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Unspoken Need

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I let Cap and the unis take Prudholm in. It buys us a few minutes of privacy as we drive to the station.

"Starsky?"

He looks at me. His anguish is real, tangible; it's living and breathing behind his eyes. But so is his anger. He's angry at Prudholm, of course. But a part of him is angry at Terri, too, for leaving him. And at me, I think, for stopping him from taking the shot when he had the chance.

"I need—" He fights to control the tremor in his voice, the tears that are threatening to spill.

God, a part of me wishes I had let him take the shot.

"What do you need?" I ask. "Tell me." He's hurting so bad, I would say anything, do anything, to take that pain away from him.

He reaches his hand out to me. I take it.

I need you to help me hold it together, his grip says, until Prudholm is back behind bars.

Then, when it's all over, I need you to catch me when I fall.

My fingers tighten around his in response. A solemn promise, a sacred vow.

Whatever you need, however you need it. Always.