Comments from this story can be sent to and will be forwarded to the author. This story is an amateur publication and does not intend to infringe upon copyrights held by any party. No reproductions without permission. Originally published in It's Love, Cap'n, Extortion Press, 1991. Scanned/first proof-read by Cyanne, final proofing by SHaron.

Blinded by the Truth


Peruvian Gypsy


The sound of Starsky's telephone woke Hutch and he leaned over, fumbling for the receiver. Bringing it to his ear, he mumbled a sleepy hello. Silence greeted him from the other end, stretching on as he tried again to summon a response. Then, abruptly, the line went dead. He waited for a dial tone, then hung up, glancing at the clock. Three a.m. The city outside the open window was silent, asleep. A warm breeze ruffled the blue curtains. He turned back to the warm embrace that waited. Starsky's body instinctively shifted in his arms, finding the close contact it sought. Content, he slept again.


Cat's eyes in the darkness.

Moon illuminated the large black depths, stealing in ghostly stillness around the empty night. Watchful prowl ceased as a spot was claimed, crouched on all fours. Waiting with feline patience.

A cat never strikes until the right moment.


The sound of a howl broke into the peaceful revelry and two pair of eyes met, amused.

"Mrs. Wilson's tom's at it again." A teasing glint entered Starsky's eyes. "A boy after my own heart." He winked.

"I bet." Hutch stretched out on the sofa, trying to recapture the tranquility held felt before being startled by the cat. The shriek had pierced the night, taking serenity along when it faded into the air. Now a feeling of unease settled around him.

"Hey, babe, want your fortune told?"

Hutch watched him finger the cards held found in a drawer. It had been a while since he'd seen them, and he could almost read the thought in his ever-predictable partner's mind. "Might be interesting, in light of more recent developments..."

"C'mon," Starsky coaxed, sitting on the floor.

Reluctantly, Hutch sank down across from him.

The gentleman card was put aside, the others shuffled and cut. "Make your wish."

I wish for us to have a long and happy life together. He'd never believed in the silly game, consented only to make his friend happy. This is nonsense... he watched as the counting aloud began. The rules stated that if the joker came up on an even number, the wish would come true; if odd, it wouldn't.

"...14...15...16...17..." The joker stared up at them. "Oh, well, hope you didn't wish for anything important," Starsky quipped lightly.

Something dark and cold blew across his mind. He pushed it away, reminding himself it was just a game. He concentrated on his partner's hands as he put the joker aside, shuffled again, and laid the cards out for a short reading.

"Let's see..." he started with the card nearest the center first. Number 36. The cat's eyes stared up. "Flattery, huh? Don't expect any from me, you're already too smug. It's near #30, though, so there will be strife associated with it. You have a mighty enemy, but phenomenal luck, so I guess it'll work out. New love..." Their eyes met over the cards briefly. "True friends--they sure know what they're talking about." He moved on to the outer square, surrounding influences. "Suspicion. Marriage??" His voice rose an octave.

Hutch smiled. "Well, we'll see."

"Is that a proposal?" He went back to the cards. "Death of a friend."

Death of a...

"Hey, that's not fair. Our friendship didn't end, it just... grew. Anyway," he went on, "indications of a long and happy live filled with beauty."

You're the only beauty my life has ever known. Without you...

"Amor is a sign that someone is looking at you with great love and longing..."

Hutch reached out first, but didn't need words to tell his need. Their lips met; the kiss was slow and gentle, helping to ease his mind. They drew apart and he watched while the cards were collected, meeting the concerned gaze that turned his way.


"Yeah." He knew he shouldn't have let the cards get to him. It was the wish, actually, his prayer and fear of late. He wanted just to be in bed and let those arms draw him close until they shut out the world. "About that love and longing stuff..." Leading the way to the bedroom, he firmly banished all unpleasant thoughts. It wasn't hard. Watching as Starsky began undressing, a warmth spread through him.

"You could help..."

Gladly. His fingers went to work on the shirt buttons, lips taking the liberty of caressing his ear and the side of his face.

Starsky sighed, melting against him. "Guess you're not that tired."

"Never. " The physical aspect of their relationship was still new, and he was hit with the rightness of it every time they were in each other's arms.

