied, "She works there – in the children's wing, no less."
Alice made a face like she was impressed. "Hm, that sounds promising." Hearing Starsky's knock, she brought the salad into the dining room and placed it on the table then followed Hutch to the door.
Hutch opened the front door and was relieved to see a very pretty woman at Starsky's side. "Come on in."
As Starsky took off his date's jacket, Alice sized her up. She was about five feet tall, brown shoulder-length hair with the sides pulled back with tortoise-shell barrettes. She was dressed in a grey plaid knee length dress, her shoes had a small heel and her jacket was dark gray with fake fur around the cuffs.
"Hutch, Alice, I'd like you to meet Mary Sue Wright."
Hutch looked at Alice as they heard the name. "Oh, no. Not a Mary Sue," Alice whispered.