"D´you know something?"
Blinking slowly at his driving friend, as to show that the casual question had managed to sneak its way through the tired
stupor that clouded his mind, Hutch mumbled an exhausted, "Hm?"
"I think wings would suit you."
The blond´s gaze wandered to the street outside the windshield, without his head following the motion, then back to Starsky,
who was looking ahead, contently lost in his thoughts.
"Uhm..." Hutch started, a bewildered frown starting on his forehead. "Do I want to know what just went through your head?"
Casting him a quick glance, Starsky smiled and shrugged slightly. "I was just thinking about heaven and if we´ll have
wings there. I think so, don't you? I mean - gotta have wings." He rolled his eyes, as if the mere thought of the contrary
struck him as absurd. When he looked at his friend again, there was genuine interest in his eyes. "What d´you think?"
Hutch thought he was tired. Beat. He thought that this was turning out to be a long, long shift. He thought the last
thing he needed right now was a philosophical discussion with his partner.
"I think I don´t want you to think about heaven when you're driving."
"Shall I pull over?"
Hutch sighed. "I take it just dropping the topic is not an option, huh?"
Starsky just looked at him.
Another sigh, resigned this time. "Kay, pull over."
Acknowledging the dry joke with a soft snort, Starsky allowed a quick, triumphant grin to cross his lips before he asked,
"So, do you think people will have wings in heaven?"
Hutch studied him for a moment as if contemplating his answer. He shrugged. "Who cares? I don't even believe in hea...
What?" he interrupted himself at the sight of his partner´s eyes popping wide open in disbelieving horror.
"You don't do WHAT!"
Sensing yet another clash of philosophies approaching them, Hutch pinched the bridge of his nose, drawing in a deep breath.
But the mistake had already been made. "You don't believe in heaven!"
Starsky exclaimed. It was impossible to tell if his shock was real or faked or something in the middle. "Where do you
figure we go after... well, this then?"
"Six feet under?" Hutch suggested, but earned a scowl for his tired attempt at humor.
Having to smile at his friend's boyish tone, Hutch slightly tilted his head to one side in an apologetic gesture. "Sorry."
Starsky was not yet over this latest discovery, though. Throwing the blond a frown, he briefly lifted his hands off the
steering wheel, upset. "So what, if I dropped dead now, you wouldn't believe I would go to heaven?"
Hutch smirked. "Even if I did believe in heaven, buddy, I wouldn't-"
"Okay, okay," Starsky cut him off with yet another scowl. "But still - you don't believe our deeds matter in the end?"
"What, all of them?" Hutch asked in faked shock, widening his eyes. "I hope not."
At that, Starsky laughed, rolling his eyes.
"Is that why you believe in it?" Hutch asked after a moment of joined grinning and chuckling.
"No," Starsky replied, as if that had been an exceptionally dumb question.
"Because it's really kinda dark and scary otherwise, of course."
The amusement on Hutch´s face faded into honest surprise. "What, death?"
"Yeah," Starsky nodded.
Hutch blinked as if thinking about that. "And when you believe in heaven, it's not?" he finally asked, confused.
"Getting jealous?" Starsky grinned.
Hutch laughed softly. "No, it's just... You mean you're never scared out there?"
"Of course I'm scared, brains. Just because I don't believe in six feet under only doesn´t mean I can´t wait to get wings,
okay? Besides," he added after a moment´s thought, "it´d be no fun up there all alone, y´know? Who´d I bug, when you´re down
here, crying into your plants?"
"Why would I cry if I knew you were in heaven, happily winged and bored?"
"Because you don´t believe in heaven," Starsky pointed out.
Letting his head fall back against the headrest with resignation, Hutch closed his eyes. "Can we drop it now? This conversation
is giving me a headache."
Yet, Starsky didn't even have the chance to answer, before the blond blinked his eyes open again, looking at his friend.
"D´you believe in hell too?"
"No." Starsky shook his head, as if they were talking about a particularly annoying acquaintance of his.
"How can you believe in heaven but not in hell?"
"Out of the same reason I believe in the 'Beatles', but not in the 'Bee Gees'," the brunet replied with a shrug. "Why
bother with crap?"
