Disclaimer: This story was written for entertainment purposes only. No profit is being made from it. No infringement on anyone’s copyright is intended.
Some Night Duty….
A Missing Scene from Tap Dancing
Starsky had spent the previous several hours nervously waiting for his partner in “Charlie McCabe’s” hotel room. They were working undercover at a dance studio, trying to catch and break up an extortion ring. Even though he knew that the people involved were going to try to blackmail Hutch’s undercover persona, one of their recent targets had been found murdered. The potential that his partner’s cover could be blown and he might get hurt was doing nothing for Starsky’s overprotective side.
Starsky brought a novel with him to take his mind off of the waiting. He wasn’t having much luck. He had eaten dinner, watched a game on television, and even taken a nap before he started reading. When he finally heard the key in the door at three in the morning, he realized he’d read page 125 eleven times and he had no idea what he’d read.
As he closed the door, Hutch smoothly snagged the “Do Not Disturb” sign and hung it out to keep the maids at bay. Looking over at his partner with an exhausted smile, he said, “You didn’t need to wait up, Dad.”
“Do you have any idea what time it is, young man?” Starsky asked in his best imitation of Richard Hutchinson’s voice and speech pattern. Hutch chuckled at him and flipped him off as he leaned back against the door for support while he yanked off his cowboy boots. In his Charlie McCabe voice, he said, “My dogs are sure barkin’.” Once the boots were off and discarded in the closet, he shrugged off his jacket and tossed it over a chair. Then, he yawned, stretched, and moved into the bathroom to take off his glasses and splash some water in his face. Now that Starsky could see that he could stand down from alert, he decided to have a little fun with the situation. He and Hutch had already had a lengthy and humorous discussion about which one of them was best suited to play which undercover role on this assignment.
Starsky laughed at him. “So, did they get anything good on you?”
“Damn, I hope so,” Hutch replied from inside the bathroom. He shut off the water, and walked back into the suite and collapsed face down on the sofa. “I’m beat.”
“What’s the matter, buddy? Marsha too much for you?”
Hutch had his head buried in a couch pillow. His muffled voice said, “You know how that study came out that said a man reaches his peak at 18, but a woman does at 35?”
Starsky’s eyes danced as he feigned ignorance. “Peak at what?”
Hutch turned toward him to see if he was joking. He could see that he was. “I’m too tired to flip you off again. Remind me to do it tomorrow.”
“You’ve got it. Seriously, how’d it go?”
Hutch rolled onto his side so he could see Starsky’s face while they talked. “She’s smooth. I’m not sure if she recorded anything or not, so I can see how the other victims didn’t know.”
“Looks like you gave your all for the cause. Did she slip you a Mickey or something? Why are you so tired?”
The exhausted man laughed quietly. “No, she didn’t have to. She’s… well, let’s just say we engaged in a lot of horizontal Terpsichore.”
“How many turns on the dance floor did you take?” Starsky asked, his curiosity running away with him.
Hutch looked up at the ceiling, as if perhaps the answer could be found there. “Oh…,” he said as his face reddened slightly, “could be three.”
Starsky looked a little amazed at that. After considering how to respond, he finally said, “We talkin’ disco, tango, or waltz speed?”
“Yes,” came the answer.
“She must have been favorably impressed.”
Hutch smiled knowingly. “I may not be the world’s best dancer, but I have other talents.” They both laughed at that. “What are you doing here anyway? You sure no one saw you?”
“Of course, I’m sure. I was worried about you. Tustin was probably iced by these guys and you couldn’t even wear a wire… and the only kind of protection you could carry tonight wouldn’t help you if they pulled a gun,” Starsky replied. He was rewarded by a withering glance and a groan at the bad pun about prophylactic protection. To make sure Hutch got his point, he added, “I don’t like it when you’re under and I’m out of earshot.”
“Well, thanks, buddy, but you needn’t have worried. I do think she was trying to kill me, though.”
“WHAT? How?” Starsky exclaimed.
“Sorry,” Hutch apologized. He’d been so busy staying in character and being in the assignment, he never considered that his partner might be worried about him. “Can we just say that the girl is a bunny? Good thing I don’t have a heart condition or they’d be rolling me out in the meat wagon.” He laughed, glad to see Starsky appreciate his humor and smile in return. “Suppose I’d get a commendation for dying in the line of duty for that?”
“I’d see to it.”
Hutch glanced up at the ceiling again and said, “I wonder what Marsha’s neighbors think of her. She’s a screamer. Likes to use your whole name. A lot.”
Starsky ignored that remark. “Anything else happen?”
“Nah. I did take her down to Huggy’s mouse races. Lost some of Cap’s front money there. That ought to look interesting on this month’s expense reports. You think I could put a box of Trojans on there?”
“Maybe you should leave those off the report. Consider it a contribution to the job. How’d Huggy take it?” Starsky asked. They had used Huggy as part of their undercover operations many times. He was always equal to the task. This time, neither of them had given their friend a head’s up that Charlie might be coming to play.
“I swear, I think I could go over to Huggy’s in drag and he’d never bat an eyelash. You’ve gotta give the man credit,” he said, followed by another giant yawn. “He goes with the flow.”
“Maybe we should try that sometime. I always did say you look good in basic black and pearls.”
Hutch smiled, and closed his eyes. Starsky could see that he’d be out in a few minutes. “Well, you’re out of gas. Why don’t you get in bed? You don’t want to sleep on that sofa all night.”
Hutch didn’t open his eyes again. He mumbled tiredly, “Bed too far. Sleep here.”
By the time Starsky pulled a blanket off the bed and covered Hutch with it, he was asleep. Hutch’s undercover character on this assignment was married. Starsky noticed for the first time that Hutch had been wearing the wedding ring Vanessa gave him. He smiled at his sleeping partner’s seldom-revealed sentimental side. Tough guy. I’d have tossed it. He patted Hutch’s shoulder and said, “Get some sleep, buddy. I’ll give you a wake up call in the morning.”