Title: American Dream

Author: Elizabeth Helena

Series: Starsky & Hutch

Rating: PG, due to a wee bit of bad language, a mention of an activity in a car other than driving, and numerous pop culture references from 60s and 70s TV and movies that I hope kids wouldn’t get. Because if they do, they definitely need to play outside more and stay away from mommy and daddy’s DVD collection.

Warning: After reading so much high quality angst in this year’s fanfic, and my own RL angst-y adventures, I had a sudden, irresistible urge to write fluff. Please be aware this could be a sign of the apocalypse.

Spoilers: Set post-Hutchinson for Murder One, but before season four, because mustaches and machine guns give me angst. Or is that heart-burn?

Slash or Gen: The boys stayed gen throughout my peek into their Friday night activities, but for all I know I was kicked out early before the hard liquor and bondage gear was broken out. Damn, think fluffy bunny thoughts, fluffy bunnies with leather caps – NO!

Disclaimer: I do not own any of Dave Starsky’s Torinos, Ken Hutchinson’s various smashed up Fords, James Bond’s assorted Aston Martins, Napoleon Solo’s various convertibles (let alone the souped-up Piranha), Bruce Wayne’s Lincoln Futura-mobile, nor Maxwell Smart’s shoe phone. Heck, I don’t even know how to drive, and despite frequently wearing men’s shoes, I’ve yet to get a dial tone from any of them.

Summary: Over beer and pizza, Starsky and Hutch discuss how to spend a million dollars. Hey, the title should have warned you of the capitalist themes, comrade.

Dedication: To Margaret S. who, bless her heart, had no set expectations for her Secret Santa gift.

Beta: Rebelcat, who said, “Hey, this isn’t fluffy, it’s warm and fuzzy!” So, the apocalypse is officially postponed due to light angst (with a chance of mush), but my recruitment into the dark side of the force can proceed apace.

Further Thanks To: Salieri, for bribing me despite her doubts that I knew what the word “fluffy” meant. Apparently, she’s right, but I still want my “Vaudeville Starsky” story!

Feedback/Critique: Yes please, including “Hey, Rebelcat was right!” I honestly tried for fluffy, but apparently that would have meant leaving Hutch out of the story, and where’s the fun in that? I can be reached living the warm and fuzzy Canadian dream at elizabeth loves her thesaurus @ (no spaces) or wherever I’ve posted this (no shoe phone reception).

Archiving: With the rest of my even less fluffy bunny S & H fanfic at Well, except for Matched Set. And Yes, Virginia Hutchinson. . . Uh oh, looks like the apocalypse is back on schedule.

“A car is useless in New York, essential everywhere else. The same with good manners.”
Mignon McLaughlin


American Dream

Hutch wasn’t sure when getting together with Starsky on Friday nights had moved from a now and then occurrence to an unquestioned ritual. The rest of the weekend, when their jobs let them have one, was devoted to pursuing the fairer sex, either as free agents or as the dynamic duo. However, Friday evenings off the job had evolved into sacrosanct partner time. It never mattered whose apartment they ended up in as long as they were together.

Their Friday nights had developed a specific blueprint as well. First, Hutch would sit back and enjoy listening to Starsky’s verbal tug-of-war with his mother over the telephone. Once Starsky inevitably admitted defeat with numerous promises and at least one “love ya, Ma,” Hutch would take over the phone. The privilege of ordering the pizza had been earned after many battles. It was the only way to ensure their dinner had anything resembling a healthy ingredient.

Then they’d start on their first beer of the evening, for even this had assumed a particular pattern. The first two bottles helped pass the time while they waited for the food, and Starsky caught him up on the latest gossip from New York. Hutch would inevitably loose track of the entanglements of cousins and uncles, but this never bothered him, as he only believed half of what he heard. Sometimes less if the story involved a bizarre death of a relative or sewer alligators, or both.