"I like the 'Bee Gees'."
Glancing at his friend, Starsky made a waving gesture. "Well, I hope you´ll have fun down there. Send me a postcard."
Hutch shook his head with a laugh, his partner watching him in playful irritation.
"You just go on laughing," he said warningly. "You´ll see, when you´ll come begging me to smuggle you into the Believers´
Area of heaven."
"Are you making this up as you go?"
"No," Starsky answered, unimpressed. "Saw it in a movie once."
"Right," Hutch nodded, "should´ve anticipated that."
"People didn´t have wings in that movie, though," Starsky continued, having not even listened, and frowned. "I didn´t
like that. I mean-"
"Gotta have wings," Hutch finished the sentence with faked eager agreement.
"Yes!" Starsky gave a very child-like nod, earning an assuring pat on his shoulder from his friend.
"Don´t worry, I´m sure you´ll get your wings. All you gotta do is save Jimmy Stewart from jumping off a bridge, anyway."
He shrugged. "Easy."
"Ha, ha," Starsky grumbled, rolling his eyes at the giggles coming from the passenger seat that faded after a few seconds.
Silence followed, and a glance to the side told the brunet that his friend was watching the bright city night lights flying
by, apparently lost in his own thoughts. Or exhaustion.
This time, the answering "Hm?" sounded a bit more reluctant. Like a sigh, and the blond didn´t turn to look at Starsky,
"What d´you want on your headstone later?"
"You know," Starsky said, suddenly enthusiastic again, lifting his hands off the steering wheel for a quick gesture,
"like, d´you want a quote on it or-"
"How should I know!" Hutch cut him off sternly. "I try not to think about needing a headstone! At least not for centuries
to come," he added after a moment´s thought.
"Centuries?" Starsky repeated tonelessly and slightly lifted his brows at the affirmative shrug he caught with his sideways
glance. A pause passed, before he asked, in a tone as if the fact had just dawned on him, "Uhm... does that mean you never
thought about where... well, uhm, where you´d... Be? Then?"
"Yeah," the smaller man nodded, looking somewhat nervous. "Then. You know... Later."
"'Later'," Hutch said, making the question sound like the repeating of something incredibly dull.
"Huuutch," Starsky whined, rolling his eyes.
"Yeah, well, who cares where I´ll be?" Hutch finally replied, shaking his head a bit, like he couldn´t believe they were
actually discussing wings and headstones.
"I thought you´d be in heaven."
That earned him a scowl. "Stop it, this is serious. You don´t know where you´re going to be buried?"
About to reply with a sarcastic remark, Hutch suddenly caught something in his friend´s eyes that made him hush himself.
He looked closer and, with a somewhat chilly feeling creeping up his spine, asked, "Do you?"
His partner looked at him as if he´d just asked if he had a driver´s license.
Hutch stared. Dumbfounded. "Where?"
"St. Lawrence. Y´know, down by the beach, when you turn left at-"
"I know where that is!" Hutch interrupted him, irritated. "And, what, y-you have a... place there?"
Starsky nodded. "Nice one too. View of the beach. Want me to show it to you some day?"
"Wha... No!" Hutch exclaimed, physically backing away, startled as if he´d just been attacked.
Surprised, Starsky frowned at him. "What´s the matter, you mad now?"
"No," the blond quickly replied, shaking his head, "no, I-I´m... This is weird, Starsk'! You´re barely 30, how can you
have a burial plot?"
Unimpressed, Starsky shrugged. "I´m a cop, y´know."
"Gee, thanks, partner, that was such a comforting line," Hutch said, rolling his eyes. "Well," he continued sarcastically
after a second, "at least you´ll have a view of the water then, right?" It was an inside joke, referring to Starsky´s openly
shown envy when it came to his best friend´s little canal house.
So with an understanding smile, Starsky grimaced affirmatively. "Right. You too."
"When you come visit me," Starsky explained boyishly innocent.
"What makes you think I´ll come visit you?"
Shocked cobalt blue eyes popped into twice their usual size. "You won´t come visit me?!"
