Chapter 2 ~ The Council With The Munchkins


"She's sixteen – maybe seventeen – beaten – " Dobey glared at the report as if he could change what was written there. "She was also sexually assaulted."


"And then whoever did it left her for dead." Starsky said disgustedly.


"Did she say anything?" Hutch shifted in the uncomfortable chair. "Did she say who did this to her?"


"She's in a coma. It doesn't look good." Closing the report, Dobey shook his head. "Most likely she's a runaway. Probably came here thinking the streets were paved with gold."


"Only there ain't no Emerald City at the end of the rainbow." Starsky looked over at his partner. "You shoulda done some Judy Garland."


"That's such a stereotype, Starsk. And it's over the rainbow."


"Over – under – all I know is there's no pot of gold, Blondie."


"What the hell are you two supposed to be?" For the first time since the pair had come into his office, Captain Dobey took a good look at what they were wearing.


Starsky was still in the leather pants and blue silk shirt.  And Hutch was wearing – "Get the hell out of my office! And don't come back in here in that dress again!"


"What's wrong with my dress?" Hutch looked down at what he was wearing.


"Nothing. I think you're quite striking." Getting up, Starsky held the door open for his partner. "Statuesque – but striking."


"You say the sweetest things." Hutch patted him on the cheek as he walked past.


"Get out!" Dobey bellowed. "Go get cleaned up! And put some clothes on!"


"Come on, Chi-Chi."


"You're Chi-Chi – " The blonde tapped his oversized chest. "I'm Miranda."


"Then come on, Miranda." Starsky swatted him on the ass. "We're going to be late."


"You're not going back to that club, are you?" Surprise showed on Dobey's face. "The case is over."


"Different kind of gig, Captain." Grinning, Starsky pulled the door shut. “Just as dangerous.”


"I don't want to know – just get out!" He hollered as the door closed. "And I better have your reports on my desk by noon!"


"I hope he meant noon day after tomorrow." Starsky threw an arm around Hutch's shoulders. "I dunno if I'll have the strength to come in tomorrow."


"Not if we're lucky." Hutch agreed.







Hutch woke slowly, stretched lazily, and rolled over. Instead of a pretty face on the pillow next to him, there was a pair of feet. Male feet.


Tickling the bottom of one foot, he was rewarded with a yelp and the waterbed rocked as the other man jumped.


Hutch peered under the sheet. There were no women to be seen. "Just us?"


"Just us." Starsky yawned. "I smell food."


"Who needs a bloodhound with you around." Rolling out of bed, Hutch pulled the sheet off and wrapped it around his waist.


"Hey!" Starsky protested. "Where's my robe?"


"Here." The velvet patchwork comforter was on the floor, tossed there sometime during the night, and he threw it at his partner.


They wandered into the kitchen to find two women, a blonde and a brunette, finishing up breakfast. One of the girls set a plate of bacon on the table while the other filled a platter with hash browns.


"Your eggs are almost done." The blonde came around the table and wrapped her arms around Starsky. Pressing her body against his, she kissed him, her tongue sliding over his lips and into his mouth.


Starsky was panting for air as she turned from him to his partner, and before he could catch his breath, the brunette was there to kiss him. Her hands slid under the comforter to cup his balls and stroke his dick, which was very much awake and happy to be noticed.


"You want to..." He let the question trail off and waggled his eyebrows suggestively.


"No time, Davie." She slid a hand over his hip to stroke his ass. "Our flight leaves in an hour."


"That's too bad." Hutch was panting a bit from the tonsil-sucking kiss he'd gotten. "We could have a little more fun before you go."


"We could." The blonde rubbed her breasts against his chest. "I know you’re always up for it."


"We'll be in next month, on the fifteenth." The brunette kissed Starsky's neck and nipped at his ear. "I'll give you a call before we get in."


"I'll be here." He sucked in his breath as she nuzzled her way across his chest to lick at the scar on his left shoulder. "With bells on."


The women picked their bags up from the sofa and waved as they left. Starsky and Hutch smiled and waved back. The moment the door closed, they both collapsed into the closest kitchen chairs.


"I'm glad they're only here once a month." Starsky picked up a piece of bacon and took a bite. "’M not sure I'd survive them on a weekly basis."


 "So that wasn't you offering to go 'have a little more fun'?"