They finished undressing, clothes ending up strewn about on the floor, as usual. Hutch pulled Starsky onto the bed, and they shared loving kisses until all he was conscious of was the feel of his partner, touching him far more than physically, taking him to a place where the only reality was love. He arched up against the firm body, moaning softly. Their instincts here had proved just as keen as those they used on the streets, knowing each other on another level of awareness. Starsky could sense the slight edge of desperation in him, and he was being touched more solidly, taken and made to come alive to knowing fingers. They rocked together, slowly at first, following their own personal rhythm. The feelings built until Hutch was sure he could take no more, but still continued until he was writhing in pleasure. Finally, release. Seconds later he felt Starsky's almost as intensely as his own.

When his mind started functioning again, they were holding each other tightly in the afterglow that surrounded them, existing only in their world.


Cat's eyes watched.


It was going to be one of those days. Spending frequent nights with Starsky was fantastic beyond belief, but it had its disadvantages. Like oversleeping. Starsky had shut off the alarm and re-entered comatose, leaving his own inner clock to wake him when they should have been walking out the door. The cloud of the previous night still a wisp of memory to shadow the day, he wasn't in the mood for an unusually cheerful partner. Starsky had done a quick shave, slipped into a shirt and indecently tight jeans, grabbed a can of coke, and refused to understand why Hutch couldn't be ready just as fast.

He hastily threw on yesterdays' pants, all too aware of the man lounging on the bed watching him. He pulled a shirt out of a drawer. "Okay, if you're in such a hurry, let's go!" He was headed off at the door, and held by both arms.

"Hey, are you okay?"

Why am I taking this out on him? Just because I can't handle being happy. He sighed, unable to resist the pull of their bodies. "I am now." He smiled into the eyes he loved, relieved to see the answering grin.


So it's going to take some time to get used to all this, that's normal. That's the only reason I'm spooked, suddenly realizing how precious he is to me, knowing I can't afford to lose him.

He must have been daydreaming, because the next thing he knew Starsky had pressed even closer, holding him against the wall with his body and trying to pull off his shirt with one hand. Hutch was trying to prevent the removal of his clothes, but the attempt was at best quarter-hearted. "Starsk, I'm supposed to be getting dressed, not undressed." But he was laughing in enjoyment.

Starsky pulled the shirt off one shoulder and kissed it. "I knew it was one of those."

"We're late..."

"You know me, never can get these things straight. Never know whether I'm coming or going."

Hutch pulled him closer, giving in to the forces he couldn't fight. "Oh, you'll know when you're coming all right."


Forty-five minutes later the partners pushed through the doors to the squadroom. It was quiet, most of the other detectives apparently already on the streets. Bob Neilson and his partner were at their desks, mutually engrossed in paperwork.

Starsky watched Hutch covertly as the blond went over to the coffeemaker. He knew something was bothering him, but was unsure of how to broach the subject. He was angry with himself because of it. They'd never had any trouble talking things over before. Things are different now... Why? We know each other so well, it's strange feeling like we're new with each other, learning how to relate to each other. Are there some things that we can't talk about now? The hell with that, we're gonna have a long talk!

Dobey broke into his thoughts, leaving his office to make a trip to get coffee. Starsky launched into a major cursing out of Hutch's car, hoping to avoid facing a lecture on tardiness.

"Well, guess you know what you can get me for my birthday, partner," Hutch teased.

Dobey only glanced in their direction sternly, going back into his office without a word. They all watched him go.

"He's really on the rag today," Neilson observed.

"How can you tell, he didn't even say hi," Starsky asked, mystified. He took a sip of Hutch's coffee.

Sanders shared an amused grin with his partner. "I think he lost his voice from yelling at Babcock earlier."

"Get your own," Hutch complained, rescuing his cup.

"What's yours is mine, remember?" Starsky looked down at the mountain of paper on his side of the desk, gearing up to begin his least favorite part of police work. There was an envelope waiting there, one that hadn't been there the night before. It was addressed to him, but had no stamp on it. He tore it open, taking out a single piece of paper. He stared at it for several minutes before its significance registered. There were only two words written in bold letters:


The implications chilled him. "Hutch," he kept his voice low as he slid over the paper, eyes scanning the room. It was busier than it had been, everyone going about their business as usual. "I found this on my desk."