Shrugging away, startled at the accusing dismay in the other´s voice, Hutch lifted his hands as if in defense, laughing
somewhat helplessly. "I can´t believe we´re talking about this! There isn´t something you mean to tell me, is there, buddy?"
he added with nervous humor. "I-I mean, you don´t plan on... 'occupying' your comfy little beach-view plot any time soon,
"Hey, no changing the topic," Starsky replied sternly. "You said you won´t come visit my gra-"
"Starsky!" Hutch barked, effectively shutting his friend up. "Stop it, okay? I don´t wanna talk about your grave!"
Ducking his head slightly with a kicked-puppy-look his face, Starsky made a faint 'okay, okay'-gesture, and merciful
"I´d go see yours, if you had one."
The blond head snapped to its left with enough angry force to have Starsky flinch involuntarily. "What did I just say!"
"Okay, okay." This time, it was even said out loud. "We won´t talk about my grave anymore. Fine." Pause. "So... what
am I supposed to do with you, in case your centuries turn out to be shorter than mine?"
By now officially annoyed, Hutch didn´t even bother to glare at his talkative friend. He shrugged, arms folded in front
of his chest. "Just keep up your eating habits, and you won´t have to worry about that." Yet, seeing that Starsky was about
to chide him again, he quickly added, "Aren´t there those places where they put officers of the for-"
"Aw, no!" Starsky announced, disgusted. "C´mon, you don´t want that! The headstones all look alike there!"
"'So'!" the curly haired detective repeated, widening his eyes at his friend. "You´d think an individualist like you,
Blintz, would want to settle for something more... stylish." He grinned.
Hutch didn´t. "Stylish," he repeated and, without changing his tone of voice, lifted his familiar Hutchinson Warning
Finger, when he added, "So help me, Starsk, if you spray racing stripes on my headstone, I´ll send a lightning bolt straight
down into the tomato."
"Hah!" Starsky exclaimed triumphantly, but had to hastily turn back to the street again, as he almost missed to brake
in time before crashing into a truck before them. Unaware of his friend having paled two shades next to him at that maneuver,
he smugly stated, "You do believe in an afterlife after all! I knew it!"
"It´s obviously necessary, knowing you," Hutch joked faintly, letting go off a small breath he´d held. Seeing his partner
still grinning to himself at this latest victory, he was about to snap back a reply, when a thought crossed his mind. "Starsk,
when d´you buy this place?"
Puzzled, Starsky glanced at him. "Why?"
"Just interested," Hutch shrugged.
"Some time ago."
Hutch watched him for a second or two, then asked, "Before you entered the academy?"
"Yeah. Why´re you asking?"
"Just..." Hutch muttered, but trailed off. "Can I plant something on it?" he asked at last, smiling innocently.
Taken off guard by the rather inelegant change of topic, Starsky blinked, throwing Hutch a frown, before quickly paying
attention to the thickening traffic again. "What?" he finally asked.
"Just assuming you´re... well. You know," Hutch explained, hurrying to catch up with his own thoughts which had taken
refuge in nonsense to escape the threatening seriousness they´d seen approaching them. "Can I plant something on your beachy
Deciding to play along, Starsky shrugged, unimpressed. "If you find any space left next to the Torino." At Hutch´s glance,
he rolled his eyes, waving slightly. "Just kidding. Sure, go ahead, plant whatever you want on my corpse."
"Great. I´ve read about this new exotic African plant, that-"
"Shall I hurry?"
Chuckling, Hutch patted his shoulder generously. "Nah, thanks, but that´s alright, pal. It won´t be available here for
a few more years."
"What a comfort," Starsky grumbled and, hit by a thought, lifted his index finger warningly. "But you gotta promise me
to keep it neat and clean, you hear? The other angels will laugh at me if you don´t."
Hutch grimaced slightly. "Y´know, what with how you´ll probably look with wings, that´s pretty much-"
"Save it," Starsky muttered indignantly. "Morbid monster."
"I´m morbid!" Hutch asked incredulously. "You´re the one who owns a grave!"
"And you want to plant something on a grave!"
"An exotic, rare, beautiful African tree," Hutch explained. "The other angels will be all over you with jealousy."
"A small tree."
