They were out of the cereal that Starsky liked, the kind that was like Wheaties but less poofy. He looked over the other selections with some suspicion before he recognized the one he'd tried yesterday morning. He glanced over the ingredients. Wheat germ, what in the world was that? It'd tasted good, though.
Starsky shrugged and grabbed a box.
He checked around before heading to the checkout counter. He didn't want to be caught dead shopping in a health food store.
"David Starsky, you are making up stories!"
"I'm not, I swear! So he says to her, 'I just wanted to see the pigs.' You should've seen his expression, too, innocent as a baby. And then of course, I had to play along."
Sophie was laughing so hard she was wiping tears from her face. Starsky was batting a thousand.
"And then the father came home, and--"
Shaking her head, Sophie took his hand across the table and leaned forward. "I think that's enough about you and your partner."
Starsky grinned, not at all upset about being interrupted. "Yeah?"
"How about we find something else to do, hm?"
"What did you have in mind?" He rubbed her hand suggestively.
"I'm sure we'll think of something."
Starsky frowned toward his living room as he brushed his teeth.
Mo was looking a bit off-color. Starsky reminded himself to find out what the heck a Boston fern needed when it got to that size. Maybe he needed to move it out of the corner or something. Eeny and Meeny had died inglorious deaths, and he didn't need the ragging out he'd get if Mo decided to give up the ghost too.
He spit out toothpaste, gargled, and wiped up. He'd just have to talk with his resident horticulture expert tomorrow.
"Where's your better half?"
Starsky shrugged, smiling at the deli owner. "Just me today. You got a Nelly special for me?" She was already pulling out the rye bread.
"I should be calling it the Starsky special by now. Don't you ever want a nice tuna fish or corned beef?"
"Naw, I would never cheat on ol' Nelly." He counted out the change with a sly, flirty grin on his face.
"Go on, you." She slapped some extra mustard on for him before wrapping it up with the deftness of thirty years of sandwich-making. "You tell that partner of yours to come say hi to me next time."
Starsky waved on the way out, his mouth already full.
The picture frames fell to the floor with a loud clatter. Starsky cursed, dropping the dustcloth. Maybe he should get somebody to clean his place for him like some of the guys did. Huggy might know someone.
He whispered an apology as he picked up the photo of his ma. He grinned as he dusted off the one of himself at six years old with his dad. He fingered the image of Terry, caught in the sunshine at the park with her kids out of focus in the background. She was half turned around, looking back at him when he snapped the camera. He'd always remember her that way.
He held the 4x6, suddenly hit by a pang of loss. Feeling the urge to share it out, he picked up the phone and dialed a familiar number.
"I can't believe it. How could you live to be your age and not have seen Godzilla? It's a classic!"
"I dunno... I heard it was kind of cheesy."
Mark looked pointedly at the videos Starsky was returning: The Giant Spider Invasion and Track of the Moon Beast.
"Okay, okay, look. It's just, I have a friend coming over tomorrow tonight, and he's not into that sort of thing."
"He one of those 'sophisticated' types?" Mark smacked his gum derisively.
Starsky thought for a moment. "Naw, I think he just likes to pretend he is, so he can make fun of things."
"Okay, tell him it's a foreign film."
"Heeey, you're right. It is, isn't it?" Starsky picked up the box with newly appreciative eyes.
"Straight from Japan, buddy."
"I'll take it."
Starsky stifled a yawn as he pulled up to the curb. He waited until the tall figure who'd been waiting for him folded himself into the passenger's seat. After his partner took the radio and signed them in for the day, Starsky smiled across at him and said,