"Cut it out, Blintz, I m not falling for..."
Starsky turned around -- and froze. What he'd thought to be his partner
trying to tease him again, actually was a furry brown giant with equally giant teeth shining in what looked like a cruel smile.
Of course back in the cabin, Hutch couldn't hear his friend's panicked
The bear growled again, the look in its eyes reminding Starsky of himself
at the end of a long shift, on his way to the day's first burrito.
"Uh... n-nice teddy," he smiled wearily, frantically searching his pockets
for a candy bar.
"Yeah, yeah, you're hungry, I get it. Uhm..." He was carefully stumbling
backwards now. "Listen, how 'bout we two head for the cabin over there, and maybe my partner will cook something
A loud roar interrupted him, and a fierceful blow missed his head only
"Woah! Okay, okay, you already met my partner, I see. Well, uhm, we could
order something. Pizza. You like piz..."
Again the bear growled and lashed out.
This time, Starsky lost his balance. Wide-eyed he stared up at the wild
animal, that lifted one paw...
Hutch had already packed their stuff; there was no way he'd stay after
all that had happened. A small groan escaped him, though, at the thought of Starsky's "I told you so!"-speech that sure was
to come on their way home.
His head snapped up from where he'd tiredly rubbed his eyes, when he heard
Starsky's frantic screams.
Fearing that maybe a member of the cult had escaped and returned or that
another snake had found Starsky, he stormed out of the cabin just in time to see his partner being thrown through the air
into the lake.
As Starsky had before he froze in shock at the sight of the giant bear.
His thoughts racing, he tried to catch a glimpse of his friend, but the detective didn't show up on the surface again.
The bear obviously came to the same conclusion; with what sounded like
a growled "damn", it turned and strolled back into the woods.
Within seconds, Hutch was knee-deep in water, looking for his friend.
Red-colored water finally told him Starsky's position, and he managed
to drag his unconscious partner back up.
Closed eyes. No response.
"C'mon, wake up! Please!"
Slowly, as if being lifted with a string, Starsky's eyes opened, a glassy
gaze found Hutch's relieved face.
"Yeah, that's it. You really had me worried here, babe."
"Never go campn' 'gain," Starsky announced in a very slurry voice
that left Hutch concerned despite his chuckling.
"I don't recall me ordering you to wrestle with a bear," he defended himself
while trying to find out where Starsky was hurt. There were spots of blood on his chest and arms -- practically everywhere,
but no wound.
"He started it," Starsky pointed out, his eyes falling shut again.
"H-Hutch? It's dark."
A cold shiver ran down Hutch's spine, but he tried to stay calm. It was
obvious that his friend was confused, yet in the dark wetness of his curls, no injury could be seen, and he didn't seem to
be in pain.
"That's because you've got your eyes closed, Gordo," Hutch explained,
softly running a hand over the back of Starsky's head.
"Dark... 'sdark. Hutch?"
He heard the scared whimper the moment he drew back his hand from something
sticky and found it covered in blood. "Oh my god."
Hutch caught his friend before his knees gave way, gently cradling him
to carry him back on solid ground where he carefully placed him on his side.
"Hutch? F-feel sick..."
Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god,
the thoughts rushed through Hutch's mind like thunder as he checked on his partner's head.
"I'm here," Hutch hurried to assure his friend and grabbed the still wet
hand that had started to feebly feel around for physical contact.
Starsky's eyes were still closed, but the expression of fear was clearly
evident on his face.
"Good. Don't... don t go."
"'Course not," Hutch replied absent-mindedly while gently probing the
injury on Starsky's skull. He couldn't see much due to the water and of course the color of Starsky's curls, but if his other
sense didn't betray him, the gash was at least as long as his index finger and bleeding profusely.
Running a hand through his own hair, unaware of the fact that he left
it bloody as well, he looked around for something to press onto the wound in order to stop the bleeding.
The scared voice immediately drew his attention back to his friend, and
he gave the fingers he was still holding a little squeeze.
"I'm here. Listen, buddy, think you can open your eyes for me? Hm?"