Their third beer helped wash down the pizza. If it had been a bad week – the definition of such having changed over the years from stalled, open cases to how high the body count had been – dinner would be a strained affair. They’d end up taking turns bitching and giving each other the cold shoulder. If the week had been better, the good ones having faded into distant memory, any leftover tension from work would be defused by arguing, but usually over nothing more dire than the pizza.

Starsky lifted a topping off of his slice, and shook it at Hutch. “What the hell is this?”

Hutch had to peer down from Starsky’s couch to see what his partner was holding up. Starsky was on the floor, in one of his eccentric sprawls. This time he was partially lodged underneath the coffee table.

“It’s a vegetable, Starsk. If you ate them more often you’d be able to recognize the individual kinds.”

Starsky made a rude sound. “All I know is that nothing green should be on a pizza.”

Knowing better than to get into that argument again, Hutch climbed over Starsky and headed toward the fridge. As he passed by the table with the menorah, he flicked it with a finger nail resulting in a metallic, off-key note. “Considering you’re Jewish, you’re not supposed to be eating meat and cheese at the same time anyway.” He opened the fridge, and retrieved their third beers of the evening.

Heading back into the living room, Hutch added, “Maybe I should call your Mom back, and let her know you’re breaking kosher. Again.”

“Yeah, you tell her about Ham-ukkah, and I’ll call your Mom, and give her the exact count of how many times you’ve broken the second commandment this week.”

Hutch shook off the memory of the pork roast Starsky had served on the first night of Hanukkah, and passed him a beer bottle. “I’ve been making graven images?” He settled back on the couch, stretching out his legs.

“No, the one about taking the lord’s name in vain. Well, your lord anyhow.”

“An exact count, you say?” Hutch glanced around for the beer opener.

Starsky tapped his own head with the metal opener, before passing it over. “Like a steel trap.”

“I’ll believe it’s lined with steel plates.” He open his beer and aimed the bent beer cap at Starsky’s head. Now intent on removing anything remotely green from his own pizza slices, Starsky ignored him.

Hutch doubted that his friend knew the exact number of “Christs” he’d uttered. However, he knew they’d escalated over the years, just like the body count. Reaching for another slice, Hutch rescued some of the green olives and broccoli that Starsky had pitched into the box. “So, who’s your hot date for tonight?”

“Other than you? Tonight, we will have the honor of hosting Cheryl Ladd and Kate Jackson at exactly 8 p.m.”

“Christ, not again.”

“That’s 29. And I’ll have you know that Satan’s School for Girls is a classic that will withstand the test of time. Kate’s your date, by the way. Cheryl can’t keep her eyes off of me.”

“No, thanks,” Hutch said. “I’ll keep my date later on tonight with Farrah Fawcett-Majors.”

“Again? Geez Hutch, aren’t you ever going to choose someone else?”

“Loyalty is a virtue, old pal.”

“Being in a rut ain’t,” Starsky argued. “You know, if you’re stuck on fantasizing about blondes, you could always choose ah. . . what’s her name.”

Hutch snickered, earning him a dirty look.

“The hot chick who plays Misty on Days of Our Hope Hospital, you know who I mean.”

“Nope,” Hutch denied.


The rest of the pizza was eaten in relative peace, save for the occasional airborne piece of broccoli, but that was no more than to be expected. Afterwards, Starsky disposed of the box and gathered up the empty bottles, while Hutch savored the pleasant effects of a full stomach combined with three beers. The alcohol not only relaxed tense muscles but also helped shed some of the dirt of the streets, or at least made the layers of sediment that had built up over the years feel lighter.

Hutch had formulated a theory that it was this accumulation that made these Friday nights together more of a necessity, but never asked if Starsky felt the same way. He wasn’t sure which would be worse, if his partner agreed with him or the opposite.

