It was a nightmare. An absolute nightmare.
“No,” said Hutch.
Starsky didn’t look at
him. Kneeling beside Hutch, he stared steadily at Frank, his eyes half-lidded.
“No,” said Hutch,
again. “Fuck, no. Starsky,
don’t!” He tried to get up to stop them, somehow, but his left leg
wouldn’t work. The bullet wound in his thigh ignited, sending shockwaves
of pain out in every direction. Hutch felt his shoulders hit the basement wall
as his butt reconnected with the floor, and for a moment everything went white.
Hutch felt Starsky’s hand
on his head, his touch gentle. “Don’t move,” said Starsky.
Hutch wanted to grab him, but
his wrists were locked behind his back in his own cuffs. “He’s just
going to kill us anyway.”
The sudden crack of Frank’s
pistol made Hutch yelp. Plaster dust stung the side of his face as the bullet
buried itself in the wall beside his ear.
“Wait!” shouted Starsky. “Just give me a minute.”
Frank sniggered. “You don’t need a minute. Do it or your partner
dies. Right now.” Stepping
forward, he aimed his gun at Hutch’s head. His other hand fumbled with
the snap of his jeans.
Starsky looked at Frank, expressionlessly. “You’re going to let him go.”
Even through the ringing in his
ears, Hutch could hear the determination in his partner’s voice. “No,”
he said. “Don’t do it, Starsky.”
“Shut up,” said Starsky,
his affectionate tone at odds with the harsh words.
“Sure,” said Frank,
his fleshy lips pulling back into a humorless grin. “You do what I say,
and I’ll let him go. I’ll drive him right to the hospital, deliver
him like a baby.”
Starsky ignored him. “Let me get those cuffs off my partner first.”
“No, you’re going
to do me first.” Frank worked his zipper down and pulled out his cock.
Starsky’s mouth twisted
into a sneer. “That’s it? That’s
all you’ve got?”
“Suck it,” growled
Frank. “See if you’re still laughing when I’ve got it jammed
down your throat.”
“I could take two of those
and still have room for more,” said Starsky, clenching his fists.
Growling, Frank stepped forward
and grabbed Starsky’s hair. Hutch felt the barrel of Frank’s gun
grind into his forehead. Instinctively, he tried to move away. The back of his head hit the wall and he was trapped, with nowhere to go.
A sudden spike of agony in his leg made him whimper.
When Hutch’s vision cleared,
he saw grim determination carved into the lines of Starsky’s face.
“No, no, no,” said
Hutch. “Oh no, please...” He
had to do something, he had to stop this.
But Frank’s gun was now
aimed at Starsky’s head, and he had a fistful of Starsky’s curls. Grinning,
he thrust his hips forward, shoving himself into Starsky’s mouth.
Starsky gagged, closing his eyes. He braced his hands against Frank’s thighs.
“Not so small after all,”
said Frank. “How do you like that, huh?” He yanked viciously on Starsky’s head, forcing him forward.
Hutch saw a tear leak from the
corner of Starsky’s eye. He felt his own eyes sting.
“Yeah,” said Frank. “Yeah, like that.”
Hutch couldn’t move. Maybe none of this was real. Maybe it
was just the worst dream he’d ever had in his life and in a moment he’d wake up and everything would be back to
normal. But he was sitting in a cooling puddle of his own blood, and his jeans
were stuck to the bullet wound in his thigh. He could feel the rough grit of
the wall at his back.
Frank’s gun was jammed
into the side of Starsky’s head just above his ear. His fat, hairy stomach
was slapping repeatedly into Starsky’s forehead, as the man thrust his ugly red cock repeatedly into Starsky’s mouth.
“Oh, yeah baby,”
said Frank, breathlessly. “That’s sweet!”
Hutch knew exactly how this was
going to end. Frank would pull the trigger as he came, blowing Starsky’s
Because all Frank wanted was
for both of them to die, in as painful and humiliating a way as possible. And
all for the crime of putting him away for two years less a day, because he’d raped his girlfriend’s invalid mother.
Frank groaned, and Hutch tensed
against the wall. If he could just fling himself forward at exactly the right
time, maybe he could knock Frank’s hand out of the way...
Suddenly Frank shrieked. It was a shockingly high pitched sound. The
gun exploded and Hutch cried out, falling hard onto his side.
For a fraction of a second all
Hutch could see was a horrifying vision of Starsky’s shattered skull, broken bone mixed with bloody hair.