"You still got your eyes closed, Starsk."
"Yep," Hutch nodded and softly nudged Starsky's cheek. "See?"
"Oh," the other replied surprisedly as he slowly dragged his eyelids up.
"The... the bear gone?"
"Yeah, don't worry. It's gone."
"Good. Hate the woods."
The first streaks of blood were visible on Starsky's neck by now, slowly
but steadily making their way further down.
Hutch drew in a shaky breath, trying to figure out what to do next. "Yeah,
me too," he mumbled. "Starsk, I've to leave you for a second to get something to stop the bleeding 'kay? I'll be right back
and then we'll get you to a doctor. I'll be gone just a second. All right?"
"Yeah, but don't worry. Youīre going to be okay, promise. Be
right back. Try to keep your eyes open."
Casting his partner a doubtful glance, Hutch jumped to his feet and rushed
back into the cabin, where he frantically went through the stuff he'd just packed until he found two clean towels.
When he returned, Starsky's eyes had already fallen shut again.
"Hey! What did I just say?"
Starsky winced. "'Msorry. Don't yell. Please."
"Sorry, buddy. Okay, this might hurt a bit now."
A little sympathetic smile crossed Hutch's lips and he gently stroked
back the damp curls from where they clung to his partner's forehead.
"Didn't hurt a bit," Starsky stated dryly.
"Very funny. Hold still."
Though the sudden jerk and choked cry that followed, when Hutch pressed
one towel onto the wound as much as he dared, made him wince in sympathy, he still felt a little relieved about it too.
"Okay, okay," Starsky gasped, weakly trying to push Hutch's hands away,
"you win! It DOES hurt! Stop it, 'kay? Hutch?"
The painfilled plea was almost too much for him to bear, but still Hutch
ignored Starsky's weary grasps and started to wrap the other towel over the first one to hold it in place. "I know. Sorry,
buddy, just a bit longer. Hang in there, Starsky, all right?"
When there was no answer, Hutch bent over his friend's shoulder to find
his eyes squeezed shut.
Gently, he ruttled the injured man's shoulder and was rewarded with a
slight nod. "I'm here. But I think I saw the light for a moment..."
"Uh... Okay. We better get moving. And if you see that light again, turn
the other way."
"Will do," Starsky promised, opening his eyes to look into Hutch's. "How
do I look?"
Hutch couldn't help but laugh at that. "Beautiful."
"D'you think you can walk?"
"Sure," Starsky replied in mock hurt and pushed himself off the ground,
before Hutch could keep him from it. He didn't even make it all the way to his feet, before he fell back down again, fortunately
into his partner's arms.
"Yeah," Hutch nodded. "Sure."
"That was standin' up," Starsky defended his abilities, "not walking.
Now c'mon, Blintz. Let's mo..." It took him exactly one step to almost make eye-to-eye contact with the ground again.
"Well," Hutch said as he held his friend, who had, if possible, paled
even more, "so much for walking."
Carefully, he eased the almost limp body back down again and lay
Starsky's arm around his neck.
"What're you doin'?"
"I'm going to carry you to the car."
"I CAN walk."
"No discussion, Starsk."
"Oh Hutch, please! At least hit me unconscious or something. I don't wanna
be carried around while I'm awake. It's embarrassing!"
Cuckling, Hutch carefully lifted his friend, cradling him against himself.
"I won't tell anyone," he promised and started his slow walk over to his car.
"You know, Starsky," he panted after a few steps, "when we're back home
again, you've to lay down on the candy bars for a while, or the next time I'll call a crane. -- Starsk?"
Leaning in closer, Hutch only heard a low moan. "Starsky? Buddy, you okay
"Hurry," came the whispered reply.
"Think gonna be-"
"Oookay," Hutch interrupted him, speeding up considerably. "Hold it, almost
Fortunately, when they arrived at the car, the nausea had passed.
But still the short travel had exhausted the injured detective; he felt
dizzy, confused, and the throbbing pain in his skull seemed to block his thoughts.
"That's not my car," he pointed out, when Hutch eased him inside the battered
"No, dummy, it's mine."