Starsky returned to the living room, and gazed down at him. Hutch was about to make space on the couch, when Starsky sat on the floor and deposited their fourth beers on the coffee table. He opened them, and handed one over to Hutch. Starsky then slid down beside the couch, slouching even lower than before. For the life of him, Hutch couldn’t understand why his partner had never required back surgery.

Once the pleasant buzz of the fourth beer had taken hold, Hutch decided to finally broach a subject that had been bugging him for at least a month. He’d actually wondered off and on about this particular mystery for much longer than that. However, it was only after he’d almost been arrested for the murder of his devious ex-wife, that this particular behavior had really begun to bother him.



Hutch took one more swallow of beer. The working man’s version of Dutch courage, he thought. “Why are you always trying to get rich?”

“What d’ya mean?”

“I mean all your rich quick schemes – real estate, Louise. . .”

Starsky groaned at this reminder of the chinchilla that had turned out to be a very expensive guinea pig.

“. . . and that kazoo fiasco Huggy conned you into.”

“Hey, that was a great idea. Anybody can play the kazoo.”

“Yeah, the problem is no one wants to listen to it.” Another swallow of beer. “You just end up wasting both your time and money on one harebrained scheme after another –”

“Real Cop Strippers was not harebrained, you were just a coward.”

Hutch rolled his eyes. “As I was saying, harebrained schemes. So you going to ’fess up, partner, or do we have to play push or shove?”

“I could shove you off the couch,” Starsky threatened without heat. He then shrugged. “It’s the American dream, ain’t it? To become a millionaire.”

Deciding that the straightforward approach wasn’t working, Hutch asked, “But what are you going to do with all that money, buy a yacht?”

Starsky chuckled. “Maybe I’ll buy one for you. You could finally put all that Sea Scout stuff to good use.”

“C’mon Starsky, what could you possibly do with a million dollars?”

“Hey, I’ve got expensive tastes, you know.”

Hutch couldn’t help laughing, but was interrupted by the need to defend himself from Starsky wielding one of his running shoes as a weapon. Hutch raised his hands in surrender. “Hey, remember who I was married to. You hardly measure up in the expensive tastes department.”

Starsky lowered his Adidas and smirked. “Okay, so I’ll skip the fur coat Vanessa was always hankering for – no wait, I’ll buy one for Huggy.”

This time they both gave into laughter.

“He’d love it.” Hutch wiped his eyes. “He’d wear it in the middle of July.”

“Yeah, I better throw in some air conditioning for the Pits so he doesn’t get heat stroke.” He considered the bottle of beer in his hand. “I’ll have to get a fur coat for my Ma or she’ll be jealous.”

“Starsk, in case you haven’t noticed, your Mom and Huggy don’t travel in the same social circles.”

“Oh, she’ll know, trust me. And it won’t matter that I’ll have bought her a house, and anything else she’d ever need. No, it’ll be ‘Oh the house is very nice, but it gets so cold here in New York in the winter. Not like out there in California where a fur coat would be a waste of money.’”

Hutch smiled, he could imagine listening in on that conversation.

“Course that means I can’t get my Aunt Rosie the same thing or the fur will fly for sure.” He slouched back against the couch. “Though I bet she’d appreciate a nice broach or somethin’ like that.”

As Starsky rattled through his various relatives, Hutch suppressed a sigh of relief. It hadn’t been hard to figure out what drove Starsky’s get rich quick schemes after all. Just as Vanessa had loved to remind Hutch, a cop’s salary could only be stretched so far. Hutch already knew about the money his partner sent to his mother every month. If Starsky ever did find another Terry, he’d be trying to support not just one family but two.

Hutch had already made an appointment with a lawyer to change his will, and he decided that he’d make sure to add Mrs. Starsky along with her son as the main beneficiaries. Of course, he’d have to figure out how to tell Starsky without riling him. However, that could wait for some other Friday night’s fourth beer. Or possibly fifth, just to be on the safe side.

“Now, Nick. . . he’s a tough customer. I’m not sure what to get him.”