"No, that was you. Though..." He looked down, then back up and grinned. "I coulda handled it."


"You don't think... " Hutch leaned across the table. "That this is a reaction to the case? You know, overcompensating?"


"Worried about your masculinity?" Smiling at the outraged look on his partner's face, Starsky took another bite of bacon. "Hutch, Jackie and Jessie came into town yesterday just like they have every month for the last six months – it's not like we went cruising for chicks last night."


"True." Hutch swapped his plate of eggs over easy for Starsky's scrambled eggs.


"They were here last month and they'll be here next month." Picking up the plate of hash browns, he slid some off onto Hutch's plate before putting some onto his own.


"And you'll be here with bells on." The blonde shook his head. "That'll be a sight."


"Hey, some of my ancestors were gypsies. I can pull it off."


"Do you mind?" Hutch tossed a piece of bacon at him. "I'm trying to eat."


Catching the bacon, Starsky grinned and took a bite. "Besides, you were the one in drag."


“What’s this?” Hutch lifted the lid of the kettle that was sitting on the table and pulled the spoon out. “Rice?”


“Rice? Really? Oh, where’s the milk and sugar? I haven’t had – ” A frown crossed Starsky’s face. “Where are your boobs?”


“I left them on the table.”


They looked at each other and then peered into the kettle at the cooked rice.






"Where have you two been? Your report's late! You were supposed to be here three hours ago!"


"Well, Cap' – " Starsky started only to be cut off.


"Never mind! Sit down!" Captain Dobey growled at the pair. "Well?"


Hutch quickly took the only available chair, leaving Starsky with nowhere to sit.


Looking around the office at the men sitting in the only other chairs, Starsky briefly considered plopping down on Hutch's lap, but figured that Dobey was already irritated enough. He settled for perching on the edge of the captain's desk.


"This is Captain Hancock and Lieutenant Johnson. They’re from the 47th precinct."


They shook hands with the two men, Starsky letting out a low whistle. "Tough territory down there."


"Too tough sometimes." Lieutenant Johnson replied.


"It seems the runaway you found yesterday may have been assaulted in their precinct and dumped in ours." Dobey told them.


"There's been a rise in underage prostitution and porn." Lieutenant Johnson told them. "We've been trying to shut it down, but so far we've only been able to nibble at the edges."


"This is Andrew Marroquin." Captain Hancock handed a file to Hutch. "He's been taking over the area, slowly but surely. He goes by the name Marrow. As in sucks it from your bones."


"Charming." Hutch flipped the file open.


Starsky moved to where he could read the file over Hutch's shoulder. "He doesn't look like your typical sleazebag."


"More like a movie star." Hutch agreed, looking at the surveillance photo of Marroquin. The man was blonde with blue eyes and could easily have been mistaken for a Hollywood star.


"That's a plus in his line of work." Lieutenant Johnson said.


"Pimp?" Scanning down the file, Hutch read the short list of previous arrests and charges.


"He started out small time. Hustling, turned some tricks himself, and then moved up to running a few girls." Lieutenant Johnson handed over a mug shot of an older man. "That's Vail, he used to run most of the trade down there."


"Used to?" Starsky took the mug shot and looked it over. The face was one that had once been handsome but now showed the consequences of drugs and liquor.


"He turned up in a dumpster over on the west side about two years ago." Lieutenant Johnson said. "Marroquin took a huge leap up at the same time."


"What a coincidence." Hutch leafed through the file, stopping as he found another surveillance photo. Marroquin again, with a young girl this time. "Who's the girl?"


"We think that's the girl you found in the dumpster." Captain Hancock said. "Since Marroquin showed up, his rivals and some of his girls have vanished, only to show up in a dumpster somewhere. Always outside our precinct."


"You don't crap in your own nest." Starsky took the photo and looked it over closely.


"A body is found somewhere else, where they have their own issues to take care of." Hutch laughed sardonically.


"And he can keep on keepin' on." The photo was disturbing. Starsky tapped it. "He's got her arm like he's taking her for more than a Sunday stroll."


"That's what we figured. We lost them when he went inside he hotel he runs his business out of." The look on Johnson’s face told them they weren't going to like the next part. "After that, all we could do was wait for a report of a body in a dumpster."


