No Regrets

By Shawnetildawn

Drama / Action

Chapter 10

Starsky gingerly pulled off his vest and black tee shirt to look over the damage to his ribs. The bruise that radiated out from where Mad Dog’s brass fist connected to bone darkened his whole left side. The brunet winced as he tried to draw some air into his burning lungs, setting off a round of coughs that ripped into his battered body, causing the cop to groan out loud as he pressed his hand to his side, supporting his fractured ribs.

As the hacking coughs finally subsided, the gasping brunet slowly got to his feet, leaving his vest and shirt on the dilapidated couch behind him, wearily grabbing a cold bottle of beer from the ‘fridge as he passed by the apartment’s small kitchenette.

The brunet tilted his head back, the cold brew slipping down his hot burning throat, easing the perpetual ache that smoking cigarettes had caused. Starsky went to his bed and sat on its edge, putting the bottle on the wooden crate that served as a nightstand.

Hutch.

Talking to his partner tonight made the chasm of his loneliness grow even deeper and the brunet prayed that he could last ‘til Thursday’s bust. He could feel the overwhelming need for cocaine, his broken body already beginning its rapid withdrawal from the drug’s wicked hold. The dark haired cop closed his eyes, his long dark lashes hiding the internal struggle and agony that he was going through.

Starsky gritted his teeth when the pain in his side became almost unbearable as the cocaine left his body, the craving need raging throughout his system left his body heavy and sluggish, the drug’s departure unmasking the true level of pain that the brunet was really in, raising it to a level almost beyond tolerance.

The brunet reached a trembling hand for the bottle of beer and rubbed it against the side of his warm face feeling its cold, wet smoothness soothing the ache in his head. He scrunched his eyes tighter, wincing, as a sharp barb of pain stabbed into his side, stealing his breath away.

Gasping as he held onto his ribs, Starsky caught himself wishing for more cocaine to ease the pain and heaviness in his aching body. The detective opened his sapphire eyes, disgusted and angry with himself. He hated himself for his craving dependency of the stimulant and the heavy hand of guilt and shame bombarded his soul once again, adding fuel to the anger that flared within. The brunet whipped his bottle of beer against the concrete wall of his bedroom, shattering the brown glass as it flew in all directions, watching with perverse satisfaction as the amber liquid ran down in rivulets against the white paint of the wall.

“Fuck!” Starsky snarled, his heavy breathing the only sound in the still room, angry with himself as he felt his traitorous body trembling with want for the drug. He furiously snagged the small lamp that stood on the box, hurling it across the room, the plug yanking violently from the wall whipped around in flight, curling in a downward spiral, as the lamp crashed next to the brown shards of glass that littered the floor. The detective gasped, feeling the stabbing pain spike in his side at the sudden, violent movement.

“Uungh,” the dark haired cop groaned softly, one hand pressing against his ribs, his rapid and shallow breaths filling the lonely, silence of his room as he slowly laid back onto the mattress, his right arm thrown over his aching, burning eyes.

“ . . .you call me if you need anything . . . you hear me Starsk?”

“Even if you just need to hear my voice.”

The sound of Hutch’s gentle words, echoed in his aching head, soothing the pain in his ribs, easing the desperate craving need for the drug. Trying to still the irregular palpitations of his heart, the brunet imagined Hutch’s face, his golden soft hair tousled in sleep. How was he going to tell his friend about snorting cocaine? And yet, a part of him already knew Hutch was aware of the problem and it shamed him immensely.

“Look, why don’t you take a quick shower. The hot water will make you feel better, especially if you’re coming down with a cold. You don’t look too good, buddy.”

“Yeah? Well, I don’ feel too good either,” Starsky whispered sarcastically to himself, his lips quirking in a slight smile as he thought of Hutch sending him off, this morning, to take a hot shower.

Starsky lifted his arm a bit to peek at his watch again. 4:45 a.m. ‘Well, it was yesterday morning then,’ he thought as he covered his eyes once more. God he was so tired! The days were blending into each other. So much had happened since leaving Venice Place. Seeing Sweet Alice tonight, just floored him! There were many times that he and Hutch had pondered over what had happened to the petite blonde prostitute with the sweet southern drawl. The last time they’d seen her, she was servicing a client.

‘And I was dyin,’’ Starsky thought morosely, remembering their frantic search for an antidote to Jenning’s poison that raced throughout his system. It killed the brunet to know that now a new substance was doing that same exact thing, but what made it worse, was knowing that he had willingly put it there.

“Fuck!” the brunet swore softly once more, getting angry with himself all over again, slamming his fist into the mattress as he opened his eyes, his stormy cobalt gaze fixed to the stained ceiling of his small cover apartment. He could hear the shortness of his breath and he attempted to draw in a longer, deeper one; only to end up in a fit of coughs that once more, seared into his side and lungs, red hot agony burned within, as his heart continued to palpitate in irregular rhythms that scared the shit out of him.

The brunet got up slowly; feeling winded, one hand pressing against his left side, as he ambled into the bathroom to spit what he hacked out into the sink. Rinsing it down, he cupped his hands together to catch the slow trickle of water only to bring it to his face, cooling the heat from his cheeks, his ribs protesting loudly as he bent his torso over the sink.

The dark haired detective lifted his head, meeting his reflection in the mirror above the scratched and chipped basin. ‘I look like shit,’ the brunet thought, ‘No wonder Huggy knew.’ It wouldn’t have taken a genius to realize that he was strung out on something and that thought ate away at him.