Hutch began listening again, because Starsky almost never mentioned his little brother. Hutch had also learned that this was a subject it was best not to press him on either. “What about Dobey?” he prompted, as a distraction.

Starsky quit staring at the running shoe in his hand, and glanced up at Hutch. “Not sure. He’s an even tougher customer.”

“You could buy him a bathtub to match the toilet we gave him last Christmas – no, that was the year before.” Hutch tried to remember what the squad had inflicted on their Captain the previous Christmas.

Starsky sat up and grinned at him. “Good thing I’ll be rich enough to afford bodyguards.” He took a drink of his beer. “Whatever I choose, I’ll have to sneak past the man himself, and give it to Edith instead. That way he can’t make me take it back.”

He frowned at his shoe, and then pointed it at Hutch. “I’ve got it. Remember how she was complaining about her counter space the last time we were over for Sunday supper. I bet she’d like her kitchen renovated.”

“Never suspected you had such a practical side, Starsk.”

Starsky ignored the jibe. “Let’s see, a dune buggy for Cal. . .”

“Better hire extra bodyguards, Dobey will hit the roof.”

“. . . and a pony for Rosie.”

“A pony?” Hutch shook his head. “I take back what I said about you being practical. Where the hell would she keep a pony – in her backyard?”

“Why not? Besides, ponies are special to little girls. . .”

“You better buy a bullet proof saddle if she’s going to be riding it through Bay City.”

“Ha ha. Now, let’s see, I’ve got a yacht for you, all the Dobeys taken care of . . . Ma and the rest of the family, Huggy. . . who am I missing? Oh yeah, Lisa – I almost forgot! But I know just the thing, I’ll get her the biggest dollhouse I can find. Half the size of her bedroom at least.”

Hutch smiled to himself, thankful that the young retarded woman was recovering from the traumatic events of the year before. He also suspected that if Starsky ever bought her such a huge toy, he’d spend just as much time playing with it as Lisa would.

“What about yourself, big spender?” Hutch asked.

“The most expensive watch money can buy, of course.”

“Of course, how silly of me. I suppose it’ll be able to tell you if it’s raining in Rio, and how much you’d weigh on the moon.”

“All the important features.” Starsky agreed, refusing to rise to the bait.

“Except for actually telling the time. What is it with you and watches anyway?” Now that he’d solved the main mystery of the evening, Hutch decided it wouldn’t hurt to explore a smaller one.

“What d’ya mean?” Starsky asked again.

“You spend almost all of your pay checks on watches and your car, but while every watch has to be the absolute top of the line, your car –”

“Don’t you pick on my car,” Starsky interrupted.

“I’m not, but it is a Ford.”

“You drive a Ford!”

“Exactly, it’s not the most expensive model out there. I’d expect you to want to drive some fancy foreign make like James Bond.”

“Hey, I love James Bond, but the Aston Martin is a fruity car.”

Hutch winced, now remembering that particular debate many Friday nights ago, one he had no desire to revisit. “How about the Man from Auntie, did he have a cool enough car?”

“It was Uncle, Hutch. The United Network Command for Law and Enforcement.”

Hutch finished off beer number four. Trust his partner to know that bit of trivia, he thought.

“But you’re right,” Starsky continued, “Napoleon Solo had pretty good taste in cars, especially the Dodge Charger convertible. But they were the most unrealistic part of that show.”

“Most unrealistic? Starsk, they had exploding shirt buttons and trained killer bees!”

“Aha, Man from Auntie, my ass! I knew you watched that show. Bet ya used to watch Batman too.” He started to hum the theme music.

Hutch shook his head again, and got up. “I’m going to need another beer.”

“Get me one too.” Starsky called after him, between the “Batmans!” After a detour to the bathroom, Hutch fetched the beers and returned to the living room. Both of Starsky’s running shoes were off his feet now, beating out the rhythm of his “nananananananananas” against his knees.

