COLOUR MY WORLD
*As time goes on
Just what you mean
Now that you're near
Promise your love
That I've waited to share*
Thanks to the hard work and of their mutual friends and the stubborn determination of their very efficient offspring, former partners David Starsky and Kenneth Hutchinson managed to have their reunion at the new establishment of old friend, Huggy Bear Brown. Both Captain Dobey and Huggy Bear figured that his place was the one venue in town where the three men would be comfortable enough to let their hair down and speak freely with each other.
The Cave Inn was a tony rooftop eatery that Huggy Bear had brought into with the proceeds from selling his bar, called The Pits, several years ago. The new place was on the roof of a better than average hotel located not far away from where the bar used to be, except that now it inhabited a ritzier location in downtown Bay City.
Inside of an hour Starsky and Hutch learned that Huggy Bear had finally come to his senses and stopped jumping from enterprise to enterprise, settling finally on owning one successful business and then starting a family. He had a beautiful wife named Vivian and three nearly grown children of his own, two sons and a daughter. Huggy even looked older and wiser, though he still dressed with the same unique flare that hed exhibited twenty or so years ago. The same Huggy Bear slyness lingered behind those dark brown eyes of his. Never a man to carry all of his eggs in one basket, he also ran a successful limousine service called Huggys Buggys, as a side venture.
Lieutenant Ken Hutchinson assessed the black mans appearance as he was walking over to their table. He was holding a large pitcher of beer in one hand and a bowl of peanuts in the other. Hutch thought to himself that the black man had filled out a lot. He poured himself a beer from the pitcher. "Youve gained a few pounds since I saw you last, Hug."
Huggy leaned over and patted Hutchs not too insubstantial girth. "Will you look at what the pots callin the kettle?"
Starsky chimed in. "Lets face it, Hutch, were married men with kids now. Weve all put on a few pounds."
"Must be that good old home cookin." Huggy added with a smile.
Hutch patted his own stomach. "Please, dont remind me."
"So whats been going on with you two? Anything I should know about?"
"Not a whole helluva lot, Huggy. Weve just got a lot of catching up to do. Its been a long time."
The blond smiled at him. "Yeah, how about those kids of ours? Cooking up this whole thing up just to get us together."
Huggy sniffed. "Well, from what I heard, you two werent doin so hot on your own, thats for damn sure. Seems you dudes needed a swift kick in the pants to get the ball rolling. So now Im gonna do my part and Im gonna leave you two here to rap with each other. You need anything, just holler."
Both men watched with a smile as Huggy got up and left the table to go inside. They allowed some considerable silence to pass between them as each man searched for the courage to say what theyd been meaning to say to each other since it seemed time eternal.
Starsky spoke first; his hand reaching for Hutchs from across the table. "Well, old buddy. Its good to see you again. I missed ya a lot."
"You know it really hurt my heart not to hear from you for so long. I thought we were all over."
Hutchinson hung his head, frowned. "I didnt know what to do or what to say to you. I felt like I let you down, buddy, like I I failed you somehow that day."
Starsky knew exactly which day he referring to. "Hey. Dont beat yourself up like that. There was nothing you couldve done about what happened to me. You did the best you could under the circumstances."
"God," The blonds eyes were sent skyward, "I wish I could believe that."
"Youd better believe it, cause if you dont, then theres nothing left. Gunther will have won his hand."
Hutchinson felt his chest tightened up, his eyes well up with what seemed to him unmanly tears. He cupped his right hand over Starskys as it laid over his left and bowed his head. "Youre my best friend, Starsky. You always will be. Nothing in this world is ever going to change that. Not distance or time or a thousand fools like Gunther."
"I know," Starsky paused. "You know, all the time I was in the hospital I had this feeling that you were the reason I pulled through."
The blond man lifted his head. "What did you say?"
"When I was in the hospital they told me that Id flat lined. I believe it was you that brought me back."
Hutch shook his head. "Dont say that."
"No, Ive got to, because its true. Maybe it was the thought of never seeing you again or not havin the chance to say goodbye to you I dont know. But I believe with all my heart that it was you who brought me back."
Hutchinson eyes found his friends. "Youre serious about this, arent you?"
