"STARSKY! GET DOWN!!"
Starsky turned his head to see why Hutch was yelling. There was a squad car pulling out of a parking spot and scraping against another squad car.
Then he saw the barrel of an automatic weapon sticking out of the window and pointing at him… and Hutch! He reached under his leather jacket for his gun. Had to protect Hutch...
But he was too slow.
Something spun him back against the Torino. His vision went a little gray.
BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!
Why was Hutch yelling at him? He was lying on the pavement beside the Torino. He saw the broken glass and bullet holes in his beloved car. He was gonna make whoever did this pay!
He heard Hutch running around the front of the car. He reached up and pulled himself up by the window frame. He was dizzy and a little weak? What the heck?
He looked at Hutch. Hutch was standing there looking, not at Starsky, but, at the ground behind him. He had his gun in his hand and it was hanging at his side.
He saw Hutch close his eyes, tip his head back and let out a primal scream, "NOOOOOOOOOO!"
Hutch looked back at Starsky. But no, he was looking behind him again.
Starsky hurried over to Hutch. "Hutch? Hey, you ok?"
Hutch stood immobile, still looking behind Starsky.
Starsky reached out his hand to touch the side of Hutch's face.
His hand went right through Hutch’s face! As it did Starsky felt the most devastating sense of loss and pain. What?
Hutch rushed forward, his body passing through Starsky’s. Again, that God-awful feeling of catastrophic pain and horrifying loss.
He turned to see where Hutch had gone. To see if Hutch had felt what he had.
And he saw Hutch, kneeling beside the Torino, his hands hovering over the chest, of someone who looked like Starsky, which was covered in blood. He stumbled a couple of steps toward Hutch, not able to make any sense of what was happening.
“Get an ambulance here, NOW!” Hutch jumped to the other side of Starsky and lifted his head from the wheel-well of the car. He carefully slid down and cradled Starsky’s head in his lap. “Starsk? Hold on. We’re getting you help. Just hold on.” Hutch was combing his fingers through Starsky’s hair.
But… Starsky was standing here. Who was that?
He heard sirens and watched as officers ran to their cars to chase after the rogue police car. He heard Dobey come running out of the station. “HUTCH! What happened?”
“Cap, th... th... they shot him. They shot Starsky.” Hutch had a bewildered look on his face. He kept running his fingers through that mass of curls. He bent his head down and kept whispering for Starsky to hold on. To stay with him.
Starsky finally realized that he had been shot. His hands moved up to run over his chest. But there were no wounds there. Not like the wounds he could see on… his body. The body Hutch was cradling so tenderly and carefully.
Starsky looked around, but no one seemed to be able to see him. They were all focused on the blond holding onto the dark haired man.
Suddenly there were five or six EMT’s surrounding his body. Well, his body that was on the ground. They were trying to get Hutch to move, but he wasn’t listening or obeying. Starsky watched as Dobey walked over and took Hutch’s shoulders in his hands and lifted him up. Hutch looked at Dobey, blankly. “They need room to work on him, son.”
“But, Cap… he’s my partner… he’s mine.”
Starsky was afraid Hutch was going to fall over. He watched Dobey lead him away a few steps. But Hutch’s eyes never left him. Or at least, the ‘him’ that had been shot.
The EMTs lifted his body onto the stretcher on some kind of board. Starsky thought it almost looked like a surf board. They quickly loaded it into the ambulance and took off like a rocket. He looked back at Hutch and was about to walk over to him, when he was jerked through the air and found himself inside the ambulance with his… body. Again, his senses swam and he felt weak and unstable.
He watched as they pumped IV fluids into him and tried to stem the blood flowing out of him, just as quickly. Is… was… he… dead? Is that why he was standing outside his body, watching? Was that why Hutch didn’t see or hear or feel him?
When they rolled the stretcher out at the hospital, he was pulled along with it. Apparently he couldn’t be too far from his body. That must be a good thing… right? He somehow floated above the body when sugeons sliced him open and tried to knit the jumbled mess back into some kind of cohesive unit. He closed his eyes, but could see through his eyelids. Even when he turned away, he could see what they were doing.
They pulled pieces of lead… bullets out of his chest and abdomen and tossed them into a metal pan. Evidence. Oh, God… Hutch would be given those! No! He didn’t want Hutch to have to see or touch them. He tried with all his strength to tip that metal pan over, but his hands and feet just passed through it. He felt like crying, but no tears would come.
A feeling of exhaustion overcame him. He didn’t know what to do. Should he lie down on the floor? On top of his body? As he thought of what he should do, his thoughts ceased and he stopped seeing what was being done to him.
He felt like he was floating in the air, dispersing through it, no longer in a ‘body’. He thought of Hutch, but wasn’t able to summon the strength to try to find him. Letting out a breath that he hadn’t realized he had been holding since hearing Hutch shout his name and the gun shots, he just floated.
The next time he was aware, he was floating above his body, which was lying on a bed in an ICU room. Nurses and a doctor were adjusting dressings and tubes. God, he looked bad. He heard the beeping of a heart monitor. But he also heard Hutch.
He looked toward the window of the room. Hutch was sitting there with his hands clasped in front of his mouth. Huggy and Dobey were standing behind him. And even through the walls and window, Starsky could hear him. “… the body can only withstand so much.”
Instantly, he was standing beside Hutch. “No… no buddy, I’m not dying. I can’t… won’t leave you. When it’s our time, we go together. Together!” But Hutch just kept staring at the body lying so still in the bed.
Starsky put his hand on Hutch’s shoulder and almost fell to his knees at the grief Hutch was somehow holding inside himself. He could ‘feel’ Hutch screaming in rage and grief. He could ‘feel’ Hutch’s heart breaking. The feelings almost choked him up. “No, Hutch. I’m still here. Don’t do this to yourself.”
Time seemed to bend. Hutch wasn’t in the chair Starsky was standing by. He was sitting beside the bed with the body. He was staring at all the tubes and monitors that surrounded it. He was staring at the body. Starsky could feel him trying to will ‘life’ into the body, but, it seemed to be half-hearted. Hutch was believing the doctors! Hutch believed he really was dying! “NO! Hutch, you’ve ALWAYS believed in me. In my strength. Keep believing! Don’t stop… please.
Starsky knew… somewhere deep inside himself, that he WOULD die, if Hutch gave up.
He had grayed-out… again.
Must have been from feeling that Hutch had given up on him.
He was alone in the room, with just a nurse checking on something. He tried to reach out to feel Hutch, but something was stopping him. He felt weaker somehow. Something wasn’t right. Something more than the fact that he had been shot numerous times, then stitched back together like some broken stuffed animal. Something was pulling at him… HIM… not at the body lying there so still. Something…
A loud sound… high-pitched… steady. Steady? Wait! Where were the sounds of his heart beating? Why wasn’t his heart beating?
He was feeling stranger.
He held his hands up and looked at them. They were fading. HE was fading. His vision was going away too.
OH GOD! The pain was excruciating! His chest, back, abdomen were on fire! What!?
Someone was putting pressure on his chest!
His body… he… was dying. A doctor was doing CPR on him.
“Hutch?” Where was Hutch? He had to tell Hutch ‘goodbye’. And that he loved him. “Hutch?”
Then electricity shooting through his body, arching it off the bed.
More pressure. More electricity. Again…PAIN.
Voices. “There are no vital signs.” “We’re losing him.” “One more time. Clear.”
Wow, bright light!
Other voices calling to him. DAD!
His body arched off the bed again.
Another voice. Silently screaming.
“We got him back.”
He was alive?
His heart reached out… tentatively... THERE
Oh, thank You, God.