December 13th- The Best of All Presents by JudithG41

From his hiding place behind the thick, velour, full-length curtains, Hutch could hear the joyous squeals and laughter of the children in the hall. The noise had been constant for the last hour and a half as they danced and sang to the music blaring from the huge wall speakers and joined in energetically with the crazy games. Around the hall, adults watched with huge smiles at the sheer enjoyment of the youngsters, all except one. He was in the midst of all the hubbub, the cause of a lot of the hilarity and the loudest singer of songs, which he bellowed out at the top of his lungs.

Hutch smiled and thanked his Maker one more time that his best friend and partner was able to laugh so freely and enjoy the afternoon with such enthusiasm. It had only been six months since he had been gunned down in the police garage; his lungs had taken such a pounding that he had almost died. Hutch swallowed hard–almost but not quite!

Starsky had fought back with every bit of grit and determination he could muster. Gradually, his lungs recovered to almost normal but never quite making it to one hundred percent. Whenever Starsky had found the going hard, Hutch had been there, fighting in his corner, supporting him, watching his back as he always had, until the day arrived that Starsky had been cleared for desk duty.

The day Starsky walked steadily into the squad room held a special place in Hutch’s heart. Hutch had watched as his fellow officers stood as one and applauded, each shaking Starsky’s hand as he passed them. On his desk stood a huge card with a message from them all, wishing him well and welcoming him back.

Desk duty was hard for the normally boisterous Starsky, and he had watched, agonizing, every time Hutch went out, watching the door until he returned safely. It was Hutch who came up with the idea of giving his partner the job of organizing the Precinct Children’s Christmas Party, hoping that it would give Starsky something else to concentrate on. Captain Dobey had agreed wholeheartedly.

Starsky, true to his nature, had thrown himself into it one hundred percent. For the past few weeks he walked around with a small notebook, talking to fellow officers, writing notes of all their ideas, and making hundreds of secret phone calls. The results of all his hard work had been this afternoons’ party, and Hutch had already heard the comments from the parents that this years’ event had been the best one ever.

“Well,” thought Hutch, “If you want a good kids party then what better way than to get a kid to organize it! Simple really.”

Somehow or other, by fair means or foul, Starsky had managed to get the hall, most of the food, and all of the children’s presents donated. Hutch knew from the bulges in the huge sack sitting in the corner of the room where he was hiding that those presents were the real deal, no cheap offerings. Starsky would never have allowed it.

Suddenly the music ceased and he could see his friend calling for hush from the children at his feet. As one, they all stopped and crowded around him as they sought a place to sit. Starsky sat cross-legged next to the smallest child, a young girl with an unsightly brace on her leg. Hutch watched as Starsky gently picked her up and sat her comfortably on his lap, and he smiled at the tenderness in the cocky, streetwise, hardened cop. This was the side of his partner that only he and the Dobey family usually got to see. Rosie Dobey in particular held a very special place in Starsky’s heart.

As the room hushed, Starsky took a deep breath and began…. “‘T’was the night before Christmas…”

Not one child moved or made a sound as Starsky’s mellow voice carried around the room.

As he finished the poem… “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night,” a spontaneous round of applause broke out from adults and children alike.

Hutch watched as Starsky stood up, gently moving the young girl to a small arm chair as he did. Maneuvering himself between the excited children, Starsky glanced at the curtain Hutch was hiding behind, and Hutch knew it was his turn. “How the hell you persuaded me to do this, buddy, I’m still not sure, but here goes nothing!”

Grabbing the huge sack, Hutch threw it over his shoulder and burst through the curtains. As he did, he let out the traditional “HO HO HO, Merry Christmas!”

The sack was heavy and his beard tickled making him want to sneeze, but nothing in the world would have persuaded him not to play his part. From somewhere, Starsky had produced a tall, wooden chair and, with a flourish of his arm, bade Santa Hutch sit down. As Hutch sat, he caught his partner’s eye and saw the huge grin on his face. Starsky winked, gave him a thumbs up, and made his way across the edge of the room.