He remembered how he’d used to watch some of his friends doing various drugs on the streets of New York, before his mother shipped him off to his Uncle Al and Aunt Rosie’s place in California soon after his Pop was murdered. He’d seen firsthand the damaging effects that drugs had on his friends who were foolish enough to experiment with them, and he had vowed at a young age to never do that to his own body.

He held true to his promise even in ‘Nam, when his buddies were all doing psychedelics and weed to temporarily escape the horrors of war. What really solidified his resolution to staying clean though, was seeing Hutch go through the horrible withdrawal of heroin. Starsky remembered holding his partner who shook in pain with the abdominal cramping that tore through his guts, leaving him as weak as kitten.

“There is such a thing as a mercy killing you know . . .”

Though he had chuckled softly at Hutch’s words, Starsky realized even then, that it was no laughing matter. The agonizing and often brutal talons of any drug could do major damage to not only your body, but to your mind and soul as well, and Starsky always made sure to stay far away from that scene . . . until now.

The brunet sighed, staring at his blood shot eyes, and the weary lines that ran across his forehead and around his mouth. He could almost hear his partner’s soothing voice again, echoing in the stillness of the room . . .

“Look, why don’t you take a quick shower. The hot water will make you feel better, especially if you’re coming down with a cold. You don’t look too good, buddy.”

The brunet stood up as straight as he could, walking over the small expanse of tile in the dingy bathroom, pulling the dirty curtain aside, as he quickly turned on the hot water and started the shower. Maybe Hutch was right . . . maybe a hot shower would help ease some of the pain and heaviness from his body. It had certainly helped him yesterday morning, until all hell broke loose after Huggy left.

The dark haired cop stripped his tight jeans off, gingerly sliding it over the curve of his buttocks, the movement causing sharp pain to flare once again, in his left side. Starsky clutched his ribs with his right hand, his arm stretching across his abdomen, breathing through the stabbing pain as it washed over him. Once it slowly subsided, the brunet stepped gingerly into the tub, yanking the curtain back in place as the hot, steaming water pounded on his back.

Starsky pressed both palms against the wall of the shower stall, leaning his weight upon his hands, the water flattening the curls on the back of his head. The hot water felt wonderful on his back; the steaming droplets pelting his skin felt like massaging fingers, loosening muscles that were tight and rigid, easing the stress and worry that tore through him.

The brunet closed his eyes; dark long lashes spiking with moisture as he lowered his head between his arms. ‘Just three more days, just three more days,’ he whispered softly to himself, hearing the litany echoing in his mind, becoming a sort of mantra to get him through all of this. Starsky pressed the crown of head against the wall, a small smile coming to his lips as he remembered how Hutch had tried to teach him how to mediate once, and he had ended up cooking his partner’s brand new Buddy Holly record in the oven, instead of the pizza he’d brought over.

Aww Hutch.

The brunet suddenly lifted his head, listening intently, but the sound of water falling around him was all he heard. For a minute there, he imagined he had heard the sound of a Harley’s engine, but he shrugged it off. Since snorting cocaine, Starsky had come to realize that he’d become very paranoid and suspicious at times. The drug caused that to happen to its’ unsuspecting users, making them antsy and jumpy, unable to stay still, wanting to get up and move all the time, thinking the worse, making up scenarios that weren’t true.

Starsky sighed and turned, his arm shielding his left side from the steady stream of water, sticking his face into the torrent that fell, his once unruly hair, was now tamed and beaten flat by the barrage of hot water. Grabbing the soap, he stretched his neck, feeling the cords tightening as the slippery bar made its journey down to his hairy chest and then even lower. It felt so good to wash away the dirt from the road, to feel fresh and clean again.

The dark haired cop rinsed the suds from his body, sighing wistfully, as he turned the water off. Stepping from the tub, Starsky wished it could have been as easy to clean his soul, as it was to clean his skin; yet he knew there was only one way to do that, and that was to tell his partner everything, something that was easier said than done.

“My God, he’s a junkie!”

He could hear Bernie’s accusing voice in his head. To come clean meant that people would find out about his addiction. Although it was supposed to be kept confidential whenever an undercover cop went to a safe house, almost everyone at the station automatically assumed that cop had succumbed to drugs on the assignment. The dark haired cop turned off the stream of hot water, watching as the residual water on the floor of the tub collected and spiraled slowly down the drain. ‘That’s how I feel . . . dirty . . . spiraling down into darkness . . .’ the brunet thought darkly as he got out of the tub.

Starsky wrapped one clean towel around his hips and scrubbed the dampness from his tousled curls with another. Hutch knowing about his addiction was one thing, but it would kill him if others found out about it. The last thing he wanted to be was the latest topic for the water fountain gossipmongers. It would be so humiliating to see the sad, sympathetic eyes of his fellow officers as he walked into the squad room. Hell, he didn’t need anyone’s pity!

Clicking off the light, the brunet absently walked from the small bathroom that adjoined his even smaller bedroom only to stop suddenly, his dark blue eyes widening with surprise, the water-warmed muscles suddenly tensing again as he looked to the edge of his bed where Diesel sat nonchalantly, an unlit cigarette dangling from his lips.

The tall blond biker looked up as Starsky came out of the bathroom, his pale blue eyes locked on the towel clad, dark haired brunet, a frown suddenly marring his features as his hand quickly reached for something under his leather vest . . .


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