"Shit," Hutch swore softly. He met his lover's stare, gaze speaking volumes. "Anyone could have put it there."

"Question is, what do we do about it?"

"We gotta talk."

"No shit." Starsky glanced at the clock. "It'll have to wait 'til lunch." He put the whole thing into his pocket, trying to dismiss all thought from his mind until they could discuss the situation. With a last lingering look at his partner, he returned to his paperwork.


It was indeed "one of those days." A hectic morning had left no time for a lunch break; it wasn't until two o'clock that they put the finishing touches on their reports.

"Goddamn, it's hot."

Hutch looked up at the unnecessary statement, but did not comment. It would have been noteworthy if the air conditioning was working.

"Well," he persisted. "Aren't you gonna say anything about it?"

That finally broke him into a slight grin. "Sure." He grabbed his jacket off the chair. "They got air conditioning at Huggy's."

The time to talk was at hand.


The cold blast of air hit them as they stood in the open doorway, savoring it. Even the darkened interior added to the feeling of relief.

"You're lettin' all the cold air out!" Huggy's voice yelled from inside.

Starsky rolled his eyes and ushered Hutch into the bar. "Huggy's. A darkened oasis."

Hutch took the lead, visions of ice-cold beer dancing in his head.

Huggy looked them over appraisingly as they wiped the sweat from their faces. "Hot outside?"

"Don't be a wise ass," Starsky warned.

Without having to be asked, he brought them each a beer. "I been here since early morning and I mean to tell ya, I ain't stuck my head out the door all day."

"Some of us should be so lucky," Hutch commented, watching his partner down the beer gratefully.

"Is it possible to die of pleasure?"

Hutch smiled slyly, throwing an arm around his shoulders. "If it was, you'd definitely be dead, babe."

"I'm surrounded by wise-asses!" He began pulling Hutch towards the back. "Bring us two specials, Hug, I'm into living dangerously these days."

Wish I could be sure I was, Hutch thought gloomily. They took a table in the corner. "Okay, where do we start?" He decided to get right to business.

Starsky took out the note, staring at it as if it would eventually talk to him. "I guess it's pretty obvious what it's referring to."

"But why put it there?" Hutch let his frustration show. He didn't feel able to handle this new unwelcome issue right now.

"Why, who, how, when...all we know is where. But I'd be willing to bet we won't have to wait too long to get some of the unpleasant answers."

"It's not necessarily a cop..."

"Whistling in the dark?"

Silence hung over them, each in his own thoughts. I just wish I knew what's going on. Then a realization hit him that they didn't dare tell anyone about the note. In fact, there was no help or support from the rest of the force. He felt alone in a way he never had before, even with their chosen separateness. He didn't like thinking about those things. "How do we handle it?"

"Same as we agreed from the start. Don't lie, but don't volunteer anything either."

"I was hoping it wouldn't get out so soon." He met Starsky's eyes. "We really are on our own on this one, buddy."

"Big surprise." He reached out to clasp Hutch's hand. "Me and..."

"Thee." Please god, let it be enough.

They did what they could, asked Huggy to keep his ears open for anything. The only other thing to do at the moment was try to forget about it. And wait.


"Hey, Hutch, do you put on a sock and a sock, then a shoe and a shoe; or do a sock and a shoe, a sock and a shoe."

Hutch stopped unbuttoning his shirt long enough to stare at Starsky incredulously. It had been a long day, fraught with tension, and when it was finally over they'd retreated to his apartment to put it out of their minds and shut out the world for a while. "What?" There were times when it was difficult to follow his enigmatic partner.

"I saw it on 'All in the Family' once," Starsky explained hastily. "Just thought, well, now that we're -- we should get things like that out, see how compatible we are."

Hutch laughed, advancing on Starsky as he replied. "Compatible? Us?" He grabbed, tumbling them onto the bed. "No way." He gratefully surrendered to the delightful feeling of this lover's lips covering his own, familiar now, yet strangely still like the first time. Then socks and shoes were the furthest things from their minds. So were notes.

Cat's eyes watched.


