Roots to grow

Part Four

Growing

The next morning a good friend of Ken Hutchinson's grandfather, Bob Fuller and his son Daniel were checking their traps and passed Matthew Hutchinson's hunting lodge. They were more than astonished when they discovered the footprints in the snow. They tried the door, found it unlocked and entered. Their breath faltered when they found two bloodied men lying beside the bed. But what shocked them even more were the woman and the man sleeping on the bed with a newborn child lying between them. Two obviously injured young men also sleeping or unconscious crouched on the ground and one of whom was well known to them.

Daniel immediately ran back to their horses, rode back to their house and called for an ambulances and police while his father took care of the two men and the couple with their baby.

Two hours later all victims were in the care of the hospital. Their body temperature was too low and they were exhausted, but nothing that a good hot meal, a warm bed and some rest couldn't fix. Mother and child were fine, and the father was beyond proud of his little family. Starsky and Hutch were taken into surgery to stitch up their wounds and set their broken bones, but the doctors were certain that all their injuries would heal without complication. The next day a police officer came and took their statements and told them that Mayers and the red haired man were alive and in custody.

Two days later both were discharged from the hospital; Starsky still limping slightly, a big band aid over his right eyebrow, and Hutch with his right arm in a bulky white cast and resting in a sling. A patrol car drove them back to the station where the men's cars were waiting. When they got out of the car and walked over to the parking lot, Hutch suddenly stopped. With great astonishment he stared at the car that was parked beside his old brown LTD.

"What on earth is that…please don't tell me that's your car…"

"Why? What's wrong with the car?" Starsky asked surprised.

"It's red…"

"Sure it's red! It's a red Torino. What's your problem?"

"And it has a white stripe…"

"Yep! It's cool, right?"

"I can't drive the whole way back to L.A. in that car!"

"Why not?"

"Oh Starsk please…you can't do that…"

"I can and so can you! Since you can't drive with that cast on your arm we have to take my car, because I won't drive that heap you call a vehicle! And since I gave the doctor my word that I'd take care of you the next few days, there's nothing else you can do about it. Of course you could spend a few more days in the hospital if you like…"

"Shut up, will you? And it's not a heap…it's got character…" Hutch grumbled and with obvious dislike he opened the passenger side of the bright red Torino and got in.

"And mine's a flash for every eye!" Starsky beamed and slid behind the steering wheel.

"Yeah…and I need sunglasses…" Hutch replied dryly. "And before you start thinking about even more ways to torture me…drive me back to L.A. and then you're free to go, okay?"

"No…not okay! I told you, I gave the doctor my word, and I'm trained to hold my word, so you're stuck with me, partner!"

"Partner?! Since when are we…"

"Since you were the only one who has the courage to tell me that you don't like my car and because you're the only one who will laugh at my bad jokes." Starsky ascertained soberly.

"That's all?"

"No…" He turned around and eyed him seriously. "Because I don't have to hide my feelings in front of you. I can cry if I want, and I'm allowed to be afraid if I want and you don't make fun of me. You stay cool when I need to freak out. You tell me what to do. You said 'Don't let fear control you'. And I didn't. I know that I can trust you."

"It was my Grandpa…" Hutch mumbled.

"Sorry?"

"That sentence…my Grandpa told it to me when I was a little boy and at first I didn't understand it. But when I started medical school, every time I thought I couldn't do it I heard him saying it…and well, it helped me sometimes not to run away!"

"So, then I'll tell it to you again: 'Don't run away!' When I'm done with my training I want to have you as my partner. So don't you dare give up your training now. Jenkins won't dare to suspend you. We'll make our graduation, together, whether Jenkins likes it or not. Me and Thee?"

For some minutes Hutch only stared at Starsky and tried to get his feelings under control.

Because he knew that Starsky was right.

Me and Thee…

Even if he couldn't understand it yet, this curly-haired man with the dark blue eyes beside him was a match. They fit like pieces in a puzzle. He never had a friend, a best friend he could tell all his worries and hopes and after only three days this man knew more of him and his life than anyone else in Duluth.

And besides, he felt good about it. Because he knew that he could trust him too.

Me and Thee…

"Hutch…you still there?"

"Yeah…where else would I be?"

"Then you agree?"

"How long do I have to wear this damn cast?"

"Uh…the doctor said something about four or five weeks, why?"

"Well, since I'm right-handed and can't prepare myself a sandwich or a decent meal and because I don't want to starve and you're the reason why I broke my arm, it should be for you a self-evident fact that you have to look after me."

"I'm the reason? I'm the reason that you're right-handed? This is the reason why we left-handed are so blessed!"

"Can lefties cook?"

"Sorry?"

"I asked if you're blessed enough to cook?"

"You like pizza?"

"Uh…what about some vegetables?"

"Oh veggie pizza is also available!"

"That's what I'm afraid of…"

"Hey take it easy, buddy; I bet you've got a lot of cook books to test, haven't you? So I'll take that as a yes!"

A wide grin spread over Hutch's face. "Well, because I'm very curious and you already knew everything about me, you have to tell me everything about yourself. There's no way I can work together with a man I know nothing more about other than that he's a left-hander and Jewish. So we have 2,000 miles to uncover the mystery. All right?"

"2,000 miles is one hell of a damn long way... so be prepared for a damn boring trip!"

"Since I know you I'm prepared for everything but boredom! And don't forget, New Year's Eve is in three days. I would prefer not to spend that day somewhere between Duluth and L.A. but comfortably at home with a good meal and a bottle of red wine. So, have you lost your car key or what? "

"A New Year's Eve without surprises? I think I have to find myself a new partner..."

"Starsky."

"Huh?

"Drive!"

And Starsky gunned the engine and a few minutes later the red-striped Torino disappeared in a cloud of dust.

The End…

…or to be continued?

That's it!

A/N If anybody remembers my first story I said in the end I would write a sequel. Well I did it until...you know what happened. So if you're still interested in my stories...I need a beta...AGAIN. Be warned its a LONG story, about 13 chapters and finished. If you know someone who knows someone who knows someone...Just give me a call!

I wish you all a Happy and Peacefull NEW Year