"Why... why're we takin' your car?"
As his "talk to a confused Starsky"-mode kicked in, Hutch replied "We
took my car to get here, remember?", while he carefully checked on Starsky's head, relieved to find that the bleeding had
stopped at last.
His partner frowned. "Huh?"
"You said you didn't want to have them wild animals out here disgrace
"Oh. Right!" Starsky exclaimed happyly. "Clever me."
"Yeah," Hutch muttered. "Clever you. -- Sit comfortable?"
"Snug as a bug."
"Good. Don't move too much. I'll just get our stuff. Be right back."
Watching his friend's head lolling a little to one side, Hutch hesitated,
but forced himself to snap out of his worried trance and to rush back into the cabin where he quickly gathered their rucksacks
and returned only seconds later.
"Hey buddy," he said, glancing at Starsky when he started the car, slowly
maneuvering it on the rocky road back to the little village nearby. "You still with me?"
"Unfortuanetly yes," Starsky muttered, opening his eyes a little.
"Well -- talk to me a little here, 'kay? Just so I know y..."
"THAT bear!" Starsky called out, pointing out of the passenger's window
where indeed the bear made a reappearence, storming out of the woods he'd hid in towards the car.
"Bear!" Hutch exclaimed, braking hard.
"Did I just say that or do I have a head-injury? And why the hell are
you stopping?!" Starsky snapped, but winced an instant later. "Ow! My head."
"Wha... what're we gonna do now?" Hutch whispered, focusing on the animal
that stood right in front of the car, sniffing, then lifted his paw for the second time that morning and punched the hood
hard, leaving a deep scratch on it.
"I'm so glad we took your car," Starsky muttered.
Obviously not satisfied with the result of its action, the bear strolled
around the car till he sat next to Hutch's window, again sniffing around for the scent of dinner.
Hutch swallowed dryly.
"Okay, drive on," Starsky told him, but received only a "Huh?" for an
"Oh my, if you don't do everything yourself," he stated and reached over
to press his hand on the horn.
The bear jumped away from the noisy thing immediately.
This time Hutch found the strength to react, started the engine and drove
"I thought you were afraid of bears," he said when they were a few miles
away from the animal.
"Not in a car, dummy," Starsky whispered, and Hutch noticed that his eyes
were closed. His hands lay limply in his leap and his breathing was getting shallow.
"Hang in there, partner," he mumbled, softly patting Starsky's knee. "Almost
When they arrived at the village, it didn't took Hutch long to find a
doctor. This time there were no complains about being carried inside, Starsky was unconscious, anyway.
"Hey!" Hutch called at the very first sight of a woman in white clothes.
"I need help. My friend's been attacked by a bear."
"Oh. You're the two detectives who stayed in that cabin out there, right?"
"Ah, yes. And he's-"
"I heard about you."
"That's so nice, but my friend really needs medical attention right now."
"You were the ones who found out about that-"
"YES! And will you PLEASE have a look at my partner now? Or at least show
me something were to lay him down, 'cause he's REALLY heavy!"
"Heard that," came a soft mutter from the limp form in his arms.
"Follow me," the woman said coldly, leading him to a small room with a
single bed in it. "Well," she said after Hutch had gently eased his partner down on the bed. "A bear you said?"
"Yeah," Hutch nodded. "Big one."
"I believe that," she muttered as she unwrapped the towel and examined
the wound on Starsky's head. "Quite a blow you took there, young man, hm?"
"Think so," Starsky mumbled. He was tiring fast.
"It'll need stitching, but I think you'll life. A few days of complete
rest will be necessary, though, you're concussed."
"What, here?!" Starsky asked, and winced as pain shot through his skull.
"I would advise you to keep your voice low for the next few days," she
said cooly and turned to leave. "I'll be right back to stitch that wound. And you," she added, looking at Hutch, "should head
across the street to get a room in our hotel if you want to stay with your friend during his stay here."
"Yes, Ma'am," Hutch muttered and saluted after she'd left the room. "You
know something, Starsky?"
"Next time we'll have some days off you chose the place."