“Your neighbors have threatened to call the police about the noise.”

“Geez, and Cheryl Ladd hasn’t even shown up yet.” Starsky dropped his shoes to grab the offered beer. “I’ve decided to scratch the watch. I’m going to buy the Batmobile with my million bucks.”

Hutch sat on the couch. “So, let me get this right. The Batmobile was a realistic car, but the Uncle-guy’s convertibles weren’t.”

“No, the Batmobile was realistic ’cause Bruce Wayne lived out in the country and had his very own bat cave garage. But no matter how great a Man from Uncle Napoleon Solo was, there’s no way he should’ve always found a parking space in New York City.”

Hutch opened his fifth bottle with a smile. “You’ve got me there.”

“Damn right, I do.”

“Although, you could buy yourself a Batman watch along with a Batmobile.”

Starsky shook his head emphatically. “Wouldn’t want to get greedy.”

“True.” Hutch leaned back against the cushions. “So, why do you buy the most expensive watches your money can buy?”

A heavy sigh. “Man, you’re not going to give up tonight, are you?”

“Change the subject all you like, but even Maxwell Smart’s shoe phone isn’t getting you out of answering the question.”

“You know, it would be really handy if cops had shoe phones.” He lifted one of his Adidas for consideration.

Hutch shook his head. “Yeah, I can just see you chasing down a perp, hopping on one foot, with your running shoe pressed to one ear.”

Starsky laughed at the image. “Okay, maybe not a shoe.”

“Especially as you’d pass out the moment yours came anywhere near your nose – ow!” He tried to grab the Adidas that Starsky had just smacked his knee with, but his partner moved too quickly. Hutch satisfied himself by scooping up the other shoe left behind and throwing it at him.

“Hey watch it!” The shoe had missed Starsky but had nearly hit his TV.

“Yeah, it would be a tragedy if we had to miss Satan’s School for Girls.”

Starsky retrieved his shoe and shook it at Hutch. “Seriously though, having a phone we could carry around all the time would help us do our jobs.”

“Yeah, maybe the Swiss will come up with a phone that doubles as a watch.”

“All right, all right!” Starsky sat on the floor again, although this time on the opposite side of the coffee table. “The very first thing I ever bought for myself with my very own money was a watch. So I guess they’ve always been kinda special to me. Happy now?”

“Thank you,” Hutch said, sincerely.

“You’re welcome.” Starsky answered in the same tone, before adding, “Y’coulda just asked, you know.”

Hutch resisted the temptation to throw one of his own shoes at his partner. After another swallow of beer, he said, “I’m surprised the first thing you bought wasn’t a car.”

“Nope, couldn’t reach the gas pedal. Besides, it was New York, where’d I have parked?”

“How old were you?” Hutch asked. He’d envisioned Starsky buying his first watch while in high school, but that clearly wasn’t the case.

“Ten. And that’s all you’re getting out of me. No matter how often you ask, I am never telling you what I did to earn that money.”

“Sealed in your juvie record, huh?”

“Nope, never got caught – I can’t believe I just fell for that!”

Hutch laughed.

Starsky glared at him. “But you can still forget about ever learning the details, funny-guy.”

“I bet your Mom knows, doesn’t she find out everything?” Hutch teased.

“You’re giving me a headache.” Starsky drank some more of his beer, and changed the subject. “I bet the first thing you ever bought with your own money was a car, and it was a trash-heap Ford just like the one you own now.”

Hutch decided to be gracious in victory. “I spent every last penny I’d earned legally as a lifeguard on that Ford. And yes, she had the same inner beauty as the one I own now.”

A disgusted sound greeted that assertion. “I also bet your Dad hit the roof the moment he laid eyes on it.”

Hutch stared at Starsky. His partner’s accuracy was getting a little eerie. “How’d you guess?”

“I’ve met him, remember?”