Then his vision cleared and he
realized that he was looking at Starsky’s back. Starsky was kneeling in
front of him, not a foot away.
“St-tarsky?” Hutch’s voice sounded small, even to his own ears.
Starsky turned instantly, dropping
Frank’s gun. “Hutch, are you okay?” He hesitated a moment and then slapped his pockets. “Oh,
right. The keys!”
Hutch saw Frank’s legs
flop limply as Starsky yanked on his pants, searching for the handcuff key. Finding
it, Starsky leaned over Hutch and began unlocking his cuffs.
Hutch twisted, staring. “You’ve got blood on your chin.”
Starsky grimaced and wiped his
mouth with the back of his hand. “Ugh, that’s really... ack!” He scrubbed harder, with both hands this time.
Hutch got his arms under himself
and tried to get up off the floor. “You, uh... you bit him?”
Starsky left off trying to exfoliate
his lips and pushed Hutch back down. “Don’t move, I’m going
to go call an ambulance. Aw, geez, buddy.
Your leg looks bad.”
Hutch craned his neck, looking
around Starsky’s hip at what remained of Frank. “And then you shot
him in the head.”
“I’ll be right back,”
Hutch grabbed his leg. “Don’t!” He didn’t want to be alone
in this basement with Frank. It didn’t matter that the man was dead.
Starsky stared at him for a moment,
his lips pursed. “All right,” he said. Sliding an arm underneath Hutch, he hoisted him upright.
The world spun sickeningly around
Hutch, and for a moment the room grew dark. But then he was bracing his wobbly
legs, and leaning on Starsky’s shoulder. He drew in a long, sobbing breath.
“Easy,” said Starsky. “Easy, I’ve got you.”
Hutch opened his eyes. Frank was curled into a ball on the concrete floor, his hands between his legs, his eyes open and staring
blankly. Hutch could see twin pools of blood on the concrete floor under both
Frank’s crotch and what was left of his head.
Hutch felt bile flood his mouth
and he swallowed hard. His throat burned.
Starsky spat, a glob of saliva
hitting the floor with a wet splat. Then he hoisted Hutch a little higher against
his side. “You ready?”
“Yeah,” said Hutch.
“Because those stairs look
tough,” said Starsky.
“I can do it,” said
“I believe you.”
As they staggered up the rickety
basement stairs, Starsky kept up a running monologue. “I’m going
to have to brush my teeth for hours. And my tongue. If I can reach my tonsils, I’ll brush them too. Maybe
I’ll just eat a whole tube of toothpaste, instead. Burn my taste buds out
with peppermint. I can always grow new ones, right?”
“Starsk,” said Hutch.
“That was disgusting. That was beyond disgusting. I think I
should get to pick where we eat lunch for at least a year, just to get rid of that taste.
Healthy food ain’t going to cut it. Not after what my mouth has
They were at the top of the stairs. Starsky paused to look at Hutch.
“You were.” Hutch could hardly breathe. “You
“I know.” Starsky’s eyes were shadowed, the blue almost turning black in the dark hallway. “But he’s dead and we’re not.”
“Right,” said Starsky. He helped Hutch around the corner into the living room. “And here we have a couch and a phone! All the amenities
of home.” His voice was light again.
Hutch’s descent onto the
couch was not much better than a controlled collapse. It took him a few moments
to blink the tears out of his eyes. When he could focus again, he noticed that
Starsky was staring at the phone pensively.
Starsky sighed. “I’m not ashamed of anything I did.”
“You didn’t do anything
to be ashamed of,” said Hutch. Regret twisted a knot in his stomach. Everything Starsky had done, he’d done to keep him safe. To save him from his own stupidity in allowing Frank to get the drop on him in the first place. Oh God, thought Hutch. It’s all my fault.
A sharp smack on his cheek brought
Hutch back to the present. Startled, he looked up into Starsky’s face.
“You didn’t do anything to be ashamed of, either,” said Starsky, firmly.
Hutch wasn’t convinced,
but Starsky had a look in his eyes that suggested he wasn’t above kicking a wounded man’s ass.
“What I’m trying
to decide,” said Starsky, “is whether I ought to go back and shoot that bastard one more time. Just so the coroner won’t find my teeth imprinted on his dick.”
“Go,” said Hutch. “I’ll call the ambulance.”
Starsky’s smile was brilliant.