Surrounded by squealing happy children, Hutch never noticed the way his partner’s step became weary as he moved out of the circle, but Edith Dobey did. She nudged her husband, telling him to bring a chair. Edith and Captain Dobey saw to it that an exhausted Starsky sat quietly and had a little to eat.

Starsky was grateful; until then he hadn’t realized just how tired he was. He knew he would be in trouble with Hutch for pushing too hard, but he didn’t care. Today he had felt useful, needed, normal again, and he had loved every minute of it. Closing his eyes for a second, he allowed himself to wallow in that feeling, drinking in the pleasure of it. He felt Edith Dobey take his hand and gently squeeze it, so he opened his eyes to look at her.

He could see the question in her eyes before it even left her mouth. “Are you ok, Dave?”

Starsky nodded, smiling. “I’m great, Edith, thanks for asking,” Starsky lied blatantly, hoping she would forgive him. He looked across the room to see how Hutch was coping. He could hear him speaking and strained to listen.

“Well now, something seems just a little amiss here, children.” Hutch looked around the sea of faces in front of him. “I see my elves did a grand job making sure all of you had a little something from me today, but it seems they must have miscounted.” Hutch held up the sack for the children to see. “It seems I have one more present left at the bottom. Now, who could that possibly be for I wonder?”

Hutch stood up, reaching deep into the bottom of the sack and made a show of fumbling around before producing with a flourish one very gaudily wrapped parcel. Dropping the sack to the floor, he took hold of the huge name tag on the end of the parcel and squinted at it, pretending not to be able to read it. Kneeling down by the armchair of the young girl Starsky had been holding earlier, he smiled and quietly asked her to read it for him in her best possible loud voice.

The girl looked at the label, then turned and grinned at Santa before she read in a loud, clear voice, “Dave Starsky.”

Hutch looked at his partner and saw his jaw drop with an incredulous look on his face. Hutch had had a hard job trying to smuggle the package in and hiding it with all the other parcels and not let his friend see it. But somehow he had managed it.

Hutch stood and held out the parcel towards Starsky.

All the children clapped as Captain Dobey heaved Starsky out of the chair and pushed him across the room.

“Well, young David, you’re a little bigger than I expected but here you are. This is for you.” Santa Hutch’s voice echoed around the room and friendly laughter broke out. Taking his chance, Hutch leaned forward and whispered to his partner, “Happy Christmas, buddy. Open it.”

Starsky tore the wrapping off and allowed it to drop to the floor as the paper revealed the locomotive he had so wanted at another time but had instead been given a tree planted in some far away park.

Hutch was looking at his friend, holding his breath, hoping Starsky would understand.

Starsky sought out and held his friend’s eyes with his own tear-filled ones, smiling. Starsky’s almost imperceptible nod was all Hutch needed to see to know Starsky got it, and he allowed a smile on his own face.

As parents moved in to gather their children and take their leave of the party, Hutch moved Starsky back to his seat by the wall. “Stay here, buddy; won’t be a moment and we can get you home before you hit the wall.”

Starsky nodded, exhaustion finally overtaking him; he never moved from his seat for the time it took Hutch to get out of his Santa outfit and back into his own clothes. The journey home was lost on Starsky as he dozed all the way. Walking into his apartment, he shrugged off his jacket and dropped it on the couch, heading for the bedroom.

Hutch headed for the kitchen and by the time he made a hot drink and grabbed Starsky’s pills, his partner was curled up on the bed. “Here, buddy, take these then get some sleep.” Hutch dropped the pills into Starsky’s hand and stood over him as he swallowed them. Pulling Starsky’s sneakers off his feet, he gently pulled the covers over the still form and made his way quietly to the door.

“Hey Hutch, Merry Christmas …thanks for the engine, but you didn’t have to, I never got you anything for today.” The sleepy voice was hard to hear from across the room.

“Oh, but you did, buddy.” Hutch turned back to his partner’s side. “You gave me the best possible Christmas present ever…you lived! Happy Christmas, Starsky.”