"You just – " Starsky got up and threw the picture at him. "You knew what he was gonna do and you just sat back and waited? What the hell kind of cops are you?"


"We couldn't blow the investigation for one girl!" Captain Hancock glared at him. "And that's exactly what would have happened if we'd charged in there after her!"


"Then that's exactly what would have happened!" Hutch tossed the file onto Dobey's desk and stood up. "There's no way you should have sat back and let that girl be beaten half to death!"


"Starsky! Hutchinson!" Dobey bellowed. "Sit down!"


"But Cap'n – " Starsky protested.


"I said sit down!"


Starsky dropped into the chair his partner had vacated. Hutch nearly sat on his lap before he caught himself. Glaring at Starsky, he perched on the edge of Dobey's desk.


"We didn't like it either." Lieutenant Johnson said quietly. "But you don't know how many kids he puts onto the street and into his movies. One life balanced against who knows how many kids over the last two years – and in the years to come if we don't get him off the streets."


"You could nab him for the porn and prostitution right now." The file had more than enough info as far as Hutch could see for a conviction on both counts.


"We could do that." Johnson agreed. "And he'd be back on the streets in a few months at most. Murder puts him away for life."


After seeing what he'd done to the girl they'd found, Starsky agreed. "I want this creep locked up so deep he never sees the sun again."


"Catch him trying to kill off the competition and he's gone for good." Hutch leaned over looked at the surveillance photos that were spread out on Captain Dobey’s desk. "Didn't we just do this gig?"


"So where do we fit in?" Starsky leaned back in his stolen chair. "Why tell us your sad stories?"


“This girl isn’t the first to be found in a dumpster, but she’s the first one that’s still alive.” Lieutenant Johnson put the photo back into the file before picking it up from Dobey’s desk and handing it to Starsky. “So far, there’s been no evidence to link Marroquin with any of them.”


“Even this picture is circumstantial.” Hutch pulled the surveillance photo out of the file his partner was looking through. “If she’s turning tricks, then a john could have done this to her.”


“Exactly. Any ten cent lawyer could get him off.” Lieutenant Johnson looked to his captain and at the man’s nod, he leaned forward. “The thing is, we can’t get to him. Every time we seem to be closing in – something goes wrong.”


“You think there’s a leak?” He hated to ask; no cop wanted to think that one of his fellow officers was on the take, but Starsky already had an idea of where this conversation was heading. “Someone in your department is feeding him information?”


“I don’t – I’m not sure.” Captain Hancock got up and paced to the window behind Dobey’s desk. “Money can get people to do things you wouldn’t think they’d do.”


“So you need someone from outside the department who isn’t likely to be recognized.” It also meant that they’d get no help from his department. Hutch nudged Starsky, making the other man look up. He raised his eyebrows, asking silently if this was something he wanted to do. Starsky shrugged him a clear why not.


“I’ve heard that you’re good men.” Turning from the window, Captain Hancock nodded to Dobey. “Harold and I go way back. He tells me you’re his best.”


Dobey squirmed as they turned to look at him. Starsky grinned. “Gee, Cap’n, and here I thought we were in trouble.”


“You are!” He growled. “George wants to shut Marroquin down, and he’s asked for our help. I told him it was up to the two of you.”


“What’s our cover?” Starsky closed the folder, having seen all he needed to.


“You’re going to be moving into his territory, running a small stable.” Lieutenant Johnson handed him another file. “Here’s the address of where you’re going to set up. Some of my people will be going under with you – people I can trust.”


“You’re not worried about them being recognized?” Starsky looked at the pictures of the small hotel they’d be staying in. Obviously the Ritz was all booked up.


“They’re friends from other departments. Ayala and Summers are from the SWAT unit, Julie and Gloria both work vice over at the 55th, and Anne works in Juvie at Parker Center.”


“Juvie? Isn’t this a little out of her league?” Hutch looked at her picture. Anne was petite and blonde. “She looks – delicate for this type of work.”


“Don’t let her hear you say that.” He laughed. “She’s a black belt, and she’s kicked more than one guy’s butt just to prove she isn’t a helpless little girl. Trust me, Anne is nobody’s victim.”


“Three girls?” Starsky chewed his lip. “Kind of small.”


“Not for a couple of guys moving into a new territory. We just need to attract his attention.” Captain Hancock told him. “If we can get Marroquin to make a move on you, then we can nail him.”