Having spotted a nearby taco stand, Starsky quickly checked the street behind them and pulled over, turning off the engine
and then, warning finger once more raised, turned to Hutch, who´d been about to open his door. "You´re not going to plant
a tree on my grave. No way."
"Oh no?" Hutch grinned, getting out of the car. "Try to stop me." With that, he threw the door closed, walking over to
the stand, Starsky catching up with him with two large strides.
"I will! I´ll put it in my will! Hah!" satisfied with his triumph, he turned for the stand, ready to order, but was held
back by Hutch´s incredulous asking,
"You have a will too?"
Starsky exchanged a disbelieving glance with the taco stand owner, then stared at Hutch. "What, you don´t even have..."
suddenly frowning, he stopped himself and briefly looked back over his shoulder at the stand owner, who was busy organizing
some mustard bottles. Curtly shaking his head, the detective turned to his partner again. "You don´t even have a last will!"
he finished as if the interruption had not taken place. "C´mon, Hutch, you´re an adult, aren´t ya!"
Having followed the eerie scene with an amused frown, Hutch now rolled his eyes, exasperated, and threw his hands in
the air. "Did I miss that they tell you to get a will and a grave, when you leave high school!"
"Sorta," the taco stand owner - an impressively huge man, balding and dull-features - said, causing the detectives to
look at him, confused.
Irritated, Hutch started to shoot back an angry reply, pointing a warning finger at the man, but he was quickly cut off
by Starsky, who knocked his arm down, smiling friendly. "We'll take two," he told the giant their order.
"One," Hutch corrected grumpily.
Starsky looked at him, surprised. "You want a taco?"
Understanding, Hutch rolled his eyes and waved 'no', then turned to stroll back to their car. Starsky followed a few
minutes later, carrying his lunch and a cup of water that he handed his friend, earning a grateful nod.
Once inside the Torino again, Starsky studied the taco he held like it was his well-deserved prey of the day, but hesitated
and looked over at his friend, who was checking out a female passer-by outside his window.
"And what if something happened to you, like, today or tomorrow?"
Startled, Hutch blinked, turning to meet expectant eyes. "What?" he asked, frowning.
"What if something happened to you today? What if you get run over by a bus, when you get out of the car again?"
"Then I´ll be pissed," the blond answered.
Starsky sighed. To Hutch´s utter surprise, he even lowered his taco again, his expression growing more serious. "No,
honest, Hutch. No one would know what to do then, since you don´t have a will. This is important stuff."
Still not impressed, Hutch shrugged ever so slightly. "You would."
"Know what to do."
"Why," Hutch interrupted the beginning protest, "do I have to write something down you already know, anyway?"
"I could tell you what´s in your will."
"That´s not the point!" Starsky finally managed to get in a whole sentence.
"Okay, what is the point?"
"The point," Starsky started in a very unfamiliar teacher-like tone, "is to not leave a total mess behind. And I´m not
talking about your slob hole here, but... like... I mean..." lost, he scratched his head, Hutch watching expectantly.
Annoyed, Starsky shot him a scowl, but continued, "Like, uhm... like having the people know how you always felt about
them, but never told them."
"Okay. Love ya, pal." Another shrug. "Done."
Starsky sighed, "Huuuuutch..."
"I just don´t see the point in occupying yourself with death, while you´re still alive," Hutch explained.
"Because after that it´ll be too late, dummy."
"But then I won´t care anymore."
"Maybe I will," Starsky stated, his voice taking on a slightly high-pitched edge.
Letting go of a small sigh, the blond nodded. "Okay, fine, you´re hereby entitled to get me a nice beachy, comfy, planty
place that you can visit every day, and if you want, you can spray stripes on it too. Do we have this settled now? Your lunch
is catching flies."
Starsky glanced down at the taco he still held and had completely forgotten, but hesitated once more, frowning, as he
looked up at his partner again. "Hey wait a second. I´m not going to get you anything - I´m not going second."
A smile tugging at his lips, Hutch lifted his shoulders in a slow shrug.
"Tough. Neither am I."
Their eyes met, and, looking like the topic had instantly lost all its fascination for him, Starsky looked back at his
food again. His appetite, though, seemed to be gone.