This entry was posted in fic, gen. Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to December 13th- The Best of All Presents by JudithG41

  1. provencepuss says:

    you made a SR addict happy with this. I love the thought of Starsky organising the party – and I can just imagine his voice as he told ‘The Night Before Xmas’.
    A perfect gift got Hutch and the rest of us

  2. P4UL4H says:

    Lovely story, my friend. I can so picture Starsky having a whale of a time at the party. And Santa Hutch too.
    Really nicely done. 🙂

  3. Spencer5460 says:

    Aww Judith, that was lovely! I could definitely see them doing this.

  4. Penny says:

    Loved it… good!

  5. Arlene says:

    Judith….this was so very sweet!! Starsky putting together a Christmas for the kids is so right….and just Santa Hutch. .lol. The gifts those two had for each other was so wonderful. ..a locomotive and a friend’s life. Love this special Christmas story. ??

  6. Sam (samudee) says:

    Their love for each other– so precious – so tender and – so special!
    Love this Christmas story, Judith!

  7. Bee says:

    I love Christmas stories…and this one really is enchanting!!!
    Really nice!!!

  8. Dawnebeth says:

    Very sweet story.

  9. Ok-7 says:

    I loved this! What a sweet story.

  10. marianrose says:

    Thanks for sharing this very happy Christmas story. You painted a lovely picture and made me smile when Santa Hutch spoke to “young David”.

  11. JudithG41 says:

    Thanks everyone. So glad you all enjoyed it. Thanks Flamingo for correcting my ‘Englishisms’. Merry Christmas to each and everyone of you. X

  12. Kat says:

    I could easily see the scenes you’ve written so nicely. Thank you!

  13. MatSir says:

    I know I should tell you what a wonderful, sweet and well written story this is, but all I can think is, “I wanna sit on Santa Hutch’s lap!” ;D

  14. Duluth says:

    Very sweet and very Starsky. Nice but of holiday giving. Thanks, Judith!

  15. Ursula Angstrom says:

    Judith, you story was a heart-warming delight! I loved it from beginning to end. Especially the parts you wove in about Rosie and Edith and Captain Dobey.

    The part about Starsky recovering fro lung damage was poignant the way you had him singing so joyously and tiring himself out with his own enthusiasm. So touching.

    Hutch as Santa made me smile. Only Starsky could talk Hutch into playing Santa when he gets flustered by being the center of attention (like his stage fright in A Long Walk Down A Short Dirt Road.)

    I just watched Bloodbath tonight and Hutch gets flustered by the reporters outside the courthouse in that ep too.

    Hutch overcoming his nerves to entertain those children was special.

    And having Hutch give Starsky the engine for his train that he wanted in Little Girl Lost was perfect!


    Thanks for the holiday present of this story, Judith.


    Ursula Angstrom

  16. Calliatra says:

    Awww, everything about this is so sweet and caring! I love glimpses at post-SR stories where Starsky isn’t back to full form, and this was just delightful. Of COURSE Starsky would love to organize a kids’ Christmas party!

  17. tsilvy says:

    Aww, so heartwarming! Santa Hutch is adorable, and so is kid Starsky. One can just feel how notwithstanding all the people there, it would’ve been the same if there had been just the two of them in the hall.
    Thank you! 😀

  18. Ly888ly888 says:

    Really wonderful post SR story. It all played out so well, with Hutch getting Starsky to coordinate the party and Starsky getting Hutch to play Santa. Very sweet and so caring. Starsky surviving really was the best of all presents. I’d love to hear Starsky recite ‘The Night Before Christmas!”

  19. wightfaerie says:

    Lovely, sweet, heart warming SR story. Glad Santa Hutch had a gift for Starsky! Very nice. Thank you.

  20. ksstarfire says:

    ahhhh.. this one made me tear up. sniffle sniffle.. wonderful! Thank you for your very special present

    Forgive my late posting. I fianally got a few days off together, so am trying to catch up.

  21. Gunney says:

    This was lovely to wake up to! Such wonderful imagery, and what a sweet gift! Very well done!

  22. wanda horvath says:

    Judith i so so so love this story. i could just hear Starsky reading that story to the kids. Hutch cares so much about his partner and it shows.

Comments are closed.