Hutch grimaced, recalling his graduation from the academy. “He wasn’t at his best,” he excused, for it was true. His dad had only shown up as part of a last ditch effort to convince his son not to go through with his chosen career. “But you’re right, Dad wouldn’t even let me park my new – well, new to me – car in front of the house where the neighbors might see it.”

“Don’t blame him if it looks like the one you have now. So where did you park it – Lover’s Lane?”

Hutch smiled. “That is where it spent most of its time, as a matter of fact, but we had a Lover’s Bluff not a Lane.”

“Same diff.” Starsky drank more of his beer and leaned against the coffee table. “So, having spent your first wages earned as your very own man on that car, and then becoming a real man in its back seat with Mary Jane –.” Starsky put up his hands. “Okay, okay, just drop the couch cushion, and no one gets hurt.”

Hutch chuckled, and lowered his makeshift weapon. Leaning back, he mused aloud, “I guess we never fully grow up.”

“Considering we’re still playing cops and robbers, I guess not.”

Hutch took a deep breath, and decided not to wait on another Friday. “Do you – ever think of quitting?”

Starsky fixed him with a knowing gaze. “So, that’s what’s bugging you so much about Louise and all the rest. You think I want to become a millionaire so I can quit my job?”

He should have known, Hutch thought. All the time he’d been digging away at Starsky’s secrets, his friend had been figuring out his. “The thought had crossed my mind.” He admitted, in a neutral tone of voice.

“Well, tell it to stop crossing,” Starsky said, turning his attention back to his beer. “You think too much already.”

“So, you’re planning on being the first millionaire Detective Sergeant, chasing down perps in your gold-laced Adidas.”

“Yep. Except for the gold laces, that’d be tacky.” He glanced at Hutch. “You don’t believe me.”

“I believe you’d keep your ratty, smelly shoes.”

Starsky picked up one of his running shoes again, and threatened him with it. “And you don’t believe. . ?”

“Most people want to get rich so they can quit their job.” Hutch admitted.

“Well, I’m not most people.”

“You said it, not me.”

Hutch ducked, and the first running shoe flew over him. The second, he managed to catch. “Careful buddy, you’re just giving me ammunition.”

“So much for your theory that their smell could knock someone out.”

Hutch pretended to look worried and placed the Adidas down beside him. “Let me guess, you have your own unique version of the American dream.”

“C’mon Hutch, except for the money, I’m already living the American dream of every ten year old boy.”

“Eating junk food whenever you want?”

“Nope. I get to play cops and robbers with my best friend all day.”

Hutch cleared his throat, and glanced away. “So, other than buying Huggy Bear and your Mom the fur coat of their dreams, what do you need the money for?”

“Well, when I was ten it would have been to buy the fanciest watch money could buy, but spending time with you has made me want the more refined things in life.”

“Oh yeah?” Hutch knew he was being set up, but didn’t care. After all, the sense of well being that filled him now had nothing to do with the number of beers he’d consumed this Friday night.

“Yep, now I need it to buy the Batmobile.”

Hutch lifted his beer in a toast. “To childhood dreams.”

“To the American dream,” Starsky corrected.

They clinked their beer bottles together, but stretching across the coffee table caused Starsky to drop his, splattering Hutch’s shoes.


“That’s 30 and still counting – ow!”

- end -

Author’s Note: My apologies for not warning the readers of the references to the Starsky & Hutch movie. I was afraid no one would risk reading it if I did! But I loved Dobey’s speech about ponies and Snoop Dog’s Huggy Bear. I throw myself on the mercy of the fanfic courts.

Unfortunately, Satan’s School For Girls is not only a real made-for-TV movie, it was made twice. The one that traumatized me, and two future Charlie’s Angels, debuted in 1973, while an even worse remake starring Beverley Hills 90210’s Shannon Dougherty was released in 2000. Yes, there will be a test. Right after the apocalypse.