SOP Disclaimer: I do not own Starsky and Hutch, but sometimes I think they own me. I gain no profit from this unless you count pure pleasure as profit. This is not intended to infringe on the rights of anybody. It is for entertainment purposes ONLY!

Missing scene from 'Gillian'.

Warning: Angst ahead!

Reviews are appreciated and coveted!


NOTHING TO FORGIVE

by: dnjlwilson

The last ambulance pulled away carrying the thug Starsky punched out and tied to a column in the theater. Grossman had already been taken away with some pretty serious injuries from falling down the stairs. Starsky was grateful Grossman would be able to stand trial for Gillian's murder and all the other things they would pin on him before it was over.

Gillian. Starsky felt the guilt wash over him. Why did he interfere? Gillian might be alive if he hadn't forced her to tell Hutch the truth. In all his effort to protect Hutch, he had succeeded only in letting him be hurt, possibly more than their friendship could bare.

Starsky looked at the back of his partner. Shoulders slumped with the burden of grief and anguish. Thinking back to just an hour ago, he remembered the look of rage, nearly hatred, and disbelief that was on the face of his partner as he stared Starsky in the face.

"Is that what you're trying to say, buddy, that my girl is a prostitute?", Hutch had said to him. That was before the punch. The punch that had rocked Starsky down to his soul. Not that it didn't hurt physically. That was a hell of a punch. All the anger that had built up came out in that punch. All of the anger directed at him.

Starsky walked over to Hutch and gently placed his arm on Hutch's shoulder. The slight flinch from his partner broke Starsky's heart. Slowly, the blond head rose to reveal eyes shimmering with unshed tears, looking directly at him. Starsky had to look away.

"Hutch, go home and try to get some rest. I'll wrap this up, kay?" Starsky said, his voice nearly a whisper.

"Yeah," was all Hutch said as his head dropped again and he slowly turned and walked out, leaving behind a broken, shattered man. Starsky watched him until the theater door closed behind him. His thoughts were disrupted by the bellow of his Captain.

"Starsky! Get over here and walk these guys through this. Let's get this over with, it's late." Dobey said. Starsky didn't even look at him as he passed by.

"I'll get right on it, Cap. Just give me a minute to get my head together."

"Make it quick!" Dobey snapped. He never did like being disturbed at home and taken away from his family.

Starsky tried to get his thoughts in order but all he could think of was Hutch and what this was doing to him, the pain that his actions caused Hutch. God, love was a hard thing. He loved Hutch too much to let him go on not knowing the truth, but in the end the truth might not have hurt Hutch as much as the consequences of Starsky's actions.

Starsky was brought out of his revery by a light touch on his shoulder. He was greatly surprised when he turned around to find Hutch standing close behind him.

"I'm sorry," Hutch said quickly as their eyes met.

Starsky said in disbelief, "Sorry for what?"

Hutch quietly continued. "I let things get out of hand. I lost my focus, and look what's happened, I hit you!" he said with emphasis. "Will you forgive me for doubting you?"

Starsky's hand involuntarily went to his bruised cheek, wincing as his fingers touched the tender point of impact.

Starskly could no longer hold back the flood of tears. "My God, Hutch. There's nothing to forgive. This is my fault, I deserved it." Starsky whispered, hanging his head, not able to look into the eyes of his friend.

"Starsky..." Hutch began.

"No Hutch," Starsky cut him off. "I'm the one that started this whole thing. I went to Gillian today. I backed her into a corner. I told her if she didn't tell you, I would." Starsky struggled to keep control of his voice. "Don't you understand? I offered her money to leave town. I forced her hand. Grossman killed her because I forced her to make a choice."

Tears were coming unbidden now from both men. "God Hutch, please forgive me. I'm can't tell you how sorry I am. I didn't think. I just did what I usually do and bulled my way in without thinking."

"Starsky," Hutch said as he tipped Starsky's face up with a soft finger. "There's nothing to forgive. You were right. We have known each other for a long time and I know you didn't want to say those things to me."

The two men just looked at each other. Nothing more needed to be said out loud. The bond had survived the ultimate test.

"The Pits?" Starsky questioned.

"Yeah." Hutch responded with a slight smile.

"I'm buying." they said in unison.

Laughing, Hutch replied, "Let's compromise. You buy me one and I'll buy you one."

"Make it three or four and you've got a deal!" Starsky said.

"Deal."

"I'll square it with Dobey and meet you there." Starsky said lightly, the weight of the world off of his shoulders.

Starsky watched as Hutch walked away. "We're gonna be okay!" he thought cheerfully to himself. He turned to face Dobey, in all his wrath. But, it didn't matter. He and Hutch were gonna work this out. He would help Hutch through this, do what he had to do. It was okay.

finis

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