"Yep, and that bein the case, I think its about time we said how we really feel about each other. Right here, right now, before its too late."
"Its been too long already. I almost lost you once, Starsky. Im not going to let this chance slip by me again. I love you, buddy. All those years I never said to you it out loud. I meant to."
"You never had to say it, Hutch. Words arent necessary between us. Youve shown it, in so many ways. I always felt what was in your heart."
"Yeah, but you know, sometimes its still good to hear it."
"Youre right about that." Starsky took a deep breath and smiled. "What can I say, pal? Youve been there for me, though thick and thin, through hurt, through all the joy and the pain. I love you more than my own brother, and Im glad youre my best friend."
Then there was nothing else to say. Both men broke down and began to weep. Their hands reached across the circular tabletop and grabbed each other at the back the neck, their foreheads coming together, touching, eyes closing in sweet relief as the release of emotions held so long in check were finally freed. After a moment, Starsky sniffled and looked up at his friend, feeling a little embarrassed.
"Look at us, grown men carryin on like to two old bitties." Starsky sniffed again, wiping away his shed tears using the back of his hand.
"Are you really that embarrassed, Starsk?"
Starsky grinned. "No. Im not."
"Good, neither am I."
From his post a reverent distance away, Huggy Bear Brown watched his two friends and smiled.
The Academy graduation ceremony was a stately affair turned festive. Hundreds of parents and relatives, dressed in their glorious best, arrived at the training center to congratulate their sons and daughters as finished their progression from cadets to fledging police officers. Leading the crowd were David and Hannah Starsky, and their friends, Ken and Elsa Hutchinson. Their sons Michael and David stood nearby, resplendent in their cadet blues as they nervously waited for the program to start. Kat, Davids sister, stood close to her father as he watched the animated crowd find their seats.
Right before the ceremony was getting ready to start, Hutchinson silently looped his arm around Starskys and pulled him free of the throng of parents and their oblivious wives. Starsky gave him a serious look.
"Whats going on?"
"Come with me, Ive got a surprise for you."
"Wherere we going?"
"Just come with me."
Starsky obediently followed the blond man, filled with curiosity, wondering what in the world his friend could possibly want to show him that was more important than their sons graduation ceremony.
Hutchs brisk step was hard for him to keep up with. Whatever he wanted him to see it must be pretty important and something that couldnt wait. And it was obviously something pretty big.
When the two of them finally reached the Academys parking lot, the darker man and his fairer counterpart finally came upon it. Starsky's long cherished red and white striped Torino. It sat there like something out of a dream, polished and gleaming in the sunlight, magically unchanged from that fateful day that had sent them both reeling. It was decorated generously with streamers and balloons that said, "Congratulations" and "Good Luck". The tires shone like black licorice. Then Hutch pulled the car keys out of his pocket and handed them over to his partner.
"Here you go, old buddy. Go ahead, get in."
"Wow," Starsky said aloud, but it sounded solemn to his friend.
"Whatsa matter? Dont you like it, Starsk?"
"Its its great, Hutch. It's just "
"Oh, hell " Hutch said,slapping his hand against his forehand. "It reminds you of what happened, doesnt it? What the hell I was thinking? Im really sorry, Starsk."
Starsky, touched with emotion, put his hand to Hutchs elbow. "No, no, its not that. Seeing it again well, it it reminded me of how much I missed it. And... how much Ive outgrown it." As he was saying the words he couldnt help walking over to the car and opening the drivers side door. He wistfully slid inside, taking it all in. The car looked and smelt the same. But it was a reminder of times that would never be again. Hutch stood outside and watched his friend for a moment, then knelt inside the open door. He beamed as he watched his old friend glide both of his hands across the steering wheel.
"Just like old times, huh, Starsk?"
Starsky frowned and shook his head. "No. Not quite."
Hutch looked worried. "No? How come?"
"Cause youre not sittin' next to me."
"Awww..." Hutch said to him, then he walked around to the passenger side of the car and got in. Starsky closed the driver side door and Hutch put his hand on his friends arm. David Michael Starsky nodded. This was the way it should be. Now the old memories could be locked away and treasured forever. There would be no more regrets. It was time for new beginnings, and the two of them vowed that they would begin making them, starting today.
Take me HOME