His awakening was pleasant. Sunshine streamed through the window, yet the morning air was still fresh and cool. He took a deep breath and sighed, content. Best of all, it was Saturday, all their own. He stretched, then reached over to nuzzle Starsky's ear. "Hey, sleepyhead."

"Mmm..." came the mumble.

Hutch placed several wake up kisses in the vicinity of the ear and cheek. He was rewarded with a soft smile, but the eyes remained closed. "I'm going jogging. Wanna come?"

One eye opened, regarding him balefully. "I'll come when you get back. Promise."

"Pervert," he responded cheerfully, getting out of bed. "But I'll hold you to it."

When he returned a short time later, only quiet came from the bedroom. Obviously Starsky had fallen back to sleep. Whistling, he set about putting on coffee, and getting breakfast. In the process of taking out the eggs, he froze, listening. Something was wrong, although he didn't know what it was yet. He put the eggs back into the refrigerator and turned, eyes automatically going to the back of the chair. His gun was missing from the holster. Heart stepping up in pace, he carefully moved through the apartment. When he burst into the bedroom Starsky was sitting up, rubbing sleep out of his eyes.

"Thank god!" Hutch relaxed his alert.


"I don't suppose you've got my Magnum in there with you?"

"Why should I, I've got the real thing," he quipped; then, turning serious. "What are you talking about, Hutch?"

"My gun is gone from the holster."

"What?" Starsky was wide-awake now. "Are you telling me someone was in here while you were out?"

"Looks like." He savored the relief that had washed over him. "Let's go."

They spent some time searching the apartment carefully and questioning neighbors, none of whom saw anything out of the ordinary. Finally finished, they sat at the table, drinking coffee.

"Shit, guess this means a trip to Metro," Starsky said dejectedly.

"Shit," Hutch echoed, not looking forward to confess to having his gun stolen. Then an idea dawned. "You don't suppose this has anything to do with that note, do you?"

Starsky stared at him. "The note was mine... not that that ever stopped anyone before, if you know what I mean. I don't know. If it is, that would mean that the note didn't mean what we thought it did. I think."

We hope. "Starsky, you make me dizzy sometimes. I don't like the way this thing is going," he said abruptly.

"Any feelings?"

"None good." He sighed. "Nothing I can put my finger on. Cmon, let's get this over with."


Starsky let himself into his apartment. After they'd given a report he'd left Hutch to follow the lab team back to Venice Place, while he went home to shower and change. Hutch hadn't liked the idea, of course. He'd become more possessive lately, but mostly Starsky didn't mind. Although he'd never admit it to his partner, he kind of liked the idea. It reminded him that he belonged to his partner. And when Hutch got slightly out of hand, it was a simple matter to gently remind him. I know he worries, even more now. Maybe that's been his problem lately. Finding that fine balance between lovers and partners wasn't easy, but he hoped they'd get it right. And soon, because he had a feeling the need was going to be there.

He headed for the bedroom, starting to peel off clothes as he walked. Deep in thought, he was standing at the foot of the bed before he noticed its condition. The bed was in shambles and the blanket torn to shreds There were gaping holes in the pillows where they'd been blasted apart by a gun. A slip of paper was pinned to the remains of one, and the bullet from a .357 Magnum sat next to it. It wasn't hard to figure out where the bullet had come from. The note read:


The implications were now becoming frighteningly clear... in fact, obvious... to him.

Starsky sat on the sofa watching Hutch pace the living room. After a small discussion they'd called Metro to request a team from the crime lab, agreeing that they had little choice now. How much was going to come out in the open was still a mystery. Starsky himself was on the inside, and therefore only too aware of how things looked. Someone had taken Hutch's gun and destroyed Starsky's bed with it. "Why don't you sit down?" he asked, suddenly tired of watching Hutch pace.

Hutch ignored the suggestion. "We fucked up, took this whole thing too lightly. From now on we can't afford to make that mistake."

"What were we supposed to do?" Starsky asked, genuinely curious. "There was nothing we could do until—whoever... made their move."

"We've been too distracted."

"No argument there. I just think we also can't afford to over react." He wondered if he'd ever be able to get his point across to the blond when he was on the warpath.