“Yeah.” Looking up at Hutch, Starsky arched an eyebrow. “Or we could end up in a dumpster somewhere.”






“Rafferty and O’Brien?”


“We’ve been them.”


“Baud and Goode?”


“Are you – no.”


“Frank and Stein?”


“Keep thinking.”


“There’s Day and – no, that doesn’t work.” Starsky looked at himself in the mirror. “What’dya think?”


Eyeing Starsky critically, Hutch gave his honest opinion. “I think you look like a cheap hood.”


“Really?” He ran a hand down the black silk shirt and smiled. “Thanks.”


“Anytime.” Settling into a black leather jacket, the blonde edged Starsky aside and looked in the mirror. “I look good in this.”


“You look like you should be back in the drag club.”


The jacket was tossed aside and Hutch looked along the racks of the shop. Huggy had come through as always, and they were quickly being properly outfitted as pimps. “Hey, look at this one with the fringe!”


Starsky grinned as his partner pulled on a brown suede jacket with fringe dangling from the arms and across the chest and shoulders. “It’s a little like Midnight Cowboy, don’t you think?”


“You know, I think I’ll take it.” Walking back to the mirror, he smiled at his reflection. “I look sharp in this.”


“I think that you didn’t get to play Cowboys and Indians enough as a kid.” Spotting a black Stetson, Starsky lifted it off the wall peg and put it on Hutch’s head. “Here you go, Tex.”


“Oh my, it’s John Wayne.” Huggy laughed as he walked down the store aisle toward them. “How come nobody ever wants to be Tonto? The brother just can’t catch a break.”


“Tonto always got beat up.” There was a deep red suit on the rack, and Starsky pulled it off and held it up to see if it was his size.


“Go into town and get beat up. Go watch the bad guys and get beat up.” Hutch turned sideways and peered out from under the brim of his hat. “Just take it slow, pilgrim, and nobody gets hurt.”


“That was a terrible Maureen O’Hara.”


“That was John Wayne.” He glared at Starsky.


“Oh…” The sapphire eyes twinkled. “Then it was perfect.”


“Gentlemen, if you’ve selected your wardrobe for this adventure – “ Huggy swept an arm grandly toward the back of the small store. “Your chariot awaits.”


“I can’t wait to see this.” Hutch grabbed a bright silk shirt with yellow roses embroidered across the shoulders. “Add this to the pile.”


“Come on, Tex.” Starsky pushed him toward the door.


Outside in the alley, they found a long black Lincoln Continental. The interior had white leather seats and black velvet upholstery. Starsky whistled and even Hutch had to admit to himself that the car was sharp. And less flashy than he’d expected.


“This is going to get some attention.” Popping the hood, Starsky clutched his chest at the sight of the engine. “Oh… this… oh…”


“Huggy, what’s the stud fee?” Hutch clapped a hand on his partner’s back. “I think Starsky wants to breed him to the Torino.”


“If only I could.” The other man sighed. “Look at the chrome – Holley carb – jeez – “


“Try not to bang it up.” Huggy eased the hood back down. “It’s my cousin Tommy’s and he’s going to want it back in one piece.”


“He lent us his car?” Starsky crossed his arms over his chest. “This car?”


“Well…” Huggy smiled. “He’s sort of out of town at the moment – but I’m sure he’d lend his car for such a noble effort.”


“Out of town? Or up town?” Hutch joked. Huggy’s ‘cousins’ were sometimes just over the line into shady.


“He swears he paid all those parking tickets!” One hand waved in a c’est la vie gesture. “I’m sure its all a misunderstanding that will resolve itself in another fifteen days.”


“We’ll have it back – undamaged – by then.” Starsky opened the door and slid under the wheel. “Where’s the keys?”


“Where’s the money for the clothes?” Huggy dangled the keys.


“Hutch, pay the man, would you?” He ran his hands over the wheel before adjusting the seat comfortably.


“I might as well be married to you.” With a good-natured grumble, Hutch pulled out his wallet and handed over the money for the clothes he and Starsky had picked out.


“I’m saving myself for a rich doctor.”


"My luck's improving all the time." Opening the passenger door, Hutch slid into the car. "Drive on, Kato."



Chapter 3