Watching him for a moment, Hutch finally leant back in his seat, blinking up at the car´s ceiling as if thinking. "Did
you know that in some parts of India they just throw their dead into the Nile?"
Taken off guard, Starsky glanced at him, then followed his example to stare at the ceiling. "Save it, brains. I won´t
drive all the way up there."
"And the Indians," Hutch spoke again after a short pause, "they burn their dead."
A sideways glance found him but was ignored. Starsky sighed. "If you don´t believe in anything, anyway, can´t I just
shovel mud over you like everyone else does? Do you have to be weird in death too?"
At that, though, the blond snorted, lifting his head to shoot his friend a disbelieving look. "You call me weird, proud
owner of a grave? You don´t even have a house, yet, but a burial plot!"
"That´s just because you can´t rent em," Starsky replied.
Thinking about that, Hutch scratched his forehead. "Actually you can, I think."
"Oh yeah?" his partner asked, looking as if he wasn´t sure if he wanted to hear about this. "How d´you pay for it?"
"In advance, mushbrain," Hutch said, rolling his eyes. "You pay for a certain amount of time."
"And if that´s up?"
"Hm." Looking ahead, thinking again, Hutch shrugged and glanced back. "I guess they dig you out, burn you and throw you
Smiling at the dry humor in the other man´s voice, Hutch stated, "Actually that´d be a much more responsible way of dealing
with human waste, y´know. There is only so much space on Earth."
Slowly, Starsky turned his head to cast him an indignant glance. "Did you just call me human waste?"
Ignoring the question, Hutch pointed at the taco still in Starsky´s hands.
"Are you going to eat that?"
"Why, d´you want it?" Starsky offered.
"No, I´m just wondering what it is we´re waiting for."
"My appetite to return," Starsky muttered grimly, lifting his lunch to study it as if it´d been alive a few moments ago.
"The topic was your choice," Hutch defended himself, but couldn´t keep a somewhat smug tone from shining through.
"No, my topic was wings and headstones, not digging people out!"
Smiling sympathetically, Hutch glanced down at the food with emphasis once more. "Going on about it won't help you get
your lunch down."
"Glad you agree," the Starsky snapped. "So let´s get back to my small talk themes. What do you want on your headstone?"
And with that, he finally took the first bite. Hutch couldn´t help thinking he didn´t look quite as enthusiastic about it
as usual, though.
At the expectant gaze searching his eyes, he sighed, annoyed. "I really don´t care. Just the facts, I guess."
"Hm," Starsky swallowed. "Like, what, 'Hutch. Dead.'?"
"Exactly," the blond replied dryly. "As an equivalent to my apartment door, where it says 'Hutch. Alive.' Mushbrain."
Ignoring the insult, Starsky looked dreamily ahead, taking another bite. "Well, I want fomefin cool," he muttered around
a mouthful of taco, the newly found original topic obviously having positive effects on his appetite.
"Something cool," Hutch repeated.
His friend nodded.
"Aha. And what d´you consider 'cool' on a headstone? Hey!" He snapped his fingers. "A commercial banner maybe? How bout
that? I´m sure Ford would be delighted."
Shooting him a 'ha, ha'-glance, Starsky gulped down another bite, before replying, "Very funny. No, I mean... like a
poem or something. Something cool," he said again with emphasis. "Something that´ll tell the people who I was."
A snicker crossed Hutch´s face, but was quickly suppressed by a faked innocence. "D´you think there´ll be enough space
for..." At the dark scowl he found himself the target of, he hushed himself, smiling. "I´m sure I´ll find a nice poem suiting
you, buddy. Don´t worry."
The scowl freezing on his face, Starsky stated, "Yeah. Right. When I get home tonight, I´m gonna change my will to have
someone else be responsible for my headstone."
Playfully shocked, Hutch widened his eyes in dismay. "Aw, c´mon! I´d get you a cool one! Burrito-shaped. With a Bogey-line
"Don´t you dare!"
But it was too late; the idea had already found the fuel of sarcasm it needed to run its course inside the blond's head.