"So we're supposed to under react until one of us gets killed?"

Starsky's temper rose, and he tried to control it. Now was not the time to be preoccupied with tearing into one another. "Would you be acting like this if we weren't lovers now?" he accused. Hutch turned away without answering, and Starsky tried to ignore the slight edge of hurt he couldn't explain. "I know it's not easy," he continued in a reasonable tone, "but we're cops, remember?"

"If I ever tried to forget they'd remind me quickly," Hutch spat bitterly.

"Well I'm reminding you now. We have a case to work on."

"Case? Some crazy is after you, and to you it's just a case?"

"Hey, at least we know it's not a cop... that first note," Starsky replied, grasping at something to change the course of the argument. Where he felt it leading scared him more than anything else.

"How do we know?"

"C'mon, Hutch, this is the sign of a sick mind, one that needs help." If I mentioned that it has all the earmarks of another one of your crazy women out for revenge, you'd fall into a major guilt trip. Only problem is, it won't be long 'til you think of it on your own. What the hell am I gonna do with you?

"Face reality, Starsky. The fact that the first note wasn't left by some cop who knows about our relationship is probably not going to make a bit of difference in the situation. The only thing that concerns me right now is finding this person before you get hurt. End of discussion."

The lab team arrived then, as if on his cue. End of discussion.


"One of these days you two lone rangers are going to get yourselves into something you can't get out of," Dobey warned, leaning back in his chair to regard them carefully.

They were in the captain's office, waiting to find out if the lab had turned up any clues in Starsky's apartment. There hadn't been any at Hutch's.

"You know what we know, Captain," Hutch answered in his no nonsense tone, meant to ward off any discussions from anyone on anything. Starsky'd been mostly silent since their arrival at Metro. "Someone stole my gun and used it at Starsky's."

On the bed. Only. The rest of the place was untouched. We all know that, only no one is mentioning it. If Dobey noticed anything strange, he wasn't saying. Starsky debated whether it was something he should know now.

"Why do I get the feeling that you two always know more than you're telling me?"

Starsky came to his decision. "We always tell you what you need to know, Cap." He met his boss's eyes. The look that passed between them seemed to settle the issue to his satisfaction.

"Good." Dobey nodded.

There was a knock at the door, and Starsky, who was standing by the door, opened it. It was Simmons, back from the lab.

"We got a perfect print," he announced excitedly.

"Did you run it through the computer?" Starsky asked, daring to hope for an end to the questions.

Simmons handed a file to the captain. "Got a positive I.D. It belongs to Diana Harmon."

"What?" As Starsky spoke up incredulously, he heard a crash and turned toward his partner.

"Dear god," Hutch breathed, paling. An unnoticed coffee cup lay broken at his feet.

"I want an APB out on her, NOW!" Dobey told the other detective.

"Yes, sir." Simmons nodded, hurrying out.

Starsky went over to Hutch and put a steadying hand on his shoulder. "How the hell did she get out?" he asked Dobey.

"It happens, Starsky. The report says they had transferred her to minimum security. She snuck out in a laundry truck."

"Terrific," he muttered. He took in Hutch's drawn face, not liking what he saw there. "Are you okay, buddy?"

Hutch looked into his eyes. "I'm sorry," he whispered.

It chilled Starsky. He steered the blond to a chair, pushing him into it. "It's gonna be okay, we'll get her."

"Obviously she hasn't given up," Dobey mused. "Wasn't she going after women that Hutch was involved with?"

"Women she thought he was involved with," Starsky stressed.

"She's gonna try to kill you," Hutch said simply.

"Well, I'm not going to let her kill either of us," Starsky insisted firmly. Now that he knew, he found he wasn't that worried about Diana... as long as it was him she intended to go after first. He planned to make sure he put a stop to it.

"You sound like you already have a plan," Dobey noted. "How do you intend to handle it?"

"Well," he thought it through as he spoke, "I can't hide forever. The best idea is a direct approach, reel her in. And get this mess over with. Won't take her long to try something else."

"No," Hutch said, quietly but firmly. He stood up, shaking off Starsky's concerned grip.

"Hey, I'm a grown cop, I can handle it." He wished Hutch was still in shock. His face had transformed, and his features were set: a storm cloud waiting to break.

"You underestimated her before, and look what happened."

Starsky glared at him. It was a low blow; Hutch had almost been killed because of his lack of concern.

"I've got a better idea," Hutch continued, taking control. "We can get a policewoman in. I'll pretend to date her, then we can all be there to bust her."

What you really mean is then I won't be a target. "You really think that'll take the heat off me?" he gaped. "I can't believe you suggested that."

"Starsk, it's the best..."

Starsky cut him off, his tone stern and forbidding. "No, you listen up. At least try to act professional, Officer Hutchinson!"

Hutch stared at him, surprise obvious on his face. Starsky knew it was because he'd chewed him out in front of Dobey, but he didn't care. This was important.

Hutch turned and stormed out of the room.

Starsky felt the captain's eyes on him. He turned to meet the studious gaze.

"Is this under control, Starsky?"

You mean is Hutch under control. I don't know... "I can handle it."

Dobey paused, sighing heavily. "Well go with your plan. Let me know when you've got it set up."


Hutch stood at the washroom sink, splashing cold water on his face. Didn't handle that too well, did I? In truth, neither had Starsky, although he'd never get him to admit it. He wondered what Dobey had made of the whole thing; he already had to be asking himself why Diana had decided to target Starsky. In his opinion, a person had to be blind not to see the implications, but then, things looked different on the inside, and in life he'd found that outsiders often were blinded by the truth, seeing only that which they'd been programmed to see. That's part of the reason it took Starsky and me so long to realize how we really felt about each other. Looking out of friendship's eyes. His thoughts were interrupted by the opening of the door. As expected, it was his partner.

"Hi." Starsky stood a good two feet away, obviously uncomfortable.

"Very original line. Did you think that one up all by yourself?" Starsky stared down at his feet. Abruptly Hutch felt sorry for him. "I'm sorry." Too late he found it was the wrong thing to say.

"I'm sick of hearing that shit!" Starsky spat. "Now we're alone, and you're gonna listen to me. I know you're scared, and I know why. You were right before, we did fuck up once, and we can't afford to do it again. Because if we do, that means we can't handle the situation. If we can't handle it... then we can't be partners anymore."

'Death of a friend...' "I guess I'm fucked either way." He stalked out, but Starsky was on his heels. Arms grabbed him and pulled him around. The face he stared into showed anger, fear, pain... all the things he knew only too well himself.

"You aren't gonna run out on this, so get your act together... or you'll be fucking both of us. Now, do I do this alone, or do I still have a partner?"

The intensity of the silence that followed was almost physical. Hutch shook his head to clear it, feeling as if he was sleepwalking. He certainly wasn't thinking like a man who was wide-awake. "You're right." His eyes met Starsky's, gaze reaching down into him, seeing there the friend and partner whose side he'd been at through the years with a mutual loyalty that went beyond... anything. The mistakes had come in forgetting who they were. He held out his hand. "Till death do us part... partner."

Starsky clung to the offered hand, pulling him into a fierce hug. "I love you. Always."


Business as usual. Hutch was on his knees in the bushes outside Starsky's place, walkie-talkie clutched in one hand. Fear and boredom were a strange combination, but not good enough to distract him, nor appropriate enough, for that matter. In the distance a cat yowled, bringing him back to the beginning, that night with the cards. He made a mental note to burn them as soon as this was over. A faint rustling sound caught his attention, and he started to turn. He had the vague impression of a soft thud in the vicinity of his right ear. Then the lights went out.

"I'll finish with you later."


Starsky didn't like sitting with his back to the door. It gave him a prickly feeling down his spine, and he had to fight the urge to glance around every other minute. Hutch was outside the house, a unit was parked down the street, and several men patrolled the area on foot. It was very likely she'd never even make it inside the house... especially if Hutch had his way.

"Don't expect Hutch to rescue you." The voice spoke from behind him, low and deadly.

So much for deductive reasoning. He turned slowly, a lump of ice forming in his stomach. "What did you do?"

"You think I'd tell you?" she snarled. She had Hutch's gun pointed at him, and kept her distance. "Besides, that's gonna be the least of your worries, lover boy."