"'Heaven couldn´t wait, shweetheart'," Hutch suggested and listened to his own echo, before looking at his partner again questioningly.
"God, is that your Bogart-imitation?" Starsky asked, disgusted. "And people tell me I´m bad."
"Actually, that was an imitation of you immi-"
"Ha, ha," Starsky cut him off grimly, lifting the remains of his taco again, as if he needed something else to look at.
"Anyway, I want a nice poem. 'Here lies who died a hero.' Stuff like that."
A giggle ruined the blond´s innocent expression, growing into a laughter. "Here what!"
Starsky glanced at him indignantly. "... Lies, who-"
"Is that from a 'Superman'-comic!"
"No!" Starsky snapped and rolled his eyes. He paused, before adding in a mere mutter, "'Captain America'."
Failing miserably at forcing seriousness back on his expression, Hutch nodded. "Ah, I see. And d´you want that quote
"Hmpf," Starsky grumbled. "I´m starting to think I´d like to go second after all, just so I can choose your headstone-line."
"Oh yeah? And what that´s gonna, be, 'The day had already started off badly'?"
Starsky blinked as if thinking and had to admit, "That´s not even bad, brains. Though I was more heading for something
like 'Sponsored by Healthnuts Inc.'."
"'Undercover Cop' would be nice too," Hutch suggested.
His partner grinned. "You´re disgusting, Hutch, d´you know that?
Disgusting and with no respect whatsoever!"
Not even listening, the suddenly very giddy seeming blond continued, "Just assuming I´ll go second, though, I think I´ll
settle for 'I´m with stupid'." He flashed Starsky a quick, bright smile.
"Don´t let me stop you," the Starsky offered with a generous gesture. "I´ll refuse to have you be buried next to
me. After all, I have a will."
"What, now you´re all élite about your beachview-place?" Hutch countered.
"Get your own!"
"I don´t want one, I just want a headstone."
Starsky shook his head, laughing. "I created a monster." About to finally finish his taco, he stopped himself once more,
casting his friend a playfully generous glance, accompanied with a casual shrug. "I could save some space on my stylish, cool
headstone for ya, y´know? Because at least I would like the world to know that we were here."
Hutch smiled amusedly (and - though he´d have refused to admit it - rather touched) at the added reason, then arched
his brows questioningly. "And what´s it gonna be then?"
"Hm. How bout 'Starsky, who died a hero...'"
Hutch rolled his eyes.
"'... And Hutch.'"
"Who just died?" Hutch asked dryly.
"Who helped the hero," his friend corrected.
"I see. And why not 'Hutch and Starsky'?"
"Because 'Starsky and Hutch' has a nicer ring to it," Starsky explained.
"Besides, it´s my headstone."
"Hm-mm," Hutch muttered, unimpressed. "Know something, Starsk'?" he added after a moment´s thought. "I think I´ll settle
for 'I´m with stupid' after all." He grinned. "But thanks, anyway."
"I will not-"
"Zebra three, zebra three come in, please," Dispatch cut off the smaller man´s quick reply, and with a triumphant grin
Hutch picked up the mike.
"This is zebra three. What´s up?"
"We have reported gunshots at the corner of Lincoln and Westminster, I repeat, we have..." There was a snapping pause,
as the woman on duty was obviously receiving new information, then, urgently, "Officer down. I repeat, there is an officer
down at corner of Lincoln and Westminster."
The grin instantly dying in his eyes, Hutch glanced at Starsky, who was already starting the engine, his one and a half
cold tacos landing in a heap on the pavement next to the starting car.
"Understood, dispatch," Hutch spoke into the mike, "We are responding."
Having received an affirmative answer, he placed the siren on the Torino´s roof and leant back in his seat again. "Starsk',"
he said, not looking at his friend.
A sideglance. "I don´t think wings would suit you."
Puzzled, Starsky threw him a quick frown, but catching the look on his partner´s face, he understood. "Yeah," he nodded,
facing the street again. "Now that I think about it - you look pretty okay without them too."
The calmness that had filled their voices stood in strange contrast to the siren´s loud wails outside, like the agreement
did to reality.
Yet, there were no last lines that day. And no wings either.