Starsky mentally assessed the situation. There had been no gunfire, so hopefully she had only knocked him out, or maybe was bluffing, and had managed to get by everyone without being noticed.

"You won't get away with it this time, either. Any minute there'll be cops all over the place."

"Sure, I just bet you told your precious cop buddies all about you and Hutch." She crept closer. "I should've known. The laugh was really on all of us, wasn't it?"

They actually hadn't been lovers yet then, but Starsky didn't want her to know that. An idea formed in his mind, and he couldn't afford to ignore it, no matter what the odds were. He didn't know what her plans for him were, but there was one thing he felt sure he could count on: her solid history of a violent temper. If he could use that...

"That's right. How'd it feel when you realized that in all of the attacks, the really guilty party escaped Scot free?"

"Shut up!" she yelled, coming even closer.

Just a little more... "Hey," his voice rose, and he stood up slowly. "Don't blame me because you weren't a good enough lover to keep him."

She reacted exactly as he'd hoped. She lunged.


Pain. A very familiar pain, at that. Hutch groaned, gingerly reaching up to touch his head. He felt a wet stickiness, but the pain and dizziness were only slight, and he was able to pull himself to his feet. Luckily for them, she must've moved to the left at the right moment, and the gun hadn't connected solidly with his head. He raced toward the door, calling the back up in as he ran.


Meanwhile Starsky was finding out that overpowering Diana wasn't to be as easy as he'd thought. Shoulda remembered... nothing is. She was a hellcat, fueled by insanely jealous rage. She had lunged at him blindly, throwing the gun into a corner, forgotten. It was savagery she wanted, not cold-blooded killing. For a moment he was caught off balance by the sheer intensity of the hatred that poured off her in tangible waves. Finally he was able to pin her arms at her sides, but before he had time to do anything else, she'd kneed him in the groin. He doubled over in pain as she viciously scratched at him. Gathering himself to ignore the pain, he fended off her attack with partial success. Now I know what they teach in nursing school these days. Could be in a little trouble here... still, it was hard for him to believe that she would be able to kill him.

Suddenly she was gone. He looked up as Hutch pulled her off, throwing her to the ground. She tried to take him with her, so he pinned her down roughly as she struggled, yelling curses.

"If you don't quit it, I'll kill you!" Hutch looked like he really meant it, but Diana seemed oblivious to that fact.

"Perverts!" she spat.

He slapped her, hauling her up by her neck. "Listen, bitch, if you ever touch him again, I will kill you."

"I'll get you both, you wait! It'll never be over until you're dead!" She struggled as Hutch slapped the handcuffs on her.

"Diana," Starsky said, gingerly sitting up, "If you don't shut up, I'm going to punch your lights out so I won't have to hear you anymore." To his surprise, she quieted somewhat, muttering under her breath. He turned his attention to Hutch. At least he wasn't apologizing anymore, Starsky noticed with satisfaction. He'd been worried that Hutch would have trouble dealing with their relationship/partnership; it looked as if it was even doing him good.

"You okay?" Hutch asked him, as Starsky touched his fingers to Hutch's bloody head.

Starsky nodded, smoothing the hair out of his partner's eyes. "It's over." There was a commotion at the door, and he saw several cops burst in. "Cavalry's on time, as usual," he noted wryly.

An unwelcome voice piped up. "Do your cop friends know about the two of you? Do they?"

"Somebody get this crazy bitch out of here," Starsky ordered disgustedly.

She was led away screaming. Neilson and Sanders walked over, Neilson crouching down to offer a hand. "You guys okay?"

"Yeah," Starsky replied, accepting the help. Hutch brought him a folding chair to sit on, hovering slightly.

"What a sick chick," Sanders shook his head. "Wasn't it Baylor she went after the last time?"

"You sure attracted a flip out that time, Hutch... Maybe she's got the right idea... you oughta stick with your partner. He may be crazy, but at least he's not homicidal."

Hutch gaped as Neilson slapped him on the back. Sanders winked, and they made their exit before Starsky or Hutch could retaliate.

Starsky put an arm around Hutch's shoulders. "Actually, they took the words right out of my mouth." He squeezed the shoulder slightly, then turned to the business of cleaning things up, still laughing.